Zia Rodriguez (S/F)

Zia Rodriguez (2018)

Zia Rodriguez is a Mexican-American paleoveterinarian and de-extinct animal rights activist. She is best known for her leadership position in the Dinosaur Protection Group, a non-governmental advocacy and lobbying organization dedicated to the well-being of animals brought back from extinction through genetic engineering.

Name

Zia is a given name of Arabic origin, meaning “light.” The surname Rodriguez is a Spanish patronymic originating in the ninth century and means “son of Rodrigo.” Although her surname is gendered, it is maintained in family lineages regardless of the sex of the individual bearing the name.

Biography
Early life

Rodriguez’s date of birth is unknown; her actress Daniella Pineda was born circa 1987/1988 (exact date undisclosed). She was raised in Seattle, Washington in the United States of America.

From an early age, Rodriguez showed interest in caring for animals. She owned a pet cat named Kizzy when she was a child. Her world would have grown larger in 1997, when the public first learned about the existence of de-extinction; International Genetic Technologies had succeeded in bringing extinct animals and plants back to life. They had intended to display these life forms in an attraction called Jurassic Park, but the park never opened its doors, having failed several years prior to its second (also failed) attempt in 1997.

At some point in her life, probably during her later childhood or adolescence, Rodriguez learned about her own sexual orientation, discovering that she was attracted to other women. Because the United States has a heteronormative culture, it is unlikely that she was taught from the outset that this was a possibility, and most likely had to learn it herself during her self-discovery phase. Her romantic history is currently undisclosed.

At some point in her life, Rodriguez was a member of the United States Marine Corps, according to Daniella Pineda. During or after her time in the Marines, Rodriguez got a left collarbone tattoo reading “Semper Fi,” the slogan of the U.S. Marines.

Paleoveterinary career

In 2005, Masrani Global Corporation reopened Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, Costa Rica under the new name Jurassic World. The park operated for the next ten years, and new sciences developed in the park as research took place. One such field was paleoveterinary medicine, a branch of veterinary medicine dealing specifically with prehistoric organisms. When a life form is brought back from extinction, its biology is mostly unknown; guesses and estimates can be made from its fossil remains and closest living relatives, but only through studying the organism directly can information be known for certain. To complicate matters, DNA older than a few tens of thousands of years is too decayed to clone and must be reconstructed using compatible genes from donor species. Because of this, these organisms differ from their prehistoric ancestors, sometimes dramatically. De-extinct animals are based on life forms that once existed, but between their genetic modifications and unexpected aspects of their physiology, they are essentially new forms of life. As a result, determining their needs and properly caring for them is a complex process and was one of Jurassic World’s major goals.

Rodriguez was drawn to this emerging and developing field of science. She studied pre-veterinary medicine at the University of California at Berkeley. Since de-extinct animals had not yet gone open-source, Rodriguez could only have practiced on modern reptiles and birds. In 2015, Rodriguez was offered and accepted an invitation to intern at Jurassic World with the park’s paleoveterinarians (who at that time operated under the direction of Dr. Suzanne de Lange), but this opportunity did not pan out for her. In December 2015, a genetically modified hybrid animal escaped confinement and killed several park staff and animals. This incident also led to the death of Masrani Global’s environmentalist CEO, Simon Masrani. Between Masrani’s death, a class-action lawsuit against the company, and excessive bad press regarding the park and de-extinction, Jurassic World was permanently closed as Masrani Global Corporation faced the worst financial crisis in its history. Rodriguez’s career was sidelined by these events, depriving her of the chance to work with some of the world’s most unique (and now endangered) animals. Paleoveterinary science would have become a far less viable career without InGen or Masrani Global providing job opportunities, since no other companies had access to de-extinction methodologies yet.

However, Rodriguez would get a second chance at a paleoveterinarian career. Although Masrani Global sought to distance itself from Jurassic World and de-extinction, not all of its former employees felt the same way. Claire Dearing, the park’s former Operations Manager, was one such ex-employee; she testified before the United States government about the incident and advocated for the dinosaurs’ protection. In Dearing, Rodriguez found an ally and a new calling.

Dinosaur Protection Group

Claire Dearing founded the Dinosaur Protection Group in March 2017, its goal being to garner enough public and governmental support to make trips to Isla Nublar and care for the animals left behind in the park’s ruins. Rodriguez joined the DPG along with other like-minded individuals, becoming one of Dearing’s closest friends at their San Francisco headquarters; she was the group’s only paleoveterinarian and therefore an indispensable team member. She shared the position of second-in-command with systems analyst Franklin Webb, who she became close friends with. Along with Webb, she was one of the DPG’s earliest members. This provided her with a social support system as well as a career. With American politics shifting dramatically toward the far right, Rodriguez would have benefited from close friends to help support her during a marked increase in sexist, racist, and homophobic attacks in the United States.

Seismic and volcanic activity had been reported on Isla Nublar throughout 2017, though the Costa Rican Institute for Volcanology stated that there was no threat of eruption. The DPG remained on alert, since any threat to the dinosaurs’ lives was of concern to them. In September, illegal tourists passed close over the island’s northern stratovolcano Mount Sibo, admitting their trespass in order to report that they had witnessed liquid lava in the volcano’s crater. This provoked research into the status of the island, and volcanologists discovered that the situation was worse than it appeared: previously undiscovered magma chambers were detected beneath the island, having recently connected with Mount Sibo during a minor earthquake. The pressure put on these chambers was intense: an eruption was likely within a year, and it had the potential to erupt with such magnitude that the island’s entire surface could burn. The DPG took immediate action, lobbying with the U.S. and Costa Rican governments as well as Masrani Global Corporation to save the animals from certain doom.

The response from Masrani Global was not encouraging. Since the death of Simon Masrani, the company chose to distance itself from de-extinction and claimed that it lacked the resources to mount any kind of rescue mission. With help from Masrani Global nonexistent, the DPG turned to governmental authorities, lobbying with the U.S. Congress and performing public outreach. Rodriguez led some of these efforts alongside Dearing and Webb; she took a more aggressive approach than her friends, particularly with the increasingly-reactionary U.S. government. While her brash nature did not win them any favors with elected officials, it made Rodriguez an effective agent in dispelling the disinformation spread by organizations such as Extinction Now!

