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Subject: MOVIES: ALIEN FAQ part 3/4
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Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 17:04:00 GMT
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& ALIEN, ALIENS and ALIEN^3 &
& Information and Frequently Asked Questions &
& Version 2.1 &
& PART 3 of 4 &
12. FREQUENTLY DISCUSSED TOPICS
This section is intended for frequently asked questions that have many
diverse theories and explanations. I've included some of the more
plausible theories given for some of the topics. Wherever possible, I
tried to group the "for" and "against" cases.
* After the Nostromo blew up, and Ripley discovers that the alien is
* on board the escape capsule, why does the alien take SO long to attack
- The alien was coming to the end of its life cycle, when Ripley happened
to disturb it. It was slow to attack because it was dying. This theory is
supported by an older version of the _ALIEN_ script where Ash reveals that
the alien had made a nest and ensured the continutation of its species
(cocooned Dallas and transformed Brett into an egg) at which time the alien
itself would approach the end of its lifecycle; curl up and die.
- The DH comics speculate, that the Aliens are more prone to attack, when
(somehow) threatened. Since Ripley pretty much is defenseless, can't escape
and isn't attacking, why should the Alien hurry?
* In _ALIEN_, how does the company know about the aliens anyway, and how
* much do they know, and why don't they send a well trained scientific
* "collection" team ?
They knew about the derelict ship from the beacon signal that was picked
up by another space craft, maybe off course and with some technical
problems so that they could not investigate it themselves, or maybe it was
picked up by some automatic exploration vessel. Back on earth they had
enough computer power to unscramble the beacon. (remember that "Mother"
couldn't unscramble it completely). Some department of Weyland Yutani
decided to bring the next ship that came around that area close to LV-426.
It would then have to check out what was going on on the surface (this was
in the contract they signed). After the Nostromo was destroyed and didn't
return, the people who made the Nostromo alter its route got scared -in
the end they were responsible for the destruction of the Nostromo- and
deleted all files concerning the Nostromo's new route and LV-426. Ash was
planted on board for that reason: to find out what was on LV-426 and bring
it to them. They knew about a hostile creature from the beacon, but they
didn't expect something like _this_. [this theory is supported by the
- The same reasoning as above, except for the fact that Weyland Yutani knew
all about the aliens from the beacon. Some people claim that Ash knows
everything about the alien lifeform. This seems unlikely because of the way
Ash tries to get rid of the facehugger on Kane.
- They did not know everything about the aliens and just wanted to see what
happens ("crew expendable"), and Ash was supposed to store all information
in the computer (Ash gives us a few details about the aliens, but he does
not necessarily know everything from the start, he might have gathered
some things from what he has already seen on the Nostromo). Later, when
the Nostromo had returned to earth with it's autopilot, they could first
remote-access the computer and then, with all the information, decide
how to get out the alien eggs (or whatever was found to be there). In
that case they would have only lost 6 employees and perhaps an expensive
- The ship diverting to investigate the beacon (and assuming that the "crew
is expendable") is part of a standard procedure. All data collected
would be returned to the company when the ship returns to Earth. Since
the Nostromo did not return to Earth, the company did not know about
the aliens. (this theory assumes that no communication occurred between
the Nostromo and The Company AND that Ash was not necessarily "planted" on
the Nostromo for sinister reasons) [contradicting the novelisation]
* Near the beginning of _ALIENS_ when Ripley is at the inquiry, one of the
* company executives at the table estimates the value of the Nostromo at
* "42 million in adjusted dollars". Surely a ship as large as the Nostromo
* is worth more than 42 million ?
- In "adjusted dollars" suggests many things. One, that *A* dollar has been
adjusted from a previous dollar. And assuming that this is not very far into
the future, this previous dollar was most probably the U.S. dollar. It
suggests that the value of the dollar was readjusted in much the same way as
the currencies in some developing countries like Mexico have been adjusted
to take into account rampant inflation.
- "adjusted dollars" could refer to the original value of the ship translated
to what it would be worth at the present day. Perhaps the Nostromo is a
common ship that has seen mass-production and it's just not worth all that
much. This is not unrealistic as we know that ore is mined in tremendous
quantities (20,000,000,000 tonnes were being hauled by the Nostromo in
_ALIEN_) so the resources are readily available and we can assume that, with
increased space travel, a higher volume of space ships are being made.
(which, in turn, would lower the cost of assembly).
* In the 57 years between _ALIEN_ and _ALIENS_, why don't they try again
* to get some alien eggs?
- The bio-weapons division possibly started the whole thing without
permission, and then, after the catastrophic failure (loss of an expensive
space ship), they destroyed all information about it, and therefore the
general managment never knew about it (This appears to be exactly the way
Burke acts in _ALIENS_).
- "The company" seems to be quite large, with several divisions. Maybe the
whole alien plan was just an idea of the bio-weapons division, and after
the loss of the Nostromo the managment decided to give up because the risk
was much higher than the possible profit. Then, during the following
decades, they just forgot about it. Obviously Burke doesn't know about the
aliens before he got Ripley's report.
- It is possible that the company did not know about the aliens or anything
that occurred on the Nostromo UNTIL Ripley showed up (there is no evidence
that the Nostromo was communicating with the company in _ALIEN_)
* Are we really to believe that, having lost contact with an entire colony,
* the Colonial Marines send a warship out with only ONE SQUADRON of soldiers?
- Possibly, Burke had a fair idea of what has happened on LV-426 so by
sending a small number of soldiers, he was gambling that some would survive
and bring (accidentally or not) an Alien back to Earth.
- The company may have assumed that the colony's transmitter broke down or
the colony itself had suffered a horrible epidemic or just died out. So
the possibility of actually needing more troops was considered to be small.
- Several times in the movie it was implied that this group of marines had
been on these sort of "bug hunts" before (ie: the sign on the side of the
first dropship: "Bug Stomper" and Hudson asking, "Is this gonna be another
one of those bug hunts?" [Aliens]) They had been able to handle "bug
hunts" with one squad before, so why send more this time?
