Why Does The Predator Look Different in Prey? Explained

predator movie prey three

One of the things most popular alien movie franchises of all time is Predator, which has had its own cult following ever since the first movie was released in 1987. In that regard, Prey is a new take on the Predator franchise as this movie seeks to reboot the Predator movie franchise in the hopes that more movies that follow the same formula get produced in the future. Then again, there were some changes to the Predator design, as seen in the trailer. So, why does the Predator look different in Prey?

The Predator looks different in Prey because the director wanted to make it more primitive than the original Predator but still advanced enough for Native Americans to handle. As such, the Predator was given a more primitive design that fit the overall setting of the movie, which is set 300 years in the past.

It is worth noting that director Dan Trachtenberg also thought that the Predator’s alien race during Prey was also not as advanced as it was during the events of the first Predator movie. As such, making the Predator more primitive was a creative decision that fans are sure to love. That said, let’s look at how and why the Predator’s design was changed a bit in Prey.

How Different Does The Predator Look In Prey?

One of the movies that are still quite popular today despite the fact that it was released during the 80s is Predator, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger in what was one of his best movies at that point in his career as an actor. The movie was an action-horror thriller that followed a group of trained mercenaries being brutally hunted for sport by a technologically advanced alien known as the Predator.

Of course, the Predator franchise has seen its fair share of reboots, and one of the most promising out of all of them is Prey, which is set to see its theatrical release on August 5, 2022. And while we’ve only seen Prey in trailers, the one thing we did notice is the fact that the Predator actually has a different design, and that’s what we are going to go through.

Though mostly hidden so as to make sure that it retains its air of mystery, the Predator does look a bit different in Prey compared to the original Predator movie. In Prey, it no longer has the same bulky armor that it once had in the first movie. As such, we believe that the Predator in Prey is wearing lighter armor that allows it to move more flexibly as opposed to a bulkier armor that may provide more protection but is quite heavy.

Of course, the Predator still has some of the usual weapons that made it quite fearsome in the original movie. This includes its sharp claws and spear, which could be staple weapons among its people. It also still sports the iconic dreadlocks that made it look intimidating in all of the movies that it appeared in.

Then there’s also the fact that the Predator still sports the same skull-like mask that has always been iconic. Nevertheless, instead of the older design that we saw in the 80s, the mask seems to be more modern. The mask also allows the Predator’s tusks to protrude more in a manner that makes the creature a lot more intimidating and more animalistic in terms of its nature. Of course, in the trailer, we did hear how Naru (the main character) was comparing the Predator to a bear due to their somewhat similar animalistic behavior.

predator prey

Even though the mask still looks similar to the old one (but with slight differences), the fact is that it looks more bone-like than the metal mask that the classic Predator wore in the older movies. Of course, we go back to the animalistic nature motif that we alluded to in the previous paragraph as one of the reasons why the mask may be bone-like in its appearance. We also believe that the more primitive mask matches its more primitive weapons better. 

However, one of the things that we did notice was the fact that the plasma caster weapon, which has always been the trademark weapon of the Predator, is not going to be in the movie. In the trailer, we still saw the iconic triangular laser targeting system that the Predator used in the original movie. But because the plasma weapon won’t be around in Prey, we believe that the Predator will be using this targeting system for a different and more primitive weapon.


Predator Movies in Order (Including Prey): Chronological & by Release Date

It might be possible that this is going to be one of the early versions of the plasma caster, or it might be an entirely different weapon. Nevertheless, the fact that the triangular lasers are still in the movie means that the Predator is using a weapon that should be quite advanced compared to the weapons that his enemies will be using. 

But one of the additions that we also noticed is the fact that the Predator now uses a metal shield in Prey. The shield is attached to the creature’s wrist so that he can still use its hands for offensive weapons. We believe that this shield is necessary because the Predator understands that its targets are using primitive piercing weapons that it can easily ward off using a shield. Of course, in the original Predator movie, things were different because a shield wouldn’t have been very useful against guns and explosives.

Why Does The Predator Look Different In Prey?

As mentioned, the Predator in Prey does have a different design and look from the classic Predator, even though some of the details from the original creature are still present. So, why is it that the Predator looks different in Prey?

Well, the basic reason why the Predator has a somewhat different design goes back to the fact that this movie takes place 300 years before the original one. Prey is set during the time when the Native Americans were still freely roaming the continent. In this case, we are talking about the Comanche people.


As such, considering that the movie is set 300 years before the original Predator, it could be possible that the Predator’s people are yet to develop the technology that was used against Arnold’s team in the first movie. Of course, Dan Trachtenberg, the director, had something to say about it as well.

“I wanted it to be scarier than we’ve seen it before. It’s intelligent, and it has advanced technology, and that makes it even more difficult to take on,” Trachtenberg said. “But because the movie is set 300 years in the past, those things need to feel a little bit older than we’ve seen before, but also still far more advanced than what we think our earthlings would be able to handle. I wanted to make sure the head was more proportional to the body. This Predator is much slimmer and less armored than it’s ever been. It’s more ‘creature.’ It’s still hulking and ferocious.”


Alien Movies in Order: Chronological & by Release Date

This explains all of the differences we noticed in the design of the Predator in Prey. For example, not having heavy armor allows the Predator to look more primitive while still retaining its intimidating look. There’s also the fact that it doesn’t have its plasma caster, which Trachtenberg said was going to be too much of an overkill for Native Americans, who are armed with arrows instead of guns. In the director’s words, a plasma caster would be an instant-kill switch for the Predator against Native Americans armed with primitive weapons.

Is The Predator In Prey A Different Predator?

While there may be certain differences in the design between the Predator in Prey and the original monster in Predator, the thing that people should know is that this is still the same alien race that we saw in the first movie. Prey still features a member of the Yautja alien race.

However, of course, this is not the exact same Predator that we saw in the first movie because, as mentioned, Prey takes place 300 years in the past. Even assuming that the Yautja are capable of living that long (as they can live for thousands of years), there are plenty of them hunting for sport throughout the galaxy. 

As such, the possibility that the same Predator was sent to Earth twice in a span of 300 years is too slim, especially if the monster in the Prey movie ends up getting killed at the hands of the Comanche tribe.

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