‘Jurassic World: Aftermath’ Out Now on Oculus VR Platforms (and We’ve Been Playing It)!

At long last, a Jurassic World game that is not mobile-exclusive or a park builder has arrived! ‘Jurassic World: Aftermath’ is an immersive VR survival adventure game hitting platforms like the recently released Oculus Quest 2, featuring plenty of Dino-action, and compelling storytelling.

Check out the launch trailer below!

We’ve been playing this game the last couple of days, and will have plenty of exciting content hitting our YouTube channel soon – but until then, here are some of the basics you need to know:

‘Jurassic World: Aftermath’ is set 2 years after the events of Jurassic World, prior to events of Fallen Kingdom. You play as Sam, a voiceless protagonist serving as an avatar to the players, who was hired for an illegal asset retrieval mission on Isla Nublar. You were hired by Dr. Mia Everett, an ex Jurassic World geneticist who worked under Dr. Henry Wu. Everett accompanies you to the island and watches your every move via a body camera, all while speaking to and advising you as you explore (think Halo’s Cortana to Master Chief – only if the Chiefs main talent was hacking computers, and hiding in storage lockers).

Dr. Everett’s past with Dr. Wu comes into play throughout the story, as their time working at the park was mired with admiration, tension, and spite. Working on the Velociraptor genetics program together, they eventually butted heads and had a falling out – which could mean life or death on the island as Everett tries to salvage the mysterious operation, and figure out just who she can call for help.

This game is lore rich, with fantastic voice acting by Laura Bailey (Everett), BD Wong (Wu), and Jeff Goldblum (Malcolm). The story has everything to do with Velociraptors, and there is a lot to discover within – including some reveals that may have relevance in 2022’s Jurassic World Dominion. There is a lot to unpack there, and we will have more in-depth coverage soon!

The gameplay is focused on navigating the facilities (including the canonically important, and expanded universe favorite Geothermal Power Plant), getting certain system back online to unlock doors, access computers, and try to survive – all while dodging three Velociraptors. If you’re wondering where these new raptors came from, why they look different, and why they behave differently, worry not – the game has compelling answers for all those questions within the story.

This game has zero combat elements: your tool is your wit, using computer systems to distract the raptors as you crawl through vents, take cover behind tables, or hide within lockers all while hacking into computer systems, or looking for items needed to progress. You also have a flashlight, which you can use to spook the occasional Dilophosaurus, which will try ambush you from ventilation openings. All of this leads to exciting ‘raptors in the kitchen’ like moments of cat and mouse tactics, much like Alien Isolation at a smaller scale and budget.

While this games budget is notably smaller, the voice acting is top tier, as is the music. The story is incredibly compelling – and certainly seems to be canon – but shorter, and clearly episodic, with an expansion coming in 2021. The cel shaded visuals looks crisp, though I really can’t help but wonder if a more realistic style would have been better positioned for the VR format. After-all, it’s all about breaking the confines of a screen and bringing that world to life for the player. Thankfully, the gameplay is well polished, and that’s what really matters.

If you have a VR capable device, or are planning to pick something like the Oculus Quest 2 already, this game is not to be missed for Jurassic story fans (Side bar: also pick up Vader Immortal and SuperHot — they really are must-haves for the VR platform. They made me a believer.). If you’re waiting for more information, fair play as well! Be sure to stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost, where we will have in-depth video coverage coming, including a Quest 2 unboxing, lore videos, and a formal review in the days to come!

Jurassic becomes first major live-action film franchise to average $1 billion per film

Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter and Fast and Furious are all major live-action Hollywood franchises that not only entertain and shape generations of moviegoers, but also dominate at the global box office. But despite all those franchises’ success, there is only one live-action film franchise (with 2+ films) that averages $1 billion worldwide per film and it might shock the average person of which franchise that is: Jurassic Park.

That is right, the Jurassic Park franchise, which currently stands at 5 films (with the 6th film, Jurassic World: Dominion currently in production for a June 11, 2021 release), is the only live-action movie franchise to reach this amazing feat. With the Covid-19 re-release of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this Summer in multiple countries and some theatrical showings of Jurassic World, the franchise global total has finally crossed the $5 billion mark ($5,069,589,335 to be exact as of this writing).