- The squad had enough fire power to deal with the situation, if they had
been fully armed and ANYWHERE other than underneath the primary heat
exchange for their first confrontation (in that confined space) then they
would've had no problem with defeating the aliens.
* Theories regarding the derelict space craft and its fossilized pilot (from
* the movie _ALIEN_).
- Perhaps the species that was transporting the eggs mirror the human errors
of judgement (made mostly by the Company) that were to follow. Perhaps
this species, like the Company, thought they could lower their guard,
treating the aliens like a commodity. Maybe their now dead/mute state
indicates where the human race might be heading as a result of the company's
- The species piloting the derelict craft were aware of the dangers of the
aliens, this is why they submersed the entire colony of eggs under the blue
"film". When the film is broken, it would trigger an alarm (sort of like
a laser-operated security system) and they'd know that there was motion in
- Suggested by an old draft of the _ALIEN_ script: the derelict craft landed
on LV-426 to make repairs, a silo of eggs (on the planet) was discovered
by the space jockey species and they got infested. The hull full of eggs
is in fact the crew of the derelict after being transformed into the eggs
(as shown in the Brett-egg scene edited out of the _ALIEN_ theatrical
- The derelict ship transported something else than the eggs. For instance, it
carried food, like meat, or animals. Somehow the pilot got impregnated with
an alien chestburster and just before it hatched, the pilot set down on
LV-426 (he didn't crash land because of the valuable cargo) and recorded
the distress signal. It put it on the air, and died when the chestburster
broke free. This chestburster got down, and grew into an alien. This alien
made an egg from the storage down below, a queen-egg. It hatched, and a
queen alien arose. This queen alien started to produce eggs from the stored
food/animals. The blue mist was conserving the food/animals, but was now
used to conserve the eggs. The full-grown aliens died, but the eggs
survived over the centuries.
* Was the derelict ship destroyed at the end of Aliens?
- Yes. The blast at the end of Aliens was big enough to destroy everything in
the neighbourhood. The ship was close enough to get blown to pieces.
- Probably not. The blast was -according to Bishop- 'the size of Nebraska',
but he was only referring to the size of 'the cloud of vapour' at that time.
An explosion that size hasn't been accounted for yet. It's not very likely
that something could create an explosion that would vapourise Nebraska.
There probably was only a real crater the
size of that was completely vapourised
destructive effect of the blast stopped at something about five miles or so.
Beyond that, there was 'only' the gust of wind. So the derelict ship is
* Alien intelligence. Although they have a large cranium, can they really
- In _ALIENS_, when Ripley is in the "hive", several aliens filter in to attack
her; Ripley threatens to flame the eggs and the queen waves them off. This
would indicate that the aliens can communicate and ARE intelligent.
- The alien in _ALIEN^3_ acted to protect Ripley (since she was carrying the
queen embryo) when the doctor was going to give her an injection and when
Dillon grabbed her (near the end). This would indicate that the alien can
reason through situations.
- The aliens in _ALIENS_ cut the power to the complex. (unless this was just
- A quote from James Cameron [STARLOG #125, DEC 1987]
" One admittedly confusing aspect of this creature's behavior
(which was unclear as well in ALIEN) is the fact that sometimes the
warrior will capture prey for a host, and other times, simply kill it.
For example, Ferro the dropship pilot is killed outright while Newt, and
previously most of the colony members, were only captured and cocooned
within the walls to aid in the Aliens' reproduction cycle. If we assume
the Aliens have intelligence, at least in the central guiding authority
of the Queen, then it is possible that these decisions may have a
tactical basis. For example, Ferro was a greater threat, piloting the
heavily armed dropship than she was a desirable host for reproduction.
Newt, and most of the colonists, were unarmed and relatively helpless,
therefore easily captured for hosting. "
- On several occasions, the aliens kill potential hosts when they could just
as easily capture them. (from _ALIEN_: Parker, Lambert. from _ALIENS_:
Ferro, possibly others. from _ALIEN^3_: the doctor, several prisoners)
this would indicate that the alien is not intelligent. (unless the alien
kills those people for food)
- The scene in the _ALIENS_ director's cut where the aliens "throw" themselves
at the sentry guns would indicate that they are not intelligent (ie:
sacrificing countless numbers just to get their hands on 7 potential hosts.)
* What does the alien use for energy, does it eat? if so what?
- The alien could work like a battery, using electricity for it's energy
(suggested by the acid blood). This idea is suggested by the RPG.
- The alien increases its mass greatly between its chestburster and full-grown
stages of development. In order to do this it MUST eat something solid
(perhaps: flesh, minerals, metals)
- H.R. Giger introduces the concept of a bio-mechanical species (notice how
the Space Jockey of _ALIEN_ was attached to/part of the machinery it was
sitting at?) If the aliens are part of Giger's bio-mechanical world then
it's entirely possible that they could eat metal alloys to increase their
- In an old draft of the _ALIEN_ script, when Ripley finds Dallas cocooned
and the Brett-egg, she says to Dallas, "I'm going to get you out of here"
and Dallas replies, "No, it's too late for me, the alien has eaten to much
of me already... see what it did to Brett?"
- An Alien, like a fly, could "eat" by dissolving it's food with an acid
like substance, then eating the "soup" left behind. In this way, the alien
could eat pretty much any material (even metal).
* What are those long, dark "spines" sticking out of the back of the alien?
- These spines could be functionally similar to the plates on the back
of a Stegasaurus; they make it difficult to land a damaging blow on the
alien from a sneak-attack from behind.
- The spines could also be some form of reservoir for acid (similar to the
humps on a camel).
- Perhaps they are heat sinks.
- They could be gills for breathing, like a fish, the alien probably doesn't
breath the same air we do, so these "gills" would filter out the components
that it needs from the environment around it.
* Do the aliens use their host's DNA to help them adapt to their host's
- An old draft of the _ALIEN_ script had Ash giving an extensive description
of the alien creature. Ash said that the alien that came from Kane was,
in a sense, Kane's child. (this scene suggests that the aliens use the
- The alien in _ALIEN^3_ was different than other aliens, perhaps this is
because it came from a different host (the dog).
