Over 20 Years Later, the Sci-Fi of ‘Jurassic Park’ Is Still Interesting

Jurassic ParkUniversal Pictures via Everett Collection

Unlike many of the other reboots, remakes, and sequels that will be hitting theaters over the next few years (and, let’s be real, the next few decades), Jurassic World has some serious promise. Dinosaurs, Chris Pratt, and a new sci-fi amusement park? Yeah, this is going to be good.

But, first off, let’s go back to why the first film was so great. Jurassic Park deals with a very simple concept, as Jeff Goldblum put it so perfectly in the original film: life finds a way. Jurassic Park is about humans versus nature — the nature of dinosaurs and the nature of evolution. It’s a concept that, though it may be present in science fiction, is often overshadowed by the struggle between humans and technology (which we’ll see in the upcoming Terminator Genesis). However, it’s more interesting to see humans fight against something as uncontrollable as nature and evolution — things that are bigger and older than the human race.

Speaking of things older than humans: dinosaurs. Everyone who will go see Jurassic World can probably remember the first time they saw Jurassic Park. Or, at least, they can remember the wonder of seeing such lifelike dinosaurs on screen. (Yes, now we know the raptors in the film are inaccurate depictions, but they were spot on illustrations of what science believed of the species at the time.) There’s something different — and awesome — about watching a movie with creatures that once existed and don’t anymore, than seeing machines or other technologies that never have (even if they could very soon).

However, the most exciting aspect of Jurassic World is the actual theme park, which can be seen in concept art released a couple months ago. In Jurassic Park, the park hadn’t opened yet before the dinosaurs broke free and wreaked havoc. Then, in the follow up films the island on which the park was set had already been overridden by dinosaurs. If Jurassic World takes place in a fully-operational amusement park that’s open for business, the film could tap into a completely unexplored aspect of the original story: what would happen if Jurassic Park had been open when the dinosaurs got loose?

Though writer and director Colin Trevorrow has kept plot details under wraps, we do know the movie will pick up in real time — 20 years after the events of original film — and they’ll be returning to the island. Plus, they’re throwing in aquatic dinosaurs so, if nothing else, we’ll get to see how the heroes of the movie deal with prehistoric killing machines on land, in the air, and in the water. Since the new film seems to be upping the ante on a classic and cool concept, we have high hopes it’ll be awesome.