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Velociraptor (Film Universe)
There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similiar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall…

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Jurassic World and Soft-Canon: a Counteractive and Convoluted Conundrum

This article is a guest contribution by Thomas Fishenden.

When it comes to the Jurassic Park franchise, it is safe to say that there has been a lot of world building over the duration of the five installments which Universal Studios have produced. It is certainly safe to say that a lot has been added to the franchise over the years. The films have added new locations and new animals and characters, whilst the secondary materials – such as the viral marketing – have aimed to add in more continuity between the sequel installments. Canon, however, has not always been maintained – and there have always been issues which have plagued the Jurassic franchise and the continuity it shares between its various outings. We have seen Universal and Colin Trevorrow take steps towards addressing these issues in recent years – but unfortunately, a recent announcement during the press for Jurassic World: The Live Tour has us concerned about the future canonical consistencies within the franchise.

In the past, Colin Trevorrow has stated that he is the overseer of the franchise – and would oversee issues, such as Canon, moving forwards to ensure better continuity and cohesion across the property in the future. This had many of us excited, as it seemed to indicate that both Colin and the studio behind him were willing to take meaningful steps towards building a much more coherent cinematic universe. Indeed, it appeared that the Jurassic franchise would take a similar approach to other great franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, building outwards with meaningful connections to the very core pillars which first established the franchise. For a while, this seemed to hold true – with inconsistencies around the geography of the Isla Nublar report in both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom openly addressed by the director, who proceeded to work with the team behind the viral marketing and surrounding canonical materials (Chaos Theorem) to build a meaningful explanation which alleviated the canon-breaking implications that the change in island geography had. Furthermore, the team working behind the scenes had the opportunity to build upon the background of the franchise – adding in new implications for the canon which alleviated some of the strained connections that the narratives of the more recent films had. It is safe to say that the Dinosaur Protection Group website, and other subsequent ventures, did a lot to build upon the canon in meaningful ways – addressing the concerns of long term fans and creating much more of a cinematic ‘universe’ than we had ever seen for the franchise before.

Whilst the Dinosaur Protection Group faded into obscurity after the cinematic debut of Fallen Kingdom, it appeared canon would continue to grow and expand within the franchise. This brings us to Jurassic World: The Live Tour. Press Events for the tour (see Chris’s coverage from an event in April of this year) got fans excited – with a clear focus on developing a story which could fit within the confines of a pre-established Jurassic World narrative. Indeed, whilst some of the live show would build upon the back of the blockbuster film, showcasing the Indominus rampage on Isla Nublar, the clear majority was stated to be a brand-new story exploring a top-secret InGen Facility in Chile. The story follows Doctor Kate Walker, who was working with dinosaurs in a similar behavioral capacity to Owen Grady, and has essentially been pitched as the other half of the IBRIS project which we see on screen within Jurassic World. This, again, is a project which has always been relatively secretive on-screen, so fans were excited to be able to learn even more about this new piece of lore which was sure to build upon the fundamental ideals explored within the first Jurassic World film. Anticipation was high – and this was only exasperated further by the debut of Battle at Big Rock, which explored more new characters within the same universe, after the events of Fallen Kingdom.

Unfortunately, however, it seems that the story continuity will not last.

Fast forward to the start of November, when the Live Tour is kicking off with its worldwide premiere. Colin was interviewed by the Social Media team working on behalf of Feld Entertainment., and in an Instagram story on the official tour account, Colin was asked where the events of the show fit within the timeline of Jurassic World. His response was as follows:

“We have something we call soft canon – which is that it happens, but it also exists within its own space. You know, Feld’s writers and creators made a new and original story which exists within the context of Jurassic World and I think people are really going to love it.”

This statement is great when we consider how passionate Colin is for the franchise, and it is nice to see how excited he is about the live show – but it also poses a very real problem for the franchise moving forwards. That statement of ‘soft-canon’, and the careful phrasing of this show ‘existing within the context of Jurassic World’, has set alarm bells ringing for many fans – suggesting that the show may not be a meaningful fit within the pre-determined canon of the franchise, as was previously implied. Soft-canon itself is an alarming phrase, considering its what ‘Jurassic World Evolution’ is described as — something that is not canon at all, but adheres to the rules of the universal while carving out its alternate reality.

This becomes problematic as a universe which is built without canon in mind can very quickly crumble and implode if not handle with a degree of oversight and brand management. Disney know this all too well – and it is the reason why the Star Wars Expanded Universe is now referred to as ‘Legends’. Here, Disney told too many stories which conflicted with one another and posed potential problems for the canons of the franchise so they had to restart this from the ground up and discount any of their old stories as being non-canon unless reintroduced into modern films or properties. Whilst this soured many Star Wars fans, Disney could get away with this because of the sheer scale and scope of Star Wars and its fan-base, with many more pre-established stories already under the franchise’s belt. Jurassic, in contrast, is a relatively new and expanding franchise with a smaller fan base, and so the movements made to grow the brand really need to be considered and thoughtful to connect with audiences and build a meaningful and consistent fan base. Therefore, the term ‘soft canon’ being thrown out so early in the growth of the franchise has both I and many other Jurassic fans concerned about the future direction of the franchise.

