Alien

Question: When Ripley is climbing into the escape shuttle with Jones in the box, in the background is loads of fire being blasted. It's certainly not coming from Ripley's flamethrower. What's going on here?

Chosen answer: Ripley has initiated the destruct sequence and systems are failing and malfunctioning as the ship prepares to explode. The flames are mostly for visual effect, however, allowing the audience to see what is happening and to heighten the sense of drama and suspense.

raywest Premium member

Question: Near the start of the film Dallas goes to mother and on the computer he scrolls down to special order 937 and then asks "what's the story, mother?" When he tapped on order 937, why didn't he see the same message that Ripley saw later in the film?

Answer: Dallas doesn't scroll to Special Order 937, he scrolls down to the "Interface" option which is coded as "Interface 2037." Interface 2037 is the program that allows the ship's captain to ask the computer questions in plain language. Ripley sees the message about Special Order 937 because she keeps pressing Mother for additional information that she is not authorized to see. Dallas probably did see the same message about "Science officer's eyes only" but thought nothing of it at the time. Dallas' dialogue to Ripley about Ash having final word on the alien seems to suggest that he did indeed see Special Order 937 and chose to follow his instructions.

BaconIsMyBFF

Yes have rewatched it, you're quite right.

Question: One thing that bugged me from a recent rewatch. When Brett comes across the Alien skin that it has recently shed, it in no way resembles what the creature looks like now, and is completely disproportionate with its size a few minutes later when it kills him. Now I know that its methods of 'growing' we are lead to believe are different to those of Earth creatures in that they are more accelerated etc...but if it is following a similar pattern to Earth animals that shed their skin shouldn't it have shed at least ANOTHER skin or maybe two to achieve its near-adult human size? And also why in 'Aliens' were no shed skins in abundance dotted around the place when it is part of the Aliens' natural life-cycle? They don't strike me as the kind of creature that would worry about leaving their shed skin around to cover up their presence?

Answer: The skin Brett finds is presumably the first skin the creature shed based on its size. There might be other skins that were shed all over the place but we never see every inch of the ship. The alien in this film primarily uses the air ducts to move around, but the film only shows the air ducts in one brief scene. There could be other skins somewhere in those ducts we never see. The same is true in Aliens. We never see every inch of the floors of the colony, they could be anywhere. The floor of the hive does have a considerable amount of debris, some of this debris could conceivably be shed skins.

BaconIsMyBFF

That's a much more logical answer, thank you.

Answer: They shed their skin once, probably some kind of protective fleece around its immature body it disposes of, not actual skin like with a snake. These are smart creatures, yes they would hide their shed skin.

lionhead

If that's the case why did the first Alien shed skin get found? If as you say they are 'smart' enough to hide their shed skin why was this one left laying around?

Because in later movies the aliens have a lot more space to shed their skins where it can't be found. Maybe they don't actually hide it, but it's logical they hide themselves as their skin sheds because they are vulnerable. The alien in the first movie simply couldn't find anywhere to hide.

lionhead

Question: Is there ANY reason the smaller "lifeboat" ship (think they call it the Narcissus) Ripley evacuates into at the end, couldn't have been used as a lander to travel down to the planet in the beginning too (simply leave the Nostromo in orbit, with or without skeleton crew)? It seems, actually is, much less likely to be damaged in the initial landing, and, for that matter, much easier to take off afterwards (being much less massive). It also would have provided one more layer of quarantine containment for the people who stayed in the lander (who may or not be all the other four, in fact one would probably be just fine (Ripley manages the Narcissus just fine at the end), and it would have been a lot faster for the singleton to simply put on their own spacesuit if/when trouble is encountered, and in so doing, preserve their own personal uncontaminated space). The three explorers and the lander guard could simply see to trouble in Narcissus' sickbay-laboratory, without tainting the three back in the mothership, give Kane first response while taking him up to the main lab on the ship, while giving the orbit people warning to put on their suits/have some form of mobile quarantine ready for him.

dizzyd

Answer: It's not apparent whether the shuttle is capable of landing at all, much less launch itself back into space afterward even if it could.

TonyPH Premium member

Chosen answer: The small "lifeboat" ship was not equipped for the entire crew's long-term survival. As they are in deep space, there is no where close for them to land. They would just be adrift in space, as it takes years to travel from one destination to another. To survive long voyages, the crew needs to be in hibernation. The small ship would be a last resort in the hope that any survivors would be found before they died of starvation and/or lack of oxygen.

raywest Premium member

Question: Just curious,does the space jockey have any relation with the Predator and what is their history?

Answer: The space jockey is another alien race entirely. Since the Predator movies didn't even exist when Alien was released and there were no creative links between the two series until Alien Vs. Predator, it is safe to say that the space jockey has absolutely nothing to do with the Predators.

Phoenix

Question: Throughout the movie, Ash does a few weird things, such as that jogging motion that he makes in the cockpit and the "poor baby" expression he gives Ripley just before he attacks her. Aside from driving home the fact that he's an android, do these actions have any meaning? (Unless he's being sarcastic, the expression doesn't seem fitting, since he doesn't seem to feel any particular empathy toward humans.) Also, what causes him to suddenly start bleeding? And finally, why does he try to stuff a rolled-up magazine down Ripley's throat? My interpretation is that he's trying to implant her with an embryo, since he also starts making weird gagging noises at the same time; but if that's the case, where/when did he get it?

Answer: I can't speak to the running motion exactly. I've always wondered about that myself. Maybe it was a quick systems check of sorts. Beyond that, the 'poor baby' expression and odd noises he makes are because he is damaged. There is a quick, light scuffle with Ripley before he starts bleeding where she throws him against the wall twice, and that's where the 'blood' comes from. After that, he's trying to kill her with the magazine in the throat. As Bishop points out in Aliens, that model has always been 'a bit twitchy'. He's trying to protect the mission by any means necessary, and she was in the way.

Garlonuss Premium member

Just before he runs on the spot. Ash put on a flight suit and blows into his hands. The gesture suggests to me that he is old and is trying to warm him self up. The running on the spot action could be to get warm or to ensure the flight suit doesn't restrict his movement. It's a very nice bit of foreshadowing. If you play the alien isolation game, the working joe androids do that when they are 'bored'.

Question: One of the trivia entries states that Ridley Scott prevented any members of the cast from seeing the chestburster until the scene was filmed so their reactions would look more natural. However I've dug up numerous sources (such as IMDB) that says this is not the case and the cast had indeed seen the creature before hand. Which is the correct version of this story?

Answer: The version that I've heard the most often, which seems the most plausible, is that the cast were pretty much aware of what was going to happen - the chestburst effect requires machinery, a fake torso and so forth, so it's a bit daft to imagine that they weren't aware of what was coming. What they weren't expecting was the sheer amount of blood squirted everywhere, so their reactions to being sprayed with blood are, to some extent, natural.

Tailkinker Premium member

Poor old Lambert got the brunt of it.

Character mistake: When Ripley interfaces with Mother for the first time and sees the special order, an instruction reads as "Insure return of organism" rather than "Ensure return," a common enough grammatical error for humans but not one that a programmed super-computer would generate.

More mistakes in Alien

Parker: It's a robot. Ash is a god damn robot.

More quotes from Alien

Trivia: There is no dialogue in the first six minutes of the movie.

More trivia for Alien

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