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One major thing that Cameron left out in ALIENS

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cmutt

Mar-24-2017 8:25 AM

There's one particular point of the original story that I have always felt was left out, or untouched upon in James Cameron's ALIENS film. And I honestly feel like it's an extremely important matter.

When Ripley is rescued from drifting in space in hypersleep, she is summoned to an inquisition by some form of Weyland-Yutani commission. 

Ripley is questioned about the whole Nostromo incident, her account of the events is recorded, and she argues with the committee over the presence of the xenomorph, the derelict ship, and the eggs that Kane saw.

And that's all! Nothing more than that.

She doesn't bring up anything about Ash, or the fact that the company themselves were the ones who were behind the whole conspiracy. She never challenges Weyland-Yutani for knowingly sending them there with specific intentions to bring back the life form, nor the fact that the companies secret order also made the whole Nostromo crew expendable.

That should have been a major battle for Ripley once she was brought back. When they were questioning her judgement and her whole story, she should have have easily snapped back with, "Hey, YOU should know... YOU are the ones who sent us there, and YOU are the ones who programmed Ash with secret orders to bring back the alien, and ordered our crew expendable."

But none of that was even mentioned at that point in the film. Only later on, when Burke sabotages everyone, does she begin indicting the company again.

Personally, I've always felt that this was a huge omission in that movie. And now considering the prequels, there is probably even more that Weyland-Yutani knew by that time. So I think it's gonna be very interesting to see just how much the company really did know, and also learn what was behind Weyland-Yutani's later decision to send just a simple commercial mining and towing ship, with only a simple crew, and the robot Ash... to investigate that original derelict ship.  

55 Responses to One major thing that Cameron left out in ALIENS

MonsterZero

Mar-24-2017 8:36 AM

Nice catch!

Finding out about Ash and W-Y would be number 1 on my list. They started this whole mess.

Batchpool

Mar-24-2017 10:54 AM

I think the whole hearing with the committee does leave a lot to be desired, but Ripley does mention that they were sent there(LV426), on company orders. I think the main point which undermines Ripley's defence is the lack of evidence of a xenomorph. Without that the company has just gone into complete denial.

ninXeno426

Mar-24-2017 11:04 AM

Ash is certainly implied.while having breakfast on the Sulaco,Burke dismisses Ash's behavior as being a malfunction so if was definitely brought up somewhere.Also Ripley did say that the Nostromo set down on LV_426 on company orders.,so she did kinda point this blame at them

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for 

Foxxy_User

Mar-24-2017 11:15 AM

Unfortunately, Ripley had no proof. 

Also, LV 426 was colonized during that point which further discredits her story.

ninXeno426

Mar-24-2017 11:23 AM

Indeed Foxxy_User

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for 

cmutt

Mar-24-2017 11:50 AM

Many of those points are true, especially that Ripley had no proof, and in reality, no power. And although the film does have references which imply that Ripley probably did give a thorough report on what happened... my main point is that she doesn't seem to be driving the central blame onto Weyland-Yutani enough. It just seems more logical to me that any person in her situation would be trying furiously to indict the company. 

Even though she does say that they were sent there on company orders, she doesn't follow that sentence with the fact that they were secret orders, with strong indications of serious corporate malfeasance.

Okay. Maybe the company is too powerful and they control the law enforcement agencies. Maybe she has tried to expose them, but to no avail. Maybe she's done everything in her power, but she's been stonewalled and silenced.

But the film doesn't show that, or really even suggest that. All it shows is Ripley's story being downplayed and brushed off by Weyland-Yutani's investigative commission. It's such a serious situation, I don't think Ripley, or anyone for that matter, would let it go so easily.

She KNEW that someone within the company knew more than they were admitting, and she also knew that the company had disregarded their lives.

ninXeno426

Mar-24-2017 11:55 AM

 You're correct Cmutt about all that.I hope you didn't think I was crapping on your thread,it wasn't my intention if so 

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for 

cmutt

Mar-24-2017 12:00 PM

No, I didn't think that at all. I like reading everyone else's thought and opinions. It's all more food for thought.

colonialsoldier

Mar-24-2017 12:16 PM

In the Director's cut/Special Edition version, there is an extended court/council scene in which there seems to be more discussion.  http://www.avpgalaxy.net/alien-movies/aliens/deleted-scenes/  Van Leeuwen mentions there was no evidence on the creature on the lifeboat and Ripley responds by blowing out in space (Theater release as well).  Also, remember this is 57 years later and the company has a whole bunch of new leadership.  Yes, Burke is a plant and perhaps he knows something with Van Leeuwen that is not mentioned.  But with no proof and the Nostromo blown into bits with no recording (Alien:Isolation confirms the lack of a recording).  That is something that a screenplay likes to have, so the audience can discuss and speculate.