One might argue that the re-release of those films to push it over the top is unfair, but most major film franchise’s see re-releases from time to time, including other big ones like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So how does this all break down for the Jurassic films compared to the others? Well lets start with Jurassic Park.

Before 2015, the Jurassic franchise consisted of only three films, Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001). The worldwide grosses of those three films are $1,033,756,460, $618,638,999 and $368,780,809 which totals $2.02 billion, or about $673.7 million per film. So how did the franchise go from averaging $673.7 million to $1 billion? In 2015 the release of the fourth film in the series, Jurassic World demolished box office records at the time on the way to a massive global haul of $1,670,400,637. Three years later the fifth film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, while not as massive as it’s predecessor, was still one of the biggest film’s of all-time with $1,378,012,430. Add those all up and you have a franchise that makes it to the $1 billion per film average.

So if you are still surprised or asking “Well what about Star Wars or Marvel, they have to be at or close to an average of $1 billion also”. Those are indeed massive franchises with at least one film in each that has made over $2 billion individually, but overall still behind Jurassic in terms of averages. Star Wars has 11 theatrical films that average $937.4 million per film and if you include 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the 12th film, the average drops to $859.8 million. The Marvel Cinematic Universe currently has 23 films that average $982 million. Some other major franchises that are near the top of the list include the Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts films ($923.8 million average), Pirates of the Caribbean ($904.9 million), The Hunger Games ($742.0 million) and (Fast and Furious ($654.9 million).

But there has to be a catch right, is Jurassic REALLY the highest grossing franchise in Hollywood on average? Yes, and well, also no. It is the highest grossing live-action film series per film, but it is not the highest grossing film series per film overall. There is one other franchise that can claim that title: Disney’s animated Frozen films. Currently sitting at two films, the series is averaging a very impressive $1.37 billion per film.

While Jurassic might be the only current $1 billion per film live-action franchise it will be interesting to see if a series like Star Wars or Marvel can ever reach those heights too since they are not that far off. It will also be something to watch if Jurassic can maintain that level with the series adding Jurassic World: Dominion next Summer. If Dominion can earn at least $1 billion itself it will obviously stay in the exclusive $1 billion per film club. Based on past results, the movie going audiences love for new films in the series it is a no-brainer that the new film would reach those heights. However, the wrench in the whole thing is the current world climate with the Covid-19 pandemic and the complete uncertainty of the film landscape going forward. Will the virus be gone, or at least contained enough that normalcy resumes? Will theaters be open at 100% capacity? Will some theaters even fail to re-open after their financial losses, especially in a very big box office market in China? There are a lot of rough waters that a blockbuster like Dominion will have to navigate.

The other thing Jurassic has proven and earned is the right to exist as a franchise. Not everyone loves all the films, and people will always question certain choices by the filmmakers and not everyone will always agree with with the direction the movies take. Like any other film series though, some absolutely love every aspect of it, and there are people that hate everything too. You can’t please everyone and every series will have its positives and negatives. But you can’t deny that there is a global thirst and want for these films. It is a franchise that if a new film is released, people will flock to see it. You might see people on social media or even national movie critics ask things like “Why are they making another?”, “Jurassic is not a franchise”, “It is time to let the series die”, “No one asked for another Jurassic movie”, yet what they fail to realize is that how well these films do, people do want more films and they don’t want the series to end. If you don’t want to watch another Jurassic film, then don’t, no one is forcing you to, but it is still going to have a major turnout, excitement and box office haul.

So what do you think of the Jurassic franchise being the only live-action film franchise to average $1 billion per film globally? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mattel’s Jurassic World Amber Collection Owen and Blue Now Available at Entertainment Earth!

Wave 2 of Mattel’s Amber Collection is roaring its way online, and is no longer exclusive to Gamestop stores. Starting now, you can pre-order Owen and Blue from Entertainment Earth – while they are available from other online retailers, these collectibles will not be available from Big Box Brick and Mortar retailers, meaning this is certainly one of the best way to pick them up as a collector!

Jurassic World Owen Grady 6-Inch Scale Amber Figure

Relive nostalgic, iconic film moments with this Jurassic World Owen Grady 6-Inch Scale Amber Collection Action Figure that captures the spirit of the franchise legacy with movie-authentic decoration and deluxe detail. Standing approximately 6-inches tall and inspired by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Owen features movable joints for posing and play action, and he comes with a removable knife accessory, an extra set of exchangeable hands, and a display stand. You don’t want to miss him!

