If you are reading this and read my three posts on Prometheus (2012) you know that I am obsessed, a little, with the franchise, which brings me to write another postmortem, but this time focuses more on the biology of the xenomorph.
Evolution is about survival of the fittest as Darwin proclaimed, as such, mass reproduction will guarantee “its” existence, basing that on probabilities and outcomes. In other words, if a species can produce 100,000 offspring in 1 hour, and 50% dies, even with 50 % survival rate, and constant reproduction, that species will prosper. Evolutionary biology usually helps a species to be more efficient to ensure its existence, i.e., as time goes by, it gets stronger and better. This is clearly supported by age-old evolving bacteria, viruses and insects.
I was scratching my head this morning, applying the hypothesis,it just didn’t make sense. The most troubling fact is the need of a host in its three-fold reproduction cycle: 1) a fertile mommy xenomorph with egg sack ready to pop; 2) an egg matures only when a host is available; since eggs are immobile, to gain efficiency, it requires a xenomorph to carry its victim in front of an egg; 3) the parasite climbs out of its shell (face-hugger) and impregnates its host. After a day of gestation, a infant xenomorph, snake like, is born: chest-burster. Chest-burster shed its skin as it grows, and matures resembling a sort of insect/reptile . Mommy, the queen, creates worker drones and fighter drones, which follows the of bees’ network: hive.
In Alien(1979) , inside the alien’s spacecraft lied the eggs with a protective layer of radioactive, seemingly, mist. A chance occurrence that some humans discovered those eggs, and stupid enough to walk around them , and got impregnated. What if no one ever showed up? BTW, did those eggs have shelf life? Even though they were of alien origin, biological materials deteriorate, I will assume the radioactive mist preserved them. Moving, on, there were no mommy nor drones to be found close by suggested that those eggs might have been brought there.
Now, let’s go to Prometheus (2012); the spacecraft was the same as the one in Alien, and we know there were more than one on that planet as implied in the last scene when Dr. Shaw and David flied out to find the “Engineer”. So for argument sake, those eggs were put in the ship by the Engineer, and sent to a place where hosts would be available: Earth. Somehow it crashed and landed on LV426 instead.
So far this is plausible. But then in Prometheus (2012) the young xenomorph came out of the last surviving Engineer was version 1.0, as far as the writer explained. This is a problem of logical sequence., i.e., the eggs could not be on the ship, cause events of Prometheus and Alien happened about the same time.
Let’s see if I can come up with an alternative theory. Charlie drank the stuff David brought back, and had sex with Shaw, and she got pregnant. The squid thingy impregnated an Engineer, and a baby xenomorph was born, but not like chest-burster,though delivery method was the same. As I said, this would be the first generation or version 1.0; however, we could also assume that this might have been happening in the planet where the Engineer came from, since they already had possession of the black glue substance. My point is unless the Alien version 1.0 is asexual (reproduce itself), likely it would not have any offspring, and given no life-form existed on that planet to allow it to mate with whatever, I would have to say it would die eventually. This would have been a dead end, except if similar event happened on planet Engineer.
After thinking it over, the Engineer could not have harvested the eggs and put them in the spacecraft, cause when one of them drank the black glue, he disintegrated; In others words, he did not make love and impregnate another engineer, assuming the Engineer followed the hetero-sexuality paradigm like Shaw and Charlie, and had a baby squid ,which became our version 1.0 xenomorph. Another dead end.
Ok then, what about Engineers were co-existing with or caged humans that they created on their planet? this would backup the idea of new DNA sequence, the opening scene, from which humans derived from.
Here is my conclusion: following the new DNA creation, some time passed, human became a new species on planet Engineer. With fast reproductive cycle, humans were taken up more space than Engineers, so the Engineer started to send them to earth as explorer. The Engineer ruled the human, and human treated them as Gods. Somehow, a man stole the black glue ingested it, and the sequence of events was replayed, version 1.0 alien was born. The Engineer was intrigued, and started experimenting with it until they perfected the xenomorph form like the ones in Alien, which they also controlled. They found out that these aliens were better than humans, cause they were stronger and could protect them better from galactic wars. So what happened on LV426? The Engineer was trying to colonize other planets, so they sent their spacecrafts to LV426, and only the one with cargo and eggs survived and crash landed. The other ships were destroyed on their way to LV426 with Engineers on board and its cargo herded: cattle of humans await conversion once arrived on LV426. It would be more efficient to ship humans and convert them on the planet that to ship xenomporphs, cause eggs took up less space. So, they were building an xenomorph army on LV426.
Next biological question I have are the functions of the sophisticated jaw and teeth system the xenomorph possesses? Think of our body parts, every part is in-use, cause it is expensive to produce, so why a double set? The teeth suggest that the xenomorph is a predatory… but of what? They don’t eat human? so what does it feed on? It is organic, so it must feed on something? Unless, it is more like an insect that feed on tree sap, but why carnivorous teeth?
So many questions with no answers!