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Posting-Frequency: approx. every month Archive-name: movies/alien-faq/part1 Version: 2.1

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & & & ALIEN, ALIENS and ALIEN^3 & & & & Information and Frequently Asked Questions & & & & Version 2.1 & & & & PART 1 of 4 & & & &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

A word about the information provided in this FAQ (paraphrased from earlier editions):

The contents of this FAQ are not "carved in stone" so if you have proof to support or deny anything that is stated, don't hesitate to say so.

This FAQ is continually updated from the mail I get and the news I read in the newsgroups listed below. This FAQ was founded about two years ago by Daryll Hobson, who gave me the pleasure of taking care of it from now on. If there are any lacks of information in this FAQ, please send your contribution to me. Have a nice read…

  1. Eelko de Vos

( Vos@Dutiws.TWI.TUDelft.NL

       <A HREF="http://www.twi.tudelft.nl/~vos/eelko.html">I'm here!</A>
     )

And now a small word from the originator of this FAQ

With the exceptions of my own contributions, this FAQ has been assembled by the material supplied to me through Email and public-access messages that I've scavenged off the internet. Information that is contributed is often paraphrased and combined with existing (other users') info. Needless to say, it's impossible to give everybody their rightful line of credit, so a general "Thank you" goes out to all who've contributed to this FAQ and made it what it is. (you know who you are)

  1. Darryll Hobson

This FAQ will be posted about every month to: alt.cult-movies

                                             rec.arts.sf.movies
                                             rec.arts.movies

It _might_ also available by anonymous FTP (here's what you do):

   ftp rtfm.mit.edu
   <use "anonymous" for your user name>
   <use your email address for your password>
   cd /pub/usenet/news.answers/movies/alien-faq
   mget part*
   quit

You can also get it by going to the Alien homepage through Mosaic or lynx. It's right here:

<A HREF="http://www.twi.tudelft.nl/~vos/alien.html"> Alien homepage </A>

Then go through the 'All info about the Alien sequels' link. You will see all parts there. There are a lot of pictures and sounds there, including the script of Alien. The other scripts will be added soon.

WARNING: This FAQ contains spoilers.

WARNING: Anyone who complains about the posting of this LARGE document to

        the Internet or offers me bizzarre, strange, and complicated 
        alternatives to "posting" will be [cordially] ignored.

——————————————————————————

CONTENTS

PART 1:

How do I contribute to this FAQ?........................................0
Movie synopsis..........................................................1
What do we know about the Alien species?................................2
Who is [character/director]?............................................3
Which scenes were "cut"?................................................4
What different versions of each movie are there?........................5
Merchandise.............................................................6

PART 2:

Memorable quotes........................................................7
Technical problems......................................................8
Trivia..................................................................9
Plot problems and loopholes.............................................10
Frequently asked questions..............................................11

PART 3:

Frequently discussed topics.............................................12
Movie viewing rituals...................................................13
Where can I get Gibson's ALIEN^3 script?................................14

PART 4:

Some lifeform-deductions from the movies................................15
Revision history........................................................16

0. HOW DO I CONTRIBUTE TO THIS FAQ?

To ensure accuracy, this FAQ has a few ground rules. The only canonical sources are interviews with the creators, the theatrical version of _ALIEN_, the director's cut (or theatrical version) of _ALIENS_ and the theatrical version of _ALIEN^3_. All other sources (ie: books, comics, toys, games, etc…) are generally considered speculative.

This does not mean that any information outside of the listed movies is not welcome here. Alot of the "speculative" information is used in discussions or for giving "possible" answers to questions that cannot be answered by events that occur in the movies.

If you would like to contribute to this FAQ, TRY and follow this guideline:

- include references where necessary. If you're referring to a book,

it's often a good idea to include the title of the book and Author's
name as it would appear on the book (ie: " Alan Dean Foster " instead
of " Foster ")

- DON'T be too wordy with your information as I'll be forced to

paraphrase it (the document is rather large).

- DON'T send stuff like "I really liked ALIENS" because it's OPINION and

it's not FACT and it doesn't belong in this document.

- if you wish to update/add to something already in the FAQ, please do

so.  Some of this information could easily be elaborated upon
[especially the comments that are enclosed in square brackets].

- it's preferable if you make your contribution through Email as this

FAQ can get posted to a newsgroup that I don't read and your efforts
will be wasted.

1. MOVIE SYNOPSIS

* Note: the purpose of this section is to quote what's on the back of the

      movie boxes (right or wrong).

_ALIEN_

(Color, 1979, Rated R, Shot in Panavision (2.35:1)) In deep outer
space the crew of a commercial spaceship make an unscheduled landing
on a barren and desolate planet for engine repairs.  They encounter a
pulsating organism which attaches itself to one of the crew members
and reproduces within his body to become the deadly ALIEN.  As each of
the crew members is slain by the creature - one by one - the final
confrontation between the last surviving crew member and the Alien
culminates in an explosive conclusion.  116 minutes.  [quoted from the
1984 CBS/FOX Video release]

_ALIENS_

(Color, 1986, Rated R, Shot flat (1.87:1)) Sigourney Weaver returns as
Ripley, the only survivor from mankind's first encounter with the
Alien.  Her account of the Alien and the fate of her crew is received
with skepticism - until transmissions from space colonists who have
since settled on the Alien's planet abruptly stop.  Determined to end
the recurring nightmares of her terrifying ordeal and to completely
exterminate the deadly creature, Ripley joins a team of high-tech
combat vets sent to investigate the disappearance of the space
colonists!  Approx. 138 Minutes.  [quoted from the 1992 CBS/FOX Video
release]

_ALIEN^3_

(Color, 1992, Rated R, Shot in Panavision (2.35:1)) In _ALIEN^3_,
Ripley finds herself an unwelcome guest on Fiorina 161, a
lice-infested planet in a distant solar system, when the EEV she's
travelling on malfunctions and crashes.  Fiorina -- or "Fury" -- 161
is inhabited by a small community of violent criminals who discovered
religion and stayed behind when their prison facility was evacuated.
As a woman, Ripley is the ultimate outcast; her presence causes
conflicts that endanger the pracarious balance of power on the planet,
threatening to turn the reformed members of the monastic community
back into killers.
There is, however, an even more dangerous visitor to Fury 161 -- a
stowaway alien who threatens not only the inhabitants of this planet
but of the entire universe.  Faced with extinction, the prisoners band
together under Ripley's leadership and, despite a lack of advanced
technology and modern weapons, battle the creature for the very future
of mankind. [quoted from the 1992 CBS/FOX laserdisc release]

2. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE ALIEN SPECIES?

This section discusses what we know about the Alien life-form; it is entirely based on facts that are provided to us in each of the movies.

* Note: nothing in any of the canonical sources indicates that aliens

      use the DNA of their hosts to help adapt to their environment.

* Note: the phrase "acid for blood" is accepted in this section as a

      convenient way of describing the corrosive liquid that comes
      out of the aliens/face-huggers when they are shot/cut/mutilated.

Eggs - eggs are initially created inside a queen alien and enter the world (after being queued in her extended abdomen) via slimey tube to stand on their own (indicating that there is a definite "up" side and "down" side to the egg). The egg itself is a leathery object […it's full of leathery- objects; like eggs or something… Kane (Alien)], translucent and approximately 2.5 feet tall. According to a scene that was cut from _ALIEN_ these eggs could also be "constructed" by a regular alien "infecting" an organism (which would undergo some sort of metamorphosis) however, this concept was not supported (nor denied) in _ALIENS_ and _ALIEN^3_. It is important to note that this method was the originally intended method of the designer of the Alien, H.R. Giger.

_ALIEN^3_ eggs - the egg in _ALIEN^3_ was smaller than we had previously seen and it was more bulbous.

Face-huggers - hibernating inside one of these eggs is a parasite, commonly refered to as a face-hugger. When a viable host is brought near a closed egg (either by curiosity, or being cocooned and held in place) it triggers the "contents" of the egg to come to life. The egg opens and the face-hugger launches out at the organism and attaches itself by wrapping a long "tail" around its victim's neck and using long spider-like legs (like a spider, the face-hugger has 8 legs) to firmly grip the organism's head. The face-hugger controls the amount of oxygen its host receives and puts the victim in a comatose state while it reaches down the host's throat and lays an egg. In order to ensure that the job can be completed with little outside interference, the face-hugger has concentrated acid for "blood" (a possible self defense mechanism) and can strangle its host with its tail […it's not coming off without tearing his face off with it. Dallas (Alien)] After the egg is planted in the victim's body, the face-hugger leaves the host (who will soon re-gain conciousness and have no recollection of the implantation) and dies. […he's got an outer layer of protein poly-saccarides, has a funny habit of shedding his cells and replacing them with polarized silicon which gives him a longer resistance to adverse environmental conditions. Ash (Alien)]

Chest-burster - the alien begins its life by bursting from the chest of its host. At this stage in its development it has a small cranium, tan-colored skin and is susceptable to fire.

_ALIENS_ chestburster - Unlike the one in _ALIEN_ this chestburster had arms.

_ALIEN^3_ chestburster - This chestburster was different from the ones in _ALIEN_ and _ALIENS_; it was more "mature looking" immediately after its birth. Specifically, unlike the chestbursters of the previous movies, this one had legs.

Alien - As the chest-burster matures, it sheds its skin (similar to a snake), its cranium becomes elongated and it has a hard, dark (black/green) outer shell (exo-skeleton). The mature alien has concentrated acid for "blood" and a higher tolerance to fire. As indicated in _ALIENS_ the alien creature does not "show up" on infra-red scanners which would indicate that it does not emit heat. One distinguishing feature of the alien is that it has two mouths, one inside the other. According to H.R. Giger, the inner mouth is in fact the alien's "tongue" (it is such a vicious creature that even its tongue is dangerous). Another interesting feature of the alien is that it does not have (what we would perceive to be) "eyes".

_ALIENS_ alien - these aliens only had 3 fingers as opposed to the 6 fingered creature in _ALIEN_. Aliens in this movie had a "ribbed" cranium unlike the smooth cranium of _ALIEN_.

_ALIEN^3_ alien - This alien is different than the previous ones we've seen; it tends to move around on all fours at times and ensures that the unborn queen alien is kept safe. There are a few speculations as to why this alien is different; refer to section [13] frequently discussed topics.

The Queen Alien - little is known about her. From _ALIEN^3_ we know that a queen alien can be born in the same way as a regular alien. Some things that we do know about the queen: she has a much larger cranium than the usual alien and is slightly taller (approx 2-3 feet). The queen has the ability to create and lay eggs (through the use of the extended abdomen) and she has the ability to survive without the extended abdomen (for an unknown amount of time).

For more information, consult the last document of the FAQ, a document written by a molecular biologist called 'HiveQueen'.


3. WHO IS [CHARACTER/DIRECTOR] ?

If you seek further information about the cast or creators listed below, check out the rec.arts.movies movie database package which is available via anonymous FTP to boulder.colorado.edu in the pub/tv+movies/lists directory.

_ALIEN_

Director: Ridley Scott Writer: Dan O'Bannon Composer: Jerry Goldsmith Director of Photography: Derek Vanlint Designer: H.R.Giger (Hans Rudi Giger. Giger pronounced rhyming with "eager")

Cast: Ellen Ripley [Sigourney Weaver]: Warrant Officer J. Lambert [Veronica Cartwright]: Navigator. Ash [Ian Holm]: Science officer, an android. Parker [Yaphet Kotto]: Chief engineer. G. E. Kane [John Hurt]: Executive officer; the alien bursts from his chest.

           (In the novel, his first name is "Thomas")

S. E. Brett [Harry Dean Stanton]: Engineering technician. A. Dallas [Tom Skerritt]: Captain. Alien [Bolaji Bodejo] Mother [Helen Horton]: voice of the Nostromo computer.

_ALIENS_

Director: James Cameron Writers: James Cameron, David Giler (story), Walter Hill (story) Composer: James Horner Director of Photography: Adrian Biddle

Cast: Ellen Ripley [Sigourney Weaver]: Cargo loader, gets assigned (by

                     choice) as an advisor for the mission to LV-426.

Sergeant A. Apone [Al Matthews]: sergeant, ground commander. Corporal Dwayne Hicks [Michael Biehn]: only soldier that survived. Private W. Hudson [Bill Paxton]: "Game over man! Game over!" Private J. Vasquez [Jenette Goldstein]: uses a smart gun. Woman. Private M. Drake [Mark Rolston]: uses a smart gun. Corporal C. Ferro [Colette Hiller]: dropship pilot (wears sunglasses). Private D. Spunkmeyer [Daniel Kash]: dropship co-pilot and cargo loader. L. Bishop [Lance Henriksen]: Android; science officer. Carter J. Burke [Paul Reiser]: Company advisor. Private R. Frost [Ricco Ross]: Hated the corn bread. Private T. Crowe [Tip Tipping] Corporal C. Dietrich [Cynthia Scott]: Medic. Lieutenant S. Gorman [William Hope]: Controls the marines from the APC. Private T. Wierzbowski [Trevor Steedman] Rebecca Jorden [Carrie Henn]: Newt.

_ALIEN^3_

Director: David Fincher Writers: Larry Ferguson, David Giler, Walter Hill, Vincent Ward (story) Composer: Elliot Goldenthal Director of Photography: Alex Thomson

Cast: Ellen Ripley [Sigourney Weaver]: sole survivor of the Sulaco, shaves her

           head, carries the next alien queen embryo in her body.

Bishop II [Lance Henriksen]: android and (in a different roll) the designer

           of the android or another android (looking like Bishop).

Clemens [Charles Dance]: the doctor. Golic [Paul McGann]: in the infirmary, wearing the straitjacket. Dillon [Charles S. Dutton]: the religious leader. Andrews [Brian Glover]: superintendant Newt [Danielle Edmond]: the little girl corpse. Aaron [Ralph Brown] Morse [Danny Webb] Arthur [Dhobi Oparei] Murphy [Chris Fairbank] Jude [Vincenzo Nicoli] Eric [Niall Buggy] Frank [Carl Chase] Kevin [Philip Davis] Rains [Christopher John Fields] Gregor [Peter Guinness] Boggs [Leon Herbert] William [Clive Mantle] Junior [Holt McCallany] David [Pete Postlethwaite] Troy [Paul Brennan] Company Man [Hi Ching]


4. FILMED SCENES THAT DIDN'T APPEAR IN THE THEATRICAL RELEASES.

_ALIEN_

* From Famous Monsters #158, Special 1980 Annual:

A gruesome scene where Kane's bloated corpse floats past the observation blister. This is quite a strange, because in the movie we see Kane clearly _shooting_ away from the Nostromo.

* From the _ALIEN_ box set:

After being awakened from hypersleep, Kane wanders out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, he says "Rise and shine Lambert".

Scene where the crew gathers on the bridge and listens to the signal coming from the derelict craft. [1 min, 40 sec]

Scene where Lambert confronts Ripley about Ripley's reluctance to let them back on the ship with Kane and the facehugger. Lambert tells Ripley, Parker and Brett how the face hugger got on Kane. [1 min, 40 sec]

Ripley radios down to Parker and Brett to see how they're progressing on the repairs, Parker and Ripley exchange tense words over the radio. [1 min, 17 sec]

After the face hugger's acid eats through a few floors, the crew returns to the med lab to check up on Kane's condition. Ripley sees an X-Ray of Kane's chest and asks Ash, "What is that dark stain on Kane's lung?" The rest of the crew starts asking if Kane's going to live, Dallas tells everyone to go back to work. [2 min, 16 sec]

After Kane's death, the crew gathers around at the meal table to discuss what they're going to do with the escaped alien. Brett anounces the cattle-prod idea and suggests "catching" the alien in a net. [2 min, 58 sec]

Longer version of Brett's death. This scene had Brett frozen with fear as the alien grabs his head, he yells "Parker!" and then blood poors from beneath his cap. The alien lifts him up into the landing gear and Ripley and Parker come rushing in. Parker stands where Brett once was and looks up; blood drips on his shirt and then Brett's cattle prod falls to Parker's feet. [48 sec]

2/3 of a scene was filmed, this involved Parker, Ripley and Lambert trying to flush the alien out of the air lock. As they are about to succeed, an alarm is triggered and the alien rushes out of the airlock (getting its tail caught in the closing door, and spilling acid that causes a hull breach). Parker falls unconciously to the floor, Ripley does the same and Lambert and Ash come to their rescue. Ripley vocalizes her suspicions about Ash by accusing him of setting the alarm off. [total: 1 min, 51 sec]

After Dallas's disappearance, Ripley (being suspicious of Ash) asks Lambert if she's ever slept with him. [1 min, 37 sec]

The build-up to Lambert's death is much longer. (Watch the alien's shadow on the wall, it walks in, crouches down, then immediately gets up) A scene where we see the alien enter, crouch down and wait until Lambert notices its presence was cut. When Lambert sees the alien, it uncoils its tail and walks (like a crab) over to Lambert.

After Ripley discovers the remains of Parker and Lambert, she makes another discovery. Ripley enters the landing gear area of the Nostromo (where Brett got killed) and discovers a cocooned Dallas and Brett mutating into an egg. Dallas pleads, "Kill me". Ripley flames Dallas and the Brett-egg and then runs to set the ship on self-destruct. [3 min, 22 sec]

_ALIENS_

* From the "liner notes" that came with the collector's edition of the

movie on laserdisc.

