What is Jurassic Park Canon?
Ideally we could exist in a world where the official Jurassic Park canon was based on Michael Crichton’s intentions and the only two official stories in the franchise thus far was the original Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Crichton was a realistic person though and he understood that there was a large difference between what can be done in a book and what could be done in a movie. As a result the books and movies had some plot differences. In the end both offerings on screen were large box office successes and they continued the storyline appropriately.
Years later Jurassic Park 3 hit theaters. While it had some mixed reviews, it still was a box office success, but it was heavily criticized for its short length and offering little to the plot of the overall series as a whole directly. The first Jurassic Park brought about the idea of a theme park with dinosaurs and the disaster that hit the island and its guests. The Lost World continue the saga of the journey to bringing such amazing live entertainment to the masses as InGEN continued on with their dream and sought to capture these live dinosaurs and bring them to a new park. Jurassic Park 3 was simply people getting stuck on the island due to their own mistakes and offering nothing additional to the main storyline other than the fact that dinosaurs still exist.
Perhaps the fact that dinosaurs still exist is enough though? It showed that the governments had not figured out how to address the issue and that over time people and dinosaurs will interact. Twice now people have voluntarily gone back to the dangerous island and twice had they suffered heavy losses, death and a fight for their lives. Jurassic Park 3 even opened up the idea that Isla Sorna was more than just a breeding ground, and that species existed that InGEN had kept secret from the public. This idea could be opened up for use in further plot advancements.
The first two films were direct continuations and the third one at minimum indirectly offered concepts to the overarching plot, but that leaves us with the video game. No we’re not talking about the Super Nintendo or Genesis versions that were supposed to be rough adaptations of the original film or any spin offs that were not supposed to be plot based, but what is to be done about the recent installment that hit consoles such as the Xbox 360?
Jurassic Park: The Game, was a story board type game where you controlled the action through a series of button movements that would advance the characters onwards and choose how they did so. The events of the game took place at the same time as the events of the original movie. Putting the gamer in charge of a variety of characters, the canister that Nedry lost with the embryo samples were recovered, other survivors were on the island, the Lysine Contingency was revealed to have been sabotaged, InGEN removed natives to use their land for the island, and new characters that have their own motives were introduced.
The question for the franchise is: Should these events be considered official canon? When the game was licensed they knew that a new game was being created and they knew what kind of plot would be taking place. Does that make the events of the game as officially endorsed? The original book spoke heavier on the Lysine Contingency, but the movie only had it mentioned for about 3 seconds. Movie goers were too interested in the dinosaurs than too much of the science behind the dinosaurs. It had already been rumored that perhaps Jurassic Park 4 would use the lysine contingency in some form to advance upon the plot. Doctor Horner had even suggested that one way to make the dinosaurs scarier was to simply add in a degree of genetic alterations to them. Was the lysine contingency supposed to be it? Or were we looking at something new?
While Jurassic Park: The Game does not ruin the series’ plot, and could even be argued for advancing the plot by adding in new motives for characters and interaction on the island, it does remove some plot twists that could have been used for another film. It also poses the challenge that when people go to see a new Jurassic Park 4 movie, they know of the first 3 films, but may have not been in the target market for a video game and therefore missed all of the major plot points. How would movie goers be caught up?
Should Jurassic Park: The Game and its plot be counted in the official storyline of Jurassic Park?
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