‘Alien 3’ Never Should Have Happened, Based on the Events of ‘Aliens’

When Alien debuted in theaters in 1979, moviegoers learned that nobody can hear you scream in outer space. At the end of the 1986 sequel, Aliens, they watched the progenitors flee the facehugger-infested exomoon LV-426 mere moments before it exploded. Observant fans of the sci-fi franchise say that the third installment, Alien 3, never should have happened. Here’s a look at why.

An egg-shaped plot hole in ‘Alien 3’

Alien 3 opens aboard the outer space warship, Sulaco. Inside are three hyper-sleeping humans and a severely damaged android named Bishop. Viewers saw this quartet escape by the proverbial skin of their teeth at the end of Aliens. What doesn’t make sense is the alien facehugger that’s also aboard Sulaco. Trouble is, the alien queen never had a chance to lay an egg in that location, explains WatchMojo. Screenrant concurs, saying that at no time does Alien 3 offer any logical justification for the “impossible” egg.

How ‘Alien’ got to that point

'Alien 3' outfits and props at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California
‘Alien 3’ outfits and props at Julien’s Auctions | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Directed by Ridley Scott, the first flick in the Alien franchise introduces viewers to no-nonsense Ellen Ripley, the third officer of the space freighter Nostromo and an employee of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Played to imperiled perfection by Sigourney Weaver, Ripley is the sole survivor at the end of the film.

Between the opening and closing credits of Alien, viewers meet the Nostromo crew, including Kane, Dallas, Parker, Brett, and Lambert, played by John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, and Veronica Cartwright, respectively. Veteran actor Ian Holm portrayed the rogue robot, Ash, and Helen Horton provided the voice of Nostromo ship computer, Mother. Viewers also see and/or hear every crew member, except Ripley, killed in one manner or another by the alien.

The sequel, Aliens, opens with a deep-sleeping Ripley being rescued by a salvage ship after 57 years adrift in space. When her story about the extraterrestrial life form that slaughtered her Nostromo crew mates is met with disbelief, Ripley loses her pilot’s license and goes to work operating a loader at Gateway Station. Early in the 137-minute film, Ripley learns that not only did she miss her daughter Amanda’s 11th birthday, but her only child also grew up and died while her mom was away on the ill-fated Nostromo mission.

With no family left, Ripley reluctantly agrees to serve as a consultant on what she believes to be a mission to exterminate the dastardly aliens, now known as Xenomorphs. It wouldn’t have been much of a movie if everything went right, so of course, horror ensues shortly after Ripley arrives on LV-426 with a smattering of colonial marines, including Sergeant Apone, Private Hudson, Corporal Hicks, and Private Vasquez, played by Al Matthews, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, and Jenette Goldstein, respectively.

The usually funny Paul Reiser played against character as smarmy company man Burke, and Carrie Henn strained eardrums as Newt, the traumatized child rescued by Ripley. Before playing Newt, Henn had no acting experience at all, according to her IMDb bio.

In a nutshell, Aliens tells the tale of a group sent to check the welfare of a terraforming colony on the same exomoon Ripley fled in fear some six decades earlier. Shortly after reaching the surface, it becomes apparent to the away team of the warship Sulaco that the colony is abandoned.

During a sweep of a supposedly empty building, Ripley finds a youngster named Newt hiding in the ventilation system. Aware that the alien victimized her parents along with everyone else on the tiny planet, Ripley dedicates herself to the child’s protection.

At one point, Newt vanishes and is subsequently found being threatened by an alien hatchling in a Xenomorph cocoon. Ripley kills the baby alien and frees the child, who then manages to fall into the egg-laying chamber, where they encounter the queen. As the pair back away from the enormous alien, an egg begins to hatch, and Ripley sprays the chamber with a flame thrower. As Ripley and Newt beat a hasty retreat to the elevator, the alien queen follows them, ripping off her ovipositor, or egg-laying tube, in the process.

As all this is happening, Bishop repairs the craft that will shuttle Ripley, Newt, and Hicks back to the Sulaco. Everyone enters suspended animation for the long ride home, and closing credits roll.

Fun fact: An image of Weaver‘s real-life mother, actor Elizabeth Inglis, is used to represent Ripley’s late daughter, revealed the Essex County Gazette Standard. Cut from the theater release, the image is briefly seen in James Cameron’s director’s cut of the film.

Is the ‘Alien’ franchise finished?

Related

Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ Sequel Was Possibly Cancelled Due to ‘Chappie’

After Alien 3 and its improbable egg, the Jean-Pierre Jeunet vehicle, Alien: Resurrection, brought a clone of Ellen Ripley to movie theaters in 1997. Original Alien director Ridley Scott returned to deliver a prequel, Prometheus, to the franchise in 2012, followed by a sequel, Alien Covenant, in 2017.

Last spring, 20th Century president Steve Asbell tantalized fans with news of an upcoming Aliens-inspired Hulu movie. An Alien television series by Noah Hawley is also in the works, but it won’t feature Ripley or other characters from the movie franchise.

So, it doesn’t look as if the Alien franchise is going away anytime soon.