Warning! This article contains major spoilers about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and its post-credits scene. Read ahead at your own risk.
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably survived another cinematic venture through the front gates of the ever-terrifying dinosaur playground Jurassic World, the fictional theme park experiment that consistently turns its human visitors into bite-sized dinosaur snacks. And yet the cycle continues anyway in the fifth franchise entry, subtitled Fallen Kingdom. When the film draws to a close, however, it’s clear the tables have turned heading into the series’ future, as the fifth Jurassic Park project concludes with a delectable post-credits scene that reverses the ill-advised-humans-invading-dino-island formula which has long permeated the franchise.
But, let’s first set the stage for the film’s quality kicker. Picking up after the harrowing events of the first Jurassic World film, Fallen Kingdom follows a small team of experts trekking back to the abandoned Jurassic World site (where dinosaurs now roam free) at the request of the late John Hammond’s research partner Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell). He tasks former raptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) and ex-park employee Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) — now working as a dino conservationist — with rescuing the doomed reptiles from their imminent demise, as Isla Nublar has become a ticking time bomb of volcanic activity ready to wipe out Lockwood’s creations. Some protest the rescue mission, namely Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), who suggests the extinction is divine intervention aimed at rerouting history after Hammond and Lockwood’s genetic tampering. He may be right, but life — in this case, meddling human action — finds a way through.
Though Owen and Claire’s intentions are noble, their Noah’s Ark of a journey isn’t quite what it seems on the surface. While they encounter hungry, razor-toothed monsters on the island, nefarious streaks run deep on the human side, too, as Lockwood’s money-hungry aide Eli (Rafe Spall) commandeers the mission and dupes the gang into bagging the prehistoric beasts for sale to international governments who want their DNA to perfect genetically-enhanced military combat — including the hyper-aggressive Indominus Rex/Velociraptor hybrid otherwise known as the Indoraptor.
As is common throughout the series, man ultimately winds up on the losing end of the battle. One thing leads to another, and the transport back to the mainland results in dinosaurs running loose on the West Coast of the United States, with the Mosasaurus gobbling up surfers, the Tyrannosaurus Rex engaging in a roaring match with a lion at the zoo, and raptors clawing their way through suburban California.
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Not to be outdone by the rest of the film, Fallen Kingdom’s post-credits scene playfully nudges at the looming threat to humanity, which now exists on land, sea, and — judging by the short sequence — in the air. When the credits finish, we cut to a tight shot of several Pteranodons soaring through a starry night sky, landing on a small, blinking tower. The camera then cuts to a long shot from above, looking down on the flying creatures as they perch atop what’s actually the highest point on the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas resort. The city teems with activity below. Cut to black.
Though it works as an ominous glimpse into the setup for the next Jurassic World film (yes, we’re probably in for a Lost World-style battle between humans and dinosaurs on urban turf), the brief footage also serves as a greater thematic purpose. For starters, the tower itself is a crude recreation made in the image of a monolithic icon (in this case, the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, France), much like Hammond’s Jurassic Park dinosaurs were essentially knockoffs crafted in the likeness of O.G. dinosaurs using genetic material from their predecessors spliced together with frog DNA. Second, Las Vegas is a boisterous city associated with excess, indulgence, and risky behavior (who hasn’t accidentally lost a small fortune while playing the slots?) — sounds a lot like the work of Hammond and Lockwood, who took a monumental gamble in playing God with their living, breathing creations, no? Of all American cities, Vegas (otherwise known as Sin City, mind you!) is the perfect people-populated center to serve as the backdrop for Jurassic World‘s undoing.
So, what does this mean for the future of mankind now that dinosaurs are poised to rule the earth…uh… again? Hopefully the next film holds a jackpot of answers when it hits theaters in 2021.