For even more fun, pair this exciting Owen figure with the equally exciting Jurassic World Velociraptor Blue 6-Inch Scale Amber Collection Action Figure! Sold separately.

This amazing action figure portrays the scene when Owen returns to Isla Nubar to save his endangered trained velociraptor Blue. Finding Blue in the jungle, Owen extends his hand to her, but little does he know that she will later end up saving him!

Pre-Order Now!

Jurassic World Raptor Blue 6-Inch Scale Amber Figure

Inspired by the blockbuster movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, this sensational Jurassic World Velociraptor Blue 6-Inch Scale Amber Collection Action Figure of the Owen-friendly Velociraptor measures roughly 6-inches tall, features movable joints for posing and play action, and includes a stand for display. The feel and spirit of the film and the film series are captured in excellent detail and the movie-accurate deco, too. Don’t let Blue get away from you!

For even more fun, pair this exciting figure of Blue with the equally exciting Jurassic World Owen Grady 6-Inch Scale Amber Collection Action Figure! Sold separately.

This awesome Blue action figure and embodies her intellect and ability to experience empathy, which allows her to develop a close bond with Owen Grady – so much so that she risks her life to save him!

Pre-Order Now!

You can check them out in action in the video below, which also provides a sneak peak at what’s coming next (Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus)

What characters and dinosaurs do you want to see in the Amber Collection, and will you be picking up Owen or Blue? Let us know in the comments below!

‘Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park’ Launch Trailer | Out Now!

Welcome back to Jurassic Park! The brand new classic Jurassic DLC based upon the first three films is now available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC — check out the launch trailer below, and read on for more details!

Join Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Ian Malcolm on Isla Nublar, in an all new storyline where you’ll rebuild and open the greatest attraction on earth, Jurassic Park. Use your skill as an expert park manager to overcome intriguing new challenges, and show the world you’ve got what it takes to handle the heat when life finds a way!

For anyone who may have missed our previous announcement, this fantastic new expansion pack contains a whole host a brand new story missions, classic buildings inspired by film, dinosaur skins you’ll most definitely recognize and much more! Don’t forget, Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park comes alongside free update 1.12, with features that have been highly requested from the community like new Ranger team functions and a restroom requirement for guests.

Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park launches today on Steam, Playstation 4 and Xbox One for £15.99 ($19.99, €19.99).

Perhaps the most exciting bit of news is that Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum have returned to voice the roles of Dr’s Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm respectively. They’re intregal to this altnernate cannon story where after the fateful events of the first film, they return to the islands and help Hammond rebuild. This time it will be flawless.

Stay tuned, as our review will be coming as soon as we’ve spent enough time with the game and completed its story!

Will you be picking up the ‘Return to Jurassic Park’ DLC, and what do you hope it adds to Jurassic World Evolution? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned for the latest news!


‘Dinosaur Crossing’ Jurassic World Motion Comic Drops – Featuring A Triceratops vs Ankylosaurus Battle

Jurassic News seems to be dropping thick and fast for fans of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World – with the second instalment of the Jurassic World motion comic series already dropping on the official Jurassic World YouTube Channel! This entry, titled ‘Dinosaur Crossing’,  continues the idea of giving us a bite-size look at a post-Fallen Kingdom world with some interesting tidbits thrown in which perhaps hint at the direction which we will see the story take in 2021’s Jurassic World 3.

Before we dive into our own thoughts, you can check out the second episode, ‘Dinosaur Crossing’ below.

The focus of the second short is two Herbivores – the Ankylosaurus and the Triceratops – locked in an all-out dual on a busy road somewhere in America. The main character of the short, who is an employee for the Department of Wildlife (and also the husband of Rebecca, whom we are introduced to in the first short), heads out to a job in the middle of nowhere when he stumbles upon the two animals brawling. Thrust into a dangerous situation, he has to quickly get his vehicle out of a sticky situation so that he can drive away and escape the potential threat which the herbivores may pose.

