SomethingClever
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Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Tue 24 Sep 2019, 01:35

Soooo...
I recently watched Alien and Aliens again and started thinking about the discrepancy between how alien is talked about in Alien (the virtually indestructible “perfect organism”) versus what we see Aliens (the Aliens make for good cannon fodder). Also I love the total body horror of egging morphing and have personally decided it’s too good to get rid.

In order to make it all make sense I am rewriting the story of Newt and the Jordan family (because it it didn’t happen on screen then it didn’t happen).

First off it doesn’t make any sense that after 20 years on LV-426 no one had stumbled upon the the derelict. If we can use radio to map Venus we certainly could do it to a tiny little peanut like LV 426. So the only thing that makes sense is that it was found and simply erased from records. Not only was it found, but secret research facility had been established there. Maybe the company, or the government, trying to get out from under the Company’s thumb. Or Seegson. Or the UPP. Who knows, I haven’t thought that far through it yet.

Anyway, this being an alien story and all, something tragic befalls the base and the personnel are wiped out. Though not before they have created a new breed of xeno. One that they hoped was a little more manageable than the ones they found there (i.e., the alien from Alien). These new critters are a little smaller, not totally indestructible, and bound to a central guiding mind, the Queen. The Big Chap and its ilk were just a little too independently minded. Unfortunately all does not go as planned as the Queen proves more difficult to manage then was hoped. In the end, everyone is dead. All that remains are some eggs of the genetically modified aliens which are discovered by the Jordan family.

So there is an idea for how you can have your cake and eat it too. Hope you enjoy!
 
Riggswolfe
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Tue 24 Sep 2019, 06:43

It's an interesting idea. I will say, that the major difference, in my opinion, between the xenomorphs in the two movies is a combination of location and firepower.

The Nostromo didn't have firepower. In addition, even if they did, shooting it with a shotgun would likely have caused a hull breach with potentially disastrous consequences. In the novel they're also concerned about more than that. They comment about how they got lucky the acid blood from the face hugger didn't start any fires or destroy irreplaceable systems.

The derelict not being discovered is sort of explained in the expanded universe though not in the movies. Alien: Isolation, in particular, fixes one of the major plot holes there. In addition, it was partially covered by a lava flow in Aliens. Finally, in one of the novels we learn that WY actually had scientists at Hadley's Hope specifically to research the Xenomorphs if they're found and that the surveyors like Newt's family were more or less searching the surface for a big find that WY talked about but didn't tell them what it was.

Also, if it helps, a common fan theory is that egg morphing is done when a Xenomorph is alone. It's a way to very slowly build a new hive. 
 
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Diego
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Mon 30 Sep 2019, 01:21

It's actually refreshing to hear people talking about Alien vs Aliens and the impact on the titular creature. I honestly get why there is a puritan fan base that like Alien and actually dislike Aliens (I don't go that far but I do understand where they are coming from). Aliens does turn this wonderfully unknowable creature that is almost Lovecraftian in design, into something so totally mundane that you can just sum it up as 'parasitic overgrown ants... with an attitude problem'.

Like yourself I am wondering when I run this if I want to peel back the timeline a little and only integrate Alien and Isolation into the timeline and forget about Aliens and what they do to the creature. Indeed it can be argued that the creatures vulnerability in Aliens is a matter of the firepower that the marines can set to the task, but there is a fundamental redesign to the creature that I honestly thing weakens the concept. The Alien queen turns the xenomorph into an ant. Egg morphing however is just creepy as sin.
 
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Gebohq
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Fri 11 Oct 2019, 00:11

Something to consider is that the idea of a "perfect organism" doesn't strictly mean "invincible" but more that it can adapt to any environment. As a species that evolves based on its host, it's arguable that it's "perfect" from this flexibility. Its more apparent in the first due to the location factor already mentioned.

Granted, thematically, the two movies depict the xenomorphs in different lights, but even in Aliens, the best marines with cutting edge firepower and training are not as overpowering as you might imagine -- we actually don't see a whole lot go down considering, and the ones we do see take a heck of a lot more to take down than just a shot here or there. That's stacking on top of their still respectable control of their environment (attacking where shooting could explode things, setting their hive in an even more danerous reactor area, finding a way through the ceiling) and general mobility, strength, and stealth. I understand the "bug" comparison, but they really are a force to be reckoned with.

