Weyland-Yutani: Complicit Corporation or Opportunistic Organization?8 Upvotes36 RepliesUpvoteAdd A Reply
Recently I have been encouraging discussion and debate with a series of articles postulating theories intended to widen the narrative choices of the Alien franchise. In the most recent of these "What If" articles while debating the proposed theory within, I became aware that one very important aspect of the entire franchise was not perceived the same by all of us fans. This topic has never really been breached before because we have all naively assumed that the perception we each hold is universal, but alas this is not the case, and with this being a key and important aspect of the entire franchise I think it is somewhat important to see where the rest of the fans perception lies on the subject.
We know that the USCSS Nostromo, en-route home to Earth from the Thedus Mining Colony was rerouted by the Weyland-Yutani corporation to Acheron LV-426 in the Zeta II Reticuli system with the intention of and at the expense of the vessels crew, retrieving a specimen of the deadly Xenomorph organism. To ensure successful retrieval of this deadly creature the Nostromo's Science Officer was replaced with Ash, a Weyland-Yutani synthetic, before the vessel left Thedus.
We also know that Weyland-Yutani then waited over 35 years before again turning their attentions to Acheron LV-426, this time indirectly, by supplying the Colonial Administration with an Atmosphere Processor and its many building modules, for the "shake and bake colony" Hadley's Hope. 20 years later at the request of Carter J. Burke, "the company" requested the colony investigate a map coordinate; a map co-ordinate reported to house thousands of Xenomorph specimens (eggs).
While we can probably all agree that Weyland-Yutani's morality is literally non-existent, one question remains - why all of the subterfuge? Why didn't Weyland-Yutani just send a specialized vessel to Acheron LV-426 to obtain the specimen(s) they coveted so much? Why send the crew of a Tug and a colony of over 20 families to their almost certain death?
It is my belief that the subterfuge seen in Alien and Aliens is evidence that the Weyland-Yutani corporation are prohibited by some higher power, ICC, governmental or otherwise, from directly obtaining anything from Acheron LV-426 - Only when specimens were available outside the Zeta II Reticuli system did "the company" take direct action, as evidenced in Alien 3 in their attempt to acquire their prize on Fiorina 161. It is also my belief that the events of Prometheus and Alien Covenant, while exploring the mythos of the Engineers, are also setting the foundation for why Weyland-Yutani (and possibly other corporations) have been prohibited from obtaining specimens of the Xenomorph.
Do you agree with my inference, of which I naively thought was universally held among us, or do you perceive Weyland-Yutani's actions in a different manner?
I think you identify the root of this kind of debate perfectly. We all know enough about each directors vision to know what was in their mind at the time they made the film but it can then be recast and without to much difficulty particularly if you opt for a symbolic view of the material as i do.
This BD is something you and I have discussed as regards the up and coming Covenant. There are actually two substantial ret cons coming our way :-
1) A backing into pre equal rather than a tangental saga.
2) A fork in the road.
You cannot reorganise the overarching narrative more than that other than starting again!
I know what you mean about the Hobbit but thats a case in point to. The original two film structure had an entirely different story line for Dol Gulder. Gandalf visits the High fells before the Goblin King and discusses Azogs backs story in full in Beorns house, goes to DG meets and rescues Beorn who was captured after the companies departure, meets Thrain who is killed by Azog after he has seen visions in a Palantir and is then captured.
In the denouement there was a fantastic scene where Galadriel confronts Sauron directly and rescues Mithrandir and in the intervening period Gandalf has been frisked for the morgul blade in his possession which is why it ends up back with the Witch King for the LOTR. In the three film version "to tell more story" all this is removed and you end up with a lot of video game hokiness in the denouement and a turn by the legendary Sir Antony Sher as Thrain which is cut out of the theatrical cut. What was Peter Jackson smoking ?
