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Predator movie poster.jpg

John Davis, Lawrence Gordon, Beau Marks, Joel Silver


John McTiernan


Hemdale Film, Cinema 84, Euro Film Funding

Release Date:

June 12, 1987


Predator is a 1987 science fiction movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger about a team of mercenary special forces soldiers being attacked by an alien trophy hunter. It is also the common term for the aliens themselves.

Alien Attributes

A Predator in standard gear


Predators (identified as "Yautja" in secondary sources) are humanoid, but they are much larger and stronger than humans (able to break guns, punch through concrete walls, or even just run through them). They presumably evolved in an arborial habitat, as their climbing and leaping abilities rival those of arborial monkeys and squirrels of Earth. They prefer warm climates, but they can survive in arctic conditions. Apart from an unusual jaw structure, they seem to be skeletally almost identical to humans. They are quite tough and can withstand multiple wounds from modern firearms without severe losses of physical performance. They can breathe in Earth's atmosphere, but they prefer to use some kind of breathing apparatus built into their helmets. Their natural vision is in the infrared portion of the EM spectrum.


Predators possess advanced technology, including faster-than-light propulsion for their spacecraft. A typical hunter uses an assortment of high-tech devices, including a camouflage device that makes him effectively transparent when activated (although substantial quantities of water interfere with its function); a shoulder-mounted energy weapon or missile launcher tied to a targeting system in his helmet; a medical kit; and an assortment of collapsible spears, blades, and nets. They also carry a powerful bomb in a bracer that they use to destroy themselves and their equipment if they are close to being captured by their prey.

The face of a Predator

Brain Bug

In the 1987 movie, the "Predator" was an alien trophy hunter who used advanced technology to hunt humans, specifically targeting teams of elite soldiers who presented more of a challenge than unarmed civilians. In sequels, this individual became the model for a monolithic culture: an entire civilization of aliens who live to hunt for sport. Some fans are aware of the cliche and speculate that the technology the Predators possess is stolen from other aliens or that they were formerly a civilization like humans, and some catastrophe reduced their culture to its present form.

Predators in Debates

Predators frequently show up in debates as antagonists, with debaters speculating about how successful they would be hunting soldiers or special characters from a variety of other science fiction settings.

One common debate match, Predators versus Aliens, became a franchise of its own (likely inspired by the Alien skull in the Predator's ship in Predator 2), and spawned comics, video games, novels, and eventually a movie.

External Links