Colin Trevorrow explains the timing of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s toothy opening scene

Contributed by
Jul 3, 2018, 3:39 PM EDT

The opening moments of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are dark, moody, suspenseful, violent — and yet, for many fans, a little bit confusing. A nighttime recon mission to retrieve a tissue sample from the dead Indominus rex off the coast of Isla Nublar ends up being tragically disrupted by the gigantic Mosasaurus (there’s always a bigger fish, right?), before events cut away to the main characters’ present-day lives, back on American terra firma.

So when, exactly, did the Mosasaurus snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Fallen Kingdom never makes it clear, leaving some fans to assume it all happens roughly just before Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) pays her initial visit to the now-reclusive Owen Grady (Chris Pratt).

Thankfully, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, who’s also directing the upcoming third installment after handing the reins to J.A. Bayona for Fallen Kingdom, has cleared things up — and apparently the Mosasaurus debacle happens immediately after the events of Jurassic World, and a full three years before the rest of Fallen Kingdom’s time jump.

“The opening sequence is set just after [Jurassic World],” Trevorrow told Empire. “There’s three years that pass. We didn’t put that type up onto the screen, but the opening scene could even be weeks after or a month after, and then time passes to allow them to create that creature.”

“That creature” is, of course, the Indoraptor, Fallen Kingdom’s sleeker, faster, fiercer new model. The dino version of a high-tech hot rod or speed bike (a comparison the movie overtly invites), the genetic-hybrid Indoraptor fused DNA material from the Indominus rex recovered during the movie’s opening scene with that of the Jurassic World’s breed of Velociraptors. And we aren’t totally convinced Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) didn’t throw just a little bit of Ferrari DNA in too — just for good measure.

With Fallen Kingdom in theaters and Jurassic World 3 still a full three years away, we’ll have plenty of time to process the timeline before Trevorrow’s trilogy-ender tackles the escalating crisis that’s finally brought prehistoric predators to the mainland. Jurassic World 3 is slated to release on June 11, 2021.