This Jurassic Park Encyclopedia is the organization of the data within the Jurassic Park movies, comics, novels, and other expanded sources of the Jurassic Park series. The original goal of this project was to separate what was actually movie canon, but it became something more. What is canon? Canon is a basis for judgment or a standard or criterion, and in this case it applies to the various areas the Jurassic Park series has touched.
Our hope is that the Jurassic Park Encyclopedia serves as a giant research platform for the information organized for the curious soul, the aspiring Fan Fiction writer looking for exactness in their stories, fan film creators, even game modders, and the fanatics obsessed with the Jurassic Park films, novels, and more.
So please browse the sections to see the Jurassic Park “Universe” as it was meant to be and if you feel I left out anything on this list drop me a line and I’ll update the list and give you some credit.
Gathering data for this project was rough. A special thank you to everyone who has helped me in some way throughout this whole ordeal.
Thank you for your assistance:
Oviraptor, Alex Darklighter, Puckman38 (Dilophosaurus), Ganeosaur, AlphaChaosRaptor, Malcolm, Jon, Blood_Sucking_Lawyer, Ian, Dr.Dino, SamFan, thenextalangrant, Jurassic Joey, Varan101, Admiral Maciejewlski, and any others I did not mention as the list is very long and every one that has tried to help in some way has my extreme gratitude.
The Points of Separation:
Michael Crichton’s Original Novels:
These are not considered movie canon on the basis of there are too many altered events, not the same dinosaurs as seen in the films that make up the islands, different characters/personalities of characters, different island structures, and the dates are not the same. For example in the movie Hammond lives while Muldoon dies, but in the novel Hammond dies and Muldoon lives. The tour encounters Apatosaurus instead of Brachiosaurus when they first arrive on the island. Even Isla Sorna’s geographical features weren’t transfered from the original novel to the film’s version of Isla Sorna and for the film a whole new version of the island itself was created. Hammond’s demeanor in the novel is darker as opposed to how he was in the films, a much brighter person.
The novels are their own canon and this shows us that the films are in fact loosely based off of the novels at best considering all of the vast differences.
If this is not good enough there is more substantial proof: Rick Carter, the film’s Production Designer for both Jurassic Park & The Lost World: Jurassic Park, indicates the differences between the two mediums early in the “Making of Jurassic Park” book, “‘The park is not as finished as it is in the book’, noted Carter, ‘The movie is probably nine months or a year earlier than when the book takes place [in it’s construction phase].'” (Duncan & Shay, 45). This in itself implies the movie is a different entity altogether from the novels and works as a confirmation of such; however, Rick Carter is not the only one that feels this way.
For the Beyond: Jurassic Park DVD Michael Crichton sat down and was interviewed and discussed many things, including continuity separation. Originally, in regards to making a second film – Crichton remarked to Spielberg, “I’ll do a book and you can do whatever you want in the movie.” (Crichton, “The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton”). This shows that the films at that early of a stage is indeed considered a different media from the original works. Further proving this statement, is when Michael Crichton remarked in the interview when discussing the differences between book and film and how the differences effect him: “There’s a practical aspect that they really are different media.” (Crichton, “The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton”). This does indeed confirm that the novels are in a separate continuity altogether from the films.
JP: Adventures Novelette Series & Junior Novelizations:
The Junior Novelization series is based off of final scripts of the films. While the final script fundamentally is the same, in terms of plot and events, as what we see in the film there are some few discrepancies in these Junior Novelizations from the transfer that attempt to overlap the film with their own events. These, like the Jurassic Park comics, imply an alternative take on the events of the JP films. The Junior Novelizations are meant to be children books for young-adult reading level and are not accepted into the film canon.
As for Eric Kirby’s Adventures these do not seem to be canon. Even though they are looked at as expanding the film series, they were meant to be children’s books meant for a young-adult reading level. They do in fact fit in with the Junior Novelizations of the films and will be given their own canon and they reside with the other Junior Novelizations before them.
Topps Jurassic Park Comics:
The JP Comics series coincided with Jurassic Park the movie based off by a adaptation of a final copy of the script. The film-adaptations are depending off a close-to-final draft that has some differences to it’s film counter-part and attempts to overlap the events, with it’s own. The artistry behind the comics also counters what we saw in the film.
