Back in 2014 when it was confirmed that Jurassic World would see the return to Isla Nublar, fans were delighted. It was a dream come true for most.
But did we really see the return of our beloved Nublar?
The extremely short answer is no. The long, thought out answer, however, is.. sort of.
As stated in the novel, Nublar is a reversed raindrop shaped island, with high coastal mountains and covered in fog. Here is a map of the island seen on various computer screens from the control room in the first film:
Along with a map of Nublar that can be seen in Jurassic World:
Look familiar? I didn’t think so. Clearly, shape is a big problem. The two are nothing alike in that category. At most they have the same most basic shape.
Now, some theories to fix this issue would be erosion, or a volcanic eruption. Erosion would make sense… if the time difference between Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were a couple hundred years. An island’s coast does not erode so much that it changes the entire shape of a large island in just 22 years. The volcanic eruption wouldn’t be logical either, as that would of made the island larger than it already is, and the island wouldn’t grow back it’s entire fauna in only 22 years. Actually, scrap that. It would of only been nine years since the events of the first film, as the construction of the Jurassic World theme park began in 2002.
Multiple uses of the Kualoa Ranch
If you don’t know what the Kualoa Ranch is, it is the valley that was used in Jurassic Park for the scene of the Gallimimus stampede. The valley was used again in Jurassic World, for the Gallimimus paddock area:
You can see the same mountain range in the background. That’s fine, until you realize that the same valley was used for multiple scenes throughout Jurassic World, such as the mountain backdrop for the Gyrosphere loading station:
The average movie-goer or even fan wouldn’t notice, but true, dedicated fans will point it out like a sore thumb. It makes for some geographical continuity errors throughout the film.
The plus side
Despite the heading for this section, there isn’t much of a plus side in terms of Nublar from Jurassic World connecting with Nublar from Jurassic Park. However, there are a few good things.
As it turns out, the Gallimimus Valley from Jurassic World takes place in the same spot as the speculated location of the Gallimimus Stampede scene in Jurassic Park. You can see that the Gallimimus paddock is just north of the Lagoon and Main Street, shown here on the map from the official JW website:
And on the JPLegacy map, which was made well before the Jurassic World website was:
Another location would be the Keopuka Rock, or the “There it is!” Valley from Jurassic Park.
Funny enough, the map of Isla Nublar on the official Jurassic World site actually resembles the island from the original film more than the realistic satellite map as seen in JW (posted above)
Logistically, there isn’t enough connection between the two versions of Nublar to call them the same island. If it wasn’t for the really incorrect shape as seen in Jurassic World, everything else could of been brushed off. But we simply can’t ignore it. It’s unclear what exactly happened. It’s extremely odd that the producers of Jurassic World could mess the island shape up that much, when you can clearly see the real shape in the first film. It seems as if they took the control room map, plus the brochure map, from the first film and mashed them together to create the look of Isla Nublar for Jurassic World. However, if there is a better reason for it than that, it isn’t known at this time.
In the end, it’s hard for a huge Jurassic Park fan to get over how much they screwed Nublar up in Jurassic World. But while we can argue what works and what doesn’t, at the end of the day, (unfortunately) it is canon that Jurassic World takes place on Isla Nublar, no matter how much it differs from Jurassic Park.