This is a page listing characters in Aliens.
For recurring characters in the entire series, see the main characters page.
Warning: here be heavy unmarked spoilerage.
Crew of the USS Sulaco
The USS Sulaco is a Conestoga-class starship that transports Ripley and the Colonial Space Marines.
- Master Sergeant Al Apone
- Corporal Cynthia Dietrich
- Corporal Collette Ferro
- Corporal Dwayne Hicks
- Private First Class William Hudson
- Private First Class Daniel Spunkmeyer
- Private First Class Jenette Vasquez
- Private Timothy Crowe
- Private Mark Drake
- Private Ricco Frost
- Private Trevor Wierzbowski
- Lance Bishop
With additions for the 'bug hunt':
- Ellen Ripley
- Lieutenant Scott Gorman
- Carter J. Burke
Lieutenant Scott Gorman
A lieutenant recruited by Burke to lead the mission. He was inexperienced, having gone through 38 simulated drops, but only one previous combat drop. He is also slow to understand situations and often needs things explained to him.
- Armchair Military: Gorman commands from a comfy chair, far away from the real danger. However, he's inexperienced and incompetent when it comes to giving orders and seems to dislike the responsibility. He does much better when personally faced with danger and when others are left to make the decisions.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Surrounded by aliens, he and Vasquez blow themselves up instead.
- Dirty Coward: Subverted. While he is panicky and quick to freeze when acting as Mission Control, he shows no cowardice in actual combat, suggesting that his earlier fears came from having responsibility for others rather than his own self.
- The Ditherer: Gorman is indecisive and panicky, often freezing in difficult situations that call for leadership.
- Ensign Newbie: Only his second combat mission, and his greenness shows.
- Establishing Character Moment: One of Gorman's earliest scenes establish his poor commanding skill, when he confuses Hudson with Hicks and tries to compensate his uneasiness by being needlessly harsh with his orders.
- Even before that, the other marines immediately notice that during mealtime, Gorman sits at the far end of the table flanked by Burke, a company suit, and Ripley, a civilian, signalling to them that the Lieutenant thinks he's too good and important to sit with "the rest of us grunts" and would rather mingle with the non-combatants instead.
- Hicks does indeed say that, and it seems clear they arent impressed with Gorman, but he is an officer and has business (in theory) to discuss with Ripley, Burke and Bishop.
- Even before that, the other marines immediately notice that during mealtime, Gorman sits at the far end of the table flanked by Burke, a company suit, and Ripley, a civilian, signalling to them that the Lieutenant thinks he's too good and important to sit with "the rest of us grunts" and would rather mingle with the non-combatants instead.
- General Failure: His entire command is basically a massive failure.
- Heroic BSoD: Has one briefly when it seems that most of the squad has been killed and no one left is listening to his orders. He really loses it when Sgt. Apone is taken down, turning him into a panicking wreck.Gorman: Apone? Talk to me. Apone? Talk to me.
- Heroic Sacrifice: While in the vents, despite being in a forward position to carry on (and mostly likely surviving) and only being armed with a sidearm, he decides to go back for Vasquez by himself knowing that it will almost certainly lead to his death (and it does). He commands Hicks to carry on with Ripley and Newt as his final (and possibly only real commendable) order, fully understanding that it is imperative that Hicks remain with the civilians to protect them as the only trained soldier left with a pulse rifle. He ends up detonating a grenade with Vasquez, killing themselves with a score of aliens.
- Hidden Depths / Know When to Fold 'Em: When he recovers from his head injury, he seems to realize his failure as an officer and defers to Hicks' from then on, never once trying to reassert command.
- Mission Control: And not a very helpful one. Even Burke seems better equipped to handle the situation than him.
- The Neidermeyer: He's not appreciated by his troops as he's not very competent, but it's more because he's in way over his head, rather than out of malice.Hudson: He's coming in, I feel safer already.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When he and Vasquez blow themselves up to avoid being taken by the Xenomorphs, they probably didn't expect the force from the blast to shoot further up the vent and knock Newt down another one, separating her from Ripley and Hicks.
- No One Gets Left Behind: He goes back for Vasquez (who hates his guts) rather than leave her to the aliens. They both die by grenade, but he probably saved her from an even worse fate.
- The Peter Principle: Implied to be the case for Gorman, who is competent and brave when in personal danger like an ordinary soldier, yet can't handle the responsibility of being in a command position. Given he's a lieutenant in a command position that should be going to a captain or even a major, it's entirely possible he just recently replaced the previous leader and thus is just in an impossible situation.
- Poor Communication Kills: He tells the Marines to disarm weapons that could possibly cause a nuclear explosion, but never tells them why. When the Marines start shooting wildly at alien attackers, they could have ended the mission very quickly.
- Redemption Equals Death: Gorman is killed after his only display of valor and bravery.
- Tap on the Head: He's knocked out by some overhead boxes, taking him out of the fight until they return to Hadley's Hope.
- That's an Order!: Tries this to stop Ripley from taking the armored carrier. She knows better than to obey him, though, between her civilian status and his already-demonstrated incompetence about the mission. Even Burke lets her override him.Burke: Go, Ripley!
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The blast from his suicide grenade knocks Newt off balance, causing her to fall and get abducted by the aliens. This forces Ripley to go to the atmosphere processor to rescue her, leading to the confrontation with the Queen and the Queen stowing away aboard the dropship to the Sulaco, with the Queen leaving behind at least two eggs that eventually cause the deaths of all the survivors in Alien 3.
- Weak-Willed: Contributes to his inability to effectively assert his authority over the Marines under his command. May be part of the reason why he was selected for the mission by Burke, who uses him to issue orders that further his own purposes.
- What You Are in the Dark: Vasquez is the marine who hates him the most, but she's one of his guys and when her life is in danger, Gorman doesn't hesitate, not for one second.
