Warning! Spoilers for Jurassic World: Dominion ahead.
Jurassic World: Dominion marked the return of characters from across the Jurassic Park timeline. Not only did Jurassic World 3 bring back characters introduced in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it also featured the three beloved leads of Steven Spielberg’s original 1993 classic. The return of Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) — who appeared briefly in Fallen Kingdom — has been eagerly anticipated by many fans, especially since the appearances are more than brief cameos. In Jurassic World: Dominion, Jurassic Park and Jurassic World characters team up to save humanity and dinosaurs from driving each other to extinction one last time (unless there’s a Jurassic World 3 sequel).
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In 2015, the dinosaur destruction franchise made a giant comeback with Jurassic World, in which the lessons of the original Jurassic Park were never learned, and a theme park based on John Hammond’s work is a popular tourist destination. Due to some genetic manipulation, of course, a dinosaur escapes and wreaks havoc. Jurassic World was a meta-commentary on the first Jurassic Park — it wondered how something as iconic as dinosaurs could compete with the distraction of personal technology. At the same time, it introduced new characters that it hoped would stack up to the originals. While Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing and Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady were likable enough, they didn’t have the same impact as the original’s cast. The film managed just fine, though, topping a billion-dollar gross worldwide.
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The sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, continued these events, culminating with Isla Nubar getting destroyed and dinosaurs being unleashed on an unprepared world. Now, four in-universe years later, the trilogy ends with Jurassic World: Dominion, and the final chapter is partly intended as a celebration of the entire franchise. That means familiar faces old and new are back to grapple with the repercussions of Fallen Kingdom. The following characters from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World returning in Jurassic World: Dominion, here’s all you need to know on how they factor into the story.
Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard)
After her lack of oversight in Jurassic World led to the destruction of the park and the loss of several lives, Claire moved her sights to conservation in Fallen Kingdom. As the leader of the Dinosaur Protection Group, she returned to Isla Nublar in order to turn the dinosaur tracking systems back on and assist in relocating the animals to a new sanctuary. When she learned that the Jurassic World dinosaurs were going to be auctioned as biological weapons instead, Claire had to decide between rescuing the animals or letting them die. Ultimately, she allowed another character, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), to release them into the wild.
Claire is a character with conviction, and when Jurassic World: Dominion starts she’s still working with the Dinosaur Protection Group. It’s not all the same for Claire though, as she’s now holed up in a cabin in the wilderness with Owen and Maisie Lockwood. The will they/won’t they suspense is over for Claire and Owen now too, as the two are firmly a couple and playing happy families, caring for Maisie as though she were their own. This sort-of-happily-ever-after doesn’t last long though, and when Maisie is kidnapped by the nefarious Biosyn Claire once again finds herself thwarting shady corporate plans and running away from angry dinosaurs, although this time without Bryce Dallas Howard’s iconic high-heels.
Owen Grady (Chris Pratt)
Pratt’s dinosaur trainer Owen Grady has been living with Claire and Maisie in the Sierra Nevada mountains. While previous movies have focused on his strong connection to Blue, the last remaining velociraptor in the series, Owen’s personal arc takes a different direction in Jurassic World: Dominion. While Claire is worried about the lives of every escaped dinosaur, Owen’s focus is on Blue’s daughter, Beta, as well as his own. Beta’s introduction at the start of Jurassic World: Dominion kicks off a sequence of events that see Owen and Claire’s adopted daughter kidnapped alongside Blue’s asexually reproduced offspring.
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While Owen’s always been warier of dinos than Claire, he once again teams up with her to rescue a child from an evil corporation and free some dinosaurs along the way. The movie doesn’t feature as much interaction between Owen and Blue as some fans were hoping for, but that doesn’t mean Jurassic World 3 misses every Owen Grady tick-box. It wouldn’t be a Jurassic World movie if Owen didn’t have several high-octane encounters with carnivorous dinosaurs. Dominion delivers, with a particularly noteworthy sequence in Malta involving Owen fleeing rampaging Atrociraptors and Carnotaurus on his trademark motorcycle.
Alan Grant (Sam Neill)
One of the most exciting announcements to come from the Jurassic World: Dominion team was the return of Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant. Alan was the protagonist of the original Spielberg film, but he hasn’t been in any of the dinosaur flicks since 2001’s Jurassic Park III. Because Jurassic World ignored the first trilogy’s sequel films, it was unknown if his adventures in the third Jurassic Park were still canon. After Dominion’s release, co-writer Emily Carmichael confirmed (via Cinemablend) that the Alan Grant in Jurassic World: Dominion canonically endured all the hardships of Jurassic Park III. “Oh yeah! It’s canon, yeah.” Carmichael said. “We didn’t decanonize anything.”