Several of the DPG’s news articles were penned by Rodriguez. She introduced herself to the DPG’s online followers in the blog post “Welcome to the DPG” on March 21, 2018, but was already the author of the DPG’s first-ever news report “A History of Dino-Ethical Misconduct” on February 4 when the website was first updated. Her second report “What Killed the Gene Guard Act?” was posted on February 23. Both of these reports provided information to the public which had otherwise been buried by InGen and Masrani Global. The third report she authored (published on June 1) was of a different nature; entitled “The Importance of Paleo-Vets,” it described the role she and other paleoveterinarians would play in the future of the animals, and informed the public on some of the health issues dinosaurs could face.

Rodriguez was a major contributor to a June 9 video posted on the DPG’s social media pages. The video was an effort to debunk several common beliefs about de-extinct animal rights, chiefly beliefs about the animals being dangerous or unnatural. This occurred around the same time that Extinction Now! became active on social media, and was followed shortly after by a public confrontation between the two groups’ social media pages.

Efforts to persuade the U.S. government to provide assistance in saving the dinosaurs continued into the summer of 2018. Despite lobbying efforts and peaceful protests in favor of animal rights, the federal government showed no signs of changing its tune, and most departments of the Costa Rican government were following suit. A final decision was reached on June 22, with Rodriguez and the others making last-minute attempts to change the hearts and minds of elected officials; Rodriguez spoke directly to Congresswoman Delgado in the morning of June 22. Congress declared that, since Jurassic World was a private non-governmental venture, no action would be taken to intervene and the dinosaurs’ extinction would be allowed.

2018 incident

Immediately upon the government’s non-action policy being announced, Dearing was summoned away from DPG headquarters by Benjamin Lockwood, one of InGen’s longtime financial beneficiaries and a supporter of the DPG. Rodriguez remained behind in San Francisco with the rest of the DPG, but heard the good news from Dearing: Lockwood had agreed to finance a rescue operation to Isla Nublar the following day, disregarding the government’s wishes. Dearing could not bring her entire team as she had planned, but Rodriguez and Webb would be coming. She also attempted to recruit InGen Security animal behaviorist Owen Grady, who had worked with Velociraptors in the park, but he declined.

In the early morning of June 23, Rodriguez and the others arrived at a private airstrip to leave for the island. They found that Grady had changed his mind, boarding the plane ahead of them and spending the night there. Rodriguez and Grady got along well relatively quickly.

The plan, now that all members were accounted for, was to move north across the island to access one of the still-functioning radio bunkers. It was imperative to stay as far away from Mount Sibo as realistically possible, but Bunker 02-17, their destination, was within a mile of the volcano. Webb’s knowledge of the park’s systems would get them inside the bunker and reactivate it, from which point Dearing’s handprint biosignature would allow them to locate all the island’s animals using their RFID tracking implants. Lockwood’s estate manager Eli Mills had arranged for a team of hunters as well as transport in the form of the freighter S.S. Arcadia to capture and relocate the dinosaurs to the island of Sanctuary, owned by Lockwood. Grady was imperative in their goal to capture and rescue the Velociraptor Blue, the last of her kind.

Upon landing on the island near midday, it was clear that something was not quite right. The hunter team, led by mercenary Ken Wheatley, was already well-established on Isla Nublar despite the mission supposedly having been initiated barely twenty-four hours ago. It became apparent that operations on the island had begun earlier than Rodriguez and her friends had been told. Despite this strange turn of events, she continued along with the mission, since it was clear Mount Sibo was becoming increasingly unstable. Along the way, Webb expressed concern about meeting the park’s Tyrannosaurus, one of the oldest de-extinct animals; Rodriguez assured him that the animal could still be alive despite being thirty years old at this point. They journeyed into the park’s central sector, passing near Main Street; it was here that Rodriguez saw her first dinosaur, an older female Brachiosaurus that had inhabited the original Jurassic Park.

The convoy turned north once again, heading from Main Street through the island’s central valley and to the radio bunker. Here, Webb got them into the building and managed to get the computers working well enough for Dearing to access the system. A dense collection of RFID signals came from Jurassic World’s East Dock, which Wheatley explained was the Arcadia and that they had already captured many dinosaurs. Rodriguez’s allies again thought this strange, but had no time to question further. Blue’s RFID chip had been detected to the west of their location, and Grady prepared to track her down with Wheatley and several of the mercenaries. Rodriguez was expected to stay in the bunker along with Dearing and Webb to monitor their progress remotely, but insisted on coming along. Wheatley attempted to dismiss her, but this only incensed Rodriguez and ensured that she would not stay behind; furthermore, she pointed out that he was carrying unnecessarily strong tranquilizers and would therefore benefit from veterinary expertise. Against Wheatley’s wishes, she accompanied Grady’s capture team into the western jungle.

They took a part of the convoy into the woods, with Grady going ahead to track Blue on foot once the trees and undergrowth thickened. The plan was for Grady to establish contact with Blue, reaffirming his parental bond with the dinosaur he had raised by hand. Once she was calm enough to safely contain, Grady would give Wheatley the signal to surround and tranquilize her, and she would be loaded onto a vehicle bound for the Arcadia. As Grady moved ahead and located Blue, Wheatley had his men quietly surround them in the forest, keeping Rodriguez close. She likely realized something was wrong at this point, but was unable to stop Wheatley as he had one of his mercenaries hit Blue with a tranquilizer dart before Grady gave a signal. At first Grady panicked, but the situation worsened when one of the mercenaries leveled a gun at Grady from behind; Blue spotted the threat and stabbed the mercenary to death with her claws, but not before she was shot in the right shoulder. Grady, enraged, charged Wheatley and was shot in the chest with a tranquilizer dart for his threat.

Rodriguez acted swiftly, removing the dart from Grady’s chest before a lethal dose could be administrated. Even with only part of the dose delivered, Grady was still rendered unconscious. Knowing that they had been betrayed, Rodriguez recovered the deceased mercenary’s handgun and threatened Wheatley; however, since he had her outnumbered and outgunned, she was forced to lay down her arms. Blue was in danger of dying due to shock and blood loss, so Rodriguez was able to bargain for her life: if Wheatley or his men killed her now, Blue would die, and with her any chance of Wheatley getting the bonus he had been promised for delivering her. In turn, Wheatley made it clear that if Blue died in Rodriguez’s care, Rodriguez would meet the same fate. She was forced to abandon the unconscious Grady in the jungle, accompanying Blue with the mercenaries.

