- "Building better worlds."
- ―Company slogan
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, often shortened to Weyland-Yutani and commonly referred to as Wey-Yu or simply "The Company", is a large British/Japanese multinational conglomerate. It was founded in 2099 by the merger of Weyland Corp and the Yutani Corporation. Weyland-Yutani is primarily a technology supplier, manufacturing synthetics, spaceships and computers for a wide range of industrial and commercial clients, making them a household name. Weyland-Yutani also has numerous non-manufacturing interests; the company has extensive assets in interplanetary shipping and transport, and is one of the corporations that operates human colonies outside the solar system through the Extrasolar Colonization Administration, which it owns or controls. The company also has a seat in the Interstellar Commerce Commission's Company Review Board, and owns or controls the United States Colonial Marine Corps. They hold their main offices in Tokyo, London, San Francisco, the Sea of Tranquillity on Luna and on Thedus.
Weyland-Yutani is consistently portrayed as exhibiting the worst aspects of corporate profiteering, willing to sacrifice decency and life in the endless pursuit of monetary profits. As such, it is a modern example of the longstanding trope of the evil mega-corporation in science fiction. In various portrayals within the Alien universe, Weyland-Yutani has its hands in all aspects of space colonization and research. The company has consistently driven its employees and agents to obtain a living sample of the species they designate Xenomorph XX121, often without regard for the lives of anyone involved in said attempts, so that the creatures may be exploited as biological weapons or otherwise for financial gain. According to Weyland-Yutani employee Karl Bishop Weyland, one of the company's primary goals behind capturing the Xenomorphs and creating weapons out of their biology is to ensure humanity remains the elite species in the universe, and not just because of profits.
Origins and growth
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation was formed when Weyland Corp absorbed the Yutani Corporation in a hostile takeover in 2099. Following the merger, Weyland-Yutani opened with the largest share value ever recorded on the Systems Exchange. The company would go on to buy out numerous other businesses, investing in almost every sector, and had a controlling stake in a vast number of diverse corporations. According to some, Weyland-Yutani owned "pretty much everything" by the 2150s. Many of the companies wholly or partly owned by Weyland-Yutani continued to operate under their own brand, such as the Kelland Mining Company.
Other origin stories for the company have been given in other media, although these have now been rendered largely defunct by the production of Prometheus. Nonetheless, prominent references to Weyland-Yutani include:
- The video game Predator: Concrete Jungle depicts an unnamed company run by a man identified only as Weyland buying out business rival Borgia Industries in 2030, thereby obtaining the rights to their advanced weaponry, which was in reality stolen Yautja technology. The same scene also features several agents from the Yutani Corporation congratulating Weyland on his achievements.
- In Alien vs. Predator, Charles Bishop Weyland is shown to be the founder of Weyland Industries, and heads an expedition to Antarctica that uncovers the relationship between the Predators and the Xenomorphs. AVP's Weyland Industries bears no connection to the Weyland Corp seen in Prometheus, and has essentially been rendered non-canon by the latter film.
- In the finale of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Colonel Stevens meets with a woman named Ms. Yutani, offering her a Predator Plasma Cannon recovered from the survivors of the explosion in Gunnison, Colorado.
From the start, even the lowliest of Weyland-Yutani's employees were aware of the corrupt nature of the conglomerate. It was common knowledge amongst the company's commercial haulage fleet that senior management routinely bribed and paid off inspectors rather than submit to thorough safety inspections and reviews of their vessels.
Some time prior to 2122, Weyland-Yutani detected the signal being broadcast from the derelict on Acheron (LV-426), the middle moon of three orbiting the ringed planet Calpamos. While the language was unknown, the company succeeded in deciphering enough of the message to learn it was a warning regarding the deadly species Xenomorph XX121. They subsequently dispatched the USCSS Nostromo to investigate, without the crew's knowledge, leading to initial human contact with the Xenomorph, the death of all but one of the ship's crew and the loss of the Nostromo itself. The incident and the existence of the Xenomorph was subsequently covered up by those involved, while the beacon was later deactivated by the crew of the Anesidora, once again obscuring the deadly secret on the moon.