- A creature that is so different from conventional organic life could not
possibly make sense out of a strand of DNA.
- In the original filmed version of _ALIEN^3_ the alien came from a cow, not
a dog (the entire movie was filmed before they decided to change the "host"
to a dog) Since the alien didn't act like a cow (ie: this alien was more
aggressive, however, a cow would be considered less aggressive than a
human) nor did the film makers originally base the alien's actions on those
of a dog, this works against the DNA theory. The "cow" scene is also
supported by the novel by Alan Dean Foster [page 58].
* Is there a notion of "soldier" and "worker" aliens?
- The alien in _ALIEN^3_ seemed to act/look different than the aliens in
the previous movies. This alien could be a "worker" with the task of
protecting the queen until she has a chance to mature.
- The alien species has alot of similarities with insects, so, like a hive
of ants or termites, the aliens would have soldiers and workers.
- The aliens that were in the "hive" at the end of _ALIENS_ would likely
be classified as "workers" however they stood upright and looked no
different than the rest of the aliens (which would be considered
* Where do the aliens come from, were they genetically engineered?
- They could have been genetically engineered due to their (seemingly
unnatural) ability to adapt to new environments.
- They could be bio-weapons on the basis of the fact that their parasitic
nature is too violent and unsupportive of the host. An organism which
destroys its habitat (in this case it's host, whatever kind of organism it
is) would very quickly makes itself extinct.
- The aliens could be a parasite of the galaxy. They serve as much purpose
as a mosquito does on earth.
- If we maintain H.R. Giger's original idea of the alien eggs coming from an
infection (a possibility that is explored in the Brett-egg scene cut from
_ALIEN_), then the thousands of eggs on the derelict space craft in _ALIEN_
could have come from some form of plague.
- It has been suggested (by Dark Horse comics) that the Predators created the
aliens for hunting purposes.
- It also has been suggested that the Predators plant the aliens on planets,
so that if they come back after some time, the aliens have built some hives
and they can hunt them all down. The Predators might have found the aliens
on one of their hunts on some far off planet.
- For some detailed suggestions/information concerning the alien lifeform,
read the last part of the FAQ.
* Why are the aliens in _ALIENS_ different from the alien in _ALIEN_?
- Maybe alien's behavior is goverened by pheromones, in the same way that
a termite colony is governed, by passing chemicals from the queen through
the colony. This would explain why a large group of aliens with a queen
behave differently (cocooning people instead of killing them) to a single
- The alien in _ALIEN_ was a different "type" of alien. (ie: a soldier
instead of a worker)
- The aliens in _ALIENS_ were more "evolved" (after all, they did have some
physical differences - see Section 2 - What is an Alien?) and hence, the
way they acted was different.
- The facehugger in Alien came from an egg that was not created from humanoid
material. Therefore the genetic code that was in the facehugger, and in the
embyo and therefore was in the Alien was different from the genetic code in
the eggs from Aliens. These eggs were made from people (humans). Therefore
geneticly the alien was different, and therefore it had a different
appearance. It is also suggested that while the embryo grows in the hosts,
the embryo 'consults' the hosts internals for the environment that it came
from, so it can adapt to that environment before it hatches.
* Why is the alien in _ALIEN^3_ different than the other aliens we've seen?
- The alien species is similar to the hymenoptera (the class that ants, bees
and termites belong to). There is a queen who is tended by an army of
female helpers. There are occasoinal males in these insect societies,
only they are short lived and are only necessary to fertilize a new queen.
The alien in _ALIEN^3_ would be a male alien. It is definately different
looking -- perhaps a bit smaller (males in hymenoptera species are
smaller.) This makes sense in the context of _ALIEN^3_ in that Ripley is
carrying a queen -- something HAS to fertilize it before it can reproduce.
- It's possible that the aliens copy some of their host's DNA in order to
help them adapt to the new environement that they'll be born to (this
concept was in an old draft of the script for _ALIEN_). The alien would
be different because it came from a dog. Same reasoning as with the previous
- We have seen relatively few aliens. If you imagine what a whole planet
full of them would be like, there might be a variety of different kinds:
warriors, workers, messengers, etc...
* How did the eggs get on the Sulaco?
- When Bishop was preparing to crawl down the service tunnel to pilot the
dropship down, he told Ripley that it would take (in total) approx 3 hours.
Earlier in the movie, it was established that the place was going to blow
up in approx 4 hours. This left Bishop an extra hour during which he
could have: fetched 2 eggs and hidden them. While Ripley was rescuing
Newt, Bishop could've then returned to pick up the eggs and put them in the
drop ship. He'd then fly back to pick up Ripley and give some bogus story
to cover up why he was late.
- The queen laid eggs in the landing gear prior to getting out and tearing
Bishop in half.
- Yet another theory is that the queen laid eggs on the Sulaco while Ripley
was going to get the cargo lifter. However, it doesn't seem that the
queen's physiology would accomodate this AND it would be unlikely that she'd
be able to lay the eggs in a well concealed place (such that Ripley wouldn't
find them) during the split seconds that the camera is not on the queen.
This egg can't get in the EEV, anyway, unless it has some way of getting up
and walking from one end to the ship to another. The EEV was in a complete
other part of the Sulaco.
- In Gibson's _ALIEN^3_ script, it is suggested that the queen "stings" Bishop
with her tail, thus poisoning him. While Bishop lies in his hypersleep
capsule, the poison genetically combines with his body and forms two eggs.
(notice when Ripley tries to repair Bishop, there is only his one arm and
head remaining). It is possible that Bishop observed the development of
two eggs (from his body) then, when complete, opened the hypersleep chamber
and (with his remaining arm) moved the egg out (so it could infect Ripley).
- Alien3 was a dream Ripley had.
* In ALIEN^3: Was the human Bishop (that appeared at the end of the movie)
* really human or was he also an android?
- Some people have witnessed skin hanging down (some say it's his ear). This
would indicate that he's an android. To further the issue, Bishop II takes
a nasty hit in the side of the head, yet remains concious, it is unlikely
that a human being would be able to shake off such an injury. The red blood
was just a way to ensure Ripley he was a human. His blood was just coloured.