As they trekked eastward toward the Arcadia, Mount Sibo’s magma chamber was breached, unleashing all the pent-up pressure that had been building for over two years. A violent outgassing event occurred, rupturing the volcano from base to peak and letting loose clouds of toxic gases and ash across the island. Rodriguez made it onto the Arcadia as volcanic bombs pelted the island and rivers of lava formed in the north. She wasted no time in protecting Blue from mishandling by Wheatley’s men, but the bullet was lodged in the raptor’s artery and she had already lost a large quantity of blood. To make matters worse, Blue was resisting; in pain, surrounded by strangers and enemies, and in an unfamiliar environment, she did not understand what was happening to her and struggled against Rodriguez’s help. The situation was hardly simple for Rodriguez herself, with her life under threat and her friends probably dead on Isla Nublar. She learned that the dinosaurs were not going to be transported to safety, but rather to the mainland to be sold on the black market: the exception to this was Blue, who was needed for an unknown project instead.

The Arcadia had left the harbor with no sign of Dearing, Webb, or Grady. However, some time after the ship departed the East Dock, all three showed up battered but alive, having stowed away. Rodriguez was shocked and elated to see her friends had survived, but there were more pressing matters to attend to. Blue had lost a dangerous amount of blood and was likely to die if they did not perform a transfusion, but there were no other surviving Velociraptors they could access. Using her knowledge of dinosaurian biology, Rodriguez recommended an experimental procedure to save Blue’s life: a xenotransfusion, using another species as a source of blood. She suggested they obtain a sufficient sample from a tetanuran theropod, since this would be the most compatible donor. Having witnessed the Tyrannosaurus loaded onto the Arcadia at the last minute, Rodriguez believed this large dinosaur to be their best hope. With Webb helping her to staunch the flow of blood from Blue’s damaged artery, Rodriguez sent Dearing and Grady off to obtain the sample.

The two returned some time after with a blood bag filled with the tyrannosaur’s blood, a sufficient amount to restore the volume Blue had lost. With her friends’ help, Rodriguez set up an intravenous line to perform the xenotransfusion; Grady helped to calm Blue, with his familiar presence helping her to trust Rodriguez and the others. Rodriguez used forceps to remove the bullet from Blue’s artery, allowing her to stitch up the damage and stabilize her from the shock. With the bullet removed, Rodriguez declared that Blue would survive. Her first major operation as a paleoveterinarian was a success.

Between June 23 and June 24, Rodriguez remained a prisoner on the Arcadia alongside her friends and Blue. By the evening of June 24, Blue had recovered from her surgery and the ship arrived at its destination in Northern California. Rodriguez’s friends were forced to hide as Wheatley inspected the raptor and Rodriguez, begrudgingly letting his prisoner live since she had fulfilled her end of the bargain. Since he could not just let her go, he instead transferred her along with the raptor to the Lockwood estate where disgraced geneticist Henry Wu was operating in secret.

Cuffed to a cage where Blue was held, Rodriguez witnessed the full extent of Wu’s illegally continued research, which Mills had funded. Finally, Blue’s purpose in the operation was revealed; rather than being sold like the other dinosaurs, Wu intended to use her as a behavioral and genetic model for his work. Three years ago the Indominus rex had wreaked havoc on Isla Nublar, but Wu was now preparing a new theropod, the Indoraptor, to be more combat-ready. A prototype had already been created, but it failed to express empathy or loyalty. Blue expressed these traits, so by using her DNA instead of generic Velociraptor and having her act as a mother figure to the next generation of Indoraptors, Wu hoped to breed creatures that could be trained.

Above, the dinosaurs were sold at auction. Wu was not in the lab at that time, attending the auction instead; Rodriguez and Blue would have been left in the custody of Wu’s lab technicians and Mills’s security guards. Halfway through the auction, when the Indoraptor was sent up as a teaser, Wu returned to the lab in a foul mood: Mills had chosen to sell his prototype against Wu’s wishes. Frantic to continue his work before the technology fell into a rival’s hands, Wu instructed Rodriguez to take blood samples from Blue. She refused, and Wu delegated the task to a lab technician instead. Before the samples could be taken, Rodriguez told Wu about her xenotransfusion, which meant that Blue’s blood was contaminated with the DNA of another theropod. Wu was shocked, but before he could act, his technician suddenly stabbed him in the neck with a sedative. The technician revealed himself to be Webb in disguise. He freed Rodriguez, and together they let Blue loose from her cage as Mills’s mercenaries moved in. Wu was evacuated in an unconscious state, and Blue fought with the mercenaries as Rodriguez and Webb fled.

In the ensuing firefight, gunfire punctured a hydrogen gas tank and damaged electronics in the lab. Realizing a spark could ignite the flammable gas, Rodriguez and Webb ran for their lives; smelling the unfamiliar gas and seeing trustworthy humans running away from it, Blue followed. Moments later, a hydrogen explosion decimated the laboratory. The blast cut power to part of the mansion and damaged the ventilation system. Shrapnel punctured a tank of hydrogen cyanide gas, and it began to leak into the sub-basement.

Rodriguez and Webb, from the control room, were faced with this new disaster. The computers were still functional, and they reported the lethal gas leaking into the building’s lower level. With the lab located on the upper level of the sub-basement, the leak was only one floor away from the cages where the dinosaurs were held. If the gas reached the cages, the animals would be poisoned to death in a matter of minutes. Webb tried to restart the building’s ventilation and save the dinosaurs, but the damage was too great; even when the power was restored, the system would not start. Since the gas could not be vented out of the building, the only other solution would be to remove the dinosaurs from the danger. Doing so, however, would mean putting them in the wild, where their safety and the safety of those they encountered could not be guaranteed. To resolve this moral quandary, the two of them sought out Dearing and Grady.

Upon reaching the mansion’s display room just above them, Rodriguez and Webb found a grisly sight: the carcass of the Indoraptor impaled to death on a fossil display, having apparently broken through the sun roof above. Evidence of a pitched struggle was all around. Dearing and Grady, along with a young girl (later learned to be Lockwood’s granddaughter, Maisie), were on the sun roof near the hole. With no time to question what had happened, Rodriguez and Webb brought their companions and the child they were protecting into the sub-basement.

The gas, on the verge of precipitating at that temperature, had sunk into the lowest level of the building and begun to permeate the dinosaurs’ cages. Dearing, Grady, and the young Maisie were informed of the ventilation failure, and with precious little time to act, Dearing was left with the choice to save or condemn the animals. She released the dinosaurs from their cages, but could not justify opening the doors to outside and letting them into the wild. Rodriguez comforted Maisie as the dinosaurs began to suffer, Dearing tearfully making the decision to let them die after all.