- You Shall Not Pass!: His final act is to stop the aliens from following Ripley and co. through the airshafts.
Master Sergeant Al Apone
The squad leader of the team sent to investigate LV-426. Far more liked and respected than his C.O, Lieutenant Gorman.
- Boisterous Bruiser: A grunt at heart:There's some juicy colonists' daughters we have to rescue from their virginity.
- Cigar Chomper: He apparently keeps some in his hypersleep chamber, since he puts one in his mouth seconds after getting up.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, he engages in a lot of snark-to-snark combat with Hudson.
- Fate Worse than Death: APC readouts show he isn't killed in the attack, making it more likely he was cocooned by the xenomorphs. It's not revealed if he was parasitized prior to the reactor explosion.
- A Father to His Men: He loves his Marines to death. His falling in combat devastates his platoon.
- Nice Hat: As displayed to the right.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: When Ripley asks if she could help them out with the Loaders, he allows her to do so and is impressed at how much of a natural she is with them.
- Sacrificial Lion: You'd be forgiven for thinking he was going to impact the story more than he did. Initially, Apone enjoys lots of screentime with memorable lines aided by a wonderfully hammy performance from Al Matthews... but during the first incursion, he's quickly taken out by an alien. Apone's demise serves to show that even lovable badasses are not immune to a horrible Fate Worse than Death. Likewise, his demise has a devastating effect on the platoon's performance and morale.
- Sergeant Rock: Practically the classic example.
- The Worf Effect: While many of the marines who die early on were stamped with 'faceless cannon fodder' across their chests, Apone and Drake's deaths shows just how serious the alien threat is.
Corporal Dwayne Hicks
One of the Colonial Marines who took charge when the squad's Sergeant Apone was taken alive by the Aliens and commanding officer Lt. Gorman was knocked out. He was later wounded after a burst of acid from an alien encounter began to burn through his armor.
While not comfortable taking over the role as squad leader, his demeanor, unlike the machismo bravado of other squad members showed a thoughtful intelligence. Sincere and impartial, he was open to any suggestions as to how to defeat the Alien invasion.
- Ancestral Weapon: In the novelization of Aliens, it is revealed that Hicks' shotgun ("I like to keep this handy for close encounters") is an heirloom that has been in his family for generations; Hicks' great-great-great-grandfather used it during the Vietnam War.
- Bandage Boy: After getting a face full of Xenomorph blood, he spends the remainder of the movie bandaged up.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Next to the other marines, he prefers not to make a show of his badassery and while he's not adverse to wisecracks, he tends to keep them to a minimum, preferring to get the job done, and boy, does he get it done!
- Chekhov's Skill: He teaches Ripley how to use a pulse rifle, which comes in handy later.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's generally more of a quiet type, but busts these out with no problem, telling Ripley "Don't be gone long, Ellen" when she's about to storm the hive located in a nuclear reactor that's minutes away from going critical, or noting the only thing missing from their plans to keep the aliens from killing them for seventeen days is a deck of cards to pass the time.
- Frontline General: Formulates the defence plans in the absence of the ineffective Gorman. Later takes point instinctively in the control room as a Corporal.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Not as much as Ripley, but after the squad is decimated, he's initially very quiet and detached, until circumstances deteriorate and he must snap back to action.
- The Lancer: To Apone and later Ripley.
- Nerves of Steel: Illustrated early in the film when he spends most of the drop down to the colony asleep, in contrast to Gorman's nervousness and the boisterous behavior of his fellow Marines. After his unit gets largely wiped out, unlike Gorman, (who freezes up under pressure and then gets knocked out), Hudson (who becomes a nervous wreck), and Vasquez, (who enters a murderous rage), Hicks never once loses his cool.
- "Gimme the light." Yeah, Hicks is the real deal.
- Nice Guy: Promises to protect Ripley should anything happen, but respects her strength and ability to take care of herself just the same. He even teaches her how to load and fire the rifles so as to better defend herself.
- Only Sane Man: Keeps his mouth shut and his ears open, asking Ripley "What exactly are we dealing with?" in the initial briefing. Later, he lets Newt hop up and watch them reviewing the colony plans to formulate their defense against the aliens, apparently valuing the fact that she lives there and hid successfully for quite some time, and thus may have useful input.
Hicks: Youve blown the main transaxle ease down, ease down.
- He's also tends to rein in the Resident Only Sane Woman Ripley when she's overcome by high emotions like after the APC's escape from the Reactor.
- Papa Wolf: To a degree, he is this towards Newt. He's certainly the most affectionate and protective towards her of all the Marines.
- Sole Survivor: Of the marines sent to LV-426. Ripley and Newt are both civilians, and Bishop is a navy android. He counts as this for the whole film if Aliens: Colonial Marines is taken into account.
- Stay Frosty: Probably the most famous use of the phrase, and it fits Hicks very well. He even falls asleep during the drop ship ride!Apone: Somebody wake up Hicks!
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He dies in the opening of Alien 3, unless Aliens: Colonial Marines is counted as canon.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Ripley.
- You Are in Command Now: After Apone's death. It's because of his command abilities, in addition to Ripley, that the remnant of the platoon was able to survive as long as it did against overwhelming odds.
Private First Class William Hudson
The squad's jokester and computer tech expert. He seemed arrogant and overconfident of his squad's firepower and abilities. However, he soon cracked under large amounts of stress after most of his Marine squad were taken during the Alien attack in the hive. Later on, he was able to pull himself together and regain his composure.
- Badass Boast: In the Special Edition Hudson attempts one that even uses the word "badass" as often as he can. He does not deal well with the loss of the high-tech gear that he describes in said boast. He does go down shooting while spitting out even more 'heat of battle' boasts, as well. An Alien has to ambush him from below to take him down."I'm ready, man. Check it out! I am the ultimate bad-ass! State of the bad-ass art! You do not want to fuck with me. Check it out! Hey, Ripley, don't worry. Me and my squad of ultimate bad-asses will protect you! Check it out. Independently targeting particle-beam phalanx. WHAP! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart missiles, phase plasma pulse rifles, RPGs. We got sonic, electronic ball breakers! We got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks!""Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? Fuck you!"
