- "There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man... We're all gonna die."
- ―Billy (from Predator)
Billy Sole was a mercenary and a member of Major "Dutch" Schaefer's private military team. In 1987, Schaefer's team was hired by the U.S. military and the CIA for a rescue mission in Val Verde. After discovering that their mission was a set-up to dupe them into eliminating the rebels in the area, Schaefer's squad came into contact with a Predator that stalked and killed the elite mercenaries one-by-one.
An expert tracker, Billy was something of an outsider in the group, and became notably disturbed following the team's contact with the Predator. He died challenging the Predator in hand-to-hand combat, armed only with his combat machete.
Billy was of half-Sioux Indian, half-Italian descent and it was from his native people that he learned his exemplary tracking skills. When he was an infant, his people would tell stories of how a Predator had once hunted their forefathers, although Billy was too young to remember these tales when he grew up. In 1980, he joined Dutch's private military team. Although something of a loner, he formed a friendship of sorts with Jorge Ramirez. As part of Dutch's team, Billy saw action in Angola, Cambodia, Lebanon and Afghanistan, and recently ended a terrorist siege at the Sudanese Embassy in Berlin, Germany.
Mission to Val Verde
Once the team arrived at the helicopter crash site in the jungle, Billy picked up the trail of the guerrillas who had captured the hostages and began to follow them, also noting that a six-man team with American equipment had been pursuing the rebels ahead of them. The trail eventually led to the bodies of Jim Hopper and two of his men, who had been skinned and hung from the treetops by their ankles, a sight that shocked and disgusted even the supposedly emotionless Billy. Billy continued to track the guerrillas to their camp in the jungle, which the team subsequently destroyed.
Following the attack, Billy became aware of the Jungle Hunter's presence, even though he could not see the creature. When Hawkins and Blain were killed by the Predator, Billy quickly accepted, quite calmly, that they were all going to die by the creature's hand. His insistence that the hunter was not human was met with ridicule from Dillon, although the other members of the team were inclined to believe him, especially after Blain's body was stolen from their heavily fortified position in the night, a feat considered impossible for a human to have carried out.
When Mac and Dillon were killed and Poncho was seriously wounded following a failed ambush attempt, Billy silently discarded his weapons and drew his machete, apparently deciding to face the Predator alone in hand-to-hand combat; whether he made this decision as a conscious attempt to buy the others time, or out of sheer madness, is not clear. Regardless, he proved himself to be a worthy opponent, though he was not enough to kill the creature.
Following his death, Billy's corpse was taken by the Predator, who claimed his skull as a trophy, tearing the spinal cord and head from his corpse before cleaning the skull and placing it in its trophy bag.
Personality and Traits
Billy was an unstable yet stoic soldier. Exceptionally cold and aloof for the most part, he was considered to be brave and fearless even by the other hardened members of Dutch's team. He was also an expert tracker, able to determine a unit's size and movement from just their footprints and the course of a firefight from just the spent casings left behind. While often appearing humourless, he is heard laughing a handful of times at Poncho's wisecracks and despite his failed first attempt, Hawkins managed to make him laugh out loud with a crude joke.
Billy notably appeared to possess something of a sixth sense, becoming aware of the Jungle Hunter's presence even before anyone had seen it, and apparently immediately deducing that the creature was not human, knowledge that unnerved him greatly. His perception of the Predator seemed to gradually drive him insane, a fact that was picked up on by the rest of the team. Ultimately, this insanity likely played a part in his decision to fight the Jungle Hunter armed only with his machete.
Billy carried an M16A2 fitted with an underslung Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun as his primary armament in the jungle. For backup, he carried a Desert Eagle in a shoulder rig, although he never used the weapon, and possessed a large combat machete. He likely also helped to lug around the team's large supply of M18A1 Claymores.
- Billy actor Sonny Landham proved to be a difficult person to work with on the set of Predator, often flying into angry tantrums and becoming physically violent. As a result, bodyguards were eventually hired on the set, not to protect Landham from other people, but to protect other people from him.
- To this day, rumors persist that Billy's death was originally filmed but cut from the movie because it was too violent; this is completely untrue, as Billy's demise was always intended to occur off-screen, with his scream being the only indication of what had happened to him. The sequence is similar to King Willie's death in Predator 2, whereby viewers see the build-up to the fight and its aftermath, yet the battle itself occurs off-screen.
- In the film, Billy seems to have something of a sixth sense regarding the Predator. In the novelization, however, his powers go even further, and he is said to be actively psychic, able to access the memories of his ancestors and the ancient Mayans who used to live in the jungle, and can actively sense the Predator's presence.
- The real-life goblin spider species Predatoroonops billy is named after Billy Sole; every member of the Predatoroonops genus has a name that references Predator, due to the perceived similarity between the spider's mouthparts and the Predator's mandibles.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (novel) (mentioned only)
- Predator 2/novel/comic (indirect mention)
- Predators/comic (indirect mention)
- ↑ Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Paul Monette. Predator, p. 16 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Paul Monette. Predator, p. 94 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 118 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 128 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 3 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 9 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ John McTiernan, Kevin Peter Hall, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stan Winston, Jim Thomas, John Thomas. If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of 'Predator' (2001), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Brescovit, Bonaldo, Santos, Ott & Rheims, 2012: The Brazilian goblin spiders of the new genus Predatoroonops (Araneae, Oonopidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, n. 370, pp. 1–68 (whole text).