It should also be noted that Star War’s non-canon ‘legends’ media only consists of expanded fiction that came out prior to The Force Awakens. Everything since then has been carefully cultivated to fit within the ever expanding galaxy, working with their brand team, writers, and directors as to not contradict the films, but add to them all while telling their own stories. Why Jurassic cannot do this, especially given their stable creative team, and smaller universe size, is a frustrating mystery.

Whilst I appreciate that it is hard to canonise a Live Tour (other properties like ‘Marvel Universe Live’ opted to tell entirely separate stories), I think straddling the line between canon and ‘soft canon’ is an attempt for Jurassic to have its cake and eat it too. Whilst it’s a humble attempt at developing upon the IP, I feel that it misses the mark and misses what fans have truly been clamoring for – which are stories which will have larger impacts on the overall franchise whilst enabling them to connect with these characters and these stories in much more meaningful ways. The attitude of utilizing ‘soft canon’ poses a worry for fans, as it brings into question upcoming properties like Camp Cretaceous, and where they will stand in terms of both canon and impact on the other properties within the franchise. Whilst there is certainly an argument for these being more children’s tailored properties, it is important to note that even in that regard a canonical middle ground is achievable. Take, for example, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This property found a way to tell stories within a pre-existing universe whilst not damaging canon. In fact, Clone Wars could build upon the pre-established in interesting and meaningful ways – connecting with both older and younger fans alike. This was due not only to the creative vision of Dave Filoni, but also due to the creative oversight and brand consistency which Disney and the Star Wars team had in place – and something which Jurassic seems to be sorely missing at this moment in time.

For the Jurassic World Live Tour, the format itself doesn’t entirely mesh with real world antics – so we understand that the action and context that which the story plays out may not be 1:1 to canon. But there is no reasons the overarching story itself of Dr. Kate Walker, InGens facility in Chile, and the events that subsequently played out cannot be canon. A simple “The story is canon, the action within and execution of it is soft canon” would be far more understandable. It was stated numerous times that Colin Trevorrow was involved from the start to make sure the story is hard canon. So what happened?

Make no mistake – I, and many others, are excited for new stories to be explored within the Jurassic universe. Many of us have clamoured for more from this brand for years, so the fact that we are finally getting this is exciting, and is a true testament to the creative passion of individuals like Colin Trevorrow. But, with that said, oversight is important too – and it’s important that this is built into a brand with solid foundations so that these stories can continue to be told for years to come. With that in mind, an organisation like Chaos Theorem or someone else altogether really need to be empowered to get more involved in the day-to-day canon of this universe, so that we can finally have something which feels cohesive. Continuity has always been a matter of discussion for Jurassic – and in some ways, poor continuity adds to the charm of these films. But, if Jurassic is to ever grow into a franchise with the power to do more than beat back other big names at the box office, then it is crucial that canon is considered, and that the time is taken to build a rich universe for these stories to take place within.

What do you all think? Where do you stand on canon in cinema, and is it important to you that these side projects tie in? Sound of in the comments below!


80 thoughts on “Jurassic World and Soft-Canon: a Counteractive and Convoluted Conundrum

  1. They just want to tell stories without being compromised by existing stuff. That’s why they call it soft canon. And they should. I just don’t understand why people care about canon so much. What does it matter that a lake switches places between movies. It’s laughable.

    1. The article doesn’t have anything to do with the Lagoon placement, did you read it? It’s totally fine and valid if you’re not bothered by canon consistency, but why the superiority complex towards those who do care? Agree to disagree, say your peace, but don’t gatekeep, man.

  2. Having seen the live tour the other day, I don’t understand why it isn’t canon. Sure it can be cheesy, but no cheesier and outlandish than Fallen Kingdom.

    My daughter love Dr. Kate Walker and wants to see her in the films now. Having grown up on Star Wars Rebels she’s fallen in love with the consistency and importance of stories within that universe over multiple mediums. It’s not just us old coots who care.

    The recent comments from Trevorrow feel lazy and cynically guarded, gatekeeping a franchise that long left a well regarded status worth holding on so tightly to. Just do your job and help them write the story and make sure its canon, or let someone else fill your shoes. I do not understand Colin Trevorrow and am constantly at odds with his statements as much as I want to root for him.

  3. Some people need hard canon. They need everything to fit together cleanly. For them, the Word is Truth. Others want some good stories and are willing to see the entertainment and lessons even if the overarching story is nonsense. They seek Truth as a living thing that is defined and redefined. For the former, dinosaurs were on the ark, or everything they believe might not be true. If the velociraptors suddenly had feathers then the previous raptors must’ve been false raptors. I am the latter and I pick and choose to construct my personal canon, and what was just flourishes added to tell a better story. So for me, that kid that Dr Grant slashed at did grow up to become Owen Grady. And maybe there was an event that wiped out most life on earth at some point,like the Great Flood. But you try to explain a meteor strike and dinosaurs and evolution to a nomadic tribe in the desert. If you let all canon be soft canon, then you’ll enjoy life much more.

