Fri
Oct 5 2012 12:00pm
New Prometheus Material Confirms: Blade Runner and Alien Share a Universe!

Before Prometheus even hit theaters this past summer we wondered: Will it create a shared universe between the Alien movies and Blade Runner?

According to a bonus feature on the new Steelbook Blu-ray edition of Prometheus the answer is a confirmed yes, there is a connection between the Weyland Corporation and Blade Runner’s Tyrell Corporation [click the link to view], and proof that Blade Runner and the Alien movies take place within the same universe. This is something we’ve been speculating about since before Prometheus was released, thanks to a couple of videos released back in April.

At the time, it might have seemed like a crazy theory, but in light of this new evidence, we thought we should revisit the original post….

In addition to the official trailers, the marketing for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus gave us two “viral” videos in the form of faux-statements from Weyland Industries. Any fan of the original Alien series knows that Weyland-Yutani Industries was responsible for the Nostromo and the subsequent terraforming of the planet where the xenomorphs were first encountered by Ripley and friends. In the less-than-stellar Alien vs. Predator, the founder of Weyland Industries was revealed to be Charles Bishop Weyland, who’s appearance was later (in the timeline, but earlier in the films) used as the basis for the robot “Bishop” who we met in Aliens.

Now, Weyland Industries is back in the news so to speak, but what do these new statements from Weyland tell us about the plot of Prometheus? Just what kind of fictional universe is being created here? Is it all leading to something even bigger than just one, single movie?

Both the Peter Weyland TED talk and the commercial for the David 8 robot direct the viewer over to WeylandIndustries.com. When you go there, you’ll see links that let you watch both of the existing videos, but the page also seems to preview other material that is “classified,” meaning there isn’t a link yet. These categories are “Discover New Worlds” and “Careers.” My guess is both of these features on the website will end up being their own viral videos in the coming weeks.

But what does all of it mean? Well, other than it being a bunch of fun to look through all the made-up promotional material for Weyland Industries, I think something else might be going on. I think it’s possible Ridley Scott is merging the mythology of Alien with Blade Runner. Insane? Maybe, but consider the following:

First, both the viral videos focus on cybernetic life and the idea that robots are becoming sentient and “indistinguishable” from humans. This specific focus is a little different from the Weyland-Yutani we know of from Alien and Aliens. There, you get the notion that they are more interested in terra forming, mining space resources, and developing weapons. But, we’re splitting hairs, because it’s possible one innovation caused the next, and Weyland Industries have their fingers in various space pies.

The point is, David 8 (Michael Fassbender) seems like he would be very useful for off-world work, which is what we’re told the Replicants were used for in Blade Runner. Indeed, Roy Batty’s last words to Deckard are “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate.”

I highly doubt Prometheus will specifically depict the C-beams, or the Tanhaser Gate any more than Doctor Who will ever show us The Time War or “The Nightmare Child.” These are just cool sounding things that get rattled off in awesome sci-fi speak. Famously, Rutger Hauer improvised some of these lines anyway. But what’s interesting is the idea of Replicants out there in space, seeing things people wouldn’t believe. Now, with Prometheus, David is set to likely see things people wouldn’t believe. So could Prometheus and the robots we see in Alien and Aliens actually be Replicants from Blade Runner?

“No!” says the astute fan-person, because of all sorts of reasons. How dare I suggest something so ignorant!

Blade Runner is set in 2019, while Alien is set in 2122. Well, that might work actually, because maybe the Replicants are only being used off-world by Ripley’s time; thus Ash and Bishop would never be allowed on Earth, and perhaps even share the limited lifespan of the Replicants.

But maybe not, because the corporation in Blade Runner is the Tyrell Corporation NOT Weyland Industries. However, this could be explained away with a corporate merger or hostile takeover, with the latter being more likely.

Okay, but then I get into trouble again because the new TED talk from Peter Weyland is set in 2023, and robots seem pretty new, so Blade Runner being set in 2019 doesn’t work at all at that point at all, right? (Further, who do I think I am!)

