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  • Writer's pictureJ.B. Manas

Westworld and Jurassic Park – Long Lost Twins?

Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park movie

Originally posted on November 29, 2016

As reported on pop culture site Nerdist, YouTube channel College Humor has posted a hilarious comparison between Westworld and Jurassic Park.

This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, as I’ve long said the two are pretty darn similar, especially with both having been created by Michael Crichton. After all, both are essentially about people trying to survive in a theme park with man’s creations gone amok.

Of course the video takes it ten steps further with a funny take on even more similarities, including the “old white-haired British guys” running the place. They even coined a new tagline:

Westworld: Jurassic Park, but with robot cowboys

For a more serious, but fascinating, in depth analysis of what makes the Jurassic Park formula work so well, check out screenwriting guru John Truby’s take on it.

When you think about it, there are quite a few similarities between Jurassic Park and Jaws as well (both films, of course, were directed by Steven Spielberg). A few years ago, I developed a side-by-side comparison of the story beats of both films. In an upcoming post, I’ll share it, but at the highest level they both involve:

  • Lead characters with a fear (Chief Brody hates the water, Alan Grant hates kids and parenting)

  • A temporary antagonist until the monsters take over (Mayor Larry Vaughn in Jaws, John Hammond in Jurassic Park)

  • Something gone wrong during the battle (the Orca running out of gas in Jaws, the electricity going out in Jurassic Park)

  • Increasing exposure to the monster(s) until the total immersion in the final third

  • Lead characters who get over their fears at the end (Chief Brody swims to shore saying how he used to hate the water, Alan Grant saves the kids and is cuddling with them on the helicopter)

And of course, you may know that Ridley Scott’s Alien was originally pitched as “Jaws in space.”

As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun.

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