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Characters: Alien
This is a page listing characters in the Alien series.

Works with their own pages:

Warning: here be heavy spoilerage.

    open/close all folders 

The franchise in general:

    Ellen Ripley 

Ellen L. Ripley

Played By: Sigourney Weaver

"You are my lucky star..."

The primary protagonist and hero—in fact, is ranked #8 on AFI's "Heroes" List—Ripley is probably the most famous character in the franchise aside from the titular xenomorph. Probably the most level-headed member of the crew, demonstrating an impressive amount of bravery and taking a few levels in badass when dealing with the xenomorph. De-facto leader of the crew on the basis of being the most proactive member.

The sole human survivor of the Nostromo Incident and the only constant character in the franchise apart from the xenomorphs.Sole survivor of the Nostromo incident, Ripley is awakened from hypersleep 57 years later. She gets suspended by the Weyland-Yutani company for "questionable judgment" regarding the ship's self-destruction, finds out her daughter died a while ago (well, in the Director's Cut...) and that LV-426, the planet where they encountered the xenomorphs, is now colonized.

Once the colony predictably loses contact with Earth, Ripley accompanies the Badass Crew of Space Marines as a civilian advisor, and finds herself as de facto leader alongside Corporal Hicks due to unforeseen consequences. In the resulting struggle with the xenomorphs, Ripley gains more levels in badass and becomes one of the most awesome Action Girls in cinema.

For tropes relating to the Ripley 8 clone, see the character page for Alien: Resurrection.
  • Action Girl: One of the most important and revolutionary in all of cinema.
  • Action Mom: Ripley had a biological daughter, Amanda, who died during the 57-year timeskip between the 1st movie and 2nd, and who is also the protagonist of Alien: Isolation. Ripley later takes Newt in in Aliens... but it doesn't last.
  • Action Survivor: After her tangle with a Drone, Ripley Took a Level in Badass in the sequels.
  • Always Save the Girl: Soldiered into the heart of a Xenomorph hive in Aliens to rescue Newt while it was minutes away from going nuclear.
  • Badass Normal: The original Ripley was only a human but managed to take down a Queen.
  • Badass and Child Duo: With Newt in Aliens.
  • Bald Women: Due to Fury-161 having "a big problem with lice".
  • Big "NO!": Lets one out during especially traumatic events.
  • Cassandra Truth: The prison superintendent doesn't respond favorably to her warnings of an "eight foot creature with acid for blood".
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ripley learns to make use of whatever weapons she has at hand.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially in Aliens and 3.
  • Death Seeker: in Alien 3, upon learning she's the host of the next Queen.
  • Duct Tape for Everything
  • Genre Savvy: Ripley picks up on the Mega Corp.'s intentions for the Xenomorphs rather quickly and actually takes charge of the military operation in Aliens as well as organizing the prison in 3 to defeat the creatures.
  • Guile Heroine: Ripley fights using her brain... and whatever weapons she can get her hands on.
  • Fantastic Racism: She's doesn't trust Bishop an inch once she finds out he's an android. She gets over it later.
  • Final Girl: She's the sole survivor of the Nostromo in Alien, as well as of the military expedition in Aliens.
  • Hate at First Sight: She instantly despises Bishop due to him being an android due to previous bad experience with artificial persons.
  • The Hero: Ripley is sarcastic and bitter, but she's a good person.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Throws herself into the incinerator to keep the company from getting their hands on a Queen.
  • Honor Before Reason: Hive of monsters? Snarling Alien Queen? Imminent thermonuclear holocaust? Still not gonna stop Ripley from saving Newt.
  • Hot-Blooded: Gets to this point during Aliens.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Seems to believe this for a while and asks Dillon to help out.
  • I Gave My Word: "...and hope to die."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can come across as stiff and unlikable in the first movie due to her adherence to the rules, and she can be rather cynical in the sequels. However, there's never any doubt that she's a very heroic and selfless person.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: She liked the Nostromo's cat.
  • Knight In Sour Armour: (Wearily) "You have been in my life for so long, I don't remember anything else."
  • The Lad-ette: Not as butch as most examples, but it's there.
  • Mama Bear: Provides the page image.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Most prominently in Aliens, justified as she has not slept for one second in the 36 hours since landing back on LV-426.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Subverted - Ripley was doing the right thing trying to institute quarantine.
  • Only Sane Man: In comparison to most of her comrades, she's this.
  • Real-Life Relative: For the deleted scene where Ripley discovers her daughter's dead, a photo of Weaver's mother was used.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: When Burke tries to tell Ripley how much they can profit from bringing in a xenomorph.
  • The Spock
  • Survival Mantra
  • Took a Level in Badass: Or, more accurately, levels.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Her crewmates are killed by a ravenous alien creature and a psychotic android and she learns the company she works for will stop at nothing to try to acquire said alien creatures for use as bioweapons; she winds up returning to the planet where said alien creature was discovered; her love interest and adopted daughter are killed during cryosleep; she's nearly gang-raped by a bunch of psychopaths; and she learns she's hosting a Queen embryo. Yeah... Ripley's had it rough.
  • You Are in Command Now: Ripley takes control of the military expedition in Aliens and the prison in 3 solely because she has prior experience fighting the Xenomorphs.

