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Are Xenos Evil?

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2015-06-07 03:00:11
I was rereading DD's thread about Predator Honor and this caught my attention:

"The logic usually goes like this:

'[Predators aren't] good guys, but theyre better than the Xenos.'

This argument usually invites a comparison to Freddy vs. Jason. No one would call Jason a hero, but we can root for him because hes a lot less horrible than Freddy. For all the evil he does, Jason runs purely on instinct. You get the sense that he doesnt really understand what hes doing. Freddy, on the other hand, is intelligent. Hes aware of what hes doing, and does it anyway because he enjoys it."

This reminded me of that Mark Twain essay that says something like, "Humans are the only ones who can commit evil because they're the only ones that have a moral code." This may or may not extend to Predators (which depends on the conclusion we came to in DD's thread, which I haven't finished reading), but does it extend to Xenos?

People say Xenos are bad for several reasons:

1) Predators are always the lesser evil (They only kill certain people, which is preferable to the Xeno's "rape everything" agenda)
2) Xenos kill children and pregnant people while Predators (usually?) don't
3) Humans can coexist with Predators (Machiko, Alexa, and probably the cast of Archie later on tbqh) but they can't coexist with Xenos
4) The Newborn is a thing
5) Colonial Marines was hyped for over a decade

Nothing can excuse these things, but there's at least justification for the first three.

1) Predators are the lesser of two evils because... honor? Xenos kill for survival and they don't travel to other planets (willingly). Xenos kidnap people, sure, but Predators have done that too, and it definitely wasn't for their survival.

2) Xenos kill people because they need to. I'm not defending them, I'm just saying that they don't do it for fun like Predators do. Humans kill animals all the time because we need to eat. We kill animals for sport, too, so we're probably worse than Xenos*. At least they don't stuff our heads and prop them up on their walls. Predators on the other hand...

3) Humans can coexist with Predators because we're the same kind of terrible**. We both hunt for sport and we think our actions are honorable when really, we're just assholes who are trying to justify our weird behavior. "I kill people, but I do it honorably"? More like "Hey guy, I fucking murder people for sport, but at least I don't kill children!" You shouldn't have to thank someone for not killing your kid when it's not normal to do so in the first place.***

It could be argued that everything Xenos do to whatever planets they take over isn't any different from what humans are doing to Earth. However, they don't kill for sport and they aren't actively trying to spread to other planets. Killing is killing, true, but are humans any different? We murder anything that isn't human all the time. We even kill each other. Xenos, on the other hand, have never killed each other in the movies aside from Resurrection, which was filled with nonstandard Xenos - Xenos that happened to be part human, goddamn! Humans are the worst.

This might be a surprise to no one, but the moral of these movies is that humans are the Real Assholes.

*BTW I'm not a vegan advocate nor am I anti-hunting, so this isn't meant to be a "SAVE THE ANIMALS" rant.
**I'm not exactly pro-hunting, either, but,
***I don't even know if you can lump Predators in with humans. Like humans, they kill "lesser" species for sport. They have no qualms about killing humans the same way most of us don't care if you kill a deer. Maybe there's a bunch of human rights activists on their homeworld? Anyway...


2015-06-07 18:51:55
The reason it's easier to relate to Predators is that we can communicate with them, they can understand us and we can understand them. However, we don't understand Xenos, that's why they're called "xeno". There was never a movie that clarified upon the actual intelligence of a Xenomorph, we only have evidence of them being able to figure out how things work based on a single example, which already makes them more intelligent than some of the staff of Rooster Teeth. We would need the Xenomorph's perspective to complete the argument for or against their being evil, but we simply don't have it.


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2015-06-08 01:07:02
well i associate xenos with like an all consuming horde of insects. they have no morals, or i dont think it even applies to their way of life. no yes or no's just listen what the queen says and do. no right or wrong its always one answer. the queen is hungry, feed the queen. you are trapped in a box chew off your leg and melt through the box. queen is in distress rush to her aid. colony is thinning, make more... like insects. they build walls with their dead. killing each other for the greater good of the colony. to find evil in them is the fear of what they are. its scary to see crawling things on walls tha,t can throat jab through your skull. While also using your bodies to breed. they dont care if you plead they dont no what mercy is. you are just a threat or object to use. like how we would just crush a ant just for seeing it crawl into our house.

they are like a terrible plague that can grow out of hand.

