Prey Predator Mask Explained (& How It’s Different from the Original Predator Movie)

The Predator movie franchise found new life in the form of Prey, which is the newest movie in the series and is actually the prequel film to all of the Predator movies so far because it takes place 300 years before the first one. That said, there are some clear differences regarding the design of the Predator in Prey as opposed to its look in The Predator, especially when it comes to its mask. So, why and how is the Predator’s mask different in Prey?

In Prey, the Predator seems to be using some sort of a skull of a creature for its mask or helmet. This could be a way for the Predator to symbolize its dominance by using the skull of a strong creature as its helmet. However, it could also be a symbol of a different culture within the Yautja hierarchy.

The introduction of the Predator in Prey introduces a new way for us to see the kind of culture that the Predators live by, as the one in the new movie has a different look compared to the original one in the first film. Nevertheless, there are some indications that this could just be a creative choice on the part of the director, but the meaning could also be something deeper. That said, let’s look at why and how the Predator’s mask in Prey is different.

Why Is The Predator Mask In Prey Different Than In The Original Movie?

When the alien monster-hunter was revealed back in the first Predator movie in 1987, people were captivated by the creature known as the Predator, which was later revealed to be part of an alien race called the Yautja, which are aliens that love hunting for sport as a symbol of power and strength within their society. Nevertheless, when the Predator was released, it was one of the most badass movie aliens ever seen because it had a particularly menacing face hiding under a technologically advanced helmet.

As such, we were always used to the fact that the Predators wore metal helmets that allowed them to take advantage of their advanced technology. These helmets allowed them a lot of different advantages, such as being able to see in the dark and even recording the voices and sounds of other people and animals. However, it is worth noting that the Predator in the latest movie, which is Prey, tends to have a different helmet.

Prey is the newest installment in the entire Predator film franchise and follows the story of a hunter within the Comanche Native-American tribe trying to prevent a mysterious creature from hunting all of her people for sport. The movie is set 300 years before the first Predator movie, and that means that it is the very first movie in the Predator timeline as far as chronological order is concerned.

Now, with that said, it is worth mentioning again that the Predator in Prey does have a different appearance compared to the one in Predator. Of course, this is because this predator wears a skull-like mask that’s different from the metallic helmet that the original Predator wore. So, why is it that the Predator mask in Prey is different from the one in Predator?

First of all, the most logical reason why the mask of the Prey Predator is different from the original Predator is the fact that there is about a three-century difference between the two movies. Prey was set in 1719, and that means that it is nearly 300 years before the first Predator movie and is three centuries behind in terms of the newer Predator movies.

In that regard, while the Yautja are more advanced than human beings in terms of their technology, there were still time periods wherein they probably were quite primitive and were still developing their technology. As such, the skull mask in Prey could be a prototype of the helmet that the Predators eventually started wearing in the other movies.

There’s also the fact that the Predator is a hunter and has always been a hunter. The Yautja culture places a lot of importance on their ability to hunt for sport, and it could be possible that these aliens actually used to wear masks that allowed them to showcase just how dominant they are compared to other alien species all over the galaxy. Of course, a literal predator stalking its prey while wearing an intimidating mask will always strike fear in the hearts of the hunted.

As such, wearing the skull of a creature that it might have hunted in the past would have probably been a way for the Predator to become more intimidating. It could also be a symbol of power among its people, considering that wearing the skull of a strong animal or creature could be a way for them to showcase how dominant they are and how skilled they are when it comes to hunting. In a manner of speaking, it was probably a badge of honor as well.

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Whatever the case may be, it is important to note that the most likely reason why the Prey Predator is using a skull for its mask could be the technological differences between it and the original Predator. And it is kind of like how our 18th-century counterparts were using muskets as opposed to the automatic rifles we have now.

What Skull Is The Predator Wearing In Prey?

As mentioned, the Prey Predator is wearing a mask instead of the metallic helmet that ultimately became one of the trademark looks of the Predator. But what kind of an animal did this skull belong to?

At this point, we have no idea what animal this skull came from because of the fact that it was never mentioned or talked about during the events of Prey. But it is possible that this skull once belonged to one of the creatures that the Prey Predator hunted for sport. And because of the possibility that this creature was particularly strong and had very dense bones, the Predator in Prey probably thought that it was a good idea to use its skull as a mask for protection.

Of course, as mentioned, it is also quite possible that this Predator used this skull for its mask because of how it not only allowed it to look more intimidating while hunting down its prey but also because it was a symbol of honor or dominance within its people. It’s kind of like how people in our society are able to showcase their success by wearing designer clothes. In the same way, the Predator culture must also include some sort of a way for them to showcase their success and dominance within their society. And it is possible that wearing the skull of a strong creature could be one such way.

Prey Predator Mask Abilities

One of the things we saw back in the original Predator is that its mask was capable of some of the best features a hunter needs. The first thing that we saw was the fact that it could use infrared from a good range, as that was what it used to stalk its prey without getting spotted. But the most important feature that the original Predator’s mask had was the fact that it could record voices and play them back. 

In Prey, while the Predator does use a skull mask that makes it look so feral and primitive compared to the original Predator, the surprising part was that it also served a purpose other than being a protective piece of armor.

The Prey Predator’s skull mask also has some sort of infrared technology built into it to help the Predator stalk and hunt down its target. But the difference here is that the Prey Predator’s skull mask requires it to be close to its target for the infrared feature to work. The mask also had a display that allowed the Predator to see what kind of animal it was hunting.

As such, the Predator’s mask in Prey isn’t merely for aesthetics and protection because it actually had a purpose. It was also capable of assisting the Predator during its hunts, but the fact is that its capabilities were still limited compared to the more advanced helmets that the original Predator used in the first movie. Nevertheless, it was probably a prototype for the future model that we saw in the other Predator movies, as it is quite possible that the Yautja also learn from their mistakes and are likely to improve their technology based on the failures of some of the Predators.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.