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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, so don't read ahead until you've seen it and dried your eyes from this scene!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom delivered more dinosaurs than we've ever seen before, a nightmarish Indoraptor and an ending that completely and irrevocably altered the course of the series. But the lasting image burned into audience's minds, is not Rexy and a lion having a roar-off, it's the scene where, having escaped to the ship, Claire and Owen look back to the dock and see a desperate long neck, scared, alone and unable to escape from the volcanic explosion. It raises up on two legs as death envelops it. This scene is already heartbreaking. Though you may want to reach for the tissues because it gets worse. According to director J.A. Bayona, this isn't just any old brachiosaurus, as he explained:
As if that scene wasn't enough of a gut punch, along comes J.A. Bayona to kick you while you're down. We already knew that the scene was a callback and reference to the brachiosaurus scene from the first film, but to know that it is the same exact dinosaur somehow makes it worse. The scene from Jurassic Park where Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and we the audience see a dinosaur, that brachiosaurus, for the first time is one of --if not the most -- memorable and iconic moment in the entire series. This is the very same gentle giant that greeted us as John Wiliams' score swelled, a majestic and awe-inspiring creature that is testament to the wonders nature and science can produce. Knowing that she died in such a horrible and tragic way is just brutal.
All of the dinosaur deaths in the film were sad, especially when we saw some of the dinos choose death by water over death by fire as they dove into the ocean, but the brachiosaurus hits extra hard because we have familiarity with it and a nostalgic factor, things that are only amplified by the knowledge that it is the very same brachiosaurus from Jurassic Park. While the scene is incredibly sad, as J.A. Bayona told Empire, there is a beauty to it, too. Aesthetically it is a pretty shot, but more than that there is a poetry to the melancholy, as the journey of these films comes full circle, with John Hammond's dream, the island, and the previously established natural order all perishing along with that brachiosaurus as the universe of the films turns the page to a new chapter.
This scene is not only effective in inducing tears, but it also works well as a counterpoint to the end of the film. We could see the anguish and regret on Claire's face as she watched this dinosaur perish, so for her to go through that and then have to face an impossible choice at the end of the film is very interesting.
This heartbreaking scene is just one of many callbacks and Easter eggs Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom packs in to reference the original film, but it is easily the saddest. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has now crossed the $1 billion mark and Jurassic World 3 is on the way. For all the latest on Jurassic World 3 and other stories of infinite sadness, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.