Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Dr. Ellie Sattler

If someone were to say Dr. Ellie Sattler rocks in her hiking boots, the response would probably be, Dr. Who? No, not that doctor. But if someone were to say the chick from Jurassic Park kicks ass, all the fists would pump in the air. Women Who Wow Wednesday celebrates the good doctor’s contribution to the classic movie.

Dr. Ellie Sattler
Dr. Ellie Sattler

The big controversy these days is the consumption of GMO products. In particular, a certain biotechnology company is spending millions to prevent labeling on packages containing genetically modified organisms.

In 2010, scientists pondered on what would happen if they could alter mosquito DNA to make them resistant to malaria. It would be a breakthrough and perhaps cure the spread of the disease. In 2009, they added a lethal gene in the mosquito DNA to combat Dengue fever. They let loose the insect in the Cayman Islands and it reduced the fever by 80%. Although highly controversial, the results astounded.

In 1993, genetics were also all the rage, a little movie by the name of Jurassic Park came to theaters. The premise? Create a park made up entirely of dinosaurs, and the public would pay through the nose to see the natural attractions in action. Of course, things don’t go as planned, there’s running and screaming and, well, you get the picture. In the midst of this wonderful premise, lies buried an interesting theory. What if scientist could find a way to extract dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber from millions of years ago? Would scientists have enough information to recreate the dinosaurs? Movies are movies, yet this had the markings of something plausible that may happen.

Enter Dr. Ellie Sattler, paleobotanist. She studies prehistoric plants. Invited along with paleontologist Dr. Grant and mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm to Jurassic Park by creator John Hammond, she immediately asserts her position in the grand scheme of things:

Dr. Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.

No denying she has a way of grabbing someone’s attention. Her moxie directs her to do the things that guys ought to do. Who’s the one who hops into the middle of a dangerous jungle to investigate the ill condition of a Triceratops? Dr. Sattler. Who’s the one who dives hands first into a pile of fresh dung to examine the root cause of the pharmacological poisoning of the beast from local plant life? Dr. Sattler. And who’s the one who accompanies a skilled hunter into the wild to retrieve the children from harm’s way? Yep, you guessed it, Dr. Sattler.

Dr. Sattler
Dr. Sattler

As a natural leader, she embodies the spirit of true serving. How else can one describe her disregard for her own safety when searching for the children and finding the remains of the truck from which they fell? On her own, with only a flashlight in hand, she searched for them at the bottom of a gorge—unarmed, mind you.

Then there’s the pivotal scene where she’s the one who has a talk with John Hammond, as the whole park falls apart at the seams, scolding him about the illusion of control he thought he had over the park. No one else could have pulled that off with him and get away with it. And let’s not forget who brought the power back up in the park while the raptors were having a party feasting on the guests. That’s right, she went and did it all on her own. Adding to fun times, she even came face to face with a raptor, keeping it at bay while finding a way of escape.

Dr. Ellie Sattler certainly is one of the fiercest female characters to hit a Spielberg film. It would have been amazing if she strapped on a shotgun and made meat of those carnivorous creatures threatening her friends. It would have been too easy, though.


What did you think of Dr. Ellie Sattler? What did you like about Jurassic Park?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

16 thoughts on “Dr. Ellie Sattler

  1. I remember I couldn’t book down the book when I was reading it. As for the flick, my future ex-wife and I went to see it at a midnight showing on opening night. It was awesome. Those dinosaurs looked so real. And Laura Dern was a babe… 😉

  2. What a brilliant post, so often Laura and her character get sidelined in favour of the more eccentric Jeff Goldblum, or the more commanding Sam Neill. It’s nice to see an article about her character. Fantastic writing.

  3. Is there seriously any person alive that wouldn’t know who you were talking about if you said Dr. Ellie Sattler?
    She really was awesome.
    That whole movie was (IS) awesome.
    And so is Doctor Who.
    Just saying.

  4. Dr. Sattler is a fantastic character. I agree that a shotgun would have made the whole Jurassic Park experience much easier, perhaps with less loss of life. But then, they had shotguns in Jurassic Park 2 and it still didn’t end well.

    Velociraptors, I’m sure, would have no problem surviving a solid blow with a shotgun. They are otherworldly in their tenacity and resilience. Truly terrifying.

    Doesn’t Dr. Sattler pretty much save everyone in Jurassic Park 3 as a result of her husband’s connections in the State Department? Another win for Ellie.

    I now need to go re-watch all of these films. You see they have a 4th one coming out? Not like I’m excited or anything…..

    1. The shotgun. Preferred weapon of zombie and dinosaur hunters everywhere. Brought to you by Smith & Wesson: “We don’t make the law, we uphold it.”

      Yep, Dr. Sattler calls in a few favors and bingo, the island is crawling with military and rescue teams. Gotta love a woman with friends.

      And another yep. From what I’ve heard 2015 Jurassic Park IV. The franchise is starting to look like a series out of Rocky.

  5. Another great choice! I was quite late to watching this movie and I think I liked it better without all the hype of a big release.

  6. Jack- when I open your WWWW posts the first thought I have is, “Gosh, is it Wednesday already?” This time that thought was followed by, “Who the heck is this Dr. lady?” But as I read, I remembered and your post is spot on!

    Thanks for finding women who rock in Hollywood products. It helps me remember that there are great female characters out there. I only hope I never open that Wednesday post where you write, “Okay. Done. Can’t think of anymore! Have a nice hump day!”

    1. Ha, I’m always placing myself in the shoes of the reader. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind, “Dr. Who?”

      Oh, I think it’ll be a while before I call it quits on my WWWW posts. There are way too many fabulous women to write about for me to end it in a blaze of glory!

  7. I love this movie!! And that quote you chose to represent Ellie is just perfect. Totally captures her “moxie” as you said.

    The Jurassic Park theme song is going to be stuck in my head all day now … and that’s not a bad thing! 🙂

  8. When this movie came out, I was working at the Academy of Natural Sciences (Dinosaur museum) in Philadelphia. and we all loved the movie, even though the cloning part was a tad off. Love your articles!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.