Samuel L. Jackson answers that burning question about his Jurassic Park severed arm

Contributed by
Jan 18, 2018

Samuel L. Jackson has been in a ton of great movies, many of which we repeatedly discuss around here. Of course, we’re particularly fond of his Jedi and Fury roles in the Star Wars galaxy and the MCU, respectively, but one role we don’t talk about enough is that of Ray Arnold in the original Jurassic Park movie from way back in 1993, before YouTube rounded up all Jackson’s best work into cussing and death supercuts. 

Speaking of death, let’s talk about the sad demise of Jurassic Park’s chief engineer in Spielberg’s dino-sized game-changing creatures feature. Besides Arnold’s catchphrase “Hold onto your butts,” (perhaps an upgrade from Jackson’s usual “motherf***er" go-to, depending on how chaste you are), Arnold is best known for his horrific death, even though we never really saw it.

If you’ll recall, after shutting down Jurassic Park’s entire system against his better judgment, Arnold trots off to the maintenance shed to reboot everything. When he doesn’t come back, Ellie (Laura Dern) realizes she’s going to have to be the hero, but when she gets to the shed, all she finds is a bunch of pissed-off velociraptors and Arnold’s severed arm.

 

Upon reflection, it just doesn’t seem like an appropriate death, not for a man with such a well-formulated catchphrase, which cleverly relates to butts, as in posteriors, as well as his signature dangling cigarettes. Indeed, it turns out that Arnold did deserve better, and was initially supposed to get himself a proper death scene.   

As Jackson recently revealed to the AV Club in an extended interview about his wide-ranging roles, 1992's Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful ever recorded on Hawaii, got in the way of that: “I was actually supposed to go to Hawaii, to shoot my death scene. But there was a hurricane that destroyed all the sets. So I didn’t get to go to Hawaii.”

And so Jackson wasn't on set to record his big final scene, and we didn’t get to pay our proper respects to the man who dared to reboot it all.

Though it's not nearly enough, we'd like to at least acknowledge your bravery here, Arnold — so let's give him a hand, shall we?