With dinosaurs on the loose, it was inevitable that Grant’s expertise in living paleontology would drag him back into the fray. In Jurassic World: Dominion he’s roped into the plot by fellow Jurassic Park veteran Dr. Ellie Sattler. Dinosaurs aren’t the only returned species. Giant prehistoric locusts have emerged, and they’re decimating the world’s food supply. Ellie suspects Biosyn, whose crops are mysteriously safe, is behind it. Alan helps her investigate, and the pair infiltrate Biosyn HQ with help from Ian Malcolm. By the end of the movie the trio, alongside the Jurassic World characters, expose Biosyn, halt Dominion’s Giant prehistoric locusts, and save the day. Many Jurassic Park fans were happy to see that Alan and Ellie rekindle their relationship by the end of Dominion too, reversing a longstanding bugbear many had since Jurassic Park III established them as romantically uninvolved.
Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern)
Laura Dern’s career is in full swing, especially after an Oscar win for her role in Marriage Story, but that didn’t stop her long-awaited return to the blockbuster franchise. Ellie, Laura Dern’s paleobotanist, was Alan’s partner in Jurassic Park, but Dern made her more than a love interest. she’s intelligent and funny, but she’s also a fighter, and widely regarded as a feminist icon of cinema. Ellie had a cameo in Jurassic Park III in which she was married and had a child. However, the releasing of dinos into the world seems to have ended her domestic bliss, and it’s Ellie that arrives to convince Alan Grant to return to a life of stopping malevolent corporations from using prehistoric DNA for profit.
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Ellie is the one who first puts the pieces together, identifying that the prehistoric locusts tearing through the global food supply have an uncanny aversion to any crops owned by Biosyn. Of all the characters returning to Jurassic World: Dominion, it was Ellie that director Colin Trevorrow wanted to be most central to the movie’s narrative. “Sam Neill had ‘Jurassic Park III,’ where he was the engine, and Jeff Goldblum had ‘The Lost World.’ I wanted this to be Ellie Sattler’s story.” Trevorrow said of Ellie’s part in Jurassic World 3 (via Indiewire). As with her and Grant’s relationship, Dominion undoes one of Jurassic Park III’s most bemoaned character decisions. Ellie was established as a female action icon, something severely lacking in the context of Jurassic Park’s 1993 release date. Seeing her settle into a life of domesticity, albeit financially successful, independent, and career-driven, wasn’t what many Ellie Sattler fans wanted. Dominion puts her back on the path Jurassic Park started- a quick-witted, near-fearless paleobotanist with more grit and determination than her male action-hero co-characters.
Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum)
Goldblum’s cameo in Fallen Kingdom was highly publicized, but it added up to very little screen time. Malcolm is the franchise’s original skeptic, and he had some of the most iconic lines of Jurassic Park, not to mention providing the infamous shirtless scene whose memeability has inarguably helped Jurassic Park stay culturally relevant between releases. The appeal of Jeff Goldblum himself added to the excitement of a full Ian Malcolm return for Jurassic World: Dominion, especially since his incredibly well-received portrayal of The Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok.
Dr. Malcolm is working for Biosyn, the movie’s antagonists, in Jurassic World: Dominion. He hasn’t turned heel though. He provides essential help to Alan and Ellie, gaining them access to the Biosyn HQ so they can all reunite and usurp the illegal plans of Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott), the director of Biosyn. However, there’s not much in terms of character growth for Ian, although his iconic shirtless scene in Jurassic Park does get a nod.
Henry Wu (BD Wong)
Returning alongside the trio of heroes from the original Jurassic Park is BD Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu. Of all the characters in the franchise, Wu has had the strangest arc. He was an approachable, well-meaning scientist in the 1993 film, but he evolved into the Jurassic World trilogy’s central villain. Wu has become obsessed with genetically manufacturing his own dino species despite the cost in money and lives. It’s a strange direction for a once-grounded character and one that seems to 180 when Wu returns in Jurassic World: Dominion.