Blade Runner is based on a book by Philip K. Dick; why would Ridley Scott think he had a right to mess with the continuity of any of that? I guess my belief is the Blade Runner of the screen is more Ridley Scott than Philip K. Dick, so why wouldn’t he? Also, it seems very likely that the themes Scott explored with the Replicants in Blade Runner will exist somewhere in Prometheus. Both viral videos treat cybernetic life as a big deal. And again, robots working off-world is at the core of what the Replicants are pissed off about in Blade Runner. AND Prometheus screenwriter Lindeloff is talking about robots constantly! But I suppose none of that proves Prometheus and the Alien series are set the same universe as Blade Runner. Unless….

...there is a Blade Runner reboot coming. The rumors have been floating around for ages, and Ridley Scott has always made noises that he would be involved if anything like that were to happen. And if it did happen, then the continuity of Prometheus could certainly build up to a new version of Blade Runner. Also, if both Prometheus and my imagined Blade Runner reboot take place far enough before Alien and Aliens, then there’s no real continuity problems, other than the technology sucking more in the older films than in the newer ones. (And that’s a problem sci-fi prequels will always have.)

If this all came to pass, the original Blade Runner would be rendered an alternate universe. But when you consider that Weyland-Yutani is referenced in an episode of Angel, then maybe there are more alternate universes out there than we think.

Okay people. Get your flamethrowers out and tell me you’re not at least a little bit excited by this theory, even if it’s crazy.


Ryan Britt is the staff writer for Tor.com. He wonders why they don’t just freeze him.

26 comments
Mordicai Knode
1. mordicai
Oh dag, DAG, that is super cool.

I for one have always been an "Aliens versus Predators...versus Terminators" kind of guy, personally...now all we have to do is establish Blade Runner as a precursor to Judgement Day...
Brennan
2. brentodd
Weyland-Yutani is also in the Buffyverse, and the Firefly 'Verse. Serentity is seen in the first episode of the Battlestar Galactica reboot. What does it all MEAN?
wiredog
3. wiredog
There's a Weyland Yutani reference in Angel, there's also a Yoyodyne reference there. Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems is a big Starfleet contractor.

Therefore the Prometheus/Aliens universe is part of the Star Trek universe.
Chin Bawambi
5. bawambi
I've only got one problem with this article -
"other than the technology sucking more in the older films than in the newer ones"
Blade Runner still holds up and frankly is much better than the Star Wars prequels - and I'm not talking the movie lol just the effects.
Bridget McGovern
6. BMcGovern
@wiredog #3: But...but, if Yoyodyne is part of this, that ropes in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, The John Laroquette Show, and most Thomas Pynchon novels into the same universe, too...

I love it.
wiredog
7. StrongDreams
Retconning a bunch of different movies into the same universe seems like little more than a publicity gimmick to get fans to buy the next product. Blade Runner ask big questions like "what does it mean to be human?" and the answers have to do with thought and memory and perception and whether artificial people have souls. Prometheus kind of asks the question "what does it mean to be human" but the answer seems to be "an alien mistake that needs to be exterminated". Only the much-maligned Alien 3 and 4 movies even approach this question, Alien and Aliens were just monster bug-hunt movies that ask no deeper questions than any random SkyFy monster of the week production. So OK, Ridley wants to retcon everything as some grand master planned exploration of the human existence. It's his universe. As long as he doesn't make it about one angry teenager's mommy issues.
wiredog
8. Hyperion80s
@StrongDreams "Alien and Aliens were just monster bug-hunt movies that ask no deeper questions than any random SkyFy monster of the week production."

- this is a joke right?
Mike Conley
9. NomadUK
I'm not even a little bit excited by this theory, and it is crazy, but not in a way that will prevent someone with too much time and money and a declining talent and imagination from putting out yet another overblown, overhyped, underthought, and uninspiring piece of dreck like Prometheus.
wiredog
10. Ividia
Sounds like absurd fun but to really really make it work, they need Joss and in a big way. Said by someone who just put a deposit on the collector's edtion of the coming Colonial Marines game.