Batchpool

Mar-24-2017 12:30 PM

@cmutt

I’m not sure if anyone could totally verify this, but the crew of the Nostromo said they were all contracted out for the job they were doing. This could open up a different avenue of exploration, but what if the crew were agency staff ? Weyland-Yutani  may have been the company that owned the Nostromo, but for the purposes of hiring and firing, just like many companies today, agency staff are used. This creates lots of legal loopholes when things go wrong, because it is hard to establish blame. In the case of a hearing such as Ripley’s the emphasis was on her self destructing the ship and being able to justify that. As sole survivor, the fate of the rest of the crew is down to only her testimony, and the reason she has given is that an alien was responsible. We know that after the hearing she was being psycho-analysed. Looking at the whole hearing, I would say Ripley’s greatest challenge would be proving she was sane and not some psychopath responsible for killing the crew, and then putting it all down to being caused by an alien. Making accusations about Ash and at this point, and pointing to questionable company orders could appear to be minor details in comparison.

Batchpool

Mar-24-2017 12:42 PM

Given the whole background to the hearing, I find the most surprising thing is that no criminal charges were made. I think that fact paints a different picture. Surely a company that has to explain dead crew members, loss of property and cargo would be looking for pressing charges. Unless of course that they have something to hide and would try to avoid a deep investigation.

S.M

Mar-24-2017 1:51 PM

"When they were questioning her judgement and her whole story, she should have have easily snapped back with, "Hey, YOU should know... YOU are the ones who sent us there, and YOU are the ones who programmed Ash with secret orders to bring back the alien, and ordered our crew expendable.""

The Company weren't running the inquiry - the ICC were.

And as others have said, it's pretty well covered in the film.  Ripley said they set down on Company orders, and anyone who issued that order is long retired or even dead.

Gavin

Mar-24-2017 2:20 PM

In Aliens, followed the inquisition Carter orders Hadley's Hope to investigate the co-ordinates Ripley gave for the derelict Engineer craft. After the Jorden's fell foul to the Facehuggers they found the colony will have no doubt contacted Burke. It is also highly likely that Burke was assigned to be Ripleys liasion from somebody aware of, if not responsible for Special Order 937. And it is also highly likely that Burke and those that assigned him to Ripley witnessed security camera footage of Hadley's Hope being subjugated by the Xenomorphs.

This infers, if not states that there is a clear conspiracy at the executive levels of Weyland-Yutani to acquire a Xenomorph Specimen, which is further highlighted by the USS Patna in Alien 3 which originally states that it is a week away, but after receiving the scan of the Queen Embryo in Ripleys Chest is "suddenly" capable of arriving within hours.

chadsbrothermatt

Mar-24-2017 2:23 PM

 Aliens actually added something.

In Alien, there is nothing about special order 937 that implies the company knew about the existence of the Alien before the crew. Literally all it says is "insure the return organism for analysis. All other considerations secondary. Crew expendable". Given that this order comes chronologically after Dallas's death, it makes more sense that this was the company's reaction to the events on the ship. Like "it kills people? O.o yes, want." Ash didn't know about the order all along, but simply learned about the order before anyone else because he had been the only one conversing with MUTHUR after Dallas died, and kept it a secret because he knew nobody else would be cool with "crew expendable". 

Nowhere in Alien is it stated or, in my opinion, even implied that the Nostromo was sent to get the Alien. It's not until Aliens, where Ripley says "we were sent there on company orders to get this thing, which destroyed my crew and your expensive ship" that the company having nefarious intent from the start becomes a plot device.

So actually, it was Cameron who retconned the story. The scene makes more sense if you watch it as if there was no conspiracy in Alien. That explains a lot of the weird plot holes, like the company not knowing what the hell she's talking about or being stupid enough to have a colony on the same planet they sent the Nostromo to and not once deciding to investigate until 57 years later. Personally, I think Ripley saying "company orders to get this thing" was actually a mistake, and was she was actually try to get across was "we were sent there on company orders (because it's part of our contract to investigate signals) to get this thing to the company" or something. Or just careless writing. 