Before the gas could kill the animals, Maisie left Rodriguez’s side and opened the doors, unable to let her beloved dinosaurs perish. At that point, there was nothing anyone could do to stop what ensued; the animals, seeing a route to escape their peril, fled out the exit corridor and disappeared into the surrounding woodland. Rodriguez and the others made their way outside the mansion as the last of the dinosaurs left the estate. Only Blue remained any longer; Grady tried to convince her to return to captivity, but she rejected his offer in favor of a life in the wild.

A changing world

The release of the animals from the Lockwood estate essentially reset the debate on de-extinct animal rights. No longer could the government, or the common people, stand by and allow the animals to pass away naturally; they were scattered across the Pacific Northwest and expanding their range as they migrated. Rodriguez did not retreat north after the incident, parting ways with Dearing for the time being as the political world was thrown into a state of chaos and change.

Skills
Veterinary medicine

Having studied at the University of California at Berkeley for pre-veterinary medicine since before 2015, Rodriguez has demonstrated an aptitude for working with animals and a thorough understanding of their anatomy and physiology. These are essential veterinary skills, as is Rodriguez’s ability to remain calm under pressure while operating. She has a steady hand and expertise with common medical tools, such as forceps and intravenous lines, which as of 2018 she had practiced with in genuine emergency operations. She has a good understanding of pharmacology as well, which is vital when dosing a medication for animals. Depending on the size and physiology of the species, varying doses of medication may be needed; dosage miscalculation has ended in disaster when working with de-extinct animals in the past.

Rodriguez is a paleoveterinarian, specializing in the medical treatment of de-extinct organisms such as dinosaurs; she did not have the opportunity to practice on a de-extinct animal prior to 2018, but most likely had practiced on their close living relatives at UC Berkeley. Working with birds, as well as certain reptiles such as crocodilians and lizards, would have given her some background knowledge that could be applied to dinosaurs, mosasaurs, and other ancient life forms. The science of paleoveterinary medicine is still a developing field, and Rodriguez needs to remain at the cutting edge in order to keep up. She was invited to participate in a 2015 internship at Jurassic World before the park’s closing prevented her from starting it, meaning that her demonstrated skills had impressed the world-class veterinary team operating on the island.

On June 23 and June 24, 2018, Rodriguez operated on her first dinosaurian patient, an adult female Velociraptor antirrhopus masranii named Blue. The animal had suffered a gunshot wound with a bullet left lodged in an artery, causing shock and blood loss. To save Blue’s life, Rodriguez performed the first known dinosaurian xenotransfusion. While this process has been performed in birds, it has only been used to treat shock due to the likelihood of transplant rejection. This made a xenotransfusion in genetically modified de-extinct theropods a particularly experimental procedure with no guarantee of success, but Rodriguez directed her companions in the operation and put in the best effort she had. In the end, the operation was successful, with the bullet successfully removed from Blue’s artery on June 23 and the animal having recovered her strength by June 24.

Activism and outreach

One of Rodriguez’s strongest passions is animal rights, particularly where de-extinct animals are concerned. These creatures are often neglected by other animal rights activists because they only exist due to human intervention, so their protection is particularly important to Rodriguez. Her values led to her joining the Dinosaur Protection Group when it was founded in early 2017; it is not known if she was a member of other activist or lobbying organizations prior to this.

Between the time she joined the DPG and the incidents beginning on June 23, 2018, Rodriguez gained much experience in political advocacy and public outreach. She penned several articles for the Dinosaur Protection Group’s website and was an integral part of the DPG’s video debunking multiple misconceptions regarding de-extinct life. Alongside the group’s founder Claire Dearing and her co-leader Franklin Webb, she attended public events to advocate for the dinosaurs. She can be seen in the Dinosaur Protection Group’s introductory video, released in early 2018, working with a group of elementary-school-aged children as part of a DPG promotion.

Rodriguez’s personality when dealing with adults, however, can be abrasive and confrontational. This makes her less suited to lobbying (her aggressive approach jeapordized the DPG’s ability to gain support from Congresswoman Delgado, for example), but makes her quite suitable for confronting her rivals and enemies. When acting on behalf of a controversial goal, Rodriguez’s argumentative and confident nature come in handy to make rebuttals against opponents.

Physical ability

Having trained with and served in the United States Marine Corps, Rodriguez has a strong understanding of her physical abilities and limitations. She is capable of functioning in the field alongside seasoned mercenaries as well as former U.S. Navy sailor Owen Grady. Rodriguez is visually impaired and requires corrective lenses at all times, but has no other known disabilities. She owns at least two pairs of eyeglasses; she favors a pink-rimmed one.

Social skills

Rodriguez’s personality can be gruff and sarcastic, particularly when she is stressed or irritated. This is seen as off-putting by many of her peers (particularly men, due to Western gender standards). She is not antisocial by any means, though, and is quite dedicated and loyal to those she cares about; she can form friendships quickly if she determines that a person is respectable and trustworthy. Although she often teases her friends, she is protective and affectionate with them.

When working with children, Rodriguez becomes far less aggressive and shows her softer, more caring side. Her interactions with them are not exactly motherly, but more in the vein of an older sister or young aunt. She has far more patience with children when explaining her views and beliefs than she does with adults, likely because many adults have already solidified their own personal views and refuse to consider the beliefs of others. Children who have not yet learned to suppress their empathy are, for Rodriguez, much easier to get along with, and their mistakes are more worthy of forgiveness than those of adults who should know better.

Firearms skill

Like her physical endurance and strength, Rodriguez likely learned how to use firearms during her time with the United States Marine Corps. During the 2018 incident on Isla Nublar, she acquired and threatened to use a Sig Sauer P226R, though she did not have the opportunity to fire it. Though she never pulled the trigger, she demonstrated experienced handling and confidence with the weapon during the brief time she held it. She could also be heard expressing the importance of proper gun handling and safety toward some of the mercenaries during the incident, such as never aiming a gun at something they did not intend to shoot. Rodriguez has a great respect for the power that firearms lend to their users, making the mercenaries’ cavalier and careless use of guns a point of serious consternaton for this former U.S. Marine.

Arts and crafts

Beneath her confident and hard-headed exterior, Rodriguez has a calmer and more artistic side that shows when she is comfortable enough to let it out. This is usually only demonstrated through her iconic sense of fashion; her tattoos and self-styled hair are examples of this, but she also is often seen wearing outfits that make her stand out among her peers.

