The Best Easter Eggs In Jurassic World Dominion

Much like life, this post finds a way ... to discuss major spoilers for "Jurassic World Dominion," that is.

Well, you can't say director Colin Trevorrow and writer Emily Carmichael (with a "story by" credit from Derek Connolly) didn't do everything in their power to end the dino-themed trilogy on a high note with "Jurassic World Dominion." The original trio of Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Satler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) make their triumphant returns, the plot takes both new and old characters on a globetrotting adventure far bigger in scope than the previous two films, and the dinosaurs are badder than ever — as Malcolm bemoans at one point, "Why do they always have to go bigger?" The film's ambitions don't just end there, however, as the threequel essentially functions as a conclusion to the entire 6-movie franchise (not dissimilar to what "The Rise of Skywalker" did in bringing the Skywalker Saga to an end, in fact) and therefore crams as many references, deep cuts, and Easter eggs into its Tyrannosaurus Rex-sized runtime as possible.

For a film that could easily serve as the final send-off to the franchise that has been 65 million years in the making (barring any future reboots, of course), that only feels fitting. Now that you've seen the film and digested that game-changing ending for yourself, join me as we dive into all the coolest Easter eggs that we found — the kinds of eggs that don't hatch, at least.

Dodgson! We got Dodgson, here!

Though not exactly the most elegant use of exposition, "Jurassic World Dominion" opens with a handy newsreel explainer summing up the events of 2015's "Jurassic World" and the 2018 JA Bayona-directed sequel, "Fallen Kingdom." The threequel wisely treats what happened in "Jurassic Park" as a given, both in-universe and out, but one major character in "Dominion" might easily escape the notice of fans. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) is introduced as the wealthy head of genetics company Biosyn, but neither the character nor the company are inventions of this film.

While the much more (in)famous rival InGen received all the attention in both "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" as the main scientific party responsible for realizing John Hammond's dream and bringing dinosaurs back from extinction, both Biosyn and Dodgson actually draw their roots from the original Michael Crichton novel and Spielberg's 1993 adaptation. For anyone who may have forgotten the context of that meme-friendly scene from "Jurassic Park," we see a young Dodgson secretly rendezvous with conniving InGen employee Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) to arrange for the transportation of stolen dinosaur embryos (in a specialized shaving cream can, no less). That's kind of Biosyn's whole deal — corporate espionage to catch up on their more scientifically-advanced competition.

Those embryos never quite made it to their intended destination during the course of events, as Nedry meets a fitting end at the hands (claws?) of a hungry Dilophosaurus and his can of precious embryos is lost in the mud. But the years have apparently been kind to Dodgson, who climbed the ladder all the way to CEO and main human antagonist in "Dominion."

Wu goes there?

Talk about a glow-up. 30 years ago, Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) was merely another InGen employee who happened to find himself in the same room as the original park visitors as Hammond took them on their tour of the facility. Then "Jurassic World" came along and turned him into one of the main villains behind the present-day attempts to exploit the dinosaur cloning technology that he helped perfect in the first place. Then "Dominion" came along and decided to give him an all-out redemption arc. It's all a bit of a stretch if you ask me, but even I can't deny the fun of seeing an actor of Wong's caliber come back for a much more sizable role.

In any case, Wu himself is less of an Easter egg than he is a returning character, but what "Dominion" does with his role certainly provides some neat callbacks and reversals of his original appearance. Back at the original park, his one big scene involved answering Malcolm's skepticism that the theme park dinosaur attractions wouldn't breed on their own in the wild. Of course, InGen accounted for that by specifically making all the dinosaurs female ... but InGen's own penchant for splicing dino DNA with that of other animals proved to be their undoing there. In "Dominion," an older and wiser (and more regretful) Wu details how Blue the Velociraptor has managed to have offspring of her own. He even provides a wry, "We don't do that anymore, we like to think we're more evolved than that," remark when asked if Biosyn engages in DNA-splicing techniques now. Lesson learned!

A close shave

Remember that can of shaving cream I mentioned earlier? That was the ingenious mode of transportation that Dodgson provided to Nedry back when they were plotting to steal InGen's embryos right out from under his bosses' noses, and wouldn't you know it — it comes back in "Jurassic World Dominion" like a bad penny. Late in the film, Dodgson and his assistant/protégé Ramsay (Mamoudou Athie) retreat to the CEO's underground bunker while everything goes to hell outside Biosyn headquarters. In this treasure trove of relics and souvenirs, we briefly catch a glimpse of that exact same can of shaving cream mounted on his wall.