I have to admit – it is incredibly fun getting to see two Herbivores ‘butting heads’ in a literal manner. Frequently within the films, we will see fight sequences which Carnivores are particularly prominent within, since they tend to have more appeal for wider movie-going audiences. With this in mind, it is nice seeing the creative team behind the motion comic experiment with bringing different creatures to the forefront. Whilst both the Ankylosaurus and the Triceratops have appeared in the films, they only have a handful of memorable moments – so seeing them going toe to toe is pretty awesome. However, the short brings much more to the forefront than just the two animals fighting.

Dinosaur Crossing - National Emergency Screenshot

As the above image shows, this particular short also looks at the wider impact which the dinosaurs being lose in the public is having – with a state of National Emergency declared. We also see several other sequences with different dinosaurs causing injury to members of the public – building upon the short pieces of footage which we saw at the end of Battle at Big Rock. Clearly, this is becoming an issue a lot quicker than we would have predicted after Fallen Kingdom – so perhaps more dinosaurs have escaped from other InGen facilities, like those hinted at within the Live Show. It is apparent that something will need to be done within the third film to round these creatures up – and the way in which they do this will be interesting. Perhaps Sanctuary Island does exist?

Returning to the short, however, it is a fun dive into a world which is being ravaged by dinosaurs. Whilst I am not a massive fan of the art-style which Universal have chosen for the Motion Comic, I am incredibly grateful to see more Jurassic material being pumped out in a non-movie year. This shows that Universal are willing to invest in the franchise year-round now, and also has me hopeful for what else we may say in 2020 and throughout the buildup to the third entry in the Jurassic World series.

What did you all think of ‘Dinosaur Crossing’? Were you happy to see Herbivores getting to come to the forefront for a change? And what do you think about the Jurassic universe currently being in a state of emergency? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for more on the Motion Comic as soon as it releases!

Watch the Brand New Jurassic World ‘Motion Comic’ that Explores the Events After Fallen Kingdom!

Get ready to journey back into the growing Jurassic World, this time in ‘motion comic’ form. In a surprise release, Universal Pictures unleashed the first episode of an ongoing motion comic series titled ‘A Rising Tide’, following the events at the end of Fallen Kingdom. Much like ‘Battle at Big Rock’, this canon entry explores new content not tied to the core characters of the films, however directly tied to the events they partook in.

Check out the first episode of the series below, and read on for our thoughts!

It’s a new world as humans and dinosaurs are forced to coexist. An unwelcome contestant enters a surf competition in Hawaii.

About Jurassic World:
From Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, Jurassic World immerses audiences of all ages in a new era of wonder and thrills where dinosaurs and humankind must learn to coexist. Jurassic World is set against a global backdrop of diverse locations, with a sprawling story grounded in believable science and populated by distinctive dinosaurs, heroic humans, and cunning villains at both ends of the evolutionary spectrum.

Cinema’s only dinosaur-driven live action franchise, Jurassic World has earned three Academy Awards® and over $3.6 billion worldwide across four films. Its cross- generational appeal can be attributed to audiences’ enduring fascination with dinosaurs and boundless imagination, both nurtured by each new installment. Jurassic World is more than a film franchise. It is a larger-than-life destination for exploration, discovery, and epic adventure. Dinosaurs live again, and they live in Jurassic World.

In the first episode, we’re introduced to who appears to be the core character of this mini-series: Rebecca Ryan. Rebecca is a TV reporter who gives a report on what was ultimately the scene we saw at the end of Fallen Kingdom: the escaped Jurassic World Mosasaurus eating someone during a surf competition in Oahu Hawaii. After we see some first hand accounts of the events, and the report wraps up, Rebecca’s character is seen driving home and making a call to her family.

During the aforementioned call some ominous music plays: the InGen/Mercenary theme from the World films. Is this a hint at her having more ties to Jurassic World beyond simply reporting on the events? O is that music an anthem to her new call to action, unlocking the secrets behind the prehistoric residents of Isla Nublar no longer being contained to the island. Three more episodes will follow today’s installment, and we expect her character to remain an important player throughout (although the series promises unique points of view each episode).

The other obvious question is what does this motion-comic series mean for Jurassic World 3? Could Rebecca in fact be a character from the sequel, which is due to begin filming in a few short months, or could her character stumble upon some larger plot elements (beyond the dinosaurs on mainland) that will come into play? This story already feels like setup for something larger, and we’re excited to see how everything unravels, expands, and connects.

