Why is Alien Such a Great Franchise?

Not everyone thought that the original Alien film would be a big hit. boy were they wrong!

After numerous sequels, we are about to get Ridley Scott’s next episode – yet another grim look at a dystopic future in space.

Could it be that the attitude that these films evokes matches the fears that at least some of us nurture about the future?

As such, the era of Alien has precisely mirrored the age of modern capitalism. You see it in the story of faceless corporations killing off their staff to chase a profit – and in the xenomorph itself, remorseless and voracious. Now, the role of founding father has been assumed by Peter Weyland, a billionaire industrialist, whose expansive plans to help mankind would fit right in with those of Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page.

But mankind’s inhumanity to his fellow man is only part of the problem.  There is stuff out there in space. Scary stuff. Ridley Scott put it this way

In the years between Alien and Covenant, the prospect of commercial space travel has advanced spasmodically at best. (Ridley) Scott for one believes other beings will get to us long before we reach them. Of course, he has said, there is life out there. It is smarter than us – and violent. Four decades after that first doomed voyage, his advice is simple: “When you see a big thing in the sky, run.”

Interesting. Going back to the enlightenment, smarter meant less violent. We have moved away from that idea, understanding that humans, at least, have only limited capacity for getting smarter. We are emotional creatures more than reasoning machines. And our emotions are rather easily stirred up.

Will you volunteer to have the poop scared out of you? I will have to think about that one.


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