Ripley is sitting on a park bench waiting for Burke (before the inquisition), immediately following her stay in Gateway Station' hospital. She presses a button, and the entire park behind her disappears, reveiling a grey screen. Burke enters and tells her how to act at the hearing. Ripley asks about her daughter. Burke keeps talking about the hearing. She insists to hear about her daughter. Burke hands her a computer printout (colour) that shows her a nice old lady. Burke tells her her daughter died at the age of 67. That was two years ago. Ripley whispers that she promised her daughter she'd be back before her 11th birthday before going off on the Nostromo.

After Ripley's outburst during in the inquest ("Because if one of those creatures gets down here, you can kiss all of this goodbye"), dialogue has been restored in which Van Leuwen voices the council's final decision. (her flight status is revoked because she is deemed unfit to serve as a flight officer, she has to have monthly psych evaluations, and no criminal charges being filed against her)

A scene where the colonists receive orders from Burke telling them to explore the derelict space craft. Newt's family drives to the site, during the trip Newt and her brother Timothy are arguing about a game of hide and seek that they play in the colony's airduct system. Timothy complains that Newt has the unfair advantage of being able to hide in the small places that the rest of the players can't get to. Following this, they arrive at the derelict ship and the mother and father go in; later the mother returns dragging the father who now has a face hugger clamped on his face.

There's a scene of the colony, before contact with the aliens, in this scene we see a sign outside the colony reading: "Hadleys Hope - pop. 158"

During the sequence in Ripley's apartment (where they try to convince her to go investigate the lack of contact with the Colony), Burke's dialogue regarding "The Company's" interest in the colony has been restored.

Immediately following the establishing shot of the Sulaco is a restored introdution to the interior of the ship, eventually leading to the frost- covered hypersleep chamber (and then they wake-up. this is similar to the start of Alien).

During the drop from the Sulaco to LV-426, is a restored scene of Hudson playfully boasting about the Marines and their weaponry. He tells Ripley he'll protect her. He also tells her the Sulaco carries every weapon from knives to 'nukes'.

During the Marines' initial search through the colony, a sequence has been inserted in which Hudson investigate some motion they have deteced ahead of them. It were some mice walking around in their cage.

The scene in which Ripley, Burke, Gorman, and Bishop enter the colony has been restored. (you see lotsa hesitation on Ripley's face before entering the complex). Hicks leaves behind, asks her if she's ok. She says yes and enters the complex.

During Hick's discussion of the equipment salvaged from the APC wreckage, additional dialogue has been added in which he discribes the four remote sentry guns and how they can be used.

When Ripley and the Marines examine the colony's blueprints, discussing how they will barricade themselves inside the complex, there is some additional dialogue referring to the strategic placement of the sentry guns.

The sequence of Hicks arming the sentry, and Hudson and Vasquez testing one of the sentry guns been restored.

Before the scene where Ripley carries Newt into the infirmary, a single show of the sentry guns has been inserted.

During the scene where Ripley puts Newt to bed in the medical center, the dialogue about Ripley's daughter and the origin of babies as been restored. Newt asks Ripley if human babies are born the same way the aliens are. (Newt asks if Ripley ever had a daughter and she finds out Ripley's daughter's dead).

In the scene where Ripley, Bishop, Hudson, and Vasquez discuss the aliens' life cycle, there is some additional dialogue in which Hudson, Vasquez and Bishop offer their speculations. (beehive/anthill sort of society)

After Ripley's confrontation with Burke, the sequence involving the aliens attempting to make their way past the sentry guns in the service tunnel has been restored.

Something probably only showed at the opening day of Aliens was a scene in which Ripley puts on her Reebok sneakers after she just found out that the facehuggers broke free, when she rested with Newt in the MedLab.

After Vasquez and Ripley seal Bishop in the pipe, the aliens confront the other two sentry guns that have been set up in the colony corridors. At the end of the sequence, when Hicks dispatches Hudson and Vasquez (to walk perimeter), some of the shots have been rearranged from the theatrical edition and Hicks' dialogue slightly altered.

Before Ripley leaves the drop-ship to rescue Newt, there is some additional dialogue in thich she turns to Hicks to say goodbye, and they exchange their first names:

              RIPLEY : See you Hicks.
              HICKS  : Dwayne.  It's Dwayne.
              RIPLEY : *smiles* Ellen...
              HICKS  : Don't be gone long, Ellen.

When Ripley is searching for Newt, she finds Burke who has been cocooned and impregnated. Burke begs Ripley to shoot him, instead she hands him a grenade. < this scene did not appear in the director's cut, but WAS filmed >

_ALIEN^3_

* NOTE: most of these scenes are only rumoured to exist, no solid

proof exists, but I thought I'd keep them in in case someone can
substantiate them.

Scene where Ripley's face is covered with bugs [lice]

There was a dream sequence near the start of the movie where Ripley dreams that an alien is searching the wreckage and tries to rape her.

The original movie didn't include the scene of the alien bursting from the dog's chest. Card #39 (of the _ALIEN^3_ trading card set) is a picture of an ox hanging in an Abattoir and the text says, "In one of the original scenes for Alien^3, oxen are used to pull Ripley's EEV from the water. When one of the oxen falls to the ground, the prisoners take it to the Abattoir for butchering. But while a prisoner is preparing to butcher the ox, the Alien bursts from the animals chest."


5. DIFFERENT MOVIE VERSIONS.

_ALIEN_

Video - standard (has been resold in several different box re-prints)

  1. special edition (wide screen)

Disc - standard

  1. special letterbox version containing a seperate

section with the cut scenes, photos and several design drawings,

        including drawings by Moebius, Ron Cobb and H.R. Giger.

- "Alien" Super 8 Film (200 feet long)

_ALIENS_ Video - standard

  1. directors cut, containing cut scenes put back into the movie.

Disc - standard

  1. special letterbox, director's cut version containing a seperate

section with design drawings, behind the scenes footage and

        interviews with the director.  Extended version's running time:
        154 minutes.

_ALIEN^3_ Video - standard

  1. "the making of"

Disc - standard letterboxed edition


6. MERCHANDISE

This is an ever-expanding portion of the FAQ so it is probably FAR from complete.

_BOOKS_

* NOTE: "pb" = paperback, "hc" = hardcover.

- Alien Souvenir Movie Program sold in theatres (pb) - Alien Official Movie Magazine (pb, Warren Publishing) - "The Book Of Alien" by Scanlon/Gross (pb, Simon & Schuster) - "Alien, The Illustrated Story" by Goodwin/Simonson (pb, Heavy Metal) - "Alien", The Movie Novel edited by Anobile (pb, Avon) - "Giger's Alien" art by H R Giger (pb, Big O Publishing)

(hc, Morpheus International)

- "Aliens", The Official Movie Book (pb, Starlog) (pb, Japanese) - "Aliens", The Official Movie Magazine (pb, Starlog) - "Alien" by Alan Dean Foster (novelisation) (pb, 1st US ed. Warner)

(1st US. hc, SFBC, code J-27) (1st trade hc, UK)

- "Aliens" by Alan Dean Foster (novelisation) (pb, 1st US ed. Warner)

(1st US hc, SFBC, code Q-44) (1st trade hc, UK, Severn House)

- "Alien^3" by Alan Dean Foster (novelisation) - "Alien" Movie Script by Hill and Giler - "Aliens" Movie Script by James Cameron - "Alien III" Movie Script by William Gibson - "Alien Poster Magazine" Nos. 1 & 2 - Alien Press Book - Alien Press Kit - Aliens Press Kit - "Aliens, book 1: Earth Hive" by Steve Perry (Bantam, Oct 1992)

(ISBN 0-553-56120-0 pb)

- "Aliens, book 2: Nightmare Asylum" by Steve Perry (Bantam, May 1993)

(ISBN 0-553-56158-8 pb)

- "Aliens, book 3: The Female War" by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry

(Bantam, Aug 1993) (ISBN 0-553-56159-6 pb)

_COMICS_

w writer a artist c cover artist ? indicates more information needed

- COMIC SHOP NEWS: Comics Debut 1 Jun 93 Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species preview

- DARK HORSE COMICS: Aliens 1-6 (1988-9) w:Mark Verheiden ac:Mark A. Nelson 1 (6 printings) 2 (3 printings) 3-6 (2 printings) collected in hardcover, trade pb (aka Aliens Book One), includes reprint of DHP 24 b&w

Aliens Portfolio 1 (Feb 89) a:Mark Nelson Contains seven b&w plates and an eight-page mini-comic reprinting first Alien story from DHP 24

Aliens Volume 2 1-4 (1989-90) w:Mark Verheiden ac:Denis Beauvais 1-2 (2 printings) collected in limited hardcover 2500 copies, trade pb (aka Aliens Book Two and Aliens II)

Aliens: Earth War 1-4 (1990) w:Mark Verheiden a:Sam Keith c:John Bolton 1 (2 printings) collected in trade pb with an introduction by Verheiden explaining how all of the various Alien projects interconnect

The Complete Alien (1993?) reprints Aliens Book One, Aliens Book Two, Aliens: Earth War and stories from DHP limited hardcover 500 copies slipcover, leather binding, signed and numbered

Aliens vs. Predator 0-4 (1990) w:Randy Stradley ac:Phill Norwood a:Karl Story c:Mike Mignola a:Chris Warner a:Robert Campanella c:Dave Dorman 0 (reprints Dark Horse Presents 34-36, b&w) 1-4 (2 printings) collected in limited hardcover 1000 copies, trade pb, includes color reprint of DHP 34-36

Aliens: Genocide 1-4 (1991-2) w:Mike Richardson w:John Arcudi a:Damon Willis a:Karl Story c:Arthur Suydam collected in trade pb

Aliens: Hive 1-4 (1992) w:Jerry Prosser ac:Kelley Jones collected in trade pb, c:Dave Dorman

Aliens: Newt's Tale 1-2 (1992) w:Mike Richardson a:Jim Somerville a:Brian Garvey c:John Bolton prestige format

Alien3 1-3 (1992) w:Steven Grant a:Christopher Taylor a:Rick Magyar c:Arthur Suydam movie adaptation

Aliens: Tribes (1992) w:Steve Bissette ac:Dave Dorman graphic novel Winner 1992 Bram Stoker Award from Horror Writers of America limited hardcover 1000 copies, hardcover, trade pb

Aliens: Sacrifice (May 93) w:Peter Milligan ac:Paul Johnson prestige format

Aliens: Salvation (Nov 93) w:Dave Gibbons a:Mike Mignola a:Kevin Nowlan prestige format

Aliens: Colonial Marines 1-12 (1993-4) w:Chris Warner a:Tony Akins a:Paul Guinan c:Robert Mentor 1 (cardboard cover) 2-3 w:Kelley Puckett a:Paul Guinan a:Allen Nunis c:Joe Phillips 4-5 w:Kelley Puckett a:Paul Guinan a:Bob Smith c:Joe Phillips 6 wa:Paul Guinan a:Tony Akins c:Robert Mentor 7 8-12 (forthcoming)

Aliens: Rogue 1-4 (1993) w:Ian Edgington ac:Will Simpson

Aliens/Predator: The Deadliest of the Species 1-12 (1993-4) w:Chris Claremont a:Jackson Guice a:John Beatty c:John Bolton a:Eduardo Barretto 1 Jul 93 Special Ash Can Edition (red foil cover) 1 Jul 93 Special Ash Can Edition (numbered, copper foil cover ?) 1 Jul 93 Time of the preacher 1 Jul 93 Time of the preacher (audio-enhanced edition ?) 1 Jul 93 Time of the preacher (platinum edition) 2 Sep 93 The hunt 3 Nov 93 Virtually real 4 Jan 94 The great escape 5-12 (forthcoming)

Aliens: Labyrinth 1-4 (1993-4) w:Jim Woodring ac:Kilian Plunkett

Aliens: Music of the Spears 1-4 (1994) w:Chet Williamson a:Tim Hamilton ac:Timothy Bradstreet c:Guy Burwell 2-4 (forthcoming)

Aliens: Dragon (1994) w:Mark Askwith ac:Charles Vess graphic novel (forthcoming)

- DARK HORSE PRESENTS (b&w anthology series): 24 1987? Theory of Alien Propagation w:Mark Verheiden a:Mark A. Nelson first Alien appearance in Dark Horse comics b&w

34 Nov 89 Aliens w:Randy Stradley a:Phill Norwood a:Karl Story c:Chris Warner b&w

36 Feb 90 Aliens vs. Predator w:Randy Stradley a:Phill Norwood a:Karl Story c:Chris Warner c:Dave Dorman b&w, line drawn cover

36 Feb 90 Aliens vs. Predator w:Randy Stradley a:Phill Norwood a:Karl Story c:Chris Warner c:Dave Dorman b&w, painted cover

42 Jul 90 Aliens part 1: Advent wac:Paul Guinan b&w

43 Aug 90 Aliens part 2: Terminus wac:Paul Guinan b&w

56 Nov 91 The Alien parts 1 & 2 w:John Arcudi a:Tony Akins ac:Paul Guinan b&w

Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (1992?) Aliens: Reapers w:John Arcudi a:Simon Bisley Also contains unseen epilogue to Aliens vs. Predator series w:Randy Stradley a:Phill Norwood trade paperback, b&w

Dark Horse Presents: Aliens 1 (1992) c:Simon Bisley 1 prestige format 1 prestige format, platinum edition color reprints of stories from DHP 24, 42, 43, DHP 5th Anniv special, 56

Best of Dark Horse Presents (1992-3?) Volumes 1-3 may contain Alien stories ? trade pb, reprint collection

- DARK HORSE COMICS (color anthology series): Aliens: Horror Show w:Sarah Byam a:David Roach 3 Oct 92 part 1 c:David Roach 4 Nov 92 part 2 5 Dec 92 part 3 c:Dave Dorman

Aliens: Taste w:Edward Martin III a:Mark Nelson c:Arthur Adams 11 Jul 93

Aliens: Backsplash w:Jim Woodring a:Kilian Plunkett 12 Aug 93 part 1 13 Sep 93 part 2 c:Kilian Plunkett

Aliens: Cargo w:Dan Jolley a:John Nadean a:Terry Pallot 15 Nov 93 part 1 c:John Higgins 16 Dec 93 part 2

Aliens: Alien w:John Arcudi a:Paul Mendoza 17 Jan 94 part 1 of 3 18-19 (forthcoming)

- DARK HORSE INSIDER (promotional series): Aliens: Countdown (1990-1) w:Mike Richardson a:Dennis Beauvais Serialized story probably started in issue #14 of Volume 1 (Sep 90) and continued for an unknown number of issues but completed by Jan 92

Aliens vs Predator 2 (1992-3) w:Randy Stradley a:Chris Warner Serialized story probably started in issue #1 of Volume 2 (Jan 92) and completed in issue #14 (Feb 93)

Vol 2 #12 Dec 92 Alien cover

- DARK HORSE INTERNATIONAL (UK monthly magazines): Aliens Volume 1 17 or more issues, content unknown

Aliens Volume 2 Serial reprints and original stories

1 Jul 92? Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2 2 Aug 92 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 3 Sep 92 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 4 Oct 92 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 5 Nov 92 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 6 Dec 92 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 7 Jan 93 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 8 Feb 93 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Newt's Tale 9 Mar 93 Hive, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Countdown (mini-comic part

      1, collected from Dark Horse Insider), Colonial Marines, Sacrifice

10 Apr 93 Aliens vs. Predator 2, Countdown (mini-comic part 2),

      Colonial Marines, Sacrifice, Tribes

11 May 93 Aliens vs. Predator 2, Colonial Marines, Sacrifice,

      Tribes

12 Jun 93 Aliens vs. Predator 2, Colonial Marines, Sacrifice,

      Tribes, Horror Show

13 Jul 93 Aliens vs. Predator 2, Colonial Marines, Tribes, Horror

      Show, Crusade (w:Christian Gorny a:Michael Cook)

14 Aug 93 Aliens vs. Predator 2, Colonial Marines, Tribes, Horror

      Show, Crusade

15 Sep 93 Colonial Marines, Tribes, Crusade, Backsplash 16 Oct 93 Colonial Marines, Tribes, Crusade, Backsplash 17 Nov 93 Colonial Marines, Crusade, Cargo, Taste 18 Dec 93 Colonial Marines, Crusade, Cargo 19 Jan 94 Colonial Marines, Crusade, Salvation 20 Feb 94 Colonial Marines, Crusade, Salvation 21 Mar 94 Colinial Marines, Crusade, Salvation, Alien 22 Apr 94 Colonial Marines, Crusade, Alien, Rogue 23 May 94 Colonial Marines, Alien, Rogue,

      Matrix (graphic novella, w:Grant Morrison a:Chris Halls)

Alien3 Movie Special 1-3 (includes only official comic version of Alien3) movie adaptation

Total Carnage Aliens/Predator: The Deadliest of the Species serialized starting in issue #9 (Nov 93)

- DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTERS: Aliens: Earth Angel (1993-4) wa:John Byrne Serialized in Previews, Vol III #1 - Vol IV #1 To be collected in a future issue of Previews

- ECLIPSE COMICS: Illegal Aliens (Sep 92) w:Clint McElroy ac:Bill Maus ac:Bob Hanon parody, modern vs. classic movie monsters b&w

- HEAVY METAL COMMUNICATIONS: Alien, the Illustrated Story (1979) w:Archie Goodwin a:Walter Simonson ISBN 930-36842-8 trade pb