PS. The WY logo was also seen on Serenity's HUD.
wiredog
11. KJ
The release of "Prometheus" has turned into a huge mess. None of this stuff is in the film itself; it all appears in supplemental information from the marketing campagn, interview comments with Scott, early production artwork or what have been called "deleted" scenes but don't appear complete and were most likely never part of a contiguous cut of the film. How much of the things on the viral sites actually originated with Scott or the writers? It's becoming impossible for a film to include a nod or homage to another film now without a literalist claiming that makes both part of the same universe.
wiredog
12. Caraig
This is shaping up like some mad SF version of the Wold Newton Family theory. That sort of thing is always mad fun, even if it's not, you know, 'canonical.' =)
wiredog
13. warpdad
Let's not forget that there is also a connection made in the movie Soldier to Blade Runner.
wiredog
14. Snarf
"...like a God atop a pyramid overlooking a city of angels." Nice...
john kurrasch
15. SAETIDE
all I have seen is previews of the movie but the thought of tieng things together is a nice twist, universe conection is a new plot all its owne it means the story cant go any place like getting the predators involved as
a deep space combative or visitation of other worlds in a context that we
would see in another film I like it.
john kurrasch
16. SAETIDE
In all honisty the proof is in the product dvd is a shure reflection of the world we live in like a photo some place people are working on robots
and androids just for the words robot and android to exist there must
be a definition in reference .its all so interesting to me because its reality
is nexisable in our minds and spirit.space movies like supernova and and
star wars ,startrek all on dvd speak to peoples harts and minds in real prospective not just fantasy.
john kurrasch
17. SAETIDE
Im talking some more one of the shows I liked was andromeda for the
nexusable story lines and imagery they are very strikeng they touch you
in a way only a real story could the cruzers and fighters all have a sence
if existence like some place you could touch them see them up close .blade
runner was good like that the city feel was like a real town some place you could go I hope that prometheus is as good some thing to touch with my hart.
Erin Hoffman
18. ErinHoffman
Not just speculation: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/ridley-scott-confirms-blade-runner-2-hints-at-prometheus-sequel/
wiredog
19. Pharazon
Totally separate universes in order of Canon-level:

1) The Proper Alien universe: Alien, Aliens (and soon perhaps the game Aliens: Colonial Marines)
2) The Alternate Alien universe attached as a parasite to the proper universe: Alien 3-4.
3) The Predator universe: Predator 1-2, AvP 1-2, Predators
4) The pan sci-fi universe: All of the above plus Soldier, Bladerunner & Avatar.
5) Ridley Scotts delusional scientology fantasy: Prometheus
wiredog
20. dissembly
I'm *sure* we can all agree that the Aliens Vs Predator movies are non-canon.

Bishop was modelled on the creator of his particular line of androids, who was still alive when Ripley met him briefly in Alien 3; he had no connection to the Weylands.
David Elliott
21. dissembly
Addendum to that, computer games are never canon, and Ridley Scott is not a scientologist - evidenced by the complete lack of similarity between scientology and any movie he's ever made.

Alien 3 is well within the timeline of Alien & Aliens. I've always thought it was one of the best of the lot. I'm happy to accept Alien: Ressurrection as well. The quality level is at least on a par with the second movie, even if it isn't the greatest film around.

And Prometheus was astonishing, one of the best science fiction movies I've seen within the last ten years. Yes, including District 9. That's not a throwaway statement for me... I've had this conversation with some geeky friends of mine, and gone through it systematically. I certainly haven't enjoyed any movie so much in a long time.

Thematically and filmicly it fits perfectly into the Alien universe. I don't even think sequels are necessary. Prometheus struck such a perfect balance, I'm not sure if a repeat performance is possible.
wiredog
22. Mfh
So.... your argument was what?
wiredog
23. MRCHalifax
In my mind, the only three films in the Alien canon are Alien, Aliens, and...

...Avatar. Set much earlier in the same universe.
wiredog
24. AT
The robots in the alien universe are clearly synthetic. The Replicants are synthetic humans, IOW, flesh and blood, just enhanced. The similarities between them ascribed to in this post are therefore extremely contrived.
Remember the robots in Alien can function even when dismembered, and "bleed" some white fluid. The replicants in Blade Runner bleed real blood and die when their hearts stop, just like us.
Sanctume Spiritstone
26. Sanctume
Maybe we can play "Six Degrees to Alien"

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