It was the only way to ensure for Ripley he was a human.
- The credits indicate that the character is named "Bishop II" as if to say it
is just another copy of the same line of androids.
- "85" hit him in the side of the head and he started bleeding red blood
(around his left ear). Since the androids depicted in the trilogy have
white blood, this Bishop is probably human. (it is too speculative to
theorize that the company has made a red-blooded android since _ALIENS_)
- Alan Dean Foster's novelisation of the movie suggests that he definitely
is human and he bleeds badly when hit).
* I hated ALIEN^3.
- The "course" of the movie was "unrealistically" altered to fit with the
script. ie: in the first 5 minutes of the movie, we kill off two major
characters, place alien eggs on the Sulaco and against-all-odds Ripley
is the sole survivor of the crash.
- Although an important part of the series, Newt died for no discernable
- Too many similarities between _ALIEN^3_ and _ALIEN_:
* one alien stalks a group of weaponless people.
* trapping the alien did not work, so let's try something else.
* repair of a busted-up android.
- Depressing. Ripley's life crumbles to an inevitable fate. No happy
(or surprise) ending.
- Characters are flat, undeveloped and boring. Nobody really CARES when
the alien kills one.
- No attempt is made to explain MOST questionable events (How did the eggs
get on the Sulaco? Why is the alien different?)
- Ripley is an eye-sore with her shaven head and bloodshot eye.
- _ALIEN^3_ focussed on Ripley's misfortune-plagued life instead of the
alien creature (as _ALIEN_ and _ALIENS_ had).
- Most North American movie critics did not like _ALIEN^3_.
- The emotions in Alien3 were not taken out to what they could have. Nobody
seemed to care about someone else. Therefore it was hard to care for the
characters in the movie. An example you can test for yourself is: try to
remember the characters from Alien. Then from Aliens. And last -and least?-
those from Alien^3. Most people hardly can name two or three of Alien^3.
- Just because a movie doesn't have a happy ending doesn't mean it's a bad
- _ALIEN^3_ takes a different direction from the prior alien movies. It is
good that they didn't make an "_ALIENS_ with bigger guns" as most had
- Artistic images were well defined. The Newt autopsy scene showed almost
NO graphic images, yet the audience was revolted by the vividness. The
graphic horror was not blatantly displayed on the screen, but projected
into the imagination of the audience.
- Since we don't know everything about the alien species, it's not difficult
to accept that "by undisclosed means" the alien eggs got on the Sulaco and
the alien creature was physically different.
- The interleaving of the credits and the movie scenes was visually
- Most scenes were shot from very provocing distant angles, making them very
beautiful in the eye of the artist.
- Many European critics did like _ALIEN^3_.
13. MOVIE WATCHING RITUALS
Basically, if you know of any rituals that you or your friends perform when
any one of the ALIEN movies is shown (ie: screaming things at the movie,
acting out different parts, etc...) then they belong in this section.
- When repeatedly watching this film with friends, we've only really evolved
one tradition when watching the film. When Burke has abandoned them, and
opens the door, just to see the alien there, hissing at him, it has become
somewhat traditional to shout "Let's eat Burke" repeatedly. Oh yeah, and
when Newt falls into the water, it's fairly obvious that you have to shout
"Behind you" fairly loudly.
- ALIEN: deep, impressed silence.
ALIEN^3: loud, carthatic weeping.
- ALIENS: imitating Hudson's "game over MAN, game over!" as he says it in
the movie. (and even when we're not watching the movie)
- leaping at the screen to get a four-inch-away view of the various types of
military hardware to get more details about function and what props are
made from (ie: the Flame units are slightly modified M-16 rifles)
- In Aliens, during Ripley's first nightmare at Gateway Station. When she
pulls back her shirt and sees the alien trying to poke through and then
wakes up in horror, one of us HAS to say, "Damn Tacos!"
- Counting the number of times "Hudson" is said over the course of _ALIENS_.
14. GIBSON'S ALIEN^3 SCRIPT
What follows is a synopsis of Gibson's _ALIEN^3_ script, due to the immense
effort required to port the text from paper to computer, a special thanks goes
out to Steve Copold, the user who tackled the tedious and heinous task.
* NOTE: refer to Frequently Asked Questions for information on getting the
I've had my hands on a copy of William Gibson's original script for "Alien III"
for quite awhile now and it seems like a good time to contribute a synopsis
which may explain a few things (such as how the eggs were supposed to have
gotten onto the Sulaco), and may just add more confusion to others. I've been
very careful in preparing the synopsis to include as much detail as is
possible, including direct quotes, and still remain within the bounds of the
fair-use doctrine and copyright laws. (Everything encased in parentheses,
except for dialog notes, is my writing...Everything else is Gibson's.)
DEEP SPACE - THE FUTURE
The silent field of stars -- eclipsed by the dark bulk of of an approaching
ANGLE ON THE HULL
A towering cliff of metal, Sulaco.
(The script then cuts to an inside tracking shot of the hyper-sleep vault and
the line of open and empty capsules. We finally track across 4 closed capsules
- Newt, Ripley, Hicks, and finally Bishop. Bishop's capsule, however, is
covered with a "hothouse" mist and condensation.)
A tear of fluid streaks the condensation.
An alarm sounds.
A monitor begins to scroll data.
(We then hear the computer announcing that Sulaco has experienced a
navagational error and entered the territory of the U.P.P. [Union of
Progressive Peoples - A clear analogy for the late U.S.S.R. - A subplot which
probably contributed to the demise of this script.] We cut to an exterior shot
of the Sulaco and witness the approach of a UPP interceptor ship carrying
commandos. They dock with the Sulaco and board her. They enter the ship though
an airlock near the cargo bay. As they enter, they find Bishop's twisted and
tangled lower torso. They see the blast damage on the drop ship and exchange
knowing looks...It is apparent these are combat veterans. As the commandos
enter the hyper-sleep vault, the computer announces a security breach. They
move down the line of capsules and stop at Bishop's.)
INTERIOR HYPER-SLEEP VAULT - LEADER"S POV (point of view)
The chilly aisle of capsules.
