Warning: SPOILERS for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are ahead!
The first half of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom focused on Claire Dearing, Owen Grady and their team traveling to Isla Nublar to save as many of the dinosaurs living there as possible before the island's volcano erupted and destroyed everything in its path. It was a noble effort, but given how many of those prehistoric creatures there were, it would have been impossible to save all of them, especially after it was revealed that Ken Wheatley and his team of mercenaries were only there to collect dinosaurs to be auctioned off later. The last shot of Isla Nublar in Fallen Kingdom showed a brachiosaur being consumed by the volcanic ash, its death only seconds away. It was a heartbreaking scene, to be sure, but according to director J.A. Bayona, the visuals were inspired by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Now that I can watch this moment in gif form, I have to say the fiery doom behind the brachiosaur does resemble E.T.'s glowing heart. However, while E.T.'s heart putting on a light show marked one of the 1982 movie's most memorable scenes that was filled with positivity, in the case of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, J.A. Bayona twisted around that imagery to make the brachiosaur's demise more tragic. Still, this proves yet another link to Steven Spielberg's filmography, the other one being much more direct. As most of you already know, Spielberg kicked off the Jurassic Park franchise back in 1993, and not only was the brachiosaur's death scene a callback to the first movie when Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm saw a dinosaur for the first time, it was later confirmed that the brachiosaur who died in Fallen Kingdom was the same one the trio saw 25 years ago. Man, there's a lot of sadness packed into these seconds of footage.
It's worth noting that the brachiosaur's death wasn't the only moment from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom that was inspired by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Other easter eggs included the red hoodie that Maisie Lockwood wore calling back to the same piece of clothing Henry Thomas' Elliot wore and an E.T. figure among Maisie's collection of toys. Fallen Kingdom's final shot also showed Blue the raptor atop a bluff looking over a neighborhood, and it turns out this is the same neighborhood where E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was shot. Clearly J.A. Bayona is a big E.T. fan, and while Colin Trevorrow is taking back the directing reins for Jurassic World 3, maybe he can continue where Bayona left off and throw at least one E.T. reference into the threequel.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is wrapping up its time in theaters, but you can watch the movie in the comfort of your own home when it hits Digital HD on September 4, followed by the Blu-ray, DVD and 4K copies hitting shelves on September 18. As for what else this year has in store theatrically, look through our 2018 premiere guide for release date information.