The makers of Jurassic World worked very hard to repeatedly reference the first Jurassic Park. What follows is a list of what could be called either “callbacks” or “homages.” (Spoiler warning, obviously.)
First, here’s what I found missing from Jurassic World:
1. The Barbasol shaving foam can—although there are commercials for that:
2. The tubs of melting ice cream (Jurassic World is the creamless Jurassic Park);
3. Nedry’s “You didn’t say the Magic word!”;
4. Computer hacking as plot device;
5. A severed arm;
6. “Clever girl.”
7. No one sticks their arm in dinosaur poop. (But according to an interview Colin Trevorrow did with the Empire Podcast, there was a scene in which Owen and Claire smear themselves with dinosaur feces, in order to mask their scent. It was cut from the film, but apparently footage from it appeared in some ads.)
NOW FOR THE REFERENCES:
1. We see dinosaurs hatching from eggs (this time, presumably the Indominus Rex sisters).
2. Dr. Wu is back …
3. … and he’s once again used DNA from other species to genetically engineer the dinos.
4. Of course, the dinos once again gain traits from that DNA that allows them to run amok. (Wu says, though, that he “never imagined” that could happen.)
5. Wu has numerous mosquitoes in amber (and later, we see an oversized replica of this).
6. During the emergency, Wu packs embryos to take offsite (like Nedry).
7. Lowery is wearing a JP shirt (bought off eBay).
8. Claire wears all white, like John Hammond…
9. … and like Alan Grant, she isn’t good with kids.
10. Her two nephews visit because their parents are going through a divorce (like Lex and Timmy’s were).
11. The kids enter the park through gates nearly identical to the original gates.
12. Claire’s line about visitors being bored with dinosaurs, and wanting more, is clearly a reference to the state of summer blockbusters since Jurassic Park.
At the visitor center, we see:
13. Mr. DNA;
14. Ian Malcolm (on a book jacket);
15. John Hammond (name and statue);
16. Advertisements for “Jurassic Tennis.”
17. Meanwhile, the PA system advertises “Chilean sea bass.”
18. The park’s owner, Mr. Masrani, quotes John Hammond’s line, “Spare no expense,” and argues that the park shouldn’t be profit-driven.
19. The park feeds a goat to a T. Rex.
20. The kids wind up in peril while out on a ride (where their relative doesn’t join them).
21. The Indominus Rex attack on them resembles the T. Rex attack in the original. Their damaged vehicle even crashes around them.
22. They stumble across the original Jurassic Park gates, where they find:
23. The banner (“When dinosaurs ruled the earth”);
24. The shattered skeleton (which they use with the banner to make a torch);
25. The lit-up raptor painting;
26. The night vision goggles;
27. The jeeps. (They repair one and drive off in it—a metaphor for the whole movie?)
During this stretch of the film, we also see:
28. The 10,000 volts sign;
29. The Gallimimus herd stampeding in a similar-looking field (see the image at the top of this post).
30. Claire and Owen come across a wounded dinosaur (as opposed to the sick one that Ellie Sattler cared for).
31. While flying in a helicopter, some guys see a Pterodactyl flying (and shoot it). (This recalls, I think, the ending of JP, when Grant sees the birds.)
I’ll grant that some of these are more debatable than others, but the overwhelming number of references conditions the viewer to wonder if any similarity between the films isn’t deliberate. But I won’t count that one, so nobody feels cheated.
31B. The two drops of blood on Hamada’s hand (which run in opposite directions) recall Ian Malcolm dripping water on Dr. Sattler’s hand to explain chaos theory.
32. Later, during the raptor attack, the nephews fumble over turning a stun gun on, and their conversation (“How do I turn it on!” “I don’t know!”) inversely recalls Lex and Timmy’s dialogue over the flashlight (“How do I turn it off!” “I don’t know!”).
33. Also during that attack, Claire looks in her car’s side view mirror and sees an approaching dino (minus the “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” joke, however).
34. The final attack quits the jungle and takes the action indoors, where our heroes get cornered by raptors.
35. One raptor skitters and slides, like the one Timmy tricked into the freezer.
36. The Dilophosaurus makes a cameo. (Jimmy Fallon mentions its nasty spit earlier.)
37. … One might argue that the raptor being distracted by the Dilophosaurus resembles when the raptor got distracted by Lex’s reflection? (I think so.)
38. We see the plush Brontosaurus doll from the first film (in a souvenir stand).
39. Again, our heroes are “saved” when a bigger dinosaur shows up, and the dinos fight each other.
40. This time, the T. Rex and the raptors (“the OG dinos”) team up against the new dinosaur, completing Claire’s earlier metaphorical comparison between the films.
41. Claire runs with a red flare to divert the T. Rex (which is the same T. Rex as in the first film).
42. John Williams’s JP theme plays repeatedly throughout the film, and is even the ringtone on Claire’s cell phone.
43. According to that Empire interview with Trevorrow, Lowery’s mustache is a reference to Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Ray Arnold.
44. Courtesy of Michael Christler: “In the Innovation/Visitor Center scene (with the holograms and Mr. DNA), there’s a bird’s-eye-shot of children brushing away at fossil replicas, which recalls the opening shot of the scene in JP that introduces Grant and Sattler.”
Also, the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park III makes an appearance, in skeleton form. The T. Rex crashes through it, a bit of fan service to those who were put off by the T. Rex losing to the bigger dinosaur in III.
Also also, Zara’s death, plus the great white shark, are references to Jaws. And there are overt references to The Birds, Aliens, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. That puts the total list at 49 references, or one every 144 seconds (on average, and minus credits—the non-credit run time is 117 minutes).
On the topic of how sequels often reference (or “cannibalize”) their predecessors, you might find interesting two commentary tracks recorded by Red Letter Media. One is for Aliens and one is for Terminator. There is a fee for them, but you can pay what you wish. Note that like the films, the tracks are R-rated.
On the topic of nostalgia, you might find interesting the recent Kraken podcast on Kung Fury, “What’s wrong with nostalgia?” It is free but parental discretion is advised. (And here’s a link to Kung Fury. For the record, I disagree with the Kraken gang’s take on Kung Fury, but that is a discussion for another time.)