The Alien Legacy is a 1999 five-disc DVD/five-cassette VHS box set which, for the first time, collected together the four films Alien, Aliens, Alien3 and Alien Resurrection. Along with the simultaneous individual releases of each of the four films, it was also the first time the movies of the Alien franchise had been released in the DVD format.
The set was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the release of Alien in 1979. A special documentary on the making of that film, also titled The Alien Legacy, was created especially for the set, although delays in its production meant it was not initially included in the United States.
Not only did The Alien Legacy mark the first time all four films in the Alien franchise had been collected together in one package, it was also the first time they had been made available on DVD (although a VHS version of the set was also produced).
As well as bringing the movies themselves together, a making-of documentary examining the creation of the original Alien, also entitled The Alien Legacy, was created especially for the set. However, delays in the documentary's production meant that it was not complete in time for the box set's release in the United States. Rather than delay the entire set, 20th Century Fox elected to release the box set without the documentary and instead include a coupon that could be redeemed at a later date for the missing content — customers who sent off the coupon received the missing documentary DVD/VHS cassette in the mail. As the Legacy box set was not released in the United Kingdom until several months after the US, sets sold there were shipped with the fifth disc/cassette included, as the documentary had by then been completed.
In addition to the video content, the set included a 6-page Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition booklet dedicated to the first film in the series, featuring a foreword by director Ridley Scott and biographies for Scott and each of the film's seven principle cast members. It also contained a full set of nine "DVD Collection" chase cards from the Alien Legacy trading card set. These additional physical items were exclusive to the American release of the box set.
The four film discs/cassettes in the set were simultaneously released for purchase separately. However, the set's fifth bonus DVD/cassette remained exclusive to the full set, although the documentary it contained was later included in the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set.
As well as the advertised material, the DVD version of the Alien Legacy box set also contains several secret Easter eggs that allow access to otherwise hidden content. Both of the set's Easter eggs can be accessed from the special features section on the Alien disc. The first is the Nostromo flight plan and biographies for each of the crew, the latter of which are based on Ridley Scott's original character notes, while the second is a report on the various stages of the Xenomorph's life cycle compiled by Ash.
Owing to the limitations of the format, the VHS version of The Alien Legacy contained less bonus material — the five cassettes contained Alien along with its theatrical trailer, the Aliens Special Edition, Alien3 and its theatrical trailer, Alien Resurrection and its theatrical trailer and the Alien Legacy documentary, respectively.
Contents (Region 1 Release, DVD Version)
Disc 1: Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition
- Audio commentary with director Ridley Scott
- Composer's original isolated score by Jerry Goldsmith
- Alternate music and production sound audio track
- 10 deleted scenes:
- 2 outtakes:
- Rise and Shine
- Alien Attacks Lambert
- Original Ridley Scott storyboards
- Trailers and TV spots
- Production and promotional image galleries
Disc 2: Aliens Special Edition
- Aliens Special Edition
- Cinefex interview with James Cameron
- 8 behind the scenes clips:
- Theatrical trailer
- Production and promotional image galleries
Disc 3: Alien3
Disc 4: Alien Resurrection
Disc 5: The Alien Legacy
- The Alien Legacy documentary
- Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition booklet
- 9 Alien Legacy "DVD Collection" chase cards
- The Alien Legacy is the only Alien home video set to receive both DVD and VHS versions — previous box sets consisted only of VHS releases (as the DVD format had not yet come into being) while subsequent sets were released only on DVD or Blu-ray (as VHS had by that point been made largely obsolete).
- The "Alternate music and production sound" audio track for Alien remains exclusive to this set (and the corresponding individual Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition DVD). It had been planned to include the track on the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set, but it was ultimately left off as a result of space concerns.
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- "Amazon.co.uk - Alien (20th Anniversary Edition Box Set)". Retrieved on 2018-03-01.
- "Knuckle Buster's Cards on Cue! - Alien Legacy". Retrieved on 2015-08-06.
- "The Digital Bits - Blu-ray Review: Alien Anthology". Retrieved on 2016-01-11.