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How Sam Neill Crushed A Long-Running Jurassic Park Fan Theory

When "Jurassic Park" was released in 1993, it was full of innovative visuals, plenty of action, and exciting ideas, like the thought that dinosaur DNA could be extracted from mosquitos trapped in amber. In the years following, plenty of the science used in the film and the franchise it spawned has been debunked (via BBC), but that hasn't necessarily been a problem for fans. They've come up with some innovative theories to explain pretty much everything except why Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) thought wearing heels throughout "Jurassic World" would be a good idea.

One of these ideas was summed up by Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in a memorable way. Upon learning from Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) in the original movie that all the dinosaurs that were created by InGen are female by virtue of the researchers controlling their chromosomes, he points out that this type of control isn't possible. "I'm simply saying that life finds a way," he says, in a quote that pretty much everyone knows.

There's a fan theory out there that ties into this moment, saying that an early scene in the movie foreshadows this major theme. However, actor Sam Neill has gone on record to explain that this theory is wrong.

The fan theory says that this early moment in the film is a metaphor that foreshadows later events

The fan theory is explained in a 2014 YouTube video created by Jack Anthony Ewins. It focuses on an early scene in the movie, in which Dr. Malcolm, lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) are being flown by helicopter to the InGen biological preserve on Isla Nublar with John Hammond (Richard Attenborough).

As the helicopter encounters what Hammond calls "bad wind shears" and experiences some turbulence as it makes a rapid drop, everyone realizes they probably need their seat belts on and decides to fasten them. But when the paleontologist tries to connect his, he only finds two "female" ends; there's no complementary strap with the "male" end to connect his belt together. Stymied for a moment by this development, Dr. Grant decides to tie the two ends together instead.

According to the theory, this moment is a metaphor for the female-to-female problem the dinosaurs have in terms of reproduction, as well as the fact that life does, indeed, find a way — just like Dr. Grant. Moreover, the scene foreshadows the failures of InGen to contain the dinosaurs since even the helicopter taking people to the island is faulty. Over on Reddit, u/tombah postulated that the scene is also meant to showcase Dr. Grant's ingenuity.

Basically, "It's a shining example of how great the story telling [sic] is in 'Jurassic Park,'" Ewins notes in the video. Unfortunately, it's not true — at least, according to Neill himself.

Neill says he doesn't think the moment is quite that deep

Sam Neill revealed in an interview with io9 that it really wasn't as profound as all that — just a great bit of characterization for his on-screen alter ego, who prefers the wonders of antiquity to the present day. "I don't think it had any great metaphorical sense," Neill said. "No, I don't think it was meant that way. It was just about Alan Grant hates technology. He hates computers. He hates anything to do with the modern world and the seatbelt [sic], which you'd think it'd be relatively straightforward."

Neill was fascinated by the theory, with io9 reporter Germain Lussier theorizing that the interview might have been the actor's first time hearing about it. "This is the sort of thing that happens on the [I]nternet. That there'[re] two female parts? That's hilarious," he said. Neill admitted to confusion about "female" and "male" ends, which may indicate he doesn't have much experience with plumbing (or power adapters).

Of course, just because the actor doesn't get the metaphor doesn't mean it wasn't intentional. Either director Steven Spielberg, writers Michael Crichton and David Koepp, or one of the many other people involved in the making of "Jurassic Park" might have been responsible for the scene's subtle messaging and simply never mentioned it to Neill. Whether the metaphor was intentional or not, though, it's remarkably clever — much like those velociraptors.