Predator (fictional species)
Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator as seen in Predator (1987)
|Also known as||Yautja|
|First appearance||Predator (1987)|
|Created by||Jim Thomas|
|Home world||Yautja Prime|
The Predator (also known as Yautja or Hish-Qu-Ten) is a fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterized by its trophy hunting of other species for sport. First introduced in 1987 as the main antagonist of the film Predator, the Predator creatures returned in the sequels Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018), as well as the crossover films Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
The Predator has been the subject of numerous novels, video games and comic books, both on their own and as part of the Alien vs. Predator crossover imprint. Although a definitive name for the species is not given in the films, the names Predators, Yautja, & Hish-qu-Ten have been alternatively used in the expanded universe. Created by brothers Jim and John Thomas, the Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage, directed-energy weapons, and interstellar travel. Both the Yautja and the Hish-Qu-Ten compete for a chance to enter the ritual of becoming "Blooded", a rank given to predators that have killed prey that has been deemed worthy.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Appearances in media
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Concept and creation
The Predator design is credited to special effects artist Stan Winston. While flying to Japan with Aliens director James Cameron, Winston, who had been hired to design the Predator, was doing concept art on the flight. Cameron saw what he was drawing and said, "I always wanted to see something with mandibles." Winston then included them in his designs. Stan Winston's studio created all of the physical effects for Predator and Predator 2, creating the body suit for actor Kevin Peter Hall and the mechanical facial effects. The studio was hired after attempts to create a convincing monster (including Jean-Claude Van Damme wearing a much different body suit) had failed. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Winston after his experience working on The Terminator.
The Predator was originally designed with a long neck, a dog-like head, and a single eye. This design was abandoned when it became apparent that the jungle locations would make shooting the complex design too difficult. Originally, the studio contracted the makeup effects for the alien from Richard Edlund's Boss Film Creature Shop. However, problems filming the alien in Mexico led the makeup effects responsibilities to be given to Stan Winston. According to former Boss Films make-up supervisor Steve Johnson, the makeup failed because of an impractical design by McTiernan that included 12-inch leg extensions that gave the Predator a backward bent satyr-leg. The design did not work in jungle locations. After six weeks of shooting in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, the production had to shut down so that Winston could make a new Predator. This took eight months and then filming resumed for five weeks, ending in February 1987.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator; the idea was that the star's abilities in martial arts would make the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent that a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening. Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. Hall, standing at an imposing height of 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 m), had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons.
Hall played the Predator in the first and second movies. He was trained in the art of mime and used many tribal dance moves in his performance, such as during the fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator at the end of the first movie. In Predator 2, according to a "making of" featurette, Danny Glover suggested the Los Angeles Lakers to be the other Predators because Glover himself was a big fan. Hall persuaded some of the Lakers to play background Predators because they couldn't find anyone on short notice. Hall died not long after Predator 2 was released in theaters.
In Alien vs. Predator, Welsh actor Ian Whyte, standing at 7 feet 1 inch and a fan of the Predator comics and movies, took over as the man in the Predator suits, such as portraying the "Celtic" Predator during its fight with an Alien warrior. Whyte returned to portray the "Wolf" Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.
In Predators, actors Brian Steele and Carey Jones both portrayed a new breed of Predator known as the "Black Super Predators," who have been dropping humans on their planet for many years to play a survival game against them. In a nod to the first film, Derek Mears played the Predator as the creature appeared in the original, dubbed the "Classic Predator."
In The Predator (2018) stuntman and parkour athlete Brian A. Prince, standing 6’10”, portrays the title character, as a "standard" Predator that escapes to earth after stealing a weapon called "Predator Killer", and that is being hunted down by a far larger genetically enhanced predator. The enhanced Predator is mostly CGI, however 6’9” Canadian actor Kyle Strauts and also Brian Prince served as stand-in for the character on set.
Special and make-up effects
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The Predator's blood was made from a combination of the liquid from glow sticks mixed with K-Y Jelly. The mixture loses its glow quickly, so new batches had to be quickly made between takes. The technique was used in all five films featuring the Predator.
The camouflage effect was designed by R/Greenberg Associates, under the direction of Joel Hynek. The idea for the effect came in a dream one of the Thomas brothers (who wrote the film) had, in which there was a chrome man who was inside a reflective sphere. The man blended in, perfectly camouflaged, reflecting from all directions and only visible when in motion. The effect was created by repeating an image in a pattern of ripples in the shape of the Predator's body. It proved very effective and was a new way of presenting an "invisible man." Before there was digital rendering technology all of the camouflage was done optically using photo-chemical means, so that one would never get the same result twice from combining the same pieces of film.
