The new trailer for the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion hit the internet today. Easily the most exciting part of this ad for the latest installment, in a franchise predicated on the idea that corporate efforts to revive relics from the past purely to attract mass audiences is a bad thing, is our first look at the returning Jurassic Park characters Doctors Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm, played by Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum, respectively. And it was all set to the majestic sound of royalty checks being deposited into John Williams’ bank account.

We’d be lying if we said it wasn’t legitimately thrilling to see the old trio back together again. Arguably, it’s an even bigger deal than the times that other modern sequel/reboots similarly brought back original cast members because, unlike with, say, The Matrix or Star Wars, these guys never appeared together after the first movie. Malcolm showed up in The Lost World, but Grant and Sattler didn’t return until Jurassic Park III. Even then, Ellie spent the entire movie chilling in the suburbs with her dumb family, who we imagine will probably get eaten by a velociraptor within the first three minutes of Dominion.

But bringing back these characters also has a significant downside; it reminds us how little we care about Jurassic World’s batch of characters like Claire … something, and … Sweaty McDirtrag? We can’t actually remember their names. And a big reason why boils down to the fundamental roles they play in their respective stories. In the original Jurassic Park, our heroes were mostly unwilling participants, brought to Isla Nublar with no explanation purely to secure future grant money. Part of the reason we care about them so deeply is that they have been unjustly placed in mortal peril.

This was such a key component of Jurassic Park that the sequels even contrived scenarios in which the lead protagonists are, again, brought to a dinosaur-infested island against their will. In The Lost World, Malcolm reluctantly goes on an expedition to save his girlfriend, and in Jurassic Park III, Grant is essentially kidnapped by desperate parents.

On the other hand, the characters of Jurassic World are active players in the destructive forces of the park, actual employees whose hubris and incompetence lead to countless deaths. There is no Dennis Nedry to blame for the disaster that unfolds at Jurassic World. A handful of employees literally just forget that the monster they genetically engineered counts camouflage among its special skills. These guys aren’t the heroes; they’re the goddamn villains.

And we haven’t even mentioned how that little clone kid frees all the dinosaurs at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and is therefore responsible for every single grisly death we’ll see in the new movie.

Also, Jurassic World: Dominion looks like a straight-up action movie, a globe-trotting adventure with car chases and motorcycle stunts – but Jurassic Park was basically a horror-filled survival story. Most of the “action” in the first movie involved running away from dinosaurs as fast as humanly possible. But, of course, all of the action will likely help smooth over the transition when the series inevitably crosses over with the Fast and the Furious franchise.

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Top Image: Universal Pictures

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