      1. The debunked and now 100% invalid theory that the kid in the first film is Owen is not only ridiculous but SUPER cringe. Whatever you ARE smoking, I think it’s damaged your brain.

          1. okay, iron man 2… but both homecoming and far from home are masterpieces! i mean, just look at the reviews! and call them cringe and atrocious is hypocritical when this franchise claims fallen kingdom as one of it’s films

  4. I don’t get caught up on the finer details and inconsistencies lake the lagoon location on maps or what certain geographical features look like but the fact that they can’t even be assed to commit to hard canon expanded universe content is so frustrating. Whoever is in charge over there needs to hand the reigns over to someone else or just do better!!!

  5. There should be someone (or a team) to strictly moderate material in the franchise regarding its canon status across the board. “Soft-canon” is too ambiguous and feels sort of like a cop-out from committing to what a certain piece of material says. “It happens but it also doesn’t happen.” Huh?

  6. I don’t care about canon. I feel it has never been important to JP. Like where did all those extra dinosaurs Come from on Sorna, or the comics not fitting either movies, and the novels being totally different from the books, deleted scenes declaring that Nublar was destroyed, then it’s been preserved in JP4. I like the inconsistencies in JP they add to the “JP-ness” of it. I don’t want it to be a new Star Wars or a new Marvel. I want it to be JP, they was it always has been. If the new stories don’t fit, no worries here. I’m just happy we have new stories!

  7. Ahh, just do what I do, pick a handful of movies, they can be official sequels or just similar flavoured movies, maybe a couple of games, comics, books or even fanfics and just create your own head canon. It’s a great way of not worrying about everything!

  8. That’s the beautifull part about soft-canon. It’s something that doesn’t happen if you don’t want it to happen but happens if you do want it to (if you get what I mean). Though I fully agree the Jurassic franchise needs to put more effort in continuity I don’t think hard canon/soft canon is the problem.
    The change in location of Mainstreet in Fallen Kingdom is something I must admit I’m not a big fan of, but I don’t think it’s a big deal because in my own headcanon I see the ‘ocean gate’ as a gate to a river that leads to the ocean. Meaning in my headcanon Mainstreet’s location never changed.
    But what does really bug me is the inconsistency in the layout of the Lockwood Estate. Mostly because these inconsistencies don’t happen between movies, they all happen in the same exact film. The most annoying (and incredibly stupid) inconsistency being how there is no way the glass roof can abrubtly end in a huge fall with the elevator needing to be in that exact spot. That’s just something you can’t change even if you’re using a headcanon and I’m wondering how no one on the film’s crew noticed that in the first place.
    Jurassic’s problem doesn’t lie within soft and hard cannon, tons of franchises use it. It’s problem lies in the big inconsistencies that somehow got through months, maybe even years, of development.

  9. It seems to me that Universal and Colin Trevorrow don’t want any of the non-movie stories to potentially limit the main big screen stories that they could tell in the future and I have to agree with that. Not every fan can go to a live event to watch a part of their favorite story, but far more can see the movie. Even if they have to wait until they get enough money, that movie will always be waiting.

    1. While I appreciate and understand this sentiment, that’s not exactly how canon works.

      Hard canon is not required knowledge for the audience, it’s simply “real world” events in the universe – hard facts, that will be respected by future media outings. Essentially, canon means it did happen, these characters do exist, and while it may never be referenced in future films/books/etc it also will not be contradicted.

      Another way to look at it is like this:

      Required canon: Canon. The films; required knowledge to understand the core story as it progresses

      Hard canon: Canon. It has happened in the film universe and the films/etc will respect it as canon but may never actively acknowledge it

      Soft canon: Not canon. Alternative universe that also tries to fit into the core universe to the best of its ability, but is not required to be respected as canon by the films or other mediums, and can break the universe rules when required (For example the LEGO films, or Jurassic World Evolution’s open parks post JW, etc.)


      I’d also like to suggest something that sits between Hard Canon and Soft Canon, allowing for an “unreliable narrator” clause to explain away some discrepancies present by the format. I would imagine that’s where Jurassic World Live Tour sits, where the story itself is canon, but some of the events are exaggerated for the sake of working within the format of a live stage stunt show, with limited mobility of the dinosaurs and limited complexity of the sets.

      This could also allow the films to both call JW Live canon, but change the design of the Troodon in the process (because let’s be real, that Troodon is a giant Compy and not a great design at all) – or suggest things like Blue’s interactions weren’t quite as amicable as presented, and motorcycle jousting didn’t actually happen while in Chile.

