The Alien franchise is a science fiction horror franchise, consisting primarily of a series of films focusing on Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) and her battle with the extraterrestrial species Xenomorph XX121, commonly referred to simply as "the Alien". Produced by 20th Century Fox, the franchise started with the 1979 feature film Alien, and continued with three sequels, Aliens (1986), Alien3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997). A fifth film is currently in development. The series has also inspired numerous books, comics and video game spinoffs.

In addition to the Alien franchise is the Alien vs. Predator franchise, including the feature films Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), which pits the titular Aliens against the Predator creatures from the Predator franchise.


Alien (1979)

Main article: Alien (film)

The commercial freighter Nostromo investigates a desolate planetoid after receiving an apparent distress signal from a derelict alien spacecraft. Whilst exploring the ship, one of the Nostromo's crew discovers an egg-like object which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious. After he is returned to the ship for medical attention, the parasite dies and the crewman wakes up, seemingly fine. However, an alien creature later bursts out of the man's chest and, after rapidly growing into an eight-foot tall creature, begins killing the rest of the crew.

Aliens (1986)

Main article: Aliens (film)

Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the Nostromo incident, awakens 57 years later from hypersleep to discover that the planetoid where they discovered the Alien, now known as LV-426, is now home to a terraforming colony. However, contact with the colony has been lost, and in response a squad of Colonial Marines are sent to investigate aboard the USS Sulaco, accompanied by Ripley. Once back on LV-426, they soon discover that the colonists had discovered the derelict ship and that the Aliens now infest the entire colony.

Alien3 (1992)

Main article: Alien 3

A fire aboard the Sulaco as it returns to Earth causes the surviving crew to be ejected in an escape pod, which then crash-lands close to a prison colony on Fiorina "Fury" 161, killing everyone on board except Ripley. Unbeknownst to her, a Facehugger has accompanied her, and quickly spawns a new Alien in the prison. The creature soon begins a killing spree, while Ripley discovers there is also an Alien Queen growing inside her. 

Alien Resurrection (1997)

Main article: Alien Resurrection

200 years after the events on Fiorina 161, Ellen Ripley is cloned and the Alien Queen inside her is surgically removed from her body. The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study and research on the USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens soon escape their enclosures, and Ripley 8 and the mercenaries resolve to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination — Earth.


As well as novelizations based on the four Alien films, there are numerous expanded universe novels set in or based on the Alien series. The first nine of these (up to and including Aliens: Berserker) are all adaptations of Aliens comic books from Dark Horse Comics; subsequent novels have been original stories.

Film novelizations

Original stories

Comic Books

Dark Horse Comics

Main article: Aliens (comics line)

The vast majority of the comic books based on the Alien franchise have been published by Dark Horse Comics. These include adaptations of three of the four Alien films, as well as a large number of original stories set in the Alien universe.

Film adaptations

Original stories

Non-Dark Horse comic books

While Dark Horse are by far and away the most prevalent publisher of Alien comics, a small number of officially licensed comic books based on the franchise have also been released by other publishers, most notably the adaptation of the original 1979 film. These are not considered a part of Dark Horse' continuity, and have never been collected together with Dark Horse stories.

Film adaptations

Original stories

Video Games

There have also been numerous video games based on the series, some of which have been (sometimes loose) adaptations of the films.


See Also