By 2137, Weyland-Yutani was heavily involved in the colonization of extrasolar planets, including the terraforming of suitable bodies with inhospitable atmospheres through the construction of Atmosphere Processing Plants. Over its history, the company constructed and administrated numerous colonies across the galaxy, including Hadley's Hope — ironically established on LV-426, the very moon where the Nostromo had encountered the deadly Xenomorph — and Freya's Prospect on BG-386. Weyland-Yutani was also involved in non-civilian colonies, notably overseeing the Class C Work Correctional Unit and the associated industrial penal lead foundry on Fiorina "Fury" 161. In November of 2137, the company learned of a new Xenomorph incident on Sevastopol Station, and promptly purchased the failing facility from its competitor Seegson in the hopes of again securing samples of the creature. However, the station and all the creatures aboard were destroyed before the company could complete their goals.
As well as its colonization efforts, Weyland-Yutani also operated numerous research and development facilities throughout the galaxy, often pursuing top-secret research into illegal or dangerous fields, focusing in particular on the study of the Xenomorph species. Major Weyland-Yutani laboratories included installations on LV-1201 and BG-386, and the Origin Facility on LV-426. These labs often operated under particularly amoral conditions, especially where Xenomorph research was concerned; humans were frequently used as unwilling hosts for the creatures, while some teams were even known to deliberately sacrifice low-level Weyland-Yutani employees as live prey in Xenomorph tests. On BG-386, inhabitants from the planet's civilian colony were apparently abducted for use in research, often under the pretence of being "promoted" to a new position elsewhere on the planet.
Despite tight security, typically enforced by Weyland-Yutani manufactured combat androids, these research facilities were notorious for their containment failures and outbreaks, events that usually led to huge loss of life amongst staff (and any civilians unlucky enough to be caught in harm's way) and the involvement of the United States Colonial Marine Corps.
Collapse and re-emergence
By the 2290s, Weyland-Yutani began experiencing serious financial and political pressures. Its colony at Nu Indi successfully sued for independence, effectively removing itself from the company's influence, and two years later Weyland-Yutani lost out to rival conglomerate Ridton on a contract to supply the United Systems Military with FTL drives, severely affecting the company's financial performance. Finally, in 2349, megacorporations such as Weyland-Yutani were outlawed altogether; the company appealed, but after three years of costly litigation the ban was upheld and Weyland-Yutani formally folded. Many of the company's weapons and R&D interests were taken over by the USM.
However, even during this time, agents of Weyland-Yutani continued to operate in secrecy. The company utilized contacts within the USM who passed them information about their various research projects. Following the crash of the USM Auriga on Earth, Weyland-Yutani seized upon much of the information collected about the Xenomorphs by the USM, incorporating it into Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, an extensive report on the species Xenomorph XX121 and humanity's historical encounters with it. Following the fall of the USM, Weyland-Yutani eventually re-emerged as a powerful multinational corporation, a resurgence partly fuelled by the company's role in cleaning up the heavily polluted and damaged Earth, and the corresponding surge in public approval and support that went with it.
- "When they first heard about this thing, it was crew expendable. The next time they sent in Marines; they were expendable too. What makes you think they're gonna care about a bunch of lifers who found God at the ass-end of space? You really think they're going to let you interfere with their plans for this thing? They think we're crud, and they don't give a fuck about one friend of yours that's died. Not one."
- ―Ripley to the inmates on Fiorina 161, regarding Weyland-Yutani's Xenomorph capture ethics (from Alien3)
Weyland-Yutani's Bio-Weapons Division was a special department that dealt with the research and development of biological and viral weapons. One of their primary goals was to obtain a viable specimen of the species they designate Xenomorph XX121, whether it be in the form of a Facehugger, a Chestburster or a mature adult; in some cases an immature Chestburster sample was considered preferable due to the ease with which one could be passed through quarantine undetected within their hosts. Weyland-Yutani believed that biological self-replicating weapons such as the Xenomorph could form a ubiquitous component of distant force projection operations, which were otherwise vulnerable to unforeseen threats capable of exhausting traditional security personnel and ammunition stores that may not be easily replenished across the vast distances of space.