      1. Except canon for entertainment purposes should be available to as many people as possible, otherwise what’s the point? So an exclusive amount of people can say they have seen something that most other fans haven’t? That’s ridiculous!

        1. I’m not sure I follow — why should canon equate accessibility? If it’s not required knowledge in the core stories, nor actively referenced or built upon by them, its exclusivity shouldn’t negate its canonical standing.

          That’s like saying Star Wars Rebels shouldn’t be canon because not everyone has the proper TV channels. In time, the Jurassic World Live Tour show will become available to all — but again, I’m not sure why it would need to effect its canonical standing. Canon is the web that ties everything together, but is hardly needed to be known in full detail by audiences to understand and appreciate the core films.

          1. Because when a world that’s made for everyone’s entertainment starts making exclusive stories that only some can go see, then they are ignoring the majority of fans (who might want to see it, but can’t). Of course, in the case of the show, it will probably be able to be seen online, but that’s totally different than being able to watch it in person. That’s why JP canon shouldn’t even be a thing. It alienates fans.

          2. I don’t think we have the same definition of canon.

            There is a vast difference between something being canon, and what you’re suggesting would happen with fans/audiences — canon is simply factual story that takes place within the universe. It is by no means a requisite of being a fan & understanding the story, and I don’t understand how canon having limited scope outings alienates or ignores anyone.

            Your debate IMO should then be for better distribution and availability guarantees, but not limiting the scope of canon itself simply due to its format. If Jurassic World Live Tour releases a DVD at the end of its run, prior to Jurassic World Live Tour 2, for all to view and buy, would it then become canon due to this shift? You see the problem of time elapsing — if the steps aren’t taken to solidify it in canon prior to that moment, it may already be contradicted and wiped out of its canonical possibilities by the core canonical outings.

            Ultimately this is why availability and canon should not be defined together — unless of course it’s treated as “required reading” (for example, in Halo 5 Guardians “Blue Team” is given no proper introduction, and assumes you know their story from the books, which is a big no-no IMO).

      2. “Because let’s be real, that Troodon is a giant Compy and not a great design at all.” I know, right? Been saying it all along. If that species is to ever appear in a movie they really must give it some changes or people will literally compare it to the Compsognathus.

          1. But if it had been considered official canon, you would have been forced to acknowledge its’ existence! That’s the great thing about soft canon, you get to make up your own mind.

  10. In reality, Jurassic World is just Jurassic Park for a new generation. And Fallen Kingdom is The Lost World. They’re literally the same story, but they go about telling it differently.

    The new films definitely have far less adult themes than the original films. I think Marvel has affected both it and the film world in general in a big, though negative, way. People seem to enjoy displays of power and funnies rather than something that makes them think.

    Jurassic Park made me think. Jurassic World made me think too, but only about what the Hell happened.

    In my own head-canon. Jurassic Park and The Lost World are their own complete arc, within their own Universe. The Dinosaurs on Nublar died from the Lysine Contingency after a time. The Park was dismantled and the bodies were disposed of. Sorna became a nature reserve after a botched attempt to monetize the animals again.

    Then there is the Jurassic World Universe. Where Jurassic Park also happened, but the animals survived for 20 years there, somehow. The Lost World never happened because it’s never mentioned and now makes no sense and 5 years later, Hammond’s dream is made real by Simon Masrani. Wherever they go with it from here on out doesn’t bother me. I don’t care. I’ll always have the original films.

    I never counted anything else as canon to anything. Comics, videogames etc. They never happened in either universe. Muldoon survived in the comics, which is impossible given what happened to him. The Telltale game went out of it’s way to have Raptors back as well as other things that make no sense… Enjoy them or don’t. I enjoy a few things like the old PS1 Lost World game, Operation Genesis and JW:Evolution. But let’s not make the mistake of trying to fo4rce these things into anything. Because they don’t fit.

    As for JP3… Might have happened. But it takes too much work to fit it in what with the changes and new species. So I dismiss it altogether.

    1. But the Lost World is acknowledged in the Jurassic World movies, with Benjamin Lockwood quoting John Hammond’s closing speech and the design of the Parasaurolophus being identical to how it was depicted in TLW.

      1. Can’t be anything more than coincidence. Remember, Fallen Kingdom IS The Lost World, just remade for a new generation. The plot is the same.

        Dinosaurs under threat.
        Rescue team sent in.
        Dinosaurs rounded up.
        Dinosaurs on mainland causing havoc.

        Besides, you can’t answer why Ludlow went to Sorna to gather Dinosaurs for His park, if Nublar still had plenty. The World films are dumb and don’t fit. And nothing has been stated on screen about what happened to Sorna. They’re trying to ignore it. You lot just wont let them. They don’t care about you, they just don’t want you bashing their new money-makers so they throw you a bone every now and then.

        1. Good!

          There was no reason why the events of TLW and JP/// should have been set on a brand new island in the first place, when considering how in the former they never explain what happened to Isla Nublar and it’s inhabitants; which is very hypocritical of you. So you also can’t answer why Ludlow went to Sorna and not Nublar.

