Edge Of Tomorrow draws much of its appeal from its so-obviously-brilliant-that-it’s-amazing-no-one-has-tried-it-before premise of merging Groundhog Day with interstellar war. But it helps that the alien participants in the aforementioned conflict, the invading menace known as the Mimics, are so wonderfully designed. Reminiscent of the terrifying, squid-like Sentinels from the Matrix movies, the Mimics’ appearance, all inhuman tentacles and brightly glowing colors, simultaneously expresses their utterly alien natures, as well as making them easy to identify on the movie’s often-chaotic battlefields.

This gallery of recently released concept art, though, shows that the alien invaders could have looked very, very different. Several of the images imagine the film’s antagonists as crude, blocky recreations of the human form—presumably a reference to the movie’s origins in the manga All You Need Is Kill, where the aliens earn their name by mimicking Earth’s native life. Others are closer to what we see in the film, but with color schemes and body compositions that give the creatures a distinctly larval air. Many of the designs seem influenced by the late H. R. Giger, with oily-looking fusions of mechanical and biological life.


While these designs are intriguing, it’s hard to argue against director Doug Liman’s ultimate choice of a cleaner, color-coded appearance for his movie’s antagonists. And, frankly, none of the production designs manage to approach the bizarre horror of the Mimics’ starfish-inspired appearance in the comic, pictured below.