    The Aliens 

The Aliens / Xenomorphs

An Alien Queen and a Drone.
An Alien Drone close-up.

The primary antagonists of the series—the original one is #14 on AFI's "Villains" List—these parasitic extraterrestrials are predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the destruction of life that could pose a threat. Aliens are vaguely bipedal in form, though they often adopt a more hunched, quadrupedal stance when walking or sprinting. In addition, they integrate the genetic material of their hosts into themselves and as such their adult form varies depending on their host. They have a skeletal, biomechanical appearance and are usually colored in muted shades of black, blue or bronze in the films; the toyline-exclusive Xenomorphs sported various colours. The films show the following Xenomorphs:
  • Alien: Xenomorph Drone (human-born)
  • Aliens: Xenomorph Drone/Warrior, Xenomorph Praetorian, Queen Xenomorph (human-born)
  • Alien 3: Xenomorph Drone (human-born), Runner Xenomorph (dog/ox-born)
  • Alien Resurrection: Xenomorph Drone, Xenomorph Queen (human-born), Newborn (Ripley-born)
And the Expanded Universe includes the following Xenomorphs:
  • Kenner toyline: Snake Xenomorph, Night Cougar Xenomorph, Rhino Xenomorph, Bull Xenomorph, Aqua Xenomorph, Panther Xenomorph, Flying Xenomorph Queen, Xenomorph King
  • Konami arcade game: Razor Claws Xenomorph, Flying Xenomorph
  • Dark-Horse comics: Marine Xenomorph, King Xenomorph, White Xenomorph
  • Aliens VS Predator Requiem: Predalien