The comic had several spin-offs that featured the return of Robert Muldoon, BioSyn stealing Velociraptors off of Isla Nublar to give to a Columbian Drug Dealer, and the mysterious Green Flame which is a nod to the “Green Lantern” (source). It is because of this that the comics aren’t considered movie canon.
To further this, there is no acknowledgement of any of the expeditions from the comics within the films themselves either by comments made by recurring characters that re-appeared in the film series (Example: John Hammond, Dr. Ian Malcolm, Dr. Alan Grant, and Dr. Ellie Sattler). To further, many dinosaurs were added to the InGen species list for Isla Nublar, this contradicts what was seen in the film. This series has been granted it’s own canon due to the massive artistic license taken by it’s creators and the unacknowledgement from the film makers.
Universal Studios Jurassic Park Rides:
This universe is a bridge to our own universe to make the rides and events in the JP series to seem more realistic. We can count part of it that references the films for the movie canon and yet we can’t count the rest when it comes down to the rider experience. The rides do indeed serve as a spin-off of the movie series and anything in reference to the films is taken from here with some weight.
Information pertaining to the movies may be withdrawn here somewhat safely without much worry of contradiction with the films unless there is some unaccounted for elements yet to be discovered.
Speilberg was involved with the rides, but when it comes down to the rider experience, animals created specifically for the Orlando or Hollywood attractions, or the overall story for the ride’s creation it cannot be counted as canon events for the films, as no movie has acknowledged a park in Orlando or Hollywood. If there was something here that would contradict anything in the movies then the rides would be off the list entirely of safe sources for the films. Also, worthy of a note is that both rides contradict each other when it comes to rider experience itself as key moments within the ride are different at the Orlando or Hollywood theme parks.
Kenner/Hasbro Jurassic Park Toys:
Great for play, but not great for canon. According to the toy series Nublar has 23 species inhabiting the island while in the movie there are only 15. Truthfully, the only way to make these more movie canon is to switch out the over-sized “Tranq bazooka” guns, made-up characters, have the character likenesses/clothing match the actors, eliminate made-up vehicles, and also eliminate the extra dinosaurs that were not in the film. A fair amount of “fluff” was added to these toys for the value of play.
Trespasser & Other Jurassic Park Video Games:
Trespasser is more of a movie/novel hybrid. For instance it says JP took place in 1989 instead of 1993. In TLW, which is confirmed as being in 1997 according to Trespasser, that the incident at Nublar was 4 years ago. If JP took place in 1989, according to Trespasser, then logic dictates that 4 years later would be having TLW take place in 1993. Clearly we know TLW did not take place in 1993 because Jurassic Park did. There are some other inconsistencies with the maps of Isla Sorna as well, the Isla Sorna map pictured in TLW differs the one pictured in Trespasser. Even though there was a tid-bit of involvement from Spielberg it cannot be considered canon for either source because it mentions the San Diego incident and that did not take place in the novel universe, which Trespasser is heavily dependent on.
The reason why none of the other video games are considered movie or novel canon is that too many Dinosaurs and events are altered slightly for each console version of each adaptation of the game. For example, Isla Sorna was destroyed in TLW Game for Sega Genesis, which means the events of Trespasser wouldn’t have happened at all! Jurassic Park Operation Genesis is set in 1999/2000 as the starting year and has Peter Ludlow, Robert Muldoon, and Ray Arnold alive and well in it which contradicts what is shown in the films. The games extremely contradict each other as well as the movies and novels and as such are considered media off shoots of the films and novels.
Every “universe” deserves to be looked at separately because of the fact that the other material have different events, make attempts at overlapping the film’s own storyline, time lines, characters, dinosaurs, and island structure contained in their material.
It was found that every universe contradicts one another in some way or another. When speaking in terms of movie canon you should always count the movies themselves as the primary source followed by the “making of” books, official magazines, and other various informational material. For the Novel canon only stay close to the books preferably the original versions. The comics and novelette series have been granted their own canon, but the video games and toys are too disorganized to warrant their own canon.