For decades, the Predator franchise has captivated audiences with its blend of science fiction, action, and suspense. From the original 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger to the latest instalment,Prey (2022), the series has continued to evolve and expand its universe. Of course, there would be no franchise without the titular beasts themselves. Known as the demon that makes trophies of men, Predators have garnered a reputation for being fearsome and formidable opponents. While some aspects of the iconic beasts are seared into our conscience, such as their high-tech visors, long dreadlocks, and distinctive mandibles, several mysteries have surrounded the infamous Yautja species throughout the franchise’s history. One of these mysteries is the Predators’ origins.
The mystery surrounding the Yautja’s origins has certainly elicited mixed reactions. On the one hand, the Predators’ ambiguity and enigmatic nature have piqued the interest of those who follow the franchise allowing for speculation, theories, and discussions, which prompted fans to develop their own interpretations and backstories.
The lack of explicit exposition about the Predators’ origins has also added to the characters’ allure and made them more intriguing. It opens the door to more surprises and reveals in future instalments, heightening fan interest.
There’s also the fear of the unknown. If too many details about the Predators are revealed, they may lose the characteristics that make them so frightening in the first place. The lack of knowledge about their origins, culture, and motivations creates an air of uncertainty and unpredictability, heightening the fear factor associated with coming into contact with these brave warriors.
On the other hand, the limited information from the films’ and expanded universe’s materials may leave some fans wanting a more in-depth understanding of the Predator species, culture, and motivations. Some fans have been hoping for years for the lore to be expanded, and there is certainly plenty of existing mythology surrounding the franchise to explore.
In the first Predator film, released in 1987, we learn that the Predators are an extraterrestrial species that visits Earth to hunt humans. They are technologically advanced and have formidable physical characteristics. The film implies that the Predators have been hunting for a long time on various planets and only hunt worthy prey.
The sequel, Predator 2 (1990), teases that the Predators have previously visited Earth. An ancient Predator weapon is displayed in a spaceship, indicating the species’ long history on the planet. There is also a brief scene in which the main character, played by Danny Glover, encounters Predators in a spaceship filled with various creature skulls, including a Xenomorph skull from the Alien franchise, implying a possible link between the two universes.
In the 2004 film Alien vs Predator, we learn that the species arrived in ancient Egypt and helped humans build the pyramids. In exchange, the people served as hosts for the Xenomorphs, allowing the Predators to return to Earth regularly to hunt them as a bizarre rite of passage.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem delves into the aftermath of the previous film, with the Predators battling Xenomorphs in a small town. It introduces a new Predator known as the “Wolf” and reveals their ability to impregnate using a Predalien, a Predator-Xenomorph hybrid.
In Predators (2010) a group of humans are trapped on an alien planet and serve as prey for various types of Predators. It introduces new Predator variations, such as the larger “Super Predator” or “Berserker Predator,” and emphasizes the use of hunting dogs by the creatures.
The Predator (2018) adds to the lore of the Predators, revealing that they have been visiting Earth for centuries and experimenting with human DNA to improve themselves. It introduces the concept of “Upgrade” Predators and features a human-Predator hybrid.
While the films have slowly unravelled more and more about the infamous species, there is still so much they have yet to delve into.
Unmasking the Hunter: 5 Theories on the Predator’s Origins
Although we know that these physically imposing beings have incredible strength, agility, and endurance, as well as highly advanced weaponry and equipment, we know precious little about the origins and evolution of their murder-friendly society. Even Prey did little to explain why the first Predators came to Earth and what they hoped to accomplish by killing people through the ages.
We know these crab-faced creatures are advanced enough to travel the galaxy seeking worthy opponents to satisfy their penchant for killing, but they also have their own hierarchical structure, culture, and home world.
Unfortunately, most humans who encounter these intimidating creatures are too preoccupied with survival to learn about the nuances of Predator society. Why don’t we take a trip through speculation lane and come up with some potential theories about the Predator’s origins? Since the movies and even the comics are still vague on what drives a Predator, let’s try to come up with some potential explanations for this species’ uninterrupted killing spree.
This theory takes a page from the Prometheus rulebook by painting the Yautja as a species created by another race of superintelligent aliens. However, as we know, the most likely scenario is that the creations revolted against their enslavers, leading to the Predators as we know them today.
If we’re still going for the Alien vs Predator shared universe here, we could even say that the Engineers were the ones responsible for creating the Yautja – but that would mean that maybe, just maybe, those Engineers weren’t so smart after all.
2. Intergalactic Competition
We all know the Predator hunts for sport – but what if they are not the only ones partaking in this competition? Predators show us a planet that appears tailor-made for hunting people, but what if every aspect of this hunt is broadcasted through the galaxy?
This theory proposes that alien civilizations could be far more violent than some movies propose – and that they send the Predators as entertainment to see how much damage they can do to a relatively fragile population such as ours.
Another theory is that the Predators are not from our universe but from a parallel dimension. They may have stumbled upon Earth during one of their hunts and become fascinated with humans as a new type of Prey.
They are skilled at hunting humans because they have been practising similar Prey in their dimension. Additionally, their technology may be designed to allow them to travel between dimensions, explaining their ability to seemingly appear out of nowhere.
4. Space Cops
What if the Predators are a type of intergalactic police force? In this scenario, the Predators are tasked with maintaining order across the galaxy and hunting down dangerous criminals. Human beings – especially peculiarly belligerent ones – may have been deemed a threat by some higher authority, and the Predators were sent to Earth to eliminate the danger. Their love of hunting may stem from a need to hone their skills and stay sharp so they are always ready to take on the next mission.
Finally, the Predators may be ancient gods or deities. In this theory, various civilizations have worshipped the Predators as powerful beings capable of incredible feats. They may have originally come to Earth to be worshipped by humans, but over time they grew bored with adoration and began seeking new challenges.
Hunting humans may be a way for them to prove their superiority and retain their god-like status. Their “divine” origin would explain their advanced technology and abilities, potentially linking this alien hypothesis to the proponents of the ancient alien’s theory.
Regardless of their origins, there is no denying that the Yautja are one of the most iconic and beloved alien races in science fiction history. From their fearsome appearance to their code of honour and respect for worthy prey, these creatures continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
What began as a survival-horror story about a group of elite soldiers being hunted by extraterrestrial predators has since expanded into a decades-long franchise. Despite some missteps, the Predator franchise continues to evolve and entertain audiences with its thrilling action sequences and unique storytelling. With rumours of a new film in development, fans eagerly anticipate what new adventures await them in this beloved universe. Fans can only hope that future films will delve deeper into the lore and mythology of the Predators, shedding light on the mysterious origins of these iconic sci-fi creatures.