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I know that the game Alien: Isolation is between Alien and Aliens. However, it is from a long time later than those films, so I’m thinking it might have big connections to the prequels or something. What should I watch before it?

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Isolation has no continuity with the prequels as far as I can remember. My advice to you is this:

  • Watch Alien, the theatrical cut.

  • Play Alien: Isolation.

  • Read Alien: Out of the Shadows, set after Isolation but before Aliens.

  • Read Alien: River of Pain, set after Out of the Shadows and acts as a direct precursor to Aliens.

  • Watch Aliens, the director's cut.

  • Watch Alien 3, either the theatrical or extended cut.

  • Play Aliens: Colonial Marines, stated as canon by 20th Century Fox.

  • Watch Alien Resurrection, either the theatrical or extended cut.

  • Read Alien: Sea of Sorrows, set after the last two movies and is a sequel to the events of Out of the Shadows.

Do that, in that order, and you have what is basically an accurate self-contained continuity/"canon" as established by 20th Century Fox (AFAIK) that relies on only the movies and the selected tie-in media and omits everything else that has been released or published before and after. I personally regard that as the "official" canon.

  • 3
    The question was what to watch before Alien: Isolation, not what to watch to get the complete experience. – Allan Mills Jul 22 at 0:49
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    Why specifically the theatrical cut of Alien? – Stormblessed Jul 22 at 1:13
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    @Stormblessed Because according to Ridley Scott, the Theatrical Cut is his official cut of the film, as opposed to the so-called "Director's Cut" that came out later on. Unlike James Cameron, who usually presents his official cuts of movies on home media if he can't present the full version in theaters, Scott has almost always been adamant that the cut HE prefers is the theatrical one; with the one exception I know of being Kingdom of Heaven. The theatrical cut is the one considered "canon" by the creator of the series, so I specified it. – SpaceWolf1701 Jul 22 at 1:16
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    @AllanMills Well that's fair. So to that I'd say just watch the original movie and disregard the rest unless it interests you at all! – SpaceWolf1701 Jul 22 at 1:19
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    @TomášZato While I fully agree that Resurrection is pretty darned bad (except for Ron Perlman and Sigourney's did-it-like-a-boss over-the-shoulder basketball shot), it still (perhaps unfortunately) does count. So I included it for completion's sake. – SpaceWolf1701 Jul 22 at 12:38
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The first two movies should be enough. I can't think of anything in the game that isn't covered by them. Come to think of it, only the first movie would be required. You just need to roughly understand what happened to Ripley and co. and that corporations in the future are not nice people.

  • Well there is her daughter existing, which is a teensy spoiler for the second one. – Stormblessed Jul 21 at 23:17
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    Oh actually she’s only mentioned in a deleted scene (which is in my director’s cut copy of the film). – Stormblessed Jul 21 at 23:19
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Honestly I had a lot of fun going in blind. The game explains enough that you never really feel lost.

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