Anyway, that's just my take on it. Hard to really tell, although with the way things are going with the prequels, it'd be pretty hard for them to not know. But also strange that they wouldn't already have their own since their boy David is manufacturing xenos already, lol.

cmutt

Mar-24-2017 2:28 PM

Some good and interesting points... although a few may be splitting hairs a bit. 

If the ICC was handling the investigation, it's probably a sure bet that W-Y has considerable influence in the ICC. (speculative... but history supports it)

Van Leeuwen tells Ripley, and I'm paraphrasing, "The company has had settlers there for some time now... It's what we call a shake and bake colony."

Now, I don't know if that means he works for W-Y, or if he just represents them, but it seems clear that he and one of the other committee members were at the very least, siding for W-Y.

And perhaps all of that speculation does prove nothing. 

But one thing we do know is this... W-Y knew what they were doing when they decided to send the Nostromo and it's crew to LV 426, and they hid the true mission from Dallas and the crew. W-Y knew what they were doing when they replaced the normal science officer with Ash at their last stop. The company knew what it was doing when it issued special order 937, known only to Muther and Ash. W-Y knew it was a warning, they knew there was a life form, and they knew they wanted it... at all cost.

I guess all I was getting at, is that it seemed to me like Ripley would have wanted to dig a lot deeper.

ALIEN and ALIENS has told us some of what W-Y knew, Prometheus told us more... and I hope the future prequels will fill us in on just how much, and what else they knew.

S.M

Mar-24-2017 2:42 PM

"It is also highly likely that Burke was assigned to be Ripleys liasion from somebody aware of, if not responsible for Special Order 937. "

That's not "likely" - it's supposition.

"And it is also highly likely that Burke and those that assigned him to Ripley witnessed security camera footage of Hadley's Hope being subjugated by the Xenomorphs."

That's also not "likely".  They lost contact with the colony which is repeated two more times during the film.

"This infers, if not states that there is a clear conspiracy at the executive levels of Weyland-Yutani to acquire a Xenomorph Specimen, which is further highlighted by the USS Patna in Alien 3 which originally states that it is a week away, but after receiving the scan of the Queen Embryo in Ripleys Chest is "suddenly" capable of arriving within hours."

Andrews said the ship would arrive "inside of a week", then a message was later received to say the rescue team was expedited.  As for the grand conspiracy - why did the Company do nothing for 57 years?  Especially when they had a colony within driving distance for over 20 of those years?

'Clear'? 'Stated'? I don't see how.

(Also, the Patna was not a military ship so no USS designation).

Gavin

Mar-24-2017 3:11 PM

Burkes assignment to Ripley is stated in his opening scene. While it is possible Burke was an opportunist who happened across one of WY's dirty little secrets from 57 years prior, the corporate conspiracy elements of Alien together with Prometheus and Covenant, and the assignment of the (not USS) Patna suggest that acquisition of the Xenomorph was an ongoing and active mission of WY.    

IMO the (not USS) Patna was shadowing the USS Sulaco to LV-426 where the marines, Burke, and Ripley were sent to die. When Ripley screwed up their plans they boarded the Sulaco using eggs that had survived the thermonuclear blast of Hadley's Hopes atmosphere processor.

Outside of my speculation, the colonists were there on LV-426 for twenty years and never discovered the derelict. In the movie it is only stated that WY supplies the colonists with the Atmosphere Processors, the colonists themselves likely are not employees of the company like the Nostromo crew was, but representatives of the ECA (Extrasolar Colonial Administration).

It is my belief that WY was unaware of the Nostromo's destruction, and due to the sensitive and incriminating nature of SO 937 opted to exercise patience in the hope that the vessel would someday drift back into their hands. Yes, a somewhat lacklustre attitude, but how else can explain the 57 year inactivity - it is the only hole in the WY/LV-426 conspiracy theory.

cmutt

Mar-24-2017 3:32 PM

S.M : Interesting point about the 57 years, I've often wondered about that too.

Maybe Cameron never considered a deeper plot, and he was fine with starting his whole story on the basis that after the Nostromo was destroyed, that particular division of W-Y had no more information to go on, or no more leads to pursue. So finding Ripley opened up that dormant can of worms, and any new W-Y reps would have to have access to, and dig into the old secret files and data banks for the companies whole history involving the xeno's, the Nostromo, etc.

