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Alien franchise "canon"

From: Alien Movies Replies: 47


After doing a search for the word "canon", I found 8 posts. Snorkelbottom created an informative thread about what canon is by definition and on a technical level, I would have to agree. The reason why I begin this thread is simply because I strongly believe that the question "what is canon?" where the alien franchise is concerned, should be revisited in a somewhat organized fashion. If I knew how to tag a "sticky" to this thread, I would. "what is alien canon?" is a question that many will ask and we should have a decent answer for all to read.

Now, expecting of course that not all of you out there will agree with my personal feelings about what is canon, I'll start the thread with my own perception of what is canon. I expect and welcome both argument and agreement from all that would like to chime in.

Here goes:

1. The introduction of the Alien as a hunted species in predator 2

2. The entire film Prometheus.

3. All of the movie Alien is canon with the exception of the introduction of the cut scene where Dallas and Brent are being transformed(possibly) into eggs.

4. The graphic novel of "Newts tale" as a precursor to Aliens.

5. The entire film Aliens.

6. The entire film Alien3

7. The entire film Alien resurrection (often I wish that this movie had not been made at all, but Sigourney Weaver is in it as Ripley, so out of respect for her, I'll accept the film with a little hesitance.

I do not at all expect for any or all to agree with me, but I do want to read all of your opinions on what should or should not be canon. This post as the beginning of this thread is only intended to be the beginning of a more refined idea of what we would all eventually agree to be "the story".

Thank you all and let the opinions begin!

ALL generalizations are WRONG!

47 Replies


Only staff can sticky a post. :)

I would agree with everything you mentioned being canon except the AVP addition.

"Canon" is the word used to describe something that is "official" in a story. As in what the original director, story writer or artist says as being true. Which is what I adhere to as well. These are the guiding figures of Alien lore: Ridley Scott, O'Bannon, Giger and Cameron. What they say goes as far as what is canon or not.

The AVP movies are not canon to the Alien series because the Aliens and Predators are not in the same franchise. Much like why "Batman" can never be a part of "The Avengers". It is a Hollywood mashup like "Superman vs. the Terminator".

David 1

There is only one "Canon" - 1979's ALIEN. that's it.

and NO predator is NOT canon.

btw, Sir Ridley [the guy who made the Alien movie back in 1979] HATES AVP.

so... there you go.

[b]Ask nothing from no one. Demand nothing from no one. Expect nothing from no one.[/b]


@ david1... Is this all you can muster for a response? Do you not have feelings on what you did or did not like throughout all eight movies or the vast amount of graphic novels? '79 alien is certainly not the only movie that sets a firm standing for "canon". C'mon man, you can do better than that! Especially if you have time for all of those creative feline avatars...very humorous by the way.

@svanya... Same as above, you must have a more elaborate description of your feelings and desires about what Alien canon is or should be. After all, by definition, everything that Fox produces with an Alien in it would be canon. Not the comics however, because Dark Horse is not owned by Fox and did not need their approval on each and every story that they put forth in the comics. You can mix marvel with marvel and call it canon if you choose, but you can't mix it with dark horse and call it canon.

Whether I'm right or wrong, I don't even care...the point is, what did you like throughout all of it and what do you wish canon to be? I spoke up about what my perceptions are, let's here it from you all.

ALL generalizations are WRONG!

David 1


thanks for GIFS comment, humorous, indeed

As for the Alien... mehhh. I'm one of those folks who goes by what the original creator decides. It's his movie, hes saying, his oppinions... so, might as well go with the flow.

I used to have one Alien graphic novel... but really not that interesting.
As for the rest... man, I love the AVP games, love the Predator 1 and 2 movies, but seriously... AVP movies are NOT cannon at all. neither are the novelas and graphic novels or anything else that not from Ridley him self. That simple, bro.

[b]Ask nothing from no one. Demand nothing from no one. Expect nothing from no one.[/b]


You won't get an argument from me about the AvP movies...hence leaving them out of my list. Some of the stuff in the comics was pretty cool, but most of it didn't add much to the future of the franchise.

The problem with the "Ridley only" stance is that would mean that aliens is not canon.

ALL generalizations are WRONG!


I read somewhere that RS only considers alien and aliens canon. Who then has the final say in what is canon ?

David 1


I believe Sir Ridley enjoyed that fan movie that James has done called AlienS, he even made some of it's stuff in the Prometheus flick.
But he didn't enjoy the "queen" idea, for it makes the aliens a sort of large bug, wich is as a far off idea as it could get from the original script and Ideas.

I'm ok with it, I actually enjoyed AlienS for the action parts.