          Isla Sorna could crumble into the Pacific Ocean or be a nuclear waste disposal site for all I care, because it has been nothing more than a confusing (to the general public) and completely unnecessary addition (as a whole) to the Jurassic movie franchise ever since it first featured in 1997!

          1. If I only count the first two films, then I indeed can answer why Ludlow went to Sorna instead of Nublar to get his Dinosaurs… The Dinosaurs on Nublar died. They either perished from the Lysine contingency or were destroyed in the cleanup Ludlow talks about in the deleted scene of The Lost World’s beginning.

      2. “The Lost World is mentioned in the Jurassic World movies ”

        Uh, not the first one. Not at all. It’s utterly ignored bar a tiny name drop in the second film. Fallen Kingdom really did just copy The Lost World plot-wise.

        1. In the first Jurassic World, the design of the Parasaurolophus was completely identical to how it was depicted in TLW. That itself was an acknowledgment of the previous movie.

          1. While they haven’t completely closed the past happenings out as canon, the new movies have definitely retconned the importance of Site B as a location in order to distance themselves from it. I actually know why they did it. Before the 2015 film Sorna was basically the place where expanded storylines go to die. This was intentionally rigged by Crichton when he wrote The Lost World, he simply didn’t want to his story to go further and made Sorna the last resting place for it. A narrative dead end, so to say, and I think Spielberg understood this while working with all of the script writers who contributed to the shaping of Jurassic World. Sorna’s inclusion would simply create an incarcerating bottle neck and prevent a larger franchise(Universal’s bottom line) from growing.

          2. The pompadour not being changed in it’s 2 seconds of screen time proves nothing about a connection. That’s like saying The Lost World has Dinosaurs in it, and so does this! Hence, connected!!

  11. I get the feeling that Universal’s financial interests place canon firmly in a secondary position. They’re clearly trying to appeal to a *very* young audience in everything they’ve done since JW, and there’s very little incentive for them to put attention on the nuances of canon consistency when they can churn out Nickelodeon/Lego co-brands and the Live Tour – That stuff is clearly not canon in my book. I mean, has anyone seen footage from the Live Tour? It’s total shit story-wise. And that’s because story isn’t the point there. It’s not designed to prioritize canon. It’s simply an effective money-making mechanism. I realize how cynical this all sounds but it’s difficult to see it any other way.

    I think Universal operates with the understanding that kids love dinosaurs. And *that’s* their bottom line. That’s what they care about, and I suspect that Trevorrow is, to a degree, tied down by those rigid expectations.

    1. I have this belief as well. While such business has in a sense offered some little things for those of us who still are fans of the original pre-JW films it may, in a long run, lose us as an audience simply due to how much the studio wants to pander those who are either too young or ignorant to really care about the continuity that started from the original 1993 movie. And that’s a bit of a shame, really. However, I do not really blame Colin for that.

  12. I don’t think it’s realistic or fair to compare the JP franchise to other properties like Star Wars and the MCU, either in terms of worldbuilding or canon.

    The original trilogy is a jumbled mess in terms of canon, but that’s not really anyone’s fault. Franchises were a lot different back in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays, every movie is written with the expectation that it’ll lead into a sequel that’s a direct continuation of the story. Back then, sequels were made with the “here we go again” philosophy: take the same characters and put them in a situation identical to the first movie (but with a twist), ignoring how increasingly-outlandish it gets for them to keep showing up. Point being, canon was not a thing, and they made it up as they went along. It’s really difficult – and a bit unfair IMO – to hold older franchises to the same standards we expect today. As much as we want to retroactively cram our JP3 raptors into a certain canonical hole, the fact remains that they look that way because it was cool and different from a production design perspective, and that’s that.

    Aside from untangling the mess of the OT, it’s pretty simple why they haven’t taken canon seriously – there’s not really any need. There will never be a Jurassic Park Expanded Universe, or Cinematic Universe, or whateververse. Star Wars has an entire galaxy to play around with, and MCU has grown to be just as epic in scope. They have a NEED for canon and worldbuilding – there are unlimited stories to be told, across multiple genres. JP is extremely limited in this regard – any incarnation of a JP story can be summed up with “Dinosaurs wreck shit, people die”, especially now that the franchise is in the hands of a guy who’s obsessed with shoehorned-in dinosaur battles.

    I’ll accept new JP content with open arms – even if it IS marketed at children – but I think it’s very important to keep a healthy perspective on what the JP franchise can and can’t offer us.

  13. Explain why Ludlow went to Sorna instead of Nublar to get animals for his San Diego park.

    You have a Tyrannosar, Gallimimus, Brachiosaurs, Dilophosaurs, Parasaurolophus… On Nublar! So why go to Sorna?

    Jurassic World proved that they survived for 15 years on Nublar, before being captured for the new park.

    The Lost World has been retconned by Jurassic World.