The company's attempts to obtain Xenomorphs frequently involved subterfuge and the sacrifice of human life. Ellen Ripley inevitably became a major enemy of Weyland-Yutani's Bio-Weapons Division after surviving the company's first attempt to capture a live Xenomorph aboard the USCSS Nostromo. Ripley would subsequently uncover (and defeat) numerous other attempts made by the company in this regard. Following Weyland-Yutani's collapse, much of the Bio-Weapons Division's work was appropriated and continued by the United Systems Military. The USM's own research would later fall foul of Ripley 8, a clone of the original Ellen Ripley.
The Reverse-Engineering Division was mainly focussed on the study and implementation of recovered Yautja technology. The department was largely built upon the work carried out by Borgia Industries and the Yutani Corporation, both of which were incorporated into Weyland-Yutani through business mergers (with the Yutani Corporation being a major partner and partial originator of the company's name).
As with the company's Bio-Weapons Division, Weyland-Yutani's reverse-engineering projects were generally run with little regard for morals, although owing to the research being based primarily on the study of appropriated technology, the scope for appalling breaches of human rights was less open. Even so, the division ruthlessly captured and exploited alien tech, stealing Predator and Engineer technology with little thought as to how the species that created it may react. As a result, the company often ran afoul of the Yautja, who were fiercely protective of their advanced technology and considered the slaughter of any who would attempt to steal it a cultural necessity.
Special Services Division
Little is truly known about Weyland-Yutani's Special Services Division, with the only confirmed contact being through employee Carter Burke, who acted as Special Projects Director within the department. However, it is thought to be an umbrella division that oversaw and managed various other aspects of the company's research programs.
Apart from the company's bio-weapons projects, Weyland-Yutani was also heavily involved in the manufacture of conventional weaponry, and was a major supplier for the United States Colonial Marine Corps. Weyland-Yutani products include the VP78 Pistol and the NSG 23 Assault Rifle.
Manufactured weapons list
- VP78 Pistol
- MK221 Tactical Shotgun
- NSG 23 Assault Rifle
- 88 Mod 4 Combat Pistol
- M260B Flamethrower
- ZX-76 Shotgun
- Remote Sentry Turret
Weyland-Yutani held numerous other divisions of interest, most notably a large stake in interplanetary cargo transport. It also operated departments focussed on media and manufacturing, and worked in close conjunction with the Extrasolar Colonization Administration. Weyland-Yutani's terraforming efforts were frequently portrayed as being benevolent in nature, but almost always carried a hidden agenda, or at least a substantial profit margin for the company. Weyland-Yutani also manufactured Aspen Beer in the early 22nd century.
Relationship to the USCM
Weyland-Yutani owns or controls the United States Colonial Marine Corps. Weyland-Yutani employee Karl Bishop Weyland alluded that the corporation may have played a massive part in the actual formation of the USCM, stating that he and the Corps were "old friends" and that it was effectively just another "corporate asset". Regardless of the truth in these statements, Weyland-Yutani did manufacture many of the Corps' weapons and vehicles, particularly their large spacecraft, including the Conestoga-class vessels. USCM equipment, including vehicles and firearms, were often used by Weyland-Yutani themselves.
Weyland-Yutani frequently oversaw the deployment of USCM forces in operations where it held a significant stake, including the initial mission to investigate Hadley's Hope. While Weyland-Yutani may not have had actual ownership of the Corps itself, the company at least held stock and/or partially financed the Corps, essentially allowing them to make the Corps available for their own personal use.
Behind the Scenes
The company's original name was Weylan-Yutani, briefly seen on a monitor and Aspen Beer can in the film Alien; this name was created by Ron Cobb, one of the designers of the Nostromo and its crew's uniforms. In the film, the company's logo consisted of a winged sun emblem, based on Egyptian architecture. The original Weylan-Yutani name was also used by James Cameron in his initial treatment for a sequel to Alien, and later reappeared in David Twohy's unproduced script for Alien3.
