The Jurassic Park franchise is one of my favourite film series of all time and, like all serious fans, I have my own theories about aspects of some of the film. Today I will list 5 of my favourite theories about the Jurassic Park franchise, none of these theories are actually mine, I didn’t come up with them and I’ve heard them before, but I hope to explain them in more detail than ever before.
5) The Spinosaurus was Ingen’s First Attempt at Genetic Engineering
Jurassic Park III (2001) saw the introduction of easily the most controversial dinosaurs in the entire series, the Spinosaurus. In what is far and away the most hated scene in any of the Jurassic Park films, the Spinosaurus killed fan-favourite dinosaur, T-Rex, in a fight which lasted under a minute. The theory goes, however, that the Spinosaurus seen in JPIII was a sort of prototype for Ingen’s genetically engineered Indominous Rex. Online promotional material, including emails from Dr Henry Wu, the geneticist who played such a large part in cloning dinosaurs in the first place, allude to a ‘mistake’ left on Isla Sorna (the island JPIII is set on). The idea would explain how Spinosaurus managed to so handily defeat T-Rex, an animal with the largest bite force ever recorded, and why the Spinosaurus in the film looks so different to the actual thing:
It’s also mentioned that Spinosaurus is not on Ingen’s list of dinosaurs, which was published after the T-Rex rampage in San Diego exposed the company at the end of The Lost World, and while original this was likely originally intended simply to highlight the fact that Ingen was a shady company it seems far more plausible that this exclusion of the Spinosaurus was done to cover up the ethically dubious genetic engineering Ingen was beginning to look into. It also explains why Spinosaurus so aggressively hunted down the human characters in JPIII, it’s possible the same aggression we saw in the Indominous Rex was present in the Spinosaurus. I know I’m in a minority, but I always liked the Spinosaurus, even before I became aware of this theory and the idea that this awesome addition to the franchise represents the start of Ingen’s genetic engineering program only makes me love it more.
4) The T-Rex killed by the Spinosaurus in JPIII was the infant Rex from Lost World
Of all the theories on this list, this is by far the most complex. Despite being jokingly confirmed by JPIII’s director, this theory is still very much open to debate. It is alleged that the T-Rex in this scene from JPIII:
Is the same T-Rex from this scene from The Lost World (1997):
Personally, I subscribe wholeheartedly to this theory. Firstly, it is canon that there were 7 Tyrannosaurs bred on Isla Sorna, we know at least two of those Rexes’ paired up and bred, as seen in The Lost World, and we can presume that Ingen would split the genders as evenly as possible leaving us at least three male and three female rexes. Now, some have argued that the Rex in JPIII cannot be the infant from The Lost World because the colouring of the animal is different. However, we know that some animals change their colouring as they age, and the model used for the Rex in JPIII is the same used for the buck Rex in The Lost World. In addition to this, we know the Rex in JPIII isn’t one of the original 7 Rexes bred on the island because it simply isn’t big enough. While this theory isn’t the most solid of those on the list, I really like it, if only because it connects JPIII to The Lost World and for an entry in the franchise like JPIII, which often feels very disconnected from the first two films, that’s pretty nice to have.
3) The Raptor known as ‘The Big One’ in Jurassic Park changed from female to male
In the original Jurassic Park (1993), we are introduced to the Velociraptors and the most threatening of the first film’s pack is their leader, referred to by Robert Muldoon as ‘The Big One’. This Raptor is bigger, smarter, and more aggressive than the others and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of the park worker in the film’s opening scene, as well as Muldoon himself. We are told that when this Raptor was introduced to the others, she immediately killed 5 of the others, keeping only two alive as her subordinates. Why though, did this Raptor act so aggressively? Well, the answer may be found in what is revealed to be happening to the dinosaurs towards the end of the film. When lost in the Park and trying to make their way to the visitor’s centre, Dr Alan Grant, Lex and Tim, stumble upon a recently hated nest of Gallimimus eggs, and Grant comes the conclusion the some of the parks dinosaurs are beginning to change gender. Grant reasons that, because all the dinosaurs in the park are female (to prevent uncontrolled breeding) the frog genes Ingen used to fill in the gaps in the dinosaur’s genetic code allowed them to change gender and breed, something which has been observed in frogs in nature.