[b]Ask nothing from no one. Demand nothing from no one. Expect nothing from no one.[/b]


Well guys, I'm with ya on the points about Ridley accepting Camerons take on things. Also, I did read something about Ridley not liking the queen so much. So I'm with ya on those points.

I was hoping to stay away from the rehash of what they wanted or intended for the franchise as it is so convoluted at this point in time.

So again I ask," what do you guys like or dislike about all the movies or comics etc that make this series work for you?"

For me it is what I originally posted.

ALL generalizations are WRONG!


I'm not hardcore like you peeps and I do admire you for it and the knowledge you bring here.

From a purely movie perspective having not read the comics or graphic novels, this is my take on "Canon"

Alien-It's the template for everything that has come after including Prometheus which no doubt be canon in time, but not yet, as we don't know enough about where it will go ? To me Alien is a struggle for survival, the calculating xeno and Ripley improvising, even now after many watches the suspense and shock is still there, every muscle going tense before the chestbuster makes it's appearance.

Aliens-Lots of xeno's and men with guns, a logical next step IMO and a really good action movie, I loved it, not as shocking as Alien, but corporate misdeeds come out into the open more than in Alien and for me the shock is that it is not a android fronting it but the character Burke and his child like justification for keeping specimens alive for study on earth "those specimens are worth millions to the bio weapons division" and "it was a bad call Ripley, a bad call" And of course, the arc of Ripley as a character, no longer running from the xeno, but confronting them en-mass and also her own nightmares.

Alien 3-A return to the dark, dank, industrial scenario and as close to Alien as you were going to get, for me that was apt. Handful of humans, new xeno, same old habits. Ok it may have been a traumatized production but still canon, as it end the life cycle of the xeno and Ripley, who finally wins what some may choose to see as her personal war to rid the universe of the horror from LV 426. Her self sacrifice to destroy the alien is the opposite of the engineer at the beginning of Prometheus who gives life.

What I love about the movie's is the social commentary going on through all three, which to me is a question, Is this the way the human race is going, corporate greed, selfishness, avarice at an individual level in Burke, these elements come across to me in a cautionary fashion, and possible because we have been introduced to something that would destroy all that without remorse-the xeno.

I like AvP movies but don't take them seriously and that is not me having a go at them, but not canon by a country mile.

Alluding to a xeno in Predator 2, not canon either because of the inconsistency with AvP 1 the xeno in AvP does not have a skeleton when cut open to be used as a shield, and although the xeno skull(as I call it) is there in the predator craft, it's eye candy only, and that peeps is the magic in Sci-Fi, "lets make people think about (insert whatever you want here) because seeing is believing in movieland.

Prometheus-Loved it and don't give a toss about plot holes, to me it's act one and too early to be canon.

Alien Resurrection-Nice to look at but story wise it's clutching at straws, Fincher did the smart thing with Alien 3 and closed the loop, the movie was a bad attempt by Fox to keep things going. Canon....are you serious ??

That's my hat in, if I'm wrong about something then educate me, point me in the direction to the info. other than that, Thanks for a blood good post !



Great post....that's what I'm talkin about!

ALL generalizations are WRONG!



I'm a (Alien) purist: therefore Aliens BROKE the canon and

All of the movie Alien is canon with the exception of the introduction of the cut scene where Dallas and Brent are being transformed(possibly) into eggs.

Is the reason why.


Well, introducing an Alien Queen just to battle a Heroine Loader was an abomination, it took away all the sexual allure of a serial killer with a very unique lifecycle/make-up, a totally NON-HIVE entity in Alien, a lone wolf if you will.

For me, Alien was the direct lineal inspiration for the mind-blowingly-good coccoon-licking body-morphing TOOMS character in X-Files.

2013 sci-fi horror novels 'Custodian' and 'Tandem' available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes etc...


I been here on this site for a long time now and have been involved in more CANON fights than I care to even think about, but here's the rub........through all of it, every swash-buckling, splintered bickerfest, I've settled on something I find interesting:

The term canon is less clincal and finite a term than is ever meant with its use. We bandy it about as Gospel and that Gospel is almost ALWAYS of a fundamentally different nature than that of our neighbor's...i.e. My Alien Gospel is not yours, yours is not mine and we are all of us together..different.

Why does any of this matter? Why? Why do we sit here, sanctimoniously bickering back and forth like tenured professors in the field of Alien lore?

It all lies with the original film. Alien is the one true source and the rest is up to each individual fan expert in Alien lore.

