The Importance of Finishing Well

Recently I watched Jurassic World.

To be fair I should state that it has a PG-13 rating, which should have been my first clue that it wasn’t going to be a reprisal of the more mature Jurassic Park (MA15+) from my own youth. Given the low rating it was probably designed for teenagers less than half my age. Maybe they would like it more, even if the plot had more holes than a fly screen.

Note the following contains a lot of spoilers and some disappointed grumpiness. The story is based on a reborn amusement park, where de-extinction is done through science. Looking to boost revenue of the now mundane dinosaurs, they create a new genetically engineered hybrid dinosaur called the Idominous Rex, stronger, faster, scarier…

Parts I liked:

  • The idea of genetically engineering new dinosaurs.
  • Any well-done envisioning of future-tech.
  • I kind of like the idea of “how can we use dinosaurs for other purposes…” (caveat below section)

Parts I didn’t like (that met the so-annoying-I-included-them factor):

  • The micro-plot of mum and dad are getting a divorce, which goes like this: I’M ECSTATIC TO BE HERE AND SEE IT ALL! I’m crying now because they’re getting a divorce. Eyes are dry ten seconds later and OH MY, LOOK AT THAT OVER THERE! (Hopefully the ten seconds of tears were enough to endear me to my older brother and make him protective of me, even though he finds me exceptionally annoying).
  • If they have enclosures for big dinosaurs that never get to leave the enclosure, why are doors made large enough for said dinosaurs to walk out of? Can’t make that T-Rex climb out of a human-sized doggy-door can we?
  • The fact that the Indominous Rex is part Raptor, (which is a pack/social animal) who eats its own sibling growing up (err, not particularly socially polite), spends its entire life not socialising in isolation… breaks out and kills anything that moves (also not social)… and THEN communicates with the Raptor pack (ooh social now, and just in the nick of time for a plot twist!).
  • The hero of the story has trained the raptors from hatchlings so that he is the alpha of the pack. He just manages to convince them to not eat the poorly inducted new guy, but then he’s perfectly safe riding alongside them on a motorbike. Despite the fact that the raptors get a new alpha (the Indominous Rex) and eat all the soldiers, they then switch sides in the grand finale to protect the hero (plot twist!). Fortunately by this stage all of their hunting instincts seem to have been pacified because they’re not interested in eating the hero’s companions either…).
  • The hero rides through a jungle on a motor cycle, at night, alongside the hunting raptors who are tracking the Indominous Rex. Fortunately the Raptors chose a path that was free from ground-level obstructions (rocks, undergrowth, branches).
  • And the ending… a big battle between the Indominous Rex, the now-loyal Raptor pack (who nearly all die), a random T-Rex… They all fight valiantly, but at the end of it all the Indominous Rex strays too close to the swimming crocodile-dinosaur and becomes dinner himself. Apart from some brave action the hero has very little to do with the climax – it’s mostly dumb luck that saves the day.
  • Oh, and finally: The woman has found love with the hero and so it’s happy ever after as they walk out hand-in-hand. Never mind the fact that countless people have been killed and injured, you and hundreds of other people are out of a job because the park you were responsible for has just had one of the worst catastrophes ever… oh, and there are dozens of flying dinosaurs headed to the mainland, not to mention a random T-Rex and lone-Raptor who seem to have a cease fire between them for the time being.

If there is one part of the story you want to get right, it’s got to be the ending. Think of it like food: the ending of a story is the taste that the reader has left in their mouth after a meal. If it’s bad, they won’t be back. If it’s great they’ll tell their friends.

Which is why the progress gauge on The Rebel Queen appears to be a bit stuck. I seem to struggle with my endings, so I am putting more work into finishing the story off well. I’m getting there.

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