Some fans believed that ‘The Big One’ changed its gender at some point and became male. This would explain the levels of aggression displayed by the animal, male animals tend to be more violent than their female counterparts. It would also explain why this Raptor took over the pack and asserted its dominance over its females. It may even be the case that some of the other Raptors ‘The Big One’ killed, also changed their gender and became male, thus resulting in a power struggle in the pack. It’s an interesting theory because, if true, it only adds to the theme of nature reasserting itself that runs throughout the film.
2) Environmental Extremists were Responsible for the SS Venture crash
Jurassic Park: The Lost World has an environmental slant to it, in fact one of the main ‘protagonists’ is Nick Van Owen, a photographer and member of a Greenpeace style environmental activist group, sent to the island specifically to disrupt Ingen’s plan to move some of the dinosaurs to the mainland. I say ‘protagonists’ because much has been made of the fact that Van Owen actually does more harm than good. Firstly, he plays a big part in releasing the dinosaurs that have been captured by Ingen, an action which may sound admirable but resulted in this:
Secondly, after destroying Ingen’s camp and no doubt killing several people, Van Owen tries to disrupt big game hunter Roland Tembo’s plan to kill a male Tyrannosaur by removing the rounds from his deluxe hunting rifle, again something which sounds admirable but actually means Tembo’s gun, probably the only weapon on the island capable of bringing down a Rex, is rendered totally useless when their camp is attacked by two of them. Again, Van Owen’s actions cost lives but Tembo’s quick thinking means that he tranquillises the male Rex instead, giving Ingen a star attraction to bring to San Diego. Unfortunately, this happens:
It is not clear what happened on the SS Venture. At first glance it may seem obvious, the T-Rex wakes up halfway through the journey and goes on a rampage, killing the crew before a mortally wounded crew member manages to lock the animal below deck again. That doesn’t explain this though:
How on earth did the Rex manage to kill the man at the wheel without destroying the wheelhouse and leaving a hand on the wheel? Well, according to the original script, a pack of Velociraptor’s sneaked on the ship and killed the crew, but there is another theory. Van Owen’s actions indicate that he is part of a group who are willing to do morally grey things to accomplish their goals.
My theory is this, after leaving the island, Van Owen contacted some of his fellow activists and together they intercepted the ship, killing any crew they found. In the chaos, someone let the Rex out and it killed the rest of the crew and the activists. In fear, a handful of survivors fled below deck where the Rex followed them before the mortally injured crew member locked it back in. As convoluted as this theory is, it does explain the what happened on the SS Venture and explains where Van Owen was at the climax. Van Owen isn’t the sort of person to stand back and do nothing, if he could’ve been there to help then he would’ve been.
1) The Dinosaurs don’t look like Dinosaurs because they aren’t
When Jurassic Park first hit the screen in 1993, it was praised for its accurate portrayal of dinosaurs. 25 years later, things have changed and now we known that dinosaurs resembled birds far more than we ever thought and were feathered. How then, do you explain the distinct lack of feathers in Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs? Well, the theory goes that Ingen actually did create feathered dinosaurs but realised that they wouldn’t make ideal theme park attractions. After all, in 1993, the idea of feathered dinosaurs was not mainstream, visitors would’ve been taken aback by seeing actual dinosaurs and the affect wouldn’t have been the same. Instead, Ingen engineered the dinosaurs, removing feathers and modifying them to make them look like dinosaurs as the public knew them in 1993. To test how ‘realistic’ his dinosaurs looked, John Hammond invited Dr Alan Grant, a palaeontologist, Dr Ellie Sattler, a palaeobotanist, and Dr Ian Malcolm, a mathematician, to the park, reasoning that if he could fool them into thinking these dinosaurs were genuine, he could fool the general public. It worked and, if Nedry hadn’t turned the fences off, it would’ve opened to the public.
22 years later and the dinosaurs of Jurassic World don’t look right, palaeontologists have discovered that the dinosaurs Ingen claimed to resurrect look very different from those that lived 65 million years ago. Public attendance to Jurassic World declines now that dinosaurs in the park are exposed as, as Dr Grant said, “genetically engineered theme park monsters”. To get the numbers up and capitalise on the idea that Ingen are creating dinosaurs from scratch rather than resurrecting them, CEO Simon Masrani approves the creation of the Indominous Rex, a hybrid dinosaur, whose escapes result in the death of Masrani and the destruction of Jurassic World, and all because of a decision John Hammond made in the early 90’s.