  • Always Chaotic Evil: They are extraterrestrial monsters that kill anything in sight. Later movies explain that this is because they are a bioweapon gone out of control.
    • Subverted in the "evil" aspect of the trope. They are extremely vicious, but that's mostly due out of predatory instinct rather than actual malicious intent. They're more akin to wild animals than the typical villainous aliens of science fiction.
  • Attack Animal: The Xenomorphs began as a bioweapon created by the Engineers before they ran amuck.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Newborn comes across as a sadistic freak, namely in his butchering of the Queen and morbid fascination at human blood literally plastered on his hand.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Xenomorphs possess long, segmented tails that resemble spinal columns, tipped by a blade-like stinger that is used to impale prey. Some adaptations, like the novelizations of the movies, also show that their stingers can inject a neurotoxin that paralyzes their victim, allowing them to be easily carried back to the hive for impregnation.
  • Big Bad: Goes hand in hand with Villain-Based Franchise.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Their sense of morality is basically like that of a colony of ants or bees. In other words, protect the queen and expand the colony.
  • Cain and Abel: Both the xenomorphs and the humans were created by the Engineers, thus making both species siblings in a weird kind of way. However, this trope is deliberately enforced as the engineers created the xenomorphs in order to wipe out the humans for reasons unknown.
  • Chest Burster: Trope Namer, as their larval stage incubates within a host's stomach before violently ejecting itself through the sternum.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Every time the protagonists are confronted with a single Xenomorph drone (in the original and third movies), the beast prove basically unstoppable and murders them all one after the others. When confronted with an entire army of them (like in Aliens and Alien IV), on the other hand, they are usually able to take down several of them, forcing the Xenomorphs to rely on Zerg Rush. Then again, there are justification for this: the original movies and Alien 3 involve fighting the beast in a closed space where it can easily hide itself or ambush people, who are then lacking any modern weapon. Not to mention they are in a ship in the first movie, meaning any bleeding from the alien could doom everybody by damaging the ship. In the two other movies, the protagonists are using actual weapons, are more adapted to fight and are more numerous themselves.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Depending on the specific design of whatever movie they're in their fingers can be terrifyingly long, emphasizing their non-humanness.
  • The Dreaded: They're feared (and with good reason) by everyone who has to face them, and Ripley suffers from Catapult Nightmares as a result of the encounter on the Nostromo and the shuttle.
  • Elite Mooks: The Drones with ridged cowls, which first appeared in Aliens, are aptly referred to as Warriors in the Expanded Universe.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Once the Chest Burster grows, they get huge - the shortest credited actor to play the Alien was 6' 2" (1.88 m).
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: It's scary how many idiots keep believing they can tame the Aliens and use them as weapons to make profit or other stuff. Needless too say, it almost always have disastrous results, and they usually are the first to pay for it. Especially egregious as they have escaped from their creators control and killed or harvested them just like everyone else.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Whenever they go against the Predators, though the Predators are usually more heroic than the Xenomorphs, since they only hunt prey equal to them.
  • Eyeless Face: Their iconic, elongated skull lacks eyes.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Trope Codifier, being how the Facehuggers implant embryos into hosts.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Xenomorphs possess teeth that are roughly human in shape, but much more pointy.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Ooh boy... the Queen is the largest and most powerful caste.
  • Hermaphrodite: H.R Giger designed them so that they would be neither male nor female but rather a horrific blend of both sexes. Yes, this even includes the Queen herself.
    • The Newborn was originally going to have visible male and female reproductive organs. However, they were later digitally removed after the director decided they were "too much". Images of the uncensored model can still be found online, for anyone curious to look.
  • Hive Caste System: The Queen Alien is Large and in Charge, with the human-born Drone aliens doing the hunting and hive-building. The Ridged Drones, often referred to as Warriors, are the Elite Mooks of the hive, and in the EU a Praetorian caste pops up as well. Unique specimens such as the dog/ox-born Runner in 3 and the Predalien in Requiem (stated by Word of God to have been a young Queen to boot) fill in as needed.
  • Hive Mind: A bit differently than others. It's made apparent that they can sense one another, like hearing the screams of their Queen, and have some degree of intelligence and intuition, but they're mostly instinctual creatures. Ripley, who's part alien in Resurrection, can sense two of them killing another to escape from their containment.
  • It Can Think: Implied to be smarter than the mindless monsters everyone assumes they are.
    Ripley: (Medical is plunged into darkness) They cut the power...
    Hudson: What do you mean they cut the power? How can they cut the power, man? They're animals!
  • Large and in Charge:
  • LEGO Genetics: They incorporate the genetic material of their hosts into themselves. As such, the human-born drones are largely bipedal, but the dog/ox-born Runner was quadrupedal and lacked dorsal tubes, and the Predator-born Predalien had mandibles and fleshy dreadlocks.
    • The toylines take this Up to Eleven; the Xenomorphs in the toyline can come from anything; bulls, cougars, wild boar, rhinoceros, snakes, the list goes on.
  • Mama Bear: The Queen, nasty as she is, is very much like a real mother. She did not react well to the sight of her young getting killed.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: They are like animals, they kill and face-rape because it's how they survive and reproduce. Most especially in Aliens, where they are hunting for food and hosts, and trying to protect their nest and eggs.
    • Averted to hell and back by the Drone in the first movie, which likes to curiously toy with the fears of its prey, like a rapist in the dark.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: A large part of what made them so frightening was because of how subtle they were, especially in the mechanical/industrial backgrounds the movie took place in. Their manipulation of the environment allowed them to blend in with the dark corridors, making for ever Jump Scare a moment of Paranoia Fuel for both the characters and the audience.
  • Not So Different: "Get away from her, you bitch." Replace "her" with "them" and you'll get a pretty good idea of what the Queen was probably thinking when Ripley burned her eggs to save Newt.
  • Primal Stance: The Runner alien - a Drone born from a dog - is quadrupedal and lacks dorsal spines. Other Xenomorphs will run on all fours as needed.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Their tails, claws, dorsal tubes, and the headdresses of the Queens and Praetorians.
  • To Serve Man: The Xenomorphs are blatantly predatory and carnivorous.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: They're the titular "alien".
  • Zerg Rush: How the aliens attempt to attack the Marines' fortification in the second film. Thanks to the automated sentry guns, it fails.

The first film:

    Nostromo Crew 

The Nostromo Crew

The crew of the Nostromo. note 
Played By: Veronica Cartwright, Ian Holm, John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Skerrit & Sigourney Weaver

The Nostromo is a commercial towing vessel owned by the enormous Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It hauls a massive ore refinery along with 20 millions tons of raw ore. It also has a self destruct sequence and an escape shuttle, The Narcissus. It's manned by seven crew members... and one cat.