_MAGAZINES & ARTICLES_

- Alien Invasions (Warren Presents No.3) - American Cinematographer: August, 1979 issue - American Film: Vol.4, No.5. - Cinefantastique: Vol.9, No.1 Vol.16, No.3, No.4/5 (double issue) - Cinefex: Nos. 1 & 27 - Cinemacabre: No.2 - Cracked Magazine: (parody) Digest No. II (Monster Party, 1/87) - Famous Monsters of Filmland: Nos. 154,155,156,157,158,159 - Fangoria: Nos. 1 & 3 - Fantastic Films: Nos. 9,10,11,12,13,22 - Filmfax: No. 4 - Future Life: No. 11 - Galactic Journal: No. 21 - Mad Magazine: (parody) Nos. 212, 268 - Mediascene: Nos. 32 & 35 - Monsterland: Nos. 11 & 13 - Premier: May 1992, Vol. 5, No. 9 - Prevue: No. 65 - Questar: No. 5 - Space Monsters: No. 1 - Space Wars: issues dated 9/79, 3/80 - Spotlight: Oct - Nov 1986, No 4 (French) - Starburst: (British) Nos. 8,14,16,17,19,88,97,98,99,100,102,105 - Starlog: Nos. 22,23,24,25,26,27,41,99,103,105,106,107,108,109,110,111,

115,117,121,125,126,150

- Japanese Edition: Nos. 7 & 9 - Sci-Fi Yearbook: No. 1 - Scrapbook: No.6 - Best of Starlog: Nos. 1 & 7 - Poster Magazine: Vol.1, Nos. 2 & 7 - Starlog Yearbook: Nos. 1,2,6,7 - Starwarp: Vol.2, No.3 - DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTERS:

Previews Vol II #11-12 (Oct 92-Nov 92)
Interviews with Alien writers and artists, previews of Colonial Marines

-EC PUBLICATIONS:

Mad #212     Jan 80  Alias (Alien parody)
Mad #268     Jan 87  (Aliens parody)
Mad #?       ~1992   (Alien3 parody)

- FICTIONEER BOOKS:

Comics Interview 68, 84, 87 (interviews with Alien writers and artists)
Comics Interview Super Special: Aliens vs Predator
Comics Interview Special Edition: Aliens

- WARRIOR PUBLICATIONS:

Hero Illustrated 2 (Aug 93)
Aliens/Predator cover, bagged with Aliens/Predator ashcan comic

_CLOTH PATCHES_ _IRON ONS_

- US Colonial Marines (with Eagle) - USCS Nostromo - US Colonial Marines (words) - Alien Egg - USCS Nostromo (emblem) - Space Jockey - USCS Sulaco (emblem) - Delta (USCM emblem)

_PUZZLES (all from HG Toys)_

- "Alien" painted by Montage (large size) - "Alien Egg" - "Nostromo in Flight" - "Kane Looking In Egg" - "Puzzle in an Egg"(painted Alien Warrior) - "Alien Space Jockey"

_BUTTONS AND PINS_

- "Alien" movie promo (probably more than one) - "Aliens" movie promo (probably more than one; the one I have is a blue

3-D button with the word logo)

- "Alien^3" movie promo (large and rectangular with a picture of an egg,

the title "Alien^3" and the date "1992" on it)

- "Alien 2" Japanese painted metal pin (figure of Alien Warrior) - Dark Horse Cloisette Series:

  No.1 (Alien Warrior)            No.2 (Alien Warrior)
  No.3 (Alien Queen)              No.4 (Chestburster)
  No.5 (Facehugger)               No.6 (Facehugger)
scheduled (ie, Nos. 7 & 8, the "Alien Drones")

_POSTERS AND PROMO ITEMS_

- "Alien" movie poster issue (one sheet) [possibly a 3 sheet] - "Aliens" movie poster issue styles "A" and "B" - "Ripley and Newt" Aliens promo poster - Alien Warrior: comic illustration (by Mark Neilson) - "Aliens" video promo poster - door sized Alien Warrior - Alien Warrior photo poster - H. R. Giger set of 6 or 8 concept design lithographs (S/N, edition of 325) - "Alien" movie sticker (Italien) - "Alien" movie stills (eight coloured stills, labeled "Set A") [more?] - "Alien" set of eight lobby cards (larger/smaller sizes) - "Alien" promotional matchbook (given away at 7-11, features Alien Egg logo) - "Alien" 8" by 16" cardboard promotional (movie theatre) insert - "Aliens" cardboard promotional (movie theatre) stand up of Ripley in Alien

Egg Chamber

- "Aliens" video store promotional display

_CARDS_

- "Alien" card set (84 cards with 22 stickers) (Topps) - "Alien^3" card set

_MODELS_

- KAIYODO Alien Warrior (Japanese) - KAIYODO Alien Queen (Japanese) - KAIYODO Alien Warrior II (based upon H.R. Giger's pre-production concept

design; limited ed., issued at 8/89 Japanese Model Fest)

- KAIYODO Alien Warrior ("deformed") (Japanese) - TSU promo poster - Alien Warrior: comic illustration (by Mark Neilson) - "Aliens" video promo poster - door sized Alien Warrior - Alien Warrior photo poster - H. R. Giger set of 6 or 8 concept design lithographs (S/N, edition of 325) - "Alien" movie sticker (Italien) - "Alien" movie stills (eight coloured stills, labeled "Set A") [more?] - "Alien" set of eight lobby cards (larger/smaller sizes) - "Alien" promotional matchbook (given away at 7-11, features Alien Egg logo) - "Alien" 8" by 16" cardboard promotional (movie theatre) insert - "Aliens" cardboard promotional (movie theatre) stand up of Ripley in Alien

Egg Chamber

- "Aliens" video store promotional display

_CARDS_

- "Alien" card set (84 cards with 22 stickers) (Topps) - "Alien^3" card set

_MODELS_

- KAIYODO Alien Warrior (Japanese) - KAIYODO Alien Queen (Japanese) - KAIYODO Alien Warrior II (based upon H.R. Giger's pre-production concept

design; limited ed., issued at 8/89 Japanese Model Fest)

- KAIYODO Alien Warrior ("deformed") (Japanese) - TSUKUDA Alien Warrior (Japanese) - JRC Facehugger (Japanese "Garage Kit") - JRC Chestburster (Japanese "Garage Kit") - NYC Narcissus (Japanese) - NYC Alien Queen Metal Miniature Figure (Japanese) - OZ SHOP Alien Warrior, Astronaut, APC, Drop Ship (all "deformed") - SCOOP Alien Facehugger Bust (Japanese) - Scoop Alien Egg (on base) (Japanese) - MPC Alien Warrior (1st edition with jaws, 2nd edition no jaws) - HALCYON Aliens Armoured Personnel Carrier - HALCYON Aliens Drop Ship (* Note: SHED customising kit available) - GONZOID Alines Armoured Personnel Carrier (1/72 scale) - LATTIMER PRODUCTIONS Chestburster (lifesize) - MFR. UNKNOWN Alien Nostromo Astronaut (on base with egg) (Japanese) - AEF MODEL KITS (small scale, highly detailed) Hicks; Drake; Frost; Dietrich;

Apone; Gorman; Hudson; Wierzbowski; Crowe; Ferro; Spunkmeyer; Vasquez(gun);
Vasquez(escape); Ripley(combat); Ripley(escape); Completion Kits A,B,C;
Equipment Kits A,B,C; Alien Warriors A,B,C,D; Alien Queen (attack mode);
Alien Egg Assortment; Closed Egg Assortment; Facehugger/Chestburster
Assortment; Alien Egg Chamber [very ltd edition of 150?]; USCM Power Loader

- Sulaco, ALIEN^3 chestburster, facehugger (full scale), Queen Chestburster,

Power Loader

- MFR. UNKNOWN M41A Pulse Rifle kit (full size) - HALYCON/HORIZON Nostromo ("Nostromo model #HT-03 US.Doll.185.00")

_UNCONFIRMED MODEL KITS_

- Unknown Mfr. Alien Chestburster (Japanese Garage Kit) - Unknown Mfr. "Aliens" Deformed Queen (Japanese Garage Kit) - ICHIBA Nostromo Model Kit (200+ pieces) (Japanese)

_AUDIO ITEMS_

- "Alien" Film Soundtrack (J. Goldsmith)

CD:   Polygram, FILMCD003
      Festival, D41565
Cass: Polygram, FILMMC003
Tracks: Main Title, The Face Hugger, Breakaway, Acid Test, The Landing, 
        The Droid, The Recovery, The Alien Planet, The Shaft, End Title

- "Aliens" Film Soundtrack (J. Horner)

CD GE Colosseum VCD 47263
CD JA Soundtrack Listeners Communications SLCS-7009
CD UK That's Entertainment CDTER 1115
CD US Varese Sarabande VCD 47263
CD US Varese Sarabande VSD-47263
Tracks: Main Title, Going after Newt, Sub-Level, Ripley's Rescue,
        Atmosphere Station, Futile Escape, Dark Discovery, 
        Bishop's Countdown, Resolution and Hyperspace

- "Alien^3" Film Soundtrack (E. Goldenthal)

CD:   BMG, MCAD10629
Cass: BMG, MCAC10629
Tracks: Agnus Dei, Bair and Chase, The Beast Within, Lento, Candles in the
        Wind, Wreckage and Rape, The First Attack, Lullaby Elegy, Death
        Dance, Visit to the Wreckage, Explosion and Aftermath, The Dragon, 
        The Entrapment, Adagio

_MISC ITEMS_

- LARAMI "Alien" Glow Putty - THINKING CAP COMPANY "Alien" NOSTROMO baseball cap - "In space, everybody can wear a cap" cap. - BEN COOPER "Alien" Halloween Costume - DISTORATIONS "Alien" Full Size Mask (cast from original used in movie,

limited edition) [anywhere from 25 to 300 in edition?]

- DON POST "Alien" Facehugger (lifesize in plexiglass case) - SF MASK COMPANY "Alien" Head Mask - MARCO INDUSTRIES "Alien" Head Mask - MARCO INDUSTRIES "Alien" Full Sized Body Suit with Mask & Working Jaws - MARCO INDUSTRIES "Aliens" M-41 A Pulse Rifle Set (3 grenades, locater

wristband, web sling, extra pulse cartidge, etc.)

- "Aliens" Logo Mug - "Aliens" Doorknob sign ("This Room Protected By Aliens" and "Bug Off") - "Aliens" Car Window Sign ("Aliens on Board") - "Aliens" Door Sign ("Aliens Fan Club Members Only") - "Aliens" Note Pads ("Trust Me, I'm The Boss" & "A Note From The Better Half") - Full-scale inflatable alien doll. - Door-sized poster "Aliens don't have to knock"

_T-SHIRTS_

- Black Shirt with Drooling Alien (front) Green Alien Egg (back) - Black/Grey Shirt with Alien Warrior (front) Warrior's Tail and words

("In Space No One Can Hear You Scream") (back)

- Black Shirt with Alien Egg and words ("How Do You Like Your Eggs?") (front) - 3-D Alien Chestburster coming through front of shirt - Grey Shirt with USCM Emblem (front) - Grey Shirt with "Aliens" logo (front)/words ("There Are Some Places In The

Universe You Don't Go Alone")

_TOYS AND GAMES_

- KENNER 18" "Alien" Warrior Action Figure - KENNER "Alien" Board Game - HG TOYS "Alien" Blaster Target Game - HG TOYS "Alien" Chase Target Game - KENNER "Alien" Movie Viewer and Cartridge - "Alien" Computer Game - ACTIVISION "Aliens" Computer Game - ELECTRIC DREAMS "Aliens" (European version) Computer Game - "ALIEN^3" for the Sega Mega Drive, Amiga and possibly others. - LEADING EDGE "Aliens" Role Playing Game - LEADING EDGE "Aliens" Expansion Module - LEADING EDGE "Alien" board game - HG TOYS "Alien" pistol (shoots ping-pong balls) - action figures: Ripley (w/flamethrower),

                Hicks (w/missile?), 
                Apone (w/grenades), 
                Bishop (w/Gatling gun),
                Drake (w/"smart gun"?),
                ATAX (wearing Alien Queen "disguise"),
                Alien Queen (w/swinging tail and extending second jaw;
                             includes "chestburster"),
                Flying Alien Queen (w/flapping wings), 
                Scorpion Alien (body explodes; includes facehugger),
                Bull Alien (head rams; includes facehugger),
                Gorilla Alien (arms grab, squirts "acid"; includes
                               facehugger),
                Giant Face Hugger,
                Snake Alien,
                Mantis Alien,

- miniatures: (25 mm scale, available in blister packs)

      (20300) Alien Warriors (6 pc.)
      (20301) Col. Marines (8 pc.)
      (20302) Col. Marines 2 (8 pc.)
      (20303) Alien Queen Mother 
      (20304) Colonists Last Stand (5 pc.)
      (20305) Alien Warriors 2 (6 pc.)
      (24101) Aliens Warriors blister pack 1 (2 Alien warriors)
      (24102) ...... ........ ....... .... 2 (same)
      (24103) ...... ........ ....... .... 3 (same)
      (24104) ...... ........ ....... .... 4 (same)
      (24105) ...... ........ ....... .... 5 (same)
      (24106) ...... ........ ....... .... 6 (same) 
      (24107) ...... ........ ....... .... 7 (1 warrior & 1 Warrior 
                                              attacking a colonist)
      (24201) Aliens Ripley blister pack  (Ripley, Newt, Hicks, Burke)
      (24202) ...... Dropship Crew bl.pk. (Ferro, Spunkmeyer, Frost)
      (24203) ...... Machinegunners bl.pk. (Vasquez, Drake, Wierzbowski)
      (24301) ...... Sentry Gun bl.pk. (4 sentry guns)
      (24204) ...... Game Over bl.pk. (Hudson, Bishop, Crowe)
      (24302) ...... Facehugger bl.pk. (4 open eggs & 6 facehuggers)
      (24205) ...... Apone bl.pk. (Apone, Gorman, Dietrich)
      (24303) ...... Egg bl.pk. (5 closed eggs)
      (24401) ...... Powerloader bl.pk. (Powerloader & Jones the cat)
      (24305) ...... Colonists bl.pk. (3 col. being attacked by facehuggers)
      (24307) ...... APC Boxed Set (The APC in 25 mm scale)
      (source: Advance Comics, #58)
      (20108) Aliens Dropship Boxed Set ("This is a large, in-scale 
      version of the Dropship, completely compatible with the Leading Edge
      line og Aliens Warriors, Colonial Marines, and the APC. This lead-
      free set is packaged in TWO figure cased and wrapped in a larger
      sleeve." (Advance comics, #59, p.322)
      (20109) Aliens Sulaco Miniatures Boxed Set ("This is a large 
      (roughly 6"long) version of the spacecraft used by the colonial
      marines. It is not 25mm scale, but hey, it's the Sulaco!" (Advance 
      Comics, #59, p.322)

- Vehicles:

                Power Loader,
                EVAC Fighter,
                Stinger

- RPG: Primary Design: Barry Nakazono

      Writing and Design: David McKenzie
      Editing and Production: Irene Kinzek
The role playing game contradicts the movie in several ways, therefore
its contents are purely speculatory, however it has this to say about
the aliens: 
  * Aliens feed on electricity, sort of like car batteries.
  * Facehuggers are awakened by MOTION outside their egg.
  * There are 3 types of aliens:  queen, warrior and sentries.
  * All types of aliens can lay eggs, however the queen's are larger and
    will last longer (centuries as opposed to months).
  * Warriors are the standard aliens that you see in the movies.
  * Sentries have special sensors that allow them to "feel" vibrations
    anywhere in the hive.
  * Aliens do have a language of gestures and audible sounds.
  * Aliens can see infrared as well as the visible spectrum.

Newsgroups: alt.cult-movies,rec.arts.sf.movies,rec.arts.movies,news.answers,rec.answers,alt.answers Path: helix.net!unixg.ubc.ca!news.mic.ucla.edu!news.bc.net!vanbc.wimsey.com!scipio.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!EU.net!sun4nl!news.nic.surfnet.nl!tudelft.nl!news.twi.tudelft.nl!vos From: Vos@Dutiws.TWI.TUDelft.NL Subject: MOVIES: ALIEN FAQ part 2/4 Message-ID: CyvFqw.E4I@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl Followup-To: rec.arts.sf.movies Sender: vos@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl (E.W.C. de Vos) Organization: Weyland Yutani - "Building Better Worlds" Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 00:23:20 GMT Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Expires: Fri, 2 Dec 1994 23:00:00 GMT Lines: 1086 Xref: helix.net alt.cult-movies:16581 rec.arts.sf.movies:8574 rec.arts.movies:42907 news.answers:4899 rec.answers:1508

Posting-Frequency: approx. every month Archive-name: movies/alien-faq/part2 Version: 2.1

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & & & ALIEN, ALIENS and ALIEN^3 & & & & Information and Frequently Asked Questions & & & & Version 2.1 & & & & PART 2 of 4 & & & &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

7. MEMORABLE QUOTES

In some cases, the circumstances around which these quotes occur will be given so the reader can get the "full effect" of the moment.

