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While Colin Trevorrow never got a chance to see his Star Wars movie through to the end, the writer-director still got a chance to indulge his love of the galaxy far, far away in Jurassic World Dominion.
In one of the film's sequences, our heroes — Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), and newcomer Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) — head to the island nation of Malta to break up an illegal black market operation in which hapless dinosaurs are bought, sold, and even forced to fight each other. Speaking with Empire for the magazine's latest issue (now on sale), Trevorrow compared this illegitimate — and rather deplorable — business to the Mos Eisley cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope.
"In the last movie [Fallen Kingdom], we had dinosaurs being sold off and did it in a very...I don't want to say Eyes Wide Shut way, but it was a very different movie. And that was cool," the director explained. "But I felt that what would really happen is a hive of scum and villainy. I wanted to see that."
The Malta-based portion of Dominion also features a high-octane motorcycle chase where Owen attempts to evade a brand-new dinosaur called the Atrociraptor. "If they catch up, he's gonna die, I can tell you that," Trevorrow said earlier this year. "Where the Velociraptor is a little bit more of a stealth hunter, the Atrociraptors are a bit more brutish. These things will just come at you. And in this particular case, they've picked up his scent, and they're not going to stop until he's dead. They're pretty brutal. They're pretty vicious."
At the same time, the narrative takes on a "science thriller" vibe as the OG Jurassic Park characters — Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) — start to investigate BioSyn, the shady corporation whose ability to bribe Dennis Nedry led to the collapse of the original iteration of the theme park nearly three decades ago.
Now that dinosaurs are running amok across the globe, BioSyn (still fronted by the skeezy Lewis Dodgson; played here by Campbell Scott) has gotten his dearest wish. The company now owns the exclusive rights to a preserve/research facility where dinosaurs go to live after they're captured by world governments.
They claim they're only studying the animals for "pharmaceutical" purposes, but there's something incredibly fishy going on that the public isn't aware of. Because it wouldn't be a Jurassic movie without humans trying to figure out a way to turn dinosaurs into dollar signs. As for the creatures themselves, the production opted for practical puppets and animatronics wherever possible.
"CGI is a mixed blessing," Neill said. "I just get exhausted looking at those ones with Transformers and things that stalk the Pacific and destroy cities and stuff. There's no question this is a dinosaur show. And it's these fantastic creatures that have been made that are going to be the stars."
Jurassic World Dominion hits the big screen Friday, June 10.