- Bash Brothers: Following Drake's death, he settles into a somewhat begrudging Bash Brothers relationship with Vasquez.
- The Berserker: After recovering from his Heroic BSoD, Hudson is a beast in combat. He's firing and yelling and basically going a bit crazy.
- Big Damn Heroes: Him and Hicks saving a trapped Ripley and Newt from Burke's facehugger ambush.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Hudson's a big guy with a bigger mouth.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: His armor has "Louise" painted on it (the name of Bill Paxton's real-life wife), he tries (and doesn't quite succeed) in comforting Ripley with the badassness of the Colonial Marines, and he quite violently defends Newt from a facehugger.
- Cowardly Lion: Hudson spends a lot of time panicking in some snarky way or another, but eventually shows he's a capable elite soldier."How do I get out of this chickenshit outfit?"
- Dare to Be Badass: He gets a roundabout one of these from Ripley.Ripley: Hudson! This little girl survived longer than that with no weapons and no training. [to Newt] Right?Newt: salutes HudsonHudson: Why don't you put her in charge?Ripley: You better just start dealing with it, Hudson! Listen to me! Hudson, just deal with it, because we need you and I'm sick of your bullshit.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh, absolutely. Even more so when he's losing his shit. Hudson is probably the most quotable character in the entire film.Apone: What do you want me to do, fetch your slippers for you?Hudson: Gee, would you sir? I'd like that.Hudson: Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!Bishop: I'm afraid I have some bad news.Hudson: Well, that's a switch!
- Defiant to the End: He may have been something of a panicky, whiny bitch up 'til then, but when his time comes to buy it on that rock, he damn sure doesn't go out like one.
- Doomed Contrarian: Constantly questions the actions of his teammates, and meets a grisly (but brave) end.
- Dumbass Has a Point: While he fails to realize that ants don't have hives and gets lectured by Vasquez for comparing the xenomorphs to ants, he turns out to be spot-on about the fact that the xenomorphs have a queen that essentially controls the actions of the hive.
- Friend to All Children: While the others were preoccupied with stopping the facehugger from getting Ripley, he himself killed the one that was going after Newt.
- Heroic BSoD: Though Ripley snaps him out of it enough that he is still useful to the team.
- Hypocritical Humor: While searching the complex, the Marines find a hole made by acid. Hudson spits down it and then tells Vasquez, who jokingly pushes him toward the hole, to quit fooling around.
- Kick the Dog: When Bishop volunteers for a dangerous undertaking, Hudson is quick to throw him under the bus. It was mainly Hudson's fear and anxiety talking, but he didn't need to do it to the guy's face.
- Large Ham: Bill Paxton decided to play the obnoxious team jokester by swallowing the scenery whole: "I am the ultimate badass! State of the badass art! You do not wanna fuck with me!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hudson is obnoxious, overbearing, immensely arrogant, and can come across as a coward who crumbles under pressure (even though he really doesn't). Despite all this, he's a good, loyal man at heart.
- Motor Mouth: Hudson has a remark for everything, usually of the highly quotable type.
- Non-Action Snarker: Though, in this case, "Non-Action" refers more to not taking action or doing anything constructive, rather than not kicking ass, which he does do later.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Unlike with Drake, Vasquez, and Hicks, Hudson recovered quickly after taking a spray of acid blood to his left arm.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Until about mid-way through the film when shit gets serious. He's still pretty funny.
- Punch-Clock Hero: Points it out when Gorman asks him about the xenotunnels.You tell me, I only work here.
- Retirony: Four more weeks and he is out. Hudson buys the farm on LV-426.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Has a skull and crossbones painted onto his chest plate and a tattoo of one around his neck.
- The Smart Guy: Surprisingly, yes. Hudson might seem like a dumb grunt, but he's responsible for the technical work in the squad, hacking open the main door on the marine's arrival, being the primary motion sensor operator (and the first to locate something with it, though it turned out to be hamsters), later tasked with pulling blueprints of the facility from the computer system (work that seemed to help him regain his composure), and is also the one seen setting up the emplaced sentry guns. In the Special Edition, he correctly theorizes the nature of the Xenomorph's insect ecology as well.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: To whit: The F-word and its derivatives are used 25 times in the film. Eighteen of those times are from Hudson alone.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: The wise guy to Hicks' straight man.
- Took a Level in Badass: He's a whiny spaz for most of the movie. Then his unit starts dropping. And so do his balls.
- Took a Level in Kindness: As the situation gets worse, Hudson starts becoming less confrontational and more cooperative. This is best seen when he helps save Newt from the Face Huggers.
- Verbal Tic: Man, Hudson says 'Man' a lot, man.
- You Shall Not Pass!: He makes a final stand against the Aliens, but sadly, it doesn't take. They come from below, and drag him screaming to his fate.
Private First Class Jenette Vasquez
A smartgunner on the Sulaco, partnered with Drake. Vasquez survived the hive and helped seal off the complex from the aliens.
- Action Girl: Vasquez is a Blood Knight with a massive gun, always willing to throw herself into the action.
- Ambiguously Bi: Rather butch, and some of the looks she gives Ripley and Drake could be interpreted in certain ways. Jenette Goldstein has even stated she is open to the possibility of Vasquez not being straight.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: Wears a distinctive red bandanna instead of a helmet and is one of the toughest members of the Colonial Marines in the film.
- Bash Brothers: With Drake, her fellow M56 Smart Gun operator. Later, she settles into a quieter Bash Brothers relationship with Hudson.