This notion that, "After all, by definition, everything that Fox produces with an Alien in it would be canon," is entirely ridiculous. Are we going to believe that if FOX produced a film where the aliens learned to talk, any serious fan would accept that as canon? Are we to believe that if FOX produced a buddy film where an alien xeno was partner to a city cop and helped solve crimes in a distant post-apocalyptic wasteland, that we would accept that? Of course not; of course those examples are ridiculous, but the principle stands. Just because FOX releases something with an alien does not give it automatic credibility.

What I'm getting at here is that film is like no other artistic medium. You're dealing in each case with a massive collaborative effort that is almost never the result of a sole individual's credit. Therefor, sequels, unless carried out by the same artistic minds and team, are in another realm than the original. That is not to say they are not valid; they are, but as all of this pertains to this word we seem so obsessed with, canon, there seems to be only one way to ultimately look at it:

Canon pertains only to a complete work as defined by a single artistic mind or group/team of minds in the production of that work.

In the case of Alien, the original is the begining and end of where this term canon applies. As fans, we have every right to to define our feelings on where that extends beyond the original, but officially, we can only honestly apply that term in refference to what was defined by O'Bannon, Shussett, Scott and the producers at Brandywine in the original film. Remove those original minds as a team from any later project and you remove any clinical, legitimate connection to the term canon.

As an example to counter, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit films to come have all been adapted from works of the artistic mind of a single individual, J.R.R. Tolkien and adapted by a single group/team of filmmakers in Peter Jackson, the producers and so on. You can, in this case define the five films together as film canon, not literary, for that reason; one team creating one world within a single artistic vision as adapted from another's literary vision.

In the case of the Alien Franchise, the same cannot be said. You have one film, the original Alien, and then everything else, directed by a number of different individuals, all with different takes, different writers, etc....the sequels, the books, the comics, the AvP mash-ups; all of it being peripheral material, each existing only as subjective preference for each individual fan to define for him or her self.

This is a principal I believe exists as a universal constant in art: Canon officially extends only as far as the original vision of one mind or a team of minds as expressed in a final product.

For us, must be and only can be defined as what pertains to the original, Alien.....beyond that, it's subjective, of personal opinion, and for each of us, just the way we see it...and that's all well and good the way it is.



well ... isn't that interesting ... so, in CANON, do we 'allow' the lone hunter alien EGGIFYING Dallas and Brent?

I contend that this is ESSENTIAL, as there was never any mention of a 'queen' or egg-layer until Cameron 'broke canon' and totally altered the alien lifecycle dynamic.


2013 sci-fi horror novels 'Custodian' and 'Tandem' available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes etc...




Very often on this forum, the point of threads are lost in the chaos of the human element. Not all, but most of the posts are totally off topic. I say this because I thought I asked for perceptions of what you all liked from all of the franchise, summed up in a way for us to read and ponder. Hence me throwing in the trophy room from pred 2 and the comic story about newt. Not canon necessarily, but cool aspects none the less.

As for those of you who are self proclaimed experts on the alien franchise and what does and does not dictate canon, I have this to say:

Canon: a rule or especially a body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field, art or philosophy.

To be an Alien purist is simply a fundamental stance that does not allow for acceptance of the evolving story. Alien was no doubt awesome, yet to dismiss Aliens as non-canon is plain ignorance. I remember when I received the time magazine with Ripley and the queen on the cover prior to aliens release. I was excited to say the least. I went and saw the movie and thought to myself, " that's why there were so many eggs laid out in the cavern under the derelict!". A great answer for a long standing question.

The general rules(or canon) are simple: The eggs come from a queen and the eggs hatch face huggers that face rape animals so as to impregnate the host with a life form that takes on traits of its host species. The drones of the species are some smart and relentless bastards for sure and if you dont have some powerful weapons to defend yourself with, you're in trouble. Oh if you do have weapons, use flame throwers in close proximity to prevent their blood from spraying on you, because their blood is a weapon in itself.

Their is an evil corporate empire named Wayland Yutani that will do whatever it takes at any cost to get it's hands on the alien species. They would willingly sacrifice a 7 person crew to get their hands on the alien creature. They will kill anyone at anytime who would stand in their way..or so it seems.

One woman named Ellen Ripley managed to stay alive while the rest of her crew were slaughtered by one of these creatures. Years later she was confronted with dealing with these creatures again....and again she was nearly an only survivor. Eventually she had to give up her own life with the hopes that she would keep an alien queen from reaching the hands of that evil corporation.

What I just wrote in the above 3 paragraphs IS canon by definition and arguing this would be plain stupid. Notice however, the above description does not cram anything into a corner, holding it down and preventing creative thought about the franchise.

So, again I ask you all out there,"What did you like from all of the franchise and what would you like to see as canon?".

ALL generalizations are WRONG!


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