Dr. Wu’s shift from background character to prominent villain in Jurassic World may be surprising, but Jurassic Park had hints before.
Released in 1993, to critical acclaim, jurassic park was the founding film of what has grown into a successful franchise. The most accurate dinosaur movie of its time, jurassic park inspired a generation of children to pursue paleontology and continues to do so with the newest Jurassic World franchise. But for those who are only familiar with the original films, Dr. Wu’s sudden turn towards wickedness from the first Jurassic World the film felt like it came out of nowhere.
Turns out the reason for his villainous turnaround is there in jurassic park. Prior to Jurassic World, Dr. Wu only had one scene in the original trilogy – the “Baby Raptor Hatching” sequence in Jurassic Park. Always, jurassic park is a well-constructed movie. There is no excess, no fat, and every aspect says Something, whether it’s character, plot, or overall theme – and Dr. Wu’s single appearance does all three.
When Dr Wu gives his presentation, the focus is on his clipboard. He’s writing in pencil and he’s busy erasing something. Not only did he make a mistake in his recording, but this mistake also suggests that there is something to be hiding about the park, some human error that will eventually come back and literally bite the characters back. The moment also highlights some big issues in its data collection: whatever happens, all the data should be saved so that others can test the process and see whether or not it can be replicated. Data should be copied in pen, not pencil, and if an error is made, even if it is an accidental typo, the error should be crossed out before the researcher continues to document the process. . To erase anything is to hide data, and to hide data means that something suspicious is going on in the experimental process.
Next, Dr. Wu absolutely doesn’t bother reporting the raptor outbreak to Hammond, although Hammond has said he wants to be informed. This is disobeying a direct order, either by intent or negligence, and later subtly points to Nedry’s betrayal. Additionally, the way Wu hopes the eggs hatch before he has to leave for the boat indicates more concern for his own schedule than that of nature.
Finally, Wu strangely delivers information to others. For example, Dr Malcolm points out how cavalierly Dr Wu talks about the suppressed chromosome: they “just deny them that option.” When Dr Wu sums up Dr Malcolm’s theory, he once again erases something, which subtly indicates that Dr Wu is wrong. When Dr Grant asks him what species the newborn baby is, Dr Wu has to pause and think about it before telling him. The scene alone portrays him as proficient on a surface level but riddled with errors as he plays with forces beyond his comprehension, highlighting how Jurassic Park and its technology will ultimately fail.
Jurassic World take all of those negative traits and bring them up to eleven. Now, instead of failing to report to superiors through negligence, it is through malice. Wu’s blissful demeanor is more glaring than it was in Jurassic Park. He hides his experiments in a secret laboratory instead of trying to falsify his data in the open. He plays more blatantly above the station with creations such as the Indominous Rex and the Indoraptor. He escapes the results of his scientific missteps by jurassic park, and he was carried away before his mad science came back to bite him in every Jurassic World cinema to date.
Dr. Wu has gone from a background character to a one-shot to a recurring villain, and that’s thanks to the groundwork laid in jurassic park that he was able to do so. jurassic park is a finely crafted movie that leaves a lot of information about each character, making it easy for movies like Jurassic World to probe its depths for characterization. Dr Wu’s behavior in Jurassic World may be surprising, but depending on jurassic park, it’s not out of character.
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