Feral Predator: A Yautja Profile
The Feral Predator is the latest Yautja introduced in the Predator movies, debuting in Prey. With a different appearance and new gear, this Predator hunted in the Great Plains during the start of the 18th century and came into conflict with French trappers and a Comanche tribe. The Feral Predator got its nickname for its agile and vicious nature and its lower-tech weaponry. Here is an overview of the Feral Predator, including the events of the movie, details of his weaponry, technology, hunting tactics, and some behind-the-scenes information.
Arrival On Earth
The Feral Predator arrived on Earth in the year 1719, making it his clan's first visit to our planet. Although according to Alien vs. Predator lore, Predators hunted on Earth thousands of years ago, that was another clan that focused on hunting Xenomorphs. Feral arrived on a ship that was cloaked and appeared to onlookers as an approaching thunderstorm. He was set down on top of a mountain with a clear view of the surrounding Great Plains, which is located in the central part of Northern America. Although it appeared to be summer and Predators are known to be drawn to heat, it did not seem to be particularly hot.
Hunting a Snake
After descending the mountain, the Feral Predator immediately set out to explore and hunt the animals of Earth, which he had not seen before. While exploring, he kept his cloak on, as he was not sure who or what he was about to encounter. His first prey would be a snake, which was just in the process of hunting and eating a mouse, which in return, was eating an ant. The snake sensed that something was off, but Feral stabbed it through the head with his wristblades, a quick and effective kill. He then gutted the snake and made his first trophy belt.
Hunting a Wolf
After killing the snake, the Feral Predator moved up the food chain to a bigger adversary. In an open field, an unfortunate wolf unknowingly encountered the Feral's path while chasing a rabbit. The wolf was taken aback by the sudden presence of an unseen adversary. Despite being smaller and unarmed, the wolf displayed remarkable tenacity, utilizing its acute senses to see through the camouflage. It managed to draw blood from the Feral's leg, but the agile Yautja swiftly retaliated, delivering a fatal blow to the wolf's abdomen, concluding the skirmish within seconds. Subsequently, the Feral meticulously detached the wolf's spine, preparing it as a prized addition to their collection of trophies.
Hunting a Bear
The biggest Earth animal that the Feral Predator faced was a grizzly bear. The bear was already aggravated by Naru, a Native American who was trying to prove herself as a hunter. She shot an arrow into the bear, which only slightly wounded it and made it chase her into the river. Just as the bear was about to reach Naru, the Feral Predator came to the rescue and pulled the bear away. After a short skirmish, the bear seemingly got the upper hand, but was face-punched by the Yautja who then gutted the bear, raising it over his head as the blood dripped on his cloak, revealing the Predator's body. This encounter left a strong impression on Naru, who now knew that a monster was lurking in the woods.
Hunting Native Americans
After defeating the three animals, the Feral Predator was ready to hunt the ultimate prey - humans. His first encounter with humans came when three Comanche warriors were taking Naru back to their camp and Feral stalked them from the trees. Feral took out the first warrior with his bolt gun, using his laser targeting to confuse the unlucky man. The second and third warriors offered a bigger challenge, and after receiving some minor flesh wounds, Feral took them out with his spear. Seeing the massacre, Naru escaped, but the Feral ran after her. When Naru was incapacitated by a bear trap, French trappers appeared and the Feral took a more cautious stance, deciding to observe them for a while.
Fight With French Trappers
Unbeknownst to the Feral Predator, the French trappers already had some knowledge of the Yautja roaming the forests, and decided to set up a trap for him. They used Naru and his brother Taabe as bait in a small desolate valley, and set up snipers around them. However, as one might expect, the Predator took this as a challenge and reacted to the trap swiftly and violently. He massacred most of the trappers with his wristblades, while some were diced with his net trap. A final group of Frenchmen fell for a trap of three explosive mines, which exploded in their faces. During the massacre, Naru and Taabee managed to free themselves and escape to the outskirts of the trapper's camp.
