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‘Alien’ 40th Anniversary Shorts Bring Back the Xenomorph Once Again

Six short films were commissioned to celebrate the big four-oh.

Alien 40th anniversary shorts

The xenomorph is now 40 years old — or at least it would be if Sigourney Weaver hadn’t blasted it out of the airlock. “Alien” is celebrating its 40th anniversary all the same, marking the occasion with a suite of short films that will start screening at fan conventions this week before officially premiering on May 3. You may think that Alien Day — or April 26, as the first entry in the franchise takes place on the fictional planet LV-426 — would make more sense, but the fat cats at Weyland-Yutani decided otherwise. Watch a trailer for the six shorts below.

And while you’re at it, read the synopses as well:

“ALIEN: Alone” — Hope, an abandoned crew member aboard the derelict chemical hauler Otranto, has spent a year trying to keep her ship and herself alive as both slowly fall apart. After discovering hidden cargo, she risks it all to power up the broken ship in search of human life. Written and Directed by Noah Miller

“ALIEN: Containment” — Four survivors find themselves stranded aboard a small escape pod in deep space. Trying to piece together the details around the outbreak that led to their ship’s destruction, they find themselves unsure to trust whether or not one of them might be infected. Written and Directed by Chris Reading

“ALIEN: Harvest” — The surviving crew of a damaged deep-space harvester have minutes to reach the emergency evacuation shuttle. A motion sensor is their only navigation tool leading them to safety while a creature in the shadows terrorizes the crew. However, the greatest threat might have been hiding in plain sight all along. Directed by Benjamin Howdeshell

“ALIEN: Night Shift” — When a missing space trucker is discovered hungover and disoriented, his co-worker suggests a nightcap as a remedy. Near closing time, they are reluctantly allowed inside the colony supply depot where the trucker’s condition worsens, leaving a young supply worker alone to take matters into her own hands. Written and Directed by Aidan Breznick

“ALIEN: Ore” — As a hard-working miner of a planet mining colony, Lorraine longs to make a better life for her daughter and grandchildren. When her shift uncovers the death of a fellow miner under mysterious circumstances, Lorraine is forced to choose between escape or defying management orders and facing her fears to fight for the safety of her family. Written and Directed by the Spear Sisters

“ALIEN: Specimen” — It’s the night shift in a colony greenhouse, and Julie, a botanist, does her best to contain suspicious soil samples that have triggered her sensitive lab dog. Despite her best efforts the lab unexpectedly goes into full shutdown and she is trapped inside. Little does she know, an alien specimen has escaped the mysterious cargo, and a game of cat and mouse ensues as the creature searches for a host. Directed by Kelsey Taylor

The six stories were chosen from more than 550 pitches and may be the only “Alien” we see for a while — the series is once again in limbo, as there have been no significant developments on the sequel to 2017’s “Alien: Covenant” in some time.

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