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11. ALIENS Frequently asked questions (Movies: Alien)


This article is from the Alien Movies FAQ, by Darryll Hobsonand Eelko de Vos E.W.C.deVos@TWI.TUDelft.NL with numerous contributions by others.

11. ALIENS Frequently asked questions (Movies: Alien)

Q: What does "Sulaco" mean?
A: "Sulaco" was the town in which most of Joseph Conrad's book entitled
"Nostromo" took place.

Q: Is LV-426 also called "Acheron" ?
A: There doesn't seem to be any evidence of this in the movie, the
name was given to the planet in older drafts of the script, the Alan
Dean Foster novelization, the movie-comic as well as the RPG.

Q: What IS the name of the company?
A: The Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It can be seen, mirror-reversed,
on a blast shield after the discussion of the atmosphere processor
blowing up. It appears as "Weylan-Yutani" on all beer cans in "ALIEN"
but is too small. In "ALIEN^3" it is written on a computer screen in
an extreme close-up near the end. In the director's cut of "ALIENS",
during the additional footage of the colony (prior to the alien
infestation) we see a logo of the company which reads:

                    ""  ""       ""  ""
                    \ \ \ \ "_" / / / /
                     \ \ \ / " \ / / /
                      \ \"/ / \ \"/ /
                    Building Better Worlds

Also, a very good shot of the logo can be seen in the director's cut,
when Simpson and Lydecker yell at the playing kids, immediately before
the cut to the Jordan family discovering the derelict ship.
The Weyland-Yutani logo also has some chinese (japanese?) characters
below them. These cannot be viewed well (at all) in the movies. Alien
War in London has worked out this logo. Merchandising also has these
signs on them. The symbols are pronounced "Weyland Yutani
kabushiki-kaisha" and mean "Weyland Yutani joint-stock corporation"

Q: What is the name of the colony?
A: Hadley's Hope (as revealed in the director's cut of "ALIENS")

Q: Why don't the colonists on LV-426 pick up the derelict SOS?
A: In a cut scene from ALIENS, the derelict ship has been damaged by
volcanic activity and, as a result, the beacon was rendered
inoperable. [James Cameron, STARLOG #125, DEC 1987]

Q: How did the colony get infected?
A: In my [James Cameron] version of the Alien life cycle, the infestation
of the colony would proceed like this :
1. Russ Jorden attacked, they radio for rescue.
2. Rescue party investigates ship...several members facehuggered...
brought back to base for treatment.
3. Several "chestbursters" free themselves from hosts, escape into
ducting, begin to grow.
4. Extrapolating from entomology (ants, termites, etc.), an
immature female, one of the first to emerge from hosts, grows to
become a new queen, while males become drones or warriors.
Subsequent female larvae remain dormant or are killed by males...
or biochemically sense that a queen exists and change into males
to limit waste. The Queen locates a nesting spot (the warmth
of the atmosphere station heat exchanger level being perfect for
egg incubation) and becomes sedentary. She is then tended by
the males as her abdomen swells into a distended egg sac. The
drones and warriors also secrete a resinous building material to
line the structure, creating niches in which they may lie dormant
when food supplies and/or hosts for further reproduction become
depleted (i.e. when all the colonists are used up). They are
discovered in this condition by the troopers, but quickly emerge
when new hosts present themselves.
[STARLOG #125, DEC 1987]

Q: Is Ferro's first name "Mira" ?
A: No, according to the on-board computer on the Sulaco, Ferro's first
name starts with a "C". The confusion with her name is caused by
Vasquez when she says (to Ferro): [...hey mira, who's Snow White?]
However, in Spanish (Vasquez is Mexican), "mira" means "look", so
Vasquez is actually saying, "hey look, who's Snow White?".

Q: How many colonists are there?
A: There were 158 colonists on LV-426 [...you were responsible for the
deaths of 157 colonists... Ripley (Aliens)] plus Newt. This number
is also visible on a sign that was on-screen during the scene where
Newt's parents are going out to the derelict craft (director's cut

Q: How many aliens where on LV-426 when the marines arrived?
A: [possibly] around 156. (Newt was still alive and at least one of
the other colonists hadn't been chest-busted yet) There has been some
suggestions that the colonists had livestock that the aliens could've
infected as well (raising the number of aliens to an indeterminant
amount) however there is no evidence of livestock anywhere in the
movie; furthermore, the planet does not seem to be a habitat in which
live stock could survive (there was no vegetation on the planet).

Q: Why did Ripley risk life and limb to save Newt, but didn't give a
second thought to Dietrich and Apone?
A: In the theatrical version of the movie, it can be said that Ripley
knew exactly where Newt was because of the locater band she was
wearing, thus making rescue of Newt plausible.
A better reason exists, however it was cut from the theatrical
release; the scene where Ripley discovers that her daughter has died
(refer to section [5] on cut scenes) reveals to us that her daughter
was relatively the same age as Newt the last time Ripley was with her.
We can see the parallels between Newt and the daughter that Ripley
had lost.

Q: How can Ripley hang on during violent vacuum decompression while the
much stronger alien queen can't?!
A: [possibly] Ripley had her arm wrapped around a step in the ladder where
as the queen only had a finger-hold on Ripley's boot, when Ripley's boot
slipped off her foot, the queen had nothing else to hold onto. (this
assumes that the vacuum isn't SO violent that it would rip her arm

Q: Why does Ripley attempt to climb out of the pit after the queen has
been "vacuumed" out of the Sulaco? Why doesn't she just close the
A: [possibly] Ripley thought that the lower door in the pit would be
damaged with the acidic blood of the queen alien, so she had to close
the top doors in order to seal up the breech. (this explanation is
from the novelization)

Q: Why doesn't anyone stay on board the Sulaco?
A: [possibly] the Sulaco is so automated that it would be unnecessary.
If another dropship was required, the station on LV-426 was equipped
to remote-pilot it down. (however, they had no idea that the
equipment had been ruined by the aliens)

Q: How has Newt survived all this time? The aliens seem to have no
problem getting around in the air ducts?
A: She can crawl through the air ducts that the aliens can't fit into.
This, combined with her knowing the air ducts so well, could keep her
out of the aliens' grasp (perhaps the aliens knew about her, but just
couldn't catch her). In the director's cut, Newt boasts to her
brother that the reason she wins their version of "hide-and-seek" is
because she can get into all those tiny crooks and crannies where no
one can reach her.

Q: How does the queen know how to use an elevator, and how does she
know what floor to get off at?
A: The elevator returns automatically to the level of the platform
Ripley got off at. When she leaves the elevator (to find Newt) you
see it returning up. She comes back (with Newt) and calls both
elevators. Ripley takes the first one that arrives and it starts
going up. The queen gets in the second elevator and it automatically
goes up.

Q: Are those power-loaders real?
A: Based on the Collectors Version of Aliens on Laserdisc, which comes
with a disk that shows some of the secrets of the making of the movie,
the loader is part real, part fake. The actual loader is real, but
has an external power supply. Since the loader is extremely heavy, it
is supported by cables which are masked out for the final print.
A power loader was on display at the Boston Museum of Science as
part of a special effects exhibit. This power loader was worked by a
person inside, behind and below the actor, that is with their legs down
in the power-loader's legs and their torso in the power-loader's back.
Different constructs of the power loader were used depending on the
action it had to perform in front of the camera.


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