Maybe some new laws and regulations prevented them from sending expeditions to specifically search for alien life forms, and/or maybe new regulations had been established which required W-Y to find new, inventive, and accidental ways for foreign organisms or life forms to be transported, or brought home. Thus, contamination and quarantine of their own employees.

I never thought the company would have left it alone once the Nostromo and crew had disappeared. I imagine they would have had their secret department analyze all of the data, and then sent another team to LV 426. If they didn't... they must have had a damn good reason to bury the project for 57 years.

I mean, who knows why they didn't send any other teams out during those 57 years. I guess only Cameron can answer that. Or maybe Ridley too.

S.M

Mar-24-2017 3:36 PM

The staff at Hadley have WY logos on their name badges, and the logo is everywhere. WY staff are also sending them directives from Earth.  It's fair to say they were on WY's payroll.

How did eggs survive the blast and why would the Company be so sloppy as to let them loose on another ship?

The big conspiracy theory that the Company has been trying to get their hands on Aliens for decades is solely reliant on the Company being monumentally incompetent.

"S.M : Interesting point about the 57 years, I've often wondered about that too."

It's a major hole in any conspiracy theory that no theorist has been able to explain.

"If they didn't... they must have had a damn good reason to bury the project for 57 years."

Not wanting to face criminal charges for issuing orders deeming their crew to expendable I imagine. The Nostromo re-routing was just a fishing expedition.  It would've remained buried for a lot longer had Ripley not showed up.

cmutt

Mar-25-2017 6:09 AM

Yeah, that's pretty much how I imagine they would explain it, if they were to ever tread that topic again.

The writers and directors probably never thought that all of these intricate details would ever be so heavily explored, or scrutinized. So maybe they didn't see any reason or need to be very thorough about the details.

I bought the "ALIEN Omnibus", which is the 1st three novelizations by Alan Dean Foster, in one book, waay back around 1994, and in Hong Kong of all places.

Although I think he did a very nice job with the novelizations of the 1st three films, I did find that there were a few glaring plot holes and discrepancies. And I'm sure some of them, if not all, had nothing to do with him. He was inheriting the final drafts of screenplays and finished versions of the films, so he was trying to complete the puzzle with some non-fitting pieces.

Again, it sure would be nice if Ridley takes the extra effort to explore and explain away some of the existing holes in the stories. Hopefully Blomkamp too, if he ever gets to do his movie.

Parkerparrot

Mar-25-2017 8:37 AM

Anyone ever wondered how Ripley could shoot the Alien with the harpoon, the Alien not spilling one little single drop of acid inside the Sulaco befor getting sucked out into space?

              "Bees have hives, man" 

cmutt

Mar-25-2017 9:37 AM

The Sulaco was the name of the large ship in ALIENS. Ripley's escape ship from ALIEN was named the Narcissus. 

As for the spilling of acid blood before she jettisoned the xeno... I never really gave that too much thought. There could easily be a few reasons why no acid was sprayed or spilled. Maybe the harpoon prevented much from coming out. Or maybe only a small, insignificant amount came out and it didn't affect the hull integrity. It's not that big of a deal imho.

One issue that I always had a big problem with... HOW did facehuggers get on board the Sulaco at the end of ALIENS?

ALIEN 3 established that facehuggers must have breached one or more of Ripley, Hicks, and/or Newts cryosleep chambers, which set off the alarms, and forced their ejection from the main ship.

But how did the facehuggers get on the Sulaco in the 1st place. There's only a few possibilities.

- the queen quickly laid a few eggs in the landing gear of the drop ship before attacking Bishop and Ripley.

- the drop ship somehow scooped up some random eggs with it's landing gear, along with the queen and some of the metal debris, as shown when they takeoff. (but there were no random eggs lying around the platform area before they took off)

- Bishop secretly gathered some eggs, or some facehuggers in stasis, and placed them in the drop ship before he picked up Ripley, Hicks, and Newt.

This question was never shown or explained in ALIEN 3. They just wrote that sequence in and used it as the catalyst for the whole movie. Without those facehuggers... all of the events of ALIEN 3 don't unfold. But they never adequately explained where those facehuggers came from. And neither did the ADF novelizations.

That's one of my biggest pet peeves.