"The entire world revolves around this wretched Alien." - H.R. Giger

_ALIEN_

< Kane starts choking, this starts the scene where the Alien bursts

from his chest>

"What's the matter man, the food ain't THAT bad?!" - Parker

< Ripley asks how long it takes the ship to self destruct > "If we ain't outta here in 10 minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space." - Parker

"You still don't know what you're dealing with do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility […] I admire its purity, a survivor; unclouded by conscience, remorse or delusions of morality." - Ash

_ALIENS_

"They ain't payin' us enough for this." - Drake "Not enough to wake up to your face." - Dietrich

"Hey, Hicks, you look just like I feel" -Drake

"Another glorious day in the Corps. A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm; every meal a banquet, every paycheque a fortune, every formation a parade. I love the Corps!" - Apone

"Hey Sarge, you'll get lip cancer smokin' those…" - Hudson

Hudson: "Hey, Vasquez… Have you ever been mistaken for a man?" Vasquez: "No, have you?"

Ripley: "Just stay away from me, Bishop!" < Bishop offers some of his meal to her. Ripley hits a plate from

Bishop hands >

Frost: "I guess she didn't like the corn bread either…"

Gorman: "Drake! Check your camera! There seems to be a malfunction." < on which Drake hits the camera to the wall. > Gorman: "That's better."

< After Gorman says, "Hicks, meet me at the south lock. We're coming

in." >

[sarcastically] "He's coming in. I feel safer already." - Hudson

"Stop your grinnin' and drop your linnen…" - Hudson

< Gorman orders the troops to disarm all their weapons before the first

alien encounter >

"What the hell are we supposed to use man, harsh language?" - Frost

<After Ripley tells of Burkes plans to take the organism back to Earth and him sabotaging certain cryo chambers on the way home> "I say we grease this rat fuck son of a bitch" - Hudson

< After Ripley rescues the remaining troops with the APC and suggests

that they nuke the site from orbit, Burke tries to stop this plan >

"Hey maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our ASSES kicked pal!" - Hudson

< Ripley responds to Burke's reservations about nuking the alien-infested

site >

"They can BILL me!" - Ripley

< After the first encounter with the aliens, the survivors are in the APC

discussing their next move. >

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit; it's the only way to be sure." - Ripley

< When Ripley explains that Hicks is the "one in charge" (after the

marines' first confrontation with the aliens >

"He's just a grunt! No offense…" - Burke "None taken." - Hicks < After Ripley and Newt are attacked by the facehuggers, and they

discover it was Burke's doing >

"Allright, we waste him… no offense." - Hicks

"How can they cut the power, they're ANIMALS, man!" - Hudson

< The dropship crashes > "Well that's great, that's just fuckin' great man, now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now man!" - Hudson "Are you finished?" - Hicks "That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?" - Hudson "Why don't we build a fire, sing a couple of songs! Why don't we try that?" - Burke

< Ripley tells the story of why Burke tried to impregnate her and

Newt with alien eggs >

"I say we grease this rat-fuck son-of-a-bitch right now!" - Hudson "You know Burke, I don't know which species is worse; you don't see them fucking each other over for a goddam percentage!" - Ripley

"Dear Lord Jesus, this can't be happenin' man, this isn't happenin…" - Hudson

< Ripley tells Hudson that Newt managed to survive for a long time with

no weapons and no training >

"Why don't you put HER in charge?!" - Hudson

< Hicks says that there won't be any rescue attempt made for another

17 days >

"17 days?! Hey man, I don't want to rain on your parade, but we're not gonna last 17 hours against those things!" - Hudson

< Bishop says "I'm afraid I have some bad news." > "Well that's a switch." - Hudson

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid." - Bishop

"Get away from her you bitch!" - Ripley

_ALIEN^3_

"I am a raper and murderer of women!" - Dillon "Then I must make you nervous…" - Ripley

< Ripley's looking for the alien > "Don't be afraid, I'm part of the family!" - Ripley

< Talking to something she thinks is the alien > "You've been in my life so long… I can't remember anything else…!" - Ripley

"Do we have the capacity to create fire? Most people have had that privilege since the stone age…" -Ripley


8. TECHNICAL PROBLEMS

_ALIEN_

- The "blurb" on the back of the movie box is wrong. "…the crew of

a commercial spaceship make an unscheduled landing on a barren and
desolate planet for engine repairs."  They did not land on the planet
to make engine repairs, rather to investigate the distress beacon.

- When the facehugger is cut and starts bleeding, Dallas and the rest of

the crew run down and see a hole in the ceiling. It consists of two
separate holes, with some 'bridge' inbetween. They go down one level
more, and then there is a quick shot of everyone entering the deck,
where we see the ceiling quite intact, just a little affected by the
acid. Then we see Dallas poke into the hole with Brett's pen. This
hole is _exactly_ the same one as one deck up, two holes separated
by a 'bridge'.

- In the opening scene the camera pans over interior of the

Nostromo's bridge and ends with a view on the visor of a helmet. 
Then we see shots alternated between the helmet and the monitor 
(readout on the monitor is reflected in the helmet's visor).  In 
the first view on the monitor you can see the screen and some keys 
on the console.  In the second view on the monitor, a plastic 
coffee cup has appeared to the right of the monitor.

_ALIENS_

- After the Sulaco arrives at LV-426, a computer screen displays the

last names and first initials of each of the crew members.  Hudson
isn't on the list.

- Adding up the estimated time that Bishop makes (for getting the drop

ship down to the planet) gives a total of 180 minutes (3 hours),
however the fusion reactor is not going to blow up for another 4
hours.  Ripley says "It's going to be close..."  but they actually
have a full hour to clear the base.  [not NECESARRILY a technical
problem, but it could be]

- In the LD version of aliens, during those split-seconds the camera

is NOT on the queen during the fight between Ripey and her, pay
attention to bishop.  In one shot, you can clearly see the hole that
Lance Henriksen is standing in (to hide the other half of his body) to
give the effect of being ripped in two.

- In the battle scene between Ripley and the mother alien where Ripley

is in the loader, we see the alien pull the loader into the airlock
when Ripley tries to drop it.  The loader is turned upside down and
the cone on top with the spinning yellow caution light is broken when
it slams into the floor.  In the next scene, however, we see the
loader lying on the floor of the airlock with the yellow cone still in
one piece.  Also, the sharp end of the alien tails seems to be
missing, as if it broke off, but the broken part isn't on the airlock
floor.

- When Bishop gets it from the mother alien, you can see the string

pulling the stinger through the dummy.

- The Pulse rifles are using "standard armor piercing explosive tip,

caseless" [Gorman, Aliens] and yet when one is fired, you see shells
flying out of it if you look carefully.

- During the marines' initial confrontation with the aliens (while

Ripley and Gorman are monitoring the situation from the APC), there is
a scene where Ripley tells Gorman to pull his men out. The first time
you see Ripley in this 20 second clip she is wearing a audio headset.
The frame flicks to Gorman who looks unhappy, and flicks back to an
irate Ripley with NO HEADSET. The scene flicks back to Gorman who
loses his temper, and then back to Ripley who talks into the Headset
which has reappeared. (Gorman subsequently knocks the headset off.)

- In the scene in the dropship where Ripley is preparing to rescue

Newt; she's arming herself, there is an editing error.  Camera angle 1
(close up of the weapons rack) Ripley grabs a flame thrower and then
from angle 2 (close up of the table) she puts down a pulse rifle.
Next she grabs a pulse rifle but puts down a flame unit.  This is in
the theatrical version, but is corrected in the boxed set.

- When Frost falls down the stairwell on fire. If you look closely at

the last couple of frames before the camera angle changes you can see
a boot come out from the bottom left corner.  It shows up quite nicely
in front of the fire.  It looks to be more of a silhouette.  It is
definitely not a character's boot, nor is it Frost's boot that may
have popped off.  This is in both the theatrical and boxed set
version.

_ALIEN^3_

- Many instances where you can see the "outline" created by the blue

screening technique.

- The "furnace" that Ripley falls into at the end is WAY off scale, it

was just too big!

- The Cryo capsules seen in the escape pod in _ALIEN^3_ are the same

design as those seen in _ALIEN_ which is a DIFFERENT design than the
capsules seen in the Sulaco in _ALIENS_.

9. TRIVIA

_ALIEN_

<Trivia about the making of Alien>

- H.R. Giger, the man who created the alien, was also hired to make up

some scenery for Dune. This was not used, though.

- The facehugger was originally far more bigger than it turned out

eventually. The first drafts of the facehugger showed it about
one-and-a-half yards big, with a tail which made it up to (or over)
three yards. It embrased the complety head of the victim, instead of
just attaching to the front.

- The first alien Ridley Scott thought of having marching around in the

picture, was a big man with a bunch of children strapped to him,
wrapped up in rubber. This idea was thought over, but it gave too
many problems. The second idea was a robot 'alien'. This idea was
rejected because of safety reasons: there was no way of really being
sure that no one would get hurt when the robot would've been armed
(during a fight). Then the idea of a insect like alien was brought
up. The alien we all know was derived from this idea.

- The first draws of the alien showed us an alien with eyes!

- Bolaji Badejo, the man who was in the alien suit, was just picked up

from a bar by Ridley Scott. He was as big as Scott wanted the alien
to be: two metres (6ft, 7in).

- There were two alien suits: one for the effect of a HUGE alien, 6ft

7in, and one for the stuntman, Eddy Powell, 5ft 10in.

- Only due to problems with materials, the alien was _not_ transparent.

Otherwise we would've been watching a transparent alien in the
trilogy...

- Unsubstantiated rumour:

"None of the actors saw the alien before the shootings. This created a
 genuine reaction on film."
For more information, see below: "FALSE RUMOUR!"

<Other trivia>

- H.R. Giger made an alien walking-stick handle. He took this to the

Oscar Award ceremony.

- According to the _ALIEN_ box set, _ALIEN_ grossed $ 40,300,000.00

- The first half of the movie was based on original ideas and a script

entitled "Memories" by Dan O'Bannon, the second half originated from
the idea of gremlins on a B-17 bomber, transposed to a spaceship.
[source: _ALIEN_ box set]

- Notice the similarity between the cocooned gremlins in the movie

"Gremlins" and the alien's eggs/cocoon structure.  This similarity may
have been due to the original 'gremlins on a B-17' concept for the
latter half of _ALIEN_.  This aspect of _GREMLINS_ could've been 
inspired by _ALIEN_.

- It has been suggested that _ALIEN_ is a rip-off from from an A.E.

van Vogt short story entitled "Discord in Scarlet". Van Voght seems
to have won a court suite about what appeared to be a rip-off of part
of this famous novella. "Discord in Scarlet" is about a castaway
alien who plants eggs in the bodies of humans.
"Discord in Scarlet" was pasted into a composite novel called
"Voyage of the space beagle".

- "Nostromo" (a novel by Joseph Conrad) pilots a ship hauling ore out

of a turbulent South American country.

- The name of the shuttle "Narcissus" was taken from the Conrad novel

"The Nigger of the Narcissus".  The plot revolves around a sailor who
brings death on board with him.

- The alien's habit of laying eggs in the stomach (which then burst

out) is similar to the life-cycle of the tsetse fly.

- The images that the computers display during the Nostromo's

separation from the Mother ship (as well as some images (ie: the
"Purge" message) used near the end where Ripley is setting up the
escape pod to blast off) are re-used in _Blade Runner_ (also directed
by Ridley Scott)

- FALSE RUMOUR!!!

"Only John Hurt and the camera crew knew exactly what was going to
 happen during the chest-bursting scene.  The actors' only clue as to
 what was going to happen was from what they read in the script, so
 reactions are genuine."
This rumour is completely unsubstantial! In "Giger's Alien" it says that
this scene was shot three times. So everybody knew perfectly well what they
were getting in to. They had to change their blood stained shirts every time
after a shooting.

- In the scene from ALIEN where Dallas, Kane and Lambert are leaving

the ship, the actual actors walking past the Nostromo's landing struts
are 3 children (two of which were Ridley Scott's children) dressed in
scaled down spacesuits. This has the effect of making the ship look
even bigger.

- Watch the scene where Kane gets attacked by the facehugger

frame-by-frame.  You'll see (through Kane's eyes) the facehugger jump
out of the egg, attach itself to his helmet, break through the glass
shielding and stick a tube down his throat.

- An over-turned ice cube tray is on the side of Ash's motion tracking

device was an ice-cube tray.

- A sex scene between Dallas and Ripley (!) was in the script, however

was not filmed. [source: _ALIEN_ box set]

- The front (face) part of the alien costume's head is made from a

real human skull. [source: _ALIEN_ box set]

- Although it has nothing to do with _ALIEN_, Sigourney Weaver's real

name is Susan Alexandra. [source: Who is Who in America, 47th Edition]

- A good deal of the music that Jerry Goldsmith wrote for Alien never

made it into the movie.  Several tracks on the CD soundtrack don't
appear in the film, and most of them that are in the movie apparently
weren't used in the scenes they were written for, judging from track
titles.  The movie uses some classical music, plus music from an
earlier Jerry Goldsmith score entitled "Freud."  [refer to section 6, 
MERCHANDISE for more soundtrack information]

- In Mel Brooks' Sci-Fi spoof "Space Balls" there is a scene near the end

where John Hurt (Kane) and a group of other actors made up to
resemble the crew in _ALIEN_ are enjoying a drink at a space diner. 
Hurt suddenly starts choking and a chestburster erupts from his chest.
The creature then dawns a top hat and dances across the bar while
singing "Hello my baby".  John Hurt (Kane) says "Oh no, not again".

< the next two points are quoted from the Blade Runner FAQ with

permission >

- Notice that both _Alien_ and BladeRunner have "artificial persons",

and there is ambiguity as to who is/was a real human.  _Alien_ and BR
are perfectly compatible, the only problem being that Ash should have
been a replicant, as opposed to a robot.

- When Deckard enters his apartment at the end, the background hum is

the same distinctive hum as in parts of _ALIEN_.

_ALIENS_

- Look closely at the readouts about the Nostromo crew in back

of Ripley during the Inquest.  There is, if you look closely, 
some interesting (and accurate) detail about the characters.

- James Cameron was offered, after Terminator, two film projects -

one was a futuristic version of Spartacus, the other was what 
was then called Alien II.  He chose the latter.

- When, in the Sulaco, the Marines are being thawed out - look

at the screen - nearly without exception, the names listed
have as the character's first initial, the actor's first initial.

- Tip Tipping, who played Private "expendable" Wiersbowski, was actually

a stuntman and stunt coordinator.  He died about two years back in
a tragic parachuting accident...

- Also there's a wonderful visual pun - when the Mother Alien

"stings" Bishop,  "Queen takes Bishop!!"

- "El Riesgo Siempre Vive." is written on Vasquez's chest plate armor.

In Spanish, this literally means "the risk lives forever", and
figuratively means (it's a saying) that taking risks is necessary to
survive.

- Hudson's line, "Stop your grinnin' and drop your linnen" is a quote

from an AC/DC song entitled "Shake a Leg".  [album: Back In Black] 

- British Aerospace was [secretly] contracted to design the weaponry

and spacecraft for Aliens. The dropship is a composite of the cockpit
from the Apache helicopter, and engine cowling from old British planes
- also the Sulaco is based on the pulse rifle.

- "…It was [Jeanette] Goldstein's (Vasquez) outside that needed an

 overhaul, largely because blue eyes and Huck Finn-style freckles
 didn't quite fit the job description.  'The makeup took an HOUR,' she
 sighs.  'The makeup woman said I had the most ornery freckles she had
 ever seen.'...They also gave her dark contact lenses, and rather
 unceremoniously, whacked off most of her waist-length hair."  [from
STARLOG #115, Feb.1987]

- "The introduction to the marines, […], as they awoke from hyper

 space and gnawed on breakfast, was filmed at the production's end.
 That way, the cast had several months to get acquainted."  [from
STARLOG #115, Feb.1987]

- "Loco" is written on the back of Vasquez's shirt. [from STARLOG

#115, Feb.1987]

- Goldstein : "'It's never mentioned in the film, but in the

 characters' background, she and Drake are recruited from juvenile
 prison, where they're under life sentences.
 'Therefore, they were different from the others, who were on a time
 limit.  Hudson was supposed to get out of the marines in four weeks,
 which is what made him flip.'
 That also explains the back of Hudson's vest, tailored by actor Bill
 Paxton to read, 'Contents under pressure.  Do not puncture.'"  [from
STARLOG #115, Feb.1987]

- Ferro has "(Fly the Friendly Skies)" written on her helmet.

- On the side of the first drop ship is an insignia of an eagle with

big sneakers on, sort of completing a jump. Just above this is the
text "Bug Stompers" and just below is "We endanger species".

- The second drop ship is called "Smart Ass" and just below is "We aim

by P.F.M." (ie: Pure Fucking Magic)

- "Adios" is painted on Vasquez's smart gun.

- The smart guns used by Drake and Vasquez are mounted on them via set

of hydraulic arms. These arms take most of the load of the guns and
keep them stable. Virtually the same technology is used by camera men
on outside broadcasts, where they are used to keep the cameras steady.
The hydraulics absorb most of the energy created by a camera man
running down the road leaving a very steady picture.

- An ammunition clip for the M41-A pulse rifle holds 95 rounds.

- The mechanism used to make the facehuggers thrash about in the

stasis tubes in the science lab came from one of the "flying piranhas"
in one of James Cameron's earlier movies: Piranha II - The Spawning.
It took 9 people to make the face hugger work, one person for each leg
and someone for the tail.

- Hicks was originally played by actor James Remar, but Michael Biehn

replaced him a few days after principal photography began, due to
"artistic differences" between Remar and Cameron.