After the original movies, Amalgamated Dynamics took over from Stan Winston Studio in creating the props for the Predators in the Alien vs. Predator film and a number of effects houses worked on the various other effects.
As the film series has progressed, the creature's design has been modified in many ways, including differences in skin color and pattern and variations in the design of the masks and armor.
|"Broad concept's the same. The difference is, this is a different individual. A different individual of the same species. As is a snake is a snake, but different snakes are different. Their colorings are different, different parts of their characteristics, their facial structures, subtle differences."|
|— Stan Winston describing the Predator in Predator 2 and explaining the reason for the varying designs and looks of the Predators.|
Predators are physically distinguished from humans by their greater height, arthropod-like mandibles and long, hair-like appendages on their heads that are set into their skulls (popularly perceived as "dreadlocks"). Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds and radiation doses that would prove fatal to humans. Their wounds do however require medical attention and they incorporate a portable surgical kit in their armor for this purpose. They are also capable of enduring excruciating pain. Predators are much stronger than humans, having been portrayed as being easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human male and shattering solid concrete with their bare hands. They are also skilled climbers, and will readily move through trees or across rooftops in pursuit of prey. Though capable of surviving exposure in Antarctic temperatures for an extended period of time, it is implied that Predators have a preference for hot equatorial climates. Their blood is luminescent phosphor green in color. Their vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature. A Predator bio-mask increases its ability to see in a variety of spectra, ranging from the low infrared to the high ultraviolet, and also filters the ambient heat from the area, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail. While they are capable of breathing Earth's atmosphere, the creature in Predator 2 is seen using a breathing mask after losing his helmet (although this Predator had just been shot multiple times and may have therefore not been operating at his full potential. A second possibility is that it was used to filter out impurities in the air - exhaust and such - which would not be found in more natural environments). Their dietary habits are also mentioned in Predator 2, where it is revealed that the creature regularly visits a slaughterhouse every two days to feed on the stored meat there.
Throughout their film appearances, Predators have undergone numerous design variations. In Predator 2, the main Predator was designed to look more urban and hip than its predecessor. Design changes included tribal ornamentation on the forehead, which was made steeper and shallower, brighter skin coloration and a greater number of fangs. This Predator was made less reliant on his plasma caster, and more cunning with the use of nets, spears and bladed weaponry. In Alien vs. Predator, the appearance of the Predators was redesigned to make them seem more heroic. Redesigns included a reduction in head and waist size, broader shoulders, a more muscular physique, piranha-like teeth on the upper jaw, and dryer and less clammy skin to further differentiate them from the Aliens. In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Predator was returned to the sleeker design concept prior to Alien vs. Predator. For the so-called "Black Super Predators" in Predators, the designers used the differences between a cassette tape and an iPod as an analogy in differentiating the new Predators from the classic. The Super Predators were designed as leaner and taller than the "classic" Predator design, and they have longer faces, tighter armor, and more swept back dreadlocks.
Culture and history
|"The Predator society builds sophisticated spaceships, yet they should not look as sleek and hi-tech as a Star Wars stormtrooper. They are a tribal culture, yet their look should not be as primitive as the orcs from Lord of the Rings. They are also a warrior culture, so the ornate cannot conflict with the practical."|
|— Alec Gillis on Predator designs.|
Predator culture revolves around the hunting and stalking of dangerous lifeforms. After making a kill, Predators typically skin or decapitate the carcass, converting it into a trophy. If immobilized or at the brink of death, a hunter will activate the mass-explosive self-destruct-mechanism in his wristband, honorably erasing any trace of its presence to its prey. It is often alluded to that the reason Predators hunt is not for sustenance or elimination of threats, but as sportsmanship or rite of passage, as they will normally only attack life forms that have the ability to provide them with a challenge. In Predators, it is revealed that there are at least two different Predator tribes, which are engaged in a long lasting blood feud. The film also introduced a pack of spined, quadrupedal beasts used as flushing dogs by the "Super Predators," Creature designer Gregory Nicotero used hyenas as a basis for the creature's physique and the spines were added later by Chris Olivia.