She is skilled with handmade crafts, which were best demonstrated during her time with the Dinosaur Protection Group. When working with children for a promotional video, Rodriguez had a hand in creating paper-and-cardboard models of stylized dinosaurs and can be seen prominently in the video holding an impressively large theropod model. The designs were intended for cuteness rather than scientific illustration, since they were meant to help increase public support for the dinosaurs. It is possible that Rodriguez had a hand in creating some of the artwork used by the DPG on other occasions.

Views
Political views

In general, Rodriguez espouses more leftist politics than her peers, in contrast with the moderately liberal Claire Dearing or the neutral-conservative Owen Grady. This is probably due to her background: as a homosexual woman of color, she faces marginalization in at least three different ways, which almost certainly exposed her to many forms of injustice and oppression throughout her life. She excels at confronting harmful beliefs and practices and is confident in standing up for herself and others, a skill she learned while serving with the U.S. Marines. The Armed Forces of the United States generally appeal to and recruit people with more conservative leanings, so Rodriguez would have become skilled at defending herself and her beliefs. The fact that her politics remained unchanged by the social enviornment of the military is a testiment to the strength of her convictions.

She is mostly known for her stance on environmental justice due to her work with the Dinosaur Protection Group, but has also expressed highly progressive views on gender roles and equality, and probably has a progressive stance on gay rights owing to her sexuality. Rodriguez has an appreciation for traditional masculinity when it is expressed in a positive way (as with Owen Grady), but is quick to condemn those who express toxic behavior in the name of masculinity (as with Ken Wheatley). She also has good relationships with men who are not traditionally masculine at all, with Franklin Webb being her closest friend. Rodriguez will gladly form friendships with people whose political beliefs differ from hers, but has no tolerance for those whose beliefs conflict with her morality.

On animal rights

Since her childhood, Rodriguez has cared for animals and eventually pursued a career in veterinary medicine to better tend to her non-human neighbors. She has a strong stance on environmentalism and environmental justice, supporting active human intervention in nature to protect threatened and endangered species. This extends to genetically engineered organisms, such as the de-extinct life created by International Genetic Technologies. Rodriguez studied pre-veterinary medicine in order to become a paleoveterinarian, specializing in treating the world’s most endangered forms of life.

She joined the Dinosaur Protection Group in its early stages and made her stance on de-extinct animal rights abundantly clear in reports, videos, and other media. She believes that all animals have the inherent right to live, preferably free of human interference, and that genetically modified organisms are not “unnatural” or undeserving of life. Her stance on the rights of GM animals created explicitly for combat is currently unstated, though she opposes the creation and use of animals for military purposes.

On feminism and gender roles

Rodriguez is supportive of feminism, owing to the fact that she herself is a woman and therefore benefits from having rights. She is unafraid of calling out sexism even when doing so might be unsafe, such as when misogynistic views are expressed by a violent individual. Rodriguez considers standing up for the rights of herself and others to be worth any risk.

She also has a progressive view on gender roles. Rodriguez has very healthy male friendships, if they do tend to be teasing more often than not, but does not enforce her own ideals of gender roles onto her male friends. She also does not push her female friends to adopt her more radical politics, allowing them to have their own beliefs. When she encounters toxic masculinity, however, she is quick to go on the offensive. This is to the benefit of all her friends: when she calls out this harmful behavior, she discourages it from spreading to others, defends her male friends who do not conform to traditional standards of masculinity, and defends her female friends from being disempowered or abused.

On de-extinction

In her DPG report, “A History of Dino-Ethical Misconduct,” Rodriguez describes InGen’s success at de-extinction as “unfortunate.” However, it is not the practice of de-extinction itself that she opposes, but rather the motive behind it. The driving force of de-extinction is and has always been profit, rather than the preservation of natural life forms. Rodriguez stands for the rights of these organisms once they are created, and does not actively try and prevent their creation; even if they are created by people with impure motives, the animals themselves are not to blame for the consequences. She strongly opposes the idea that organisms created via genetic modification and cloning are less deserving of life, or that they should be treated as products.

Rodriguez eagerly accepted an internship at Jurassic World in 2015, suggesting that she has no issue with the idea of de-extinct animals being housed in zoos or parks and is instead primarily interested in ensuring that such facilities provide proper care to the animals.

Relationships
Family

Little is known about Rodriguez’s family. She appears to have grown up with a caring but firm personality and an open-minded view, though whether this was due to her family life or other influences is unknown. As a child in Seattle, she had a pet cat named Kizzy.

Masrani Global Corporation

Rodriguez had great respect for Simon Masrani, the CEO of Masrani Global Corporation from 1992 until December 18, 2015. The Dinosaur Protection Group held a positive view of this man’s memory during its campaigning in 2018, recalling him as a philanthropic environmentalist who used his immense wealth to help people and the world’s ecology. Rodriguez was given an internship invitation to Jurassic World, run by the Masrani subsidiary International Genetic Technologies, in 2015. She accepted the offer gladly. Had this internship come to pass, she would have worked with the Isla Nublar Veterinary Services alongside thirty or more other paleoveterinarians under the direction of Dr. Suzanne de Lange. However, the 2015 incident closed Jurassic World permanently before she could so much as set foot on the island. The company was managed by its COO Richard Wiesner for a time after the incident; its current leadership is not known.

After the incident, Masrani Global sought to distance itself from Jurassic World and de-extinction as a whole, claiming that it lacked the resources to mount a rescue mission as the DPG proposed. This claim was denied by the DPG, who believed that the corporation was instead trying to dodge accountability. As of February 20, 2018, the DPG social media accounts issued a message reading “Make Masrani Extinct!” along with an accompanying image, ending the likelihood of peaceful discussion between the DPG and Masrani Global Corporation.

Claire Dearing

In early 2017, the Dinosaur Protection Group was founded by Claire Dearing, the former Operations Manager of the now-closed Jurassic World theme park. Rodriguez was one of the DPG’s first additions; a paleoveterinarian would be a major benefit to the DPG, being able to provide medical care to the animals once a presence on Isla Nublar was established and communicating information about dinosaurian health to the public. Not only was Rodriguez an effective DPG member, she also became Dearing’s friend.

