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Dinosaurs eat man, woman inherits the earth.
~ Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park

Dr. Ellie Sattler Degler (film) or Ellen Sattler Reiman (novel) was a paleobotanist invited by John Hammond to Jurassic Park during the events of the first book and first film. She also appeared in Jurassic Park III. She is one of the two deuteragonists (the other being Ian Malcolm) in Jurassic Park, a minor charcter in Jurassic Park III and is set to return in an unknown role in Jurassic World: Dominion.

She is played by Laura Dern.

Biography

Novel Canon

Ellen "Ellie" Sattler was a graduate student under Dr. Alan Grant during the Isla Nublar incident. She was a paleo botanist, a scientist that studies prehistoric plants. In the first novel, Jurassic Park, Ellie never had a relationship with Dr. Grant, as she was already engaged to Dr. Reiman, a physicist from Berkeley. However, in the second novel Ed James found out that she was "involved" with Dr. Grant. It is up to interpretation whether James meant professionally or romantically.

Movie Canon

Dr. Ellie Sattler was Alan Grant's partner/girlfriend and worked with him at the dig site in Montana. She had a Ph.D. in Paleo botany. Early in the film, it was shown that Ellie wanted to have children, while Alan was against the idea entirely.

Ellie and Alan were asked by John Hammond to visit, and hopefully endorse, Jurassic Park. Alan and Ellie first met Hammond in their trailer opening a bottle of champagne. Ellie called Hammond inconsiderate but apologized after hearing what Hammond has to offer them. In return, Hammond promised to fund their dig site for the next three years. Once on the island, Ellie, like a true Paleo botanist, immediately noticed that Vermiform plants, which are extinct, were growing next to the road. She was so enthralled with this prehistoric plant, that she did not notice that the Jeep she was riding in, had stopped alongside a Brachiosaurus. At the start of the Park Drive she tried to get Alan and Lex Murphy to ride in the same car, so that he could get used to children. When they arrived at the Triceratops Enclosure she tried to discover the reason behind the Triceratops' periodic sickness. She came to the conclusion that it was because they ate the poisonous West Indian Lilac plants in their territory.

Because she stayed in the Triceratops Enclosure, she was not attacked by the Tyrannosaurus like the rest of the group. She was later joined by Robert Muldoon as he went to the Tyrannosaurus Paddock to rescue the survivors. The only survivor in the area turned out to be Ian Malcolm, who was badly wounded. While Muldoon loaded Malcolm into the back of the Jeep, Ellie continued to search the area for any sign of Grant or the children. She spotted the other car, tossed over the edge of the barrier to the T-rex paddock. When they inspected the wreckage, she found footprints leading off into the park. This piece of evidence gave Ellie hope that Grant and the kids were still alive. When Ellie and Muldoon returned to the Jeep, the tyrannosaur burst from the trees after them. The tyrannosaur then chased behind their car until they could outdistance it. Once they returned to the park, Ellie gave Malcolm a dose of morphine and tried to convince John Hammond that the park wasn't viable because the creatures were uncontrollable.

After Ray Arnold shut down Jurassic Park's main power, hoping to bring all the systems back online during the manual restart, Ellie and Muldoon set out after him to the Power Shed to set up the power again. On the way there, they discovered that the shutdown must have turned off all the fences, including the fences of the raptor paddock. Soon after this realization, Ellie and Muldoon became aware that they were being hunted by the raptors. While Muldoon stayed behind to give her cover from the escaped Velociraptors, she sprinted to the shed. She was able to activate the power again but was attacked by a raptor. Due to her speed and agility, she made it out of the shed alive; but not before she discovered Arnold's dismembered arm. After this for reasons unknown, she took off (or likely was torn off by one of the animals on the island) and ended up losing her pink over-shirt and got her shoulder smeared with blood. After losing her shirt, she then continued her journey wearing only her purple tank top that she worn under her missing shirt, On her way back to the bunker, she rendezvoused with Alan. Together, Ellie and Alan returned to the Visitors' Center and saved the children. She then helped Alan to block the door to the control room, preventing the remaining raptor from breaking in, while Lex attempted to reboot the system from the computer. The raptor then broke in through the control room's glass window and the group rushed to escape through the air ducts. In the Visitor's Center lobby, the raptors closed in on them and were preparing to attack when the Tyrannosaurus burst in and lifted a raptor off the floor in her jaws, killing the raptor. In an outrage, the last raptor attacked the tyrannosaur and taking advantage of this diversion Ellie and the rest of the group exited the visitor center. Hammond and Malcolm were waiting for them in the Jeep and the group drove off to the helipad.

On their flight home Ellie was happy to see that Alan was sitting between the two sleeping kids. She probably hoped that the experience had made him accept children. Ellie braved the horrors of Jurassic Park with Alan 8 years ago and came out of the experience hoping that he would want to take that final step in their relationship: marriage and children. But Grant's first love was and continued to be dinosaurs, so Ellie, by necessity, evolved. Ellie ended her relationship with Alan Grant and began a relationship with Mark Degler, an employee of the State Department, who she subsequently married. They had two children, whom they lived with in Washington DC. She had become a children's writer. Although their romance had ended, both Degler (née Sattler) and Grant remained very close friends. Ellie remained very loyal to Alan, telling him that he was still the best in his field and that he could call her about anything at anytime. Despite them no longer being in a relationship, she appeared to still care deeply for Alan as a result of their long history together. Ellie's son had dragged the phone Alan was calling on to get to his mother, who was told by Alan that he and the search party are lost on Site B at the river. Mark Degler's connection to the State Department helped them in getting the US Marine Corps to rescue them from the island. Alan, relieved to be saved, breathes "God bless you, Ellie."

Trivia

  • Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Teri Hatcher, Elizabeth Hurley, and Sherilyn Fenn tested for the role of Ellie Sattler. Julianne Moore played Dr. Sarah Harding in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
  • Robin Wright was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
  • Laura Dern loved filming the Raptor attack in the tunnels of the maintenance shed.
  • Laura Dern was always Steven Spielberg's first choice for the role of Ellie Sattler.
  • Nicole Kidman, Heather Graham, Lisa Rinna, Renée Zellweger, Kim Raver, and Mariska Hargitay were among those considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
  • Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bridget Fonda, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
  • Laura Linney auditioned for the role of Ellie Sattler.
  • Laura Dern got cast after Steven Spielberg saw her performance in Rambling Rose (1991).
  • Juliette Binoche was offered the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler, but turned it down in order to make Three Colors: Blue (1993) with Krzysztof Kieslowski.

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