- Partly as a joke and partly to leave the ending open for subsequent

sequels, James Cameron added the sound of an egg opening/face hugger
scuttling about at the end of the film credits.  (different sounds
were appended to different versions of the movie)

- "She thought they said 'illegal aliens' and signed up…" - Hudson

This quote (directed towards Vasquez) was an "inside joke" to the
actors of the movie.  (quoted without permission from an interview
with Jeanette Goldstein [Vasquez] that appeared in STARLOG magazine)
 ''...she answered an ad for a film role in the local trades.  It
   read simply, "Genuine American actors, British Equity, for
   feature film, ALIENS, 20th Century Fox," she relates, over lunch
   near the old homestead in Beverly Hills.
      "I had seen ALIEN, but I had NO idea this was a sequel.
   It had been so long ago, it didn't even occur to me.
      "I thought it was about actual aliens, you know,
   immigrants to a country.  I was wondering why they wanted
   Americans.  I figured the movie was about lots of different
   immigrants to England."
      Since she didn't have an agent at the time, she answered
   the ad on her own, with rather surprising results.  "I actually
   came in wearing high heels and lots of makeup, and I had
   waist-length hair," she says.
      Other auditioners, who had advance notice from THEIR
   agents, were decked out in military fatigues --- Goldstein's
   first inkling she would be reading for the role of a marine...''

- One track of music from Goldsmith's CD for _ALIEN_ appears near the

end of _ALIENS_, during one of the big scenes of the Queen stomping
around the colony.  Even though this music was used in _ALIENS_,
Goldsmith's name was not mentioned in the closing credits.

-Ripley's shoes are Reebok sneakers. You can see this when she's driving one of the cargo loaders.

-In Aliens, Bishop says he has Hyperdine Systems 120-A/2. Terminators are Cyberdine, maybe James Cameron threw in a little connection between the two.

- Adrian Biddle, the cinematographer for Aliens, has had a longtime

collaboration with Ridley Scott.  Apparently, Biddle was not
the original cinematographer.  In Alien3, Jordan Cronenweth was 
slated to the the cinematographer, but poor health forced him to 
turn the task over to Alex Thomson.

- To get an idea of the wonderful attention to detail that was paid

in the Alien films, freeze when Hicks is programming the Sentry guns.
The screen depicts exactly what such a futuristic weapon would have 
-interrogation modes, choices of "soft, hard, semi-hard" targets, and
 IFF options - which means "Identification, Friend or Foe."

_ALIEN^3_

There were at least 12 "scripts" for _ALIEN^3_ (derived from the May 1992 issue of PREMIERE) :

1. William Gibson wrote his based on a brief treatment given to him by

 Walter Hill, David Giler and Gordon Carroll.  It was set in a Soviet
 space station ("It was sort of like a Cold War in space, with genetic
 manipulation of the alien replacing nuclear war," says Gibson).  The
 1987 writers strike interrupted the process, so Gibson went back to
 work on a novel.  "Only one detail survived. 'In my draft, this woman
 has a bar code on the back of her hand,' he says.  'In the shooting
 script, one of the guys has a shaved head and a bar code on the back
 of his head.  I'll always privately think that was my piece of
 ALIEN^3.'"

2. Eric Red was hired for a "five-week" job to convince Fox to dole

 out more development money.  He collaborated with Renny Harlin.
 According to Red, "HE came up with the gene-splicing idea.  'In the
 third film, you needed a new alien.  I suggested doing genetic
 experiments on the alien.'  Red says that Hill and Giler were
 disorganized and irresponsible.  'They had no story or treatment or
 any real plan for the picture,' he says.  Hill and Giler say the
 problem was Red's script; when Harlin read it, he quit the project."

3 - 4. David Twohy had a draft set in a penal colony in space without

 Ripley in it (since Hill and Giler planned to bring her back in the
 fourth film).  But Joe Roth (head of Fox) insisted that he wouldn't
 make the film without Weaver.  Twohy had just started to write Ripley
 into the script, when "one of the most transparent bits of studio
 treachery I've ever heard of" took place.  At the same time Twohy was
 working, Fox hired Vincent Ward to collaborate with John Fasano to
 develop the script involving a community of monks (remember the seven
 dwarfs?).  When a Los Angeles Times reporter called Twohy about
 "competing drafts of Alien^3", Twohy dumped the script and went off to
 do his own film.  Fox insisted that Ward's script was for Alien 4.
 Twohy: The old adage is true: Hollywood pays its writers well
 but treats them like shit to make up for it.

5 - 9. Greg Pruss was hired next to rewrite Fasano's script (he had to

 leave to cowrite ANOTHER 48 HRS).  Pruss did "five arduous drafts".
 Everyone moved to London where the crew was already beginning to
 design and build sets even as the script was being written.  But the
 studio began having trouble with Ward, "who was less interested in
 Ripley or the alien than in his monks.  'The movie's called ALIEN
 because it's about the alien,' says Pruss.  'I couldn't get that
 across to Vincent.'"

10. Pruss quit and Ward was fired. Once David Fincher signed on as

  director, Fox hired Larry Ferguson(Beverly Hills Cop II) to do a
  "four-week emergency rewrite."  Ferguson continued more or less with
  Ward's ideas and hence, the horrible idea with the seven dwarfs and
  Ripley as Wendy.  Weaver and Fincher hated the script and the movie
  "almost fell apart".

11. Hill and Giler were paid to do another emergency rewrite. They

  moved the story back to Twohy's prison and the religious element
  evolved into what exists in the final draft.  The studio and Weaver
  liked the script but Fincher had a few reservations.

12. After much bureaucratic bickering over the budget and schedule

  plus the firing of key participants, Rex Pickett was hired to
  collaborate with Fincher for yet another rewrite.  This occurred when
  Hill and Giler were going on vacation.  "It all blew up when Pickett
  wrote a memo salvaging Hill and Giler's script."

- Prior to its release, _PREDATOR II_ came out in the theaters (which

had an almost identical story to the original idea for _ALIEN^3_) near
the end of _PREDATOR II_ we see a trophy case of different skulls, one
of which is the skull of an alien.

- Boss Film campaigned hard to win the effects job for Alien3,

which is surprising - usually when you beg for a contract, you do a 
damn good job. They did all of the miniatures, space scenes, and 
even created a way of superimposing a computer-generated alien 
into the film.  This is most visible when after killing Clemens the 
creature scurries after Ripley, straightens itself out, and then (in
close-up next to her face) we see the subtle change in the
texture of the creature, that tips us off to the transition from
CGI to latex model.

- The commandoes that search the Fury-161 complex are armed with

pulse rifles, yet they sound different when fired.

- In Alan Dean Foster's novelization of Alien3, the "rescue" ship that

Bishop II arrived in was called the Patna, From the novel Lord Jim
by Joseph Conrad.

10. PLOT PROBLEMS AND LOOPHOLES

This section contains plot problems that are SO BIG that there is no plausible explanation for it. If a good theory comes along, the point will be moved to section [11] frequently asked questions (at my discretion of course).

_ALIENS_

- What infantry platoon in its right mind would enter an enclosed

space carrying flamethrowers?

- Several times we see aliens spewing acid that does not seem to

damage the "sets" (or at least doesn't damage the "sets" as severely
as the few drops that eat through 3 layers of the Nostromo in _ALIEN_)
This is MOST evident in the air-duct chase scene.

_ALIEN^3_

- How did the eggs get on the Sulaco? (refer to section [12])

- Why is the escape capsule so poorly designed? It gets ejected and

then FALLS to the nearest planet.  Hicks is killed when a SAFETY beam
impales him.

- How could Ripley hold on to the chestburster AFTER it tore through

her chest?

11. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This section has been extended to allow for theoretical answers, the responses that aren't based on solid facts (yet provide a plausible answer) start with "[possibly]". If you believe you have a better explanation, don't hesitate to say so. Any questions that seem to have more than one plausible answer will appear in section [12] frequently discussed topics.

_ALIEN_

Q: Is there a fan club I can join? A: Depending on when you read this FAQ, these clubs may have dissolved:

  The British Aliens Fan Club             The Dropship
  PO Box 11                               19 Compton Crescent
  Liskeard, Cornwall                      Northolt, Middx
  PL14 6YL                                UB5 5LS
  England                                 England

Q: What is the "Narcissus" ? A: The Narcissus is the name of the shuttle Ripley uses to escape from

 the Nostromo.

Q: Who is the "Space Jockey"? A: This is the name given (by the technical staff) to the remains of

 the creature found on the derelict space craft.

Q: What is written on Brett's cap? A: USCSS NOSTROMO 180286

Q: Why is there a "self-destruct button" on the Nostromo? A: This question refers to the control panel (labeled "Emergency

 Destruct System") that Ripley uses to cause the destruction of the
 Nostromo.  [possibly] the "emergency destruct system" exists to
 protect company secrets in case the Nostromo is hijacked by a
 competator.  (this would be a similar principle to espionage: when an
 enemy spy gets caught, he takes poison to kill himself so he cannot be
 tortured into giving away secrets).  Or, a 20 million ton ship flying
 through space at very high speed tends to become a great danger when
 it gets off course by some malfunctions. If it's on collision course
 to some space station or colony, and there is no possibility of
 redirecting or stopping it, it would be very reasonable to put it on
 self-destruct and get away with the small shuttle.

Q: The crew is awakened early out of their hypersleep to explore the

 planet from which the beacon is being transmitted, HOW early are they
 awakened?

A: 10 months as indicated by Lambert (after the shuttle returns to the

 Nostromo)

Q: Did the entire crew go down to the surface of LV-426? A: Yes. The Nostromo is a towing device for the 20,000,000 tons of

 ore.  The entire crew went down to the planet's surface in the
 Nostromo (which detached itself from the cargo it was towing).

Q: 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
 her?

A: [possibly] 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.

Q: Does the alien have eyes? How does it see? A: No. The alien was designed (by H.R. Giger) to "see" entirely by

 instinct.  The chase scene in _ALIEN^3_ would appear to contradict
 this as it shows the chase through (what would appear to be) the
 alien's eyes.  However, it is likely that this cinematic technique was
 used to show the chase, not through the aliens eyes, but through its
 "perception".  (it is also likely that this alien, being so different
 from the ones we've already seen, has some kind of eyes)

Q: How could I get a longer version of _ALIEN_ ? A: Easy. You'll need a laserdisc player with frame advance, a 4-head

 VCR with frame advance (frame advance allows for nice editing), the
 _ALIEN_ box set (on laser disc of course) and a 160 min tape (130 min
 would work too).  Now, all you need is to know where the "extra"
 scenes (on the 3rd disk) can be re-added into the movie:
 - Kane prepares breakfast - don't bother, there's a fade between the
   hypersleep chamber and the breakfast scene... this is where you'd
   place the scene, but the fade makes it impossible to do a good job.
 - Crew listens to alien transmission - right after Parker agrees to going
   down to the planet's surface, and right before the shot of the ship 
   approaching the planet.
 - Lambert confronts Ripley - some of the scene already exists, just cut
   THAT part out, and replace it with the longer scene.
 - After the acid - add this scene right after Dallas tells Brett to get
   back to work, and right before the scene where Parker and Brett are 
   repairing the ship.
 - Ripley radios Parker - Add this right after the "post-acid" scene.
   Place it right before the scene where Parker and Brett are repairing
   the ship.
 - Discussion of what to do (after Kane's death) - originally, this scene
   was right before Kane's funeral, but it makes alot more sense to put
   it in immediately AFTER Kane's funeral.
 - Brett's death - difficult to place, you have to replace some of the 
   film, all you miss out on is a few cuts back to Jones.  (if you're
   really skilled, you can re-integrate them).  Put it right before the
   scene where Parker is drinking coffee.  [WARNING: the suspense
   building heart-beat sound in the background is not present in the
   extended death scene]
 - Alien in the airlock - don't bother with these two scenes, they don't
   fit in the movie very well.
 - Ripley talks to Lambert - add it as Ash walks out of the room (after
   Dallas's death).  But before Ripley looks at Lambert (you'll have to 
   cut that bit out.)
 - Lambert's death - too bad, there's no sound, don't add it in.
 - Cocoon scene - originally, it was after Ripley started running for the
   shuttle (no wonder it created a pacing problem).  If you add it in
   after she discovers Parker and Lambert's bodies, but before she starts
   running, then it doesn't affect the pacing.
 That's it.  The movie is now about 2 hrs and 8 minutes long.

Q: I recall seeing extra scenes in the movie when I saw it in the

 theaters, am I imagining things?

A: Probably. However, during December 1978 a rough cut of _ALIEN_ was

 screened in London, England (it was 2 hours & 45 minutes long) and
 it included ALL of the completed "cut" scenes (as described earlier
 in the FAQ).

Q: When the crew first sets out to search the ship for the alien:

  • Ash has made a "detection" units (motion tracker)
  • Ripley asks "how do they work?"
  • Ash VERY hesitantly replies "micro changes in air density"
  • when searching, Ripley detects something on the OTHER side of an

airtight door (after all, they ARE in a spaceship) which turns out

   to be Jones.
 * Ripley makes the comment "micro changes in air density my ass"
 This point never gets raised again in the film, what is its significance?

A: [possibly] Ash's hesitation in explaining the operation of the motion

 detector was because the "real" mechanism would be difficult to
 explain and he was assuming that she wouldn't understand him anyway...
 so he pauses before he finds the words to form an "adequate" but not
 very detailed description.  The tone of Ash's voice in response to
 Ripley's question was somewhat condescending.
 Ripley's later comment, "micro changes in air density, my ass" was
 a foreshadow to show that Ash was hiding something and that she was 
 onto him (cf: she realizes that he didn't give the full explanation of
 the motion tracker's operating mechanism)

Q: How come Ripley managed to survive in the shuttle without the coolant

 that Lambert and Parker were collecting?

A: [possibly] since there was only one hypersleep chamber in the shuttle,

 Lambert, Parker and Ripley would have to stay concious while waiting to
 be rescued.  Since Ripley was the only survivor, she went into
 hypersleep and didn't need the coolant due to her hybernation.

_ALIENS_

Q: What does "Sulaco" mean? A: "Sulaco" was the town in which most of Joseph Conrad's book entitled

 "Nostromo" took place.

Q: Is LV-426 also called "Acheron" ? A: There doesn't seem to be any evidence of this in the movie, the

 name was given to the planet in older drafts of the script, the Alan
 Dean Foster novelization, the movie-comic as well as the RPG.

Q: What IS the name of the company? A: The Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It can be seen, mirror-reversed,

 on a blast shield after the discussion of the atmosphere processor
 blowing up.  It appears as "Weylan-Yutani" on all beer cans in _ALIEN_
 but is too small.  In _ALIEN^3_ it is written on a computer screen in
 an extreme close-up near the end.  In the director's cut of _ALIENS_,
 during the additional footage of the colony (prior to the alien
 infestation) we see a logo of the company which reads:
                              Weyland-Yutani
                               \    /\    /
                                \  /  \  /
                                 \/    \/
                          Building Better Worlds

Q: What is the name of the colony? A: Hadley's Hope (as revealed in the director's cut of _ALIENS_)

Q: Why don't the colonists on LV-426 pick up the derelict SOS? A: In a cut scene from ALIENS, the derelict ship has been damaged by

 volcanic activity and, as a result, the beacon was rendered
 inoperable.  [James Cameron, STARLOG #125, DEC 1987]

Q: How did the colony get infected? A: In my [James Cameron] version of the Alien life cycle, the infestation

 of the colony would proceed like this :
 1. Russ Jorden attacked, they radio for rescue.
 2. Rescue party investigates ship...several members facehuggered...
    brought back to base for treatment.
 3. Several "chestbursters" free themselves from hosts, escape into
    ducting, begin to grow.
 4. Extrapolating from entomology (ants, termites, etc.), an 
    immature female, one of the first to emerge from hosts, grows to
    become a new queen, while males become drones or warriors.  
    Subsequent female larvae remain dormant or are killed by males...
    or biochemically sense that a queen exists and change into males
    to limit waste.  The Queen locates a nesting spot (the warmth
    of the atmosphere station heat exchanger level being perfect for
    egg incubation) and becomes sedentary.  She is then tended by 
    the males as her abdomen swells into a distended egg sac.  The
    drones and warriors also secrete a resinous building material to
    line the structure, creating niches in which they may lie dormant
    when food supplies and/or hosts for further reproduction become
    depleted (i.e. when all the colonists are used up).  They are
    discovered in this condition by the troopers, but quickly emerge
    when new hosts present themselves.
 [STARLOG #125, DEC 1987]

Q: Is Ferro's first name "Mira" ? A: No, according to the on-board computer on the Sulaco, Ferro's first

 name starts with a "C".  The confusion with her name is caused by
 Vasquez when she says (to Ferro): [...hey mira, who's Snow White?]
 However, in Spanish (Vasquez is Mexican), "mira" means "look", so
 Vasquez is actually saying, "hey look, who's Snow White?".

Q: How many colonists are there? A: There were 158 colonists on LV-426 […you were responsible for the

 deaths of 157 colonists...  Ripley (Aliens)] plus Newt.  This number
 is also visible on a sign that was on-screen during the scene where
 Newt's parents are going out to the derelict craft (director's cut
 only).

Q: How many aliens where on LV-426 when the marines arrived? A: [possibly] around 156. (Newt was still alive and at least one of

 the other colonists hadn't been chest-busted yet) There has been some
 suggestions that the colonists had livestock that the aliens could've
 infected as well (raising the number of aliens to an indeterminant
 amount) however there is no evidence of livestock anywhere in the
 movie; furthermore, the planet does not seem to be a habitat in which
 live stock could survive (there was no vegetation on the planet).