- The Berserker: When The Squad starts dropping like flies, she screams "Let's rock!" and begins opening fire randomly with her Smart Gun. Since she was supposed to hand over her ammo due to the possibility of damaging the reactor, it's possible her actions resulted in the eventual destruction of LV-426. Not that she had really any other option.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Along with Gorman, they blow themselves up when bocked off in the air-ducts instead of facing death by Xenomorph.
- The Big Girl: When the team gets whittled down. Vasquez always carries the BFG and provides most of the suppressing fire.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Downplayed. Her personal sidearm, a Smith & Wesson Model 39, is fairly standard apart from its ivory grips.
- Blood Knight: Vasquez kills scores of aliens, never shows any fear and enjoys combat. She's also one of the very few characters in the series to physically attack an alien, as seen when she slams a xenomorph's head into the wall of the air-duct with the heel of her boot and blasts the shit out of it with her hand-gun.
- Boobs of Steel: Jeanette Goldstein had to strap herself down, and Vasquez still manages to look stacked. In real life, Goldstein even went on to found a famous clothing company that makes bras in extra large cup sizes.
- Butch Lesbian: Maybe. See Ambiguously Bi.
- Crazy-Prepared: How did she know she would need two backup batteries for the expedition into the reactor?
- Establishing Character Moment: Shown already doing pull-ups when the rest of the marines are barely waking up from the cryo-sleep, followed by a demolishing comeback against Hudson, which immediately establishes her tomboyish martial prowess, her sharp tongue and her comradeship with Drake.
- Famous Last Words: "You always were an asshole, Gorman."
- Gratuitous Spanish: Slips into her native tongue when angered, but also in general conversation — "Hey, mira (look), who's Snow White?" She also calls Gorman a "Pendejo jerkoff" at one point.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Along with Drake, she is the only marine to never wear a helmet at any point.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rather than be killed by swarms of approaching aliens, she and Gorman blow themselves up, which not only kills scores more aliens, but also prevents Ripley and the rest of the survivors from being followed through the ducts.
- It Has Been an Honor: In her cantankerous style, her Last Words "You always were an asshole, Gorman" also carry the implication of such an acknowledgment. She also gives Gorman the "power grip", her ritual for greeting and departure she only shared with the chosen few like Drake.
- The Lad-ette: She's noticeably the butchest female in the film.
- Nerves of Steel: In the control room, despite seeing Hudson dragged into the sewers, she stands her ground and delivers two grenade shells into the oncoming xenomorphs.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice Job Shooting that Alien With Exploding Rounds and Killing Your Boyfriend, Vasquez. Of course, if she hadn't shot the alien, it probably would have gotten him, anyways. This leads to a minor Heroic BSoD where she wants to go back for him, but circumstances prevent her from doing so.
- One-Man Army: Vasquez personally racks up the highest killcount in the film: 22 Xenomorphs.
- Reformed Criminal: According to Word of God and the screenplay, both Drake and Vasquez are former criminals serving in the Colonial Marines as an alternative to prison.
- Religious Bruiser: Implied, as she wears a crucifix around her neck.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Has a rather crude skull drawn onto her tank top.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Vasquez stands 5'1" at the most, and wields a Smart Gun, the largest gun in the Sulaco's arsenal.
- Spicy Latina: Though possibly a Fake Nationality, depending on one's definition of Latino. Jennette Goldstein is part Brazilian.
- Survivor's Guilt: She was the one who shot the alien attacking Drake, spraying his face with acid.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: The quintessential butch chick in the franchise, and first depicted in a tank top doing chin-ups.
- Tattooed Crook: A former convict alongside Drake according to supplementary materials and the screenplay, and she has a teardrop tattoo under her left eye, the Spanish word "Vive" on her left knuckles and another one on her left arm.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Achieved through a Heroic Sacrifice.
Private Mark Drake
The smartgunning partner of Vasquez. The two marines shared a special bond. During the first encounter with the xenomorphs he is fatally wounded after being splashed by the creatures' acid blood.
- Bash Brothers: With Vasquez — the two smart-gunners both take point when infiltrating the LV-426 compound, effectively leading the charge. According to Word of God and the screenplay, both Drake and Vasquez are former criminals serving in the Colonial Marines as an alternative to prison.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Also with Vasquez.
- BFG: Like Vasquez, he wields a massive smart-gun.
- The Big Guy: Don't mess with Drake... or he'll mess you up.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Gets covered with acid from a dead xenomorph, causing him to set himself on fire with his flamethrower.
- Gag Boobs: It's subtle, but it can be observed during the suit up montage that Drake has a pair of breasts drawn on his right glove.
- Glasgow Grin: Played with in the novelization; he's described as having a scar on one cheek that disfigures his mouth in a manner similar to a Glasgow grin.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Along with Vasquez, he is the only marine to never wear a helmet at any point.
- Nice Hat: Opts to wear a military cap with a chicken bone bead necklace instead of a helmet.
- Playing with Fire: Wields a flamethrower after his smart gun runs dry.
- Reformed Criminal: According to Word of God and the screenplay, both Drake and Vasquez are former criminals serving in the Colonial Marines as an alternative to prison.
- Sacrificial Lion: With his intimidating appearance, BFG and Bash Brothers relationship with Vasquez, Drake seems like he'll be pretty tough. He goes down like the other marines, proving just how dangerous the aliens are.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Covers the Marines' retreat after the first encounter with the xenomorphs.
The android executive officer assigned to the Sulaco, primarily responsible for planetary maneuvering. Unlike Ash, he was loyal to his seniors, colleagues and especially Ripley. Although Bishop tried to be friendly to Ripley, she did not trust him until he had proved himself.
- Action Survivor: Despite having literally no offensive capabilities whatsoever, Bishop is one of the four people to survive the events of the film.
