Canon is defined in the Oxford dictionary as "a collection or list of sacred books accepted as genuine
" or "The works of a particular author or artist that are recognized as genuine
". In contemporary culture, we are used to this idea of canon since it is an useful concept for exchange and work between fans, between creators or between fans and creators, particularly in very extended universes. This intellectual tool allows us to establishes a consistent diegesis and to discard various works and occurrences which do not fit with previously determined facts of the fictional universe, which is crucial in analyzing and developing said universe.
After 40 years it is time to accept this simple truth:THERE IS NO ALIEN OR ALIEN VERSUS PREDATOR CANON.What would you define as "canon universe"?
O'Bannon's canon? Scott's canon? Giger's canon?
Because all three had different visions of what the Alien creature was.
O'Bannon established the species was sentient and that the Alien was just juvenile, ignorant of their own culture.
Scott oscillated between different views, one of them being the Alien able to talk with Ripley's voice, one of them being the Alien as a weapon, one of them being the Alien having a very short life cycle (he would have hidden on the Narcissus to die).
Giger was more on the "animal species" side of thing and imagined a "laying creature", the Winged Stage
, years before Cameron created the Queen.
And that's only for the first movie
.What would you define as "canon chronology"?
So far there are at least a dozen different timelines (optimistic guess) depending what movies, novels, comic books or video games you're taking into account.
And that's not counting partially alternate universes such as the mess that is Alien Trilogy (1996 video game) for example, a story both
adapting the first three movies and rebuilding them into another continuity (the most amazing thing is they set the Fiorina prison-foundry on LV-426 BUT you can find the damaged Alien 3 EEV in one of the levels).What would you define as "the Word of God" here?
Because by this point it's nothing more than a selling argument.
Fox will say AVP and Colonial Marines and any barrel of crap is 100% canon every time and then disown it to better sell the next Alien product (remember they once established Alien Colonial Marines as canon).
Ridley Scott will contradict himself regarding LV-223 being LV-426 or not, or in other ways. Dan O'Bannon had a different vision and he's dead now (R.I.P.) so we cannot ask him anymore. The same for Giger (R.I.P.).
Every writer, every director, every significant artist and team which worked on this franchise has a different vision.The "canon is whatever is on the cinema screen" rule does not manage to define a consistent canon.
Are Ripley and Dallas lovers (their love scene was cut)? Does Kane's Son practice eggmorphing (depending on the cut the scene is there or isn't there)? After the Nostromo accident, is Ripley's flight license suspended, is she subjected to psychiatric tests (this stuff is only in the Special Edition)? Do the Marines use the robot sentry guns? What's the real design of the EEV cryosleep tubes? Is the Fiorina Alien born from a oxen or a dog? From a royal facehugger or a normal one? Does Golic free it?
Does David create the xenomorph as shown in Covenant or was it present centuries
ago, as established by the skull in the Predator 2 ship and the pyramid of Alien versus Predator? (Not to mention the Prometheus mural) I mean we have entire hives established on Earth in the 2000s...
What's the story of the foundation of Weyland-Yutani? Are Charles Bishop Weyland and Peter Weyland to be both
founders of the company, which was therefore both founded before the 1990s by Charles and in 2012 by Peter? Hell, is the name of the company Weylan or Weyland?
So yeah, CANON DOES NOT EXIST. At best official canon or movie canon, the two main measures we can find, are everchanging things, subjected to the whim of every producer, creator or rights owner. "Absolute" canon does not exist and never has, canon assumes a thousand forms depending on the criteria. There are in the end as many canons as there are spectators.
And that's where we come into play.
What do YOU regard as valid? If someone asked you "Hey let's create a new Alien story", what episodes would YOU take into account? What would be your timeline of events? What would be your vision of Alien biology, intellect, origin and limitations, of Weylan(d)-Yutani history, of the true nature of Engineers/Space Jockeys, do you even think Predators would fit into the Alien setting? Or the reverse question for Predator-only fans, would you exclude Aliens from the Predator setting?
What is YOUR canon?