- "One of the things I enjoyed most about Alien was its subtle satirical content. Science fiction films offer golden opportunities to throw in little scraps of information that suggest enormous changes in the world. There's a certain potency in those kinds of remarks. Weylan Yutani for instance is almost a joke, but not quite. I wanted to imply that poor old England is back on its feet and has united with the Japanese, who have taken over the building of spaceships the same way they have now with cars and supertankers. In coming up with a strange company name I thought of British Leyland and Toyota, but we couldn't use "Leyland-Toyota" in the film. Changing one letter gave me "Weylan", and "Yutani" was a Japanese neighbor of mine."
- ―Ron Cobb on conceptualizing Weylan-Yutani
When Cameron was assigned to write and direct Aliens, the role and significance of the company increased greatly. Cameron eventually added a "d" to the first part of the company's name, and also scrapped the original winged sun emblem, replacing it instead with a new corporo-industrial interlocked W/Y logo of his own design. This logo can be viewed in various places throughout the movie, most obviously in the extended Special Edition, where it is seen on crates and the front of a child's tricycle at the Hadley's Hope colony before the Xenomorph outbreak. Cameron has gone on record as saying that the way in which Burke accompanies the Colonial Marines on their mission to LV-426 was supposed to invoke the conspiracy of America's involvement in Vietnam being for purely corporate interests. The prominent use of the company in the film propelled it to being an indispensable element of the Alien universe.
In Alien3, Weyland-Yutani's logo appears on the furnaces at the Fiorina 161 Class C Work Correctional Unit, and can also be seen stencilled across the shirts, prison jackets and caps worn by various characters in the film, including Ellen Ripley. It is also seen on screen several times written in Japanese; it appears on a box of supplies as ウェイランド湯谷. The first six Kana of this are part of the Japanese syllabary Katakana which is used to spell foreign words, and here they spell weirando (Weyland). The second part is the Japanese name Yutani written with two kanji, which literally means "hot-water valley" in English. The corporation's name also appears in a newspaper headline where the last four kanji (株式会社) read kabushiki gaisha which means "joint-stock corporation".
- While James Cameron cemented Weyland-Yutani as an integral part of the Alien franchise with Aliens, ironically his initial treatment for the film stated that the company had in fact been bought out by another, unnamed conglomerate prior to the events of the movie, and that Weyland-Yutani no longer existed.
- Despite the fact that the company is portrayed as almost entirely ruthless, they appear to let Robert Morse live at the end of Alien3, even though he is a witness to the events on Fiorina 161 and what the company attempted to do there. Since Morse is a convict, it is possible the company simply rationalised people would be unlikely to believe anything he could say to damage them. The novelization of Alien Resurrection reveals that Morse later wrote a book about the Fiorina 161 incident, but it was banned.
- In Peter Briggs' unproduced Alien vs. Predator script, titled The Hunt: Alien vs. Predator, a "Yutani-Templin" company is mentioned, implying that the Yutani Corporation was involved in other corporate mergers in addition to its merger with Weyland-Yutani, and that these other conglomerates are still in operation. However, the exact nature of the company is never elaborated upon, and the script was never produced.
- Supplemental materials on the Prometheus Blu-ray suggest the Tyrell Corporation from Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner is one of Weyland-Yutani's competitors. Fans have often theorized that Blade Runner may be set in the same universe as Alien owing to the two films' similar style and design, but this oblique reference remains the only suggestion of such a link in official media (furthermore, the information on the Blu-ray seems to be more of an Easter Egg than hard fact).
- The corporate/military collaboration in pursuit and protection of commerce isn't unprecedented, dating back to the 16th cenutry Dutch Empire's West Indies Trading Companies explicit charter to colonize territories using the Dutch Navy. James Cameron referenced this historical model in the Aliens directors commentary as the basis of the Weyland-Yutani/USCM relationship.
- In 2013, multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young rebranded their corporate slogan to "Building a better working world"; the similarity to Weyland-Yutani's slogan is likely just a coincidence.
- Weyland-Yutani is, along with the iconic Chestburster scene, one of the most heavily referenced aspects of the Alien franchise, having been featured or alluded to in several other films and television series since Aliens:
- In the 2002 pilot episode of Firefly, Mal Reynolds is seen using a machine gun turret in a flashback sequence, and at the top of the turret's targeting system, the Weyland-Yutani logo can be seen. Firefly was created by Alien Resurrection writer Joss Whedon.
