New ‘Westworld’ Park Details Hint at Bleak Outside World
Sunday’s Westworld opened a third park beyond the title vistas and unseen “Shogun World,” with at least three locales to go. And while our trip to “The Raj” was short, new details of the mysterious park and its location raise significant questions about the show’s setting.
You’re warned of Westworld spoilers for Sunday’s “Virtù e Fortuna” from here on out, but the third episode’s cold open introduced us to “The Raj,” a Colonial India-themed park that enables guests to ride elephants and hunt Bengal tigers on period expeditions. The scene largely served to introduce Katja Herbers’ mysterious newcomer (as well to pay off a tiger washing ashore in the premiere), but the Delos website has now added a curious new detail. Apparently, tigers and elephants have gone entirely extinct in the outside world:
A few things to unpack here – Westworld has yet to lock down an official year for the series, but it’s of interest to note that environmental decay and human intervention have actually killed off notable species. Ford’s line from the pilot claimed humanity had advanced to the point it could “cure any disease,” though that same ingenuity apparently doesn’t extend to the ecosystem. Season 2 has also hinted at the potential for cloning technology, but applying as much to the animal kingdom might take us too close to that other Michael Crichton franchise.
What’s more, it seems the premiere hint about Westworld taking place on an island off the Chinese mainland may not have been so conclusive as we thought. Entertainment Weekly spoke to director Richard J. Lewis, who claimed showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy weren’t going to nail down an official location just yet:
The park is global, and many international flavors are coming in. I don’t if the map has changed. We don’t want to put the park specifically off the coast of China. We’re not meant to know. I’m not saying we’re not in Asia. But I don’t want to put it anywhere at this point.
It’s unclear if Lewis meant to imply that guests come from all over the world, or if the unrevealed parks would take on more “international flavors.” The same Raj description above may contain an additional hint, however, as the reference to a spa could place one of the prior parks as “Spaworld,” a destination included in 1976 sequel Futureworld. Not exactly an exciting world to reveal, but potentially in keeping with canon.
We’ll visit “Shogun World” in a few weeks and hopefully learn the other three destinations as Westworld Season 2 rides on.
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