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Zia Rodriguez is a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group and its in-house paleo-veterinarian, who made her first appearance in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom[1] and will return in Jurassic World: Dominion.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Zia is first shown in the offices of the Dinosaur Protection Group as they are trying to gather Government support in saving the dinosaurs from the eruption of Mt. Sibo. Zia is seen on the phone with a Congresswoman Delgado and becomes increasingly annoyed as - as she describes herself - a "doctor, not a telemarketer". When she finally is pushed over the edge and nearly verbally chews out Delgado, Zia hands the phone over to Claire to take over. Claire manages to smooth things out with the Congresswoman as her colleague Franklin Webb remarks that Zia is actually getting better at phone calls. This prompts Zia to make a joking remark about Franklin's fashion sense and Franklin points out humorously that she insults him whenever she's upset to which she clarifies her annoyance by reducing his expertise to "plugging cords" which Franklin seems to not figure out.

Later Zia and Franklin watch with Claire an MSNBC Broadcast that shows Senator Sherwood reveal the U.S. Government will not save the dinosaurs. As Claire sadly remarks that the dinosaurs will all die if no one cares, Franklin says that the DPG does and Claire looks upon an empathetic Zia and Franklin. 

Claire would go on to meet with Sir Benjamin Lockwood who revealed his plan to save the dinosaurs. As Claire was asked by Eli Mills to go herself to Isla Nublar in order to save the dinosaurs, Claire decided to bring Zia and Franklin along with her due to their valuable respective skills. Zia and Franklin argued at the airfield as they waited for Owen Grady to arrive, with Franklin being nervous and not trusting airplanes and Zia arguing that planes were the safest way to travel. The trio then got in the plane with their gear and met Owen himself who was sleeping on the plane waiting for them. Claire then introduced Zia and Franklin and Zia and Owen shook hands before they took off to Isla Nublar.

The group arrive on Nublar and are greeted by Ken Wheatley and his already arrived team of mercenaries and hunters. Wheatley and his men escort  the DPG and whilst in their convoy, Zia and Franklin have a short conersation over the status of the Tyrannosaurus rex. Franklin nervously wondering if the T. rex is dead by now which Zia retorts that the prime meals and excellent healthcare at Jurassic World has ensured that the Rex will likely still be alive and live far longer. The transport later stops in the middle of Main Street and ZIa spots a large dinosaur from the window which leads her to exit in spite of the area not being secure. She stops as a Brachiosaurus walks over towards the group which causes the DPG and the mercenary to pause. Zia cries and is held by Claire as she remarks that she never thought she'd see a dinosaur in real life, having finally achieved her lifelong dream.

Zia is present with the team as they find the Power Station and there Claire explains to Zia how the tracking implants will always work due to being powered by the dinosaurs body heat signature and movement. Zia decides to go along with Owen into the jungle as he tracks down Blue the velociraptor, as she likely will need to be treated. Wheatley comments that "things can go harry out there" which Zia does not take lightly and explains to Wheatley how the sedatives he and his men have are powerful and one too many could harm Blue. She also tells Wheatley that she isn't as soft and harmless as his comment implies and then tells the two mercenaries in the room "Let's go beefcake" to which the men immediately follow.

Owen manages to make contact with Blue but Wheatley betrays Owen by sending in his men too soon who shoot Blue with a sedative. As the soldiers surround Blue and Owen, Blue attacks one man who in his desperation shoots Blue which causes her to collapse. Owen is then shot by Wheatley with a sedative and Zia runs to his side and pulls it out of his neck before it can fatally harm him. Zia then pulls the (now dead) soldier's gun and aims it at Wheatley and says that if they kill her (Zia) that Blue will surely die as Zia is the only one who can treat her potentially fatal injury. Wheatley consents and takes Zia prisoner. Owen, Claire, and Franklin later spot Zia in the hands of the mercenaries as they are transporting the dinosaurs onto the S.S. Arcadia .