- Alien Blood: White, in a Call-Back to the first film, as shown in his Robotic Reveal.
- Artificial Human: He's even gooey inside.
- Badass Baritone: It's Lance Henriksen. Of course he has this.
- Badass Pacifist: Possibly an Actual Pacifist, to the extent that his programming may restrict him from being able to commit any violent acts whatsoever. That being said, he volunteers for the extremely dangerous task of reprogramming the outside antenna to call down a dropship from the Sulaco, waited for Ripley to return from her near-suicidal mission to retrieve Newt from the Alien hive while the Atmosphere Processor Reactor exploded around him, and saved Newt from being sucked out into space when Ripley depressurized the cargo bay to eject the Alien Queen.
- Big Damn Heroes: Bishop swoops in to save Ripley and Newt when the Queen corners them. He manages to save Newt when he's Half the Man He Used to Be, too.
- Blood from the Mouth: After being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, he spits up a lot of white fluid. (One would imagine if it has been red, it wouldn't have made it past the censors.)
- Casting Gag: Lance Henriksen was James Cameron's first choice for the role of the T-800 in The Terminator, which may have impacted his decision to cast Henriksen as a friendly cyborg in this movie.
- The Cavalry: For Ripley and Hicks.
- Creepy Good: He's a little disconcerting, but turns out he's a real sweetheart.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bishop has his moments. Given their situation, it borders on Gallows Humor.Bishop: "Believe me, I'd prefer not to. I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid."Bishop: "In nineteen minutes, this area's gonna be a cloud of vapor the size of Nebraska."
- Doesn't Like Guns: Refuses to take along a pistol when he leaves to summon the dropship. It's explained in outside sources that he has no directives for combat, but even in the extenuating circumstances the film presents, it wouldn't have done him much good if he encountered any aliens en route. Similarly, it can be interpreted as a variation of his directives: he refused the handgun because he was present when the survivors went over their low stock of guns and ammunition and decided that accepting the gun was risking the wellbeing of one or more of the others.
- Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Part of the job of military synthetics is to be a "generic expert" in a wide variety of fields, and such are programmed with a wide array of knowledge. This allows them to be consulted when the unit has need of specialized information (as they might when fighting on exo-planets they may know nothing about) that a typical grunt would not be expected to know.
- Establishing Character Moment: The memorable knife scene swiftly establishes Bishop's Nerves of Steel, reveals him as an android, and his subsequent conversation with Ripley shows him to be a caring and sensitive soul.
- Foil: To Burke in a few ways. Bishop is a creepy android who Ripley immediately hates based on her past experiences with Ash in the prior film, and Burke is the only guy at the company who is willing to give her the time of day and or is nice to her. Then the film pulls a bait and switch on us in that Bishop turns out to be a trustworthy Nice Guy while Burke is an opportunistic sociopath. Bishop is not human but moral, while Burke is human but even worse than the aliens. (Which are just acting out of instinct, after all) Bishop comes through for Ripley and saves her and Newt while Burke tries to kill her. By the end of the film, Ripley despises Burke and offers her friendship and respect to Bishop.
- He's also set up to parallel Ash, being an android (though openly, unlike Ash), Admiring the Abomination, and being genuinely creepy much of the time. However, he's the exact opposite of Ash in pretty much every meaningful way.
- Good All Along: Basically, he's not Ash.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Is torn clear in two by the alien queen. He lives.
- Hidden Depths: Bishop is a talented Five-Finger Fillet player, and in fact provides the current page image.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Immediately followed up by Half the Man He Used to Be.
- Made of Plasticine: The alien queen quite literally rips him in half. Good thing androids aren't susceptible to shock. Or blood loss. However, The Colonial Marines Technical Manual notes that androids are in many ways more delicate than humans, especially their artificial musculature, justifying the trope.
- Nerves of Steel: Bishop keeps calm and cool at every situation that is thrown his way, whether it's volunteering to go outside of the safety of the installation to go call the dropship while being completely unarmed, rescuing Ripley and Newt from both the Alien queen and a nuclear blast, or being Half the Man He Used to Be and saving Newt from being airlocked along with the alien queen. Even more impressive when Bishop reveals that he's just scared as everyone else and is yet is still entirely willing to do these things. Bishop's got balls, man.
- Nice Guy: Military synthetics are built for it, as their appearance and manner have been calculated to make them approachable, trustworthy, and non-threatening as a means of fostering unit cohesion.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He volunteers himself to head outside unprotected into the open (in the middle of a storm) to remote pilot the second dropship so nobody else has to. It's not lost on everyone how dangerous this is. Then subverted because Bishop does not encounter any aliens and comes through exactly on time and on target. The characters who stayed are thrown straight back into mortal danger when the aliens find a loophole in their perimeter.
- Non-Action Guy: He hands back the pistol that Vasquez gives him due to his non-hostile programming while getting ready to crawl into the conduit to the relay station. Supplemental materials note that combat androids are forbidden by international treaty, so military synthetics are restricted to non-action support roles, like medics, pilots, or general information experts to consult.
- Not Quite Dead: Contrary to what some might believe, Bishop does indeed survive the film, albeit with heavy damage. Happens again in Alien 3, where he is revealed to have survived the crash of the Sulaco's escape pod, but there he specifically requests that Ripley permanently disable him since he'll never be as good as new.
- Red Herring Mole: Ripley (and by extension the audience) are very suspicious of Bishop due to the previous experience with Ash, not to mention his somewhat creepy mannerisms.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Not only does he look like a perfectly average human, but he's one of the most genuinely likable characters in the film. Justified by his design criteria: most military androids are built to seem non-threatening, calm, and trustworthy in order to integrate better with their unit and help foster squad cohesion.
- When Ripley makes it painfully clear to Bishop (and everybody else) she wants absolutely nothing to do with him even after he tries to assure her he can't hurt her, you can tell his feelings are a little hurt.
