The Raphael Adolini 1715 flintlock pistol given by the Greyback Predator to Lieutenant Mike Harrigan at the end of Predator 2 is a memorable trophy and a weapon shrouded in mystery. While an initial backstory was provided by the Predator: 1718 comic book released in 1996, the recent Prey movie overwrote that explanation. In this article, we dwell on the alternate backstories and the possible final fate of the pistol.
Raphael Adolini Pistol Given To Liutenant Harrigan By Greyback
In the climactic ending of Predator 2, Lieutenant Harrigan killed the City Hunter on the hidden Predator ship and the Lost Tribe revealed themselves in a circle around the man. The leader of the Predators, the elder Greyaback, gave Harrigan an old flintlock pistol with the engraving "Raphael Adolini 1715" on the side while saying "Take It". No explanation was given in the movie, but this "trophy" pointed out that the Predators have hunted on Earth for centuries and taken trophies from men before. It further indicated that an individual Predator can live for much longer than a human. Before the third Predator movie (Predators), there were plans in the very early stages for making a "Predator vs. Pirates" movie and the flintlock pistol would have led to that.
Raphael Adolini, The Pirate Captain from Predator: 1718
A backstory to the flintlock pistol was first given in the comic Predator: 1718, released by Dark Horse six years after Predator 2. In this short, but colorful story, a group of pirates mutinied against their captain Raphael Adolini over a case of treasure. The Greyback Predator (then nicknamed the Golden Angel) observed the mutiny and was thrown into the middle of it, fighting side by side with Adolini against the mutineers. Together they managed to take down the pirates, however, Adolini was mortally wounded. His last act was to give the Yautja his flintlock pistol, with "Raphael Andolini 1715" (mispelled from Adolini) engraved on it, saying "Take It". Raphael Adolini was then buried with the Golden Angel giving his final respects.
Raphael Adolini, The French Trapper From Prey
Although already explained in the Dark Horse comic, the latest Predator movie Prey retconned these events and depicted the pistol belonging to a French trapper, not a pirate captain. The main character Naru obtained the pistol from a Frenchman named Raphael Adolini who taught her how to use it, explaining to add gunpowder with "not too little, not too much". She then successfully (and painfully) shot the Feral Predator in the head with it, although the Predator initially survived but died from a bolt gunshot to the head. The flintlock pistol remained with Naru who took both the head of Feral and the pistol as trophies of her first successful, earning the respect of her male-lead tribe.
The Ending Of Prey Leading To Prey 2
Surprisingly, Greyback Predator does not appear in Prey at all, but could easily show up in the sequel. A theoretical Prey 2 (which is already rumored) could explain how the pistol ended up in Greyback Elder Predator's hands. It is possible that young Greyback is one of the Predators arriving in the three ships seen in the ending animation, although he seems to belong to a different Yautja clan, due to the big anatomical differences between Feral and Greyback. Perhaps three different clans arrive on the ships, setting up some kind of clan battle, where Naru is tossed in the middle and loses the pistol to Greyback. However, losing the pistol would not be a big loss to Naru, who is more interested in the survival of her tribe than prized Predator trophies.
The Final Fate of the Flintlock Pistol
Just as the origins of the flintlock pistol are shrouded in conflict and mystery, so is the final fate. Lieutenant Harrigan was seen carrying the pistol when walking out of the sewers, escaping the aftermath of the Lost Tribe ship leaving Earth. He was approached by the OWLF, who might have had a small interest in the pistol. As described in the Predator: Stalking Shadows book, OWLF collected all the City Hunter related gear and weaponry scattered around Los Angeles, including his bio-mask, spear, and arm. Harrigan was shown to be a man interested in guns, if not even collecting them, having a car trunk full of different weaponry. Furthermore, in the Predator: If It Bleeds book, Harrigan was shown to be taking part in a gun convention in South America, where he encounters and kills another Predator. Most likely, the Raphael Adolini 1715 Pistol entered the gun collection of Harrigan, or just his car trunk, if not being forcefully taken by the OWLF.
Inextricably tied to the enigmatic world of the Yautja, the Raphael Adolini 1715 flintlock pistol remains a symbol of history and uncertainty. Passed from the elder Greyback Predator to Lieutenant Mike Harrigan in the climax of Predator 2, its origins shifted through conflicting narratives, evolving from pirate mutiny to a trapper's possession in the Prey movie. While the Predator: 1718 story was a great and short way to show a young Greyback Elder meeting pirates, Prey went for a more intricate approach while avoiding Greyback altogether. Unfortunately, there is no good way to make both stories fit together, like it usually is with expanded universe lore. It is yet to be seen if we will get another glimpse of the legendary pistol in the upcoming Predator 6.