After Owen, Claire, and Franklin escape the eruption of Mount Sibo and the destruction of Isla Nublar, they reunite with Zia as she is trying to save Blue's life to no avail. She initially has Claire hold pressure on Blue's wound until Claire mentions having done bloodwork with the Red Cross which leads Zia to order Franklin to put pressure on Blue's wound. She then tells Claire and Owen that Blue needs blood fast and that blood of a carnivore that is related to raptors with two or three fingers will likely help. Zia knows of one close by and Claire and Owen go to extract the blood from Rexy. Owen and Claire succeeed (after nearly being eaten by an awoken Rexy) and Zia is able to perform the operation to remove the bullet from Blue's wound and save the raptor's life.

The group sleep until they arrive late in the evening on the coast of Northern California. Everyone is nearly caught by Wheatley but Zia manages to hide Claire, Owen, and Franklin who stay out of Wheatley's eyesight. Wheatley asks Zia for samples of the raptor's blood and Zia sassily tells him to "take his own damn samples".

The Arcadia docks and Owen, Claire, and Franklin leave Zia and Blue's truck but Franklin is caught by one of the Arcadia's sailors. As he isn't aware Franklin is an enemy of the mercenaries he asks if he's deck crew and Zia helps Franklin by passing him off as one of them and asked him to lend a hand. Franklin thus goes off with the crew to load out while Owen and Claire join the convoy to Lockwood Manor.

Soon after, Zia is brought to Lockwood Manor, where the captive dinosaurs were to be sold, and chained to Blue's cage by Henry Wu. Presumably she was kept as a prisoner due to her knowledge of the truth of Mills' plans and kept alive due to her knowledge as a Paleo-vet. The lab is being evacuated as the auction has been compromised and Wu demands Zia get Blue's blood samples for him. Zia reveals that Wu's genetic purity of Blue is now impure from the blood transfusion with a T. rex. As Wu exclaims in shock, Zia is rescued from Wu by Franklin who sedates him. He frees Zia from her handcuffs and the two are cornered by two guards.

Zia then lets Blue loose on the two guards and the raptor briefly acknowledges her before attacking the men. Whilst escaping with Franklin under a table Zia loses her glasses, rendering her to not be able to see very well. In the ensuing fray, a container of hydrogen cyanide explodes (from being shot by a gun misfiring when Blue knocked over a guard) and later threatens the lives of all the dinosaurs in the subbasement.

Zia and Franklin arrive at the control room of the Manor and realize the threat of the toxins leading the two to try and resolve the issue with Franklin rebooting the power systems at Zia's insistance in order to get the ventallation to work.

Zia and Franklin later appear in Lockwood's Museum Parlor moments after the death of the Indoraptor. The two call out to Owen, Claire, and Maisie Lockwood through the broken roof and Zia tells them to come down stairs. Back in the subbasement Zia reveals that her and Franklin's efforts to fix the ventallation & stop the gas have failed. However Claire says there is one more solution that can save the dinosaurs and she proceeds to release them from their holding pens before further releasing them out into the wild. Claire stops herself as Zia watches with the others. Maisie Lockwood then sets the dinosaurs free as she feels empathy for the animals and believes they deserve to live.

Zia is present alongside Franklin, Claire, Maisie, and Owen as Owen reunites with Blue who does not attack the group, acknowledging the humans as her allies. While bonded greatly and still close with Owen, Blue chooses to not go back into captivity and runs off into the wild. Claire, Owen, and Maisie then set off together driving down the California coast while Zia and Franklin leave elsewhere.

Jurassic World: Dominion

Zia Rodriguez will return in Jurassic World: Dominion as part of the Dinosaur Protection Group.

Personality

"I'm a doctor, not a telemarketer!"
—Zia Rodriguez(src)

Zia is a young woman who is passionate about her work as a dinosaur veterinarian. She is also shown to be somewhat stubborn and short tempered in moments where others question her skills and abilities. 

She is good friends with her colleagues Claire and Franklin. Zia supports Claire and the two women are shown to be close as colleagues such as Claire holding Zia when Zia cries seeing her first dinosaur or when Zia supports a sad Claire after the Senate Hearing. Zia and Franklin have a more comical back and forth with the two disagreeing in several moments or arguing most often. But Zia and Franklin do care for one another as shown when Franklin rescues Zia from Dr. Wu and later working together to save the dinosaurs.