It’s great to see the Jurassic World universe grow, and we’re hopeful more content like this, as well as traditional comics and books will become a regular thing. Truth be told, we’re really keeping our fingers crossed for another live-action short film, and this series certainly has the potential to lead right into one – and of course pave the way to Jurassic World 3.

Let us know what you hope to see from this series as it moves forward and evolves in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for all the latest news!


Jurassic World Evolution ‘Raptor Squad’ DLC Coming Tomorrow!

If you’re dying for some new Jurassic World Evolution content prior to the December 10th ‘Return to Jurassic Park’ DLC, Frontier has you covered. Coming tomorrow, a new DLC pack will be available for purchase at $1.99 adding the Jurassic World ‘Raptor Squad’ – Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo!

Become the Alpha with the brand new Jurassic World Evolution: Raptor Squad Skin Collection, the complete skin set of the original Jurassic World Velociraptors! With this pack you’ll gain access to new, unlockable genes which will allow you to incubate Velociraptors with these fantastic new skins.

The Jurassic World Evolution: Raptor Squad Skin Collection is coming 26 November on Steam, Xbox One and Playstation for £1.49/€1.99/$1.99 (prices may vary depending on your region and platform).

The iconic pack of Velociraptors have been long requested since the launch of the game, with fans eager to add the squad to their park since before release. This perhaps is a point worth mentioning – this pack only adds new skins for existing dinosaurs, which felt missing from the core release, and probably should be free. With so much paid DLC already released for the game, and even more on its way, this feels like a bit of a grift instead of a gift. But I digress.

The skins themselves are fantastic, clearly built directly from ILM’s files, and offer the best look at these fan favorite dinosaurs since the 2015 film. As a huge fan of Delta myself, I cannot wait to see her up close, in all her glory.

Will you be purchasing the DLC pack, or would you rather wait to see if this release is ever given for free or bundled with larger DLC packs? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned for the latest news!


Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith to Reprise Fallen Kingdom Roles in Jurassic World 3!

The cast of the third Jurassic World film continues to amass its star-studded cast of new and returning actors, adding two familiar names to its roster. Revealed first by Collider, Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith have joined the upcoming Jurassic sequel due to begin filming early 2020.

Daniella Pineda (Zia Rodriguez) and Justice Smith (Franklin Webb) first appeared in 2018’s ‘Fallen Kingdom’, as key members of the Dinosaur Protection Group, run by Bryce Dallas Howard’s character Claire Dearing. While we’re uncertain where the plot of the sixth Jurassic Park sequel will go, the recent short film ‘Battle at Big Rock’ show’s us that dinosaurs are becoming commonplace and a nuisance in some locations. The return of the DPG members signals the likely continued venture of that groups dinosaur rights and conservation lobbying, all while dealing with a rapidly evolving world where dinosaurs are free on US soil.

Justice Smith most recently starred in the live-action Pokemon movie ‘Detective Pikachu’, while Daniella Pineda is part of Netflix’s upcoming live-action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ series due to resume filming next year. They’re joining Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Mamoudou Athie, DeWanda Wise, BD Wong, Isabella Sermon, and Chris Pratt in what promises to be the largest Jurassic ensemble yet, uniting characters from across the eras all while introducing new faces.

Jurassic World 3 is well into pre-production at London’s Pinewood Studios, with a script written by Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael, with Trevorrow directing. Much like the cast, the behind the scenes teams compromise of old and new players: ILM will be returning to bring the dinosaurs to life, collaborating with an all-new animatronics team headed by John Nolan.

Jurassic World 3 will release June 11th, 2021.

Are you excited for the growing cast? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, stay tuned for the latest news!

Source: Collider


Jurassic World and Soft-Canon: a Counteractive and Convoluted Conundrum

This article is a guest contribution by Thomas Fishenden.

When it comes to the Jurassic Park franchise, it is safe to say that there has been a lot of world building over the duration of the five installments which Universal Studios have produced. It is certainly safe to say that a lot has been added to the franchise over the years. The films have added new locations and new animals and characters, whilst the secondary materials – such as the viral marketing – have aimed to add in more continuity between the sequel installments. Canon, however, has not always been maintained – and there have always been issues which have plagued the Jurassic franchise and the continuity it shares between its various outings. We have seen Universal and Colin Trevorrow take steps towards addressing these issues in recent years – but unfortunately, a recent announcement during the press for Jurassic World: The Live Tour has us concerned about the future canonical consistencies within the franchise.

