Version Numbers Exist in the Film Universe – An Editorial

I hate to say this, but when people are looking at the aspect of the changes between the Velociraptors and Pteranodons between the films they want to state they “evolved” because of an advertisement in the trailer mentioning evolution. Further, if someone were to use the trailers as a point to make, I’d also like to point one promotional spot referred to JP3 as taking place on “a new island”, which it took place on Sorna. Some have stated that the change in Raptors was due to creator input. While true, the creators have given us no real direction other than the following: “subtle changes to Velociraptor.” – Jack Horner (Making of JP3 Featurette). Notice, nothing about evolution. ”Velociraptor is back in a way we’ve never seen.” — Stan Winston (Making of JP3 Featurette), and from the man himself nothing here. I’d also like to point out, as per the film commentary on JP3, it was pointed out by Stan Winston and crew that they tried to correct the mistake of having a JP3 Raptor in Grant’s dream sequence by trying to grey the animal out. They intended it to be like the original Raptors in JP and TLW. Both Raptor species are considered consistent and co-habitating on Sorna in the films and the likewise holds true for Pteranodons. Further, this needs to be said in regards to the coloration changes between JP and TLW animals:

“We had to design new paint schemes not only for the new dinosaurs, but for some of the already-designed dinosaurs from the last movie,” Winston explained, “because now there were male dinosaurs, as well as females; and typically in nature the males of any species are far more brightly colored. We also wanted to make sure that the audience would be able to tell the males and females apart. It was a great of fun to run the gamut of color and come up with interesting designs. The colors on the females for the first film had been fairly subdued; but with male animals, there were may more possible colorations.” (Duncan, “The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park” 25)

The general idea for JP3 stated is that Velociraptor received subtle changes to the skull and changed it to fit what “they knew” about the animal now with the most “recent discoveries” and to include feathers per what Jack Horner said from the Making of JP3 documentary. To further press the point of version numbers, there is even a scene in the original novel, in the chapter ‘Version 4.4.,’ in which Henry Wu remarks that the animals need to be changed in order to conform to the public perception of dinosaurs:

“I really think you should consider my recommendations for phase two. We should go to Version 4.4”
“You want to replace all the current stock of animals?” Hammond said.
“Yes, I do.”
“Why? What’s wrong with them?”
“Nothing,” Wu said, “except that they’re real dinosaurs.”
“That’s what I asked for, Henry,” Hammond said, smiling. “And that’s what you gave me.”
“I know,” Wu said. “But you see…” He paused. How could he explain this to Hammond? Hammond hardly ever visited the island. And it was a peculiar situation that Wu was trying to convey. “Right now, as we stand here, almost no one in the world has ever seen an actual dinosaur. Nobody knows what they’re really like.”  (Crichton p. 122)

The idea is that InGen would alter their dinosaurs in order to suit the public opinion of the dinosaurs if they had to, at least in the universe of the novels. In the film universe logic would stand to reason that InGen‘s process was always under constant refinement as indicated by the dinosaur fetuses present in the third film. As evidenced in the films numerous times the dinosaurs were genetic manipulations that were the result of the public perception of dinosaurs at that point in time, thus theme-park monsters, as said by Dr. Alan Grant in the third film. We can tell this not only in the differences from the Velociraptors between the first, second and third films but in the differences between the Pteranodons seen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park ///. Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs clearly have some shortcomings when compared to their real life counterparts. For example, most modern theropods are considered feathered and assuredly all lack the rotated ulna and pronated hands present in the film series.

So how do we know there were version numbers? What evidence is there for this? Well first off let’s look at the in-film snap to your left. Notice where the red circle is, that’s your version number right there. For those who have trouble seeing it reads: “2.05″ for the Stegosaurus (incorrectly spelled Stegasaurus) embryo. Part of any process in anything is placing it under constant revision. These dinosaurs, being a science project themselves, indicated in the films were under constant revision by InGen. We can safely assume that some of the science from the novel canon obviously carries over in some capacity otherwise there would be no film/plot in this instance. So the question is how do we know for certain? We take a look at Jurassic Park /// next to see evidence of the revision process.

To your right you’re seeing the aborted fetus of two dinosaurs seen in the Embryonics Administration scene along with a prop used in the production. These are obviously failed attempts at the dinosaurs that InGen studied to learn more about their process, likely to refine/revise how they were producing dinosaurs. These would not likely exist if the process was either squeaky clean (which would be unrealistic) or not under constant revision to make the “perfect” theme park inhabitant. Thus variation and the carry over of version numbers do in fact translate over into the film end of the continuity.

I hope this proves the points for version numbers and it’s not a fan theory as there is sufficient evidence to back up this claim. Version numbers do exist in the films and they do exist in the franchise as a whole in the various iterations of Jurassic Park.

References

  • “Jurassic Park”. 1993. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Universal Pictures Studio.
  • “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”. 1997. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Universal Pictures Studio.
  • “Jurassic Park III”. 2001. Directed by Joe Johnston. Universal Pictures Studio.
  • “Jurassic Park Universal Studios Hollywood” Video Presentation. 1994. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Universal Pictures
  • “Beyond: Jurassic Park” Special Edition DVD. 2001. Various. Universal Pictures.
  • “Jurassic Park: The Game” Video Game. 2011. Various. TellTale Games.
  • Shay, Don; Duncan, Jody “Making of Jurassic Park” Copyright 1993. Published by Ballantine Books. New York
  • Duncan, Jody “Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park” Copyright 1997. Published by Ballantine Books. New York
  • Crichton, Michael. “Jurassic Park”. Copyright 1990. Published by Ballentine Books.