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Ellen Ripley was the central protagonist featured in the first three films of the Alien franchise. A clone of Ripley, known as Ripley 8, was featured in the fourth film, Alien Resurrection. In all four films the character is played by American actress Sigourney Weaver.

Biography Edit

Terror on the Nostromo Edit

In the year 2122, Ripley served as a Warrant Officer aboard the commercial towing vehicle USCSS Nostromo. The ship was on a return route from the Solomons when the mainframe computer intercepted a distress beacon, thus forcing it to awaken the crew early from hypersleep. They found themselves somewhere in the Zeta II Reticuli System on the Outer rim of the galaxy. The ship's captain, Dallas, interpreted the computer's instructions and informed the crew that they were contractually obligated to respond to the beacon. They tracked its origin point to a planetoid, which later came to be known as Acheron. They took a dropship to the surface and three of the crew members, Dallas, Lambert and Kane went out to explore the ruins of a derelict ship. Ripley and the ship's science officer Ash, remained on board the dropship to monitor their progress.

While exploring the cargo hold of the ship, Commander Kane was attacked by a crab-like organism, which attached itself to his face, rendering him comatose. Dallas and Lambert brought Kane back to the dropship and ordered Ripley to let them in. Ripley knew that doing so would violate quarantine procedures and by letting Kane on board with the organism, she could put the entire crew at risk. Despite Dallas' demands, Ripley refused to let them back on board. Ash countermanded Ripley and opened the airlock, bringing the three of them back inside. Dallas admonished Ripley for disobeying an order and Lambert slapped her across the face. Despite this however, Ripley stood by her decision and was severely irritated with Ash for countermanding her instructions.

Ripley's fears proved to be correct. The organism that had attached itself to Kane's face had impregnated him with an alien embryo. This embryo used Kane as a host body and incubator until it was ready to break free by bursting outward through his chest, ultimately killing him. Ripley and the rest of the crew watched in horror as this "chestburster" clawed its way out of Kane's body and escaped elsewhere onto the ship. Ripley lead the search party for the creature, which consisted of herself, Lambert, chief engineer J.T. Parker and engineer S.E. Brett. Using a scanner developed by Ash, they tracked the creature's movements throughout the maintenance bay of the ship. At first, they thought they had cornered it, but it only turned out to be Ripley's cat, Jonesy. Knowing that the cat running loose on the ship would send off false readings, Ripley sent Brett to go find it. Unfortunately by this point, the alien entity had grown into a full-size adult xenomorph and killed Brett only moments later. It then went on to capture Captain Dallas, cocooning him inside one of the air shafts for later use.

With Dallas and Kane both dead, Ripley was now the senior officer aboard the ship. She accessed the computer mainframe (known as Mother) and queried about how to neutralize an alien threat. The computer denied her request, citing Special Order 937, which was for the science officer's eyes only. Ripley overrode the program and opened up the file. She learned to her horror that Ash was under orders to deliberately divert the crew to the planetoid to collect the organism for the Company and return it to Earth for analysis. This priority superseded all others and the crew was considered expendable. Ash confronted her and offered an explanation, but soon learned that Ripley intended on exposing his deceit to the rest of the crew. He attacked Ripley, throwing her about the bridge of the ship. He tried to suffocate her by shoving a rolled up magazine into her mouth, but Parker and Lambert came in and tried to restrain him. During the fight, Parker beat Ash across the head with a steel pipe and it was at this point that they all learned that Ash was actually an android. Once they incapacitated him, Ripley asked Ash how to destroy the alien, to which Ash plainly replied, "You can't". A frustrated Parker punctuated the interrogation by melting Ash's remains to slag with an incinerator.

With only three crew members left, Ripley decided that they should set the auto-destruct sequence on the Nostromo and take their chances in the life boat. Parker and Lambert gathered coolant canisters from the medical bay while Ripley prepped the shuttle. She then returned to the bridge of the Nostromo and activated the auto-destruct sequence on the ship, allowing them only ten minutes to finish what they needed to do and get back to the shuttle. The xenomorph then appeared in the maintenance bay and killed Parker and Lambert. Ripley found their bloody remains and grabbed an incinerator. While making her way back towards the shuttle, she found Dallas and Lambert cocooned to the wall. She turned her incinerator upon them and burned them to death as a mercy killing.

Ripley (and Jonesy) made it back to the shuttle and blasted off just as the Nostromo exploded. She thought she was safe now and prepared to go into hypersleep. She then discovered that the xenomorph had somehow gotten on board. Ripley opened the air lock and used a harpoon to spear the creature through the opening out into the space. The alien screamed in pain and its body got caught inside one of the shuttle's engines. Ripley gunned the ship and the blast from the engines incinerated the creature. With the threat level now truly over, Ripley recorded her personal log and put herself and Jones into hypersleep for the long trip back towards Earth.

Plight on LV-426 Edit


Revelations on Fury 161 Edit


Notes & Trivia Edit

  • In Alien, Ripley was only addressed by her last name. It wasn't until Aliens that her full name was revealed.
  • Ripley's on-screen dossier from Aliens gives her date of birth as 6/10/03, but this date is not substantiated in later films.
  • Ripley's social security number is 273-483-28-2943 (derived from her on-screen dossier).
  • An action figure of Ripley was made as part of its Aliens line.
  • While filming Alien, Weaver and female co-star Veronica Cartwright were made to wear white surgical tape across their nipples during scenes where they wore sheer clothing. [1]
  • Sigourney Weaver, a known anti-gun lobbyist, had great moral difficulty playing the role of Ripley in Aliens, knowing that the character would be using a firearm for many scenes in the film. [2]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Veronica Cartwright; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003
  2. Sigourney Weaver; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003

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