Q: Why did Ripley risk life and limb to save Newt, but didn't give a

 second thought to Dietrich and Apone?

A: In the theatrical version of the movie, it can be said that Ripley

 knew exactly where Newt was because of the locater band she was
 wearing, thus making rescue of Newt plausible.
 A better reason exists, however it was cut from the theatrical
 release; the scene where Ripley discovers that her daughter has died
 (refer to section [4] on cut scenes) reveals to us that her daughter
 was relatively the same age as Newt the last time Ripley was with her.
 We can see the parallels between Newt and the daughter that Ripley
 had lost.

Q: How can Ripley hang on during violent vacuum decompression while the

 much stronger alien queen can't?!

A: [possibly] Ripley had her arm wrapped around a step in the ladder where

 as the queen only had a finger-hold on Ripley's boot, when Ripley's boot
 slipped off her foot, the queen had nothing else to hold onto.  (this
 assumes that the vacuum isn't SO violent that it would rip her arm 
 off)

Q: Why does Ripley attempt to climb out of the pit after the queen has

 been "vacuumed" out of the Sulaco?  Why doesn't she just close the
 doors?

A: [possibly] Ripley thought that the lower door in the pit would be

 damaged with the acidic blood of the queen alien, so she had to close
 the top doors in order to seal up the breech.  (this explanation is
 from the novelization)

Q: Why doesn't anyone stay on board the Sulaco? A: [possibly] the Sulaco is so automated that it would be unnecessary.

 If another dropship was required, the station on LV-426 was equipped
 to remote-pilot it down.  (however, they had no idea that the
 equipment had been ruined by the aliens)

Q: How has Newt survived all this time? The aliens seem to have no

 problem getting around in the air ducts?

A: She can crawl through the air ducts that the aliens can't fit into.

 This, combined with her knowing the air ducts so well, could keep her
 out of the aliens' grasp (perhaps the aliens knew about her, but just
 couldn't catch her).  In the director's cut, Newt boasts to her
 brother that the reason she wins their version of "hide-and-seek" is
 because she can get into all those tiny crooks and crannies where no
 one can reach her.

Q: How does the queen know how to use an elevator, and how does she

 know what floor to get off at?

A: The elevator returns automatically to the level of the platform

 Ripley got off at.  When she leaves the elevator (to find Newt) you
 see it returning up.  She comes back (with Newt) and calls both
 elevators.  Ripley takes the first one that arrives and it starts
 going up.  The queen gets in the second elevator and it automatically
 goes up.

Q: Are those power-loaders real? A: Based on the Collectors Version of Aliens on Laserdisc, which comes

 with a disk that shows some of the secrets of the making of the movie,
 the loader is part real, part fake.  The actual loader is real, but
 has an external power supply.  Since the loader is extremely heavy, it
 is supported by cables which are masked out for the final print.
 A power loader was on display at the Boston Museum of Science as
 part of a special effects exhibit.  This power loader was worked by a
 person inside, behind and below the actor, that is with their legs down
 in the power-loader's legs and their torso in the power-loader's back.
 Different constructs of the power loader were used depending on the
 action it had to perform in front of the camera.

_ALIEN^3_

Q: Why did it take so long for the chestburster to come out of Ripley?

 It only took a few hours for it to come out of Kane in _ALIEN_.  Even
 though Ripley was carrying a queen, the chestburster itself was STILL
 the same size as the one that came out of Kane.

A: [possibly] Taking into account the parallels between the aliens and

 an insect colony, two Alien hives will be in competition if they are
 close to each other.  Therefore the incubation period of queens is
 higher to enable the unsuspecting host to move further from the
 original hive.

Q: Why is that bloody autopsy necessary? As we see later in the movie,

 that nice diagnostic scanner in the EEV's cryo-tube is still working
 quite fine (and Ripley knows about it). The autopsy is obviously very
 unpleasant for her, so it is hard to see why she didn't figure out the
 easier way?

A: [Possibly] The diagnostic machine works on the EM radiation emitted by

 the human body and since Newt was dead and did not emit any radiation, 
 the scanner wouldn't have worked.  

Q: What is the "dreaded" seven-dwarf concept for the _ALIEN^3_ script? A: One of the earlier stages of the _ALIEN^3_ script received alot of

 heat:
 ''...Back in New York, [Walter] Hill saw "The Navigator : An Odyssey
   Across Time", a stunning but esoteric art film by an obscure New
   Zealand director named Vincent Ward.  But Ward said he didn't like
   [David] Twohy's script.  No problem, said Fox.  "So I hopped on an
   airplane," says Ward," and during the flight, I had an idea that was
   totally different: Sigourney would land in a community of monks in
   outer space and not be accepted by them."  The monks would live on a
   wooden planet that looked like something out of Hieronymus Bosch, with
   furnaces and windmills -- and no weapons...
   FINCHER : In the draft Larry [Ferguson, Beverly Hills Cop II] was
   writing, she [Ripley] was going to be this woman who had fallen from
   the stars.  In the end, she dies, and there are seven of the monks
   left --- seven dwarfs. 
   Q : You're kidding?
   FINCHER : Seriously.  I swear to God.  She was like...what's her name
   in Peter Pan?  She was like Wendy.  And she would make up these
   stories.  And in the end, there were these seven dwarfs left, and
   there was this fucking tube they put her in, and they were waiting for
   Prince Charming to come wake her up.  So that was one of the endings
   we had for this movie.  You can imagine what Joe Roth said when he
   heard this.  "What?!  What are they doing over there?!  What the fuck
   is going on?!" ''    [PREMIERE magazine, May '92]
   

Q: How did the face-huggers get on the Sulaco? A: The truly factual answer is that the audience wasn't supposed to

 question it.  Use your imagination.  (several theories exist, some of
 which are stated in section [12] frequently discussed topics)

Q: Did the little face-hugger critter actually do so much damage to

 the Sulaco that the ship decided to EJECT the hypersleep capsules?

A: Shown at the start of the movie was a face hugger jumping on a

 cryo-tube, cracking the glass and dripping some acid on the floor.
 The acid manages to eat its way into the electrical system and cause a
 fire.  The Sulaco then ejected the hypersleep capsules (probably
 because it couldn't put out the fire).

Q: I remember seeing a trailer for _ALIEN^3_ that was really different

 than the movie?

A: This is true. Quite awhile before _ALIEN^3_ was finally released,

 there was a "coming soon" trailer shown in several theaters.  This
 trailer indicated that some aliens made it to Earth and there was
 going to be a massive encounter.  Later on, the writers ditched the
 movie idea upon release of Predator II (due to the similarity in plot)
 and decided to find a new story for _ALIEN^3_.

Q: There's a prison planet: is anyone really going to spend money on

 hideously expensive space travel in order to send these guys to some
 far-off solar system?

A: [possibly] Historically, extremely dangerous and/or

 subversive-to-the- government criminals have been shipped off (at
 great expense) to a new location quite often.  England regularly
 shipped off prisoners to one of the American colonies [Georgia?  South
 Carolina?] which was a designated prison colony, as well as Australia
 -- a prison *continent*.  The progression of the Western legal system
 has been to appeal numerous times (at great expense) to avoid death
 penalties.  The Company in the Alien series is a reasonable outgrowth
 from the rest of Western business, why not the legal system, too?
 They avoid the massive cost of incarceration and court and lawyer fees
 from appeals by not having a death penalty, but shipping the prisoners
 off to a "prison".

Q: Where can I get Gibson's _ALIEN^3_ script? A1: Get it by downloading it from the Alien WWW homepage, link to

  'All textual information about...' -> 'Gibson's script'.
  There is a long and a short version. The short version is included in 
  this FAQ.
  The Alien Homepage is at:  Http://www.twi.tudelft.nl/~vos/alien.html

A2: This may not be valid depending on the age of the FAQ:

  1. You can buy one from the Pix Poster Cellar in Cambridge, Mass.
  2. Their phone number is (617) 864-7499
  3. They take orders over the phone and they do accept plastic
  4. The price is 15.00 U.S. for an unbound copy

Q: What is "ALIEN WAR" ? A: Alien War is a walk through ride, found in the Trocodera in London. It

 is set on the alien theme. The plot is that a party of 12 is being given a
 tour through a medlab research establishment where they are breeding and
 studying aliens. A marine has been assigned to guide you through. Once in
 the waiting chamber, the sirens go off and your guide comes in and explains
 that due to an accident the aliens have escaped. Next he explains that he
 is going to lead the party to safety. So off everybody sets thru these dark
 corridors, all being told to huddle against walls etc. Along the way
 various things can happen (here are a few):
 - At one point we were all ordered against this door only for the door to
   start banging. Later we were all ordered down this pitch black corridor
   only to come upon some eggs and an alien. 
 - Another point is when gun shots were heard, behind us was another marine
   that was being chased by an alien.  We had to cross a bridge over some
   eggs, having been told that the slightest movement would set them off.
 - We got into an APC which seemed like it was moving moving, it then
   stopped and an alien burst in thru the far door. 
 - We all went into a lift. The lift supposedly moved up a level (doesnt
   actually), the marine got someone to open the door while he pointed a 
   gun out.  When the door was opened, an alien bursted in, grabbed a
   member of the party and then left. 

Newsgroups: alt.cult-movies,rec.arts.sf.movies,rec.arts.movies,news.answers,rec.answers,alt.answers Path: helix.net!unixg.ubc.ca!news.mic.ucla.edu!news.bc.net!vanbc.wimsey.com!scipio.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!news.sprintlink.net!EU.net!sun4nl!news.nic.surfnet.nl!tudelft.nl!news.twi.tudelft.nl!vos From: Vos@Dutiws.TWI.TUDelft.NL Subject: MOVIES: ALIEN FAQ part 3/4 Message-ID: CyvFt6.E7p@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl Followup-To: rec.arts.sf.movies Sender: vos@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl (E.W.C. de Vos) Organization: Weyland Yutani - "Building Better Worlds" Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 00:24:42 GMT Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Expires: Fri, 2 Dec 1994 23:00:00 GMT Lines: 1259 Xref: helix.net alt.cult-movies:16582 rec.arts.sf.movies:8575 rec.arts.movies:42908 news.answers:4900 rec.answers:1509

Posting-Frequency: approx. every month Archive-name: movies/alien-faq/part3 Version: 2.1

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & & & 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 * her?

- 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
novelisation]

- 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
android.

- 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
"financial" venture.

- 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
the "cargo".

- 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
release)

- 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 
  The
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
still intact.

* Alien intelligence. Although they have a large cranium, can they really * "think"?

YES: - 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

an "accident")

- 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. "

NO: - 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
mass.

- 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 * environment?

YES: - 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 
host's DNA)

- The alien in _ALIEN^3_ was different than other aliens, perhaps this is

because it came from a different host (the dog).

NO: - 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?

YES: - 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.

NO: - 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
"soldiers").

* 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
isolated alien.

- 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
question.

- 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?

YES: - 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.

NO: - "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.

YES: - 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

reason.

- 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.

NO: - Just because a movie doesn't have a happy ending doesn't mean it's a bad

movie.

- _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
expected.

- 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

provocative.

- 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_.

[more?]


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

entire script.
Or get it by downloading it from the Alien WWW homepages. It's under 
the link 'All textual information' -> 'Gibson's script'. There is a short 
version, and a long version. The short version is here included due to 
a large demand for it.
The Alien homepage is:  Http://www.twi.tudelft.nl/~vos/alien.html

Steve writes:

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.)

Enjoy!

-Steve Copold

FADE IN:

DEEP SPACE - THE FUTURE

The silent field of stars – eclipsed by the dark bulk of of an approaching ship.

CLOSER.

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.)

CLOSER

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 Bishop's remains.)

DISSOLVE TO:

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.)

JACKSON 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…

TULLY So?

JACKSON 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?

TULLY So ask'em. Wake'em up and ask'em. Them not me.

JACKSON 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 Division.

TULLY That the bad news?

JACKSON 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 you Tully.

The phone screen goes blank.

TULLY (heartfelt) Shit!

(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.)

SECOND MARINE 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) They're here…

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.

CLOSE

On the jaws.

ANGLE ON RIPLEY

Her eyes snap open

RIPLEY'S POV

As the beast mounts her coffin, terminal nightmare.

ANGLE

RIPLEY No-ooooooooooooooooooooo! 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.

DISSOLVE TO:

(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)

NEWT Is Ripley DREAMING?

SPENCE I don't know honey.

NEWT It's better not to.

CUT 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 mechanically.

(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?

SECOND TECH 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.

SECOND TECH 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.

CUT TO:

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.

TRENT Initially this was merely routine, you understand. We attempted to determine its compatibility with terrestial DNA.

FOX What kind of DNA Doctor?

TRENT 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.

TRENT (continuing) 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.

ROSETTI 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.

FOX Like a high-speed viral takeover…! What's the real-time duration on this, Trent?

TULLY (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 tough customer.

#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)

SPENCE 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…

HICKS Bishop…

SPENCE I don't know.

HICKS Maybe Progressive Peoples'll get their own alien too. Maybe they'll grow some…

SPENCE (horrified) Shit! You'd better hope not…

HICKS Why's that?

SPENCE Their lab gear's five years behind ours. they'd never be able to control it

HICKS Think you can, huh?

SPENCE 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)

FOX 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.)

WELLES (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.

OVERHEAD SHOT

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.

CLOSE

On his scream as the sucking, fanged tounge plunges through the orbit of his eye.

ANGLE

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 buckle.

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:)

ROSETTI We abandon the station.

HICKS Destroy the station, man! We got nukes?

ROSETTI Outlawed under the strategic arms reduction treaty.

JACKSON We can fiddle the overrides on the fusion package. Baby nova.

BISHOP We're dealing with a new form Colonel. We know nothing of this new mode of reproduction. Others may have already become hosts.

ROSETTI What are you suggesting?

BISHOP 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.

HICKS I thought you were programmed to protect human life?

BISHOP (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 storm.

#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 her.

#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 the station.

#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 everyone.

#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 him.

#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 the lifeboats.

#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 time.

#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 on them.

#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.

INT. INTERCEPTOR

(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.)

BISHOP You're a species again, Hicks. United against a common enemy…

HICKS Yeah?

BISHOP The source, Hicks. You'll have to trace them back, find the point of origin. The first source and destroy it.

HICKS I don't know, Bishop. Maybe we oughtta just stay out of their way…

BISHOP You can't, Hicks. This goes far beyond mere interspecies competition. These creatures are to biological life what antimatter is to matter.

HICKS How do you mean?

BISHOP There isn't room for the both of you, Hicks, not in this universe.

HICKS That's crazy, Bishop…

BISHOP No. You're already at war, Hicks. War to extermination. The alien knows no other mode.

HICKS 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!

BISHOP 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 survivor?

Hicks doesn't answer. He just looks at Bishop. Bishop goes back to repairing his circuitry.

CLOSE ON:

Spence's sleeping face and the face of the dying commando.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SPACE

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.

EXT. SPACE

Kansas City. Receding. Gone.

The stars.

FADE OUT

THE END


Newsgroups: alt.cult-movies,rec.arts.sf.movies,rec.arts.movies,news.answers,rec.answers,alt.answers Path: helix.net!unixg.ubc.ca!news.bc.net!vanbc.wimsey.com!scipio.cyberstore.ca!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!sunic!trane.uninett.no!eunet.no!nuug!EU.net!sun4nl!news.nic.surfnet.nl!tudelft.nl!news.twi.tudelft.nl!vos From: Vos@Dutiws.TWI.TUDelft.NL Subject: MOVIES: ALIEN FAQ part 4/4 Message-ID: CyvG3D.EEs@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl Followup-To: rec.arts.sf.movies Sender: vos@dutiws.twi.tudelft.nl (E.W.C. de Vos) Organization: Weyland Yutani - "Building Better Worlds" Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 00:30:49 GMT Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Expires: Fri, 2 Dec 1994 23:00:00 GMT Lines: 823 Xref: helix.net alt.cult-movies:16583 rec.arts.sf.movies:8576 rec.arts.movies:42909 news.answers:4901 rec.answers:1510

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16. SOME HEAVY DEDUCTIONS

The following is a highly speculative theory regarding the evolutionary history of the alien creatures and their natural hosts, as well as the nature and conditions of the alien homeworld. These speculations are based on the following assumptions; that the alien evolved on a planet and was not created de novo by another species in its current form, that the alien and its homeworld have been shaped by physical and evolutionary forces which are similar to those in effect on our own world, that the alien is not the dominant life form on its homeworld, existing instead as part of a complex ecosystem, and that the homeworld is as diverse with life forms and potential habitats as is our own. The information used as a basis for this speculation comes solely from the Alien, Aliens and Alien^3 films.

Important common features of aliens taken from the 3 films:

Host dependent reproduction
Dual stage metamorphic life cycle
Metallo-silicate exoskeleton
Endoskeleton in juvenile form
Growth-stage mediated shedding of skin
Low pH blood
Increased speed & strength (relative to human standards)
Large curving crania of varying morphology
Internal mouthed tongue
Carnivorous external teeth
Air sac bellows in the juvenile form
Articulated limbs and tail in all life stages
Varying number of limbs and digits in different life stages
Predatory or greater intelligence
Copious production of "slime'

Presumed common features observed in some subset of the films:

Presumed sociality and communication 
		(i.e., the hive was not a fluke)
Internal pressure greater than 14 psi
Body temperature equals ambient temperature 
Can "breathe" underwater
Nest built in hot area

Some or all of these features may be due to the adaptation/modification of the organism to its current lifestyle as a space faring parasitic species. In the case of modification, it would be most parsimonious to assume that the aliens were intended for use as biological weapons. This theory assumes that the creatures found in space are adapted or modified to living in this habitat, and focuses on estimating their possible ancestral forms and the state of the ancestral homeworld. It assumes that any modifications and adaptations have been made using pre-existing characteristics, so that the ancestral creatures posses similar characteristics. The creatures found in space are referred to as "modern" in the following discussion.