    No mention. No closure. ONE name drop in a sniff-and-you’ll-miss-it moment during Fallen Kingdom.

    And that’s just the beginning of the problems in this new trilogy.

  14. I’ve officially given up on Jurassic World. It’s made for kids. And they’ll only enjoy it because they’re young and don’t think about how stupid it really Is.

      1. Right? Go do something more worth your time than badmouthing something you think is for kids. Like honestly I’m only thinking about your well being. It can’t be good for your mind to dwell on stuff you just think are stupid. Go find something you actually like dude.

        1. Nope. These abortions need to be criticized into the ground 🙂

          They suck. The rest of you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, you just pretend to love it.

        2. I disagree, strongly, and that IS OK…. i agree that this mostly marketed towards children and I simply am not a fan. If someone doesn’t agree, they don’t HAVE to stay away from a site about a movie franchise they still care about… this is a free forum for discussion, and attacking someone else’s opinion is the same as what you say about that person’s opinion. The reality is some like it and some don’t and that is ok. I am not a huge fan of the dinosaur model changes, the dull grey look of everything…. some people just miss when the stan winston studios were in control…. it seemed more real… not in a scientific way but in a vibrant way…. fallen kingdom disappointed me for most of it althougj imho they had a few decent ideas that we hadn’t seen yet. Imho, the dinosaur protection group was bad writing, agon just my opinion… hopefully they will improve this next installment and I simply cannot stand the live tour of the lego stuff. And that is ok.

  15. The only canon in a made up fantasy world should be your own personal one. Nobody should be trying to force anyone to believe their own opinions about a work of fiction.

    1. That’s not what canon means – you’re mistaking canon for ‘head-canon’, fan theories to explain grey area concepts, which of course are not canon but fair to believe if you wish.

      Canon is what the films & filmmakers convey, via materials they define as canon, and not what you want to believe.

        1. You’re confusing canon with factual reality- or rather, mistaking those who take an interest in canon as being unable to discern that they’re discussing a fictional world. That’s not the case, they know this. Canon can still exist within fictional worlds, and of course, it can be freely warped as time goes on, but that doesn’t negate its existence.

          If you don’t care about it, fair enough, but why take an active stance against canon as a concept — what does that achieve? Filmmakers should be allowed to build canon, and if they wish, it can expand beyond the films, and fans are absolutely free to engage in that conversation as it evolves.

          1. And yet Chris, you’ll quote the “Dino protection group” website literally full of third-party head-canon to fill in the gaps the officials didn’t care to, and now can’t address…

            But maybe the third film will address why Ludlow went to Sorna instead of just grabbing the many Dinosaurs still on Nublar… Maybe it’ll explain why Hammond didn’t even know, and though Sorna was all that was left?

  16. I think it’s important people remember that Canon is what the film makers define as the official timeline of events – hence why I wrote this piece in the first place. I want to acknowledge how canon is important in creating cinematic experiences which feel coherent. Canon is not something which we decide – it is something which is set before us. The issue is the ambiguity which befalls the franchise if things are not properly planned and executed in a canonical manner.

    At the end of the day, why should we invest in a franchise beyond just films if nothing else matters? There lies the inherent issue which is detrimental, IN MY OPINION, to the community.

    That is the important thing in that statement – in my opinion. We can have discussions about this openly but they need to be respectful as that is what this platform is here to encourage.

    1. This, 100%.

      Of course it’s a fictional world – but being invested in it is not a negative thing. That is the very purpose behind the existence of fiction, to tell these stories, create these worlds, and share the journey into the unknown and discover it’s own unique reality.

      Caring about canon is not bad. Not caring about canon is not bad. Either is valid, and discussion around the greater state of canon as it evolves is totally appropriate.

      But caring or not caring about canon does not negate its existence. Canon exists – sure it’s maluable, and can evolve over time – but it exists. And there is nothing wrong for wishing for a more stable state of canonical affairs, asking for a more cohesive narrative experience across multiple mediums, which is what this article argues for.

      Theres been a good about conversation sparked by this article, which is always interesting. Good work with it Tom!

      1. Thanks, Chris! Certainly been interesting getting to read different perspectives and seeing what matters most to different fans.

        I look forward to bringing more discussion pieces like this to the table in the future!

    2. and i think it is important to remember that these are movies about dinosaurs going crazy on a fake island, and have little to no impact on reality. there’s a point where arguing about this is just dumb

    3. That’s why soft canon was created, so that we can be invested in other stories beyond the films. If they didn’t create the term soft canon everything but the films would be given non-canon status and SOME fans wouldn’t even bother with anything but the films. But, do you remember the comics, video games, etc when Jurassic Park came out? We all ate that stuff up, even though they obviously weren’t canon to the movie.

  17. I sometimes think it’s funny how the creative team behind a franchise is more interested in the story they want to tell at a specific time then the overall canon, yet fans seem to do the opposite.

