INTERLINKED - Blade Runner 2049, Alien Covenant, Aliens and Soldier - Updated!
In a futuristic society, some people are selected at birth to become soldiers, and trained in such a manner that they become inhuman killing machines. One of the most successful soldiers, Todd 3465 (played by Kurt Russell), is pitted against a new breed of soldiers, and after the confrontation is believed to be dead. His body is left behind in a semi-abandoned colonial planet, and then he is taught about the other aspects of life. But eventually he has to fight the new breed of soldiers again, this time to defend his new home. This is the storyline of the movie Soldier (1998).
As an aside, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson has stated that as far as he is concerned, his film Soldier is a 'sidequel' to Blade Runner (1982), as it occurs in the same fictional milieu as Scott's film, although it is not actually a follow-up. One of the battle names tattooed on Todd's arm, Tannhauser Gate, is from the speech Rutger Hauer recites near the end of the movie Blade Runner. Todd's service record, displayed on a computer screen, includes the battles of Tannhauser Gate and Shoulder of Orion, which are obvious references to Blade Runner again.
Added to this, in one of the dialogues of Soldier it is mentioned that there was a war at 'Tannhauser Gate'.
An implication in the film is that the genetically-engineered soldiers meant to replace Todd and his fellow soldiers are in fact replicants, continuing a theme from Blade Runner. The 2017 short film 2036: Nexus Dawn, set in between the original Blade Runner and its 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049, implies that Nexus-9 replicants were developed in 2035, the year in which Soldier takes place.
Still from Blade Runner (1982):
Still from Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - a beautiful scene showing the dead city:
Writer David Webb Peoples has said that Soldier is a "side-quel" to Blade Runner (1982) (which he also wrote) because it takes place in the same universe, and in fact the vehicles used by the Blade Runners - spinners - are also used in Soldier. He started writing the screenplay to Solider while Blade Runner was being filmed. As the screenwriter of both films, he has long maintained that they are set in the same universe. Director Paul Anderson agrees, and says that if Kurt Russell's character were to go to Earth, he would have encountered Harrison Ford's Deckard.
Still from Blade Runner 2049 - the eye:
Still from Blade Runner - the eye:
Still from Alien Covenant - the eye:
Still from Soldier - the eye:
The premise of Soldier was actually based on an unused opening scene for Blade Runner, where a group of Replicants are dumped and left for dead on an off-world colony. Both films were released by Warner Brothers, and both were box-office failures that gained a cult following after being released on home video.
Still from Blade Runner 2049:
Stills from Soldier:
Todd's weapons training record lists the "USMC Smartgun" and "M41A pulse rifle" – these are references to Aliens (1986). Among the garbage on the planet is the U.S.S. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the F-117X Remora from Executive Decision (1996), a spinner from Blade Runner (1982), and a piece of the Lewis & Clark from Event Horizon (1997).
Stills from Soldier - Event Horizon's Lewis & Clark:
Still from Soldier - a spinner from Blade Runner:
Still from Blade Runner 2049 - probably a spaceship in the sky which is similar to the Sulaco in Aliens:
Still from Aliens - the Sulaco:
The front of the invading scout ship in Soldier looks just like the front of the Sulaco from Aliens.
Stills from Soldier:
It should be admitted that Soldier offers links to several other movies as well including the Star Wars and the Star Trek universes - similarly to Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace in which you can see the EVA pod from 2001 Space Odyssey.
Still from Soldier - Anoat System and Kessel Binary (from Star Wars) listed on the right:
I would like to highlight that this article does not claim that two or more of these movies take place in the same universe. Intentionally placed extras or not, items of canon or not, easter eggs or not - the visual links in question serve as remarkable and thought provoking features of Blade Runner 2049 and, of course, the other relevant movies created in the twentieth century.
Stills from Soldier:
I have not seen Soldier. Kurt is amazing (Escape from New York, The Thing)!
This is a very well laid out post. I cannot absorb it all, but I am confident there are those around here who can, and I thank you for the post. +1
Interesting comparisons.... i will have to try and watch Soldier its a movie i have never seen.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Nice one. I didn't know that one about the 2001 EVA.
