It’s as with me and SW, then — I utterly disregard EU there, as well.
Snark mode: Thanks for the warning; I now know to ignore you on anything where canon matters.
I don't take that as snarky at all; it's a fair comment, as I do have my own approach to the subject matter, and it will not
suit everybody, nor will I try to make it do so.
But you also raise another fair point: the demarcation lines between "canon", "EU", "apocrypha", and "fan base consensus".
From my POW, there is and can ever be only one
truly canonical source: what we actually see in the movies
. That's it. Period.
Even Alan Dean Foster's official movie novelisations depart too much from the movies to be considered canonical, at least to my mind.
And as for me personally -- and this is very much one of those "caveat emptor" points -- I draw the line at ALIENS. Everything after that movie -- Alien3, Resurrection, the Dark Horse ALIENS and AvP comics, the Leading Edge RPG, any and all video games, etc -- I completely ignore. Those ... "prequel" ... abominations
I will not even mention by name.
So, in my "world view" of the Alien universe -- my personal Canon, as it were -- I try to consolidate and rationalise what we see in ALIEN and ALIENS (extended versions), and that's it.
I do want to at least try
to adhere pretty strictly to what these two movies show us. This being the reason e.g. for why I get nonplussed by Fria Ligan not referencing the VP70 -- which obviously
is the USCMC standard sidearm in the movie -- but instead inventing their own early-1900's-style gun for the purpose; or -- as you saw in my Nostromo thread -- why I try to draft deck plans
that, as opposed to the set drawings
used in e.g. Chariot of the Gods, at least somehow actually match what happens in the movie.
Which also, just as an example, underscores one of my departure points: I believe the "A-Deck" set drawing has been widely accepted into the currently established canon as "the" deck plan for the Nostromo. Myself however, I cannot accept it as such, as it is in direct conflict with what we actually see in the movie
: the way the movie is shot on
that set, and subsequently edited, makes it impossible to track characters in any way that makes sense. Plus, the majority of the spaces seen in the movie aren't even part of it!
So yes -- where adhering to "established Canon" is important to you -- even where this contradicts what we see on-screen -- then absolutely, you are quite right to ignore anything I say.
And if the Alien3 and subsequent movies, and/or EU material, or what has been established in the fan base, is important to you -- then again, you are quite right to ignore anything I say.
My point being this: as far as the demarcation lines between "canon", "EU", "apocrypha", and "fan base consensus" go, the sum total of material available is indubitably vast, as well as riddled with internal inconsistencies. As
it is hardly possible to consolidate everything into a single, cohesive whole, each and every one of us must instead make up our own minds of what we choose to incorporate into our "own" visions of the Alien universe. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe all of us do it.
I try to be clear about my position, so that everyone reading it is able to understand how what I'm saying may or may not fit into their own vision, as well as the futility of raising objections based on material that I have explicitly chosen to exclude.
Non-snark: the important element is that the director made it clear that it wasn't removable, and that the process is inherently fatal to the host. Whether one considers that embryonic, canceroid, or digestive damage is largely immaterial to play; it only matters which if you're doing the one thing the creator decided was impossible... removing it without killing the victim. Also, given the time that the facehugger spends hooked on, the critter itself having acid blood, and being able to suffocate the victim if attacked... whether embryonic, canceroid, or digestive, the death of the host is ensured by the time the facehugger falls off.
All the official and semi-official sources imply it to be canceroid in process, but, fundamentally, the difference between a fœtus and a cancer is merely that the fœtus organizes and differentiates while the cancer does not. (Some forms of cancer still organize - and can be classed by that organized shape.)
I'd add that the fundamental difference between a foetus and a cancer, in my mind, is the end result
. Cancers are just an uncontrolled growth of cells with damaged reproductive systems. By definition, they do not grow "into" anything. By contrast, a foetus grows according to a strict, genetically coded blueprint, the embryo forming into a foetus; stem cells differentiating into a vast array of different tissue cells that form organs, all arranged into a very specific order, ultimately resulting in an independent organism.