With all that said, I think it's fair to consider "strains" based on environmental factors. Maybe the one from the first movie can be tougher because it's incubation was super-sensitive to surroundings and could sense it was already "in space" vs ones kept surface-bound.
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Diego
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Sat 12 Oct 2019, 00:38

Granted, thematically, the two movies depict the xenomorphs in different lights, but even in Aliens, the best marines with cutting edge firepower and training are not as overpowering as you might imagine
Errrr, lets be honest here, said marines were basically sabotaged by been assigned a novice commander, who didn't have the foresight to pull his men back out of the hive when he realized they couldn't fire their guns. I mean seriously, he has them continue when they literally can't fire their guns. The Aliens are still dangerous sure, but it is a far cry from the creature of the first. But again, my main issue is the whole queen and turning them into ants issue. The Alien xenomorph is more lovecraftian than half the creatures even lovecraft every made. The Aliens xenomorph are overgrown ants that can't reproduce on their own (which ironically then becomes a bit of a flaw).
 
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Gebohq
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 06:49

Granted, thematically, the two movies depict the xenomorphs in different lights, but even in Aliens, the best marines with cutting edge firepower and training are not as overpowering as you might imagine
Errrr, lets be honest here, said marines were basically sabotaged by been assigned a novice commander, who didn't have the foresight to pull his men back out of the hive when he realized they couldn't fire their guns. I mean seriously, he has them continue when they literally can't fire their guns. The Aliens are still dangerous sure, but it is a far cry from the creature of the first. But again, my main issue is the whole queen and turning them into ants issue. The Alien xenomorph is more lovecraftian than half the creatures even lovecraft every made. The Aliens xenomorph are overgrown ants that can't reproduce on their own (which ironically then becomes a bit of a flaw).
Sure, Gorman's blunders made things worse for them, and I'd still argue that the scenes that followed (where they're fully aware and accepting of the situation) show the aliens to be unnaturally crafty and resilient, and the marines themselves to only be slightly less shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. Even if we take them as Lovecraftian supernatural beings, the standard xenomorph is clearly not on the same scale as the usual Outer Gods like Cthulhu or such,and are closer more to, say, Deep Ones or Elder Things -- still utterly horrifying but not invincible and utterly unapproachable. I suspect even early 20th century military would have had similar results to those sort of creatures as the 22nd century Marines had against the xenomorphs.

As Riggswolfe pointed out, though, the people and situations between the two movies make it fairly clear that the alien has quite a higher advantage in the first movie than in the second. Again, thematically, it's fair enough if you feel the second movie just shouldn't have been allowed to play out -- you don't read much in the way of Lovecraftian mythos after all involving military forces. I do think though that the Marines in Aliens calling them "bugs" is meant to be a vastly inaccurate underestimation that bites them in the end, and that the comparisons with insect queens and the like are just that -- best comparisons. Even Lovecraft had outer gods with "brood" (Shub-Niggurath, Deep Ones, etc.).

And now I'm just wondering what the Alien universe equivalent of an Outer God could be... :o
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Riggswolfe
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 07:13

And now I'm just wondering what the Alien universe equivalent of an Outer God could be... :o
I occasionally wonder the same thing. If we ignore the "David created them" thing Ridley is pushing well then, the Outer God could be what created the Xenomorph in the first place. Something even more awful and unknowable than them. A "perfect organism".
 
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Diego
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Re: Alien and Aliens feature two different breeds of xenos

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 16:35

As Riggswolfe pointed out, though, the people and situations between the two movies make it fairly clear that the alien has quite a higher advantage in the first movie than in the second. Again, thematically, it's fair enough if you feel the second movie just shouldn't have been allowed to play out -- you don't read much in the way of Lovecraftian mythos after all involving military forces. I do think though that the Marines in Aliens calling them "bugs" is meant to be a vastly inaccurate underestimation that bites them in the end, and that the comparisons with insect queens and the like are just that -- best comparisons. Even Lovecraft had outer gods with "brood" (Shub-Niggurath, Deep Ones, etc.).

And now I'm just wondering what the Alien universe equivalent of an Outer God could be... :o
Actually I like Aliens as I said in my first post. I just appreciate why their are a lot of purists that think the creatures concept was butchered by Cameron. Relate the Aliens to what you like, deep ones or cthulhu, in either case it did go from it's original concept of something totally unknowable (ergo the name of the film 'Alien' as the creature is totally Alien and unknoweable), to something that a jar head grunt is able to understand. Their like ants, complete with a hive and a queen.

As for an Elder God. Well that's basically what the space jockey was and I do much prefer the idea from Dark Horse that the space jockey was the original creator and it fell fowl to it's creation which was more lethal than it was.
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