The Alien TV Series is Borrowing a Trick From Star Wars

A familiar face will appear, and he’ll be telling a familiar tale.

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You may not remember December 10, 2020, but it changed the history of sci-fi television. Not only did Disney announce a slew of Star Wars and Marvel shows that are still coming out today, but it was also the day FX quietly announced that Alien, one of the biggest sci-fi franchises ever, was finally coming to television.

Now, three years after that initial announcement, we have some hints of who will star in the series and what it will be about. Noah Hawley, showrunner of FX’s Fargo, is guiding the sci-fi horror franchise’s move to streaming, and it looks like he’ll be echoing one of the best parts of modern Star Wars.

Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley will return to FX with an Alien series.

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The series has been slowly filming in Thailand, but the cast is still coming together. Deadline reports Justified and Santa Clarita Diet star Timothy Olyphant has been cast in a starring role opposite Sydney Chandler.

There are no official character descriptions, but Deadline claims Olyphant will be playing Kirsh, “a synth who acts as a mentor and trainer for Chandler’s Wendy who is a hybrid, a meta-human who has the brain and consciousness of a child but the body of an adult.”

Olyphant recently dabbled in sci-fi with a role in The Mandalorian as space-sheriff Cobb Vanth.


This aligns this series with Star Wars in more ways than one. First, and most obviously, both feature Timothy Olyphant, who played Freetown leader Cobb Vanth in The Mandalorian Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett. But while his Star Wars character was essentially just his Justified character in space, this new character description hints at another Star Wars trick.

The main appeal of The Mandalorian is the parental dynamic between Din Djarin and his young ward, Grogu, who is 50 years old but looks (and acts) like a baby. The Alien show appears to be subverting this dynamic, establishing a robot mentor to look after a character who looks like an adult but functions like a child.

The Alien TV show is set decades before Alien, which implies it will focus less on the aliens and more on the lives of humans and synthetics leading up to that movie’s fateful encounter. This plot would echo the grizzled mentor and outsider child trope we’ve seen recently in The Mandalorian, The Last of Us, and other genre shows, and it will even echo the similar dynamic seen between Ripley and Newt in Aliens. This time, we’ll see how it works without any puppets or adorable child actors in the mix.

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