Commandos move down the line, guns poised. They peer in at Newt, Ripley, and
Hicks, but the lid of Bishop's capsule is pearl white. (text deleted) The lid
rises. A dense pale mist flows out, spilling over the edges of the capsule,
revealing the ovoid of a gray alien egg. Rooted in the center of Bishop's
synthetic entrails, the egg instantly ejaculates a face-hugger, which strikes
the leader's faceplate in a spray of acid. (lots of text deleted)
(At this point, one of the other commandos, a young Vietnamese woman, attempts
to shoot the facehugger without killing the leader. Things go wrong and his
head is literally destroyed. They throw him out the airlock and leave with
IN DEEP SPACE - VARIOUS ANGLES
A station the size of a small moon, and growing; unfinished sections of hull
are open to vacuum. A vast, irregular structure, the result of of the shifting
goals of succesive administrations.
(This is our introduction to Anchorpoint which serves as the setting for about
75% of Alien III. I see it as a cross between the Deathstar and Deep Space 9.
It is huge and well-used like the Deathstar, but it is by run civil
administrators and company reps, with only a military attache and a few troops.
Like DSN, it has shopping malls, schools, and the type of stuff associated with
a colony rather than a military base.
At this time we are introduced to Tully, a civilian lab technician, and the
station's ops officer, Jackson. Tully is written as sort of a malcontented
doctoral student. He's very smart, very good at his job, and has some degree of
contempt for authority. Jackson is a really neat character. She is a "tough
broad," much like Ripley, but carries none of the baggage that Ripley is
saddled with. They have a lengthy conversation at this point which sort of
brings the audience up to speed. I've included just a small portion.)
The Sulaco. Departed gateway four years ago with a compliment of fifteen. A
dozen marines, an android, a company representative, and the former warrant
officer of a merchant vessel...
So, the bio-readout gives us the warant officer, one -- count him -- marine,
and a nine-year-old girl. Makes you wonder what happened out there, doesn't it?
So ask'em. Wake'em up and ask'em. Them not me.
But That's the GOOD news, Tully. Three hours before Sulaco turned up, we docked
a priority shuttle out of Gateway. Two passengers. Milisci, Tully. Weapons
That the bad news?
They want the ship pulled in with full biohazard precautions, by
oh-eight-hundred hours. BioLab techs are priority for the deck squad. that's
The phone screen goes blank.
(We are then introduced to Spence, who is I think Tully's girlfriend. That
part's not real clear as events overtake the issue very quickly from here on
out. The next five pages of script are dedicated to a WONDERFUL sequence of
scenes where Tully and other lab techs, accompanied by marines from Anchorpoint
are seen in an enormous docking bay where they board Sulaco. I'll put in the
last page of it here.)
Yessir. Lights on in there.
The officer presses a button.
The door slides open. Bright white. The aisle. Empty. The row of capsules.
Tully's marine is first through the door, gun ready, slow, careful. Tully steps
in after him, raises his instrument, takes a sample.
INT. HYPER-SLEEP VAULT
The other two marines move past Tully. Soft scuff of their boots on the deck.
Tully doesn't know quite what to do. Lowers his sampler, hesitates, The first
marine reaches Newt's capsule. He lowers his rifle. (something startled, almost
gentle in his voice)
Eight inches of razor-sharp serrated tail plunges out through the back of his
suit as he's lifted off his feet by something we can't see. Ugly RIPPING noise
as the alien withdraws its stinger (Gibson clearly refers to the tail as a
stinger at several points in the script) -- blood tidily contained by the
translucent membrane of the biohazard envelope.
The stinger of a second alien whips around the neck of one of the other two
marines; the alien is clinging to the ceiling. He screams. Tully's marine sags
against the foot of Ripley's capsule, his arm across the controls -- the green
indicator lights go out -- as the first alien lunges up into view.
On the jaws.
ANGLE ON RIPLEY
Her eyes snap open
As the beast mounts her coffin, terminal nightmare.
Her hands claw frantically at the smooth curve of the plastic canopy.
The remaining marine, crazy with adrenialine and terror, unleashes his flame
thrower. The first alien and Ripley's capsule vanish in a napalm fireball. the
marine spins, screaming incoherently, and liquid fire hoses the second alien,
which drops its victim and falls burning into the deck.
The vault is an inferno. Ripley's capsule is sagging, melting.
(We see Ripley's damaged capsule being rolled into a very elaborate medlab and
doctors go to work on her. Then we cut to Hicks sitting on the edge of a
hospital bed in a dressing gown lighting a cigarette. Spence comes in and has a
brief conversation with him. He asks about Newt and Ripley and Bishop. She
tells him that Newt and Ripley are fine, and that she doesn't know who Bishop
is. Newt comes running in chased by an orderly. He grabs for Newt and Hicks
almost assaults him, but is stopped when Spence calls off the orderly. They
demand to see Ripley. Spence takes them to her room. She is in a deep coma)
Is Ripley DREAMING?
I don't know honey.
It's better not to.
EXT. RODINA, THE U.P.P. STATION - VARIOUS ANGLES
Smaller than Anchorpoint
INT. RODINA - CYBERNETICS LAB
CLOSE on Bishop. He stares straight ahead, the corner of his mouth twitching
(The UPP scientists are downloading all of Bishop's data and are learning all
about the aliens. The young Vietnamese commando is present and confirms the
image of the facehugger -- They all stare in horror at the image of the adult
alien. The young woman shakes her head and says she has not seen this. The two
adults on the Sulaco are never explained and neither is the fact that the
capsules were left alone. There is a possibility that there may have been live
animals, or animals such as dogs on the Sulaco in hypersleep. This may account
for the adults as well as the dog thread in the screen version. Lab animals are
turned into aliens later in the Gibson script. The egg in Bishop's entrails is
explained in great detail.)
INT SULACO - CARGO LOCK
TECH WITH PROBE
You getting this on tape Miller?
You bet your ass. Orders.
TECH WITH PROBE
That's good because I'd swear I just saw a piece of this shit move...
