prequel predator– fun to say out loud – arrived on Hulu on Friday (and Disney Plus Star outside the US), bringing the iconic sci-fi series back to 1719. It pits one of the alien hunters against tribes of the Comanche Nation as Naru (Amber Midthunder), and it’s absolutely excellent.
“This is easily the best Predator movie we’ve had since the original, with a well-developed protagonist (and her excellent dog), a rich cultural foundation, and clever use of an iconic movie monster,” I wrote in.
It builds a memorable ending, hints at what happened next in its beautiful animated credits sequences, and includes an incredible reference to the 1990s.. Let’s dive in – but be warned: these things will make you a SPOILER Tyrannosaurus, just like me.
we can kill him
Having seen his fellow Comanche Nation warriors and the deeply unsavory French hunters slaughtered by the Predator, Naru lures the beast into a trap in the dark forest. She kills him using a combination of her knowledge of the environment, the weapons she has gathered (including a familiar flintlock pistol engraved with “Raphael Adolini 1715” – more on that later) and the Predator’s own technology.
Covered in the alien’s luminous green blood, she brings her decapitated head back to camp and is honored as a hunter by her tribe. This mirrors the sequence where her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) did this to the lion at the beginning of the movie, after she failed. By killing the Predator who took Taabe’s life, Naru proved to be the biggest fucker in the tribe.
And they all lived happily ever after. Except…
We have a super cool animated recap of the movie’s events in the first section of the credits, with an added wrinkle. The final image shows a Predator ship emerging from the storm clouds over Naru’s camp, implying that the aliens have struck again. Which doesn’t sound like Predators sports – y’all lost, go home.
It’s unclear how these events came to be – perhaps we’ll find out in a sequel at some point – or when they took place. It’s possible they left Naru alone and the image is a metaphor for later hunts involving humans, as the original Predator and its sequels reveal that the aliens are kind of obsessed with fighting us.
This may be an illusion, though, as the flintlock pistol Naru was given by the murdered French hunter Raphael (Bennett Taylor) offers us a clue. It’s on her belt when she returns to camp, but fans will know she appears later in the series.
Rafael Adolini 1715
In Predator 2, set in 1997, LAPD Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) and the main Predator – known as the City Hunter – fight on one of the aliens’ ships. After the human triumphs, a bunch of other Predators flake off and look ready to kill you.
Instead, one of them gives him a gift – Raphael’s 282-year-old flintlock pistol.
“Take this,” the Predator growls at a stunned Harrigan.
At the very least, this proves that the Predators recovered this weapon sometime in the following years. They could have killed Naru (since the credits image suggests they attacked her again), ally with her (humans are accepted by the Predators in the Alien vs. Predator comics and 2004 movie), or just get him back after She died.
Prey apparently replaces the events of the 1996 comic Predator: 1718, in which one of the aliens teams up with a pirate captain to fight his mutinous crew. The film’s Rafael, the only one of the French hunters who doesn’t act like a total garbage bag, is presumably the one whose name is engraved on the weapon.
The Alien vs. Predator were originally published by Dark Horse, but the license was transferred to Marvel in the wake of parent company Disney, which won the rights to Alien and Predator after. They’re not currently available to read digitally, but Marvel may re-release them as it did with Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics.
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