How Colin Trevorrow’s Work On Star Wars: Episode IX Influenced His Work On Jurassic World Dominion

For a moment in time, the then-unnamed Star Wars: Episode IX was under the creative influence of intended co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow. As a previous candidate for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it felt like a moment that was fated to happen. Of course, Trevorrow’s high profile parting of the ways made way for The Rise of Skywalker to come into existence. 

It may have been a heartbreaking experience, but it was one that ultimately served Colin Trevorrow’s return for Jurassic World Dominion rather well. Speaking with the director, along with his co-writer Emily Carmichael, on the press day for the latest Jurassic film yielded interesting stories about how Dominion ultimately came together. 

As Trevorrow spoke with CinemaBlend, the story of how his Star Wars experience influenced his return to the Jurassic World franchise unfolded. One key component working on both of these fan-favorite franchises was how to handle the balance of legacy characters alongside their newer counterparts. Colin Trevorrow laid out the importance of that factor as follows: 

When it comes to how much we care about the characters, who we fell in love with when we were kids, and have lived with us our whole lives. How personal they are to us, how we treat them, how we make sure that they are given the respect of being sent on a true adventure, being thrown into the full story and being as important and crucial to the story as everybody else. Not that [the Jurassic World] movies didn’t do that, it just reinforced the value of it. Especially to all of us as an audience.

Colin Trevorrow was adamant about balancing Jurassic Park’s legacy cast in the total calculus that is Jurassic World Dominion’s legacy-quel ecosystem. Sometimes that sounds easier said than done, but life found a way to make Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm just as important as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing. 

Trevorrow’s “traumatic” departure from Star Wars: Episode IX didn’t only teach him a lesson in balancing the old kids and the new; it also showed him an example of old fashioned loyalty. Colin Trevorrow further explained during our Jurassic World Dominion interview that when he made the jump between franchises, some key personnel came along for the ride. Production designer Kevin Jenkins, as well as the “entire art crew” that were part of Episode IX, migrated into Jurassic World’s big summer showstopper. 

Hindsight is 20/20, and Colin Trevorrow may have gained a massive lesson when observing the intense fan reactions to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In a movie that included a death fake-out involving Chewbacca, a hotly debated conclusion to the story of the late Carrie Fisher’s General Leia Organa, and the alleged sidelining of Rose Tico, a learning experience was waiting to happen. 

The adventure that Alan, Ellie, and Ian set out on is just as important as Owen and Claire’s continued efforts of Jurassic preservation. Thankfully, there’s only one fake-out involving death, but it’s used at the right moment. As both Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael explained towards the end of this portion of the Jurassic World: Dominion conversation, the lessons mentioned above were very much in mind when crafting this film. 

"Colin Trevorrow: So when it came to this moment, it gets back to the question of, ‘Are we gonna kill Ian Malcolm or not?’, we really wanted everyone to leave this movie feeling really good, and hopeful. We’re in a difficult time, we’re in a challenging moment when everyone’s a little scared. To be able to make a movie that assures everyone, ‘Actually, the people you love are going to be alright. The dinosaurs you love are safe. And maybe there’s a way out of this if we do it together.

Emily Carmichael: But, of course, we can’t land it if we don’t earn it. Without putting them in that danger, their safety doesn’t feel real, and it doesn’t feel earned."

Learning from both good times and bad is key in any part of life. Colin Trevorrow only further proves that lesson's importance with the effort he put into his part of the Jurassic World Dominion experience. No matter the perception on the film itself, at the very least, the work speaks for itself. Jurassic fans will get to see that work for themselves really soon, as the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. 

Jurassic World Dominion is set to open in early showings tonight following several international debuts. Dinosaurs and humans alike will fight for survival, just as the film will fight savage Jurassic critical reactions and Top Gun: Maverick to dominate this weekend. The Force may not be with him, but let's hope that Colin Trevorrow has found a way to make this film into a prehistoric success. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.