The cosmic dance done by the Xenomorphs and the Yautja goes far beyond their seemingly eternal conflict and includes the very worlds on which these expert-killers respectively reside, as both Alien and Predator’s deadliest planets are quite literally exact opposites.
The Xenomorph and the Yautja species are tangled in a cosmic web of mutually beneficial existences. The Predators need to hunt Xenomorphs to carry on their Blooding Ritual, which is a rite of passage Yautja must undergo that dictates they kill one or a horde of Xenomorphs and then brand themselves with the mark of their clan before they are considered to be fully mature. In order to ensure the Xenomorphs’ prevalence in the galaxy to continue this ritualistic hunt, Predators seed planets with Xenomorph life, which is obviously also beneficial for the Xenomorphs, as they can’t travel the cosmos themselves. In other words, they need each other while remaining bitter rivals on the battlefield. This is a universal truth in the franchise that seems to transcend conscious thought, as the latest example of how the Predators and Xenomorphs are the same yet opposite is shockingly void of either one’s influence over the other.
Alien’s Planet Is A Technological Graveyard, Predator’s Is A Primal Hunting Ground
In Alien Vol. 2 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Julius Ohta, readers are introduced to the planet Tobler-9. This world was a paradise for humanity, but it was also secretly a scientific experimentation base operated by Weyland-Yutani. The laboratories not only had Xenomorphs on-hand, but the scientists also conducted dangerous experiments using Xenomorph DNA. The standout ‘breakthrough’ came in the form of a mosquito with Xenomorph DNA, one which could turn humans into Xenomorph hybrids with a single bite. By the end of this storyline, there were no humans left alive on Tobler-9, only Xenomorphs, the hybridized results of experimentation, and one human/Xenomorph hybrid. In Predator Vol. 2 by Ed Brisson and Netho Diaz, readers are introduced to a hunting preserve planet similar to the one shown in the film Predators. On this world, there is no technology or planet-ravaging experimentation, though the deadliest life forms in the galaxy do exist there, as they are regularly brought to the hunting preserve to be hunted by the Yautja themselves.
The way these two planets differ from one another is a testament to the differences in the Alien and Predator franchises. Alien is focused much more heavily on how humanity and its own scientific hubris is the real cosmic villain (whether that be with Xenomorphs, mutants, or even synthetics). Predator, on the other hand, always highlights the deadliness of the Predators themselves as well as the life forms they choose to hunt. Brutality and savagery is the root and stem of the Predator franchise, while Alien delves into humanity’s continuously failed efforts to control a universe that’s far more unforgiving than they’ll ever truly understand – and that dichotomy is quite literally felt on their respective deadliest worlds.
Both in-canon with their bizarre reliance on one another and in the meta-sense with the tonal and narrative differences between their separate franchises, Alien and Predator are almost exact opposites – with their only similarities being how proficient the Xenomorph and the Yautja are at killing – therefore, it’s no surprise that Alien and Predator’s deadliest planets are exact opposites as well.