Home CELEBS Why the T. rex is an unsung hero

Why the T. rex is an unsung hero

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Spoiler alert: The following post discusses the end of “Jurassic World” (and some past “Jurassic” flicks), so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.

The “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” movies have sported some big names onscreen since 1993, from Chris Pratt and Samuel L. Jackson to Julianne Moore and Oscar winner Laura Dern.

But only one is the true unsung hero of this mega-franchise: Tyrannosaurus rex.

A mighty mawed wind beneath our wings, the T. rex has rescued people (OK, usually by accident) and saved the day quite a few times in the “Jurassic” series. It happens again in “Jurassic World Dominion,” where the original beast from the first “Jurassic Park” faces fellow carnivore Giganotosaurus for all the marbles. As the humans scramble to escape Biosyn’s exploding centers in the film’s climax, the T. rex tag-teams with an impressively clawed Therizinosaurus to take down the huge new dino on the block.

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While the “Jurassic” films have brought in more massive creatures every time – and even invented new hybrid species – the T. rex has always had an intriguing part to play. For kids fascinated by dinosaurs, before Steven Spielberg set them loose in theaters, there has always been something inherently cool and dangerous about the T. rex: Brontosaurus was the cute one, Triceratops had the horns, Stegosaurus sported the nifty armor plates, but the T. rex was both supremely awesome and the one you were most glad went extinct.

“Jurassic Park” presented the original female T. rex as an antagonist on Isla Nublar, chasing Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum and trying to eat them. But at the end of Spielberg’s ’93 blockbuster, she fights off a pack of vicious Velociraptors as part of an inadvertent rescue and stands tall as a roaring lady boss in the iconic shot where the “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” banner comes tumbling down.

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The other “Jurassic Park” films focused on T. rexes but it wasn’t quite the same. The 1997 sequel “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” centered on a family of them with mixed results, though one adult T. rex getting loose in San Diego (it was looking for its kid so there was some reason for the rampage) and drinking out of a suburban swimming pool was a nice touch. (Let’s not talk about what happened to the family pooch.) And 2001’s “Jurassic Park III” did the T. rex dirty, as a Spinosaurus murders that one way too quickly.

Director Colin Trevorrow brought back the OG T. rex in 2015’s “Jurassic World” and presented her as a Rocky type who gets knocked down by genetically engineered big bad Indominus rex but always gets back up. She helps Owen Grady (Pratt) and park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the main square of the theme park by teaming up with Owen’s trained Velociraptor, Blue, and getting the Indominus close to the lake so it can get eaten by a Mosasaurus. The T. rex even gives Blue a tiny nod of mutual respect before her exit.

She appears sporadically through 2018’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” saving Owen’s butt from a hungry Carnotaurus and telling a lion what’s what when the dinos get into the wild. But Trevorrow gave the T. rex a low-key intriguing story arc in “Dominion”: In the movie’s prologue released online in November and set 65 million years ago, the T. rex is murdered by a Giganotosaurus and a mosquito drinks its blood – the same mosquito found in amber and whose dino DNA is used to clone the T. rex who later stands victorious at the end of “Dominion.”

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The T. rex (right) usually has to face off with the biggest, baddest dinos in the franchise, and in "Jurassic World Dominion" she squares off with a Giganotosaurus for all the marbles.

“You realize at the end that it’s kind of a revenge picture. It’s just ‘Death Wish,’ ”Trevorrow tells with a laugh. “I really wanted to create a moment where you weren’t sure: Is this the beloved character that they’re going to kill in this movie? Because it’s possible. We could have done that. And I know how much that would’ve deeply upset a lot of people and yet playing on that emotional fear is something I’m OK doing. ”

Here’s hoping the T. rex comes back like a returning champ in the next “Jurassic” trilogy. Not all heroes wear capes – some have little arms, big teeth and an unsurmountable will to survive.

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