To avoid confusion between discussions of various theorized species and their respective life cycles, the life stages have been given specific designations as follows:

Life cycle phases: Life stage designation [1] Egg is lain EGG

  • maturation phase* [this period might occur in utero]

[2] Egg matures

  • dormant phase* [length of this phase is indefinite]

Host signals are detected = motion + sounds [3] Egg hatches and mobile crawler follows signals to hostLARVA [4] Host's breathing orifice is secured by "face hugging" crawler

  • implantation phase* ~24 hours

Embryo is implanted in host breathing system. EMBRYO

	Crawler falls off, dead.
	*gestation phase*		~1-10 days

[5] Chestbuster emerges from host NYMPH [6] Chestbuster stage undergoes a series of instar-like INSTAR

	transformations until the imago is achieved.	IMAGO

[7] Queen-imago lays egg QUEEN

The life stages encompassing the egg, larva and embryo are referred to as JUVENILE, and those encompassing the nymph, instars and imagoes are referred to as ADULT.

Discussion of observed characteristics:

The alien life cycle is divided into two distinct stages which are 

reminiscent of the alternating sporophyte and gametophyte generational stages of plants and fungi. Plants produce distinct types of reproductive cells (spores or gametes) which give rise to genetically distinct types of organisms. Spores grow into gametophytes, which produce gametes, while gametes fuse to form sporophytes which produce spores. In the alien species, the sporophyte stage could be represented by the juvenile stages. These would create the "spore" or embryo. The gametophyte stage could be represented by the adult stages. These would lay eggs after gamete fusion. Such a strategy in might be indicative of an chaotic and dangerous natural environment (see discussion of hypothetical ancestors). We have zero knowledge of the genetics of these creatures, so further speculation on the existence or nature of alien reproductive cells is futile.

The alien morphology seems to be a melange of arthropod and 

vertebrate characteristics. The segmented exoskeletal carapace and variable numbers of limbs are reminiscent of terrestrial arthropods (as well as armored fishes and reptiles to a lesser extent), while the adult body plan seems more vertebrate in nature; the presence of a jaw, spine terminating in a tail and limbs ending in grasping hands and feet as opposed to the mouthparts, legs and body plan of an arthropod suggest a vertebrate morphology. The larval legs are articulated via an endoskeleton, which appears to be covered in a sheath of muscle and a pliable external layer of protein and silicon. This seems to indicate that the oldest ancestors of these creatures posessed endoskeletons, and that exoskeletons evolved later. As is the case with vertebrate evolution in the Silurian and Devonian periods, the endoskeleton may have evolved first as a means to protect the CNS, and the exoskeleton could have evolved secondarily; in response to environmental challenges.

The eggs are complex organisms in and of themselves. They are responsible for maintaining life support for the larva for an indefinite amount of time, and must recognize a potential host and distinguish it from valid members of the nest. The eggs contain rudimentary moving parts. Once the egg has determined that a host is proximal, it releases the larva. In the modern species, the egg is flammable, translucent and unarmored. Their gracile nature in comparison to the adults may be in response to the security afforded by the nest strategy. Because of these unusual qualities in an egg, it might be that the egg and larva constitute a single organism up until the point where the larva is released. The size of an egg in comparison to the size of the contained larva indicates substantial internal morphology, consistent with requirements for life support and sensory systems.

Despite the obvious immediate differences, the organism's basic body plan may be conserved between the juvenile and adult forms. The larval form has 8 legs, and while imago forms only appear to have 4 limbs, queens appear to have 8. All forms have a single articulated tail, implying the presence of a spine and CNS. As the juveniles posses an endoskeleton it could be assumed that the adults do as well. The adult head morphology is quite distinctive. In the post-nymph forms, the mouth contains a secondary set of jaws on the end of the tongue, and the head is long and curved. In the modern species, it is probable that the larval form is derived to the point where a majority of the sensory portions of the larval body remain in the egg when the larva is released. Anatomy corresponding to the adult head may be contained within the egg. Accordingly, if the juvenile "air- sacs" are used for respiration, any adult breathing apparatus would be located posterior to the hindmost pair of adult legs. Four "vanes" are visible on the backs of most adults, and six are visible along the backs of queens. These may function in breathing. Additionally, the head configuration of the adult may be adaptive in that it would prevent accidental implantation of an embryo into an adult by a larva, or prevent intentional implantation by a larva of another species. The legs of the larva will not easily grasp the adult head, and the ventral "embryopositor" tube will be subject to attack by the mouthed tongue. This may suggest that there are competing species of these creatures on the homeworld.

While in the egg, the larva sloshes about in a fluid, suggesting aquatic origins for this species. The emerging larva retains a thin coating of the internal fluid, and this layer appears to be caustic, although the caustic properties are not as dramatic as those displayed by the organism's blood. The combination of the egg fluid and blood pH indicates drastically different aquatic environment on the homeworld than on earth. It is possible that the pH of the egg fluid is closer to the true pH of the oceans on the homeworld and that the caustic properties of the organism's blood are due to a combination of modification and adaptation to the parasitic lifestyle, or the egg maturation process may deplete the egg fluid of its caustic properties.

Interior carapace pressure might indicate a higher average planetary pressure than 14 psi. This could be a defense mechanism, or it could simply be circulatory pressure. The internal physiology of the organism has yet to be revealed, but pulsing "artery-like" structures have been observed in emergent nymphs. Possibly the homeworld is larger or the atmosphere is heavier than on earth. The larval air sacs/bellows might be a historical adaptation to living beyond the aqueous environment, but it is possible that these are a parasitic adaptation, and are not required by the organism. The degree to which they function is probably dictated by the atmospheric requirements of the host, but we have no knowledge of the organism's atmospheric requirements. If such sacs are required, the larva will not survive in vacuum. The adults appear to function as well underwater as out of it, implying that the do not use air sacs. It is possible that inert gasses irritate the adults. Possibly, they breathe using modified gill structures located in the dorsal vanes.

Body temperature is ambient, perhaps indicating a generally warm planetary surface temperature, or geothermal habitat requirement. It remains to be seen how long the imago can survive in a vacuum or sub- freezing temperatures. The low pH of the blood would seem to indicate a drastically reduced freezing point. Queens survive extended periods of transit through both of these environments, and it is possible that other instar and imago forms may as well. The various adult forms demonstrate aversion to open flames, but unlike the eggs and nymphs, are not flammable. This suggests temperature boundaries within the upper limits of terrestrial environments.

The lack of obvious eyes in any observed stages indicates that the aliens either live entirely in enclosed or subterranean areas, or that there is no visible light incident on the surface of the homeworld. If the organisms lived entirely underground, their size and potential for well populated nests implies a well developed and robust subterranean ecosystem. If they lived the entirety of their lives in their nests, they would be dependent upon the movement of prey and hosts into the nest for survival. It is possible that they lure these into the nest, but the aliens seem quite capable and adept at retrieving them as well. If they dwelled on an illuminated surface for any amount of time, eyes would be a distinct advantage.

The aliens display significant ability to cling to and move on vertical and inverted surfaces, supporting the idea that a significant portion of time is spent underground or in enclosed spaces. Nests fit this description, and it may be that castes which venture outside of the nest posses eyes. In this case, these castes have not yet been observed. The nests might be constructed above or below ground or water, but seem to be designed so that the resinous construction material covers all surfaces near their cores. Partially submerged nests would require air chambers for hosts and larvae.

Copious amounts of a viscous substance are constantly being secreted from the mouthparts and neighboring regions. This substance appears to be used in constructing nests, hardening to form a resin. Thick strands may also be produced, although the mechanism for this is unclear. Prior to hardening, the resin does not display caustic properties, and may act to neutralize acids. This would be useful, both in offering protection from an acidic environment, and in protecting the nest from being accidentally dissolved.

Homeworld speculation: (assuming that the aliens are not entirely subterranean)

The homeworld has a higher atmospheric pressure and possibly a greater gravity than terrestrial standards. It has oceans which are of a very low pH and most likely an atmosphere of similar low pH. The EM spectrum incident upon the homeworld is significantly different from terrestrial standards, lacking "visible" wavelengths. This might indicate that the planet's orbit is very large, that it is extremely overcast or that it orbits a weak sun. In this case, the ecosystem might be based on geochemical and geothermal systems. Geothermal activity might also provide a relatively high ambient temperature. The acidic nature of the aquatic and atmospheric environments might also be due to extensive production of hydrogen sulfide and other "high energy" compounds via geochemical activity. A high level of volcanic and tectonic activity might be maintained by tidal forces stemming from planetary and stellar bodies in the system.

An ecosystem not based on photosynthesis would require radically 

different energy production schemes. Such an ecosystem might be founded on thermo- and acidophillic microorganisms. Larger autotrophs might incorporate endosymbiotic versions of these microorganisms. Vegetative "plants" would be found around areas of geothermal and geochemical activity, both on the surface and on the floor of the oceans. Other organisms might exploit the difference in pH and temperature at the boundary between aquatic and terrestrial environments. If volcanic activity were responsible for the overcast nature of the atmosphere, incident light might be used by photosynthetic organisms high in the atmosphere. Thermophillic photosynthesizing organisms might also be found near lava flows. Areas free of volcanic activity would be dead zones, possibly inhabited by hibernating organisms awaiting an increase in ocean level or the occasional lost creature.

Extensive tectonic and volcanic activity might result in habitats 

subject to frequent change. A geothermal habitat might be replaced by a geochemical or volcanic habitat, or might be flooded. If this were the case, organisms would have to be either extremely adaptive or mobile in order to survive.

Hypothetical ancestors:

The presence of an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton implies that 

conditions changed during the evolution of the organism, requiring armored protection of the entire body. Drastically increased predation is one such possible change, while a dramatic lowering of the pH of the environment is a second. These options are not mutually exclusive; hostile changes in the environment may cause increases in levels of predation.

A low pH ocean could literally dissolve its inhabitants, forcing 

them to lower their pH to meet that of the environment, present a barrier against the caustic properties of their surroundings, leave the oceans or try these strategies in various combinations. Thick layers of continuously renewed armor would be constantly ablated by the acid, but could protect underlying tissues, and secretion of neutralizing substances could serve as similar a shield. A lowering of the blood pH might offer some protection, but might also begin to damage one's own tissues, and would probably be energetically expensive. Raising the pH of one's tissues would not be a successful strategy in an aquatic environment.

The aliens posses all of these characteristics to various degrees, 

suggesting that the aquatic environment is either extremely caustic, or became progressively more caustic in discrete degrees. The modern species appears only to produce secretions in and around the mouth region; possibly the protective substance has to be applied to exposed regions of the anatomy, or whole body coverage is not necessary beyond an aquatic environment. In the former case, hardening of the resin might serve to bolster the exoskeleton, or the exoskeleton might be formed of the same substance, secreted from the surface of the body. The endo- and exoskeletons would be made from different substances in this case. In either case, the secretions around the mouth are used for building the nest. Ancestral types might have been covered in an additional layer of secretions.

The larvae are known to have an external layer composed of some 

combination of protein-polysaccharides and polarized silicon. Larvae do not seem to produce secretions, and the external layer is not as hard in appearance as the adult carapace. In non-nymph adults, this carapace has a metallic appearance, and is probably composed of additional materials. The teeth of nymphs often have a metallic appearance. If the hardening of resinous secretions were the source of the exoskeleton, these secretions might contain different substances depending on their intended use. Secretions destined to become armor, structural material or strands and cables might have very different compositions.

Living in a variety of challenging and dangerous environments 

might favor the observed division of reproductive strategies. The organism might be able to adapt rapidly to changing environments by using varying morphologies and reproductive strategies as a means of "shifting gears". An organism that was unconcerned with finding a mate could focus on finding a carrier or host capable of moving its offspring to a potentially more hospitable area. Organisms in a hospitable area could focus on reproducing themselves as efficiently as possible. Primitive juveniles could create embryos to be carried away by mobile hosts, while successful adults could create multiple eggs which were suited to their environment. Thus selection operates one way on the juveniles, selecting for those able to find suitable hosts (including mobility when the environment is shifting), and another way on the adults, selecting for those best suited to their environment. This implies that primitive juvenile stages were capable of predicting environmental shifts and altering their host selection accordingly. That the modern species has an "atrophied" juvenile stage implies that a stable environment was located, or that a novel strategy for relocating was developed. The stable environment may have been space, or perhaps there are yet unobserved castes capable of carrying eggs long distances.

The ancestral organism's life cycle might have been similar to that 

of a caterpillar/butterfly. The organism searches for a host off of which an embryo may feed after being lain by a larva, much like a caterpillar on a leaf. Possibly older pre-parasitic forms of this organism were like caterpillars; the implanted "embryos" may have been mobile, representing an intermediate life-stage (PRO-EMBRYO). It is possible that the nymph stage may have occupied this position, having been "laid" by the larva in a more advanced form. It certainly seems to be the case that the juvenile and nymph stages of the modern species are developmentally simplified. The modern larva is not capable of ingesting nutrients, being solely devoted to implanting one embryo, and some modern nymphs emerge sans limbs or with "limbs buds".

This primitive life cycle might have proceeded as follows:

[1] Egg is lain - matures - hatches [2] Larva proceeds in search of food and an appropriately mobile host. [3] Larva finds a host, lays pro-embryo on the host and returns to stage 2. [4] Pro-embryo "grazes" on host organism or organisms [5] Pro-embryo develops into first instar, becoming independent of host. [6] Instars develop into imago forms. [7] Imago searches for food and mates, lays eggs.

This life cycle is only "mildly" parasitic; the pro-embryo does not necessarily harm the host during its grazing/feeding activity, but remains in jeopardy of discovery and extermination in this vulnerable state. If the pro-embryo were implanted internally to the host and absorbed nutrients directly from the host, it could be less vulnerable. The first parasitic ancestors may have placed their pro-embryos internal to the host, where nutrients could be obtained partially digested food in the host's "stomach" or digestive system. If the host digestive system bore similarity to vertebrate systems, there may have been compartments of extreme pH, which may have contributed to the acidophilic nature of the modern species. More advanced parasites might have done away with their pro- embryo forms, simply implanting embryos within their hosts and which would grow to nymph form by stealing nutrients directly from the host. These parasites would not have been social organisms.

hypothetical ancestors and habitats:

unarmored aquatic vertebrate in a mildly acidic ocean
slime-resin coated aquatic vertebrate in an acidic ocean
resin-armored and slime coated aquatic creature in a 
	very acidic ocean
armored terrestrial creature coping with a variety of hostile surface 
	environments
	above described creature with a grazing pro-embryo form
	above described creature with a parasitic embryo form

The development of sociality:

In descending order, the "weak" points in the life cycle of the pre-social organisms appear to be the dormant phase, the gestation phase and the travel time of the larva from egg to host. These risks could be minimized by securing the eggs "underground" (away from host/egg predation), and by immobilizing hosts near to the eggs. The eggs might remain susceptible to predation by small egg eating creatures or larger creatures capable of entering an active nest, requiring cooperative measures on the part of adults in protecting them. Sociality might develop naturally from such a system. Initially, a division of labor between hunter-foragers to locate and retrieve fresh hosts and warrior-scavenger-nurses to protect the eggs and gestating hosts from predators might suffice. The subsequent evolution of the queen dominated caste system may have been a way to diminish competition for hosts between partially related organisms, by establishing genetically homogenous nests. The large numbers of eggs produced by modern queens seem to indicate a strategy involving overproduction of eggs. The persistence of this strategy in the modern species might be due to co-evolution of egg predators, or to environmental conditions where the risk of destruction of significant portions of the nest was high.

Host Mediated Adaptation:

A further means to adapt to an environment is by adopting 

strategies developed earlier by another species. The embryo is in a prime position to learn about the metabolic and environmental conditions of its host. Knowledge of local environmental conditions such as the pH, atmospheric content and energy generation schemes would be important for post emergence survival. Varying energy generation schemes may result in differing metabolisms. Knowledge of the metabolic level and requirements of the host gives an advantage to be used in hunting such hosts. The development of the nymph might mimic other physical attributes of the host as well. For example, if the host spent much time hanging upside down, the nymph could develop that way as well, making it a competent predator in an "upside down" environment.

Adult organisms are presumably adapted to their environment via 

some combination of this host mediated process in concert with post- emergence selection. In the primitive species, larval offspring of these adapted adults will have to evaluate the state of the environment to determine if they should seek a mobile host to find a more hospitable environment, or if the should seek one to which they are adapted.

If a larva chooses a mobile host, its embryo may posses different 

metabolic requirements or a generally different metabolism, which may result in the death of the embryo after prolonged exposure. The nymph must remain capable of aborting its development at the minimum possible stage and emerging from the host, developing a new adaptive strategy from the information gathered from the host, and surviving to reproduce and lay eggs adapted to the new environment. This minimum stage is limbless, displaying only the buds of limbs, and uses the segmented tail for propulsion.

If the larva chooses a host to which it is adapted, there will be 

much less danger to the embryo from the host's metabolism, and the nymph will be able to develop to its full form prior to emergence. This full form possesses two sets of limbs in addition to the tail. It is possible that a host chosen by a larva that detects no impending environmental shift might be immobile or vegetative in nature.

