Alien: Covenant
Zeta 2 Reticuli is not necessarily the star system in which the Nostromo found the derelict spacecraft?

Zeta 2 Reticuli is not necessarily the star system in which the Nostromo found the derelict spacecraft?

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OvomorphMember39 XPDec-22-2016 8:30 AM

Zeta 2 Reticuli is not necessarily the star system in which the Nostromo found the derelict spacecraft?

Despite the published evidence otherwise, it does not seem certain that the planetoid, on which the Nostromo set down, is in the Zeta II Reticuli system.

In the 1979 sf-horror film, Alien, the Nostromo is diverted to investigate a transmission on its way back to Earth. When the crew scan the area, the navigator (Lambert) states the following (cited by source):

LAMBERT. I found it. Just short of Zeta II Reticuli. We haven’t even reached the outer rim yet. [Alien. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt. 20th Century Fox, 1979.]

LAMBERT Found it. Just short of Zeta II Reticuli. We haven’t even reached the outer rim yet. [Hill, Walter and David Giler. Alien. Revised Final Script. Oct. 4, 1978.]

Several minutes of intense searching and computer-cooperation produced a tight grin of satisfaction on her face. “Found it . . . and us. We’re just short of Zeta II Reticuli. We haven’t even reached the outer populated ring yet. Too deep to grab onto a navigation beacon, let alone a Sol traffic relay.” [Foster, Alan Dean, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, and H. Roberts. Alien. New York: Warner , 1979. Print. p. 23]

Based on this evidence, it seems that the Nostromo exited hyperspace "just short of Zeta II Reticuli", but then proceeded to the source of the transmission elsewhere, apparently in a nearby star system, probably minor.

16 Responses to Zeta 2 Reticuli is not necessarily the star system in which the Nostromo found the derelict spacecraft?


EngineerAdmin22700 XPDec-22-2016 9:21 AM

I hadn't noticed this before... Nice observation!

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NeomorphMember1984 XPDec-22-2016 12:24 PM


Good catch!


XenomorphMember1221 XPDec-22-2016 12:40 PM

Zeta 2 reticuli is star 
So it may be that 
Lambert was talking
About the exact location 
Of the star not he entire 
System of planets
Circulating it.
Just a guess.
I am not knowledgeable 
On star systems etc.

The gas giant Calpomos
Is apparently in the 
Z2R system. This is 
This is the planet round 
Which LV 426 and lv
223 circulates.


PraetorianMember2674 XPDec-22-2016 2:17 PM

I've heard Lambert say that thousands of times, but never really thought about the significance of the Nostromo's location. Good call!!

Let's get BigDave on this guys!


"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger


XenomorphMember1234 XPDec-22-2016 3:34 PM

It just means they came out of hyperspace short of Z2R.  The next nearest system is Z1R and then there's nothing else for at least a parsec, which would take decades to travel to at sublight speeds.

If they're "just short of Zeta 2 Reticuli" the star we see in the film is obviously Zeta 2 Reticuli.


DeaconMember10416 XPDec-22-2016 8:10 PM

again SM knows his shizzle....

Yep in reality seems they came out of FTL past Zeta 1 and next system would have been Zeta 2...

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10416 XPDec-22-2016 8:14 PM

Also both Zeta 1 and 2 would be within 50 LY distances (39LY) and i would assume would be within any so could Outer Rim... well prior to such a thing.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


XenomorphMember1234 XPDec-22-2016 8:27 PM

The Outer Rim would shift further from Earth over time as more colonies sprung up.


OvomorphMember39 XPDec-23-2016 9:05 PM

interesting conjecture, to be sure, yet not conclusive.  Illustrates how much has been added over the decades to the "mythology" of this film


XenomorphMember1234 XPDec-24-2016 3:20 AM

What other star do you think it might be in the above picture?


XenomorphMember1234 XPDec-25-2016 8:31 PM

What happened to the original post?


OvomorphMember39 XPFeb-26-2017 5:25 PM

RE: the ever-expanding Outer Rim. If this were a real universe, it says much about the reliability of commercial merchant marine technology that the Company would entrust the expensive processing rig and its load to automation so far beyond inhabited space. I always liked the line in ADF's novelization about "ship's coming out of hyperspace ass-first", or something like that. 


This further makes me think how far out the exploration missions must go, if the Solomons Circuit goes this far out, eh?


XenomorphMember1234 XPFeb-26-2017 6:06 PM

If you take the Weyland Industries website (the bit with the ship and all the colonised planets) exploration missions go WAY out.  Too far out to be taken literally, since the distances involved create contradictions.


OvomorphMember39 XPFeb-26-2017 9:09 PM

@S.M., RE: "What other star do you think it might be in the above picture?"

I did not think beyond the curious line Lambert speaks, actually, but looked at it solely from what we'd been told circa 1979.

Curious, since it seems a navigator might be a bit more specific in her announcement of their location, as she tried to be later when Dallas cut her off ("just give me the short version..."), but then mayhap Joan Marie was a little flustered by Ripley's needling.

The novelization speaks to a probe that picked up the signal initially; if that were factored in, or the reasonable assumption that Mother had done her homework, it would indeed seem odd to drop out in extra-solar space instead of near the planetary body from which the transmission emanated.






OvomorphMember39 XPFeb-26-2017 9:19 PM

@S.M., RE: "It just means they came out of hyperspace short of Z2R."


i concede your point. I should have been more precise, since again I was limiting myself to c.1979 and I was thinking along the lines of it being an unnamed system just beyond Z2R, to which they would have had a better chance of reaching before Lambert ran out of Balajis...


XenomorphMember1234 XPFeb-26-2017 10:16 PM

There's always Sevastopol - but I think they only stock menthols. :)

In regards to dropping out outside the system, the Nostromo does seem to be rather fats even at sublight speeds as evidenced during the landing sequence.  They go from a long way from the planet to being in orbit pretty quickly.

Or maybe it's just a figure of speech.  "Just short" of the actual star, rather than the system.

In regards to picking up the signal, I don't remember the novelisation, but the CMTM said it was picked up by a French probe fly-by.  WYR said the Nostromo actually picked it up on the way to Thedus, but it was initially mistaken for a lost mapping satellite.

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