On the monitor, the tip of the probe trembles, brushes one of the globules. The
second tech takes it, inserts it in a plastic tube, seals the tube in a small
metal cannister, and writes #17 on the side in red grease pencil.
Since when do androids get diseases?
TECH WITH PROBE
I dunno. Sure looks like something got to this poor bastard...
(This is a key scene in the script as it introduces the alien "spores" and
"DNA" samples which are capable of spreading the species like a disease. Even
androids can act as a host at least to the extent of producing a viable egg
with a facehugger inside. The effects on a living host are entirely different
as we'll see shortly.
At this point in the story, we are introduced to Col. Rosetti, local commandant
of the colonial marine detachment at Anchorpoint. We also meet Kevin Fox and
Susan Welles. They are the Weyland-Yutani scum-yuppies from the weapons
division sent by the company. They are real knock-offs of Burke, only not so
endearing...Yeeech! We also meet Shuman, the diplomat. He is involved now as
the UPP is making a stink about the Sulaco entering their space. The four of
them debrief Hicks in a "security bubble" and learn what he knows. They do not
tell him about the aliens found on the Sulaco. In the bubble we also meet
Trent, the head bio-geneticist at Anchorpoint. He quizzes Hicks about the
alien's life-cycle. They realize that Hicks doesn't know anything about the
genetic material they have discovered in the hyper-sleep vault. They also fail
to tell him they are experimenting with it and trying to clone it. They do tell
Hicks about the UPP grabbing Bishop.
At this point there is a complex and important scene in the Tissue Culture Lab
with Tully and Spence. It involves lots of high tech goodies and what would
have been some terrific CGI sequences as they examine the alien samples. It all
culminates with them looking #17 under extreme magnification we see the sample
brought into focus...)
EXTREME CLOSEUP - MONITOR
As the screen fills with an image that might be a bizzare landscape, its lines
and textures recalling the interior of the derelict ship in "ALIEN."
(This sequence is followed by a long set of scenes with Newt and Hicks as Newt
prepares to return to earth aboard the Sulaco which has been sterilized. Ripley
is still in a coma and Newt makes her a map of her Grandparent's home in Oregon
so she can find her when she wakes up...Lot's of cuteness and string-pulling as
Newt departs Anchorpoint.
We jump back to Rodina Station and meet a bunch of new characters. Braun,
Rodina's Chief of R&D, Colonel-Doctor Suslov, the Head of the station, and
several military and diplomatic officers. The scene is basically a discussion
of where are we? - where are they? re: the development of the aliens as a
weapon, and what to do about Bishop? They decide the best course of action is
not to overplay their hand, but to sterilize Bishop and send him back with no
traces of the alien spores or any memory of his time at Rodina. They rebuild
him (with inferior UPP technology - this later becomes a plot element and a
running joke in the script) and return him to Anchorpoint.
INT. ANCHORPOINT - TISSUE CULTURE LAB
Trent, head of biolab, Rosetti, and Fox wait, seated, as Tully wheels a
holographic Display Module into position. The lights dim. A faint, ghostly cube
shimmers in front of the three men.
Initially this was merely routine, you understand. We attempted to determine
its compatibility with terrestial DNA.
What kind of DNA Doctor?
Human, of course.
Something shivers and shakes and takes form in the cube of light: a double
helix threaded with green and red beads of light.
Watch closey, please.
The alien genetic material looks like a cubist's vision of an art deco
staircase, its asymmetrical segments glowing day-glow green and purple.
That's a biological structure? More like part of a machine...
The alien form makes contact with the human DNA. The transformation is
shockingly swift, but its stages can still be followed: the thing seems to pull
itself into and THROUGH the coils, and for an instant the two are meshed,
locked, and then the final stage. A new shape glows, a HYBRID; the green and
red beads have been altered beyond recognition.
Like a high-speed viral takeover...! What's the real-time duration on this,
(from the shadows beyond the glowing cube) That was it. What you see is what
you get. That's how fast it is...
(Several scenes follow that I'll just encapsulate for you. They are all
important, but only in that they introduce characters or minor plot elements.
#1 Hicks meets Walker the foreman of the Anchorpoint machine-shop...He is a
#2 Jackson, Shuman, UPP Diplomatic Officer discuss Bishop's return.
#3 Bishops arrives at Anchorpoint.
#4 Hicks meets Tully in a bar on the Mall and Tully reveals that Fox and Welles
have ordered the lab to experiment with the alien DNA.
#5 Rosetti, Fox, Trent, and Welles in the security bubble discussing the
progress of the experiments. Rosetti raises minor objections, but wimps out
when Fox threatens his career.
#6 Bishop being checked out by a medlab tech and jokes about his shitty UPP
polycarbonate knee joints. This is followed by a long scene with Hicks and
Spence where she fully spills the beans about the "research.")
INT. CONSTRUCTION ZONE CHAMBER
(lots of text deleted)
Maybe I don't either. It's just...We've got to tell somebody...Now there's a
rumor somebody came in on a UPP ship today, somebody off Sulaco...
I don't know.
Maybe Progressive Peoples'll get their own alien too. Maybe they'll grow
(horrified) Shit! You'd better hope not...
Their lab gear's five years behind ours. they'd never be able to control it
Think you can, huh?
I don't know...
(More scenes follow:
#1 Tully complains to Jackson that there are problems with one of the stasis
systems in the lab.
#2 Rodina - BioLab: Braun and Suslov are discussing the alien as a weapon in
front of a large stasis tube. Scene ends with a closeup on the tube showing a
"chestburster suspended like a fetal dolphin."
#3 Long scene where Bishop tells Hicks about Ripley and the queen on the
Sulaco. He also warns Hicks to watch him carefully as the UPP may have
reprogrammed him and he would not know it.
#4 Long scene in the culture lab with Tully and Welles. Ends with the stasis
system failing and the contents spraying all over Welles and Tully. They are
immediately taken to a "de-con" unit. Welles is seriously pissed off!
#5 Bishop and Hicks sneak into the tissue culture lab and destroy all of the
alien cultures. Ends with both of them in white plastic restraints as they are
placed in separate cells. The next scene is the beginning of the proverbial
shit hitting the fan.)
