Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves is one of the most intriguing sci-fi shows of the modern era. This dystopian, post-apocalyptic mystery has us going places and asking questions both about the show and the fictional world it is set in. Some theories even suggest – and that is due to Scott’s connection with these franchises – that Raised by Wolves is narratively connected to the Alien franchise, as well as the Blade Runner universe.
Based on what we know so far, Raised by Wolves is not connected to either Alien or Blade Runner. The connection seems to be, at least now, purely superficial and a result of Scott working on all the projects, which is why they share some common elements. A connection with Alien seems to be a bit more imaginable at this point than a connection with Blade Runner; a combination involving both seems almost impossible.
The rest of this article is going to elaborate on the perceived relationship between Scott’s Raised by Wolves and his other cinematic projects, Alien and Blade Runner. We are going to explain the similarities between these projects and determine whether there is an actual connection between them or not.
Are Alien and Raised by Wolves connected?
In order for us to establish a narrative continuity, we have to go over the plot of the four main Alien movies. It all starts with the Nostromo space freighter returns to Earth after a routine commercial mission. The crew of five men and two women has been in hibernation for ten months. They are awakened from their lethargy earlier than expected by the ship’s on-board computer.
The latter has indeed picked up sound signals in space and, because of a clause attached to their navigation contract, the crew of the vessel is required to check for any signs of extraterrestrial life. During this check on a desert planet, LV-426, Officer Kane is attacked by an unknown life form, a kind of arachnid creature that covers his face by choking him with its tail.
After being saved from the alien creature that seems to be dead, the crew smiles again and has a last meal together before going back to sleep. But, during dinner, Kane is seized with convulsions and suddenly sees his abdomen punctured by a creature which comes out of his body, escapes into the corridors of the ship and kills all the crew except for Ripley who manages to escape.
Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the space freighter Nostromo, drifts through space aboard a rescue shuttle, asleep in biostasis. Her shuttle was finally found in 2179, fifty-seven years later, and repatriated to the Gateway space station, in orbit around the Earth. After her convalescence, Ripley is summoned by her former employer, the Weyland-Yutani company, who asks her to justify the loss of the crew and the Nostromo ship she was in charge of.
Her story is questioned by the company. Some time later, Ripley is contacted by Carter Burke, the company’s lawyer, accompanied by Lt. Gorman of the Colonial Marines. It turns out that the link with LV-426 has been mysteriously interrupted and the company wants to send a unit of Marines to investigate.
Burke offers Ripley to accompany them as a consultant. Traumatized by her previous experience, she initially refuses, despite the fact that Burke guarantees her reinstatement as captain.
In 2179, Ellen Ripley and her fellow survivors (young Newt, Corporal Hicks and the android Bishop) sleep in biostasis aboard the USS Sulaco. The spacecraft returns to Earth after the events on LV-426. But a facehugger is present on board and breaks one of the stasis capsules where they sleep. His sour blood causes a fire.
The Sulaco‘s on-board computer then ejects the cryotubes of the four passengers into an rescue unit (EEV). The EEV capsule crashes shortly after on Fiorina “Fury” 161, a prison planet where there is a penal mining colony, composed only of men.
In 2379, 200 years after Ellen Ripley’s suicide, scientists manage to recreate a clone from samples of her blood collected before her death. After the alien queen is extracted from Ripley’s womb and placed in captivity, Ripley’s clone is kept alive on the USM Auriga spacecraft for further study. Her DNA having mixed with that of the alien during the cloning process, the “new” Ripley develops increased strength and superhuman reflexes, acidified blood and an empathetic bond with the aliens.
Based on this, fan theories from the Internet seem to suggest that Raised by Wolves is a prequel to Alien and that the two works are part of the same narrative universe. Now, Alien is an original work and as much as Ridley Scott did not write the screenplay, he made the story his own and the resulting fictional universe is a result of his meticulous approach to the story. In that segment, Raised by Wolves could actually form part of the same fictional universe, but we don’t think it likely.
Well, the first and only argument we have for out position is – there is no evidence for that. Sure, there are some similarities and some shared thematic and stylistic elements, but there’s nothing firm there. These are just anecdotal statements, implied connections, and wishful thinking. There is absolutely no direct link between Alien and Raised by Wolves, which is why we don’t think that an actual connection is likely.
These theories seem to have the same basis as the theories that Scott’s Alien franchise and Blade Runner are also part of the same fictional universe, and that just doesn’t make sense. Blade Runner is an adaptation of a pre-existing novel written by Philip K. Dick, whereas Alien is a completely original story that has nothing to do with Dick’s work whatsoever.
They are thematically different, and while they do share some narrative elements (a futuristic setting, androids, etc.), that is simply not enough to establish a connection; heck, based on that logic, the Digimon anime is also part of the same universe (think Appli Monsters and Ghost Game).
The only connection there is between these works is the fact that Ridley Scott directe both of them, but that is not nearly enough for us to establish a narrative connection and confirm the existence of a shared universe. That can, as it stands, also be applied to Raised by Wolves.
Is Raised by Wolves linked to Prometheus?