Rodriguez has been a positive influence on Dearing, particularly as the latter has ventured further into the world of political activism. The more radical Rodriguez would have background knowledge and experience in defending her views than Dearing and likely helped her grow in this respect. At no point did Rodriguez force Dearing into espousing more radical political views; Rodriguez has allowed Dearing to develop her beliefs at her own pace, even if this allows for her to be more naieve and trusting of others to do what she believes is right. Rodriguez has always been willing to defend Dearing and her mission against its opponents, happily being the more aggressive and compelling voice to complement Dearing’s softer, more traditionally feminine and respectable image.

Along with Franklin Webb and Owen Grady, Rodriguez was one of Dearing’s top picks to attend the rescue mission to Isla Nublar. During the mission, they were separated for an extended period of time, reuniting briefly on the S.S. Arcadia and cooperating to save the life of one of the rarest dinosaurs. Later, at the Lockwood estate, Rodriguez informed Dearing of the fatal hydrogen cyanide leak in the sub-basement, but allowed Dearing to make the final decision on whether or not to save the dinosaurs’ lives by releasing them into the wild.

Franklin Webb

Rodriguez’s best friend, who she met through her DPG membership, is Franklin Webb. He was also one of the first people to join the organization, having been a systems technician at Jurassic World (though he spent most of his time at the offsite tech complex in Irvine, California). Unlike the men Rodriguez likely served alongside in the Marines, Webb is neither athletic nor masculine, having a nerdy and nervous personality. The contrast between this odd couple brings attention to Rodriguez’s strength and confidence, which she probably enjoys. In return, she addresses Webb’s nervousness by trying, in her own gruff way, to reassure him. This is not always effective, and sometimes actually makes it worse, but he appears to appreciate her thoughts anyway. Rodriguez’s confidence is also infectious, emboldening Webb to stand up to those who bully him or his friends. While the two often tease one another or argue, their friendship is unshakable.

The strength of their friendship was proven during the 2018 incidents, which saw Webb face many of his fears (including marauding dinosaurs, which he had to face without Rodriguez to back him up). During the incidents, he demonstrated increased bravery with the help of his friends. He was belittled by the mercenary Ken Wheatley during the incident on Isla Nublar, but with Rodriguez’s presence ensuring he had support, he was able to stand up for himself. On the S.S. Arcadia, he helped Rodriguez perform surgery and xenotransfusion on a live dinosaur, exposing himself to several of his phobias and aversions at once. Finally, during the incident at Lockwood Manor, he physically attacked the intimidating Henry Wu, who was threatening Rodriguez while she was cuffed and unable to fight. This act finally brought out the potential for bravery that Rodriguez had seen in him, making their friendship stronger than ever. He collaborated with her to try and save the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar, though ultimately they both allowed Claire Dearing to make the final decision on the matter. The hardships and trials Rodriguez and Webb faced in 2018 proved that their bond is an unbreakable one.

Other DPG members

Along with Dearing and Webb, Rodriguez was a Dinosaur Protection Group leader to the thirty volunteers in the organization between 2017 and 2018. The volunteers would have looked to Rodriguez for advice on matters regarding dinosaurian biology, a science imperative to the organization’s goals. She also helped with public outreach, though it certainly appears she was better at communicating with children and getting them involved than she was with adults. Her relationships with other DPG members are mostly unknown at this time.

United States Marine Corps

At this time, Rodriguez’s involvement with the U.S. Marine Corps is largely undisclosed, though it appears to have been a highly important part of her development as a person. She bears a collarbone tattoo reading “Semper Fi,” the slogan of the Marines. This Latin saying means “ever faithful,” and she certainly has taken it to heart in terms of her relationships after leaving the service. She has a strong sense of loyalty and morality that she maintains through adversity. Her time with the Marines appears to have honed her confidence and ability to confront problematic individuals; she likely would have faced misogyny in the service due to this being a predominantly male field, but her experience in dealing with these toxic behaviors has helped her in life. She is now highly capable of recognizing and calling out misogynistic viewpoints wherever she encounters them. Rodriguez also has no tolerance for people who abuse their authority or exhibit unsafe weapons handling, which are probably also a result of her service with the Marines.

United States government

Throughout history, the largely conservative United States government has had a troubled relationship with homosexuality, and in fact all sexualities other than heterosexuality, as well as alternate gender identities and expressions. Rodriguez’s own home state of Washington legalized gay marriage on December 6, 2012, and the state of California where she attended pre-veterinary college at Berkeley legalized it on June 16, 2008. However, the U.S. federal government did not initiate a nationwide ban on same-sex marriage discrimination until June 26, 2015. Despite these steps forward, discrimination has continued to plauge the government, particularly after the alt-right power grabs that occurred after the 2016 presidential election. Rodriguez’s race and gender, as well as her political leanings, would have put her at odds with the federal government and its supporters during the Mount Sibo controversy as racism, sexism, and anti-environmentalism were on the rise at that time. Her Mexican heritage would have made her an especially imperiled target, as discrimination against Hispanic people and Mexicans in particular became an explosive issue.

Despite the U.S. government being her enemy in many ways, Rodriguez participated in lobbying with elected officials to try and save the animals of Isla Nublar. She knew that this was a losing battle, with the 45th President of the U.S. himself expressing anti-dinosaur views. Nonetheless, she tried her best to advocate for the DPG up until Congress’s final decision. Minutes before the decision was announced, Rodriguez had spoken on the phone with Congresswoman Delgado; her aggressive attitude almost cost them Delgado’s support, but Rodriguez passed the phone off to Dearing, hoping that the latter’s more coddling approach would save them, which it did.

When the U.S. government refused to provide assistance to Isla Nublar’s creatures, the DPG’s leaders were conscripted into an illegal mission to save the animals anyway. Rodriguez showed no qualms about breaking the law and defying the federal government to accomplish their mission.

Owen Grady

While Rodriguez was probably aware of I.B.R.I.S. animal trainer Owen Grady thanks to her friendship with Claire Dearing, she did not meet him in person unil June 23, 2018 when he unexpectedly joined the DPG mission to Isla Nublar. Rodriguez took to him immediately, appreciating his confidence and conventionally attractive appearance (she is not attracted to men, but has admitted that if she were heterosexual that Grady would be her “type”). Their friendship is perhaps unexpected; Grady is politically neutral, making him default to conservative, while Rodriguez is the most leftist of her peers. However, while their opinions differ, their moralities align. Grady’s experience with the U.S. Navy means that he has some degree of shared experience with Rodriguez, who was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. For these reasons, Grady and Rodriguez get along quite well, and worked well together during the 2018 incident.

