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Is there a Consistent Alien Cannon?

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Feb-15-2013 3:08 PM

Does the Alien movie series 1-4 and Prometheus create a seamless cannon? Many posters seem to be under the impression that this is so, but having watched documentaries on the making of all 5 movies, I now realize that there are inconsistencies brought about by the changing of directors for each movie. No two movies in that series, and I do not even want to include and AVP movies, were directed by the same director. Each director as we all know, have their own vision but they all at least make an attempt to blend them together with the ones that came before, but not at the expense of their own vision, which is paramount to each of them while in production. It has to be this way. The final result is as work that realistically can only be partially - maybe 80 % constant, the percentage decreasing as the number of movies increased. Between 1 and 2 there is the closest consistency, but even here we have a resulting 2 different life cycles, with Aliens introducing the queen concept. This was due to James Cameron and his great creative genius coupled with his huge ego. He even made little room for Giger because he knew from heresay that Giger would demand to interfere with his artistic vision, by JC's own admission. Look at all the debates that this one change has caused here on this site not to mention elsewhere! Once you get to Alien 3 we are replete with glaring inconsistencies such as where the hell did 2 eggs come from on the Sulaco! What happened to the Ripley-Hicks-Newt family concept, and of course the Charles (Michael?) Bishop Weyland as synthetic debate of just yesterday again! Taking all of this into account it is clear to me that acting as if there is a solid cannon consistent throughout all five movies is unrealistic to say the least. We are talking about 4 separate directors and one that directed the first and fifth movies with 30 years in between. How could we possibly expect it to be any other way. This is the real world of Hollywood blockbuster movie making. The real world concerns of film making, budgetary concerns and timing always take precedence over content unfortunately but this is the way it is, and it is very taxing to all parties concerned especially directors. So imo, I repeat there is no consistent Alien cannon that is inclusive of all 5 movies, and to think otherwise is not realistic.

18 Responses to Is there a Consistent Alien Cannon?


Feb-15-2013 4:10 PM

I think Prometheus has to be cannon to Alien because of RS. All the others are side stories for me.

\\\" I Want To Go Where They Come From\\\"

Major Noob

Feb-15-2013 4:31 PM

I'm with Denzel, I enjoyed the other movies to greater or lesser degrees, and though I haven't seen them, Im sure the AVP movies have something to recommend them. But Prometheus fits and gave us back the culture behind the Derelict, or at least a strand of it. There's more, and only RS has the surreal vision to depict it.


Feb-15-2013 4:35 PM

I still think that all 4 alien movies+prometheus are canon but liek nostromo says, they are all somewhat inconsistent.

Not a map, an invitation


Feb-15-2013 4:54 PM

Yes cuponator3000 they are all somewhat inconsistent and its nobodies fault, it just happens in the course of making a series of movies like this. All I am saying is this is the obvious fact: There are lots of inconsistencies and its not fair to the movies or directors to expect them to perfectly fit into an ideal cannon that we create - not them. Each director willingly deviates from the overall cannon to realize their creative vision. I have heard them all state this. David Fincher said it when discussing Alien 3 as did James Cameron while discussing Aliens. Its a fact of life.


Major Noob

Feb-15-2013 5:40 PM

I've said this before with respect to Predator; I saw the first one and liked it alot. I like the Beatkes and Led Zeppelin too, but would not try to combine them. Similarly, for me the aesthetics of Alien and Predator don't mix and thus I can't consider AVP canon. Now I understand that it's not actually for me to say what is and isn't canon but it's still a very personal topic. Because of the inconsistencies in story and feel across the 4 ( now 5, arguably) Alien films I'm comfortable deciding for myself my own canon. Why not? Alien and Prometheus have the same director but how many writers between them? Ultimately it comes down to how do you like your science fiction? When all is considered, it's Alien and Prometheus. IMO, of course!

Engineer Tech Brett

Feb-15-2013 5:52 PM

I agree with Major Noob with regards AVP. Its up to the viewer if they want AVP as canon, i don't believe it is. For me Alien canon is Prometheus, Alien, Aliens annd Alien3.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.


Feb-15-2013 6:05 PM

I would generally agree with the subjective answer - that the movies fit together as determined by the viewer, however I think that cannon implies consensus or generally agreed upon set of ideas. I notice nobody seems to want to include Alien 4 resurrection! lol



Feb-15-2013 6:06 PM

These inconsistencies are being "solved" by fans, with theories...but what about the official voice? Do you think they want to tie loose wires? It is more realistic to think that they're not planning to achieve that purpose, why? Because they all have their own vision of this fictional universe. Probably that's why Scott decided to move away from the Alien movies...besides that Fox wants to get more money from the fans and the general public also.