Feral Predator vs. Taabe
The fight with the French trappers took its toll on the Feral Predator, and he had to administer some first aid from the medikit. However, one of his toughest opponents was to become Taabe, the brother of Naru. Taabe acquired a horse and attacked the Yautja on horseback, knocking off the bio-mask and shooting arrows into him. While Feral was distracted by both Naru and the dog Sarii, Taabe stabbed Feral with his own combistick. Feral had enough and activated his cloak, which momentarily confused both Naru and Taabe. Taabe was then stabbed through the chest with the wristblades of Feral but still managed to counter-stab the crazed Yautja in the foot. Naru escaped, but she had gained valuable knowledge in fighting the Predator, which she could use later.
Final Fight With Naru
The Feral Predator had now received multiple serious wounds and might have even contemplated ending this first hunt, however, Naru took the initiative. She sneaked up behind the Feral Predator by using the "totsiyaa", an orange and somewhat magical flower that lowers the body temperature when consumed. Naru shot Feral in the head with the 1715 Raphel Adolini pistol (later turning up in Predator 2) and grabbed his dropped bio-mask. Feral followed her and the two engaged in a melee where Feral received more and more damage, while Naru stayed mostly unhurt. After accidentally chopping off his own arm with the gauntlet shield in a state of fury, Feral fell into the mud of the swamp. Naru had set up a trap using Feral's bio-mask laser targeting and the Yautja shot himself in the head with the bolt gun, not even realizing what was happening.
Final Fate Of Feral Predator
After Feral Predator's death, Naru cut off his head and let the body sink into the bottom of the swamp, along with the remaining gear or weapons. The bio-mask possibly remained between the rocks near the swamp, or Naru just dropped it in the swamp as well. Naru took the head of Feral back to his tribe and presented it as evidence of her great victory over the monster, to prove her worthiness as a warrior. Naru also still held the 1715 Raphen Adolini pistol that somehow ended up in the hands of Greyback Predator in Predator 2. Soon after reuniting with her tribe, three new Predator ships appeared in the sky, possibly trying to find out what happened to Feral or reclaim his body and weapons.
Feral Predator Weapons
The Feral Predator brought some new Yautja weapons to his hunt, but also, a few familiar ones. For close-quarters combat, he mostly used the wristblades, which were traditionally attached to his right arm. Giving a bit more reach was the spear (also called combistick), which was uniquely split in half, allowing him to use one half as a club, while the other was for stabbing or throwing. Although the speargun has been seen in Predator lore before, Feral used a new version of it which shot bolts. The bolts could be auto-aimed by his laser sight attached to the bio-mask, similar to the Yautja shoulder cannon, which the Feral Predator did not have at all. Finally, Feral used explosive mines which have so far only shown up in Predator games before.
Feral Predator Gear
Just like with weapons, the gear of Feral was a combination of unseen technology mixed with the familiar. Feral used minimal armor, the least seen in any of the movie Predators. His chest and shoulder were not protected, possibly connecting to the fact that he did not wear a shoulder cannon. A unique piece of gear was the gauntlet shield, which could be used both defensively and offensively. It protruded out of the gauntlet and formed a ring around it, deflecting any projectiles. Feral had at least one healing device - a first aid gun which was attached to his belt. Finally, Feral Predator had a dissolving spray that he used to clean trophies - he cleansed a wolf head with it.
Feral Predator Bio-Mask
The Feral Predator bio-mask was in large parts made of bone and was unlike any other Yautja mask seen before. The skull on top of the mask possibly belonged to the River Ghost creature seen in Predators, an intelligent entity that the Yautja hunt for sport, just like humans. The Feral Predator's eyes were much wider than regular Predator's, this produced the effect that the mask had no eye slots. The internals of the mask was not seen in the movie, but some images of it have been released behind the scenes. The insides were layered with advanced Yautja technology, providing vision modes and other capabilities. Like on other Predators, the targeting three-dot laser was located on the right side of the mask, but it was able to move all dots independently, which guided the projectiles of the bolt gun.