Once a relatively stable environment has been located (in which 

several rounds of reproduction were possible), a varying progression of forms might be observed, as pressures of selection and host mediated adaptation refine the organism's strategy for survival in the environment.

Sensation:

Since the creatures do not posses any eyes by terrestrial standards, 

they must have some other means of sensing their environment. If the body plan is conserved between juvenile and adult stages, it is reasonable to assume that the same types of sensors are used in each case. The eggs appear to be able to detect motion and proximity, and to be able to distinguish between hosts and nestmates. The sensation of heat may not be important to this process, as the natural host may have had similar body temperature. The larvae are capable locating and determining the distance to the host implantation orifice, and of leaping through space to that orifice. The adults are capable of distinguishing between nestmates and potential hosts, and are capable of detecting movement. They are probably also possessed of pattern recognition systems, and spatial arrangement recognition systems. Adults have been observed to fixate on objects using their heads, suggesting that their primary sensory organs are located in the anterior portions of their heads.

All adult stages are capable of producing a variety of sounds, and it 

is probably the case that they can hear and communicate via sound. Communication with "stripped down" eggs is probably better facilitated via chemical means than sound. It is likely that recognition of nestmates is achieved via a combination of chemical and sonic communication. Eggs might communicate with each other via chemical signals. The detection of motion and proximity may be facilitated via sonic systems. In terrestrial nocturnal, subterranean and aquatic environments, these have proven quite successful, and accordingly, the shape of the head is reminiscent of cetacean crania. However, the large curving structure of the head might serve as some other sort of sensor as well. It could be used to detect EM wavelengths other than visible light, although it is not obvious how useful such a structure would be in detecting longer or shorter wavelengths. Interestingly, the creatures might have a sensory system similar to the "motion tracking" technology developed by humans.

Communication:

Variation in the surface morphology of the head seems to indicate 

a sensory function. Lone adults have uniform smooth reflective heads, while adults functioning in a nest have distinct anterior and posterior head sections; the posterior region being covered in a ribbed pattern with a sagittal crest, and the anterior region being characteristically smooth with a pair of pits on either side of the head. This morphology in social organisms may be used in sonic and chemical communication. That this ribbed pattern is visible in the neck regions of the lone adult may indicate that the smooth reflective surface of the heads serves as a canopy covering more complex structures.

This smooth canopy is reminiscent of the smooth surfaces of the 

queen's headpiece sheath. This sheath is comprised of at least three independent pieces, the largest of which possesses several overlapping flanges. Various sized holes are visible between these flanges, and the entire sheath may serve as a production organ for chemical signals. In the transformation from imago to queen-imago (see the discussion of ancestral types below), the adult canopy may develop into the sheath. Once this transformation has been accomplished, the new queen would issue chemical signals destroying the canopies of any nearby adults.

If the ribbed structures beneath the canopy corresponded to modest 

versions of the signal procution organs beneath the queen's sheath and were be used for communication between nestmates, the canopy might serve to isolate a lone adult from foreign signals. Canopied adults would in effect be "deaf" to most nest signals. If all nestmates are progeny of the same queen, then the canopy destroying signal produced by a particular queen might be genetically specified. A canopied adult which found itself near a foreign nest or a foreign queen would not be susceptible to that queen's signals, and would develop into a queen. An adult which found itself near a related nest or queen would lose its canopy and join the nest. A dead queen would be replaced by a young canopied adult. It could be assumed that an uncanopied adult would be utterly subservient to the commands of a queen, in which case it might be possible for one queen to kill another and steal the uncanopied members of the nest. The canopy must allow limited communication, as a valid queen must be able to order its destruction. Possibly, canopied adults would be capable of identifying hosts harboring embryos as well, and could act to protect related embryos and possibly destroy unrelated ones.

The modern and ancestral natural hosts:

The modern species" reproductive cycle is problematic because it 

displays a dependence upon the death of a host for the reproduction of a each organism. A host which survived nymph emergence might favor the development of this lifestyle. Such a host would have to withstand the damage incurred in emergence, and be able to survive further rounds of implantation, gestation and emergence. Alternatively, ancestral forms of the organism might have used a less injurious host-emergence strategy. If instead of creating new exits, the nymphs emerged via the orifice through which they were implanted, the chance of the host surviving would increase dramatically. Possibly, ancestral organisms used such a strategy. Also, a host with thick exterior armor would make creation of new exits difficult. In any case, a large organism would be better suited to surviving the embryo development process. The parasite might be little more than a pest for a host of sufficient size, and might even serve some symbiotic function by feeding on exoskeletal parasites of the host after emergence.

The implantation period indicates a requirement for about 24 hours of close contact. This is facilitated by the articulated limbs and the tail. In modern creatures, the larval "embryopositor" appears to be composed of soft tissue, indicating that implantation is probably directly onto the desired internal substrate as opposed to being gained by destruction of external tissue. In addition to other possible functions, the mouthed tongue of the imago might function to permit sampling of the tissue contained within a hard carapace. These data suggest that the natural host possessed a hard shell.

During the implantation phase, the host is provided with atmosphere via specialized bellows structures on the larva, implying that the host would be in danger of asphyxiation during the implantation process. Thus the natural host probably has only one breathing orifice, and is at least partially terrestrial. The parameters of the area surrounding the natural host's breathing orifice may be estimated via observing the length of tail available and the available span of the articulated limbs (2-3 feet for the limbs and 4-5 feet of tail). This orifice is most likely at the end of a stalk of indeterminate length, which might be up to a foot in diameter. The terminus of this stalk is most likely a spheroid 1-2 feet in diameter.

The amount of oxygen provided to the host is limited by the size of 

the larval bellows apparatus, and this would limit the size of a potential host and that host's activity during implantation. Possibly the bellows size has evolved to parallel changes in host size. The constrictive nature of the tail would seem to suggest that the host's breathing is accomplished by changing the volume of the stalk. Bi-directional air flow in the host might be accomplished via the use of peristaltic waves. Since the host is likely armored, the tail would probably not be capable of constricting the host unless this strategy were used to inhale and exhale.

Assuming that the host would resent an attack on its sole breathing orifice and the subsequent implantation event, temporary incapacitation of the host would be desirable on the part of the organism. An extremely large host might be able to detach the larva at negligible expense to its own structure. Possibly the constrictive nature of the tail is used to immobilize the host initially. However, an incapacitated host would be easy prey to various other predatory creatures. It is possible that the implantation period would not be *extremely* uncomfortable for the host, and that the host would be capable of enduring the implantation period without sufficient cause to successfully dislodge the parasite. In this case, the implantation process might only diminish the host's "natural breathing capacity', requiring the supplemental air supply provided by the larva. In such a scenario, it might be possible for multiple larvae to simultaneously implant embryos in hosts.

Emergence of the nymph seems to be triggered by moderate levels of host activity. This might be a valid strategy if the host was preyed upon. Moderate levels of activity would indicate that there were no predators around and that the locale was safe for nymph emergence. Sufficiently high level of activity might indicate flight from a predator, and a period of inactivity might be indicative of a host's attempt to hide from a predator.

The general conclusions regarding the natural host are as follows; it is a large terrestrial or semi-aquatic organism which breathes through an orifice at the end of a stalk. This could be the host's head, or it could be a specialized structure. The host is most likely armored and is possibly prey to other predators.

Most of the above speculation regards the natural host of the pre-social organism. The natural host of the social organism is most likely a smaller version of the described host. Smaller hosts would occur in more abundant numbers, and their populations might tolerate the parasitic lifestyle of increasing numbers of aliens. In addition, it is more efficient to capture, immobilize and maintain smaller hosts than large. It is possible that the modern organism's penchant for creating a new emergence orifice is a modification subsequent to the dispersal into space; on the homeworld, the social organisms might remain capable of multiple rounds of implantation, gestation and emergence on a single host. Some species might retain the ability to switch from a social mode to a more primitive non-social mode.

Proposed ancestral types: Presumably, organisms which use these strategies still live on the homeworld.

Early ancestor: a non-social creature with a multi-stage life cycle. Most stages of this life cycle are omnivorous. This is a very primitive version of the organism. Natural host: The natural host might be any large mobile creature, or it might be some sort of immobile vegetative organism. Life cycle: Eggs are laid in large clutches, perhaps buried in the ground or perhaps attached to vegetative organisms via resin. This resin might also serve to protect the eggs from predation. After a long maturation phase, these eggs hatch and larvae emerge. These are free living organisms in their own right, devoted to finding food and potential hosts. Possessed of advanced sensory capabilities, these creatures are capable of producing many pro-embryos. The eggs of this species would be little more than containers, possessing no sensory apparatus and probably opening upon the signal of the larva. These larvae locate and lay pro-embryos on putative hosts. These pro-embryos digest whatever available food there is to be found on their substrate; the food might be other surface parasites or vegetative matter or secreted substances. These pro-embryos would be capable of moving between hosts, and some in some "vegetative" species might serve in a "cross-pollinating" capacity. In more advanced forms, the pro-embryos might live in the host digestive system, feeding off of partially digested nutrients. Once a sufficient level of nutrition has been achieved, the embryo metamorphoses into a nymph and becomes a free living organism. Progression through of a series of predatory instars yields the imago, which serves the sole purpose of laying more eggs. Comments: There are a variety of lifecycle and lifestyle strategies which may be derived from this organism. There are probably a variety of different species descended from this general form. The imago is the fully adult form of the organism, having spent all of its instars searching for food. As with the pro-embryo, this food might be both vegetative or "animal" in nature.

Medial ancestor: a non-social predatory creature with a dual stage life cycle. This type of creature is perhaps on the verge of developing into the modern organism. Natural host: The natural host is a large creature that breathes atmosphere through a single orifice on the end of an armored stalk. Airflow through this stalk is maintained by expanding and contracting the walls of the stalk, possibly via peristaltic waves. Life cycle: Thick-hided and perhaps armored eggs are buried in the ground and are mortared in place with resin. The eggs mature and enter the dormant phase. The motion and sound of a passing potential host signals the egg to hatch and disgorge the larva which pursues, catches and "boards" the host. In this organism, the larva's sole purpose is to locate and implant an embryo into a host as quickly as is possible. Its sensory apparatus are devoted to this task alone, and because it does not take nutrition, it can only afford to implant a few embryos; in most cases it can only manage one. The egg retains a modest ability for detection and controls the release of the larva. The larva then locates the breathing orifice, affixes itself to it via means of the legs and tail and supplements the air flow to the host during the implantation phase. The embryo is implanted in the internal substance of the breathing canal. Once implantation is complete, the larva dies. The host proceeds, until the nymph emerges from its "breathing trunk" via the natural orifice. The host most likely survives this ordeal, although it might experience labored breathing for a few days. The nymph goes through a series of instars , which hunt for food, until an imago is realized, which hunts for food, mates and prospective host ranges. The mouthed tongue might be integral to all three pursuits, as well as protecting the adults form implantation by larvae of other species. Putative hosts might be weakened by use of the mouthed tongue, making them more susceptible to being boarded by the larva. A series of eggs might be lain over a large area, awaiting a weakened host to stumble through. Possibly, the adults are capable of cucooning themselves and or severely weakened hosts with resin in order to protect against predation. Comments: The eggs and larvae of this species appear intermediate in that they share the responsibilities of host detection and selection. This suggests that the larva and egg are a single continuous organism in this species and that sensory organs are shared or duplicated between the two parts.

Immediate ancestor: a predatory social creature, possibly smaller than the medial ancestral type. This is the organism which immediately predated the modern organism. Natural host: a smaller version of the ancestor's host, or a similar smaller creature. Life cycle: A fertile queen lays thick hided eggs in a protected creche. These are guarded and tended by various castes of adult relatives. The nest is created and maintained by the adults and is constructed from secreted resin. The adults procure hosts from outside the nest and immobilize them near mature eggs. The eggs open and the larva immediately attach to the host. Larval energy usage is almost totally devoted to adhering to the host and implanting a single embryo. The large eggs contain most of the important sensory and decision making apparatus, leaving the larvae as "stripped down" as is possible. Implantation and gestation occur as in the medial ancestor, but the nymph tears its way out of the host body. Unless it is sufficiently large, the host likely expires in the emergence. The nymph develops into an imago via a series of instars, which might perform particular duties required by the nest according to their age or caste. Comments: Queens display at least six limbs, and an additional pair of hind limbs are required to support the ovarian organ systems. Queens have a greater number of limbs, digits and dorsal vanes than are observed in various adult forms, and thus may represent a most advanced instar form. If this is the case, the various observed forms may represent different instar stages of adult development, and each of these might correspond to a different caste. A nymph which found it self isolated from a nest, or in a nest sans a functional queen, might develop rapidly through a series of instars (which would only be of use in a functional nest) and into a queen- imago which could then begin the egg laying process and re-establish control of a leaderless nest. A queen in a functioning nest would suppress this development in all other individuals, halting their development at the penultimate imago stage. This could be accomplished via a special queen- produced chemical signal which causes the destruction of adult canopies. A lone imago metamorphosing into a queen-imago might require a period of hibernation as it develops the morphological characteristics of a queen: the auxiliary ventral arms, large headpiece sheath and externalized ovarian systems with associated legs. In this case, the adult canopy might be the source of the developmental signals which trigger the transformation, and would develop into the sheath.

The queen-imago is a form devoted to producing large numbers of 

eggs in a short amount of time. Presumably, this form is a novel development which is specific to the social species. It might be that imago form retains the ability to lay eggs at a much lower rate and at much greater expense to itself. This would require an override of the natural inclination for canopied imago forms to develop into queen-imagoes, and would probably only occur under periods of extreme stress when the nutritional requirements of metamorphosis into a queen could not be met.

Problems:

The most difficult problem regards the provenance of the "acidic blood'. It is likely that the caustic properties of the blood are not due to simple pH, but that other chemical and enzymatic factors are in effect. Regardless, the origin of such a system remains difficult to estimate. The egg fluid would seem to indicate a moderately acidic aquatic environment. An acidification of the blood might have arisen as a defense mechanism, or in response to changes in the environment, or as an adaptation to a life cycle stage in an acidic digestive environment. The organism's "blood" might be its digestive system, which would suggest an extremely different internal structure than terrestrial standards. The caustic properties of the blood appear to be more effective on synthetic and organic materials than on metals, supporting the idea that other chemical and enzymatic factors are at work, which in turn supports the digestive theory.

Disclaimer: The characteristics discussed above are not the sole characteristics available for discussion, nor are the conclusions drawn the only conclusions possible. This is simply one possible picture based on the set of assumptions and the data.


15. REVISION HISTORY

(Daryll Hobson initiated this FAQ)

v1.0 - March 22, 1993 - Initial draft. Most information supplied by me alone.

v1.1 - March 31, 1993 - Added countless bits of information supplied by

     interested users of the net.

v1.2 - April 14, 1993 - Revision control. Chestburster scene added, more info

     on the dog/cow scene of _ALIEN^3_, more _ALIENS_ cut scenes, added to
     the alien physiology discussion.  Small changes to the merchandise
     list.  Added more "memorable quotes" and more "trivia".  Added
     "rituals" section and switched around the order of the sections to
     make the FAQ more readable.

v1.3 - May 5, 1993 - Small changes to the "Who is?" section. Removed the

     Chestburster scene.  Organized the discussion section.  Added some
     more frequently asked questions.  More complete descriptions of the 
     cut scenes from _ALIEN_ and _ALIENS_ were added as well.  More trivia.

v1.4 - June 23, 1993 - Added Gibson's ALIEN^3 script synopsis, James Cameron's

     answers to a few questions about ALIENS and vastly improved the 
     merchandise and FAQ sections.

v1.5 - Sept 14, 1993 - Added more frequently asked questions. Added running

     times to some of the _ALIEN_ cut scenes.  More rituals.  Added 
     extensive info about _ALIEN^3_ script rewrites.

v1.6 - Sept 21, 1993 - In an effort to reduce (eliminate?) the all-too-common

     flaming of _ALIEN^3_, I added a section to Frequently Discussed 
     Topics that addresses both sides of the argument.  Broke the FAQ up
     into 3 parts so I could (once again) post it to the Internet.

v1.7 - Dec 25, 1993 - FINALLY got an FTP site for the FAQ. Added to the

     technical errors, frequently asked questions, trivia.  Increased 
     emphasis on NOT asking me "Where can I get Gibson's ALIEN 3 script?"

v1.8 - Mar 8, 1994 - More information on soundtracks. Added to frequently

     asked questions, trivia and memorable quotes.  Memorable quotes  
     ordered according to when they occur in the movies.  Didn't get
     around to adding ALL that new merchandise yet.  What a nightmare!

v1.9 - April 10,1994 - Changed information on how to get Gibson's ALIEN 3

     script.  Added to frequently asked questions, merchandise and 
     memorable quotes.

v2.0 - June 14, 1994 - Added more memorable quotes, questions and

     merchandise.  Prepared the document to be HANDED OFF (ie: no longer
     maintained by me).

(Eelko de Vos took over the maintenace of the FAQ)

v2.1 - August 12, 1994 - Added some more info on various subjects. Also added

     part four to the faq: Steve's document about what he derived from the
     alien movies. It are the insights of a molecular biologist. I
     rearranged some bits, but most this document is mostly in its original
     state.
     I made the Alien WWW pages grow considerably. They are at:
       http://www.twi.tudelft.nl/~vos/alien.html

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