So, as we probably all know, the backstory and history of Alien has been retconned to hell and back over the decades. And through the entire affair, Weylan-Yutani basically became more and more omnipotent. They essentially went from knowing about the Xxenomorphs to knowing the location of the Xenomorphs to breeding the Xenomorphs, all before Ripley even set foot on the Nostromo.

My question is, how much did Ridley Scott intend for the then-unnamed Company to know about the Xenomorph before Alien was released to theaters? For example, did they just know of its existence? Did they know what it looked like? Did they know its history or its exact location? Depending on where in the franchise you look, you get vastly different answers to all of those questions.

That means interviews, unshot footage, cut scenes, drawings, whatever, so long as it was put on paper before the film released.

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    Boot-up screen @3 mins in: Ship: Weylan Yutani - Nostromo - 180923609. It's also on a beer can during dinner.
    – Mazura
    Apr 29, 2016 at 1:41
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    They knew enough to replace the science officer with a highly illegal android with special instructions that overrode the safety of the human crew. Now, the question is, is that normal activity for WY whenever they get a hint of something interesting, or was this a special case? If it was a normality, then bad things would be happening often for WY crews (see how quickly it took for the Bishop situation to deteriorate), but if it was a special case then why was it a special case?
    – Moo
    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


Originally, Scott didn't think the Company knew that much about the Alien except that it was hostile; obviously an earlier Weyland spacecraft had intercepted the message and decoded it for what it was, a warning, just like Ripley did. However, after Prometheus, one can assume the company certainly DID know exactly what the Alien was or at least had a good idea of it.


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