Alien: Romulus > Themes and Social Commentary

12 September 2023
Alien Romulus, the latest installment in the iconic Alien franchise, is a masterful blend of the series' most cherished elements, while also introducing fresh themes that resonate with today's audience. 

Director Fede Álvarez  has managed to craft a film that pays homage to its predecessors, yet stands on its own as a modern sci-fi masterpiece.

romulus alien xenomorph face shot

Themes and Motifs:

Survival in the Face of Unknown Terror: Just as Ellen Ripley battled the Xenomorph in the Nostromo in the original 1979 Alien, the crew of the Romulus faces an unknown extraterrestrial threat. The claustrophobic corridors of the ship, combined with the ever-present danger lurking in the shadows, harkens back to the palpable tension of the original.

Corporate Exploitation and Dehumanization: Building on the themes introduced in Aliens (1986), where the Weyland-Yutani Corporation sought to weaponize the Xenomorphs, Alien Romulus delves deeper into the consequences of corporate greed. The Romulus crew, much like the colonists of LV-426, are pawns in a larger game, emphasizing the franchise's recurring message about the dangers of unchecked capitalism in space exploration.

Cailee Spaeny in Alien: Romulus (2024)
Cailee Spaeny in Alien: Romulus (2024)

Motherhood and Creation: Alien Romulus touches on the theme of motherhood, reminiscent of Alien 3's exploration of Ripley's bond with the Xenomorph Queen. The new film introduces characters who grapple with the responsibilities of creation, echoing the relationship between Dr. Shaw and the Engineers in Prometheus.

Bio-Horror and Body Invasion: The grotesque imagery of the facehugger latching onto its victim, first introduced in Alien, makes a return in Alien Romulus. The horror of one's body being invaded and used as a host is a theme that has always been central to the franchise, and it's explored with renewed vigor in this installment.

Cultural Clash and Understanding the 'Other': Drawing inspiration from Alien: Covenant, Alien Romulus delves into the complexities of understanding and communicating with an alien species. The film challenges the characters (and the audience) to look beyond their fears and prejudices.

alien romulus official film poster

Memorable Moments:

A chilling scene in the Romulus' med-bay is reminiscent of the iconic chestburster scene from the original Alien. The tension, the horror, and the sheer unpredictability of the moment are a nod to Ridley Scott's masterpiece.

A spacewalk sequence, where a crew member is pursued by an alien entity, is evocative of the intense exterior repair scene in Aliens. The vastness of space, combined with the imminent threat, creates a juxtaposition of beauty and terror.

A dialogue-heavy sequence, where the crew debates the morality of their mission, mirrors the philosophical discussions in Prometheus. It's a moment that encourages viewers to ponder the larger questions of existence and purpose.

alien romulus design concept art idea film


Alien Romulus is a worthy successor to the films that came before it. It respects the legacy of the Alien franchise while pushing boundaries in storytelling and thematic exploration. For fans of the series and newcomers alike, this film is a must-watch, offering a thrilling ride that also prompts deep introspection.

(Note: As Alien Romulus is yet to be released, the above discussion is a speculative piece based on themes and motifs from the existing Alien franchise. 

alien romulus concept design artwork idea

alien romulus themes alien ideas


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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