Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the Westworld Season 2 finale are both roaring into theaters and television screens weekend, and we want to explore the dangers of each park. Which would be harder to survive? Are hosts or dinosaurs more terrifying? Based on each fictional park’s location, guests, and attractions, here’s why we think that Westworld is more dangerous than Jurassic World.
Michael Crichton wrote and directed the Westworld film in 1973. 17 years later, Crichton wrote the book Jurassic Park, which spawned a globally recognized franchise, starting with the title film in 1993. Westworld and Jurassic Park both feature the same idea: tourism to attractions that play with the concepts of God, life, and death.
Westworld producer JJ Abrams told HBO earlier this year:
“[Original Westworld film writer and author] Michael Crichton who I met on this 20 years ago was obsessed with the [Frankenstein author] Mary Shelley question of what happens when you play God when you go too far and cross that line — what is the result? Season 2 is the answer to that question and it’s terrifying. Reading the news and watching Season 2, the gulf between fiction and what this series is and where we are is shrinking. It’s a terrifying thought.”
In the films and books, both parks experience massive failures, causing the robots and dinosaurs to break free. In the newest Jurassic films, Jurassic World offers a glimpse into a fully realized dinosaur theme park. In the spirit of friendly competition, let’s go over the layouts Jurassic World and Westworld and see which park would be easier to survive in, if someone was trapped there, like in the films.
Both Westworld and Jurassic World are built on islands. While Isla Nublar is a name sure to excite Jurassic Park fans, the location of Westworld was one of the biggest mysteries of the first season of the show. The second season premiere revealed that the park’s six lands were located on an island, specifically an island somewhere in the South China Sea.
Building a park on an island means two things. Getting there is going to be very expensive, and leaving is going to be very difficult. Crichton effectively bottles up guests, resort employees, protagonists, and antagonists in one place that allows for potential terror and mayhem. The location also raises the budget of their clientele. Not everyone can afford a helicopter ride or ferry trip to an exotic resort filled with robots and dinosaurs. Barring John Hammond’s dictum of “Everyone in the world has the right to enjoy these animals”, both Jurassic World and Westworld are built to cater to the super rich. People used to too many choices make them capable of doing anything to survive.
The isolation and island nature of both parks puts this category at a draw.
Most difficult to escape: Both
Walt Disney once said, “You can design and build and create the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality”. A park lives and dies by its staff — from the guy who owns the land to the mechanics who maintain the park, to the custodians — they all work together to sell the park experience.
Jurassic World was a very well-run park. Claire Dearing and Owen Grady were both concerned with park flow and park safety. The park was relatively functional on a day-to-day basis, even with villainous turns from characters like Dr. Henry Wu, it still exuded the air of a very expensive dino Disneyland. The employees were tired, overworked and bored — until the dinosaurs broke out. The film, it became an “us versus them” ride for survival with everyone against the Indominus Rex, but Claire and Owen never gave up.
In Westworld, the Delos’s employees spent their evenings repairing dismembered Hosts and resetting the attractions for the guests. From Ed Harris’s William, also known as the Man in Black, to the park’s architect Robert Ford, these were people who encouraged others to live without limits.
The Westworld employees have are just as dangerous as their creations. Charlotte Hale’s complete disrespect for life, Delos’ obsession with data and not people makes them worse than the Hosts. When the Park’s staff are just as twisted as the park’s attractions, something in Walt Disney’s formula has gone horribly horribly wrong.
Scariest park employees: Westworld
Both Jurassic World and Westworld’s guests come to their respective parks to experience something out of the ordinary. Like their predecessors travelling to Disneyland or Universal Studios, they pay for spectacle, awe, and wonder. Like their predecessors, they’re boxed into a fully controlled environment that immerses them in the story that the park’s owners want to tell.
Any discussion about theme parks has to include a discussion of the guests who can either make or break a person’s experience. While any park’s employees do their best to corral guests through the exhibits and experiences, they’re still standing shoulder to shoulder with loud, angry people. There’s a clear winner here. While Jurassic World’s guests might come to experience riding a baby triceratops, Westworld’s guests are armed, capable and willing to do whatever it takes to live without limits . As the Man in Black and his daughter Emily prove, that has dangerous consequences.
Worst park guests: Westworld
Jurassic World and Westworld both deliver incredible attractions with roots in places and science that actually exist. Crichton, a graduate of Harvard Medical school despite never getting a license to practice medicine, brought his disciplines to bear on Jurassic Park and Westworld, both exploring the limits of technology and man’s control over them both.
Keeping that in mind, it puts the dinosaurs and Hosts on something of a level playing field. They’re both creations of technology and while they exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, biological creations versus robotic creations, they each want their freedom. As Ian Malcom says in Jurassic Park,
“ Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way.”
To decide which attraction is more dangerous, we must consider our own desire for freedom and what we’ll do to survive. Dinosaurs are animals with animal instincts. The Hosts of Westworld are robots who can take unbelievable amounts of damage, raise their own intelligence, and plan. The hosts are basically smarter faster versions of human beings who have been abused — to say the least.
Westworld’s archaic weaponry and total immersion also proves to be a dangerous for the guests. It’s difficult for them to call for help or get to the staff, if a Host is on a rampage. While the Indominus Rex of Jurassic World was capable of planning its own escape, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing out-manuvered the creature. No human has outsmarted a Host on Westworld, yet, so the choice is clear.
Most dangerous attractions: Westworld
Why Westworld Is More Dangerous
Both Jurassic World and Westworld are theme parks that chronicle the dangers of science, technology and the attempt to control the natural order something typical to theme parks. “Theme parks” have a long history in America and its practice of immersion, storytelling, making magic, and creating wonder makes them a perfect vehicle to warn people about the dangers of disrespecting science and technology. These fun stories with their puzzles also share important messages with their audience.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes the story a step further , closing the park forever and bringing the dinosaurs out into the wild and the hands of dangerous people. The ultimate goal of Westworld’s Hosts is also escape, another thread tying the two together. One being is massive, fast, and dangerous, one thing can think and plan. Dinosaurs force people to become the best parts of themselves while the Westworld Hosts bring to light the worst of humanity.
That’s what makes the Hosts scarier and makes Westworld the scariest park. The Hosts are a reminder of the futility of humanity , the fragile nature of identity, and how easily both can be manipulated. In that light, Ian Malcom’s joke in Jurassic Park, the film that started it all, suddenly takes on a more ominous meaning. If the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland broke down, the Pirates might not eat the tourists. Instead they’ll make them think about the nature of their reality , question their humanity, and present a far more deadly threat. We’ll take dinosaurs any day.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens in theaters Friday, June 22, 2018.
The Westworld Season 2 finale airs Sunday, June 24th, 2018 on HBO.