So I’ve gotten a tad bored with the discussion of macroevolution at the moment (it’s yet another rehash of the same points that keep cropping like cicada eruptions every few years. For a very similar recent exchange, look up Sal and his lungfish discussion. Or check out Things That IDers Don’t Understand, Part 1 — Intelligent Design is not compatible with the evidence for common descent – from 2012!)
So, as a public service, I figure I’d toss out a something that is a little less dramatic (on some levels) and wholly entertaining.
So I’m a big Alien fan. A fan of the original movie of that name that is and mostly a fan of the franchise that spawned from it. Big fan…HUGE! I loved the original movie (after getting the willies scared out of me the first time I saw it) because it was the only movie I’d ever seen that even remotely tried to come up with a concept of what an organism that did not develop on Earth might be like. And let’s face it, that was one cool organism they came up with!
The other thing about the movie I loved, and I think this in particular was why the movie became so popular at the time and why it is still considered such a classic, well-done movie in general, is that it was not about the alien at all. It was about actual, working class people who have to deal with a serious problem. That it was set in space with alien worlds was almost irrelevant; the characters could easily have been found on an offshore oil platform, a tanker at sea, a pipeline crew, or a trucking company. The audience could easily relate to the characters. As a bonus, the actors were excellent and their portrayal outstanding.
Of course, the thing everyone remembers is the stomach bursting scene and the biomechanical horrific monster that ends up terrorizing and killing off most of the crew.
Here’s thing that few people know: O’Bannon, the guy who wrote Alien (originally called Star Beast) envisioned a totally self-perpetuating organism with a locally-contained life cycle. In other words, the original life cycle idea was egg to breeder to larva to adult where the adult ultimately creates more eggs for the cycle to start all over. O’Bannon did not come up with the queen and wasp-like life cycle that folks are now familiar with (that was James Cameron’s idea that he subsequently implemented in the second movie because he could not (and freely admitted at the time) get O’Bannon’s more virus-like life cycle. It irks me to no end that O’Bannon’s original concept got lost in the shuffle, but that’s not the point of this rant.
Incidentally, in O’Bannon’s original concept, the Aliens (or xenomorphs as they are now known) were created as weapons, but not for use against humans. O’Bannon stated that when he wrote the original script, he felt that the original creators (and he did not come up with who they were) did not know a thing about humans. Further, he did not come up with the Space Jockey (the fossilized pilot of the derelict alien ship in the original movie) nor was that Space Jockey necessarily of the race of the creators (now called Engineers). Ridley Scott came up with the Space Jockey from seeing some of Giger’s work. He loved the idea of it cinematically. And when it was finally created on set, he thought it was pretty perfect, possibly the best part of the movie. It really was a phenomenal piece of work back in 1978 and it was AMAZING on screen in 1979. But, no one came up with any real back story for it. Scott, in some interviews, claimed that they tossed around the idea that he might have been a bomber pilot and that the eggs in the hold were the bombs he was supposed to drop on some other alien race. They also tossed around the idea that he was simply an alien trucker (a mirror of the human crew that find him) and that the eggs were his cargo, though totally alien to him and his crew (hence the reason he was found with a hole in his chest). But nobody fleshed it out.
Alas, all that got lost in the in the shuffle of multiple directors, writers, producers, and the inevitable franchise entropy that sets in the moment a property becomes popular.
So all that is the backdrop that leads to my actual point. If one is going to create a piece of fiction (historical or otherwise) that is dependent on a timeline, why would you ever create situations or events that either snarl said timeline or worse, outright contradict it?
Case in point: the newest installment in the Alien franchise (number 4 for those who are hardcore fanatics; 6 for those who recognize anything in the direct timeline as canon; 8 for those who consider anything with xenomorphs as canon; and 9 for those who really stretch things) just came out. For those who have not yet seen the movie, HERE BE SPOILERS!
One of the main plot points in the movie, is that David 8, the android created by Peter Weyland (the founder of the now infamous Weyland-Yutani Corporation, the very same one that sent our original hapless Nostromo crew to unknowingly retrieve a deadly xenomorph specimen and return it for the W-Y Bioweapons Division in the first movie) and plopped aboard his research vessel Prometheus ends up surviving the Prometheus movie and flying off with Dr. Elizabeth Shaw in one the Engineer’s vessels to parts unknown (presumably the Engineers’ home world) at the end of the movie Prometheus. In this new movie, Alien:Covenant, the crew of a colony ship discovers David 8 on this paradise planet never discovered before (hmmmm…) that’s actually closer than the colony planet they were aiming for (another hmmm…) It turns out that David 8, tampering and experimenting with the Engineer’s biological life creation (and destruction) goo and some…uhh…subjects (remember those Engineers? yeah…they’re gone) creates, pretty much, the iconic creature we’ve all come know and (perhaps love is a strong word, but…whatever…)
So here’s the kicker. If David 8 created the iconic xenomorphs on some unknown world (again presumably the Engineers’ home world) wiping out all the Engineer species in the process, how’d the original Engineer derelict ship with ALL THOSE XENOMORPH EGGS and a dead, chest blown-out Engineer pilot end up on LV-426 (which, for those not following or keeping score, is not the same paradise planet/Engineers’ home world in the movie Alien:Covenant)?
There…a completely trivial topic, but one I think is seriously worth pondering.