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What If... The Alien didn't need hosts?

What If... The Alien didn't need hosts?

Gavin

Sep-19-2016 4:58 PM

It's been a while since I threw one of these out there. While some fans like to pigeonhole the Xenomorph into what it can and cannot do I prefer to see the creature much like how many of us fans see Prometheus, as ambiguous. For me, the Xenomorph is a blank canvas, constantly evolving and adapting, becoming something more - at least I feel it has the potential to do so of which just hasn't been explored in the last few installments. The AVP's and Alien Resurrection made the creature too fleshy and too generic, moving away from the uniqueness of the creatures designs in the first three movies, while thematically the creatures ability to learn at a genetic level was sidelined for needless gore scenes. I am hopeful, though somewhat apprehensive, that Ridley Scott will revisit these themes in the forthcoming Alien Covenant and show us another unseen face of the Xenomorphs ability to rejuvenate genetically.

One which way in which the creature could possibly do this is to move beyond the confines of it's established biology, chiefly its requirement for hosts to propagate. This trait is both one of the creatures greatest traits and one of its greatest weaknesses. Using Hosts allows the Xenomorph embryo to extrapolate genetic traits from the host that would prove beneficially to its survival both within its immediate environment and long term as a species. However, should the Xenomorphs be located somewhere void of hosts the species remains at a standstill in its most infantile and most vulnerable form, much like on LV-426.

But what if in a future movie we see the Xenomorph move beyond this restriction, no longer requiring a Facehugger to implant embryo's into unsuspected hosts, but simply by revealing, maybe in the movie's closing moments, a lone Xenomorph egg as it slowly opens to reveal the viscera inside and swimming within we see the recognisable form of the Chestburster.

 

Would this be an acceptable evolution for fans of the Alien movies? Is it possible for the creature we see as ever changing to change too much? To maintain the creatures nightmarishness are we as fans willing to see the creature evolve beyond the traits established in its first appearance?

7 Responses to What If... The Alien didn't need hosts?

S.M

Sep-19-2016 5:18 PM

"For me, the Xenomorph is a blank canvas, constantly evolving and adapting, becoming something more - at least I feel it has the potential to do so of which just hasn't been explored in the last few installments. The AVP's and Alien Resurrection made the creature too fleshy and too generic, moving away from the uniqueness of the creatures designs in the first three movies"

There seem to be two statements at odds with each other.  You're in favour of the creature evolving and adapting, then contradicting it by saying the AvP and Resurrection creatures were too fleshy.  Isn't that also "evolving and adapting"?

"But what if in a future movie we see the Xenomorph move beyond this restriction, no longer requiring a Facehugger to implant embryo's into unsuspected hosts, but simply by revealing, maybe in the movie's closing moments, a lone Xenomorph egg as it slowly opens to reveal the viscera inside and swimming within we see the recognisable form of the Chestburster.

 

Would this be an acceptable evolution for fans of the Alien movies? Is it possible for the creature we see as ever changing to change too much? To maintain the creatures nightmarishness are we as fans willing to see the creature evolve beyond the traits established in its first appearance?"

It's already done that design wise - the most visible change being the loss of the dome head in Aliens.  Then it changed again in Alien3, restoring the head, but removing the dorsal tubes and giving a more quadrupedal look.

IN terms of skipping the facehugger stage - it depends on how it's introduced and handled. An egg opening to reveal a chestburster (now obviously misnamed) would certainly make for an arresting image, but if such a thing happened it would need to make some sort of biological sense within the existing rules and framework.

When things come too far out of left field - the Newborn (which did make sense in the context of the film) or the PredAlien vomiting eggs down a hosts throat (which didn't), even Aliens going from hugger to adult in 10 minutes in AvP - it never ends well.

Molecular

Sep-19-2016 6:30 PM

Hmmm... your thoughts are intriguing because at some point, if this series is to continue onward beyond the last film in the Prometheus saga (including ALIEN 5), fresh ideas will inevitably be required. See, the thing to keep in mind is that the Xenomorph is not really a species in the traditional sense; we define species as "a set of individuals connected by gene exchange ("gene flow") that is genetically isolated from all other such sets of individuals". In other words, the group members in that population can exchange genes between them, and that exchange pattern both propogates and allows for variations (mutations) which- if I understand it correctly- is what enables species to evolve (and thus increase their potential for survival).