INT. THE BUBBLE
Meeting of the full Anchorpoint Directorate, including Welles and Fox and a
number of new faces. Welles is white lipped with fury.
(lots of dialog omitted)
You have no more material to work with, Trent. In any case, it's become obvious
that you aren't the man for the job. We took the precaution of obtaining our
own samples. they're on their way to Gateway. (Wow! Does this open a lot of
possibilities...Like "Earth Hive" for instance.)
(with cold satisfaction)...and everything, every move each of you have made,
since our arrival, is going to be gone over with a fine toothed c-c-c-c-c--
As Welles begins to stammer, her eyes betray a terrible consternation. She
rises from her chair, lurches forward, catching herself on her hands. The
c-c-c-c- phases into a chattering palsy as a thick strand of blood-streaked
drool descends toward the table. Fox, seated to her left, has instinctively
shoved his own chair back, ready to run. Everyone else is frozen with shock.
As the chittering tooth-burr becomes a shrill SHRIEK of inhuman rage, the
transformation takes place. Segmented biomechanoid tendons squirm beneath the
skin of her arms. Her hands claw at one another, tearing redundant flesh from
alien talons. then the shriek dies. She straightens up. And, rips her face
apart in a single movement, the glistening claws coming away with skin, eyes,
muscle, teeth, and splinters of bone...The sound of ripping cloth. the new
beast sheds its human skin in a single sinuous, bloody ripple, molting on fast
forward...An instant of utter silence as the featureless mask moves. From side
to side. Scanning.
Trent vomits explosively. the marine guard snatches his pistol from its holster
and fires wildly across the table. Blind screaming chaos.
As the Directorate plunges, like a single panicked organism, to the far side of
the bubble. The thing is on Fox before he can get up from his chair.
On his scream as the sucking, fanged tounge plunges through the orbit of his
A marine with a flamethrower bursts through the door, torching Fox and the new
beast, setting fire to the bubble's acoustic foam baffles.
(Clearly, this script was destined to get an "R" rating...From this point on
the script becomes an Aliens-like war movie. Many brief cutting scenes follow:
#1 Spence finds Tully's contaminated lab badge.
#2 Rosetti gets Hicks and Bishop out of their cells and enlists their help.
#3 Hicks (in full combat armor) and Walker driving into the construction zone
in a jeep searching for Tully.
#4 Jackson, Spence, and Bishop tracking them on monitors from operations.
#5 Hicks and Walker find and kill the alien that was Tully.
#6 Closeup of Spence as Tully's locator dot blinks out.
#7 INT. RODINA Mass confusion as we see the commandos fighting their way
through what has obviously become a war-zone. Then we see the result of
Suslov's genetic tinkering: It's a new type of alien - "bigger, meaner, faster,
able to reproduce more rapidly." The commandos swarm through a hatch and seal
the thick steel door. We hear slamming and pounding as the steel begins to
All of this is followed by a really long scene with Hicks, Jackson, Bishop,
Shuman, and Rosetti in operations. We find out the closest ship is the
transport Kansas City which is 20 hours away. the following exchange takes
place in the midle of it:)
We abandon the station.
Destroy the station, man! We got nukes?
Outlawed under the strategic arms reduction treaty.
We can fiddle the overrides on the fusion package. Baby nova.
We're dealing with a new form Colonel. We know nothing of this new mode of
reproduction. Others may have already become hosts.
What are you suggesting?
Inorder to be ENTIRELY certain, Colonel, it would be necessary to override the
fusion package now.
Jackson looks up at Bishop; he's suggesting mass suicide.
I thought you were programmed to protect human life?
(with android blandness) I'm taking the long view.
(I believe this would have become one of the classic lines of the film. The
scene ends with an incoming message, actually a warning, from Rodina. A
technician explains what they have done and that all experiments must be
terminated as they cannot be contained...No shit! There is a lot of funny
reparte about "the Soviet space brothers" in this scene. Jackson almost takes
on the air of a Hudson, except she's pretty gutsy. At the very end Jackson
gathers everyone near the monitors as they notice that something huge is
blocking the cameras in the air-scrubber chamber. Many scenes follow:
#1 Spence sitting in the eco-module...Birds begin to sing...The calm before the
#2 EXT. RODINA - No movement. INT. - We see the Vietnamese commando sitting on
the floor cradling her gun, the acid burned corpse of her partner is beside
#3 A series of very rapidly cut scenes where Hicks puts Ripley in a lifeboat
and launches her into space. Bishop questions him about this as she might be
infected. Hicks replies, "I owe her one."
#4 Great combat sequence as Hicks leads a group of "green" marines to the
scrubber room where they find a huge mutant queen alien. The place look like
the queens chamber on LV-426, only more grotesque. Lots of the new aliens come
crawling out the walls. The marines destroy the new queen and kill lots of the
drones, but as the Queen pulls loose from the framework that is supporting her,
an enormous cloud of spores is released and then sucked into the air
circulation system. Hicks has Bishop close the vents.
#5 INT. RODINA HUB - The commando works her way through the core of the
station. She discover the almost the entire crew of the station, maybe a
hundred people all cocooned in a multi-story column...A bas-relief of human
bodies and glittering resin. A closeup of Braun and Suslov is shown.
#6 INT. OPS - Jackson, Rosetti, and Bishop are watching the approach of the UPP
cruiser Nikolai Stoiko at Rodina (How they are doing this is not explained
other than as some form of survelience system. It's clear that it's not direct
video, but some form of remore imaging.).
#7 INT. RODINA - The commando gets into an interceptor and escapes from the
station. We see her blast away.
#8 EXT. RODINA - We see the Stoiko launch a missle and a nuclear blast destroy
#9 INT. OPS - Jackson says, "I don't believe it! They send for help, and their
own people nuked'em! Hicks replies, "Maybe they asked for it."
The following scenes are a real combat-fest.
#1 Walker on the Mall blasting aliens and taking pulls from a jug of liquor. In
the end he becomes an alien.