Predators made contact with early human civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, the Khmer Empire, and Aztecs, as well as a fictitious culture inhabiting what is now Bouvetøya. Upon arriving on Earth, the Predators were worshipped as gods by humans, and they taught many of the civilizations how to build pyramids (an explanation as to why many of these different ancient societies had distinctly similar cultures and architecture), but in return expected sacrifices of humans for use as hosts for huntable Xenomorphs (Aliens) – the ultimate prey for initiates. The Predators returned to Bouvetøya every century to consummate the bargain, until at one point in the ritual, the Xenomorphs spread out of control, resulting in the Predators detonating a bomb that obliterated the entire civilization. Relations between humans and Predators deteriorated from that time on; the Predators then viewed humans as little more than another quarry to hunt.
Predators feature prominently in the folklore of certain cultures; some Latin American people refer to the species as "El Diablo que hace trofeos de los hombres" (Spanish for "The Demon who makes trophies of men"), and Jamaican superstition identifies Predators as demons from the spirit world. When hunting humans, Predators normally avoid certain individuals such as children and some adults if they are unarmed, though they will spare armed ones if they happen to be pregnant or sickly unless they are attacked by them. A human who has managed to kill a Predator or a Xenomorph in single combat or has fought alongside a Predator is usually spared by the deceased hunter's comrades and given a gift (often a rare or exotic weapon) as a sign of respect.
A learner's first successful Alien hunt is completed with the marking of his helmet and forehead with the acidic blood of his kill. The hunter generally operates alone. Even when hunters appear in groups, they rarely perform anything that resembles teamwork. Predators use Aliens as prey, creating artificial gaming reserves by keeping Queens and even Facehuggers in captivity. It is shown in a brief scene in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem that Predators have had prior contact with a race of creatures resembling the "Space Jockey" in the film Alien. This is confirmed in the film's DVD commentary. Again, in the film Predators, when the group of main protagonists enters the Predators' camp, there is a brief view of an Alien skull on the ground (as well as the lower jaw of an Alien on the helmet of the Berserker Predator).
The script of the Predators is expressed in the films and other media through written patterns of dashes. These written symbols appear on the creatures' gauntlet displays, their helmets, architecture, and many other surfaces. The most common vocalizations of the Predators consists of a series of clicks, roars, snarls, and growls which consist of recorded vocalizations of animals such as lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cougars, black bears, grizzly bears, alligators, camels, and elephants. Predators will mimic human language on occasion, and have been shown to use their helmets to understand and speak human languages. Author Steve Perry designed a constructed language set for the Aliens vs. Predator novel series.
Appearances in media
First appearing in the 1987 film Predator, the eponymous character lands in Earth via starship to "hunt" armed and dangerous human fighters. Having landed in a Central American jungle, the creature has already killed a handful of US Special Forces soldiers before beginning to hunt an elite paramilitary rescue team sent to rescue what they have been told are presidential cabinet ministers kidnapped by guerrilla forces. The Predator dispatches the team members one by one with its array of weaponry until Major "Dutch" (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the last one alive. Dutch eventually confronts the creature, covering himself in mud to hide his heat signature from the Predator's thermal imaging, and setting up numerous booby traps. Though he manages to disable the Predator's cloaking ability, the Predator manages to capture him, and then, in a display of Honor, discards his mask and electronic weaponry before challenging Dutch to a final duel. Physically outmatched, Dutch eventually sets off one of his traps, which crushes and mortally wounds the creature. After being asked what he is by Dutch, the Predator simply mimics his question and sets off his self-destruct device before laughing maniacally, though Dutch manages to escape the explosion.
Set in 1997, ten years after the events of the first film, the 1990 sequel follows a new Predator who sets his sights on Los Angeles due to its summer heat and drug wars between Jamaican and Colombian cartels, as well as the L.A.P.D. attempting to fight both gangs (Promotional material for the film said this Predator was younger, and chose a densely populated urban area for a more ambitious hunt). After eliminating leaders from both gangs, the Predator begins actively targeting the L.A.P.D. officers attempting to investigate his handiwork, specifically Lieutenant Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) and his three partners (Rubén Blades, María Conchita Alonso and Bill Paxton). Special agent Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), purportedly sent by the DEA to investigate cartels, but actually leading the secretive Outworld Life Forms task force, attempts to capture the Predator alive for government study but he and most of his OWLF team are outsmarted and slaughtered by their quarry. Towards the end of the movie, the Predator is ultimately confronted by Harrigan in his own ship and killed when Harrigan uses one of his own weapons against him. The Predator's clan-mates de-cloak and carry away the dead Predator's body and give Harrigan a flintlock dating from 1715 as a sign of respect. The film also makes a reference to the Alien films, as shown in the Predators' trophy room, which has a skull closely resembling that of an Alien.