So the Xenomorph takes genetic traits from the host and that increases it's adaptability, but there's a critical problem: it's hyper-predatory tendencies creates a serious ecological imbalance. If lions were to casually hunt and kill their prey at the same rate the Xenomorph does human beings, the ecology would rapidly suffer. We do this, too; look at how human activity is rapidly eliminating many species around the world. Another thing: Xenomorphs don't reproduce with each other, they jump species; where do we see something similar in our planet?

Ultimately though, that's the whole point of the Xeno I think- to wipe out entire civilizations. Ridley always thought of the Derelict as an alien bomber whose dangerous cargo was compromised and led to the events of ALIEN. Going back to your concept, it has potential: the Xenos would be able to potentially reproduce among themselves and go down some novel evolutionary paths. Of course, that would eliminate face hugging and chest bursting, two aspects of it's current life cycle which are deeply disturbing on many levels- and if we take that away, would we really see the whole phenomenon in the same way?

Shiro

Sep-20-2016 5:06 AM

Well if Xenomorphs didn't have hosts i would be relieved....But my initial reaction for this would be....

 

 

RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIVES THESE THINGS ARE GOING TO EAT YOUR NOT INPREGNANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

(very bad joke i know)

"A living nuclear weapon destined to walk the Earth forever. Indestructible. A victim of the modern nuclear age."

BigDave

Sep-20-2016 7:27 AM

Interesting Article...

Yes Gavin you hit the nail on the head..... The Xenomorph life cycle and how it gestates in a host to then create a Lifeform that has its hosts traits and Xenomorphs so that it can adapt to any environment is a very good reproductive ability.

But it is a reproductive cycle that relies purely upon a Host.... no Host and no Xenomorph...

If they did not need a Host and Evolved to be able to form to Adults from the Eggs, then they would be nothing more than a Alien Ant/Bee or Termites etc.  This would make them more Perfect as the need for Hosts is a limiting Factor.

But it was the Need for a Host that made the Alien what it was, if we had a Organism that started as a Egg, taken to the Ship that then released a Organism, that evolved and molted and grew like either a Spider/Insect or Reptile... then i think Alien would have lost that ORIGINALITY and one thing that made it truly HORRIFIC

If we bring into it the Egg Morph then we again see the Need for foreign Genetic Material for the Organism to Procreate.

The Black Goo was the same... we have to assume if the Black Goo Urns landed on a Baron Waste ground with no signs of Life.. would nothing evolve from this Biological Soup?  We seem to be shown that the Black Goo needs foreign Genetic Material to create the Horrors it is capable of.

So i think losings the need for a Host or Foreign Genetic Material may on one hand make the Xenomorph more of a threat and pest to the Galaxy....

On the other it takes away the horror that the original had... It would be like the movie THE THING if the Thing was merely that creature they Dug up from the buried Space Ship and it defrosted and went around killing the Humans like the Xenomorph did in Alien then it too would loose the one thing that made it so horrific....  The Thing needed a Host too.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

Sep-20-2016 7:38 AM

A evolution of the Organism i would have liked to had seen would be to have it or a variant of it procreate in one of these ways... maybe this is what the Deacon could do?

1) Adult acts as a Face Huger and can implant Embryos via a Tongue into Hosts.... this was covered in AVPR

2) The Organism, infects a Host with a Parasite DNA that causes it to Mutate into Hybrid, so it would be like if the Organism injects Black Goo into a Host

3) The Organism infects a Host or releases a substance that turns the Host into a Cocoon, this then either becomes a Egg (Egg Morph) or better still it becomes similar to the Cocoons in Gremlins and from it comes a New Hybrid Xenomorph.

4) The Organism captures a host and in a horrific way extracts something from a Host or Genetic Material it then used to allow it to lay Eggs.

1 has been done..... 3-4 are maybe similar and could be explored as the way the Xenomorph procreates.

And so number 2 would offer something New...  And would be the Perfect Evolution.... as it combines the Xenomorph threat from the Franchise with the threat that the Goo has... in one DEADLY Bio-Weapon/Organism.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Something Real

Sep-20-2016 9:40 PM

GAVIN SINGLETON - What a very interesting notion! I would have to say that a breed of Alien that is capable of procreation without the use of hosts is quite feasible! I, personally, enjoy the more nightmarish method of creating little Aliens! However, it is exceptionally fun to entertain the notion you have placed forth! Thank you ever so much for creating another of these little mind treats! :)

Engineer77

Jul-06-2017 2:37 PM

 the airborne infection in Covenant scared me the most.

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