What the heck is the Xenomorph doing at the end of "Alien?"

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by RoJoHen, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I just decided to watch "Alien" as part of my lazy Labor Day celebration, and I have a question that has been bugging me ever since I saw this movie for the first time as a kid.

    What the hell is the Xenomorph doing at the end of the movie when Ripley finds it in the shuttle? Was it injured? Was it taking a nap? Did it climb into the bulkhead and get stuck? It just lays there while Ripley runs into the closet and puts on a spacesuit.

    Also, on another matter, was Lambert some kind of manic depressive? She spends the entire movie crying! She's possibly one of the worst characters I've ever seen in a movie.
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The xenomorph was stowing away on the shuttle, probably ratcheting down its heart rate into a torpid state in anticipation of the long trip to Earth.

    As for Lambert, in that situation, I would have been crying a lot, too. :rommie:
     
  3. XFozzboute

    XFozzboute Captain Captain

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    It was very clearly scrapbooking.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Considering that the characters are the space equivalent of truck drivers, I don't blame Lambert for crying as the alien picks off her friends one by one. Wouldn't you?

    And given that the alien was clearly intelligent, I would say it figured out that the ship was gonna blow, so it better hide on the shuttle.
     
  5. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly what I thought. I figured it was sleeping. Never too early for a cat nap! :-)
     
  6. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't seen it recently, but I always assumed it was injured and hiding. Doesn't somebody hit him with a flamethrower in the air ducts?
     
  7. Avalon

    Avalon Captain Captain

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    Hell yes. I'd also have to say "Screaming and Running" would have been high on my To-Do List for the day...
     
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    But she starts crying before any of that happens! And then there's the ridiculous moment where she slaps Ripley in the face. She's just way too over the top.

    Yeah, I got that much. I'm referring specifically to the weird nap the alien decides to take once on board the shuttle. If it really is intelligent, you'd think it would wait until the coast was clear before it allows itself to sleep. Ripley has to shoot it in the face with gas just to get it to wake up! The way it plays out is just extremely weird.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Ridley Scott has suggested that the alien was dying. It had laid eggs, and that was its reason for existence.
     
  10. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    She's a navigator. She's just seen some alien crab decide to smother one of her friends. She has no idea what it's doing, she's freaking out and then she just gets worse when Ripley refuses to let them back in to the ship. She's only thinking "Save Kane" because she's not trained to deal with anything like that, and she is being stopped by Ripley. So of course she's going to be upset. Space truck navigator doesn't really require the same level of emotional stability you'd expect to see in someone who is capable of dealing with an encounter with a xenomorph. When it attacks her, she just stands there blubbering for crying out loud. If she'd run, it probably would have just gone after Parker instead and she would have escaped. For a while at least.

    Who says it was napping? I think it was hiding. it knew it had to be on the shuttle to escape, and it knew that Ripley would have to think the shuttle was empty if she was to launch it. it was probably just waiting for her to go to sleep before it came out and ate her at leisure.
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was supposed to be dying, it was approaching the end of its lifecycle (it grew to adulthood so fast, makes sense it would die that fast as well).
     
  12. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I'm not saying her crying and freaking out isn't justified. I'm just saying she's annoying to watch when it's the only thing she does.

    So it was still hiding when it's arm flopped over and scared the shit out of Ripley? It was still hiding even though Ripley was looking straight at it and goading it to attack her?

    I get that it was hiding. That part is fine. What didn't make sense is that the alien was unconscious for no obvious reason.

    My point is simply that the scene is not very clear. Even in this thread different people seem to have different ideas about what the alien was doing.
     
  13. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I think it was dying. Before Aliens came along and added the concept of the Queen Alien, it was intended for the Xenomorph to have a specific life-cycle - get born, consume, lay eggs, die.

    That idea got jettisoned when Ridley Scott decided to cut all scenes that show how the Xenomorph had taken Dallas and Brett and was turning them into eggs for its next generation. That deletion allowed Cameron to have the Queen Alien.

    The fact that it's laying in the shuttle and not doing much until Ripley provokes it is simply a remnant of that original concept. One can try to retcon in an explanation that fits with the larger story told in the sequels, but it's still a retcon.
     
  14. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    ^Gotcha. That makes more sense. It definitely does feel like there's a scene missing, considering just 5 minutes earlier we see Ripley running away from a very healthy, wide-awake alien.
     
  15. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    But an easy retcon. The xenomorph in Alien was a queen, it just had grown into the huge thing we saw in Aliens yet. And the idea that iot was hiding also makes perfect sense. Why would it crawl in there to die instead of just collapsing on the floor?
     
  16. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that it's an easy retcon. It could just as easily be hiding, or sleeping or hurt in some way.
     
  17. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I always had the impression it was sleeping. Or... waiting.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's not established in the film how the alien got aboard the shuttle.

    I've always wondered whether MU/TH/UR lured or drove the alien aboard the shuttle.

    The exploding flames, as if from a flamethrower, that Ripley sees when she is boarding the shuttle make me think that maybe those flames drove the alien aboard the shuttle when Ripley left Jones and went to try to turn off the self-destruct.

    If so, was it accidental, or on purpose? Were those flames from the ship melting down and being about to explode, or was it something that MU/TH/UR cooked up in the last minutes?
     
  19. spooky spice

    spooky spice Commander Red Shirt

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    Updating it's Twitter page? Killed most of the humans, just waiting to hitch a ride to Earth LOL


    I don't think I've ever seen the end of Alien ...
     
  20. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The problem with that being that all Ripley had to do was... go to hypersleep like she planned, and it'd be dead by the time she woke up. Not very dramatic.