- In the 2004 episode "Harm's Way" of Angel, Weyland-Yutani is revealed to be a client of evil interdimensional law firm Wolfram & Hart. Angel was also co-created by Whedon.
- In the "Sniper" series of novels by Alan D. Altieri, a prominent villain to hero Russel Kane is a megacorporation known as Gottschalk-Yutani, which fills a similar role to Weyland-Yutani in the Alien franchise.
- The 2009 film Avatar (directed by James Cameron) features a corporation known as the RDA, which at one point is referred to as "the Company", similarly to Weyland-Yutani. The two corporations bear notable similarities beyond this nickname, including resource-mongering and a lack of ethical concerns.
- In the 2010 episode "We Can't Win" of the television series remake V, Weyland-Yutani is seen written on a name plate at a presentation of alien technology to various companies on Earth.
- In the 2010 film The Rig, the company that owns the titular oil rig is called Weyland Drilling Corp, in reference to the Alien series. The company also uses a similar logo. Both Alien and The Rig deal with a small group of blue-collar workers trapped in a restricted space being stalked by a voracious killer monster.
- During the first season of the Discovery Channel documentary series Extreme Engineering, an oil tanker is seen in the CGI segments of some episodes with the name Weyland-Yutani on the hull.
- In the 2016 animated reconstruction of the 1966 Doctor Who serial "The Power of the Daleks", the Weyland-Yutani logo can be seen on a communications device in the governor's office.
- Despite the can in Alien naming the company as "Weylan Yutani", the LaserDisc release of Alien says "Also notice another prop that is seen only discreetly in the film: a can of beer manufactured by the other-wise un-named "Company" that employs the Nostromo crew - "Weyland- Yutani.[sic]" and "Ripley enjoys a can of Weyland-Yutani Beer".
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Alien3: The Gun
- Alien Resurrection/novel (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Apocalypse
- Aliens versus Predator (1999 video game)
- Aliens versus Predator 2
- Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt
- Aliens vs. Predator (2010 video game)
- Aliens: Frenzy/novel
- Aliens vs. Predator: War/novel
- Alien vs. Predator: Sand Trap
- Aliens: Colonial Marines/Stasis Interrupted (video game)
- Alien: Out of the Shadows (mentioned only)
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows
- Prometheus: Fire and Stone
- Alien: Isolation
- Reaper (mentioned only)
- Broken (mentioned only)
- Zero to Hero
- Dark Mother
- Deep Background
- Deep Black (mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013), Gearbox Software, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360].
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens (1986), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Vincent Ward (writer), David Fincher (director). Alien3 (1992), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ "Strange Shapes - Space, 2122 – 2179". Retrieved on 2013-05-10.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 8 (2014), Insight Editions.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 BradyGames. Aliens: Colonial Marines Official Strategy Guide, p. 40 (2013), Dorling Kindersley.
- ↑ Alien Anthology Blu-ray menus
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Aliens vs. Predator (2010), Rebellion, SEGA [Microsoft Windows].
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Tim Lebbon. Alien: Out of the Shadows, p. 50 (2014), Titan Books.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 208 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 201 (1979), Warner Books.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien (1979), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 002 - RE: Nostromo Incident
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 075 - An Outpost of Progress? #4
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 120 - Sold!
- ↑ Aliens versus Predator 2 (2001), Monolith Productions, Sierra Entertainment, Fox Interactive [Microsoft Windows].
- ↑ S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 9 (2014), Insight Editions.
- ↑ S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 157 (2014), Insight Editions.
- ↑ James A. Moore. Alien: Sea of Sorrows, p. 35 (2014), Titan Books.
- ↑ Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005), Eurocom, Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games [PlayStation 2, Xbox].
- ↑ Shane Salerno (writer), The Brothers Strause (directors). Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition (1991), 20th Century Fox [LaserDisc].
- ↑ Alien II original treatment by James Cameron
- ↑ A. C. Crispin. Alien Resurrection, p. 99 (1997), Warner Aspect.
- ↑ "Digital Trends - Prometheus Blu-ray links Alien, Blade Runner universes". Retrieved on 2013-05-28.