MovieChat Forums > Outland (1981) Discussion > In the same universe as ALIEN?

In the same universe as ALIEN?


Obviously there's a lot of similarities with Alien (1979). The production design, costumes (spacesuits) and Jerry Goldsmith score along with the dark atmosphere and off-world labor. Anybody else get the impression that this film could exist in the same era as Alien?

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Not at all farfetched.

There are other similarities - huge corporations that seem to get away with just about anything in space... use of hypersleep to make long space transits less taxing to human health and sanity (as well as onboard life support systems).

It could be postulated that ConAmalgamated is an early 21st century predecessor of Weyland-Yutani corp (The "Company" in some of the Alien films).

The only thing apparently lacking is some sort of FTL drive - perhaps it was developed a few decades after the events of Outland, maybe even by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which merged with or acquired Con-Amalgamated.

There are a lot of issues of space commercialization that I don't think many people are thinking about. Unless someone comes up with FTL communications, I doubt business decisionmaking can be even close to real-time. Insurance issues will be interesting, considering how hazardous space travel is. How about depreciation schedules? Thermal cycling and radiation are really rough on space hardware.




"...and Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lotta ice, whenever he's away."

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The dark, gritty, industrial, "not-too-futuristic" futuristic feel of the sets and costumes are obviously riding in the wake of the success of "Alien". It's interesting that the score is also done by the same guy. I noticed the similarities myself.

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The production crew includes many people who worked on 'Alien', including costumers, set designers and dressers, and, of course, the music composer. The producers themselves wished to connect this film to 'Alien', which was a huge commercial success, and commented at the time that they felt 'Outland' was set in the same future-world.

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I came on here to comment on this as well; Outland has a very "Alien" feel to it as others have already stated, the sets look similar to the Nostromo (in fact the hallways look nearly identical) and the "used" look of Star Wars/Alien is certainly present too. I especially like that corporations in the near future are portrayed as being evil like in Alien, it’s a very realistic approach to their future existence. As O’Neil says;

"There's a whole machine that works because everybody does what they are supposed to. And I found out... I was supposed to be something I didn't like. That's what's in the program. That's my rotten little part in the rotten machine. I don't like it. So I'm going to find out if they're right."

Movies like this and Alien that pit the protagonist against the corporate machine are amongst my favourites in science fiction because I believe that things will get worse with corporations before they get better, and men like O’Neil represent that hope that one day we'll rise above being slavish tools to corporate greed.

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As other repliers have stated, the film was intentionally modeled after Alien's look and feel, because Alien was such a popular success. The gritty interior sets, the 'evil' omnipresent corporation, the entire claustrophobic atmosphere and the type of musical score all add to this fact. Even the tagline was inspired by Alien's one: "Even in space the ultimate enemy is still man."

The main title sequence is very reminiscent of the Alien titles, with the title appearing backlit supported by the same type of eerie, otherworldly and somewhat unsettling music. Talking about the music, I really like this score by Jerry Goldsmith. Although similar in style and tone to Alien, it is actually very differrent from that one if you listen more carefully.

While the film borrows a lot of elements, it's still quite a good film. An interesting story, some great acting and capable directing. Peter Hyams succesfully builds the atmosphere and the tension and elevates the whole project to something worthy in its own right. Not a great movie, but quite a good, effective and entertaining one.

You said, "I love you," I said, "Wait"
I was going to say, "Take me," you said, "Go away"

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Anybody else get the impression that this film could exist in the same era as Alien?
Others on this thread have ably noted the similarities with Alien, but I think the "Universe" in your subject heading is a better fit than "era."

Given the relative technologies involved in the two flicks, Outland could have been a story that happened in the same historical universe as Aliens but -- just to throw out a number -- a 100 years earlier.

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Yep very simular feel

Down beat British Sci-Fi. The so called "Used Future" first pioneered by Ridley Scott. Currupt Captalism in space.

The music espcially the use of horns is the same

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[deleted]

I agreee very similar to Moon

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I agreee very similar to Moon

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I agree very similar to Moon

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The so called "Used Future" first pioneered by Ridley Scott.

I belive George Lucas did it first with Star Wars. I think he even called it that as well.

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I find it amusing that Star Wars, a film set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" could be described as a "used future".

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Even though it's set a long time ago in a galaxy far away it is still the future for the characters involved in those films.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UsedFuture

The original Star Wars popularised the concept (although arguably Moon Zero Two (1969), Silent Running (1972), and Dark Star (1974) led the way.) For contrast, the prequels, set in a more civilized time, are correspondingly shinier. (Star Wars is a rare example on the "idealism" end of the above-mentioned scale.)



You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude.

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Don't bring star wars into a Sci Fi discussion.

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The notion of functioning, non-flashy tech for space travel was first seen in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Geroge Lucas followed that up and pushed it even further with his 'used future' philosophy, and Ridley Scott would go with that as well. It's why all those films still have a timeless look.

Outland has the look and feel of being set in the same universe as Alien, but the unofficial rule about this is that both films have to be released by the same company. James Cameron said Avatar was likely in the same universe as Aliens, because both films were released by Twentieth Century Fox. Likewise, the makers of Soldier (1998) say it unofficially exists in the same future as Blade Runner (both were released by Warner Bros.) with it's stories of bio-engineered super soldiers.

"Everyone else may be an a**hole, but I'm not!" - Harlan Ellison

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but the unofficial rule about this is that both films have to be released by the same company. James Cameron said Avatar was likely in the same universe as Aliens, because both films were released by Twentieth Century Fox.
Does that unofficial rule make much sense to you? We are talking about different writers and directors. What does the studio matter?

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Likewise, the makers of Soldier (1998) say it unofficially exists in the same future as Blade Runner (both were released by Warner Bros.) with it's stories of bio-engineered super soldiers.


There's also direct reference to "Blade Runner" in the movie "Soldier" on more than one occasion, mostly being because David Peoples has had a hand in writing both and he had said in interviews that he wrote "Soldier" to take place in the same universe as "Blade Runner" which is why he makes references to "Blade Runner" in the movie.

Regards,
Frank

"...For every man who has ever lived, in this universe, there shines a star."
-Arthur C. Clarke

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They definitely share a lot in common you can see Scott's movies influence all over this one.


While I understand up to 150 words - I don't talk.

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Honestly I wish Syfy would turn this into a show. Have some guys from Law and Order or writers of their ilk. The set's would be the most expensive cost for production since the ships and weapons are rather "low tech" compared to other shows like BSG or Stargate.

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I could see that, but keep in mind the sci fi part of this is just a setting update. It really is a western.

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Still would have been fun to see a sequel where Connery wakes up from a cryosleep to join forces with Sigourney Weaver. Maybe not as good as Aliens but could have been better than Alien3 or Alien Resurrection. "Alien Outland"

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You know I remember reading somewhere some time ago that actual pieces from the set of Alien were used on this film. I don 't know if that was true or not, but I think it could be true. Look at some of the sets in the film. They look very similar. And the costumes are just a tad more colorful than the ones in Alien, but they are definitely similar. The similarities have been noticed for years.

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