Zia is at most in her element when practicing her medical abilities. Early in Fallen Kingdom she becomes aggravated over performing the job of a "telemarketer". Despite the desperation of the situation (and having never actually seen a dinosaur in real life prior) Zia is shown to be at ease when performing a blood transfusion and bullet extraction of the velociraptor Blue.

Growing up Zia had a great love of animals and caring for them which led to her later chosen profession as a Paleo-Veterinarian. This empathy of animals extends to dinosaurs and bonds her with Claire and their mutual mission to save them from extinction. Despite her close conection and respect of wildlife, Zia isn't shown to be as anti-social or anti-human as characters like Owen Grady. 

According to J. A. Bayona and Daniella Pineda, Zia cuts and styles her own hair. Zia also has several tattoos including a rooster on her arm and the motto of the United States Marines "Semper Fi" on her collar bone. 

Background

Zia grew up in Seattle with a pet cat named Kizzy and spent her childhood looking after animals. This led Zia to study premed at Berkeley. Zia also dreamed of working at Jurassic World in the dino-healthcare field - a newly emerging medical field which saw great oppourtunity at the park. Zia got close enough to her goal that she was accepted into an Internship working at the park. But she never set foot on Isla Nublar due to the breakout and later rampage of the Indominus Rex. a hybrid created by InGen as a weapon. The park subsequently closed and Zia lost her chance at her dream career and to actually see dinosaurs.[2] Prior to her accepting the internship at Jurassic World, Zia was a part of the United States Marines. As to how long she was a Marine or under what circumstances she left the Marine Corps are unknown. 

After the fall of Jurassic World, Zia would go on to join the Dinosaur Protection Group alongside other former interns and employees of Jurassic World. Her position entailed being the "dinosaur biology expert". Though never having seen a dinosaur in person before, Zia's goal was to edcuate the public on dinosaur health. A secondary goal was to be able to examine and operate on sick and injured dinosaurs upclose.

Behind the Scenes

Zia Rodriguez is portrayed in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Jurassic World: Dominion by American actress Daniella Pineda. With a background that was primarily in comedy sketches and smaller projects (and even sketch comedy on Youtube), Fallen Kingdom marks Pineda's first major film franchise role. Like her character, Pineda also cares deeply about wildlife and the environment.

As shown in behind the scenes videos and on the Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray, Zia's overall look was somewhat inspired by Pineda who helped to roughly figure out the characters appearance. The tattoos were chosen and the Marines motto "Semper Fi" on Zia's collar bone to reflect it. Zia's hairstyle was partially styled by Pineda but ultimately by the on set stylist in order to make it look like the character was someone who cut and styled their own hair.

The character's backstory (outside of what the Dinosaur Protection Group website provides) was invented by Daniella Pineda. This includes her background as a US Marine as well as being attracted to women and not men. This would have been demonstrated in a short scene between Pineda and Chris Pratt's Owen Grady in which she remarked acknowledgement of his "attractiveness". However the scene was ultimately cut for time.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In a deleted scene, it was to be revealed that Zia is a lesbian. Given if this was canon, this would make Zia the first LGBT character in the Jurassic Park franchise and first LGBT main character of the movies.
  • According to actress Daniella Pineda, Zia's backstory also includes being a former US Marine. In the film this is hinted at with the Marines motto "Semper Fi" being tattooed on her collar bone as well as how Zia interacts with the mercenaries.
  • With the casting of Mexican-American actress Daniella Pineda, Zia is the first major main character & dinosaur expert of Latin American / Hispanic descent in the Jurassic Park Film series. Nearly all researchers and main characters prior were portrayed by Caucasian actors.

References

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Characters
Owen GradyClaire DearingMaisie LockwoodEli MillsBenjamin LockwoodFranklin WebbZia RodriguezKen WheatleyGunnar EversolHenry WuIris CarrollIan MalcolmSherwood
Jurassic World: Dominion Characters
Owen GradyClaire DearingMaisie LockwoodAlan GrantEllie SattlerIan MalcolmHenry WuZia RodriguezFranklin WebbLowery CruthersBarry SembèneLewis Dodgson
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