- Robotic Reveal: Played with. He cuts himself with his knife trick, and the white fluid reveals to Ripley (and the audience) that he's a robot. Everyone else already knew though.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: The novelization calls him "Biship" at one point.
- The Smart Guy: Just part of the territory when you're an android.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Subverted and then Played Straight. Although initially it appears he is "killed" alongside Hicks and Newt in Alien 3, Ripley later reactivates him for one final time, after which he requests to be taken off-line permanently.
- Three Laws-Compliant: He quotes the First Law almost verbatim.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Bishop is part of a series of androids who are programmed to easily integrate with human society and is obliged to help his human companions, whether he wants to or not. However, he is undoubtedly self-aware and capable of formulating his own decisions. It is ambiguous whether or not Bishop's courageous actions throughout the film are entirely the result of his programming or his own conscious decisions.
- What You Are in the Dark: He could have left Ripley to die. He had the injured Hicks in tow and there was no guarantee Ripley would be able to save Newt, let alone make it back. Ripley seems to recognize this fact when they make it back to the Sulaco.
Corporal Colette Ferro
The dropship pilot. She stayed with the craft during the alien ambush.
- Ace Pilot: Her official role in the marine unit, she pilots the drop-ship down to LV-426 and has no trouble at all negotiating the rough weather encountered during he descent.
- Asshole Victim: A minor case, but she was kind of a dick to Spunkmeyer.
- Cool Shades: She wears nifty reflective aviator shades while flying.
- Danger Deadpan: An excellent example thereof, she never really drops her calm, no-nonsense tone, even during the tricky descent down to the planet surface.
- Danger Takes a Backseat: An alien pops up behind her while she's flying, and she's killed at the controls, which sends the drop-ship hurtling to its destruction.
- Defiant to the End: Once she sees the alien, she tries to go for her sidearm. Not that it helps.
- Disposable Pilot: One of the first victims.
- Fan Wink: A complicated example: In the film The Terminator there is a scene where Reese has a flashback of the Bad Future where he is fighting alongside a girl soldier. While she has no name or dialog in the movie and is just a Red Shirt, the novelization names her "Corporal Ferro," and provides a little more detail. Evidentally James Cameron is rather fond of this name as he re-uses it for this character despite there being no connection other than them both being female soldiers.
- Ice Queen: She's pretty cool and collected to the point of being rude to Spunkmeyer and is initially dismissive of Ripley's past experiences in dealing with the xenomorphs.
- Jerkass: Mildly, due to her Ice Queen persona.
- Not Now, Kiddo: She really should have listened to Spunkmeyer when he finds evidence of an alien having crept aboard the dropship.
Corporal Cynthia Dietrich
The marines' medic.
- Combat Medic: Acts as the Marines' medic, but is also a tall, imposing woman who gets stuck into battle wielding a flame-thrower.
- Fate Worse than Death: Dietrich's vital signs show she's still alive after the fight — which means she was facehugger bait.
- The Fettered: When she discovers one of the colonists cocooned, but still alive, she determinedly administers medical aid, and has to be practically torn away by Apone as the colonist's chest bursts open.Dietrich: Get over here, we've got a live one! You're going to be ok. We've gotta get her out of here—*colonist's chest ruptures*—convulsion!Apone: Dietrich, GET BACK!
- Kill It with Fire: She's one of the team's flamethrower operators. Later manages to kill it — unfortunately, "it" in this case is Frost, when her flamethrower fires after she's grabbed from behind by an alien.
- Mauve Shirt: She's killed during the first encounter with the aliens.
- The Medic: For the marines — her medical skills come in handy when the team discovers Newt, and Dietrich concludes that she's fine apart from borderline malnutrition.
- Scream Discretion Shot: During the first encounter, Dietrich is grabbed from behind by an alien and lets out a blood-curdling scream as she's dragged upwards to her fate.
- The Smart Guy: Makes some intelligent observations, such as speculating that the Aliens don't show up on infrared.
- Unfriendly Fire: When Dietrich gets grabbed by the Aliens, she triggers her flamethrower and sets Frost on fire, causing him to fall to his death. Then the ammunition bag he was carrying and was set on fire explodes, blasting Crowe into a wall and breaking his neck.
Private Ricco Frost
A trooper and rifleman. Frost was the driver of the unit's APC and seemed to have a good friendship with some of the marines, especially Hicks.
- Ambiguously Bi: It's incredibly subtle, but he seemingly had sex with a male 'Arcturian' with no regrets. He also has a heart-and-arrow decoration on his armor with the name "Heath" (Short for Heather, Ricco Ross' girlfriend at the time), although that isn't necessarily a romantic implication.
- Black Dude Dies First: He's the first marine to die, burned alive by Dietrich when an alien grabs her from behind, then fell down a stairwell.
- Cassandra Truth: "I got a bad feeling about this drop." Frost, you have no idea how right you are.
- Deadpan Snarker: Every other line of Frost's dialogue is this.[after Ripley blows up at Bishop in the cafeteria] "Guess she don't like the cornbread, either."[upon being told he can't use his weapon] "What do you expect us to use man, harsh language?"
- Ironic Name: Given the manner of his demise and according to Ricco Ross, intentional on James Cameron's part.
- Kill It with Fire: He's killed when Dietrich's flamethrower activates after she's attacked by an alien.
- The Lancer: To his pal Hicks. He doesn't last long, however.
- Mauve Shirt: Frost gets slightly more characterisation than the other Red Shirt marines, but still dies very quickly during the first encounter with the aliens.
- Railing Kill: Falls off a catwalk to his death after being set on fire.
Private First Class Daniel Spunkmeyer
The dropship chief weapons officer who worked often with Ferro.
- Danger Deadpan: He has moments of this in the cockpit.
- The Load: How Ferro seems to view him - vaguely tiresome and inept.
