At the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the dinosaurs are set loose in northern California as the result of the criminal negligence of Claire and Owen. As they just stood by and watched, dinosaurs streamed out of containment because a young child had pressed the big red button. I really, really didn’t like the means of the dinosaurs’s escape, but I was intrigued by the possibilities it opened up.
Enter Battle at Big Rock: a short film cowritten by Colin Trevorrow (who also directed the short and is at the helm for the upcoming movie) and Emily Carmichael that gives us a taste of what we’re in for when Jurassic World 3 debuts in 2021.
Give Battle at Big Rock a watch below and then catch my thoughts after the credits roll (and stay for said credits…you won’t be disappointed!).
Jurassic World 3 is set to take place about a year after the happenings of Fallen Kingdom. That raises some questions like Why weren’t the escaped dinosaurs hunted down or recaptured in that time?
I don’t know that there’s an answer there besides the fact that it wouldn’t make for much of a third movie. Ian Malcolm’s last words in Fallen Kingdom echoed those spoken by John Hammond in the first movie in the franchise (though they portend something totally different now): “Welcome to Jurassic Park.” Why would that be the case if they just re-extincted the de-extincted dinosaurs?
Trevorrow has something else in mind. In an interview with JurassicOutpost.com, he says:
I just have no idea what would motivate dinosaurs to terrorize a city. They can’t organize. Right now we’ve got lethal predators in wild areas surrounding cities all over the world. They don’t go pack hunting for humans in urban areas. The world I get excited about is the one where it’s possible that a dinosaur might run out in front of your car on a foggy backroad, or invade your campground looking for food. A world where dinosaur interaction is unlikely but possible—the same way we watch out for bears or sharks. We hunt animals, we traffic them, we herd them, we breed them, we invade their territory and pay the price, but we don’t go to war with them. If that was the case, we’d have lost that war a long time ago.
So instead of retreading the T-Rex loosed in the city from Lost World, they are going to be seen as an invasive species that humanity is going to have to learn to share the earth with–and will already have a year’s time of doing so under their belts.
I super like the wild animal angle and thought Battle at Big Rock showed that well in a number of ways.
- The way the triceratops just casually wanders into the campsite like a foraging raccoon.
- The dad explaining to his daughter that carnivores eating other animals (even cute widdle baby ones!) is “just nature.”
- The post credit scenes rife with chance encounters with various dinos.
It works, and it strikes me as a much more intriguing starting place than declaring it open season on all dinosaurs right out of the gate. I’m not sure that’s how things would go down in the real world, but grant them this miracle clause and move on. It is a movie about dinosaurs, after all.
The audio of the various news pieces of dinosaur activity at the very beginning of Battle at Big Rock hint at a “new normal” and speak of the first confirmed dinosaur birth on US soil (“Life…uh…finds a way” am I right?). But even a year later, wild dinosaurs are still very new.
The family in the short are shocked that dinosaurs had made it “all the way up here,” implying that their territory is expanding, but it also isn’t expansive. The dinosaur population is probably still relatively low considering that only, what, a few dozen make their escape from Lockwood Manor?
I love that there’s a significant gap between the end of Fallen Kingdom and where Battle at Big Rock and later Jurassic World 3 begin. Who knows what else will have taken place during that gap year? I’m sure we’ll see Claire and Owen again, but maybe we’ll also see more of Malcolm and – *blows out candles on his birthday cake* – maybe even the return of Doctor Grant and Doctor Sattler! All of the movies take place in the same world and on a shared timeline after all!
Battle at Big Rock Fuels the Excitement
I am genuinely excited to spend more than 8.5 minutes in this world that Trevorrow has in mind. Jurassic World 3 is set to release on June 11, 2021– 28 years to the day after Jurassic Park hit theaters. Word is that this will be a “conclusion” to the franchise…perhaps the bookending of the dates implies that as well.
But good luck keeping Hollywood’s money loving hands off of the franchise for long. It is hard to ignore the fact that the franchise already has multiple billions of dollars in box office revenue alone worldwide–not to mention merchandising. I think the very existence of Battle at Big Rock testifies to its money making ability.
Here is to hoping that Trevorrow and company scale this 8.5 minutes of excellence up well for Jurassic World 3.