Warning: Spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ahead.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's ending is a gamechanger. For the first time, the dinosaur chaos franchise has ended a movie on a proper cliffhanger - as opposed to a statement of the prehistoric creature's dominance - and it's one that promises a very different direction for Jurassic World 3.
Like other recent franchise reboots, Jurassic World 2 is a subversion of expectations. Just as Star Wars: The Last Jedi upended the story established by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so too does Fallen Kingdom evolve the 2015 box office smash Jurassic World, moving away from the Jurassic Park retread and open up new story avenues; by the time the credits roll, the original park has been destroyed, almost all who could control dinosaurs are dead, and the creatures are loose in the real world. Whether or not the subversion is successful is up to the viewer, but it's unavoidable that things have changed in the Jurassic universe.
With all that said, what exactly does the ending hold for the future, and what are the filmmakers trying to say with this new Jurassic World trilogy?
- This Page: Jurassic World 2's Ending Explained
- Page 2: What Fallen Kingdom's Ending Means For The Jurassic Franchise & Beyond
Jurassic World 2's Ending: The Dinosaurs Are Unleashed
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a movie of two halves, both about the ethics of allowing dinosaurs to exist. The first details a last-ditch effort to save dinosaurs from Isla Nublar before it's destroyed by a volcanic eruption, then the second reveals that the humans funding the rescue are just as dangerous as Mother Nature, with creatures both authentic and genetically-engineered up for auction. In-Gen has made the mistake, however, of bringing in Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, who attempt to stop the unleashing of the vicious, barely controllable Indoraptor. They succeed, of course, with Blue helping off her hybrid cousin and most of the villains eaten or otherwise disposed of in suitable cruel ways.
During all the action, though, toxic gas is released into the cages containing the few surviving animals; despite all the heroes' efforts, dinosaurs are still going to go extinct without active involvement. This is something Owen and Claire begrudgingly accept as the greater natural order, even if it goes against what they've been fighting for. Maisie Lockwood, however, feels different. A clone of Jurassic Park creator Benjamin Lockwood's daughter (known as his "granddaughter"), she sees the dinosaurs as being just like her - products of man, yes, but no less deserving of rights - and so she releases them out into the north Californian night.
The film ends with a montage showing the impacts of Maisie's emotional decision, with the floodgates to dinosaur planet now open: the T-Rex rampages into a zoo, the Mosasaurus that escaped earlier attacks surfers, vials of dinosaur DNA are transported away for more tests, Owen, Claire and Maisie see flying Pteranodons over the ocean, and Ian Malcolm declares, "Welcome to Jurassic World". The Jurassic World 2 end-credits scene continues this, showing a pair of Pternadons crossing state lines into Nevada and perching atop Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower. It doesn't add much more to what's shown in the pre-credits montage, but solidifies the message.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's ending is, essentially, delivering on the promise teased by the T-Rex's San Diego rampage in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and the retitling of the franchise Jurassic World: the limitations of a park or an island are over - now the threat can come for you at home.
More Jurassic Horrors Are To Come
Dinosaurs rampaging through the Pacific Northwest is the least of humanity's problems, though. Jurassic World 2's ending is full of potential new threats relating to the genetic meddling undertaken in the past twenty-five years. Ian Malcolm warns at the start that the genie was out of the bottle - and he wasn't wrong.
The biggest is Maisie. Although the possibility is implied from the very existence of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom actually introduces genuine human clones. While she's just an innocent - and scared - little girl, the potential her existence represents is limitless. She was made as an inverse of immortality - so Lockwood could remember his daughter, rather than so his daughter could live forever - but it's entirely possible that the technology could be pushed to create new host bodies akin to the what's happening in Westworld Season 2 (itself based on a Michael Chricton idea).
Looking at the dinosaurs themselves, there's definitely more on the way. Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has said that there'll be no more hybrids in Jurassic World 3, but that doesn't mean new versions of what exists can't be created; the end of Fallen Kingdom shows vials of dino DNA for most of the popular species being transported to an unknown location. And, as Henry Wu escaped and at this point is an all-out scientific madman, there's still the potential for madcap attempts.
Additionally, although the ending doesn't deal with it directly, there is a recurring threat made in the Jurassic World series that we've never seen come to fruition that feels just on the horizon: dinosaur soldiers. This was Hoskins' ultimate goal in Jurassic World and a key selling point of the Indoraptor in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. While many involved in these plans are now dead, this idea looms large too. In short, there's a lot more to worry about Maisie's escapees. And a good thing too...
Is It Really Jurassic "World"?
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's ending heavily implies that Maisie's actions, as well as the cumulative effect of the scientific experimentation, have now truly returned the dinosaurs to being a dominant force on Earth. The title Jurassic World doesn't refer to the first movie's theme park, rather how the prehistoric creatures are going to overrun the planet once more.
But is that really what's happening? While the dinosaurs unleashed from the Lockwood estate are threatening when all stampeding out of a tunnel, there are only a few dozen animals at best. Even if they were able to reproduce unimpeded, that's hardly a global catastrophe as Malcolm suggests. Likewise with the dino DNA and cloning potential, after everything that's happened, the ills of such untapped power have been made clear and it's fair to expect sanctions put in place; there isn't going to rampant dinosaur production just after attacks. So, placing these events in a rational world, it's more an ideological threat than a pressing, physical one.
Essentially, where the franchise goes from here, despite a seeming opening of Pandora's Box, is rather open. Jurassic World 3 will likely deal with the ramifications of dinosaurs in the real world, but the actual impact and integration of that could go in many different directions. There could be a true Jurassic World as Ian Malcolm promises, or the threequel could see Owen and Claire on a more low-key mission to save the few remaining creatures. What we can say with some certainty, though, is how its themes will develop.
Jurassic World 2 Is About Unkept Power
All Jurassic movies have been, in one way or another, about the same thing. Jurassic Park interspersed its interchangeable wonder and terror at the dinosaurs with the question of what John Hammond had done was morally correct, what hidden dangers there were, and how corporate greed would invariably attempt to override those concerns - and the series has been playing in the same sandbox ever since. Each sequel has honed in on one of these aspects and tried to extend the reading (except Jurassic Park III, which was a pretty simple creature feature).
Jurassic World, for example, seemed to play up the corporate malaise; a realization of the situation teased by Jurassic Park, it told of a world dulled to the majesty of dinosaurs and searching for new thrills, seeing big business further play god and create a new species and putting the lives of regular people at risk for profit
Fallen Kingdom has that financial aspect present, especially in the second half, but definitely hones in more on the next step of morality question. These extinct species now exist, as does the technology that creates them: how do you handle them and the near unlimited power? The Lost World: Jurassic Park touched on this with John Hammond pleading for dinosaurs to be left alone, but every aspect of Jurassic World 2 is angled in this direction. Mother nature's unpredictability (and Ian Malcolm's more literal warnings) loom large in the narrative; dinosaurs are loved and feared in equal measure; good people use the technology for morally questionable reasons (Lockwood recreating his daughter); deluded people are still aware of the limits (Henry Wu's change of heart in the auction); villains treat long-dead creatures as normal prizes; our heroes are forced to reverse their altruistic view; and, most pointedly, the movie's shocking finale is brought about when all these concerns are removed and the focus is put on the humanity within the horror by way of Maisie.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom may have bitten off a little more than it can chew with its sprawling narrative, high sequel goals and broad themes, but its concluding note seems to be a cautionary one. By whatever means or intentions, immense power is a dangerous thing - and emotion can be just as uncontrollable as nature.