In the past, Colin Trevorrow has stated that he is the overseer of the franchise – and would oversee issues, such as Canon, moving forwards to ensure better continuity and cohesion across the property in the future. This had many of us excited, as it seemed to indicate that both Colin and the studio behind him were willing to take meaningful steps towards building a much more coherent cinematic universe. Indeed, it appeared that the Jurassic franchise would take a similar approach to other great franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, building outwards with meaningful connections to the very core pillars which first established the franchise. For a while, this seemed to hold true – with inconsistencies around the geography of the Isla Nublar report in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom openly addressed by the director, who proceeded to work with the team behind the viral marketing and surrounding canonical materials (Chaos Theorem) to build a meaningful explanation which alleviated the canon-breaking implications that the change in island geography had. Furthermore, the team working behind the scenes had the opportunity to build upon the background of the franchise – adding in new implications for the canon which alleviated some of the strained connections that the narratives of the more recent films had. It is safe to say that the Dinosaur Protection Group website, and other subsequent ventures, did a lot to build upon the canon in meaningful ways – addressing the concerns of long term fans and creating much more of a cinematic ‘universe’ than we had ever seen for the franchise before.

Whilst the Dinosaur Protection Group faded into obscurity after the cinematic debut of Fallen Kingdom, it appeared canon would continue to grow and expand within the franchise. This brings us to Jurassic World: The Live Tour. Press Events for the tour (see Chris’s coverage from an event in April of this year) got fans excited – with a clear focus on developing a story which could fit within the confines of a pre-established Jurassic World narrative. Indeed, whilst some of the live show would build upon the back of the blockbuster film, showcasing the Indominus rampage on Isla Nublar, the clear majority was stated to be a brand-new story exploring a top-secret InGen Facility in Chile. The story follows Doctor Kate Walker, who was working with dinosaurs in a similar behavioral capacity to Owen Grady, and has essentially been pitched as the other half of the IBRIS project which we see on screen within Jurassic World. This, again, is a project which has always been relatively secretive on-screen, so fans were excited to be able to learn even more about this new piece of lore which was sure to build upon the fundamental ideals explored within the first Jurassic World film. Anticipation was high – and this was only exasperated further by the debut of Battle at Big Rock, which explored more new characters within the same universe, after the events of Fallen Kingdom.

Unfortunately, however, it seems that the story continuity will not last.

Fast forward to the start of November, when the Live Tour is kicking off with its worldwide premiere. Colin was interviewed by the Social Media team working on behalf of Feld Entertainment., and in an Instagram story on the official tour account, Colin was asked where the events of the show fit within the timeline of Jurassic World. His response was as follows:

“We have something we call soft canon – which is that it happens, but it also exists within its own space. You know, Feld’s writers and creators made a new and original story which exists within the context of Jurassic World and I think people are really going to love it.”

This statement is great when we consider how passionate Colin is for the franchise, and it is nice to see how excited he is about the live show – but it also poses a very real problem for the franchise moving forwards. That statement of ‘soft-canon’, and the careful phrasing of this show ‘existing within the context of Jurassic World’, has set alarm bells ringing for many fans – suggesting that the show may not be a meaningful fit within the pre-determined canon of the franchise, as was previously implied. Soft-canon itself is an alarming phrase, considering its what ‘Jurassic World Evolution’ is described as — something that is not canon at all, but adheres to the rules of the universal while carving out its alternate reality.

This becomes problematic as a universe which is built without canon in mind can very quickly crumble and implode if not handle with a degree of oversight and brand management. Disney know this all too well – and it is the reason why the Star Wars Expanded Universe is now referred to as ‘Legends’. Here, Disney told too many stories which conflicted with one another and posed potential problems for the canons of the franchise so they had to restart this from the ground up and discount any of their old stories as being non-canon unless reintroduced into modern films or properties. Whilst this soured many Star Wars fans, Disney could get away with this because of the sheer scale and scope of Star Wars and its fan-base, with many more pre-established stories already under the franchise’s belt. Jurassic, in contrast, is a relatively new and expanding franchise with a smaller fan base, and so the movements made to grow the brand really need to be considered and thoughtful to connect with audiences and build a meaningful and consistent fan base. Therefore, the term ‘soft canon’ being thrown out so early in the growth of the franchise has both I and many other Jurassic fans concerned about the future direction of the franchise.

