Prey has a number of references and Easter eggs that relate to the Predator franchise, especially the first two movies. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and starring Amber Midthunder as a Comanche warrior named Naru, Prey is the first prequel in the Predator franchise and the first to feature a female lead. The rest of the cast is made up of mostly Native and First Nation talent, including Dakota Beavers, who plays Naru's brother, Taabe. Prey is set 300 years before the events of 1987's Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is frequently referenced as the best in the series.
The first Predator set up the standard of tropes that have helped define the creature, including its signature weapons, mannerisms, sounds, and tactics. Although Prey takes plays centuries before the John McTiernan-directed original, showcasing the alien hunter's first time on Earth, there are a number of callbacks and references to the first Predator, as well as to the 1990 sequel, Predator 2, which starred Danny Glover as a detective in Los Angeles investigating the mysterious being. Predator 2 introduced more weapons, technology, and tropes, as well as a signature pistol that ties the entire franchise together.
Prey capitalizes on the familiar aspects of the films, while also creating its own identity in a fitting prequel story set centuries earlier that pays proper respect to the overall franchise. While Prey has its own bag of tricks in terms of fleshing out the infamous Predator, there is a multitude of references throughout that harken back to the original film —as well as some of the sequels. Below are the Easter eggs and references that can be found in the movie Prey.
Predator 2's Flintlock Pistol Continues Its Franchise Journey
The 1715 flintlock pistol that Naru steals in Prey from the trappers has the same inscription as the one given to Danny Glover's character by an Elder Predator in Predator 2. This inscription reads "Raphael Adolini 1715," and its story has since been told in comic book form. Raphael Adolini was revealed to be a pirate captain who gifted a Predator the pistol with his dying breath, saying, "take it," the same line repeated to Glover's character in Predator 2. This is the biggest Easter egg in Prey by far, as it connects the movie to the entire Predator franchise, although it's unclear if any future appearances will acknowledge the comic origin of the pistol or if they will treat Prey as the true beginning of its journey.
Predator's "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" Line
While captured and being used as bait, Naru tells her brother Taabe that she doesn't know if the Predator can be killed. Taabe then repeats the famous line said by Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch in his one Predator movie: "If it bleeds, we can kill it." This is an Easter egg nod to the original film and one of the most-repeated lines of any movie ever.
Schwarzenegger's Mud Camouflage And Tree Hiding Spot
When Naru initially discovers the mud pit in the forest, she is sucked into it, nearly drowning. She uses her tomahawk with attached rope to pull herself out, covered in mud and looking very much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch from the first Predator when he discovers that mud can be used to camouflage himself from the creature. The tree branches that Naru rests against after she pulls herself out create a near-perfect reference to Dutch covered in mud and blending in with the branches to hide from the Predator after escaping the waterfall.
The Predator's Skull Trophy Taxidermy Practice
In both the first and second of the Predator movies, the process of melting off the flesh of a skull to turn it into a highly polished trophy is shown in grotesque detail, and Prey also features this tradition. A flesh-melting mist is used on a wolf head, showing the flesh dissolving until a skull is all that remains. This is a common practice as referenced in most of the Predator movies but is far more intricate in the first two. That would make sense as the Predators likely became more fond of their Earth trophies over time and learned how to display them with more polish.
Predator First Aid Kit - Prey's Creature Treats Its Wounds
A common trope in the Predator franchise is to show the Predator treat its wounds with its alien first aid kit. In the first Predator, the creature treats a bullet wound while sitting in a tree, using tools that look familiar, while injecting itself with some kind of substance. In 1990's Predator 2, the creature treats itself when Danny Glover's character cuts off its arm, sealing the wound while using an apartment bathroom in L.A., even making a paste out of crushed tiles. In Prey, the creature simply takes a moment to inject itself with a needle and then seal a cut across its leg, a proper reference to the earlier Predator films.
Setting Booby Traps To Outsmart The Predator
Naru's traps aren't as immersive and robust as they are in the original Predator film, but she makes a concerted effort to construct a few. One of those includes some sharp spikes carved out of wood, which is an Easter egg referencing one of the same things Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch used in the ending of the original Predator. Naru also uses human bait, capturing a trapper and cutting off his leg while giving him a weapon to lure the Predator in. In Predator, Dutch uses himself as bait at one point, which springs the first of his booby traps. In Prey, Naru similarly uses her wits and skills to create a carefully woven trap for the Predator that spells its doom.
Escape Through Water - Naru Copies The Recurring Predator Trope
When Naru attempts to hunt and kill a brown bear, she ends up having to escape it, swimming into a beaver den where the bear gives chase. The Predator appears and kills the bear, which is Naru's first time seeing it. The Predator sees her as well, but before it can capture her, Naru jumps into the river and makes a clean getaway by floating down the current. This water escape in Prey is a reference to both Dutch's escape in 1987's Predator when he slides off a cliff into a waterfall and again in 2010's Predators when the main characters jump off a waterfall to escape pursuing Predator hunters.
A Torch In The Dark - Prey Emulates One of Predator's Most Famous Scenes
At the end of the original Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch finishes setting up his traps for the Predator, covers himself in mud, and prepares to set a fire that will lure the creature to him. In one of the most iconic scenes, he lights up a torch and gives a barbaric yell before tossing the torch in order to light a bigger fire. In Prey, Naru and her fellow Comanche warriors are seen carrying torches that look very similar to the one Dutch had, although they are using them to light their way home in the dark, not to lure in an alien from another world. It's a small, clever Easter egg and hat tip to the original Predator.
Predator Legacy Weapons - The Double-Blade Gauntlet, Three-Dot Laser, And More
The weapons and technology of the Predator race are a major aspect of its culture, as well as the franchise, and Prey takes a unique approach to referencing them. The familiar weapons include the double-bladed gauntlet that's seen in every Predator film, as well as the retracting spear and netting, which made their debut in Predator 2 and were later featured in other films, including the first Alien vs. Predator crossover movie. While there is no plasma canon, there is a projectile launcher that's similar, with the Predator using the three-dot laser from its helmet to target its prey, a clear reference to the common franchise staple. The Predator also has the countdown gauntlet with the red-glowing tics that lead to an explosion when activated, although in Prey the explosives launch from within as smaller devices.