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Jurassic Park’s T-Rex Gets A Name

Jurassic Park t-rex Roberta

Naming A Jurassic-Era Monster

Storyboard sketches recently bought at auction revealed the official name of Jurassic Park‘s T-Rex. The storyboards belonged to the film’s dinosaur supervisor, Phil Tippett. Of course, Tippett’s dinosaur supervision skills are terrible. But his dinosaur-naming skills are subtly clever.

Rexy’s Real Name Revealed

Rexy is Roberta - Jurassic Park t-rex (cropped)
Roberta “Rexy” the T-Rex

Godzilla. Clover. Kong. Rexy. As long as there have been monster movies, there have been names for those monsters. Often, they’re simple, yet convey the image of the imposing beast they’re associated with. However, none of the formidable creatures in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park had an official name. (Although Jurassic World gave us Blue the raptor.) So, left to their own devices, fans named the film’s various prehistoric creatures. Most notably, they gave the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex the name Rexy. But a recent discovery upended the fan-favorite name.

During a recent auction, Phil Tippett‘s original storyboard sketches went to the highest bidder. While the sketches were listed online, eagle-eyed fans on Reddit noticed Tippett’s name for the great lizard: Roberta. Tippett is a legendary visual effects and stop-motion artist and his work on Jurassic Park changed the course of visual effects. His credits also boast work on the Robocop trilogy, The Twilight Saga, and cult classic Starship Troopers.

At first blush, Roberta doesn’t seem like a name befitting such an intimidating creature. But, the name works on two levels. First, the creatures in Jurassic Park aren’t rampaging monsters, they are essentially glorified zoo creatures. Also, removed from movie magic, Roberta is a large robot. Roberta’s been updated with the times, and her appearances in the Jurassic World films are solely done through computer wizardry, but her origins are still very mechanical. So, there you have it: after 25 years, Rexy has an official name, and her dinosaur supervisor is still terrible at his job.


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About the author

MJ Smith

MJ Smith makes his home in California, and when not listening to Hamilton, podcasts and writes about pop culture on the internet. He loves board games, Swamp Thing, and The Wachowski's SPEED RACER.

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