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The Alien

The species made its debut in the film Alien (1979), and reappeared in the sequels Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997), as well as the crossover franchise Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007). A similar creature of a slightly different design also briefly appears in the Ridley Scott film Prometheus (2012).
The only recurring actress in all four films is Sigourney Weaver, who portrays the series' central character Ellen Ripley.
​The Alien design is credited to Swiss surrealist and artist H. R. Giger, originating in a lithograph titled Necronom IV and refined for the series' first film, Alien. The practical effects for the Alien's head were designed and constructed by Italian special effects designer Carlo Rambaldi. The species' design and life cycle have been extensively augmented, sometimes inconsistently, throughout each film.

Prometheus (2012)

Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Logan Marshall-Green, Patrick Wilson

Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Alien Resurrection (1997)

​Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Brad Dourif, Leland Orser, Dan Hedaya, J.E. Freeman, Kim Flowers, Raymond Cruz

Two hundred years after the events of the previous film, Ellen Ripley are cloned. The Alien queen is surgically removed from her body as the United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens to study on the spaceship USM Auriga, using human hosts kidnapped and delivered to them by a group of mercenaries. The Aliens escape their enclosures, while Ripley 8 and the mercenaries attempt to escape and destroy the Auriga before it reaches its destination, Earth.

Alien 3 (1992)

​Director: David Fincher
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann, Lance Henriksen, Pete Postlethwaite, Brian Glover

Due to a fire aboard the Sulaco, an escape pod carrying the survivors of the second film is automatically jettisoned. It crash-lands on the refinery/prison planet Fiorina "Fury" 161, but Ripley is the only one to survive the crash. Unbeknownst to her, an alien facehugger parasite was also aboard the ship. Before long, a full-sized Alien is then loose in the prison, killing the inmates one by one. Ripley also discovers there is an Alien queen growing inside her, and must not only kill the rampaging Alien but also herself in order to save humanity.

Aliens (1986)

​Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton

After 57 years in hypersleep, the sole survivor of the Nostromo, LT Ellen Ripley, awakens aboard a medical space station orbiting Earth. Her story of the Alien terror she encountered is disbelieved and she learns that the planetoid from the first film (now designated as LV-426) is now home to a terraforming colony. When contact with the colony is lost, Ripley accompanies a squad of high-tech Elite Colonial Marines aboard the spaceship Sulaco to investigate. Once there, they discover the colonists have been wiped out after they had found the derelict alien ship (and its deadly cargo) from the first film.

Alien (1979)

​Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Bolaji Badejo, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto

The spaceship Nostromo visits a desolate planetoid after receiving an unknown signal from a derelict alien spacecraft. While exploring the ship, one of the Nostromo's crewmen discovers an egg-like object, which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face and renders him unconscious. Some time later, the parasite dies and the crewman wakes up, seemingly fine. However, an alien creature later bursts out of his chest and, after rapidly growing into an eight-foot creature, starts killing other members of the crew.

Alien Characters

  • Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the warrant officer aboard the Nostromo.
  • Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the Captain of the Nostromo.
  • Harry Dean Stanton as Brett, the Engineering Technician.
  • Yaphet Kotto as Parker, the Chief Engineer.
  • John Hurt as Kane, the Executive Officer who becomes the host for the Alien.
  • Veronica Cartwright as Lambert, the Nostromo's navigator.
  • Ian Holm as Ash, the ship's Science Officer who is revealed to be an android under orders to bring the Alien back to the Nostromo's corporate employers.

Aliens Characters

  • Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley
  • Carrie Henn as Newt, a child who is the only survivor of the colony on LV-426.
  • Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks, one of the Colonial Marines' squad leaders.
  • Jenette Goldstein as Private Jenette Vasquez, one of the marines' "smart gun" operators.
  • Lance Henriksen as Bishop, the android executive officer of the Sulaco.
  • William Hope as Lieutenant William Gorman, the marines' commanding officer.
  • Al Matthews as Sergeant Al Apone
  • Paul Reiser as Carter Burke, a corporate representative for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
  • Mark Rolston as Private Mark Drake, Vasquez's smart gun partner.
  • Cynthia Dale Scott as Corporal Cynthia Dietrich, the marines' corpsman.
  • Bill Paxton as Private William Hudson, the Marine team's technician.

Alien 3 Characters

  • Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley
  • Charles S. Dutton as Dillon, one of Fiorina's inmates who functions as the spiritual and de facto leader amongst the prisoners and attempts to keep the peace in the facility.
  • Charles Dance as Jonathan Clemens, a former inmate who now serves as the facility's doctor.

Alien Resurrection Characters

  • Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley
  • Winona Ryder as Annalee Call, the newest crew member of the Betty.
  • Ron Perlman as Johner, a mercenary and member of the Betty's crew.

Prometheus Characters

  • Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers
  • Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw
  • Michael Fassbender as David
  • Idris Elba as Janek
  • Rafe Spall as Millburn
  • Sean Harris as Fifield

Swiss painter and sculptor H. R. Giger designed the alien creature's adult form and the derelict ship.

He won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film Alien

H. R. Giger's Filmdesign: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Dune, Species and Prometheus

Related Pages: AlienPredator