Feral Predator Vision Mode
The Feral Predator used the regular thermal vision that has become an iconic feature of all Predators. He seemed to not have any of the special Yautja vision modes, that would be introduced later in the timeline, like the technical vision or X-Ray vision. Perhaps he just had no need for other vision modes, only hunting outdoors against low-tech opponents. However, his thermal vision did display some tactical information about his enemies, similar to the Upgrade Vision of the Assassin Predator. Unfortunately we did not get to see the Feral Predator's vision without the bio-mask, which would have presumably been red and blurry.
Feral Predator Ship
The ship that the Feral Predator arrived on looked small and had the same orange cloaking effect that surrounded the Yautja himself. The ship's arrival in Earth's atmosphere produced an effect similar to a thunderstorm, perhaps it was an earlier technology that was perfect for later Predator hunts. The ship might have been on auto-pilot and returned to orbit after dropping off Feral, or perhaps there was a single pilot. Three other Predator ships arrived over the Comanche village after Naru returned from killing Feral They were possibly bigger ships with slightly different designs, but it is difficult to determine due to the simple animation of the end credits.
Feral Predator Rank And Type
The Predator rank of Feral is not specified, but he is seemingly a young but experienced hunter that has not reached Elite status yet. Although he has not hunted on Earth before, he has fought on other planets and claimed at least the trophy skull that he forged into this bio-mask. The Feral Predator's different appearance can be explained by him being from a different continent of Yautja Prime, which was also hinted at by director Dan Trachtenberg. The filmmakers even mentioned him possibly being a "Desert Predator", living in arid and simple conditions on his homeworld. He can be considered to be a new subspecies of Yautja, that we will see more members of in the future. His unique characteristics include darker skin, wider eyes, thin dreadlocks, and smaller mandibles.
Feral Predator Clan
Like his rank and type, the clan of the Feral Predator is difficult to determine. However, they seemed to at least follow the Yautja honor code previously established in the Predator franchise, including hunting only worthy prey and not killing innocents. After Feral was killed, three of his clan ships arrived near the Comanche camp to determine what had happened. Somehow, the 1715 Raphel Adolini pistol held by Naru would end up in the hands of the Greyback Predator in Predator 2, hinting at a connection between Feral Predator's clan and the Lost Tribe. Perhaps they were rival clans that had a Blood Feud or Feral was actually part of the predecessor of the Lost Tribe. This will surely be clarified in Predator Prey 2, which is hopefully upcoming.
Behind The Scenes
Behind the scenes, the Predator creature effects were created by Studio ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics), as had been the case with all of the latest Predator movies. Inside the suit was actor Dane DiLiegro, while Kyle Strauts also did some scenes (he had previously played the Fugitive Predator in The Predator). By the direction of director Dan Trachtenberg, Studio ADI tried to make the Predator as thin and agile as possible, making it distinct from other movie Predators. Dane DiLiegro had to lose a lot of weight for the role and learn parkour to improve his movement. Another theme was in adding to its scariness, by introducing bones (also on its mask) and a more vicious nature of the Predator. Although Studio ADI also created the Predator's face effects with animatronics, it was deemed unworthy by the director and the movie went with digital effects instead, to varying degrees of success.
In conclusion, the Feral Predator brought a fresh and intriguing addition to the Predator franchise in the movie Prey, with its unique appearance, agile nature, and lower-tech weaponry. Arriving on Earth in the 18th century, this Yautja from a different continent displayed a distinctive bio-mask made of bone, wider eyes, and a thinner body. While its rank and clan affiliation remained ambiguous, the Feral Predator's characteristics hinted at a potential new subspecies and a connection to the Lost Tribe. Its gear featured minimal armor, a gauntlet shield, and healing devices, complemented by the use of regular thermal vision.