    Also what I don’t understand is why people sometimes need their canon completely make sense and have every detail filled in while our own human history is filled with events that have tons of contradicting stories and things we simply don’t know how or when it happened.
    Ambiguity should actually make it more authentic;)

    I don’t think the people behind the movies should be lazy and make a mess out of things but you can’t fault them for proritizing story over overarching canon.

    1. Agreed.

      There is always room for personal interpretation and debate within canonical grey area – you can take things as solid fact, or suspect it may not always be as clean cut as implied — and unless the films hard lock something into reality, any theory is valid!

      Of course, under that veil of uncertainty, there is in theory a “hard-canon” explanation – but whether or not that is ever actually explored, and uncovered is another matter altogether.

      Not everything needs to be defined and explained within fiction — it is oftentimes best to leave many things unexplained, and unexplored, obscured (as long as it doesn’t feel like a glaring plot hole or unresolved important plot point).

      1. “(as long as it doesn’t feel like a glaring plot hole or unresolved important plot point).”

        Which is all these new films have caused…

  18. You guys are in for one Hell of a bout of cognitive dissonance if you expect to fit the new trilogy with the original…
    It’s going to be incredibly humorous to watch you try to answer the plot holes.

    What happened to Sorna (no on-screen mention).

    Hammond would not have consented to another Jurassic theme park being opened.

    All the old Dinosaurs supposedly from 1993 look totally different. Including Rexy.

    Why did Ludlow go to Sorna if Nublar still had plenty of Dinosaurs?

    Why did the maps change in World regarding the lagoon.

    Where all these magical new species keep spawning from.

    You had one boat-load of Dinosaurs. Not enough to allow breeding or long-term survival in the wild on the mainland.

    Besides, the films are just dumb rip offs of the original films.

    1. hmm. i’ll give it a shot.
      1. The sorna dinos were taken to nublar to be JW’s original attractions.
      2. Hammond trusted Masrani to do it right.
      3. They got old.
      4. Probably because it has more dinosaurs.
      5. The lagoon didn’t change, it simply has two sections. maybe.
      6. They were always there, just poorly set up to appear later.
      7. Perhaps JW3 takes place shortly after JW:FK
      8. they played it safe until they could experiment with new ideas

  19. They relied on a third-party group to fill in the blanks they didn’t care not to make.

    But apparently head-canon doesn’t count…

    Lol. Right.

  20. Jurassic World fits into Jurassic Park like Turok 2008 fits into Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.

    Turok 2008 sucked and ruined the continuity.

  21. Love “World” or hate it… You just can’t make it fit.

    What I hate is that it would have been SO EASY to make it all fit. Simply by not having any Dinosaurs survive from 1993 and leaving Sorna as a nature reserve. The reason Jurassic World could have been made was because too many people were trying to get to Sorna so some smart man capitalized on that interest. They didn’t have to flat-out ignore it! And if they wanted Dinosaurs on the mainland… JUST HAVE THE NEW PARK ON THE MAINLAND!!!!!

    1. how much more money would the lockwood estate have made, and how much more legal it would be (and how much less evil they would look) if they just made JP san diego? it’s a much better option than the auction

  22. Let’s face it, every movie universe has canon issues. To me it’s just about enjoying the ride as a fan, does that mean they’re perfect? No.
    However from a storytelling standpoint the World movies make a logical step, showing us how greed has corrupted what we knew- both on screen and off. You can’t keep making movies about dinosaurs on an island over and over and over so the direction they’ve taken is an obvious yet mostly intelligent one.
    I simply chose to ignore plot holes so as to not take away from the enjoyment because I know it’ll drive me crazy if I do. Sometimes being a fan isn’t about overthinking just enjoying what we have, even if it’s a watered down and corporate money-grabby version of the original.
    Just to put it in perspective, without the Jurassic World movies we may never have gotten the gorgeous Brachiosaurus or John Hammond figures, as well as the Amber collection. So they served to stimulate a renewed interest in the characters that ultimately worked out for fans of the franchise, if that’s the case I’ll take movies where people argue over how good they actually are and canon ‘rules’ than having nothing.

    1. it would have been SO EASY to make it all fit though.

      Simply by not having any Dinosaurs survive from 1993 and leaving Sorna as a nature reserve. That way the Nublar cleanup still works, as does Ludlow’s trip to Sorna instead of just gathering Nublar’s Dinosaurs.

      The reason Jurassic World could have been made was because too many people were trying to get to Sorna to see living Dinosaurs, so some smart man simply capitalized on that interest.

      They didn’t have to flat-out ignore Site B. And if they wanted Dinosaurs on the mainland… JUST HAVE THE NEW PARK ON THE MAINLAND!!!!!

      No volcano. You could still have the Indominus rex. No Fallen Kingdom…

      It would have been so much better.

