Ever see cowboys wrangle dinosaurs? It’s a strange new life in the trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion. While the film is notable for its unique generational crossover — think Star Trek: Generations for Jurassic Park — it’s a world that isn’t meant to last for much longer.
What Happened? — On February 10, Universal released the trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion, a movie billed as the “epic conclusion of the Jurassic Era.”
If true, Dominion will be a rare instance of a blockbuster franchise actually concluding a narrative rather than setting up oodles of sequels, although one suspects we’ll still see more Jurassic films in the future.
But for the Park/World series, what started in 1993 and restarted in 2015 is actually coming to an end. Picking up from 2018’s Fallen Kingdom, Dominion sees humanity attempting to live alongside dinosaurs and failing miserably. Raptors roam the wild, giant sea creatures terrorize ships, and t-rexes ruin drive-in theaters.
“Humans and dinosaurs can’t coexist,” says Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing. “We’ve created an ecological disaster.” You sure have.
For reasons yet to be clarified, Claire, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), and others who represent the “modern” Jurassic World era will team up with the “original” Jurassic Park heroes returning in Dominion, including the characters played by Sam Neill, Laura Dern, BD Wong, and Jeff Goldblum. They look as timeless as ever, and the way Laura Dern can still say “Alan Grant” in the tone of an exhausted colleague will never wear out. It’s going to be one big happy crossover special, at least until the running and screaming begins.
The film also sports a number of newcomers, some whose roles aren’t yet disclosed, including Mamoudou Athie (Underwater), Scott Haze (Venom), Dichen Lachman (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Daniella Pineda (Cowboy Bebop), DeWanda Wise (She’s Gotta Have It), and Elva Trill (Animals).
The Park Awakens — The most exciting element to Dominion is the generational crossover; it was smart for the franchise to not just reboot but continue the series way back in 2015. With the modern trilogy also reaching its conclusion, there’s no better way to get butts in seats than appeal to the nostalgia people still have for the original films.
But the story of Dominion is interesting on its own. Much of the film is centered around a scary hypothetical question: What if humans aren’t the dominant species? Despite our ability to produce guns and bombs, we’re still no match for a tyrannosaurus. As Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm says in the trailer: “We not only lack dominion over nature, we’re subordinate to it.”
The Inverse Analysis — While it’s unlikely Universal will let one of its most valuable film franchises go extinct, Jurassic World: Dominion should still be seen as a climax for two generations of viewers. The characters of the original trilogy can finally walk off into the sunset; only Goldblum returned for The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997, and only Neill and Dern were in the divisive Jurassic Park III in 2001. After so long, Dominion is a chance for everyone to reunite and end their story.
Jurassic World: Dominion will open in theaters on June 10.