I’ve often seen many peoples remarks around the internets commenting on how the Predator, “looks black“, or “looks like a brother” or “looks like some kind of Rastafarian space alien.” Some of theses remarks are based on honest observation and interpretation, and others are meant to be some snaky trolling insult.
Well truth be told, the Predator’s looks are no coincidence. The Predator looks black because he is black. His blackness goes far beyond the actor-the late great Kevin Peter Hall, ( r.i.p sweetie) who portrayed the alien in ‘Predator’, and in ‘Predator 2’, as both the P2 and the P2 elder. The Predator’s African ties go back to his original concept.
After the first creature concept for the movie ‘Predator‘, (then titled ‘Hunter” ) had bombed miserably, the ‘Predator’ film crew - in need of a decent creature ( and Fast!!) brought Robert Short (RSP.inc) on board. Robert, basically revamped the original creature design, ‘outfitting’ it with new armor and weapons. This design was soon scrapped as well. With time ticking down, director John Mctiernan, stepped in and gave a bit of direction. This lead to Robert and crew, coming up with something totally new, and acceptable. This new concept was an upright Maasai warrior design, complete with dreadlocks and side locking mandibles. This design lacked the spotted pattern we see in Stan Winston’s Predator, it instead had uniform brown skin. With the basis of the creature now defined, Robert Short moved on. This was when Stan Winston came on board to farther the design. One day while paying a visit to Joel Sliver’s office, Stan noticed a piece of artwork hanging on the wall. It depicted a Rastafarian Warrior ( I personally believe it was a Maasai warrior) This inspired Stan greatly, and played a major role in the revamping of Robert Short’s Predator design, leading Stan Winston, and his team to come up with the space-hunk we know and love today as “Stan Winston’s Predator.” So there you have, no way of denying that the Predator is black/African.
I’ve always admired the concept of the Predator as a sci-fi creature, his is a species eons older than mankind, possessing technology beyond comprehension- plasma casters, cloaking devises, spacecraft capable of interstellar travel…. yet he chooses to walk around in loin cloth, and sandals, adorning himself with bones? Things that seem somewhat “primitive” for lack of a better term. To me, this symbolizes how the Predator, never forgets were he comes from, his beginnings, his roots. Despite how advanced he is, he still holds to the “old paths” or “old ways". He shapes his technology, rather than it shaping him. I think this is where his formability comes from. Ever notice that it wasn’t until Arnold got rid of his modern weapons, and went “primal” with bow and arrow, that he was then able to step to the Predator? That speaks volumes to me, and is a story within itself waiting to be told.