      1. To be frank, fans asking for Nublar to reappear in the films may have been the culprit for that decision making. Also, they had sort of backed themselves to a creative dead end with both The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 due to how much emphasis those films had placed on the nature reserve angle of Site B. How Crichton wrote The Lost World also didn’t help. While it could have been subverted it is obvious that Spielberg and Universal chose to go the lazy route and crammed Nublar in as the new theme park location since that island is way smaller than Sorna, easier to explain as a manageable location for the new park. As silly as that is, I still do accept the fourth movie as a canon conclusion to the overall plot of the trilogy that came before it.

        1. I honestly believe the choice to use Nublar as the site for Jurassic World wasn’t a lazy route, they were wanting to show people what everyones always wondered since the beginning- what would a successful park look like? In that sense I feel they succeeded.

      2. There’s no denying it could have, nay SHOULD, been simple for them to make everything fit together.
        However knowing the franchise would make money blinded them, plus I believe a vision of a working park- Hammond’s dream- was a deciding factor in the choice to remain on the island.
        They made mistakes yes, but honestly what can we do about it? Nothing.
        Unless one of us fans has several billion lying around to challenge their storyline with our own all we can do is accept this is what we got, be that good or bad.
        This why the realm of fan fiction exists….

        1. I think any one of us could have written a better plot that fit everything in. This is what’s wrong with Hollywood today. They have the money, but no passion, no talent… The “World” films just aren’t good. They made a lot of money, but clearly that doesn’t equal quality because plenty of bad movies have made a lot of money. Bell Delphine has made a lot of money selling bathwater…

      3. Also, partly to be Devil’s advocate and partly because I just realized it, there are three reasons to not bring the park onto the mainland in the first place.
        One- if you already have an island populated by dinosaurs that also has the remains of a power grid in place why would you spend hundreds of billions building a site on the mainland, capturing the dinosaurs, moving them, etc when you could more easily build upon the previous foundation. Plus Masrani cared for the animals well-being, he probably saw moving them to the mainland would stress them and possibly shorten their life spans as a result- he preferred them as happy and healthy as possible.
        Two- after the San Diego incident, I figure no country in the world would want the possible (and as shown inevitable) catastrophic flood of lawsuits if something should go wrong. Better to let them stay on an island and not tempt fate.
        Three- this one’s only a theory but I like it, perhaps it was Hammond’s dying plea to Masrani to keep the park on the island. Sappy I know, but it would also make sense for the character.

        1. I agree, keeping it on an island was sort of necessary for the fourth movie. In any case, getting the plot away from the island setting was going to be clunky one way or another. It’s probably better that we only got Nublar while Sorna took a necessary backseat(as much as it sucks that they couldn’t give it a better closure).

          1. As a lifetime fan of Jurassic Park, who desperately wanted “World” to be good, I can honestly see no reason why leaving the islands in the past from the get-go couldn’t have worked just fine.

            Do you really think retcons and suddenly active volcanos make more sense than just setting up a future where public interest became so great that another tycoon made his own cloned Dinosaurs somewhere on the mainland?

      4. And yes I realize there could have also been the possibility of the abandoned San Diego facility from Lost World, but let’s face it that probably wasn’t an option because of lawsuits they more than likely sold it to Disney lol

        1. But Hammond’s dying wish was that Sorna be kept free from Human interference. He didn’t want to open another park. It’s stated in the films that he learned it was a bad idea. He became a naturalist.

          Being on an island vs the mainland wouldn’t have an effect on their health and well-being. There are open-plains zoos across the world, set on the mainland, where large animals live long and stress-free lives away from bustling cities.

          If the Dinosaurs on Nublar were dead (which they ARE, according to the film’s own lore) and Sorna was a restricted haven, you would have no choice but to re-clone your own Dinosaurs anyway.

          Besides, INGEN having sole access to 20 year-old tech is ridiculous. Plenty of others would have caught up. Remember, Nedry said Biosyn would catch up on less than a Decade’s worth of research by stealing the embryos. In 20 years they’d definitely be cloning Dinosaurs too.

          And you still have the plot hole of Ludlow going to Sorna instead of Nublar for his San Diego plans. As if he wouldn’t know Nublar still had a myriad of species on it. As if Hammond wouldn’t know.

          Having a successful park on Nublar would make no difference to having a successful park on the mainland.

          1. So many plot holes so little time, it honestly does bug and kinda confuse me that INGEN was even still around- after god knows how many lawsuits they probably would’ve declared bankruptcy. Even if Masrani bailed them out or bought them the company name would change.
            Hollywood never follows the rules of the ‘real world’ hence why overthinking these things doesn’t truly interest me.
            As for Ludlow going to Sorna, really the ONLY reason is because that’s how the Lost World book goes and it’s convenient for the story.
            Also moving any animal can be expensive, moving an animal that next to no one knows anything about (allegedly, I’m going by the assumption other companies didn’t crack the code despite the fact after 20 years yes they should have) could irreparably damage the specimen which then would cost even more money to re-clone.
            When it comes down to it, it’s finances that caused the decision to remain on the island. It was cheaper and Hollywood wanted the nostalgia factor.

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