NB Ridley Scott has a thing about eyes, especially in Blade Runner. That movie is just stuffed full of other eye-related matters. Like Chew's eye factory, the owl blinking, Roy sticking his thumbs into Tyrell's eyes, the red glint in Deckard and Rachel's eyes, the Voight-Kampff machine display...
dk - Thank you and you're welcome. Most of the text is from the sources, of course.
Svanya - Thank you.
BigDave - I'm going to rewatch it tomorrow. And it was directed by the producer of Pandorum, Paul WS Anderson, director of Event Horizon and the first AvP movie. :)
The Blade Runner (expanded) universe seems to be much bigger than we thought...
hox - Your comment about the eyes is fantastic. I'm going to collect the relevant stills from the movies.
As for Star Wars - The Phantom Menace, we can see Indiana Jones in one of the podracing scenes:
'If you look very, very closely at the crowd in the podracing scene in The Phantom Menace, you can even spot Indy finding his seat.'
'sure if u look hard enough ul find Wally' - You are right.
'whats in the expanded universe?'
- I don't know, ali81, it's up to the viewer I think. If you believe that two movies are in the same universe, it's OK. It's a personal thing...
It's an interesting fact that the writer of Blade Runner and Soldier claims that these movies are in the same universe. I don't claim anything...
Hmm... I see two movies named Soldier both in 1998 and the wrong one is on Netflix. Drats!
'...there have been crossovers between George Lucas’ fictional universes before, most famously in the form of hieroglyphs of C-3P0 and R2-D2 in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Club Obi Wan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.'
I never realised about the Event Horizon link.
So let me see if I have got this right, The Soldier universe has visual links to the Alien universe and Blade Runner universe. OK, I think I’ve got that. Now the Predator universe is linked to the Alien universe (AVP) and judging from the instrumentation in the derelict ship in Predators, I want to know if at some point we will ever see the Krell from Forbidden Planet?
directors do this from time to time to acknowledge other directors and scenes r sometimes used from other movies such as the purge scene in BR that was from aliens but the films have nothing at all connecting them.
Batchpool - I do not claim anything about these links in the article, I just find these references interesting. That's all.
I'm trying to find Event Horizon's spaceship and the spinner from Blade Runner in the movie. And the Liberty Bell in the waste disposal ship... Stills are coming.
ali81 - And sometimes the writer (David Webb Peoples, writer of Blade Runner and Soldier) and the director (Paul WS Anderson) claim the same. Namely, the two movies are in the same universe.
But they are not important people...
OK, but you wrote this:
'directors do this from time to time to acknowledge other directors'
Both Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) were directed by Ridley Scott.
Scott revealed that he had used two shots in BR taken from Alien. They did not want to spend money on new ones...
Batchpool - I do not claim anything about these links in the article, I just find these references interesting. That's all
I know. But while an observation is not a claim, it can and does highlight stuff that can go unnoticed, that in some cases may play a more significant role and is a hidden clue or nod to something else. There are some hidden gems out there.
What I find interesting is that many movies tend to have all sorts of hidden features in the background, and can sometimes have subtle links to other movies. Where I find it gets more interesting is to discover which ones provide deliberate links and which ones don’t. In the case of the purge scene in BR which was also part of the umbilical in Alien which was done by RS because he just happened to think it worked well for visual effect. There are those shots of course that RS used in BR from Stanley Kubrick for The Shining (Jack Nicholson). It is certainly the case that what happened to end up on the cutting room floor for some movies has provided useful footage for others. Obviously the Shining is in no way related to the Alien universe, but there are connections in the background that are independent of storylines that act as inspiration for me to play around with movie connections from time to time, which is what inspired this image.
And no, I am not claiming any universe connection between The Shining and Alien universe or BR on the basis that the bar tender in The Shining is Tyrell ( Joe Turkell). lol.
Excellent topic Ati.
I'm going to watch Soldier again. Thank you for that above regarding the corresponding themes and the insistence from the writer on the inclusion of the films in the same universe. That does have merit.
Tatooine was shown in Marvel Agents of Shield. I do think a lot of the examples above is a fun way to acknowledge other directors.
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