Jurassic Park 2: How The T-Rex Killed The Ship Crew
Jurassic Park 2 has a confusing plot hole in how the T-Rex killed the ship’s crew while trapped in the cargo hold—but this query does have a solution.
Jurassic Park 2 has a handful of plot holes, none of which is more confusing than how the T-Rex killed the ship’s entire crew while still trapped in the cargo hold. Released in 1997, The Lost World was the much-anticipated first sequel to Jaws director Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park had a fairly perfect ending and was adored by both audiences and critics alike upon release. So fans were understandably cautious about the prospect of a sequel, although the news that Spielberg (who generally eschewed sequels) had opted to return to the director’s chair was promising. Unfortunately, despite some nail-biting set pieces, The Lost World was an inconsistent and overlong installment in the Jurassic Park canon.
Fortunately, the sequel was elevated by superb supporting turns from the likes of Pete Postlethwaite and Peter Stormare, as well as some great set pieces like the deeply creepy opening scene and the memorably wild final chase through San Diego. But it's this stellar action-packed closing scene that features the movie’s most egregious plot hole. The T-rex rampages through San Diego after arriving in the bay by ship from the Five Deaths archipelago. She bursts free from the cargo hold when the movie’s stars find the crew slaughtered on board, but if the T-Rex was confined to the cargo hold until arriving in the bay, who - or what - killed the crew? The answer has confused movie fans for decades now, with many Lost World theories circulating online among the Jurassic Park fandom.
The consensus is that a scene may have gone missing somewhere between script and screen, whether it was due to censorship, rewrites, or clumsy editing. Thus, the actual answer appears to be that the T-Rex wasn’t originally trapped in the cargo hold, and killed the crew in the process of them attempting to trap her after her initial escape. Viewers can see the wreckage of a broken cage, which the T-Rex can be assumed to have torn her way out of some time after leaving Site B, and so the most logical assumption is that she proceeded to off the crew as they attempted to trap her inside the cargo hold, only for her to retreat to the cargo hold and become trapped inside because she was likely following her scared offspring.
This isn't to say this is the only theory on how this scenario occurred, however, as there are a wide array of fan thoughts on how this all could have gone down, ranging from entirely plausible to downright impossible. Some fans think the crew visited the cargo hold one-by-one to be picked off by the T-Rex Agatha Christie-style, and others think that the captain left his hands on the steering wheel before checking in on the hungry T-Rex. More sensible suggestions from Jurassic Park viewers include a cut sequence where rampaging raptors pick off the crew. But this answer only amounts to kicking the can down the road, as the plot hole then becomes “so where did the raptors go?” making the theory that the T-Rex killed the crew and was then trapped the more likely version of events.
It’s a relatively neat explanation to this infamous plot hole that ensures Jurassic Park: The Lost World makes sense again - at least until viewers start wondering how the ship piloted itself to shore without a crew, or how the massive T-Rex managed to fit her colossal head inside the small room the captain’s severed hand is found in.