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
In 2004, a Predator mothership arrives in Earth orbit to draw humans to an ancient Predator training ground on Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles north of Antarctica. A buried pyramid giving off a "heat bloom" attracts a group of explorers led by billionaire and self-taught engineer Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), the original founder and CEO of Weyland Industries, who unknowingly activates an Alien egg production line as a hibernating Alien Queen is awakened within the pyramid. Three Predators descend unto the planet and enters the structure, killing all humans in their way with the intention of hunting the newly formed Aliens, while the scattered explorers are captured alive by Aliens and implanted with embryos. Two Predators die in the ensuing battle with an Alien. The third Predator allies itself with the lone surviving human, Alexa "Lex" Woods (Sanaa Lathan), while in their way out of the pyramid as it is destroyed by the Predator's wrist bomb and eventually battles with the escaped Alien Queen on the surface. The Queen is defeated by being chained to a water tower that drags her down into the dark depths of the frozen sea, but not before she fatally wounds the last Predator. The orbiting Predator mothership uncloaks and the crew retrieves the fallen Predator. A Predator elder gives Lex a spear as a sign of respect, and then departs. Once in orbit it is revealed that an Alien Chestburster was present within the corpse, thus a Predalien hybrid is born.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Set immediately after the events of the previous film, the Predalien hybrid aboard the Predator scout ship, having just separated from the mothership shown in the previous film, has grown to full adult size and sets about killing the Predators aboard the ship, causing it to crash in the small town of Gunnison, Colorado. The last surviving Predator activates a distress beacon containing a video recording of the Predalien, which is received by a veteran Predator on the Predator homeworld, who sets off towards Earth to "clean up" the infestation. When it arrives, the Predator tracks the Aliens into a section of the sewer below the town. He removes evidence of their presence as he moves along using a corrosive blue liquid and uses a laser net to try to contain the creatures in the sewer, but the Aliens still manage to escape into the town above, and the Predalien finds an opportunity to breed more warriors at a hospital. The Predator hunts Aliens all across town, accidentally cutting the power to the town in the process. Over the course of several confrontations with Aliens and subsequently human survivors, the Predator ends up with one working plasma caster that cannot be fired. The Predator fixes this by fashioning it into a plasma pistol before losing it, after which human survivors find and use it to help them escape. The Predator then fights the Predalien singlehandedly, and the two mortally wound one another just as the US air force drops a tactical nuclear bomb on the town, incinerating both combatants along with the Predalien's warriors and hive, as well as the few remaining humans in the town. The salvaged plasma pistol is then taken to a Ms. Yutani of the Yutani Corporation, foreshadowing an advancement in technology leading to the future events of the Alien films.
In Predators (which deliberately distances itself from the prior Alien vs. Predator films), it is revealed that there are two warring Predator tribes: one group uses quadrupedal hunting beasts and elaborate traps to hunt, and the other hunts traditionally. An international group of soldiers and dangerous criminals from different locations from Earth are dropped onto a forested planet used as a Predator game reserve. After numerous skirmishes resulting in the deaths of two Predators and all but two of the captured humans, the last Predator manages to kill another member of his kind from a rival tribe, but is defeated in combat by the human survivors. The survivors then head off to seek a way back to their home, just in time to witness more people be dropped.
The Predator (2018)
In June 2014, Fox announced a sequel which Shane Black will direct and co-write with Fred Dekker, and John Davis will produce. Continuing the existence of two Predator species, the film opens with a 'standard' Predator landing on Earth and being captured by a government research division known as 'Operation Stargazer', only for this Predator to escape to find missing parts of its armor that were taken by army sniper Captain Quinn MacKenna, who discovered the Predator's escape pod and was able to mail the items to himself before he was captured. When the armor is discovered by Quinn's autistic son Rory, Rory is able to translate the Predator language, just as MacKenna discovers that the Predator has escaped and is now hunting his son. Joining forces with Doctor Casey Bracket- an evolutionary biologist brought in to study the Predator- and a group of soldiers suffering from various PTSD symptoms that he was being escorted with, MacKenna is able to rescue his son, only to discover that the first Predator is being hunted by a larger alien of its own kind. The subsequent fighting results in the death of the first Predator, most of the Stargazer staff and the other soldiers in MacKenna's makeshift unit, but MacKenna, Rory and Casey are able to kill the giant Predator and retrieve the original alien's ship. Based on analysis of the ship, they determine that the Predators are adapting themselves with human DNA and intend to take Earth once humanity dies out through climate change, and the first Predator was a traitor who came to Earth with a cybernetic suit that would allow humanity to more easily stand up to the Predators.