S.M

Mar-25-2017 10:16 PM

It's never been adequately established how the eggs got on board and each theory has varying numbers of holes.

"Anyone ever wondered how Ripley could shoot the Alien with the harpoon, the Alien not spilling one little single drop of acid inside the Sulaco befor getting sucked out into space?"

Either it gets sucked out into space (as seen when it's flying out the airlock), or maybe it doesn't react the same in a vacuum.

 

brego

Mar-26-2017 12:30 AM

Chadsbrothermatt - Re the company having no idea about the Alien..... See direct incrimination quote below. In my mind they knew all along. In my mind Ellen knew she couldn't simply blurt out all that she knew as it could put her in an even worse position than she was already in. The Board inquisitors may not have known any more than the basics (or let on that they did) in order to protect "The Company". Also I've always suspected that The Company knew everything that it's Synthetic staff heard or saw directly. Possibly hard wired spies permanently on duty with no need to report in as their every move was being watched via the very own eyes. Bishop knew and I suspect felt guilt when he was awoken in A3 "It was with us all the way".

[typed on a computer]______ Request Clarification on Science Inability to Neutralize Alien______ Unable to Clarify_______ Special Order 937 - Science Officer Eyes Only______ Emergency Command Overide______ Special Order 937 Nostromo rerouted to new co-ordinates. investigate life form. Gather specimen. Priority One. Insure return of organism for analysis. All other considerations secondary. Crew expendable

 

cmutt

Mar-26-2017 5:49 AM

That's precisely why I've always believed the same thing. Key words, "life form", "ensure return or organism", "crew expendable".

There are so many indications that the company knew what they were doing.

Ash being strategically placed on board the Nostromo by replacing the normal science on their last stop. And so many of Ash's actions indicate that he was on specific orders from the company from the very beginning. He lied about the signal, he knew it was a warning all along, or at least he knew whatever the company already knew about it. He didn't want Ripley to go out and stop or warn Dallas and Kane. And the biggest reason of all... by letting Kane on board, despite Ripley's orders not to open the door... he broke the rules of standard procedures, quarantine laws, and chain of command. And he let the alien grow inside of Kane, without informing any of the crew.

Ash was programmed to do whatever W-Y wanted him to do. Therein lies the crux of the whole matter... the company has been behind everything, and it goes all the way back to Prometheus. Which is why I hope the prequels will satisfy many of the lingering questions. 

Parkerparrot

Mar-26-2017 7:03 AM

@cmutt

Yes ofcourse, the Narcissus.  Don't know why the Sulaco ended up in that sentence...

              "Bees have hives, man" 

Resurgence

Mar-26-2017 10:13 AM

The answer is quite simple actually, the company is the largest in the universe, she was believed to be suffering PTSD so no one would believe her, she was one employee that wouldn't be missed, and no one would question it if she "committed suicide" because they are basically the mafia of this universe

Look upon my works, you mighty, and despair

S.M

Mar-26-2017 12:36 PM

Why did the Company the supposedly "knew everything" do precisely nothing for 57 years?

cmutt

Mar-26-2017 3:34 PM

Well I don't know about them "knowing everything", in terms of the xenos, engineers, or the derilect, etc... I mean, how could they?

But what I'm getting at, is that I think the company certainly knew what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

But I think your theory is probably pretty close. Perhaps all of the events that took place with the Nostromo, it's crew, and Ash somehow became a potential problem, or a threat if the details were to be disclosed. So maybe they had to shut it down and bury it, until such time that it would be safe for them to continue.

cmutt

Mar-26-2017 3:55 PM

What about this?

What if the family members of the Nostromo's crew were pressing for W-Y, the ICC, and whatever other agencies to search for the ship and it's crew? And what if the families were demanding full disclosure to find out what happened, and where the crew might be, or if they were still alive?

Maybe W-Y had reasons to want to keep LV 426 completely unknown. Maybe they felt that any kind of search or investigation would cause them to lose the rights or claims to whatever was found there.

So in order to avoid any disclosure of their secret, they buried and hid all of those details from the families. Maybe they concocted a whole different scenario as to what happened with the Nostromo. For all we know, they may have just said that they lost contact with the Nostromo and it's crew, and it just disappeared. They could have kept the details within their secret division, and just created a cover story for everyone else.

Like we've said, who knows, we're all just guessing and trying to come up with good explanations and trying to fill in the blanks.

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