When it comes to enduring movie franchises like Star Wars, Halloween, Terminator, and others that have spanned decades, it’s not uncommon for later sequels to revise certain elements from the original films. A perceptive Reddit user recently raised an intriguing query about the iconic science fiction series Predator: “Why did the predator from the 1987 film engage in such a seemingly dishonorable act?”
They go on to delve deeper into the lore of the predator species, which was initially established in both the movies and comics. According to this lore, predators face defeat with grace, even welcoming challenges from adversaries, as it enables their kind to learn from their vulnerabilities and ultimately grow stronger. This principle was evident in the 2010 film Predators, where the protagonist’s victory was met with acknowledgment rather than retaliation.
Furthermore, a notable detail supporting this notion can be found in the 2018 movie The Predator. The predator in that film possessed exploitable weaknesses in its arsenal, which were conspicuously absent in subsequent movies. This absence was attributed to the predator’s demise, which paradoxically contributed to the overall strength of their species. Given this, one might question why the predator in the original movie chose to resort to such an apparently dishonorable tactic by attempting to nuke Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character. This act not only seems contrary to their established code of conduct but may have also obliterated any recorded footage of the encounter, which could have served as a valuable learning resource for their kin.
One commentator aptly pointed out that attributing discrepancies introduced “literally decades later” to the original movie should not be regarded as a shortcoming of the latter. Others astutely noted that the predators’ magnanimity in victory, as depicted in later installments, constitutes a retcon in the series’ narrative.
Another perceptive perspective suggests that if the predator truly intended to eliminate Arnie’s character, it could have simply detonated the bomb without providing an overt countdown. By allowing Dutch (Schwarzenegger’s character) time to escape before triggering the explosion, it implies a more calculated and strategic move, potentially to conceal its tracks. This interpretation offers an intriguing “in-universe” rationale for the predator’s actions.