‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Rips Off ‘Alien’ (Which Ripped Off ‘Star Trek’)

In space, no one can hear intellectual property laws.
‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Rips Off ‘Alien’ (Which Ripped Off ‘Star Trek’)

This week’s episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds shifted genre gears into straight-up horror, with a story that is so reminiscent of the Alien franchise, it’s a wonder that it wasn’t accompanied by a wildly inappropriate line of children’s playthings. “All Those Who Wander” literally involves the Enterprise crew investigating a crashed ship (like in Alien), rescuing a disheveled orphan girl who has survived an alien attack (à la Aliens), and if all that wasn’t subtle enough, we soon find out that the horrifying/not-so-horrifying Gorn have implanted eggs in a humanoid host, which then burst out of his body and terrorize the ship (their only weakness being a cease-and-desist from Ridley Scott’s office). 

This isn’t the first time that Star Trek has taken its cues from the Alien franchise; Data and Tasha Yar were reportedly created for The Next Generation purely because creator Gene Roddenberry liked the characters of Bishop and Vasquez in Aliens (although sadly the latter pair never hooked up). Plus, artist H.R. Giger, who famously created the look of Alien’s Xenomorphs (thanks to condoms and human skulls) was a major influence on the look of the Borg.

But this seems pretty fair, considering that the Alien franchise has seemingly taken its fair share from Star Trek; like how Alien's premise of finding extraterrestrial monsters in a creepy cave is distinctly reminiscent of the original Star Trek episode “The Devil in the Dark” – just with slightly less goofy-looking monsters.

And Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek pitch document contained an (unproduced) episode idea concerning a crew member who becomes impregnated with “the larvae of an alien.” More recently, some fans have pointed out that Prometheus, and its villains’ quest to meet a vengeful God on a distant planet, is pretty much a remake of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

One potential reason why these two franchises share so many similarities is that they were both influenced by the landmark ‘50s sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet – so it makes sense that they are continuing to share a somewhat symbiotic relationship. The connection between the two properties was almost made explicit a few years ago with a proposed comic crossover in which Picard’s Enterprise would battle Xenomorphs …  presumably through diplomacy. 

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Thumbnail: Paramount


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