It should also be noted that Star War’s non-canon ‘legends’ media only consists of expanded fiction that came out prior to The Force Awakens. Everything since then has been carefully cultivated to fit within the ever expanding galaxy, working with their brand team, writers, and directors as to not contradict the films, but add to them all while telling their own stories. Why Jurassic cannot do this, especially given their stable creative team, and smaller universe size, is a frustrating mystery.

Whilst I appreciate that it is hard to canonise a Live Tour (other properties like ‘Marvel Universe Live’ opted to tell entirely separate stories), I think straddling the line between canon and ‘soft canon’ is an attempt for Jurassic to have its cake and eat it too. Whilst it’s a humble attempt at developing upon the IP, I feel that it misses the mark and misses what fans have truly been clamoring for – which are stories which will have larger impacts on the overall franchise whilst enabling them to connect with these characters and these stories in much more meaningful ways. The attitude of utilizing ‘soft canon’ poses a worry for fans, as it brings into question upcoming properties like Camp Cretaceous, and where they will stand in terms of both canon and impact on the other properties within the franchise. Whilst there is certainly an argument for these being more children’s tailored properties, it is important to note that even in that regard a canonical middle ground is achievable. Take, for example, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This property found a way to tell stories within a pre-existing universe whilst not damaging canon. In fact, Clone Wars could build upon the pre-established in interesting and meaningful ways – connecting with both older and younger fans alike. This was due not only to the creative vision of Dave Filoni, but also due to the creative oversight and brand consistency which Disney and the Star Wars team had in place – and something which Jurassic seems to be sorely missing at this moment in time.

For the Jurassic World Live Tour, the format itself doesn’t entirely mesh with real world antics – so we understand that the action and context that which the story plays out may not be 1:1 to canon. But there is no reasons the overarching story itself of Dr. Kate Walker, InGens facility in Chile, and the events that subsequently played out cannot be canon. A simple “The story is canon, the action within and execution of it is soft canon” would be far more understandable. It was stated numerous times that Colin Trevorrow was involved from the start to make sure the story is hard canon. So what happened?

Make no mistake – I, and many others, are excited for new stories to be explored within the Jurassic universe. Many of us have clamoured for more from this brand for years, so the fact that we are finally getting this is exciting, and is a true testament to the creative passion of individuals like Colin Trevorrow. But, with that said, oversight is important too – and it’s important that this is built into a brand with solid foundations so that these stories can continue to be told for years to come. With that in mind, an organisation like Chaos Theorem or someone else altogether really need to be empowered to get more involved in the day-to-day canon of this universe, so that we can finally have something which feels cohesive. Continuity has always been a matter of discussion for Jurassic – and in some ways, poor continuity adds to the charm of these films. But, if Jurassic is to ever grow into a franchise with the power to do more than beat back other big names at the box office, then it is crucial that canon is considered, and that the time is taken to build a rich universe for these stories to take place within.

What do you all think? Where do you stand on canon in cinema, and is it important to you that these side projects tie in? Sound of in the comments below!


Uniting the Franchise: How Jurassic World 3 Should Incorporate Dinosaur Designs from ‘Park’ Films

Art by Neemz.

2021 is swiftly approaching. Jurassic World 3 is already shaping up to be an event unlike anything we have seen since the original Jurassic Park. With Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum all returning for major roles in the upcoming film, it is easy to see that we are in store for a movie with some serious callbacks to the film that started it all. With the return of old human characters, Jurassic World 3 is posed in the perfect position to be a film that showcases the original aspects of Jurassic Park side by side with the new ideas put forth in the Jurassic World movies. We can talk about the human characters until the sun goes down, but at the end of the day, the highlight of Jurassic has always been the dinosaurs.

One complaint that we see time and time again is how different some of the dinosaurs look in the newer films. While some fans view these differences as a major drawback, it’s time to take a hard look at how these perceived differences actually present a unique opportunity to showcase exactly what these dinosaurs are: genetically engineered, theme park…creatures. In other words, these dinosaurs are simply lab-created animals melding natural science and science fiction.