During the incident Rodriguez found appreciation for Grady’s skill and bravery, and he appreciated hers in return, but she also supported him in more subtle ways. During the mission they had to cooperate with the hypermasculine mercenary Ken Wheatley, who represented a more extreme version of the sexist views that Grady himself had espoused until fairly recently. While Grady and Wheatley butted heads and developed a strong hatred for one another, a man like Wheatley could also have caused Grady to relapse into his former ways. In this way, Rodriguez provided a protective buffer between the toxic masculinity of Wheatley and the wholesome masculinity of Grady.

Later in the day, Wheatley betrayed Grady and attempted to murder him via sedative overdose. It was Rodriguez who saved Grady from the overdose. Although Wheatley forced her to leave Grady behind, her act gave him the fighting chance he needed to escape Isla Nublar as a volcanic eruption overwhelmed the island. She was later relieved to see him alive, though they were separated again the following day. After the events at the Lockwood estate, they parted ways for the time being.

Ken Wheatley and mercenaries

Rodriguez had a brief antagonistic relationship with mercenary Ken Wheatley and the men under his employment. He greeted them upon their arrival to base camp on Isla Nublar on June 23, 2018, and it was obvious from the outset that something was wrong on the island. The rescue operation had supposedly been authorized about twenty-four hours ago, but it was clearly well underway already. Rodriguez took immense dislike to Wheatley’s blatant sexism, which was not only an insult to her abilities but threatened to undermine her team’s effectiveness. His toxic masculinity was chiefly a threat to the self-esteem of Claire Dearing and Franklin Webb, and could have pushed Owen Grady farther away from the progress he had made over the past three years. It was up to Rodriguez to be a stalwart defense against his toxicity and defend her friends. In this effort she was successful, ensuring that her friends remained unharmed by his attitude and unfaltering in their mission together.

Rodriguez’s distrust for Wheatley was only exacerbated as the day went on, from the unusual number of dinosaurs already captured by his team to his dismissal of her usefulness in field operations. She accompanied him and Grady on the mission to capture Blue, and bore witness to Wheatley’s true intentions. He had Blue tranquilized before Grady was ready, and one of the mercenaries attempted to fatally shoot Grady before Blue attacked and stopped him. Blue was shot in the struggle, and Grady was hit with a tranquilizer dart. Rodriguez, not having expected Wheatley to be so amoral as to murder someone in cold blood, overcame her shock and rushed to Grady’s aid to save his life; she armed herself and threatened to shoot Wheatley, but was outgunned. She bargained with him, knowing that she was the only one who could save Blue’s life and ensure that Wheatley got his bonus for catching her. Wheatley accepted her deal, but added that if Blue died, he would kill Rodriguez. He forced them to leave Grady for dead.

Their enmity continued on the S.S. Arcadia as Rodriguez noted cases of animal cruelty being perpetrated, as well as the mercenaries mishandling their guns for the sake of appearing manly. She made her frustrations quite clear, knowing that her vital skills would protect her from the worst of the punishment they could give. She did manage to save Blue’s life, and Wheatley begrudgingly did not murder her, surprisingly holding up his end of the deal. Instead, he conscripted her into the service of their scientist, Henry Wu, at the Lockwood estate. This was the last Rodriguez saw of her enemy, as Wheatley died during the incident at the manor. However, she did face threats from some of the other mercenaries hired by Eli Mills, releasing Blue from a cage in the estate’s lab to defend herself against them. Blue mercilessly killed the threatening men, and the events that followed ensured that Rodriguez and Webb were no longer in danger of being attacked by any of the guards.

Henry Wu

InGen’s most valued geneticist since the mid-1980s until the 2015 incident, Henry Wu was responsible for the creation of the Indominus rex; this animal’s escape was the cause of Jurassic World’s permanent closure. Wu can be considered as the reason that Rodriguez’s paleoveterinarian career was stalled for three years, since her internship at the park was cancelled due to the 2015 incident. Wu’s legacy was a constant challenge for the Dinosaur Protection Group, as his creations were in dire need of the DPG’s help but had been vilified by the public. Wu was stripped of his credentials due to the incident and disappeared for three years.

When Rodriguez was transferred from the private Lockwood harbor to the estate grounds, she was put to use in the sub-basement laboratory where Henry Wu was working in secret. This allowed her to witness in person Wu’s operation to engineer military animals such as the Indoraptor, and revealed the importance of Blue to his goals. She was instructed to help Wu take blood samples from the raptor, but she refused; she also revealed to him that she had performed a xenotransfusion with blood from a Tyrannosaurus rex, a complicating variable that Wu could not have planned for in advance. While Wu was stunned by this revelation, he was assaulted by Franklin Webb, who had disguised himself as a lab technician. Wu was rendered unconscious and dragged away by his guards to safety, ending Rodriguez’s brief encounter with the reclusive man.

Blue

The last surviving Velociraptor antirrhopus masranii as of 2018, Blue was one of the DPG’s most important targets. Rodriguez accompanied former InGen animal behaviorist Owen Grady, as well as mercenary hunters led by Ken Wheatley, to find and capture Blue as to save her from an impending natural disaster. While Grady successfully located Blue, the operation took a turn for the worse when Wheatley moved in to tranquilize her too soon and betrayed Grady by trying to ensure his death on the island. In the struggle, Blue was shot in the left shoulder, the bullet lodging in her artery. Rodriguez bargained with Wheatley to be spared since she was the only one who could save Blue’s life.

Although Blue’s potentially fatal wound was what saved Rodriguez from being shot to death on Isla Nublar, she did not make the bargain solely to save herself. She cares about the lives of all animals, particularly those all too frequently exploited by human interests such as Velociraptor. Blue was Rodriguez’s first genuine de-extinct animal patient and thus a fateful test of her skills as a paleoveterinarian. While the wound was too grievous to repair without help, Rodriguez tried her best to save her patient; the timely arrival of Claire Dearing, Franklin Webb, and Owen Grady provided her with the assistance she needed to complete the operation. With Webb helping to keep pressure on the wound to prevent further blood loss, she had Dearing and Grady retrieve a blood sample from a compatible donor tetanuran, the Tyrannosaurus. Rodriguez performed a xenotransfusion, a highly experimental procedure, in an effort to save Blue’s life, and removed the bullet from her artery. With the wound stitched up, Rodriguez declared that Blue would survive; her patient had regained her strength by the following evening.

