April 26th is now officially Alien day, based on the home of Xenomorphs, moon LV-426. So, how did you spend yours? Personally, I spent mine trying to untangle the confusing web of prequel, sequel, and parallequel (?) narratives that are spread across the franchise.
The confusion derives from the franchise star Sigourney Weaver, who has confirmed Alien 5 is more than likely going ahead, but won't disregarded Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, as it was earlier suggested.
How Does It All Fit?
Rebecca “Newt” Jorden was killed off in Alien 3, but Blomkamp himself has all but confirmed the inclusion of an older version of the character in Alien 5 by sharing some cool concept art of the character.
That's not to mention Ridley Scott's upcoming Alien: Covenant, which is a sequel to Prometheus, which was a prequel to the original Alien. Right, if you weren't confused, you are now.
So, let's explore the chronology of events (note: deliberately disregarding the Alien vs. Predator franchise):
Warning: Spoilers lie ahead, so be warned.
Year 2091: Prometheus (2012)
Ridley Scott, who directed the original Alien (1979), returned to the franchise to produce the first prequel (and also a potential link to Blade Runner?).
The USCSS Prometheus voyage to moon LV-223 begins in 2091, and the crew arrive in 2093. During this time in the Alien universe, Ellen Ripley is born in 2092.
Year 2103: Alien: Covenant (2017)
The next release in the franchise, also directed by Scott, will be set 10 years after the events of Prometheus, around 2103.
Not much has been realeased about the plot as yet, although recently an image was shared giving a glimpse at the badge the space explorers will wear.
Year 2103 - 2122: Potential New Movie (2019?)
Ridley Scott has previously spoken of making more than one follow up to Prometheus, eventually joining the prequel story arc with the original, which is set in 2122. If so, this film will bridge the gap between Covenant and Alien.
Year 2122: Alien (1979)
The original classic sits neatly in the middle of the chronology of the story so far. During 2122, Spaceship Nostromo is returning to Earth, with Ellen Ripley aboard, before it is interrupted by the distress signal that triggers the events of the movie.
Year 2179: Aliens (1986)
Ripley is discovered after being in space stasis for 57 years. In the same year, and the same movie, we're introduced to popular characters Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), and Rebecca “Newt” Jorden (Carrie Henn).
The film ends with Hicks, Newt and Ripley being sent into hypersleep on Emergency Evacuation Vehicle (EEV) unit 2650 for the journey back to Earth.
Year 2179: Alien 3 (1992)
At the beginning of David Fincher's movie, the unit 2650 crash lands on Fiorina "Fury” 161 facility, killing Hicks and Newt. At the end of the film, Ripley sacrifices herself, but genetic samples of her are collected.
Year 2379: Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Flash-forward 200 years and the film earns its title by cloning Ellen Ripley, using the genetic samples that were collected at the end of Alien 3. Chronologically, these are the latest events in the franchise.
Year 2179 - 2379: Alien 5?
Neill Blomkamp's proposed Alien 5 is gaining traction, helped largely by Weaver's enthusiasm for the project. As well as recently confirming it was a case of when, not if, Weaver also confirmed the plot would "run parallel" to Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.
But, with Blomkamp's concept of an older Newt being shared, this could mean the story would be an alternative vision running across the same chronology.