- Mauve Shirt: Killed (off-screen) when an alien manages to board the drop-ship.
- Too Dumb to Live: You see evidence of an Alien in your ship, you do not seal yourself in. Granted, he wasn't with the team that first went in, so it doesn't seem very likely he knew what the secretion in the dropship actually was.
Private Tim Crowe
Rifleman in the Marine squad.
Private Trevor Wierzbowski
Flamethrower operator in the Marine squad.
- The Big Guy: Seriously, he's pretty darn big. Apone even sends him off alone when in the colony.
- Flipping the Bird: A Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals he flips off Gorman in frustration when the meeting concludes.
- Kill It with Fire: Wields a flamethrower as his weapon of choice.
- The Quiet One: Has no lines of dialogue, only a scream in the Theatrical Cut. He has a three word line in the Special Edition and even then others are speaking over him when he does so. This is in stark contrast to Alan Dean Foster's novelization, where Wierzbowski has several lines given to other characters in the film.
- Red Shirt: Exists basically to fill space and then go down.
- Sound-Only Death: He's heard screaming as a xenomorph mauls him to death off-screen.
Colonists of LV-426
Rebecca "Newt" Jorden
The only survivor amongst the colonists of LV-426. She had been living in the air ducts within the compound and was discovered by the marines after they picked her up on the motion tracker. Newt bonded rather quickly with the marines and it was her strength of mind, for somebody so young, that helped to bring Hudson back from the brink of despair.
- Action Survivor: At the age of 8, she manages to be the only survivor of an alien incursion that otherwise decimates a community of 70 families.
- Air-Vent Passageway: She survives the Xenomorphs' attack on Hadley's Hope by hiding in the colony's ducting system.
- Broken Bird: She's thoroughly scarred from her experiences. Newt didn't just lose her entire family, she lost her entire community and the trauma weighs heavily on her. She's often silent and pessimistic.
- Cute Mute: At first, when she doesn't say anything.
- Damsel in Distress: Arguably. Justified since, hey, 8-year-old.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": "My name's Newt. Nobody calls me Rebecca."
- Fragile Speedster: Being an 8-year-old girl, she's no fighter, but the reason she survived so long (and what keeps her alive throughout the film) is her ability to quickly weave her way through air ducts and underneath grates.
- Little Miss Badass: She managed to survive the Xenomorph threat for weeks.
- Morality Pet: Helps Ripley shed her cynical shell to reveal her gooey Mama Bear center.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Only her brother called her Rebecca.
- Say My Name: "Ripley!" "Hudson!" "Bishop!"
- Sole Survivor: The only survivor amongst the colonists of LV-426.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Poor kid doesn't make it through the dropship crash in Alien 3. It's massively jarring, to say the least.
- Taught by Experience: She has to be in order to survive. She knows from personal experience what the Aliens are capable of and correctly predicts that the presence of the Colonial Marines "won't make any difference."
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Her default expression. No surprise, given the severe trauma she went through.
- Trauma Conga Line: One that is well-reinforced when she is discovered by the Colonial Marines 17 weeks after the distress call and has been reduced to a Broken Bird, given how it is greater-explained in the Newt's Tale comic series. She sees her father's facehugged body (and screams when she first glimpses him), is directly present (spying in an airvent) and sees her father die from the chestburster, witnesses her mother and brother die in front of her during the colonists' last stand, is forced into hiding to avoid the xenomorphs moving through the colony, and is kidnapped, cocooned and very nearly killed by the xenomorphs before Ripley rescues her.
Russ & Anne Jorden
Newt's parents, two of the "wildcatters" whom Operating Manager Al Simpson sends beyond the colony to search for a derelict ship. The pair discover the Space Jockey's derelict ship and are presumed to have discovered the ancient Alien egg nest inside the ship.
- Bold Explorer: They rove around the un-mapped terrain of an alien planet with their kids in tow, hoping to profit from any salvage they find.
- Driven to Suicide: Plans on doing this to herself and her kids when the colonists have their last stand in the Newt's Tale comic series, reasoning that it's a better fate than being ripped apart by the xenomorphs. However, Newt convinces them they can escape, and leads them to an airduct as the xenos are ripping apart the colonists.
- Hope Spot: During the colonists' last stand in the Newt's Tale series, Newt tells Anne she knows of a way to escape and leads them to a nearby airduct as the colonists are massacred. Anne doesn't make it, and gets ripped apart by the xenos at the entrance to the airduct, while Timmy is sprayed by acid blood and is presumably killed instantly, before Newt escapes into the ducts.
- Trauma Conga Line: In the Newt's Tale tie-in comic series, Anne gets put through the wringer, watching her husband get attacked and implanted by a facehugger, being present when the chestburster rips out of him, and forced to watch as the colonists are boxed in further and further by the xenomorphs, eventually resulting in her, her children and the rest of the colonists barricading themselves in the mess hall to hold out for rescue.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After Russ goes out to the derelict spacecraft, he's implanted by a facehugger, thus setting off the entire chain of events. It's hard to blame him, though; he had no way of knowing what would happen. Burke gave him no information or warning.
Newt's brother. He keeps his little sister company in the family's tractor as their parents investigate inside the Space Jockeys ship.
- First-Name Basis: Timmy is the only person who calls Newt by her real name, Rebecca.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate is never explained — all we know is that he's dead by the time the marines land on LV-426. The Newt's Tale comic series shows that he was sprayed by acid blood during the colonists' last stand, but it's left unclear whether he was killed outright or used as a host by the xenomorphs.
Mary is the cocooned colonist whom the Marine squad discovers alive in the hive. She pleads with the Marines to kill her, as Corporal Dietrich tries to comfort her.