While her human companions were separated from her by the incident, Rodriguez and Blue stayed together as they were transported forcibly to the Lockwood estate’s sub-basement lab. There they were in the custody of Henry Wu, Blue’s creator. He intended to use her as a genetic and behavioral model for future generations of Indoraptors. Rodriguez refused to help him in this endeavor, revealing that she had performed a xenotransfusion on Blue to save her life. Wu was attacked by Webb, initiating a pitched battle in the lab; since she and Webb were unarmed, they released Blue from her cage. Although Blue had learned that Rodriguez was a trustworthy human, Rodriguez still ensured to keep the cage door between herself and the enraged animal. Blue leapt into combat against the mercenaries, but the firefight led to a flammable gas leak that threatened them all. Rodriguez and Webb fled the lab, and Blue, smelling the unfamiliar gas and seeing the humans that had aided her running away, followed suit before the gas ignited.

After the explosion, Rodriguez was separated from Blue until the end of the incident, when she and the others witnessed Grady’s reunion with her outside the manor. Blue rejected Grady’s offer to come back to captivity, leaving for the freedom of the wild instead.

Other de-extinct life

Although Rodriguez’s goal was to become a paleoveterinarian and tend to the health of de-extinct animals, her career was put on hold due to the 2015 incident in which the genetically engineered Indominus rex caused several fatalities in Jurassic World. Since this was (at the time) the only place where de-extinct life could be seen, Rodriguez’s opportunity to see dinosaurs in the flesh appeared to have passed. That changed when she joined the Dinosaur Protection Group, an organization with plans to send paleoveterinarians back to Isla Nublar and tend to the animals’ health. Unfortunately, such a mission became impossible in 2017 as volcanic activity occurred on the island and the DPG’s purpose changed from a medical aid service to a rescue operation.

For the next year, Rodriguez petitioned for the rescue of the animals, which became increasingly imperiled by the volcanic activity. This came to a head on June 22, 2018, when the U.S. and Costa Rican governments as well as Masrani Global Corporation agreed to do nothing, allowing the animals to die. The DPG was enlisted for an illegal extraction operation that would take place on the following day, which Rodriguez participated in.

While on the island, she claimed that the park’s oldest Tyrannosaurus might still be alive despite her advanced age, since the lifespan of this genetically-modified clone now living in an unnatural environment could not be predicted with confidence. Her suggestion was later found to be true, as the animal was indeed still surviving. She witnessed her first dinosaur, a female Brachiosaurus that was over thirty years old, on Main Street that day. Other dinosaurian encounters were less lively: the carcasses and skeletons of many animals lay throughout the central valley, victims of the ecological crisis the island was experiencing. Some live animals were spotted during her journey across the island; she moved through territories of animals such as Pteranodon and Compsognathus, though her encounters with them were minimal that day. Her main goal in the mission was to find and rescue the endling of the Velociraptors, an animal named Blue.

Rodriguez bore witness to the operation remove multiple other dinosaurs from the estate; the other species she is known to have seen included Gallimimus, Ankylosaurus, Baryonyx, Sinoceratops, Stegosaurus, Stygimoloch, Triceratops, Allosaurus, Carnotaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Apatosaurus. She could not protect all of the dinosaurs; most of the animals perished on Isla Nublar during the eruption on June 23, while several more were sold at auction on June 24. Those that remained, save Blue and one Stygimoloch, were threatened with hydrogen cyanide poisoning during the night of June 24. Although Rodriguez wanted to save the animals, she understood that the mission was Claire Dearing’s to direct and therefore this was her decision to make. Dearing opted not to let the dinosaur into the wild, even if this would condemn them; Rodriguez did not try to fight her on this issue, but also did not stop Maisie Lockwood from overriding her decision and saving the dinosaurs anyway.

She was probably aware of the Indoraptor prototype’s existence while imprisoned in Wu’s lab, but did not encounter it during the incident; the most she saw of it was its corpse after it died.

Maisie Lockwood Jr.

During the incident at Lockwood Manor, Rodriguez was separated from her friends for a period of time before reuniting first with Franklin Webb and then with Claire Dearing and Owen Grady. By the time she found them again, Dearing and Grady had taken to protecting Benjamin Lockwood‘s orphaned granddaughter, Maisie Lockwood, Jr. Rodriguez helped them to keep the young girl safe after her traumatizing experiences that day, having been threatened by her supposed caregiver Eli Mills as well as the frightful Indoraptor prototype.

While Dearing and Grady debated whether saving the dinosaurs from the hydrogen cyanide gas leak was worth the risk of turning them loose into the wild, Rodriguez comforted Maisie. The young girl’s love of dinosaurs made watching them suffer particularly painful, especially considering the horrors she had already been forced to endure. Dearing heeded Grady’s cautionary advice and did not open the lab’s main doors, despite having already opened the dinosaurs’ cages; the unpredictable risks of letting them into the wild were deemed too great. Maisie suddenly left Rodriguez’s side and made a dash for the button to open the doors; Rodriguez made no move to stop her, despite being the only one who would have seen what Maisie was about to do. This freed the dinosaurs and saved them from a swift extinction. Rodriguez continued to provide comfort to Maisie after the animals were saved, escorting her out of the manor along with Dearing, Grady, and Webb.

Portrayal

Zia Rodriguez is portrayed by Daniella Pineda. She is not based on any particular character from Michael Crichton‘s novels. Instead, she appears to have been created to make a political statement, like many aspects of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The character of Rodriguez is representative of the feminist and environmentalist movements that rose to counteract the far-right reactionary politics which swept the United States after the 2016 presidential election. As with many aspects of the film, this endeared Rodriguez to more liberal fans of the franchise, while enraging conservative fans with anti-feminist or homophobic beliefs. Rodriguez’s sexuality was not actually revealed in the film, as it would have been mentioned in dialogue which was cut.

Rodriguez’s sexuality, as well as other aspects of her character, were chiefly discussed by Daniella Pineda in interviews. In fact, many parts of Rodriguez’s backstory were created by Pineda herself, including Rodriguez’s former membership in the U.S. Marine Corps. According to Pineda, this was the reason for Rodriguez’s Semper Fi tattoo, as well as the ease with which she confronts the macho and misogynistic behavior of Ken Wheatley and his mercenaries. Rodriguez’s fashion was mostly chosen by Pineda, but some aspects were chosen by costuming; the character’s hairstyle was meant to suggest that she cuts her hair herself.