How did it get recovered from the muck and were any of its embryos inside even still viable by then? "Dominion" has far larger concerns on its mind than to explain away those pesky nitpicks, but rest assured: fans will see this particular trinket at least one more time. The ongoing "Camp Cretaceous" animated series, which some may consider a more worthy sequel than any of the actual "Jurassic" movies, will actually pick up this thread in a big way in the upcoming fifth season. Until then, the can is a fun little connection that hints towards how even the tiniest details from the original movie are still reverberating all these years later.

Spittin' facts

You didn't think we'd seen the last of one of the most beautiful (and deadly) additions to Jurassic Park, did you? We knew ahead of time that the Dilophosaurus would be making a repeat appearance for the first time since "Jurassic Park," but the function that these venom-spitting carnivores serve in "Dominion" serves as a neat throwback reference to the original film.

But first, a brief science lesson! Other than perhaps the Velociraptors (who were chicken-sized in real life and not the 6-foot-tall predators we see in the movies, I'm sorry to say!), Dilophosaurus might be the most blatant example of the movies taking a real prehistoric creature and exaggerating them for dramatic effect. No, we have zero evidence that these dinosaurs had neck frills or spit blinding venom at their prey, but it works in-universe by chalking it up to InGen messing around with their DNA.

In any case, the dinosaur species is most famous for delivering Nedry to a nasty (and well-deserved) end, blinding him with its venom after a game of fetch gone horribly awry. In "Dominion," their amusing little tendency to mete out justice comes back with a vengeance when a pack of them corner the villainous Dodgson and send him out the same way their kin did with Nedry decades earlier. Somewhere, we have to think that the old InGen employee would laugh at how he and his pal Dodgson met their ends. 

Ian, freeze!

Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcolm never really liked each other all that much, stemming from their wildly different personalities, the way they respectively pursue their chosen career, and their fondness for a certain Dr. Satler. They managed to put aside their differences anyway and survive the events of "Jurassic Park," but that rivalry of theirs is brought back to the fore in "Dominion." Despite his money-grubbing decision to team up with Biosyn as their resident chaotician, delivering scathing speeches about humanity's place in the food chain and making a mint off hawking his new book, it turns out that Malcolm still retains his soul when he helps his old pals break into Biosyn and find the incriminating evidence (involving ... locusts, for some reason?) they need.

But Malcolm's true redemptive moment comes when the group comes under attack of the fearsome Giganotosaurus, the largest carnivorous predator the world has ever seen walk on dry land. The flashy scientist has always had a bit of a heroic streak, first attempting to save the day when he picks up a flare to distract the T-Rex from its attack. This didn't go very well, given the whole "Its vision is based on movement" thing (also an invention of the films, not based on scientific fact!). At last, however, Malcolm gets his moment to shine when he makes an impromptu flare in "Dominion" and successfully manages to strike back at the Giganotosaurus, allowing the others precious time to reach safety. Old dog, same tricks, different result. Now that's chaos, baby.

Odds and ends

  • If you look closely in the background during Grant and Satler's reunion in the latter's dig site tent, you can see an odd-looking fossil in a roughly oval-like shape. That's actually a raptor resonating chamber that we first saw in "Jurassic Park 3," through which Grant blew air into to recreate the distinctive roar that the Velociraptors make. Even decades later, Grant still acts like a living fossil and surrounds himself in what he knows best. Some things never change.
  • When we first catch up with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), he's in the midst of wrangling a Parasaurolophus out in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada to bring them to safety. As cool as this visual is, it's not the first time we've seen humans try this same trick with the same species of dinosaur. "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" sees InGen mercenaries intrude Isla Sorna (the backup Site B to the original Jurassic Park, which is located on Isla Nublar) and attempt to round up dinosaurs in much the same way in order to create a new park back on the mainland in San Diego. They even use the same rope-around-the-neck trick that Grady does, though to far different intent.
  • "I read your book." Alan Grant is used to hearing younger fans of himself say this exact same phrase to him. First it was Tim (Joseph Mazzello) in "Jurassic Park," the obsessive grandkid of John Hammond's who pretty much worshipped at Grant's feet. Now it's Owen Grady himself, though he ruefully admits it was only the audio book he listened to. The two characters receive surprisingly little screen time together in "Dominion," but at least Grant will always have some admirers out there in the world.
  • Keep your shirt on! One of the most enduring memes to come out of "Jurassic Park" has to be the iconic Jeff Goldblum shirtless pose, ushering countless teens into puberty with just this one shot. Despite everything else going on in "Jurassic World Dominion," the screenplay manages to find a quiet moment in the later stages where it's pointed out to Ian Malcolm that his shirt is unbuttoned just a little too far to be decent. It probably would've been overkill to manufacture some way to recreate that moment exactly, but this little nod was just the right amount of self-deprecating and genuine homage.