Stan Winston, silver-haired demon and chief architect of nightmares the world over, died in his home in Malibu on this day in 2008, hopefully after transferring his consciousness to an ageless state-of-the-art animatronic he developed in his spare time that continues to work in secret, creating the scariest robots in the world for scary movies and theme parks.
While there will be memorials and retrospectives of his work on this day each year, all around the web, we're taking a moment to ask how some of his creations would've said their goodbyes.
The Predator Predators love to hunt. Seriously, that's all they do. Their entire planet and culture is devoted to the idea of traveling light-years to diverse and mystifying worlds in order to mercilessly slaughter as much as of the indiginous life as possible. They're the white settlers of the stars, but instead of tuberculosis-infected blankets, they have lasers that fire from an auto-aiming shoulder cannon.
Unlike those settlers, however, there is a ritual they perform in taking trophies of their prey, implying a sort of reverence. That would mean that the Predator would be acting with the utmost respect when he tied Stan Winston to a tree by his feet, skinned him, and removed his skull and spine to be proudly displayed in the center position in his ship's trophy room, just between the Queen Alien's skull and Wolverine's claws.*
The Terminator The first Terminators had rubber skin, and the rebels spotted them easily. So Skynet needed something new -- something that looked truly human. The first thing that the Terminator would do to memorialize Stan Winston would be to go back in time and try to prevent him from dying. No one could ever make a Terminator look real like Stan Winston could.
Recognizing Skynet's plans, John Connor would have no choice but to send his most prized soldier, Kyle Reese, back in time as well, to kill Stan Winston before the Terminator could get him to develop the technology Skynet would need years later. Along the way, Reese would discover that Stan Winston is his father and have an internal struggle about whether or not it's even possible to kill him. Luckily, by now the fourth Terminator movie would have come out, so the idea of the time travel making sense is completely unnecessary, if not frowned upon.
The Terminator would memorialize Stan Winston the only way he knows how: by slowly lowering himself into molten steel so that Winston couldn't reverse-engineer his tech, thus saving Winston from being killed by his own son.
The full-size animatronic T-Rex from Jurassic Park/the Alien queen
Both of these creators are lumbering, mindless animals, driven by instinct. In the T-Rex's case, the goal is to kill things and then eat them, especially obnoxious little shits that can't sit still in their automated jeep seat. The Alien queen is more interested in creating an army of perfect, mindless weapons that gestate inside of other creatures before ripping themselves out of them and killing everything in their universe via fangs, claws, slime and acid blood.
Their memorial for Winston isn't much of one, considering that, upon hearing the news, both seemed immediately preoccupied with the idea of eating him.
Pumpkinhead Pumpkinhead is an unstoppable force for vengeance, most famously called up by Lance Henriksen after some gosh-darn city kids accidentally murder his son in an awkward dirt bike accident.
But Winston died of multiple myaloma, which means that the only thing Pumpkinhead would have to turn his righteous fury upon would be cancerous cells. In all people.
Therefore, Pumpkinhead would actively hunt and kill all forms of cancer, creating a new, 100 percent effective form of chemotherapy, guaranteed to cure cancer after a little bit of pain and teeth gnashing.
His memorial for Stan Winston would be the Stan Winston/Pumpkinhead Cancer Cure.
Or he'd just go after bloggers writing stupid articles about Winston's death.
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Okay, that idea is gonna keep me up nights.
*Logan's severed claws are an easter egg in the trophy room Danny Glover finds in Predator II, so that joke makes sense.