Engineer Tech Brett

Feb-15-2013 6:26 PM

@Nostromo, 2 things killed Alien Resurrection for me: 1:Ripley the Alien Slayer Alien,Aliens and Alien3 Ripley was a strong female character because she faced her fears and worst nightmare. She made moral decisions she thought were right and stood by them. She became a leader. In Alien Resurrection Ripley was able to beat up Aliens. 2: the Newborn. Just WTF.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.


Feb-15-2013 6:31 PM

I agree with Shambhala and Egineer Tech Brett about both issues. Alien 4 is so bad that no one will touch it and Shambhala is finely making sense here.



Feb-15-2013 7:56 PM

i include ressurection. and not because i like it, but because it was made to be canon( i assume) and it doesnt interfere with my love for alien and prometheus(and strong liking of aliens and alien 3)

Not a map, an invitation


Feb-15-2013 8:23 PM

I think that that there is a level of consistency throughout. At time there are questions raised, but in general I think there is a plot that flows. Yes, the viewer can decide what is cannon but in general there is a flow that works in all films. What I do think matters is at what point someone enters into the whole debate based on the time they got hooked on Alien. I have a perspective that is based on Ridley Scotts visions based in what he felt Alien 3 should have been and by knowing this I have known for nearly 20 yrs that Prometheus should have been Alien3. Scott was surprised back at the time Alien 3 was released that it did not cover the origin of the Space Jockey. This has since led me to believe that there has for a long time been a storyline that Scott wanted to take further but for some strange reason was never persued until Prometheus . So therefore it has never mattered what direction the introduction of AVP went in, the Prometheus angle has been there for a long time to take up. Scott has always known this, so why bother with what people think is cannon when you know that there is another avenue to explore that does not really interfere with the franchise. It's a bloody good move on Scott because he has known for a long time no-ones going down that route.


Feb-15-2013 9:19 PM

Nostromo001 Does the Alien movie series 1-4 and Prometheus create a seamless cannon? No So imo, I repeat there is no consistent Alien cannon that is inclusive of all 5 movies, and to think otherwise is not realistic. I agree


Feb-16-2013 6:04 AM

The things consistent in the movies are the Xeno's production, and humans wanting to use the Xeno's as a weapon. I agree that the new born Alien/Resurrection was a wtf moment. But wasn't Ripley a clone mixed with xeno dna?? Therefore would be able to take on a Xeno. I didnt like the clone bit, Sigourney should've left it alone. It was the start of the end for the Xeno hunters.

\\\" I Want To Go Where They Come From\\\"

Engineer Tech Brett

Feb-16-2013 6:47 AM

@Denzel, I understnad the reason she is able to kick a Xeno's ass,I just think the whole idea of it is totally ridiculous. There was no need in turning Ripley into Buffy the alien slayer. Very poor writing imo.

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.


Feb-16-2013 11:17 AM

I began this post because I became concerned over posters clinging to a flimsy at best cannon that was more in the mind of the viewers than Fox studio, who I agree has taken this theme so far afield that Ridley Scott could only approach it after so many years from the only direction not clogged up - a prequel. The sequel future had already been contaminated by Alien 3 and 4 so he just left it alone until Prometheus. What I am saying here is this very cannon created loosely by the studio ruined his involvement with the future sequel time frame. So he took the only available avenue. OK now I have said it twice so I think that should clarify this issue for all alien fans.



Nov-22-2016 10:10 PM

All the movies count except for the last half hour of Resurrection. We all know why. Damn whoever let that happen. It was honestly a great movie up until that ogre thing. The visual face was awful, someone ruined the whole movie with that monster design. Total detour from the norm. 

I dont think there are any *major inconsistencies between the movies. Alien lifecycle is not voided, only shown better in Aliens introducing the queen. Alien 3 is sweet plot because of the all male prison. Alien resurrection Mercs are cool but awful ending. Prometheus is gold despite its bad ending too. But heres the thing, the Prometheus ship crashing into the Derelict ship....that was done so well and its so unique...makes up for some annoyances. 

Its funny how no one will ever fully agree on whats canon. Its too big....books, games, comics, movies, fan scripts all incompatible. Whatever gets you going im your imagination....thats canon. Take what you need, leave the rest


Nov-23-2016 1:03 AM

The canon (currently) is:

Four Alien films

Two Prometheus films

Alien Isolation game

Fire & Stone comics

Life & Death comics

Defiance comics

Out of the Shadows novel

River of Pain novel

Sea of Sorrows novel

Rage War novel trilogy

Weyland Yutani Report

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