Ellie Sattler was a graduate student from Montana, specializing in paleobotany (the study of prehistoric plants) and working under the supervision of Dr. Alan Grant.
In the original novel, Ellie is described as twenty-four and darkly tanned. She was engaged to Dr. Reiman, a physicist from Berkeley. She has a lesser role in the novel than she does in the movie. Ellie didn’t appear in The Lost World novel but it was mentioned that she is now married to a physicist from Berkeley and they had two children. She continued to do lectures on prehistoric pollens.
In Jurassic Park, Ellie is played by actress Laura Dern and the character has a bigger role in the movie than in the original novel. Director Steven Spielberg wrote out the character of Ed Regis and killed Gennaro off early so she took over many of their tasks. Spielberg also made it clear that Grant and Ellie were in a relationship as it wasn’t really touched upon in the novel and it added more tension to the film. Ellie accompanies Alan Grant to John Hammond’s Jurassic Park theme park, and like Grant, is memorized by the sight of the dinosaurs.
When the group takes a tour in the Ford Explorers, they arrive at the Triceratops Enclosure and discovers the Triceratops is sick. She came to the conclusion that it was because they ate the poisonous West Indian Lilac plants in their enclosure. She starts to have doubts about Jurassic Park after they paid no attention to the poisonous plants and placed them in public places where the dinosaurs could eat them. The group continue the tour in the Ford Explorers while she stays behind to look after a sick Triceratops. After the Tyrannosaurus rex attack, Ellie and Muldoon looks for survivors and finds an injured Ian Malcolm. They put Malcolm in the back of the jeep and continue the search for survivors. They return to the jeep when the Tyrannosaurus rex emerges from the trees and chases the jeep until it gives up.
Later, Ray Arnold shuts down the power and Ellie and Muldoon venture out and try to turn the park’s power systems back online manually. They realise that the velociraptors have escaped their paddock and are hunting them. Muldoon covers Ellie while she runs to the Power Shed. She switches the power back on but then a velociraptor attacks her. She escapes and meets up with Grant at the Visitor Center. The raptors chase them and the escape through the air ducts and in the main lobby. As the raptors are about to attack them, the Tyrannosaurus rex bursts in killing one of them. They use this as a moment to escape and they reach the helicopter and leave the island.
Jurassic Park 3
Ellie has a minor appearance in Jurassic Park 3. It’s revealed that her relationship with Alan Grant had ended since the events in the first film but they remain close friends and she still deeply cares about him. She is now a children’s writer, living in Washington D.C. with her children and is now married to Mark Degler who is an attorney for the U.S. State Department. At the start of the film, she has Alan over for dinner and at the end of the movie, Grant calls Ellie for help when they are stranded on Isla Sorna. She tells her husband and he sends the U.S. Marines to rescue Alan and the group.
Jurassic World: Dominion
Ellie received a call about a swarm of giant locusts eating crops so she went to West Texas to investigate. She discovered that another crop area wasn’t eaten, and she figures out that Biosyn was responsible. She then goes to Utah to talk to her old friend Alan Grant. Ellie tells him that she and Mark are now divorced and their two children are at college or on their own. She tells Alan that she wants to prove that Biosyn is responsible for engineering these locusts.
Ellie tells Alan that Ian Malcolm, now a lecturer there, invited her down to Biosyn and she asks Alan to come to Biosyn to get a locust sample. Hesitant at first, Alan agreed to help after Ellie told him Ian Malcolm invited Ellie to Biosyn valley and she said the locusts could cause a world disaster. When they got to Biosyn, Alan and Ellie met the CEOs of Biosyn Ramsay Cole and Lewis Dodgson, and met up with Ian Malcolm who gave them a key they could use to get a sample of the locust.
Alan and Ellie get the sample but was almost killed when the locusts swarmed around them. They escape and meet a girl called Maisie Lockwood who had escaped from Biosyn. Ramsay helped Alan, Ellie and Maisie escape through a Hyperloop – a subway train system. After the Hyperloop stopped, they left when they discovered they were in a mine.
As the group tries to find a way out of the mine, Ellie regrets bringing Alan along but Alan reveals that he wasn’t happy with the life he had. Maisie asks if Alan and Ellie are a couple. Alan said they’re not but they’re good friends. With Ian Malcolm’s help, the three escape the mine and into a car. They eventually see three people in front of them at a research outpost – Owen Grady, and Claire Dearing – Maisie’s adoptive parents. They exit the car but the group are attacked by a Giganotosaurus. They escape and Alan is given some water by Owen. Owen revealed he is a fan of his and read his book on tape.
Ellie left with Claire to restore power back online so they can leave Biosyn. Ellie tells Claire that she still gets nightmares from what she went through in Jurassic Park. Claire has a lot of regrets too about what she did with Jurassic World but Ellie told her not to keep her holding onto regrets. After bringing the power back online, they meet up with the rest of the group including Henry Wu and Ellie recognizes him as one of the scientists at Jurassic Park. Ellie and the group didn’t initially trust Wu but Maisie convinced them to give him a chance. After the Giganotosaurus fights with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the group escapes in a Biosyn helicopter. They leave Biosyn and Alan and Ellie rekindle their romantic relationship. They go to Washington DC to testify against Biosyn.