This article contains Jurassic World Dominion spoilers.
Something has survived. That was the tagline for the first sequel to Jurassic Park, The Lost World, which was released 25 years ago. Yet it can also apply to the Jurassic franchise as a whole, as this series has survived—thrived, even—across three decades and multiple generations of casts.
And with Jurassic World Dominion now in theaters, we’ve reached the apparent culmination of the dino-action. Two eras of heroes, including Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), corporate executive-turned-dinosaur-rights activist Claire Reading (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Owen and Claire’s adopted and genetically engineered clone-daughter, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), have all come together to save the world from the rampaging menace of prehistoric locusts. And what a sight it is seeing all six of them standing shoulder to shoulder as a fearsome gigantosaurus bears down on them!
The ins-and-outs of the plot are pretty straightforward—everyone survives except for the dastardly Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), who goes the way of Dennis Nedry inside the belly of a dilophosaurus. But what exactly was Dodgson’s evil Bisosyn up to with those damned locusts, and how did the DNA of young Maisie Lockwood hold the key to saving the world? We’re here to unpack those questions and more…
How Did the Locusts Get Out of Hand?
While the Jurassic World Dominion screenplay seems intentionally fuzzy about what Bisoyn-engineered locusts are up to in the new movie, the basics can still be inferred. As relayed by Ellie when she first recruits Alan into her scheme to infiltrate Biosyn, the locusts are a hybrid of modern locusts spliced with the DNA of prehistoric versions (I missed whether she said they originate from either the Triassic or Jurassic period).
Presumably, Biosyn and its dastardly CEO Lewis Dodgson—who’s grown his hair back and changed his face since appearing briefly in the 1993 movie—required Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) to create these creatures as a way to destroy their competitors’ crops. If you buy Biosyn’s genetically engineered seed, the locusts were designed to pass your farms over, and if you didn’t it would ravage them. However, instead of dying off after one generation, the locusts bred at an accelerated rate. Life finds a way, right?
As a result, they are now destroying crops across the entire American breadbasket in the midwest, and if they’re left unchecked, in several years they will plunge the entire world into famine and destabilization. Ellie and Alan are out to prove Biosyn is responsible by finding genetic evidence that Dodgson brought back the prehistoric creatures in his lab.
How Were the Locusts Defeated?
In information that’s, again, conveyed in a highly vague manner, we learn that the man who designed the locusts, Dr. Henry Wu, is convinced the blood of young Maisie Lockwood holds the secret to destroying the creatures. Maisie is a genetic clone of her mother Charlotte Lockwood, who was a colleague of Henry’s.
Because Maisie’s DNA does not have the same genetic defects of Charlotte’s blood (more on that below), Henry believes that by analyzing her genetic code he can discover a way to create a DNA strand that will cause the locusts to die out in one generation. That appears to be his sales pitch anyway when Henry, as the proverbial Dr. Frankenstein of the Jurassic World movies and the guy who straight up shrugged off making creatures that led to mass slaughter in the 2015 film, begs the heroes to take him with them out of the Biosyn nature preserve before his creatures will presumably eat him alive. And, strangely, Malcolm’s pretty cool with this. The Malcolm of The Lost World would’ve personally fed this guy to raptors.
But Wu gets off light for helping engineer a near apocalyptic famine and is seen later releasing a new genetically altered giant locust into a wheat field, presumably with Maisie’s DNA tinkering in its system. The creature will breed with other locusts and within a generation they’ll die off. Or something.
What Is the Deal with Maisie Lockwood?
In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom it’s revealed that Sir Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) cloned his beloved adult daughter Charlotte after she died in a car crash. He was able to do this because he was the business partner of John Hammond (played by Sir Richard Attenborough in the original two Jurassic Park movies). Indeed, it’s revealed Lockwood was Hammond’s financial backer who helped found InGen and build the original Jurassic Park, hence how he had access to the technology to clone his lost daughter.
When Hammond discovered what Lockwood was up to, it was the end of their friendship and Lockwood’s relationship with InGen or its heir, the Masrani Global Corporation. See, it’s revealed in 2015’s Jurassic World that before he died in 1998, Hammond sold InGen (and thereby dino-cloning technology) to Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan). In other words, it means Charlotte Lockwood died sometime between 1993 and 1998, and it took Benjamin that long to successfully clone his daughter in 2007, thus creating his “granddaughter,” Maisie.
… So, yeah, Jurassic World Dominion ignores all of that and throws the canon into complete chaos. We learn that actually Charlotte Lockwood was a brilliant scientist who worked for InGen and became friends with Henry Wu. At a certain point in her life, she decided to have a child on her own, which is great. But for reasons left unexplained she decided that instead of pursuing a safe and legal artificial insemination, she would clone herself in her own body. Yep. Unfortunately, after successfully impregnating herself with a clone of herself, Charlotte realized she had a rare genetic disease and so came up with a solution that freed her unborn Maisie from the disease that would take her life.
For reasons impossible to fathom, her father Sir Benjamin decided it was better to allow his employees and company to believe Maisie was a genetic clone of his daughter grown in a test tube rather than a baby his daughter had before her death… and then he made it look like she died in a car crash.
… Moving on!
Are the Dinosaurs Safe?
The ones inside the remains of the nature preserve where the Biosyn lab was located are safe. The preserve is located in a valley surrounded by snowy mountains, which I think are intended to evoke the plateau on which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set The Lost World—the 1912 novel that has inspired all dinosaur-meets-man fiction in the last century. This also means that after all the trouble the franchise spent in getting the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the mainland in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the creature is now isolated in an impossible to escape location again… kind of like the tropical island in the original movies.
But what about the dinosaurs not in the preserve, such as Blue the velociraptor and a litany of creatures ranging from a mosasaurus in the Pacific to triceratops in Africa? Well, they’re going to apparently be able to breed even without mates like Blue did and take over the world!
How Is There a Dinosaur Black Market?
One of the strangest detours in the entire Jurassic franchise is when Owen and Claire wander into a dinosaur black market that appears to be a cross between Die Another Day and Star Wars. How are there dinos there? The most obvious answer is they’re the dinosaurs that were sold in the auction on Lockwood Manor at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Now how are there so many dinosaurs in captivity since that auction was cut short by an escaped stygimoloch? (And for that matter how are there any captured stygimolochs on the black market since we saw the only one get free last time?!) That is hard to answer. Similarly, there is no good explanation for the atrociraptors who obey human commands. After all, there was no atrociraptor on Isla Nublar in Jurassic World and the only raptors who had been trained were of the velociraptor variety, and even those barely followed Owen Grady’s commands.
But somehow evil dinosaur crime syndicates brought another species back from extinction just so they could chase Chris Pratt on a motorcycle.
Will Jurassic World 4 Happen?
Whether there will be a movie that directly follows up on the characters and events in this movie is hard to say. Technically, Jurassic World Dominion is intended to bring the curtain down on the six previous Jurassic movies. However, the new movie ends much as how the last one did… with the teasing prospect of dinosaurs existing in our modern world. What that looks like beyond a motorcycle chase has not really been explored in any meaningful way.
This leads us to believe we have not seen the last of this world in film—or on the inevitable streaming shows and video games. However, we may have seen the last of Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, Dr. Malcolm, and Owen the Raptor trainer. Somehow though, I bet Blue will appear again down the road.