For the "real" Bishop to turn up with his motives unmasked even before I studied the movies hard left me with the impression that "Bishop" period is being revealed. All the stuff about Robot protocols and they were twitchy referring to Ash always came across as merely being plausible. The over arching point in the A L I E N franchise as regards A I is "what is in there mind" its the same theme as Bladerunner it is highly enigmatic. Thats why the Ripley/Cal thing and her being "vulnerable" missed the point. I know why they did it to be fresh.
The exciting thing about Covenant is we are most definitely pre protocol and we are in Robot + Black Goo land and there are at least two of the blighters.
To the OP, this is an interesting question. You are led to believe (or at least I was) that these mega corporations have achieved some kind of parity, if not superiority, over nation-states and/or any planetary governmental organization. But for appearances, they must still act like they are subservient to a governmental body. So although in affect, they can do damn near anything they want, they cannot be too overt about it. Lest the masses of asses get wise. Perhaps this might explain why all the subterfuge instead of just going in there heavy and taking what they want (well, uh, good luck with that one). But yeah, point being, something keeps them from just overtly prosecuting their agenda.
Another aspect is the "shares" angle. Even if the mega-corps are free to openly pursue their agenda (said with a Vicker's snark), they may not being doing so because certain sects within the company are trying to keep it covert. They either want to keep the technology within the company as a whole, and/or the small sect wants to keep all the profits from it's discovery, as Burke would suggest.
And, perhaps there are protocols, procedures, etc. that prevent the company from bringing something like this back, at least not without governmental agencies getting involved. The quarantine procedures mentioned in ALIENs for instance. Again, witness Burke trying to circumvent this by impregnating Ripley and Newt.
Depending on your POV, this might describe our present situation. You could see this developing in the next couple of centuries. Corporations becoming so rich and powerful that they challenge traditional nation-states. But since they have no "legitimacy" of elected governments, they must still appear to be playing by the rules.
"In Alien3, he tells Ripley everything when she hooks him up. If he was working at cross purposes, he would've just refused to speak to her."
I agree to a point, and the intentions for the Franchise did paint Bishop as a Benevolent Android.... and you made a point about Ripley asking for the Specimens to be destroyed but Burke did not want them too.... it seemed he more followed Burke than Ripley, as he would have known at that point these Organisms killed all the colonists off and this cant be allowed back.... but he is a Robot... and so he may not see things as Shaw did with the Juggernaught and its Cargo when she spoke to Janek.
In Alien 3 Bishop continued to be more open.... but in a way once Ash had his head knocked off and was also incapacitated he was very open to Ripley...
The movie Franchise does however set Bishop up as the Good guy.... only a Alien 5 could be used to give him a sinister company Agenda...
But Weaver teased about a Happy Ending and re-united cast, which implies Bishop too and this must be in Good Terms and not bad....
So i think unless Alien 5 does anything different... Bishop would be shown as being Benevolent and no secret company Agenda.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
BD said "The movie Franchise does however set Bishop up as the Good guy.... only a Alien 5 could be used to give him a sinister company Agenda..."
I think you mean the opposite. Bishop Android is enigmatic in A L I E N S and appears at the end to show that the amended protocols work in favour of rather than undermine those whom they "serve". He is the good guy.
The Alien franchise however uncovers another layer where "Bishop" has to finally reveal himself within W-Y as intent on the Xeno technology which we have of course learnt subsequently derives from a mutagen created out of the hierarchy gift to the Engineers which is a catalyser to genetic development....until more is revealed. If like me you stop with A 3 then there is the tantalising though that LH offered that Michael is just another more advanced model.
Whether he ends up serving cocktails to Dwayne Hicks and Ellen Ripley at their wedding who knows. This is science fiction where we should dare to dream and tear up the basis book.
What is benevolent Samaritan, in Person of Interest is benevolent and wants to order chaos. The problem is chaos is built into mankind's experience out of which we learn and grow, just like the way a B Movie story was given an A movie gloss and grew into a franchise.......unintentionally.
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