#2 INT. ECO-MODULE - Spence enters and gasps at what she sees. The primates
have been cocooned in the trees.
#3 Hicks on the Mall...scenes of carnage everywhere.
#4 INT. OPS - Jackson, Hicks, Rosetti, Spence, and Bishop. Hicks wants to blow
the fusion package immediately. Jackson says it doesn't matter as Hicks has
destroyed the scrubber and with all the fires, they'll only have air for a few
more hours anyway. One of the marines falls down in agony, only he doesn't
become an alien. His chest bursts open and about half a dozen new model
chestbursters pop out and run in all different directions. Hicks evacuates
#5 INT. CORRIDOR - Bishop heads off to rig the fusion package. Hicks gathers
all the survivors to take them to the lifeboats. A few new characters are
introduced at this point...All minor.
#6 Bishop in the Mall encounters yet another queen and her drones in the
process of cocooning victims. Bishop runs for the elevator with the queen after
#7 Lots of cross-cutting between the group heading for the lifeboats fighting
their way through the aliens and Bishops staving off the queen in the elevator.
Bishop escapes by ripping up the floor of the elevator showing his android
strength. The lifeboat party emerges from a wall of smoke to find the passage
blocked by a wall of resin, human bones, marine helmets, rifles, etc. What
follows is just too complex to distill and too long to copy and still be fair
to Mr. Gibson. Let me just say that it's an incredible sequence of the lifeboat
party taking alternate routes to the bay as the aliens keep blocking their
path. Lots of explosions, shootouts, mucho violence...Really keen stuff!
#8 Bishop arrives at the fusion package and proceeds to rig it to blow.
#9 We rejoin the lifeboat party at the crew quarters where we see even more
carnage including what's left of a children's preschool. Memebers of the party
freak out at this point. Spence and Hicks calm everyone down and they move on.
#10 Bishop exiting the fusion complex...One of his polycarbon knees gives out.
He is now dragging one leg behind him.
#11 Spence is separated in a service shaft and trapped by an alien. She has a
huge flare pistol and kills it. She rejoins Hicks and the others.
#12 Bishop climbing the elevator shaft and checking his watch: 21:40. They
agreed he would set the fusion unit to blow at 22:00.
#13 Hicks and Jackson have it out with Rosetti who is not handling things very
well. Basically, they kick his ass. One of the party, Tatsumi is bitten, but
survives. They dress his wound and move on.
#14 Quick scene of Bishop back on the Mall putting a patch on leg and then
moving to rejoin the others. The queen is no longer there.
#15 Hicks and company arrive at the lifeboat bay. Closeup of Tatsumi's leg
wound leaving a trail of yellow drops. Rosetti opens the door and the bay is
filled with fresh new aliens. Hicks provides cover fire and they get the door
closed again. They all pile into an office. It's Trent's, and they find him
where he's already killed himself. Spence finds that the back wall of the
office is actually an airlock. Sounds of the aliens throwing themselves against
the door to the office. Hicks checks his watch it's 21:46.
#16 As they prepare to enter the lock, A chestburster crawls out of Tatsumi's
wound and more erupt from his chest. The survivors enter the airlock. They all
suit up and the color of their suits is important. Rosetti gets in a yellow
suit. Shortly after they exit the lock Rosetti goes through the change inside
his suit. He kills a lab tech and then Hicks kill him. Only Jackson, Hicks, and
Spence are left alive. Hicks looks at his watch 21:59...22:00...Nothing! They
move across the outside surface of Anchorpoint toward the external portion of
#17 Outside shot of the lock shows the aliens following them...They are
unaffected by the cold and the vacuum.
#18 Outside the lifeboat, Spence and jackson work on opening the hatch with a
bypass. Hicks continue to kill aliens.
#19 Hicks sees a yellow spacesuit moving across the hull...Rosetti? No, it's
Bishop. he has emerged from another lock. Bishop "greases" all the aliens that
are left on the outside. He tells Hicks that he gave them an extra half hour of
#20 As they are getting in the lifeboat, the second queen emerges and leads a
charge of new aliens toward them. They run out of ammo as the aliens close in
#21 Cut to the UPP interceptor: shot of a port opening revealing a "viscious
looking gattling style pulse cannon" (I could almost hear the audience cheering
in my head as I read this scene). The interceptor wipes out the aliens.
#22 The commando lands the interceptor near them and takes them on board.
Jackson is killed by the aliens in this scene. The aliens are coming up behind
the ship. She fires the engines and fries them!
#23 The interceptor streaks away as the reactor overloads and blows.
The last scene is in the interceptor and it's too long for fair-use, although,
I'd love to put up the whole thing. Instead I'll just give you the gist of it
and one very important extract.
(dialog omitted, but Bishop determines that none of them are infected or they
would have already begun to change. The commando has had a lethal dose of
radiation and will only live a few more hours.)
You're a species again, Hicks. United against a common enemy...
The source, Hicks. You'll have to trace them back, find the point of origin.
The first source and destroy it.
I don't know, Bishop. Maybe we oughtta just stay out of their way...
You can't, Hicks. This goes far beyond mere interspecies competition. These
creatures are to biological life what antimatter is to matter.
How do you mean?
There isn't room for the both of you, Hicks, not in this universe.
That's crazy, Bishop...
No. You're already at war, Hicks. War to extermination. The alien knows no
Hell, man, we been at war all my life. Near enough, anyway. With her (he looks
down at the Vietnamese commando). With all her brothers and sisters. That's
what got us into this shit in the first place!
But now you've seen the enemy, Hicks. So has she. She's not it. Neither are
you. This is a Darwinian universe, Hicks. Will the alien be the ultimate
Hicks doesn't answer. He just looks at Bishop. Bishop goes back to repairing
Spence's sleeping face and the face of the dying commando.
Approach of a large ship.
The PING of homing radar.
ANGLE ON THE HULL
As it slides past, enormous letters: KANSAS CITY
EXT. SPACE - ANGLE UP
>From below Kansas City as a wide bay opens up.
The interceptor comes into frame and is drawn up into the brightly lit hold.
The bay closes.
Kansas City. Receding. Gone.