The tagline for the original Alien film eerily proclaimed that “in space, no one can hear you scream,” well, tell that to the thousands of imperial stormtroopers that were vaporized throughout the run of the legendary Star Wars saga. One of the most iconic pieces of pop culture ever produced, George Lucas’ space opera became a larger-than-life event that now spans over a dozen films and countless books and video game adaptations.
On the other side of the sci-fi coin we have the Aliens franchise – yes, Aliens plural, since the sequel to the 1979 horror icon introduced plenty of revisions to the original’s mythos. Thanks to James Cameron and his non-stop action 1986 sci-fi classic, we now have things like Xenomorph Queens and the Colonial Marines. Though some fans are somewhat divided when it comes to choosing the “canon” version of the Alien universe between Ridley Scott and James Cameron, there’s no denying that the series has become a cultural landmark for both horror and the sci-fi genre as a whole.
Both movies – the first Star Wars and the first Alien – were released at the height of the sci-fi renaissance that occurred during the late 70s. Even then, fans were speculating about the possibility of the two franchises ever meeting each other, perhaps as some sort of novel or comic book event. This might sound a bit too ambitious, but not at all impossible.
The two franchises were owned by the same parent company, 20th Century Fox. This meant that, at least in some sort of non-canon adaptation, the Xenomorphs and the characters from Star Wars could eventually collide outside of the silver screen. As we know, this never happened – or has it?
In a galaxy as diverse as the one where the Star Wars saga takes place, it wouldn’t be outlandish to think that there might be some species that are deemed as “monsters” to the rest of the civilized aliens. Creatures like the Acklay and the Rancor are already pretty darn close to what we could define as a monster in a horror flick, not to mention how positively frightening lifeforms like the dreadful Krayt dragon can be. Despite this, there has been nothing as ruthless or menacing as the Xenomorph mentioned in the movies so far – but that doesn’t include the Star Wars comics.
On a single panel in a single issue of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron published in 1996, what appears to be a Xenomorph can be seen hanging around a group of more recognizable Star Wars aliens. This is the only canonical appearance of a creature from the Aliens franchise in Star Wars so far, but it was enough to force the Wookieepedia – the number one wiki regarding the Star Wars fandom – to include the Xenomorph as a species that does exist in a galaxy far, far away.
More Star Wars x Aliens artwork by Guillem H. Pongiluppi:
Things have changed quite a bit since the two original movies were first released. Sci-fi and expanded universes are no longer things that just the most die-hard nerds enjoy – they have become an integral part of the mainstream pop culture. With all the talk about multiverses and crossovers going around, now would be the perfect time to bring the Aliens and Star Wars franchises closer together.
One of the most substantial reasons to believe that a crossover event might still be in the cards for the two franchises is that both are now owned by Disney – AKA the masters of media multiverses. Perhaps we might see a retelling of the events of Aliens starring stormtroopers from the 501st legion at some point in the near future.