Alien’s Most Twisted Storyline Broke A Rule Set Up in the Very First Movie

The first Alien film redefined the Sci-Fi/horror subgenre and launched a franchise that is still going strong to this day. What it also did was establish some firm rules within the franchise itself–even if they were unspoken–but Alien’s most twisted storyline broke one of its most important: Xenomorphs don’t mess with cats.

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The Alien/cat rule is one that came about as a result of Jones the Cat being one of the two survivors of the Xenomorph’s attack on the Nostromo. Despite the fact that the Xenomorph was killing everything that moved on the ship, Jones was inexplicably safe, even when the Xenomorph was killing someone within the cat’s line of sight. Jones’ continued safety carried over into the next film, which began a trend that would remain true in not just the movies, but also in Alien comics as well. At least, that’s normally the case.



Alien Shows a Xenomorph Killing a Cat, Breaking an Old Franchise Rule

Alien's Xenomorph killing a cat.

In Aliens: Music of the Spears #2 by Chet Williamson and Tim Hamilton, a small team of scientists and a musician/composer have a Xenomorph locked away in a clear cage with recording devices surrounding it. The goal here is to capture the Xenomorphs’ screams, as the raw anger, hatred, and sorrow the musician believes is behind each roar is something he wants to merge into his music. In order to get those desired sounds, they are dropping different animals into the Xenomorphs’ cage, hoping the sounds it makes while tearing the animals apart will be what the musician has in mind. The animals they used in this experiment/musical production were straight from the shelter, meaning the first few consisted mainly of dogs and–more notably–cats.

This Alien story is easily one of its most twisted, with scenes like this making that point fairly obvious, though its greatest crime has to be that it broke the ‘no cats’ rule when it comes to Xenomorphs. Not only that, but the comic barely touches on the fact that this Xenomorph is killing cats like it’s nothing, even though it’s actually a pretty big deal, especially when considering how widespread this rule became within the Alien franchise. In Marvel Comics’ Alien #3, an entire space station–Epsilon Station–is torn apart after a horde of Xenomorphs escapes from the station’s laboratories, slaughtering everyone in sight, except for a lone cat who manages to be one of the survivors. One of the humans even makes a comment about this, wondering where this cat even came from and how it managed to survive while nearly everything else in the station was killed.

Little did the survivor of Alien #3 know, the answer to how that cat survived was simple: Xenomorphs don’t mess with cats. It’s a rule 1979’s Alien established, and it’s one that’s still honored to this day. Well, most of the time, as Alien’s most twisted storyline had no problem breaking a rule set up in the very first movie.

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