Before we continue, like above, let us revisit the plot of Prometheus. In 2089, archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw and her companion Charlie Holloway discovered, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, a prehistoric painting depicting a humanoid pointing to six stars, a painting almost identical to pictorial representations discovered in other civilizations dating from other eras.
In 2093, a scientific expedition was organized by the Weyland company. This sends the Prometheus ship to a distant moon called LV-223, which is supposed to be the location shown in the images. The voyage lasts two years during which the android David 8 monitors the ship while the crew is in biostasis.
Shaw and Holloway explain the purpose of the trip to the crew: to explore a planet likely populated by aliens they call the “Engineers”, who would be responsible for the creation of humanity. The ship lands near a huge artificial dome, and several crew members explore the interior of the building.
There they find the decapitated body of an “Engineer”, who died two thousand years earlier, and a large hall strewn with urns and resembling a temple. A monumental statue represents a humanoid head, and strange frescoes include xenomorphs
As you can see, the connection between Prometheus and Aliens is more superficial than anything else. David does look like the androids from Raised by Wolves, but the narrative context is so different. Sure, Raised by Wolves could be a prequel story to Alien and Aliens, set some time between Prometheus and the main narrative (and we know that it is a very long period of time), but at this moment – it does not seem likely that it is. It is probably just Ridley Scott using his pastiches and toying with the viewers, but right now, a connection doesn’t seem plausible.
Are the androids from Aliens the same as those from Raised by Wolves?
If you’re a fan of Ridley Scott’s work, you’ll probably know that the guy really likes artificial intelligence and that such forms of life are a leitmotif in a lot of his works, especially in the form of androids. Blade Runner is probably the best example for this, although the androids from that movie don’t really look anything like the ones from Raised by Wolves.
But, if you remember the androids from the Alien franchise, those created by the Weyland Corporation (especially David), you’ll certainly find a lot of similarities between them and the androids from Raised by Wolves. So, are they actually connected in some way? The androids from Raised by Wolves have white blood, just like the androids from Aliens, which is what made people wonder.
But, as it stands now, there is no direct connection between Raised by Wolves and the Alien franchise. There are some shared narrative aspects, but the story of Raised by Wolves is so unique that it would be quite troublesome if it turned out to be just a simple exercise.
Is Raised by Wolves connected to Blade Runner?
The city of Los Angeles in November 2019: The urban juggernaut is drenched in a steady drizzle. It’s decadent, gritty, filthy, overcrowded, and people are exposed to ubiquitous advertising. Animals are almost extinct and it is cheaper to purchase an artificial copy of an animal. A better life is promised on distant planets, in worlds that have been opened up by so-called “replicants”.
Manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation, these artificial humans are indistinguishable from the naturally born, but possess far greater physical powers and develop feelings and ambitions of their own over time. Since at least some of them also have high intelligence, all replicants are given a four-year lifespan to avoid becoming a threat.
Former blade runner Rick Deckard is called in when some replicants from the highly advanced Nexus-6 series hijack a spaceship, kill humans and flee to Earth. He is supposed to “pull the replicants out of circulation”. In the course of his investigation, Deckard meets Rachael, who works at the Tyrell Corporation, and discovers that she too is a replicant.
However, she herself is not aware of this, since artificial memories were implanted in her. Deckard bluntly reveals this truth to her, to which she is disturbed and hurt. But Deckard soon falls in love with her and begins to doubt the legitimacy of his job, especially since Rachael is also on the police death list.
Meanwhile, replicant Roy Batty invades the Tyrell Corporation building with the help of the sick and naïve genetic designer J.F. Sebastian. He demands clarification from his “creator” Tyrell about his origin and lifespan. Realizing that even Tyrell cannot prolong his life, Roy kills both him and Sebastian.
After Deckard has already eliminated a replicant and another replicant was shot by Rachael, with which she saved Deckard’s life, he penetrates into Sebastian’s apartment, where Roy’s companion Pris is hiding.
Shortly after killing her, Roy appears and engages in a dramatic duel with Deckard. Roy taunts Deckard and appears to toy with him due to his physical superiority. But when Deckard escapes and slips off a skyscraper in the pouring rain, Roy saves his life in an act of humanity just before his own time is up and he himself must die. In the end, Deckard flees town with Rachael.
Now that we have gone over the plot of Blade Runner, just as we did with the Alien franchise, we can clearly state that the chances of these two universes being linked are slim to none. At best. Namely, Blade Runner was a relatively faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a cult classic sci-fi novel.
And while the movie did change some details, most of the narrative elements remained the same. The sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was an original story, but it was faithful to the original in tone, style and narration.
Raised by Wolves does not chare much of the film’s legendary cyberpunk visage, and the characters, although they are androids, aren’t really similar to the world of Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s name seems to be the only solid connection between these movies that we could actually find, because – based on any other logic – any work of fiction containing androids would be connected to Blade Runner.
From where we’re standing, and we’d like to think that we have a solid foundation, there is absolutely no direct or indirect connection between Raised by Wolves and Blade Runner.