For a wounded man shall
Say to his assailant, "If I live I will kill you, If I die you are forgiven,"
Such is the Rule of Honor
2015-06-09 20:40:40
I think it all depends on the intelligence of the Xenos, if they are capable of higher thinking, or even think in the same manner as other life forms. Animals can most certainly be evil, but is it evil for going about its natural life cycle? I would say no, it is not evil for doing that.

If it kills for pleasure, to prolong the agony of its prey, then it is evil. That's part of why I am not a big fan of the Super Predators, because they are cruel hunters, whereas the normal ones are quick, swift, and sort of merciful. I still don't respect any of them, I don't respect people who hunt for sport because it is wrong. So I think it honestly depends on the Xeno, since we've seen some that prolong the pain of their victims, and those that just kill them and drag them off to use/eat them.

I myself hunt, but I eat what I kill and try and use as much of it as possible(I eat the meat, carve the bones, trying to learn to make leather, give the dog what I cant eat that is also good for him, and so on). I mean, I understand the trophy thing, and when someone has a "Trophy Buck" or some such on there wall, usually the only thing from the actual deer is pelt(sometimes, faux fur is used a lot nowadays) and the antlers. Either the animal itself is eaten by the hunter, or it is donated to a food drive and is processed and fed to the poor/homeless(at least where I live).

2015-06-09 22:06:34
I agree with the guys above me. I mean, granted, we couldn't say Xenos are evil because we have never seen how they think, or if they even feel. With Predators, things are different. We have seen them sparing people, even helping them. I remember that, I read in a comic, I think it was one of Aliens vs Predator, that one of the elders killed a young blood for killing a child. So, I mean, perhaps it was a matter of honor, but what if it wasn't, and the predator actually thought it was something unfair?

Also, I doubt that the aliens are as close as we might think. Putting aside Resurrection, on the comics, there is one where two rival alien colonies are fighting for dominion, and I swear I read somewhere that when a planet infestated by Xenos is completely stripped of it's resources, the Queen eats her drones for sustenance. I mean, I could be wrong, but that is telling us that aliens act more like humans than you are stating. Perhaps, the three species have more similarities that we might think?

Like, I figure that two rival colonies might be like two countries fighting over a territory, don't you think?
2015-06-12 18:39:02
@DW: I guess I should switch my question to, "Why do people think Xenos are the bad ones/Predators are the good ones/lesser evil?" There are a bunch of (seemingly) good reasons but I feel like Predators are more than guilty of everything people dislike Xenos for apart from the forced pregnancies and being literal dick heads.

Edit: Oh, I guess you already answered why we think they're the lesser evil (because they're more relatable).

@Voltage: With the way they are now, I think insects are the best thing to compare them to. I just don't like the comparison and I don't really know why - I just don't like how they're so explainable, I guess. Regardless of whether or not you guys liked the movie, I think Prometheus did a great job of making sure everyone went right back to not knowing shit about Xeno/Engineer culture. I hope Paradise and Alien 5 show us Xenos that don't make sense.

@SR: Yeah, that's a counterargument to my counterarguments that I forgot to include in the OP. Some Xenos do seek to torture before killing (mostly seen in the first movie). The Giger Drone also seemed to know exactly what it was doing like it was actually sapient rather than just sentient (that is, it knew what it was doing, but it also knew what it was doing). Still though, every other Xeno (at least in Aliens) acted like animals rather than murderers. Whether or not it's because they matured into Warriors or because they were under control of a Queen is something I don't know.

About Predators versus Supers - they both still kill for sport regardless of being swift/cruel. From what I remember, Jungle Hunter was kind of sadistic (what the fuck was that laugh, anyway?).

@AG: Yeah, but their main reason for being on Earth isn't to help people, it's to kill them - and for sport, even. I'm sure serial killers are also kind to certain people in there lives but it doesn't make them good people.

About the two hives fighting for dominance: you're probably right, but I never liked the idea of two hives competing.


2015-06-14 04:39:20
I see your point and I kinda agree Xenos were never evil from the start just hostile to humans and pretty much everything cause thats how they reproduce: incapacitate and burst from their chest they dont breed like humans do so they have to be hostile to everything for the survival of their species, I think we view Predators as a lesser evil cause they have a common enemy in the Aliens and know thye must be contained and not spread else it would mean the extinction of their own species so in conclusion humans, xenomorphs and predators are on the same moral ground cause the survival of their species is their top priority for the predator part, its cause the predalien incidents, like in AVP3 the top priority is kill the predalien as it is a creature that can kill predators as the xenomorph thing is designed to be stronger than their host.

