***SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY ***
Remember that time Westworld‘s sweetheart scientist, Felix, resurrected a bird? He happens to coax the critter back to health by saying the familiar line, “Come on, little one!” This line, also uttered as a precious baby raptor hatches, isn’t the only similarity between HBO’s latest hit and cult-classic Jurassic Park. In fact, both screen adaptations are based off novels by Michael Crichton.
Here’s why Crichton’s worlds are almost kind of the same:
An innovative theme park opens: Perhaps the most obvious parallel lies with the fact that both Westworld and Jurassic Park are, well, parks. It also becomes glaringly apparent that these enterprises are no Disney World. Both amusements are open to the general public and are the first of their kind.
Created by an eclectic genius: John Hammond, founder of InGen (AKA the company responsible for recreating dinos) and creator of Jurassic Park, is nothing short of ingenious, imaginative and a little too ambitious. As a bioengineering fanatic, Hammond saw his park as an innovative masterpiece and neglected to accept its possible consequences.
Though Robert Ford seems less blindsided by his creations (in fact, he always seems to know what he’s doing), he strongly resembles Hammond. Like Hammond, Ford seeks to push the envelope as far as it can go when it comes to creating ‘life’. Before his untimely demise at the end of season one, he admits that suffering is the key to creating consciousness within his android “hosts”.
There are other agendas: Though there is certainly more to learn about Westworld‘s William (otherwise known as The Man in Black), it’s safe to say his visions of the park don’t always align with management. As the park’s largest shareholder and a frequent guest, William is dead set on finding out the mysteries of Ford’s creation. Similarly, Dennis from Jurassic Park boasts an ulterior motive: smuggling dinosaur embryos. William might be 20x smarter than Dennis, but both parks are a catalyst for serious drama.
Unfortunately for guests, the creations go wild: Westworld warns us that “violent delights have violent ends” — and that pretty much sums up both series. While exploring the wild wild west or coming face-to-face with a T-rex might seem like good entertainment (not to mention a great business venture), Crichton makes one overarching point: Robots might turn their back on you, dinosaurs might get loose, and taming a new life form is a LOT harder than it looks.
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