The Alien franchise and the Blade Runner franchise have secretly shared the same universe for years, with more connections made with each installment.

The theory that Ridley Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner are connected has evolved from folklore to fact ever since one of BladeRunner‘s screenwriters, David Peoples, said that his other film, Soldier, is a spin-off sidequel to Blade Runner despite their tenuous connections. If Soldier, despite its schlocky tone, can be considered canon to Blade Runner, then Alien certainly can as well.

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Following Ridley Scott’s comeback to the Alien franchise with his films Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, the connections between Alien and Blade Runner have only increased. Not only do the two franchises share similar technology and ties between the Tyrell and Weyland Corporations, but their themes about artificial life go hand-in-hand.

Alien Shares A Universe With Blade Runner

Towards the conclusion of Alien, Ripley manages to get into an escape pod where she commences her engines by turning a blue screen into a red “purge” screen. Blade Runner starts off with Officer Gaff getting into his flying car where he, too, commences the engines by turning a blue screen into a red “purge” screen. Given that Blade Runner takes place in alternate-2019 and Alien takes place in 2122, is the Nostromo such a junk heap that it’s using technology over a hundred years old, or it just a clever Easter egg?

Then there is the Tyrell Corporation from the Blade Runner franchise and the Weyland Corporation of the Alien franchise who are undeniably connected. The confirmation came in the 20th anniversary Alien DVD from 1999 with the DVD extra titled “Nostromo Dossier,” which mentions Dallas taking a paycheck from the Tyrell Corporation.

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What Themes Alien & Blade Runner Share

While these connections might just be 20th Century Fox stoking this theory as a marketing ploy, Ridley Scott also plays into this theory with the franchises’ broader themes. His most poignant themes are about humanity in artificial intelligence and the dangers of creation. He even played around with those themes in an ad for Hennessy.

In Scott’s work, artificial beings are consistently more human than their flesh and blood counterparts and, while they go by different names, these beings are undeniably connected. Blade Runner calls them replicants, with Roy Batty being the standout. While Officer Deckard runs about, Roy Batty goes from being determined in preventing his early death to desperate to accepting his fate with his infamous “tears in the rain” speech.

Meanwhile in Alien, from the low-ranking Parker and Brett, who grumble about their pay, to the overly stern Captain Dallas, there is little humanity except for Ash. Even though he is a synthetic, Ash is the only one who looks upon the alien planet in awe, saying in hushed, reverant tones, “I’ve never seen anything quite like it.” Even decapitated, Ash’s severed head holds a sly smile. Then there is David of Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, who is not only a synthetic, but also the surrogate son of Peter Weyland. While Weyland shares Batty’s desire for eternal life, David is the one who goes about trying to save his father. Once Peter dies, David becomes free and, through his newfound free will, decides to create life.

Violence, Scott teaches, also comes with creation. In the pursuit of creation, David, like a child brushing a table clean for his toys, wipes out a whole civilization to make one in his image. Conversely, David’s creations are also violent. Anyone who stands in the way of Roy Batty’s quest is stomped out. When Ripley learns of Ash’s orders to capture the alien at all costs, he assaults her. David tests out the newly-discovered extraterrestrial goo out on a person and gleefully tells archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw that she’s carrying an alien in her stomach. Notably, in Alien: Covenant, David assaults Daniels, a woman who discovers his true intentions, just like Ash did to Ripley. Then, when Daniels stabs him with a necklace, David says, “That’s the spirit!”, a callback to one of Roy Batty’s lines.

What’s the point? The answer, for the Tyrell and Weyland Corporation, is to see what artificial life will do. Will they simply do what one wants as Ash did in Alien? Will they fight to stay alive as Roy Batty did in Blade Runner? Will they create even more life as David did? Or, there could be a fourth option yet to be explored, if another film is on the way.

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