2015-06-15 08:42:08
@Bloo: Exactly, which is what makes it harder to understand from our perspective, since ours is so very, very different from theirs. I don't know whether it had to do with difference of Drone vs Warrior, but I would probably put my money on the lack of a Queen so it was likely confused to some extent and had a whole new playground of free thought to play around with.

Also I don't remember Jungle Hunter being particularly sadistic, all of his kills that I recall were relatively quick. Except the one where he chopped the dudes arm off, but it seemed unavoidable as he needed to "disarm" him(horrible pun is horrible).

It has been awhile since I last watched Predator(I'm generally more likely to bust out my Predator 2 VHS and chill on the couch), so I may be forgetting a particularly sick killing. And that laugh was so fucked up, it never stops bothering me, the unnatural feeling of it and the question of why? Why would he laugh like that specifically? I suppose it was just trying to make him feel more villain-like in "classic" way.

2015-06-24 05:23:58
Well there is one thought, once a queen dies or a herd of them get far from reach of her senses. doesnt a new queen take place? is the queen the free thinker? or do you think they go mindless or just sit waiting for "orders"

the whole quote "whats normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." applies to what could be the thought process of the xenos. they do it cause they can and because they thrive.

im guessing what we really dont understand about them is their aim. What do they live for? do they even know about their existence or could question it. they so as much murder each other when in a tight spot so they do panic and or are smart enough to know they can get out. but do they comprehend or is the queen the one that controls that thought process? we can compare them to bugs but comparing their thought process they are children running around do what they are told without question. do they just keep living until the planet they are on becomes nothing but a ball of emptiness? i can see why predators like them. kill a thousand today but their will be a million tomorrow. a never ending hunt.
For a wounded man shall
Say to his assailant, "If I live I will kill you, If I die you are forgiven,"
Such is the Rule of Honor
2015-06-28 20:03:29
I suppose I'll comtribute my thoughts, hopefully they're intresting for you guys.

The way I approach this problem is through the lens of the psychologist Sigmund Freud. The xenomorph is, indeed a very "Freudian" monster, characterized by sexuality and fear. To evaluate this monster, we have to understand what it means from a Freudian standpoint.

To me, a Xenomorph is the Id- characterized only by primal desire. Not to say it isn't intelligent-it certianly is- but, rather, it is "unclouded by remorse". It is the perfect sociopath, with no concept of outside judgement or perception, which would trigger the formation of the ego.

Without an ego (and thus, a superego) it is imossible to qualify xenomporphs as "evil" by any standard but our own, which is biased. While by my standards it is indeed "evil", it is objectively... the perfect and beautiful sociopath, like a man with antisocial disorder it has no remorse and no understanding of others.
2015-07-02 05:33:16
@SR: Maybe I should watch Predator again. I always thought he was a troll and that honor - if it was there - was secondary.

@Voltage: "the whole quote "whats normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." Yeah, that's why I don't think they're evil. It'd be a whole different thing if humans were doing this shit to other humans, but they're not human.

@DH: I think another good comparison is to Carl Jung's "shadow" concept. I think the original idea for the Alien was that it was a physical manifestation of Kane's (or humanity's) sexual desires (or darkest desires in general). If that's true and the second movie just fucked that idea up, then that means Aliens are humanity's shadow, and therefore they're absolutely, definitely evil.

It also happens to fit with Jung's "collective unconsciousness" thing.


2015-07-02 15:11:51
The thing is, if we look at the concept of the original, then the Alien is Kane's Id. I've said I'm a fan of the Xeno having the mind of the host- but without the restraint of the ego or, critically, the superego. Without that, without that moral code, we can't say if its good or evil.

The Alien is like an animal, a child, or a psychopath. We can't call it evil because it was never capable of anything but impulse and desire.

I also think it depends on our own perspectives as sell. I think you play a character that is certianly evil, wheras I don't think I've ever played a Xeno that's anything more than an animal, even when I RP'd at my shittyest.
2015-07-02 16:13:11
What I said wasn't an argument against you; shadows are to humans as the id is to the superego. If the Xeno was Kane's id, then I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say it was his shadow, too.

And anyway, how we think of them or how we play/write them is irrelevant - considering what we're given through the movies, they're not evil at all, they're just animals. It's not like bears purposefully think "MUST... EAT... THE CHILDREN" when they see kids in the forest.

Edit: Wait, they DO, but they're not evil about it.


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