There has been a lot of chatter over the past few weeks on the subject of Disney’s latest foray into science fiction. That is the newest installment of the “Predator” franchise. While most everyone is aware that Disney owns the “Star Wars” franchise, it might have slipped below the radar of some that when the “Mouse House” bought 20th Century Fox a few years back, they also got the rights to an alien who happens to go hunting on Earth.
This summer marks the new chapter in the “Predator” film series, which started in 1987 with the original film. That first “Predator” flick starred Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers, Shane Black, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as a part of a private military team. It was a big enough hit to spawn a sequel in 1990, which starred Danny Glover and Gary Busey. Since then, the alien character has appeared in two more sequels and two crossover films, which featured the xenomorphs from the “Alien” movies.
The new version of “Predator” is a prequel and showcases the alien on a hunting trip in North America over 300 years ago. Thanks to a tweet by 20th Century Studios (the rebranded 20th Century Fox), the film is the biggest debut on Hulu to date. This time, instead of facing a battle-tested Schwarzenegger or Glover, this alien battles a Comanche, who has only a bow and a tomahawk.
So far, the reviews have been positive, as Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer ranks it “fresh” at a 93% positive level. Since these stories deal with alien life from strange new worlds, it makes perfect sense that fans of “Star Trek” might wonder what would happen if their favorite characters were to ever encounter a member of the “Yautja” race.
To recap, the “Predators” use a sort of cloaking device to stalk their prey. In the first “Predator,” the creature killed everyone in Schwarzenegger’s fighting unit and was killed in the end by trickery. The beast also sports advanced weapons, including a shoulder-mounted laser and a small nuclear warhead. In “Prey,” the creature used a pop-up shield, an anti-gravity unit (which allows the alien to run across tree branches), stainless-steel spears, grenades, and more.
Thanks to a few “Star Trek” minds on Reddit, the rest of Trek fandom can ponder what might happen if Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) encounter a member of the “Predator” race.
Reddit user PeculiarPangolinMan asked who would “walk away” from an encounter between the TOS trinity and a Predator? Reddit user MinnieMooMoocher laid out a compelling case as to why Kirk, Spock, and McCoy would ultimately prevail against the mysterious killer.
‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ versus ‘The Predator’
“Tricorders can detect both life signs and cloaking frequencies, so the ‘Star Trek’ crew should know exactly where the Predator is, at all times from large distances away,” wrote MinnieMoo in their post. MinnieMoo also noted that the hand-held phaser weapon is more sophisticated than anything in Predator’s arsenal. This is true, except for Predator’s miniature nuclear weapon in his wrist armor.
“Spock is half Vulcan, and Vulcans are five times stronger than humans, making Spock a physical threat to the Predator,” MinnieMoo concluded. The Trek crew would prevail against a Predator.
Another Trek fan agreed with MinnieMoo. Reddit user Aurondarklord wrote that the Enterprise crew would likely try not to kill the Predator.
“Technically [this is] first contact, and they don’t want to start a war between the Federation and the Yautja,” wrote Aurondarklord.
While Aurondarklord and MinnieMoo are not wrong with any of their points, it should be pointed out that Kirk beat a Gorn single-handedly in the classic episode, “Arena.” The Gorn was not agile or cloaked like the Predator, but it was incredibly strong.
This is not the first time folks have pitted characters from “Star Trek” against the Predator. A 2017 article in Nerdist cataloged many of the times Trek characters have crossed over into other franchises. Thanks to independent comic titles, fans can read about Trek versus “Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men,” “Green Lantern,” and even “Dr. Who.”
IDW canceled a comic book series in 2017, which would have seen Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) face the xenomorphs. Writer Witney Seibold speculated that if the “Next Gen” crew could have faced the creatures from “Aliens,” then they might have faced the “Predator” next since the two species share the same universe.