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Weyland-Yutani

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"Building better worlds."
―Company slogan
Weyland-Yutani Coporation Logo

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation logo.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, often shortened to Weyland-Yutani and commonly referred to as Wey-Yu[1] or simply "The Company",[2][3] is a large British/Japanese[4] multinational conglomerate. It is primarily a technology supplier, manufacturing Synthetics, spaceships and computers for a wide range of industrial and commercial clients, making them a household name.[5] 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,[2] which it owns or controls.[5] 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.[5] and also has a large presence on Earth. They hold their main offices in Tokyo, London, San Francisco, the Sea of Tranquillity on Luna and on Thedus.[6]

Weyland-Yutani is consistently portrayed as exhibiting the worst aspects of corporate profiteering, willing to sacrifice decency and life in the endless pursuit of profits.[3][7] 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, the corporation has its hands in all aspects of space colonization and research. The corporation 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.[2] According to Weyland-Yutani employee Karl Bishop Weyland, one of the corporation'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 monetary profits.[7]

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has had several different origins in various media. While it was not the first to be portrayed, the origin established in Prometheus is now considered the canonical version. In the film, the company is preceded by Weyland Corp, established by Peter Weyland on October 11, 2012. Sometime after Project Prometheus, Weyland Corp would acquire the Yutani Corporation, thus forming the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

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:

Growth and activitiesEdit

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.[8]

Some time prior to 2122, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation detected the signal being broadcast from the Derelict on Acheron (LV-426), the middle moon of 3 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 Xenomorph species.[9] 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.[10] While the incident and the existence of the Xenomorph was apparently covered up by those involved, in a twist of irony the company later coincidentally established the Hadley's Hope terraforming colony on LV-426.[2]

By 2179, 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 Processors.[2] Over its history, the corporation constructed and administrated numerous colonies across the galaxy, including Hadley's Hope on LV-426 and Freya's Prospect on BG-386.[7] 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.[3]

The company also operated numerous research and development facilities throughout the galaxy, often pursuing top-secret research into illegal or dangerous fields, focussing in particular on the study of the Xenomorph species. Major Weyland-Yutani laboratories included installations on LV-1201[11] and BG-386,[7] and the Origin Facility on LV-426.[1] 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.[7] 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.[7]

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 ReemergenceEdit

By the year 2379, Weyland-Yutani is said to have been bought out by Walmart decades previously.[12] However, many of the company's weapons and R&D interests were taken over by an interstellar military force called the United Systems Military.

However, Weyland-Yutani eventually reemerged as a powerful corporation following the fall of the USM.[13] In the aftermath of the destruction wrought upon Earth by the crash of the USM Auriga, Weyland-Yutani united other corporations and, through means such as cleaning up the pollution on Earth, the company gained massive public approval and support and eventually instigated a coup against the USM. The coup led to the downfall of the USM and the reemergence of super powerful corporations, similar to the days prior to the creation of the USM.

DivisionsEdit

Bio-Weapons DivisionEdit

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.[2] 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.

WY Bioweapons Division

Weyland-Yutani Bio-Weapons Division personnel during a Xenomorph retrieval mission.

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.

Reverse-Engineering DivisionEdit

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[14] and the Yutani Corporation,[15] 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.[7]

Special Services DivisionEdit

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.[2] However, it is thought to be an umbrella division that oversaw and managed various other aspects of the company's research programs.

Weapons manufactureEdit

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.[7] Weyland-Yutani products include the VP78 Pistol and the NSG 23 Assault Rifle.

Manufactured weapons listEdit

Other divisionsEdit

Weyland-Yutani held numerous other divisions of interest, most notably a large stake in interplanetary cargo transport.[10] 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 USCMEdit

Weyland-Yutani owns or controls the United States Colonial Marine Corps.[5] 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".[7] 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.[3]

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 ScenesEdit

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 notably reappeared in David Twohy's script for Alien3, in which the company was repeatedly referred to using its pre-Aliens name.

"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 James Cameron was assigned to write and direct an Alien sequel, the role and significance of the company increased greatly. Cameron 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.[16] 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 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".

TriviaEdit

  • 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.[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • In Peter Briggs' script for Alien vs. Predator, a "Yutani-Templin" company is mentioned, implying that the Yutani Corporation was involved in other corporate mergers in addition to it's 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.[19] 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 has been referenced in several other films and television series since Aliens:
    • In the episode "Harm's Way" of TV series Angel, Weyland-Yutani is revealed to be a client of evil interdimensional law firm Wolfram & Hart. As co-creator Joss Whedon had written the original draft to Alien Resurrection, this was most likely an in-joke aimed at Whedon himself.
    • In the pilot episode of Firefly, another Whedon television series, Mal Reynolds is seen using a turret gun in a flashback sequence. At the top of the targeting system, the Weyland-Yutani logo can be seen.
    • While Weyland-Yutani does not feature, a similar conglomerate known as the Resources Development Administration (RDA) appears in James Cameron's later film Avatar. In the film, the RDA takes on a similar role (that of an amoral mega-corporation interested solely in profits) and is often referred to using the same moniker of "The Company".
    • In the 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.
  • 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".

AppearancesEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1  Aliens: Colonial Marines [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Gearbox Software.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Vincent Ward (writer) and David Fincher (director). Alien3 [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. "Strange Shapes - Space, 2122 – 2179". Retrieved on 2013-05-10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 BradyGames (2013). Aliens: Colonial Marines Official Strategy Guide. Dorling Kindersley, 40. 
  6. Alien Anthology Blu-ray
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8  Aliens vs. Predator [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Rebellion.
  8. Alan Dean Foster (1979). Alien novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 208. 
  9. Alan Dean Foster (1979). Alien novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 201. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  11.  Aliens versus Predator 2 [Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X]. Monolith Productions.
  12. Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director). Alien Resurrection [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  13. James A. Moore (2014). Alien: Sea of Sorrows. Titan Books, 35. 
  14.  Predator: Concrete Jungle [PlayStation 2, Xbox]. Vivendi Universal Games.
  15. Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers) and The Brothers Strause (directors). Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  16. James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  17. "Alien II" (original treatment) by James Cameron
  18. Ann Crispin (1997). Alien Resurrection novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 99. 

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