  • Captain Dallas
  • Warrant Officer Ripley
  • Navigator Lambert
  • Engineering Technician Brett
  • Executive Officer Kane
  • Science Officer Ash
  • Chief Engineer Parker

    Dallas 

Dallas Koblenz Arthur

"Standard procedure is to do what the hell they tell you to do!"
Played By: Tom Skerritt

The laid-back captain of the Nostromo; he has sole access to Mother, the on-board computer. Despite his nonchalant and casual-seeming attitude, his leadership and decision-making skills become increasingly evident.
  • Badass: He went into the vents by himself, armed with a flamethrower.
  • The Captain: Of the Nostromo.
  • Character Death: Dallas is the third victim of the Alien.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Tom Skerritt had the first name on the cast list (though he does lead the Jockey investigation), but Ripley's the main protagonist.
  • A Father to His Men: His absolute refusal to wait the necessary 24-hours before letting Kane in smacks of this.
  • Idiot Ball: The guy opts to go crawling about in dark, terrifying shafts in order to search for a creature they know absolutely nothing about and which killed one of his crew being born. And he does this by himself. He mainly does it because Ripley volunteered and he insisted to be the bait for the airlock trap. Dallas may also be trying to atone for his failure to stop the alien to this point, especially when he brought it into the ship rather than following proper quarantine procedures. Sure he knows its dangerous to go after the creature, but he is The Captain.
  • Just Following Orders: As he explains to Ripley.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Not that he deserves what happens, but it is partly his fault.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Letting the alien into the Nostromo, although he was trying to save Kane.
  • Team Dad: Of the Nostromo.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In most other sci-fi films, Dallas' would likely be vindicated in most of his decisions: his desire to leave the planet, the way he ignores standard procedure (Ripley comes across as a cold-hearted Obstructive Bureaucrat initially), his heroic volunteering to go into the vents...but he inhabits a much more cynical universe where ruthlessness is often rewarded. Dallas' attempts at heroism ultimately help nobody.

    Lambert 

Joan Marie Lambert

"I say that we abandon this ship! We take the shuttle and just get the hell out of here!"
Played By: Veronica Cartwright

The navigator of the Nostromo. Disinclined to taking risks beyond the confines of her console, she resents being chosen as one of the team to explore the derelict, and later angry with Ripley for her decision to leave Kane, Dallas and herself outside of the ship when the facehugger was attached to Kane.

    Kane 

Thomas Kane

"I do remember some horrible dream...about smothering..."
Played By: John Hurt

The Executive Officer aboard the Nostromo. During the investigation of the derelict space ship, he incautiously moves to get a closer look at one of the unusual 'pod' forms encountered and from this an unknown life-form (later known as an Ovomorph, or face-hugger) attaches itself to his face and (unknown to him and to the crew) impregnates him with an alien creature.
  • Burial in Space
  • Butt Monkey: Though he did volunteer to go down into the egg chamber.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He is the first to die from a chest burster in the alien series.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting
  • Mr Seahorse: Though not literally his child, Kane is still the first man in motion picture history to "give birth" onscreen.
  • Number Two: To Dallas, apparently. He would be in charge when Dallas is off the ship, if he hadn't gone along.
  • Name of Cain: Yeah, you should have figured this the instant Ash calls the adult xenomorph "Kane's son" after it takes Brett
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Fiddling with the eggs was a very bad idea.
  • The Smart Guy: He was indicated to be this on his record screen on Aliens (it indicated he had multiple flight and science majors, but had to drop from one school due to medical treatment abuse). However, he doesn't get to use it to full effect.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death

    Ash 

Ash

"I can't lie to you about your chances, but...you have my sympathies."
Played By: Ian Holm

