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What if Prometheus doesn’t have anything to do with anything after Alien?



I have a question; what exactly is the life cycle of the creature in the movie Alien? From the movies and to a lesser extent the Alien comic books I thought the life cycle was pretty clear, but after the events of Prometheus I’m not so sure.

The Alien Facehugger

The Alien Facehugger

In the original version of Alien to Aliens and even Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection as well as the  Dark Horse comics it seemed as if the alien was a creature native to some far-off planet in our galaxy that lived within some kind of natural ecosystem it was a part of.

The alien lived in a hive like ants or bees, built domes for protection at the center of which lived a queen that ruled the hive. In their natural ecosystem there were predators that preyed on the alien and vise versa.

The alien starts its life with the queen laying an egg. Some other unsuspecting creature is infected with an spore via a “facehugger” contained in the egg. Then, some sort of miniature alien is implanted in this creature via the facehugger. After a short time of incubation, a juvenile alien “chestburster”  literally erupts from the creature and eventually grows into an adult alien.

The Alien Chestburster

The Alien Chestburster

Sometime in the past time of the movies, a queen alien was taken from its home planet by other aliens possessing interstellar travel technology. These other aliens have become known as the “Engineers.” Somewhere in flight among the stars, these Engineers were overwhelmed by the alien, infected and their ship crashed on the world LV-426 which would be found by the crew of the Nostromo in the movie Alien. While exploring the crashed ship, crewmember Kane would find a hold full of the queen’s eggs, become infected himself and deliver an alien aboard the Nostromo in flight.

The idea of the egg, facehugger, chestburster and adult alien came from Alien. The idea of the hive and queen were from Aliens.

This all was cannon in the series until 2003 and the release of the director’s cut of Alien.

The grown creature of Alien

The grown creature of Alien

Here, a scene was added to Alien that fans had known about for some time. Characters of Dallas and Brett, who had been taken by the alien and presumed killed during the course of the movie, are found by Ripley hidden away in some darkened corridor on the ship. Both have been trapped and cocooned and are slowly being transformed into two alien eggs. Brett, who was captured first, is a long way gone and is almost totally turned into an egg. Dallas is a little less transformed and is coherent enough to beg Ripley to kill him, which she does.

An Engineer in Prometheus

An Engineer in Prometheus

The question of the crewmembers turned to eggs raises is what, if any, role does the alien queen play in things? Or, is this some sort of way of the alien “kick starting” a hive when no queen is present?

And again, even with this inconsistency (do queens make eggs, or are eggs transformed beings?) things were mostly fine until 2012 and Prometheus.

Prometheus explored the race of Engineers that were somewhat introduced in Alien and in the comics. Here, they were shown as seeding life on the Earth and using the far off planet LV-223, in the same system as LV-426, to house bunkers full of weird and dangerous bio-weapons. The crew of the ship Prometheus visits this planet and on exploring one of these bunkers one crew member is infected by black “goo” and another is sprayed with the blood of a worm also infected with this goo.

Infected crewmember Fifield in Prometheus

Infected crewmember Fifield in Prometheus

It takes some time but each begins to turn into something monstrous. One of these man-creature-things attacks the Prometheus and ends up killing several other crew members of the ship. Before turning, the other infected person has sex with scientist Elizabeth Shaw and impregnates her with something that starts out as looking like a fish crossed with an octopus crossed with a dildo but grows into a massive mostly octopus-looking thing. This thing captures one of the Engineers and implants something into him. This something grows much like the chestburster of Alien and when born comes out looking much like the alien of the original films abet with a few minor physical differences – different color, different jaw, etc.

What’s going on here? Are the things of the Alien films supposed to be different than the things of Prometheus, or are they supposed to be related? In some ways they seem to be related, but in others not so much.

I have a few theories:

The octopus-thing from Prometheus

The octopus-thing from Prometheus

The alien of the Alien movies and the creatures of Prometheus are both bio-weapons, but different if somewhat related ones. Maybe the alien is some natural creature the Engineers found on some far off planet and took some of the eggs of to use as one of their weapons? And maybe during one of these shipments of these eggs one got out, infected an Engineer which caused the ship to crash land on LV-426 en-route to LV-223?

Still, this doesn’t quite explain things. Like why does being “infected” cause the births of the alien from Alien and the octopus-thing infecting the Engineer in Prometheus? They seem too related to just be coincidence.

Or…

prometheus_deacon

The “deacon” creator of Prometheus

It’s just that director Ridley Scott of Alien and director James Cameron of Aliens had different visions of the alien life cycle and that’s what we’re seeing play out on the big screen.

If you take out everything that happened after Alien in regards to the alien life cycle – mostly that a queen alien is the one who lays the eggs that creates little aliens – Alien fits nicely into the Prometheus mythos. With Ridley Scott, the alien is just another bio weapon that, like the creatures from Prometheus, are created by the Engineers. I think in Ridley’s mind the movies go Prometheus to Alien and everything else that’s happened after really isn’t his concern.