( CNN) In 1979 , none of the promotional material for the film “Alien” depicted moviegoers even a glimpse of the titular animal.

The star of this monster movie in space was invisible up until the moment people actually bought tickets and went into theaters. 20 th Century Fox employed this strategy because it wanted audiences to be completely surprised by the way the monster seemed.

The gamble paid for by. Thirty-eight years later, the design of the xenomorph animal from “Alien” specified a new standard for how science fiction films depict extraterrestrials.

This month, the extraterrestrials from the “Alien” film series return to terrorize film audiences in “Alien: Covenant.” But the nightmarish appear of the foreigner will scarcely be shocking.