Okay, over in the Prometheus TEDTalk thread I posted an (intended to be) tounge-in-cheek theory about Peter Weyland being Charles Bishop's son who saved/rebooted the company years after his father's death (the theory itself being a commentary on the recent course change for the A/V/P series, thus giving richer thematic depth to the whole thing - okay, actually I just thought that up now, but it still works.)
As everyone who's less naive than me and who knows anything about message boards probably would have guessed, my comment soon sparked yet another debate about how AVP sucked, how those movies should be erased/ignored because they're a disgrace, how Prometheus shouldn't count if it contradicts previous canon (!!!), how the AVP movies also contradicted previous canon, hey waitaminute weren't the AVP xenos genetically modified, no they weren't there wasn't any evidence of it, it was pretty obvious, (maybe not that last bit but yeah), this all sucks, blah blah blah. I wrote the below in response to the perceived silliness with no doubt foolish hopes of ending it and getting things back on topic, only to find that when I finished, the thread had, in fact, gotten back on topic. As such, I've posted the main part of what I wrote here, where it can have its own discussion.
A point has to be made about AVP: I was about 9 when I first learned a lot about Alien and Predator from my awesome babysitter, even though I wasn't old enough to see them; that October, AVP
came out, and she told me about that one as well. In fact, six years later I caught the film on TV, and it sped up my efforts to see the classics for the first time, and indirectly inspired me to join this forum.
Thus, to me and to many other younger fans, AVP
has nearly always been part of the canon. I suppose it's like the Star Wars
prequels, which I also grew up with. Fans who grew up with the originals hate how they ruined the series, but we young ones just took them in stride.
It's ironic; I was a bit older by the time Episode III came out, but because I was scared of the film's supposed "violence" I learned the story from the tie-in media, and when I finally saw it in theaters I suppose I had less attachment to it. Maybe that's what helped me realize years later that Episode III sucks major balls
, while I still find Episode I bad but not horrible, and I like and enjoy Episode II despite it's flaws.
Yet I must accept the fact that the kids being raised on The Clone Wars TV series will see all the cool prequel Jedi dying without a fight like the Aliens in AVPR, will see the logical gaps and flaws in the previous two films which might have been acceptable in those completely tear the series apart as the Jedi show themselves to be complete and total idiots and attempt to take Sideous down in private (thanks to RedLetterMedia for pointing that out) as well as fail to address Anakin's obvious massive psychological problems that anyone who hadn't seen the original trilogy would detect; will watch General Grievous, the fearsome warrior of the awesome cartoon series and spin-off media and the most built-up bad@$$$ ever get his butt handed to him by one Jedi like a complete pansy
; will watch Vader's final transformation from a terrifying villain to a whiny, stupid, idiotic, selfish baby who acted more mature at nine years old and who slaughters children to save his wife and who completely, utterly destroys any sympathy, fear, liking, or respect we had for the character either as Anakin or Darth Vader...and will take it all in, and accept it as just part of the story, what happens in that universe.
And much as Plinkett and I and many others wish that that film could be erased, or how every Doctor Who fans of all eras wish that certain storylines of Doctor Who
could be erased, it can't and won't happen. The film is done, it has made its mark on popular culture, for better or worse. And so has AVP; simply put, for the newest generation it's part of the story, the story that's been told since 1979, and even since 1938/39 and 1984 if one brings the DC heroes and Terminator into it. AVP has been out for eight years now, and many of us in pop culture who didn't go years between seeing the old films and seeing the new ones think rather well of it. To us, ignoring that film would be like ignoring Predator 2
(*coughRodriguezcough*); it simply can't be done. Deleting it is deleting part of the series history, the entire building blocks of the franchise in the last decade, and no one should want to be George Lucas with the Special Editions.
In the end, though, it's up to us whether we include the prequels as part of Star Wars, and the same goes for all the movies in the A/V/P universe. Let those who argue that the nuking of a town in the 21st century wouldn't lead to a major collapse of everyone involved, including the US government, and that entertainment isn't a qualification for a film keep AVPR
for themselves to enjoy.
All of our little canon universes differ wildly, depending on what we like dislike, because in the end, the stories that we read and watch and play and listen to exist only on our heads, having their own meanings and significance and even quality, but in the end it all comes down to your preferences, your relationship with the works of art and media that you like.
To me, the Alien series ends with Aliens, and the AVP series stops before AVPR happens; I even tend to bristle at anti-Aliens/AVP sentiment. (By the way, I saw Aliens almost a year ago, so any claim of me being a butthurt Newt/Hicks fan for twenty years is BS, which stands for Brothers Strause, naturally). At the same time, many people find Alien Cubed an essential part of their experience and relationship with the series, and feel threatened when the film gets shoved around.
Does it really matter if everyone, even the filmmakers, says AVP didn't happen? Does it matter if holders-on like me say it did?
Discount AVP if you like, discount Prometheus
and be crazy if you want (Note to future self: in no way will this comment become embarrassing if the movie is bad. Also, if the movie is bad I'd start preparing for the apocalypse right away.). Or, like me, count them both, and come up with silly theories to satisfactorily explain it all. With my theory, I am not threatening the "truth" of the series by making AVP canon when many traumatized fans wish it not to be, and those who wish for no connection with AVP do not threaten AVP fans' ability to find one, or to simply enjoy both films regardless of any "canon feud". Those who like my theory or any fan theory can accept it, while those who don't can freely nod their heads sympathetically while rolling their eyes and sighing at what an idiot the poster is.
In the end, we're all in it together as far as supporting/loving the series, and in fact both AVP and Prometheus will be crucial in the future, the movies that brought the mythos into the modern world, and the sources of a bunch of new fans along the way.
Hey, at least I didn't John Galt to write this post. You can thank me later.
He probably would have gone on about our universal right to troll and start flame wars with each other anyways.