- "One-day operation. We pick up their trail at the chopper, run 'em down, grab those hostages and bounce back across the border before anybody knows we were there."
- ―Dillon (from Predator)
Colonel Al Dillon was a CIA agent operating in South America, covertly combating the communist rebel movement in Guatemala. He was subsequently attached to Major "Dutch" Schaefer's private military team, which was hired by the US Army and the CIA for a rescue mission in the country in 1987. Nominally in command, Dillon was responsible for the planning and execution of the mission, although the stated objective — the rescue of a captured cabinet minister — was actually a ruse to get Dutch's team to eliminate rebel forces in the area. After discovering that their mission was a set-up, Dutch's squad came into contact with a Predator that stalked and killed the elite mercenaries one-by-one.
Dillon was a close friend of Dutch's, although the deception of the Guatemala mission brought the two into conflict. He was killed when he decided to face the Predator, partly out of a desire for revenge, and partly to buy the other survivors time to escape.
Dillon was born in South Central Los Angeles, and was the only black child to successfully escape the crime-ridden streets where he lived. After joining the military, he served with Dutch in Da Nang and Cambodia during and after the Vietnam War, notably taking part in the Battle of Hue. Both men were decorated for their service there. They later served together again in Thailand, and while in the country the two men obtained lighters of some personal significance.
By 1987, Dillon was overseeing Central Intelligence Agency operations in Conta Mana, where a rebel movement was attempting to overthrow the American-backed government. Several of Dillon's agents were reconnoitring guerrilla positions in neighbouring Guatemala when their helicopter was shot down and they were captured. Dillon subsequently assigned a team of Green Berets led by Jim Hopper to rescue them, but the men disappeared. Determined to eliminate the rebels, Dillon remembered his old friend Dutch, but knew Dutch's moral code against performing anything other than rescue operations would cause him to refuse the mission; as a result, Dillon fabricated a story whereby the captured CIA agents were actually a Guatemalan cabinet minister and his aides that needed rescuing for political reasons. As he had hoped, Dutch agreed to the operation.
Into the jungle
While technically in command, Dillon deferred to Dutch's leadership once the team hit the ground. After discovering the crashed helicopter that had supposedly been carrying the cabinet minister and following some nearby tracks through the forest, the team discovered the skinned bodies of Hopper and his men; while Dillon was convinced the guerrillas were responsible, Dutch and his men were not so sure. The team soon reached the rebel camp, arriving just in time to see a hostage being executed by a Soviet military advisor. Dillon joined Dutch and his men in the assault, and the camp was quickly wiped out.
In the aftermath of the attack, Dillon's ruse finally came to light — the true identity of the hostages was discovered, and Dutch realized Dillon had manipulated him into destroying the guerrillas. When Dutch confronted him with this, Dillon merely replied that Dutch and his men were expendable assets. After ordering the team to take Anna, a surviving guerrilla, along as their prisoner, Dillon and the others moved out.
Hunted and death
It soon became clear something was hunting the team, and while several of the group questioned, what the entity was, Dillon remained confident it was merely a small group of well-trained guerrillas, mocking assertions that it may be an unknown lifeform. When Dutch elected to use the forest itself to fabricate an elaborate net trap for the Jungle Hunter, Dillon remained unconvinced, dismissing the effort as "Boy Scout bullshit". However, when he saw the creature himself during the failed ambush attempt, he grudgingly accepted the truth — the being hunting them was not of this Earth.
When a mentally unhinged Mac subsequently charged off after the creature, Dillon stopped Dutch from following, insisting instead that he should go in his place, despite acknowledging that it was likely a suicidal action. This assertion was proven correct, when the Predator confronted Dillon soon afterwards, first blowing off his right arm with its Plasmacaster before charging in and finishing him off with its Wristblades. His dying scream alerted the others to the proximity of Jungle Hunter.
Personality and Traits
While he was once a close friend of Dutch's, by the time the two men reunited in Guatemala Dillon was a changed man who viewed Dutch as an expendable asset and nothing more. This, coupled with his rusty field skills — he had been assigned to a desk job at the CIA for several years — brought him into conflict with the other members of the team. Similarly, Dutch's men resented Dillon being placed in charge over their experienced and well-respected leader.
Despite this initial friction between Dillon and the rest of the team, he eventually came to respect the men around him as the situation in the jungle worsened. Ultimately, he gave his life in a desperate attempt to hold off the Predator while Dutch, Anna and Poncho escaped, and Dutch and Dillon parted as friends.
Dillon carried a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine gun as his primary weapon and an M1911A1 as his sidearm, although he never had a chance to use the latter. When he later went to save Mac and confront the Predator, Dutch handed him a second MP5, and Dillon dual-wielded the weapons until his death.
- In early drafts of the film's script, Dillon was known as John Dixon.
- At one point in the film, Dillon points out that both he and Dutch have lighters of some personal significance. While it's never clarified in the film, the novelization states they obtained the lighters while part of a commando unit operating in Thailand.
- Some sources give Dillon's first name as George. While his first name is never mentioned in the film, the novel states that it is Al.
- The hat Dillon wears is very similar to the ones worn by Drake and Gorman in Aliens.
- The Predator/Prey Pack DLC for the video game Mortal Kombat X adds an alternate costume for the character Jax named "Carl Weathers", which has him gain Al Dillon's attire from Predator. The alternate skin also replaces Jax's default dialogue with new dialogue recorded by Carl Weathers. Additionally, selecting the "Carl Weathers" skin for Jax and playing against Johnny Cage in the "Commando" skin will unlock a special loading screen, in which Johnny Cage exclaims, "You son of a bitch" before he and Jax recreate the famous "handshake" scene between Weathers and Schwarzenegger from the beginning of Predator.
- The real-life goblin spider species Predatoroonops dillon is named after Al Dillon; every member of the Predatoroonops genus has a name that references Predator, due to the perceived similarity between the spider's mouthparts and the Predator's mandibles.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (novel) (indirect mention)
- Predator 2/novel/comic (indirect mention)
- Predators/comic (mentioned only)
- Paul Monette. Predator, p. 7 (1987), Jove Books.
- Paul Monette. Predator, p. 11 (1987), Jove Books.
- Dillon's actor's (Carl Weathers) height is 6ft 1 (185.4 cm), so that is also how tall Dillon would have been.
- Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Paul Monette. Predator, p. 20 (1987), Jove Books.
- Hunter script (July 27, 1985 draft) by Jim Thomas and John Thomas
- Brescovit, Bonaldo, Santos, Ott & Rheims, 2012: The Brazilian goblin spiders of the new genus Predatoroonops (Araneae, Oonopidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, n. 370, pp. 1–68 (whole text).