Jurassic Park Turned Its Scariest Dinosaur Into a Hero
The Jurassic Park franchise is host to many terrifying dinosaurs. But its most powerful has transformed from the main antagonist to a consistent hero.
Of all of the dinosaurs in the franchise, few are as synonymous with Jurassic Park as the T. rex. Each film, in some way, makes the massive creature's appearances count. While starting as an antagonist to the first film's main characters, the T. rex consistently became the franchise's unlikely hero.
One of the earliest instances of the dinosaur's heroics comes in the same film that introduced the T. rex as an aggressor. When velociraptors corner Dr. Alan Grant and the other survivors in the Visitor's Center, the Rex conveniently arrives to save the day and challenge the pack. Thanks to the T. rex, the survivors have enough time to escape and get off the island. The dinosaur appears again in the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where, just like the previous film, its presence is more antagonistic.
Though Ian Malcolm and his friends set a fracture on a baby Tyrannosaurus, its parents still respond protectively, trying to kill them. This is a crucial set up to the creature's protective nature as parents. It pays off later when the tyrant lizard king and prince earn the glory kill of the film. After terrorizing San Diego, the father and infant T. rex return to the ship to be taken back to the island. However, InGen CEO and the culprit for the infant's fracture and kidnapping, Peter Ludlow, is also onboard. As a comeuppance for kidnapping the child, the father Rex, incapacitates Ludlow so the infant can eat the trip. While dark, Ludlow's demise serves as another moment when the T. rex was used to dish out justice in the series.
Another way the Rex became the hero was by challenging other apex predators for the top spot. In doing so, this often gave the protagonists enough time to escape, making the Rex seem like an ally to the humans. This is first shown in Jurassic Park III when a Tyrannosaurus chases Dr. Grant and the other survivors. The group runs right into the film's new dinosaur, the Spinosaurus. A fight breaks out between the two, which provides Grant and the others a window to escape. Ultimately, the Rex dies in the fight, establishing the Spinosaurus as the new apex predator.
However, the release of Jurassic World reestablished the Rex as the apex predator and firmly set her as the franchise's unlikely hero. With the help of the Velociraptor, Blue, she and the T. rex take on the deadly hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, also saving the film's survivors. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues the trend as the Rex saves the day not once but twice. First, she saves Owen from a Carnotaurus during the eruption of Mount Sibo. The second time comes when the Rex eats the film's villain, Eli Mills, and immediately steps on the only sample of the Indominus Rex. By destroying the sample, she unknowingly ensures it can't be used to make more dangerous hybrids.
Since the first film, the Tyrannosaurus Rex has become the unlikely go-to hero for the Jurassic Park franchise. Thankfully, this hasn't diminished the impact and danger that the T. rex inherently brings with each appearance. But, rest assured, if the protagonists are ever in a situation where there is seemingly no hope, the Rex will almost always come in to save the day.