Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi creation, Prometheus, may leave some fans wondering whether the flick is a prequel to the classic Alien series. Some may say yes, while others may say no, but the film does take place before the Nostromo's venture into the unknown.
Although Scott contended this is a completely original work of science fiction, according to TheNextMovie, Prometheus does carry the same DNA as the Alien series. For those who missed out on the Alien films or need a refresher, here are some key things to know about the series before delving into Prometheus, which was released Friday. Beware, there are some spoilers pertaining to the Alien series.
1. The 'Alien' Timeline. Most stories that focus on alien life and space technology are set in the future, and Alien is no exception. Peter Weyland, a famed English-born billionaire known for curing cancer by the time he was 25, created a company known as Weyland Industries. In 2093, this company funded a mysterious mission into deep space with a spacecraft known as Prometheus, which sets the scene for Ridley Scott's latest movie, as noted by CinemaBlend.com.
Fast-forward 30 years, and another mission is launched, this time with a ship called the Nostromo. This is a mining vehicle en route to Earth when plans go awry as an unknown signal is intercepted. The team decides to investigate, with only one survivor in tow, creating the story for the film Alien. In 2179, after being frozen for 57 years, the sole survivor warns of the mysterious organism she encountered, and she is recruited for another mission back to its original habitat, where her crew died years ago.
2. Meet The Aliens. The very creatures that the series itself is named after are known as xenomorphs, a term that literally translates to strange shapes. The original Alien prototype was based on designs by Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger, although there are many forms of the so-called perfect organism found throughout the franchise.
In the original film, the Nostromo crew finds a field of giant eggs that house the so-called Facehuggers. One of these appropriately named creatures can latch onto a host's face and plant its own eggs inside. When the xenomorph is ready, it fights its way out of the host, earning itself the title Chestburster. This Chestburster is a baby alien that evolves into the iconic monster that has shaped the franchise thus far.
3. Spaceships Are The Setting. Those expecting to see an alien showdown on an all-new space frontier will be sadly disappointed. The primary location for most entries in the entire series is the actual starship. Alien opens with the Nostromo as the setting, which continues throughout most of the movie. This ship and the one featured in the sequel, known as Sulaco, are both references to Joseph Conrad's novel Nostromo, which tells the story of failed colonization. Each ship in the series also contains some version of an escape pod, which is critical in how the movies play out.
4. Some Humans Aren't Human At All. Just as crucial as the aliens themselves are the synthetic robots sprinkled throughout the series. In the original film, the Nostromo's science officer Ash was found to be a robot, simply carrying out its programmed orders to bring back original life forms at the expense of the crew. David-8 is the android character featured in Prometheus -- and as seen in Alien this kind of character is capable of shaping major plot twists for the series.
5. Ellen Ripley. Last, but definitely not least, this may be one of the most significant characters in science-fiction history. As various faces come and go throughout the Alien franchise, Ripley has stayed with the series since its inception. Born in 2092, this protagonist becomes a warrant officer aboard the Nostromo, and she is the anchor in fighting off the xenomorph beasts in deep space. The only survivor of the horrific incident, Ripley lives on to fight throughout the series before sacrificing herself to spare the world the Chestburster growing inside of her.
Before heading out to see Prometheus, be sure to check out the trailer below.