Welcome to the most expansive timeline of the Alien films available. It is based on the six 20th Century Fox films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, Prometheus, and Alien Covenant their respective novelisations, and film production information from a variety of sources. It also includes some references from the Colonial Marines Technical Manual by Lee Brimmicombe-Wood.
The events concerning the Nostromo’s landing on LV-426 take place in the period 2069-2123. The events concerning the infestation and subsequent destruction of Hadley’s Hope and the Alien infestation of Fiorina 161 take place in the period 2127-2179. The events surrounding the destruction of the USM Auriga occur in the period 2325-2381. The missions of the Prometheus and Covenant are covered in The Weyland Century. The Vehicles section contains information about the starships and ground vehicles, while the Planets section details LV-426, Fiorina 161 and LV-223. Astro-Cartography contains a maps based on the films. The Alien vs. Predator films have been included for the sake of completeness separate to the main Timeline, along with events pertaining to the three Predator films.
Novels, Comics and Video Games
For the main timeline I’ve chosen to ignore the comics released by Dark Horse and the novels based on them, along with myriad video games up to and including Aliens Colonial Marines by Gearbox. This is because most of them directly contradict the films (and themselves on occasion). Dark Horse released some a number of comics from 1988 onwards that followed the adventures of Newt and Hicks (and later Ripley) 10 years after the events that occurred in Aliens. When Newt, Hicks and Ripley were killed in Alien 3, reprints of the comic and book series changed the names to Billie and Wilks, and Ripley was made into an android. Many more comics, books, and games followed.
However in Alien Resurrection, General Perez points out that Ripley had effectively wiped the Aliens out when she killed the Queen Chestburster on Fiorina 161. Wren also says in reference to the Aliens; “Nothing like this we’ve ever seen on any world before.” Therefore none of the events described in the comics and books can have happened as they are described. These events are detailed in the Banned Histories.
In 2013, Fox made a concerted effort to tie future releases closer into the films, beginning with Tim Lebbon’s novel Out Of The Shadows, and followed with Dark Horse Comics’ Fire and Stone series, and Creative Assembly’s Alien Isolation video game. These events aren’t included on the main Timeline pages, but can found as sub headings under the main pages.
Any references to the forthcoming Neil Blomkamp film that will reportedly be a direct sequel to Aliens and ignore the events of Alien3 and Alien Resurrection will obviously be left until the films release.
With special thanks to Terry Jones, Steve O’Donoghue, Darrell Curtis, Ben Turner, Mike Lynch and Jo Guilar for the stimulating discussions about the Alien Universe. Also thanks to SD Perry, Josh Izzo, Steve Tzirlin and Chris Prince.