In the Aliens vs. Predator novel series (based on the Dark Horse Comics) by David Bischoff, Steve and Stephani Perry, the Predators, known in the series as "yautja," are depicted as living in a matriarchal clan-based society bearing similarities to a pack mentality whose strongest and most skilled of the group lead. The Predators are portrayed as sexually dimorphic mammals. The females are larger and stronger than males, and sport more prominent mammary glands (like human females). Both genders give off a strong musk to signify aggression, and females can also emit it when in estrus. This musk can be detected by other Predators and canids, though it is imperceptible to humans. Predators in the Perry novels are not monogamous, and it is common for veteran warriors to sire hundreds of offspring (known as sucklings) with multiple mates. It is also revealed that their blood has the capacity of partially neutralizing the acidity of Alien blood. Their religion is partially explored in the series, showing that they are polytheistic, and that their equivalent of the Grim Reaper is the so-called "Black Warrior," who is seen as an eternal adversary who eventually wins all battles.
Though female Predators are occasionally referred to in Steve and Stephani Perry's novel series, one does not make an appearance until the comic book limited series Aliens vs Predator: Deadliest of Species. The female's design contradicts the descriptions given in the Perry novel series, as it superficially shows little distinction from males.
The Darkhorse/TopCow crossover MindHunter, which pits the Witchblade, Darkness, Aliens, and Predator franchises against each other, depicts a female Predator in a manner closer to the Perry description. It is very tall, has feminine hips, mammary glands, and a very muscular build, with different armor than the males.
In Randy Stradley's miniseries Aliens vs. Predator: War, it is revealed through the narration of the character Machiko Noguchi that Predators were responsible for the spread of Aliens throughout the galaxy, though the Predators themselves deny this, stating that their large interplanetary distribution is due to simultaneous convergent evolution.
The comic series Predator and Aliens vs Predator: Three World War introduce a clan of Predators referred to as "Killers," who are enemies of mainstream Predators (here referred to as "Hunters") because of their tradition of training Aliens as attack animals rather than hunting them, as well as their desire for killing as opposed to honorable hunting. The character Machiko Noguchi notes in issue #1 of Three World War that "You have to understand the mindset of the Hunters, and the honor they place on facing a worthy opponent on an equal footing... a kill is the end result, but it's not the point of a hunt.... For the 'Killers,' that wasn't the case. They were all about the killing." They are first seen in the 2009 Predator series, where a number interfere in an East African civil war, coming into conflict with both humans and their Hunter counterparts. By the time of Three World War the Killers are assumed to have been wiped out by the Hunters, but some survive and begin attacking human colonies, forcing Noguchi to forge an alliance between humans and the Hunters in order to deal with them.
In John Shirley's stand alone novel Predator: Forever Midnight, Predators, now referred to as "Hish," are shown to possess a gland located between their neck and collarbone which secretes powerful hormones into their bloodstream and which drives them to hyper-aggression. When this gland is over-stimulated, it sends the creatures into a frenzied rage, causing them to attempt killing any living thing in sight, including members of their own species. This "kill rage" can be contagious and spread from one Predator to another, driving them all to attack each other. The Predators as a species barely survived the wars provoked by their kill glands, and they have learned to control the gland's secretions with artificial hormone regulators.
In Ian Edginton and Alex Maleev's graphic novel Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal and the videogame Predator: Concrete Jungle, Predator flesh and blood, if consumed, is shown to have the capacity of greatly lengthening a human's lifespan.
In the first-person shooting video game Call of Duty: Ghosts, Predator appears as a hidden killstreak on the multiplayer map "Ruins" from the Devastation map pack. The player can play as Predator for a brief period by completing a Field Order and obtaining a care package. Predator is also a playable guest character via downloadable content in the fighting game Mortal Kombat X, opposite an Alien.
In the tactical shooting video game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, a live event titled "The Hunt" was released on December 14, 2017. During this event, players may take part in a bonus campaign mission in the Caimanes district to battle the Predator, with the event lasting until January 2018.
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|url=(help). Beverly Hills, California: 20th Century Fox. Event occurs at 0:02:45.
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