This pictorial storyboard so to speak, encompasses the chain of events throughout the Alien, Predator, Prometheus, and AVP run of films. Other than the movies, official virals, or the scripts, no external sources (fan fiction / theories, games, comic books) were referenced regarding the timeline. Since so many screenwriters have contributed their own input into the ongoing story, there are timeline conflicts even within the official cinema universe. It would be futile to try to reconcile these timeline conflicts, so I am just presenting what was given us throughout the films.
A PREHISTORIC PERIOD
Unknown Planet: If not Earth, similar in many ways. Mountain peaks poke through the vast span of cloud cover. River deltas, forests and flood plains. A raw natural world. No trace of civilization. A shadow sweeps over the land. The shadow glides over mountains and glaciers. A vast black ship hangs in the sky. A figure walks out to the edge of the waterfall.
A man - and yet not a man. His features heavy and classical. His skin is snow-white. His glittering eyes entirely black. He is an Engineer. He places a featureless black container on the ground. He removes his cloak. His smooth head is hairless. The Engineer opens the black container: inside lies a cake of dark, sticky material. He lifts the dark cake with ceremonial slowness.
He raises the seething cake to his mouth like the sacrament. In the distance, the large ship disappears into the clouds. Black goo boils out of the dark material, it swarms over his face. Under the swarm his skin melts away. A horrific vision of black blood and dissolving bone. It is devouring him. The black goo absorbs his genetic material. It swarms his shoulders, his chest.
When it reaches his hips, he collapses, toppling majestically like a felled tree. The black goo disperses in all directions. Living DNA on the wing. His crumbling body falls into the crushing waterfall. Under water, the figure disintigrates. A fevered glimpse of the microscopic: cells rupture and bleed. Protein chains unfold. A DNA spiral unravels.
35,000 B.C. AND LATER
Ancient civilizations that were separated by centuries, create cave paintings and stone works of art showing man worshiping giant beings pointing to the stars. Egyptian, Mayan, Sumerian, Babylonian, Hawaiian, Mesopotamian, and the oldest from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. These civilizations all portrayed the same galactic system so far from Earth that there's no way that they could have possibly known about it.
A blue green planet is seen from space. A Predator spacecraft approaches for the very first time. Thousands of years ago, alien hunters, known as 'Predators,' found this backwater planet. They taught humans how to build and were worshiped as Gods. On the steps of the first Pyramid, primitive tribal chiefs prostrate themselves before their "Gods."
Four great Pyramids, directly above each, hovers a Predator Spacecraft. Every hundred years the Gods would return ... And when they did, they would expect a sacrifice. Chosen sacrificial victims are anointed by tribal priests.
As the victims lay back willingly on the sacrificial stones, an Alien Egg hosting a 'Face Hugger' is at the foot of each slab. Humans were used to breed the ultimate prey. A victim convulses on the sacrificial slab. The skin of her chest begins to distend. Something is forcing its way out.
'Chest Bursters' erupt from the victims' chests and they soon grow into formidable beasts. The Hunters would battle these Great Serpents, known simply as 'Aliens,' to prove themselves worthy to carry the mark. A Predator stands atop the Pyramid. He holds the head of the Alien aloft. He is triumphant. Above him, a Predator Spacecraft descends through the electrical storm.
On a pyramid top, three Predators are in a battle formation, fighting back-to-back. Revealed, are dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of Aliens, circling and attacking. The Pyramid is alive with Aliens, like some giant anthill.
But if the Hunters lost, they made sure that nothing survived. Just at the moment when the Predators are about to be overwhelmed, they activate their self destruct mechanism, a portable weapon of mass destruction built in their wrist console. A powerful shockwave sweeps across the pyramids, vaporizing everything in its path. Like a miniature atomic bomb. An entire civilization wiped out overnight.
OCTOBER 10, 1904
Antarctica - Bouvetoya Island, Razorback Point Whaling Station. The last frontier on earth is a harsh land of snow and ice. Structures resembling barns live on the edge of the sea covered in snow and surrounded by enormous tabular icebergs. Smoke rises from boiling kettle drums. There is no sign of human life. Everyone just mysteriously disappeared.
Suddenly from nowhere, Karl, a tough, bearded, strapping whaler, appears. He's out of breath as if something has been chasing him, terror on his face. Karl enters the mess hall. He peers into the room. The place is empty. A blur passes in front of him distorting the outline of Karl. A Predator, but more like a ghost image. The Predators possess cloaking technology.
Karl looks up in horror. Predator blades now hellishly appear before Karl as he scurries back. He's helpless. Three laser dots scan across Karl. This is the Predator's targeting technology. The Predators also have visual technology that scans in various spectrums . . . known as Predator Vision. In Predator Vision, we see Karl, he is frozen with fear. But now something else has Karl's attention.
The image rescans and reveals an 'Alien.' Seen only in an instant, nearly subliminal imagery. The twin mouths open and prepare to strike. The Alien lunges towards the Predator. The Predator's twin blades swing towards the creature.
A Predator spacecraft enters the Earth's atmosphere and jettisons a pod, which descends into a Central American jungle. Later, Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer arrives in the same area, Guatemala, with his elite team for an operation to rescue a presidential cabinet minister who had been abducted by guerrilla forces. Dutch's old military friend George Dillon, now working for the CIA, accompanies them as a liaison.
The team is inserted into the jungle by helicopter and begins its hunt. They soon find the wreckage of a downed helicopter and later, the remains of Army Special Forces soldiers, whose presence in the country puzzles Dutch. The group is horrified to find the bodies have been hung and have had their skin removed.
They track the guerrillas to a heavily defended rebel encampment, which they destroy except for a woman named Anna whom they take prisoner. Dutch is enraged when Dillon confesses the rescue mission was just a ploy to get his group to attack the rebel camp. As the team make their way to the extraction point, they are observed from afar by a Predator using thermal imaging, Predator Vision.
Anna briefly escapes, but when team member Hawkins catches her, he is stabbed and dragged off. The nearly invisible Predator spares the unarmed Anna. Moments later, while the team is looking for Hawkins's body, team member Blain is killed. Team member Mac sees the Predator and opens fire on it, but it disappears into the jungle. Anna offers the team insight on the Predator which has been a local legend for centuries.
The team sets a trap, but the Predator avoids capture, severely wounding team member Poncho in the process. Mac and Dillon are killed in the ensuing chase, and team member Billy is slain making a stand. The Predator catches up to Dutch and engages in a short shootout during which Poncho is killed. Realizing the Predator only attacks those possessing weapons, a wounded Dutch sends Anna unarmed to the extraction point.
Jumping off a waterfall, he narrowly escapes the Predator by masking his body's heat signature with mud and witnesses the Predator's true form when its active camouflage fails in the water. Dutch applies more mud, improvises various weaponry and traps, then baits the Predator into coming out by starting a large fire, and yelling a loud, barbaric war cry.
Hearing Dutch's war cry, the Predator arrives to investigate. Despite suffering minor injuries from his improvisation, the Predator eventually locates and traps Dutch. Discarding its electronic weaponry and infrared-vision helmet as a sign of respect, the muscular alien challenges Dutch to hand-to-hand combat. The ensuing fight is one-sided; the Predator is easily able to beat Dutch into submission, and moves in for the kill.
Battered and barely able to move, Dutch manages to drop the counterweight from one of his traps, which falls and crushes the Predator. As Dutch asks the mortally wounded alien what it is, the Predator mimics his question in garbled English and then activates a self-destruct mechanism on its wrist, laughing maniacally as it does so. Dutch barely escapes the explosion and is rescued by helicopter, along with Anna.