So today, let’s take a look at some specific examples of these differences. Let’s start with a classic: the mighty Stegosaurus. We first got a glimpse at the creature on Isla Sorna in The Lost World Jurassic Park. This Jurassic Park era Stego was on the more athletic side. As you can see below, it featured a straight tail and narrow head, which featured a beak of some sort. Its athleticism was put on full display when it sensed a threat in Sarah Harding approaching its infant.

Now, let us compare that to the Jurassic World era Stegosaurus. The new creation featured a heavier retro build, with a drooping tail and a wider head (with lips instead of a beak). Their coloration is slightly different, and their skin texture is entirely different than their park counterparts. We’re first introduced to them roaming Nublar’s Gyrosphere Valley in Jurassic World, presumably engineered under Masrani’s supervision to achieve certain goals.

In a universe where scientists have been cloning and creating new dinosaurs for over twenty five years, these differences can be explained by genetic manipulation. Perhaps the old Stegosauruses were just too agile and destructive with their more athletic build and size. Maybe the Jurassic World scientists realized a beefier build appealed to the parks older demographs who imagine dinosaurs with more outdated views. Questions like these are exactly the kind of lore I believe are ripe for answering in Jurassic World 3. Before we move on to how exactly the movie can present those answers in a natural way, let’s take a look at another dinosaur example.

The Ankylosaurus is well-known for the armor plating all along its back, but the different eras of Jurassic took the animal in otherwise different directions. We first see the Jurassic Park era Anyklosaur in Jurassic Park 3 as it lumbers underneath the tree some of our characters are hiding out in. It touts rougher scale-based armor with a smaller, colorful head. It has a narrow and angular build overall and is not overtly large.

Once again, let’s look at the Jurassic World edition Ankylosaurus that we see duke it out with the Indominous Rex. Not only is the Jurassic World era animal bigger, it has defined armor plating and a larger, uniform-color head. Just like the Stegosaurus, it sports a bulkier, stockier build overall. It’s been theorized that ‘World’s’ Anylosaurs are female counterparts to ‘Park’s’ males.

Ankylosaurs and Stegosaurs are only scratching the surface. Numerous other species have distinct sub-species within the Jurassic films, with 3 different Pteranodon breeds, over 3 different breeds of Velociraptors, plus a variety of sexual dimorphism seen within Parasaurs, Brachiosaurs, and more.

The best step for Jurassic to take is to embrace the differences and use them as a tool to enrich the deep mythology the universe has already given to us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see the Jurassic Park 3 raptors running around Blue? That sort of variety in appearance is a treasure trove of rich story that has largely only been explored by the DPG marketing campaign for Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. It’s important to not stifle that variety, but embrace it fully, and bring all these elements from various films together.

However, not every difference is a canonical variation – the T. rex of Jurassic World being a prime example. Many fans have complained she looks off from her Jurassic Park appearance – and it’s true – the design has changed in more ways than just aging. This love for Jurassic Park’s iconic designs is another prime reason to bring them back. Not just nostalgia – they’re some of the most iconic creature designs in cinema. Embrace the masterclass work of Stan Winston Studios, Crash McCreery and ILM that laid the foundation for Jurassic World.

We know that Jurassic World 3 director Colin Trevorrow plans to expand the universe even more and deal with these creatures on a much larger scale now that they’re part of our world. One of the best ways to explore this evolution naturally, while keeping it tied to the past films is to simply go back to the older, forgotten dinosaurs. Likewise, we can finally explore how these various subspecies may interact – what would a crossbreed of a Jurassic Park female raptor and JP3 male raptor look like? Or would they never have the chance, fighting for territory instead?

What makes the Jurassic Park novel so great is that it tackles the science aspect of the story head on – the novel version of Wu has candid conversations with Hammond about manipulating the DNA of the dinosaurs to alter their physical characteristics and change the way they behave. If we’re trying to find inspiration, that’s where to start the search. Having a character in the movie, like Wu, explain the differences between all the animals on screen only serves to deepen the canon in a positive way. Not only that, it serves as a natural explanation for why Project IBRIS with the raptors at Jurassic World was (eventually) successful compared to the more aggressive raptors from the previous movies.

What are your thoughts on the dinosaur differences? Is this a purposeful creation from Jurassic Park scientists, or do you think the filmmakers were just looking to switch up the styles? If you believe the science backs it up, would you like to see it explained on screen? Sound off in the comments below and tell us how you would explain the uniqueness of the dinosaurs!