WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in theaters June 22.
One of the most memorable trailers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom featured Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) speaking to a congressional committee about the dangers of Jurassic World (the park not the movie). His voiceover and recitation of that famous line was enough to get fans excited for his scene in the latest instalment in the franchise -- but was that the reason for his appearance? Simply to get fans excited?
When Ian Malcolm debuted in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park in 1993, he was the rockstar-like chaos theorist who spoke out against everything John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) was trying to do with the park and the scientific wonders he had accomplished. Bringing dinosaurs back from extinction required leaps in the world of science and as Malcolm saw it, it had all been done without the effort or thought required to ensure this knowledge would not disrupt the delicate equilibrium that existed on the planet, one that humankind has been threatening with every step forward in science and technology.
When he appeared in Jurassic Park: The Lost World (also directed by Spielberg), he became far more cynical and even slightly regretful, though that didn't stop him from taking on a more active role against mankind's meddling by putting an end to Peter Ludlow's (Arliss Howard) schemes to capture dinosaurs for a theme park. The final act of that film is similar to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's (directed by J.A Bayona) in many ways more than just the occurrence of a dinosaur rampage in a developed area. The themes underneath the action are quite similar as well.
But if Jeff Goldblum isn't playing a major role in the film, and if his scenes aren't meant as pure fan service, why, exactly, does he return as Ian Malcolm at all?