The Yautja, more popularly known as the Predators, are an alien race and the main antagonists of the Predator film series. They also appear as anti-heroes in the Aliens vs. Predator franchise.
The Yautja species consists of mostly male Predators - the Predator females are a rare occurrence and there are only a few known ones.
The Predators as a dangerous race are great hunters, with trophies from many species across the galaxy. They are attracted to war zones, as those hunted there would make for the more difficult trophies to acquire, as well as the ones with the most honor attached. Trophies can consist of skins or skulls with the spinal column still attached. They often wear masks, and their faces resemble large crustaceans. Their equipment consists of invisibility technology, as well an array of weapons, including powerful shoulder cannons. They also wear small but powerful bombs on their wrists in case of defeat.
Despite the Predators' ruthless and aggressive behavior when they hunt their prey down, they all have a great sense of honor and fight with it. They never kill innocent, sick, pregnant, or unarmed people, and they show great respect towards those who have defeated their own kind.
Biography and Culture[edit | edit source]
Predator culture revolves around the hunting and stalking of dangerous lifeforms. After making a kill, Predators typically skin or decapitate the carcass, converting it into a trophy. Failure in a hunt results in the Predator involved committing an honorable suicide. It is often alluded to that the reason each Predator's hunt is not for sustenance or elimination of threats, but as entertainment or rite of passage, as they will only attack life-forms that have the ability to provide them with a challenge. For that, they will travel huge distances – even across entire galaxies – in order to find and face opponents they consider a worthy challenge that would be hunted on the spot or transported them to a hunting ground of their choice. In Predators, they also shown established a planet with a controlled environment in which preys from different corners of the galaxy gathered to see how well they adapt with each other to further provide challenge, including hazardous plant lives for their prey to use in their advangates. Not surprisingly, this led to them making contact with various lifeforms including humans, Space Jockeys (also known as Engineers, a race of white-skinned extraterrestrial humanoid who allegedly created Xenomorph race), and Xenomorphs. The contact with Space Jockeys is confirmed in the Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem movie's DVD commentary.
Predators possess a level of technological advancement far in excess of anything available to humans. For either combat or hunting, they are armed with array of weaponries, ranging from highly advanced plasma cannons and stealth camouflage to more ancient weapons such as blades, spears, and nets. When hunting, they would switch to more traditional weapons for more honorable fights. While they are social race, most Predators hunt alone. Should they deployed in a group, the said group would always comprised of 3 members. The small numbers in a hunt mostly to hone their skills on the field. Aside hi-tech weaponry, Predators also possess a pack of spined, quadrupedal beasts used as flushing dogs as shown in case of "Super Predators" clan. Creature designer Gregory Nicotero used hyenas as a basis for the creature's physique, while the spines were added later by Chris Olivia.
While technologically advanced, Yautja race proved to be resourceful when it comes about crafting armor and other hunting equipment out of anything they can find on the field. This is arguably hinted in Predator film where Jungle Hunter noticed a trap set up by Dutch as the human soldier attempted to provoke him to get close only to be struck by another, unseen trap. In five-issue limited comic book series Predator: Hunters, when a Yautja ship crashed and left its occupants stranded on an island, the survivors quickly fashion weapons and armor from the resources around them, making makeshift, primitive hunting tools. In Paul W.S. Anderson's Alien vs. Predator, Scar fashioned a spear and shield for Lex out of a nearby old shaft and some body parts of xenomorph Lex just killed.
The Predator society comprised of multiple Clans with Council of Ancients as the prime ruling authority of their race, comprised of the most skillful and exalted of the Clans. Predators movie introduces two different clans that are engaged in a long lasting blood feud, which are "Jungle Hunter Clan" and "Super Predator Clan" where the latter arguably marked as Bad Blood judging from their dirty hunting style compared to their more honorable rival. In the recently released The Predator, two more Predator Clans are introduced: One which the Fugitive Predator happened to the member of and another is Assassin Predator's. As with "Jungle Hunter Clan" and "Super Predator Clan", these two clans seemed to have sort of rivalry against each other for quite some time. The status of both Clans in the said movie appeared to be debatable due to their questionable ways: A member of Fugitive Predator's Clan, the Fugitive Predator himself, shown to carry out a mission where he must deliver hi-tech armor called Predator Killer manufactured by his kind to humanity so they could fend of an oncoming invasion in spite of obvious risk of exile, whereas Assassin Predator Clan have records of performing gene therapy to create super soldiers out of their members with use of DNA taken from most formidable life-forms in the galaxy (humans included).
When hunting humans, Predators normally avoid certain individuals such as children and some adults if they are unarmed, though they will spare armed ones if they happen to be pregnant or sickly. A human who has managed to kill a Predator in single combat or has fought alongside one is usually spared by the deceased hunter's comrades of his kind and given a gift (often a rare or exotic weapon) as a sign of respect. An example of the latter case is seen in the comic Predator: 1718, where a predator called Greyback aka. Golden Angel join forces with pirate captain Raphael Adolini after his hunt on the captain's crew went wrong with Adolini's crew turned against their leader. In the ensuing fight, the dying Adolini gave his flintlock gun to the Predator before succumbing to his wounds. Out of the respect on his human ally, Greyback buried the captain and left him a gift in form of his sword on his grave. Similarly, in Paul W.S. Anderson's Alien vs. Predator, the main protagonist named Alexa Woods was given an ornate combistick spear by the leader of hunting party after impressed by her and Scarface's teamwork in stopping another Xenomorph outbreak at Antartica.