The Nostromo's inscrutable science officer. He administers medical treatment, conducts biological research and is responsible for investigating any alien life forms the crew may encounter. It is at Ash's insistence that the crew investigates the mysterious signal emanating from LV-426.
  • Admiring the Abomination: A textbook case.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Unless the Company programmed him to be so utterly sadistic towards his human comrades, he's got some serious malfunctions.
  • Artificial Human: Notably the rest of the crew is surprised that Ash in particular is a robot, but not surprised at the existence of human-appearing robots.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: At first he may simply seem like an Unwitting Instigatorof Doom with his actions on LV-426, but it later becomes clear he was manipulating from the beginning to ensure the alien would be born and the crew would be unable to fight it until it was too late. In this case, the Company serves as the Bigger Bad, planning to use the alien for their own purposes. He shares the role of Big Bad with the Alien, though considering they're both trying to wipe out the crew, they may qualify as a Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Evil Brit
  • Expy: As Alien was always inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, it stands to reason that Ash is this film's HAL 9000, being a seemingly benevolent machine secretly manipulating events to ensure the death of the crew. The difference between them is that HAL had just gone crazy, whereas Ash is more or less following orders.
  • Face-Heel Turn: It sort of comes across this way, but he was never really on their side to begin with.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Just look at him gleefully waving at his friends as they march to their doom.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Gives one last winning smile before Ripley yanks out his plug, freezing his expression in place. Then Parker burns the grin off with a flamethrower.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Lambert, no less!
  • Ken Doll Anatomy: Ridley Scott says in the DVD Commentary that his assault on Ripley was his attempt at emulating sex, as he lacked the equipment needed.
  • Logic Bomb: Once found out, Ash drops the facade of being human and starts behaving erratically. Some have theorized that the conflicting orders of "Do not kill" and "Bring back lifeform, all other priorities rescinded" proves too much for him.
  • Losing Your Head: His crewmates knock his head off, but it's still capable of spouting exposition if you hotwire it.
  • Mad Doctor: He seems more interested in his specimen than in general safety.
    Ripley: You're still collating?!
  • Marionette Motion: After sustaining damage, he starts spinning like a top and making insane whirring noises.
  • The Mole: Ash was placed on the ship specificially to ensure Special Order 937 was carried out.
  • Mr. Exposition
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Loosing his head doesn't stop Ash from filling his role as Mr. Exposition, nor does his permanent deactivation do much to hamper his mission of bringing back the alien alive.
  • Not Quite Dead: Parker breathes easy once the android is decapitated.. only for it to rear back up and come at him with karate-hands.
  • Percussive Maintenance: "Ash, can you hear me?" (SMACK!!)
  • Reliable Traitor
  • Remember the New Guy: Dallas told Ripley he went out with another Science Officer in five of his previous trips. Said officer was replaced with Ash two days before the Nostromo took off from Thedus (the planet the ship received the ore refinery from) on their trip to Earth.
  • Robotic Reveal: A milky substance from his forehead after Ripley throttles him.
  • The Smart Guy: Well duh, he is the scientist.
  • Smug Snake
  • The Social Darwinist: "I admire its purity. A survivor. Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."
  • You Have No Idea What You're Dealing With

    Parker 

Dennis Monroe Parker

"I'm not for drawing straws. I'm up for killing that god-damned thing right now."
Played By: Yaphet Kotto

The chief engineer aboard the ship, with Brett as his assistant. Assertive and acerbic, he is a dauntless complainer and, abetted by his sidekick Brett, demands more money for investigating the alien transmission. Occasionally at odds with Ripley, his respect for her resourcefulness and plans to combat the growing crisis prevails.
"I think we should discuss the Bonus situation."

    Brett 

Samuel Elias Brett

"You see, Mr. Parker and I feel that the bonus situation has never been on a-an equitable level."

An engineering technician on board the Nostromo and a good friend of his engineering chief, Parker. As a 'regular working Joe', he persistently angles for the increased pay and bonus awards he feels are due.
  • Butt Monkey: He's the lowest on the totem pole, as evidenced by the crew's dismissive treatment of him. He's also the one sent off all alone to chase the cat.
  • Catch Phrase: "Right". Lampshaded by Parker and Ripley.
  • Character Death: Brett has the dubious honor of being the first victim of the full-grown Alien.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Deer In The Head Lights: Brett has this reaction when the Alien first appears. He obviously has no idea what he's seeing, and is transfixed in fascination and horror.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The Alien kills him this way, with it's inner mouth.
  • Nice Hat: Brett's usually seen wearing a baseball cap. He only takes it off to get cool from some condensation.
  • Only in It for the Money: He'll take any chance to chime in if he thinks he can get more money out of the mission.
  • Those Two Guys: With Parker until his death.

    Jones 

Jones the Cat

"Hiiiiisssssss!!" (As he saw the beast that slowly rose behind Brett)

The ship's pet, and the only non-human to survive the movie (and Aliens too). Ripley is particularly attached to him, even going back to retrieve him before leaving the Nostromo.
  • Animal Immunity: He gets left behind with the Alien when Ripley flees. The Alien inspects it curiously, but thankfully doesn't kill Jonesy.
  • Cat Scare: Just how did Jones get into that locker in the first place?
  • Damsel in Distress: Former Trope Namer.
  • Team Pet: For the crew of the Nostromo.
  • What Happened to the Cat? - Doesn't show up anymore after the first arc of the second movie. Ripley tells him he's staying there while she leaves for the colony with the marines, so presumably she left him with someone else while she was away (she had expected to come back, after all). If so, then Jones has the happiest ending of any of the characters in either of the first two movies.

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