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Wu hasn’t left the world of dinosaur genetics, but now he’s working for Biosyn. He’s more subdued, and noticeably much less of a mad scientist than he’d been in the prior two Jurassic World movies. Far from being an antagonist, Wu redeems himself and is critical to ending the targeted locust plague that has humanity teetering on the edge of global starvation. Despite strong speculation that he would die by the franchise’s conclusion, Wu survives until the end of Jurassic World: Dominion, escaping Biosyn HQ to save the world by releasing a locust-ending pathogen he made.
Barry Sembene (Omar Sy)
In Jurassic World, Barry was Owen’s cautious partner in the dinosaur training business. While Owen had the stronger connection to the animals, Barry acted as Owen’s mature conscience. Barry returns for a brief appearance in Jurassic World: Dominion. Since the events of Fallen Kingdom, Barry has started working with French Intelligence. He’s an essential contact Owen and Claire tap for info on a dinosaur black market in Malta after Franklin (Justice Smith) puts them back in contact.
The scene where Franklin is finding Barry’s details reveals the fate of two missing Jurassic World characters – Lowrey (Jake Johnson) and Vivian (Lauren Lapkus). They don’t appear in the movie, but their names are on Franklin’s list of CIA Dangerous Species Division operatives. It seems that, like Barry, Lowrey and Vivian went into the intelligence field after the Jurassic World park’s closure put them back on the employment market.
Franklin Webb (Justice Smith)
Franklin was the warm heart of Fallen Kingdom. His character is a slightly older take on the kid-in-danger trope of the Jurassic films; he spent most of his screen time screaming, running, and begging to go home. It wasn’t surprising, then, that he was sidelined to a control room as a tech support character. Franklin all but disappeared in the second half of Fallen Kingdom, and the already overstuffed cast in Jurassic World 3 didn’t leave much room for a bigger role this time around.
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In Jurassic World: Dominion, Franklin had been working with Claire’s Dinosaur Protection Group. However, prior to the movie, he made a career change, joining the CIA’s Dangerous Species Division, monitoring dinos without any real risk of coming into contact with them. While this definitely tracks for his character from a narrative perspective, there are questions to ask of Jurassic World: Dominion’s creators Franklin didn’t get more screen time in Dominion. His appearance was certainly appreciated, but as the unforeseen star of the franchise’s second installment, there were hopes Franklin would be elevated to a more central position for the climax of the trilogy.
Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda)
Zia was the closest thing the Jurassic World trilogy had to an Ellie Sattler before Laura Dern returned. Zia’s bright, tenacious, and quick on her feet. Zia was part of a duo with Franklin in Fallen Kingdom, which didn’t know what to do with either of them. Like Franklin, Zia had a few moments to shine but was absent for big chunks of the film’s second half. Sadly, also like Franklin, Zia was heavily underused in Jurassic Park: Dominion. For Zia, this might partly be because her Sattler-stand-in position was now redundant with Sattler herself back. That being said, the lack of a subplot where Zia and Ellie had a student-teacher dynamic feels like an oversight.
Zia made a brief appearance in Jurassic World: Dominion, still continuing her dino-activism, but doesn’t have any bearing on the plot. If Jurassic World 3 does as well as the first film in the series, there will almost certainly be another trilogy. Zia and Franklin still have the potential to be great protagonists for a Jurassic World follow-up series, as they’re two relatable characters who have genuinely zippy dialogue.
Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon)
One of the most controversial creative choices in Fallen Kingdom centered around Sermon’s Maisie Lockwood. The granddaughter of John Hammond’s one-time partner, Maisie finds kinship with and sympathy for the mutated dinosaurs after learning that she’s a clone of the woman she thought was her mother. While cloning isn’t necessarily a bad fit for the Jurassic franchise, the revelation felt like a sharp left turn for fans — and an unnecessary diversion in a film that was already overstuffed with ideas. Maisie’s role in Jurassic World: Dominion continued to push the plot deeper into the human cloning rabbit hole, which didn’t exactly help the shortage of dino-centric plot points.
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Her identity as a clone made by science was pivotal to the plot in Dominion. She’s kidnapped by Biosyn, along with the daughter of raptor Blue, Beta, to whom she feels a close bond. Maisie was adopted by Claire and Owen at the end of Fallen Kingdom and has been living with them ever since. Bringing back Jurassic Park’s Alan, Ellie, and Ian made some fans hope for a return to the straightforward action of Jurassic Park, but Maisie’s clone status and strange connection to the dinosaurs continued to take the spotlight. That’s not to knock the performance of the young Isabella Sermon, who does a fantastic job in the role. Unfortunately, many fans online have been vocal about the character of Maisie, feeling she belongs in a different movie –one where unraveling the existential troubles of being a clone doesn’t detract from the dinosaurs that audiences came to see.
Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott)
Of the returning Jurassic Park characters, only one was recast- Campbell Scott played longstanding antagonist and BioSyn CEO Dr. Lewis Dodgson. Dodgson was played by Cameron Thor in the original Jurassic Park but has been replaced by Scott in Jurassic World: Dominion, due to the former’s conviction and incarceration for sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl. While Dodgson only played a minor part in Jurassic Park, he is central to the events of Jurassic World 3.
It’s Dodgson’s company, InGen rivals Biosyn Genetics, that has released a plague of prehistoric locusts on the world. The bugs will consume every field of crops except those owned by Biosyn, giving Dodgson and co. a monopoly on the world’s food supply. His plan is thwarted by the gang of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World characters, including Biosyn employees-turned-saboteurs Ian Malcolm and Henry Wu. In a scene loosely mirroring the death of Dodgson’s mole at InGen, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Night), in Jurassic Park, a pack of frilled Dilophosaurus ensures that Dodgson doesn’t survive to cause more havoc after Dominion’s credits roll.
Blue the Velociraptor
It’s not only human characters returning for Jurassic World: Dominion. Blue the Velociraptor is back for the franchise’s final installment, and this time she’s brought along her daughter, Beta. Beta is kidnapped by Biosyn in Dominion’s first act alongside Owen’s adopted daughter, and Blue’s former handler sets off to rescue them both. Blue herself doesn’t feature heavily in the film, appearing only at the beginning and end, but her daughter Beta gets extensive screentime. By the end, the two are reunited, with Blue and Owen parting ways so she and Beta can live freely in the wild and asexually replenish the world’s Velociraptor population.
Related: Why Jurassic World Dominion Often Uses Animatronics Over CGI
“Rexy” The T-Rex
While she’s never referred to by name by any human characters in the movie, “Rexy” the Isla Nubar T-Rex is confirmed as being the same tyrannosaurus that appears in Jurassic World: Dominion. An unexpected but welcome surprise for fans of Jurassic World was seeing that Rexy gets an unexpected character arc. At the end of Dominion, she can be seen safe in a spacious enclosure, surrounded by her new T-Rex family. It’s been stated by director Colin Trevorrow that Rexy, as fans christened her, has indeed been the T-Rex present since the infamous shaking glass of water in Jurassic Park, and she was the one who fought the Indominus Rex in the first Jurassic World.
The Best Thing About Jurassic World 3 Is Its Newer Cast (And It Wastes Them)
Jurassic World 3 had the potential to be several different movies. In the end, it continued in the blockbuster sci-fi action vein of its direct predecessors, with director Colin Trevorrow making a deliberate choice to bring back many characters from the original film and go out with a spectacle-filled bang. While reception from audiences and critics has been mixed, Jurassic World: Dominion performed well on its box-office opening weekend, showing there’s still plenty of desire from fans to see these characters and the dinosaurs they live among.
However, box-office success doesn’t guarantee longevity. As the sixth installment in a franchise, and the final film in a trilogy, Dominion set high expectations. But, for many, it didn’t live up to expectations. While there was initial excitement for returning Jurassic Park characters, their sometimes unfulfilling story arcs sidelined many newer characters like Franklin and Zia, as well as Jurassic World trilogy mainstay trope moments like bonding between Owen and Blue.
Whether Jurassic World: Dominion will stand the test of time like Jurassic Park and the original Jurassic World or becomes another often-forgotten Lost World or Jurassic Park III remains to be seen. Trevorrow also helped develop Fallen Kingdom, which an unfocused mix of genres and big ideas. These are criticisms some have also raised for Jurassic World: Dominion, and almost doubling the cast to include returning Jurassic Park characters might partly be to blame. Regardless of how the movie’s ranked against preceding installments in years to come, however, the two halves of a Hollywood-crushing decades-spanning franchise have come together.
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Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022
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Graduate of New York University’s Dramatic Writing program. Self-published novelist and podcaster. Passionate about all film, from the Halloween series (even the bad ones) to French New Wave. Enthusiastic about travel, hiking, and creating music playlists that are way too long.
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