- All Webbed Up: Her state when the marines locate her.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Due to having to endure the excruciating agony of a chestburster's birth but made doubly cruel as Apone choses to destroy her "child" with Crowe's incinerator, her final sensation before death was the compounded agony of being seared to a crisp in an inferno.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: She has seen what happened to the other colonists around her, she knows she has been implanted, she knows what will happen to her, but thanks to being completely immobilized by the Aliens' restraining webbing, the only way she could end her life with any dignity would be to bite through her own tongue and bleed/choke to death, an incredibly painful demise in itself that she wouldn't have had the courage to go through with either. So, when she realized that the marines have found her, Mary begs them for a quicker and painless end, which they sadly did not give her in time and infact make it worse by roasting her alive.
- Not Quite Dead: She's practically comatose when the Marines find her, but she's alive. For a little while, anyway.
The colonial administrator in charge of the colony Hadley's Hope.
- Just Following Orders: In charge of the colony of Hadley's hope he gets frequent orders and has to follow them without asking questions.
- Space Trucker: Of a sort. He's the administrator of a small colony and power generation station.
- Punch-Clock Villain: The company asks him to do something. He does it and knows better than to ask questions.
Carter J. Burke
A corporate executive who befriended Ripley at the Gateway Station following her return from hypersleep (his business card identifies him as Special Projects Director of the Weyland-Yutani (Space) Corp's Special Services Division). After revealing that Ripley had been frozen for 57 years, he comforts a heartbroken Ripley and wins her trust. When contact is lost with the colony on LV-426, Burke persuades a reluctant Ripley to join the military expedition as an advisor, in return for him helping her regain her flight license. She finally agrees when he assures her that the mission is to destroy, not study, the aliens. He accompanies the squad aboard Sulaco, presumably to safeguard the company's investment in the terraforming colony.
- Asshole Victim: Burke is killed by an alien when they break through. Nobody mourns.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Carter is the main human antagonist of Aliens. By sending the colonists to investigate the crashed Engineer ship without any warning or basic information, he becomes responsible for the aliens overrunning the colony and the subsequent events of the film. And then he goes even further, plotting to kill the marines and smuggle the alien back for the company.
- Big Bad Wannabe: That said, he's nothing compared to the Queen Alien and overestimates his own cleverness, and his plans blow up in his face by the third act of the story.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He pretends to be a Reasonable Authority Figure at first, showing sympathy to Ripley and generally being pretty polite. However, he gradually reveals himself to be a greedy opportunist.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: We (alarmingly) get this vibe off of him. He's remarkably nonplussed about the fact he directly caused the horrific deaths of one-hundred and fifty-seven other people. Ripley can barely contain her disgust.Ripley: "Bad call?! Those people are dead, Burke!"
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Burke is revealed to have betrayed the colonists by sending them to their fates without any warning. Then, when Ripley confronts him about this, he tries to have her and Newt impregnated with alien embryos so that he can still bring back an alien to the Weyland-Yutani higher-ups; Ripley deduces that in order for this plan to work, he'd have had to have murdered the other survivors in their sleep first. There are subtler moments revealing this, though: when Ripley discovers that Bishop is an android, he feigns innocence and is visibly lying about it having never occurred to him to tell her this even though he was entirely familiar with her case file. Also in the drop-ship, when Gorman admits this is only his second combat drop, Burke attempts to share a look with Ripley at Gorman's expense - but he hired Gorman in the first place, and can't be ignorant about his inexperience. It raises questions about how much he was really on Ripley's side during her hearing. He makes it out as though he is and shows sympathy for her when it doesn't go as well as "they'd" hoped, but it's clear from his behavior later that if he thought her hearing going well might have impeded his own ability to profit off the information she'd given him, he'd have sold her out.
- Consummate Liar: Is incapable of honesty, though he usually attempts to mislead rather than tell outright lies, in ways that conceal the motives behind what he says. It's easy to pinpoint his lies on re-watch, because he tends to reveal his anxiety at telling them by touching his face in a peculiar way. This starts early, as in a scene restored to the director's cut, Burke clearly doesn't want to discuss Ripley's daughter with her, but when she pushes him, it's clear he not only did look up her daughter, but had a lot of the information memorized. When Ripley learns Bishop is an android and demands to know why she wasn't informed, he says, rubbing his nose and widening his eyes, that it never occurred to him to tell her because having an android is standard procedure. When, after the first encounter with the aliens, Ripley proposes they leave and nuke the planet, Burke tries to argue that neither they nor anyone has the right to exterminate such an important species, though conservationism is obviously not on his mind. Even in Burke's very first scene with Ripley, it seems clear on rewatch that he knows she hasn't been informed yet how long she was in hypersleep, but he uses misleading language to make it out like he wasn't initially concealing that information from her. And then there's his quote above, his first line of dialogue in the film. He does indeed work for the Company, but he is not an "okay guy."
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The first film depicted the company as a dystopian nightmare, with the ship named Mother as a Big Brother reference and the android Ash embodying the worst fears about wiretapping and privacy violations possible. The crew was a working class group of people who had no choice but to investigate the alien signal on pain of forfeiting their shares, but who had no understanding that the company considered them expendable: in other words, a shadowy, faceless organization was pulling the strings and playing with their lives. By contrast, the villain of this movie is Burke: a midlevel employee acting on nobody's apparent orders, keeping the purpose of his actions a secret so that he can profit the most by bringing back an alien to a company that, as far as he knows, doesn't even believe such aliens exist. It comes around to being just as gutting to know one wholly unimportant, barely powerful person can cause so much awfulness, but it's tonally and thematically the polar opposite of the antagonist of the first movie.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Burke is very interested in making it to the executive washroom and will do anything to ensure his rise... even if it means playing with other people's lives.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's fond of patronizing sarcasm during dire situations."Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?"
- Dirty Coward: When the aliens break into the colony, Burke makes a run for it. He seals the others in the room with the Xenomorphs and leaves them all to die. This is what gets him killed, as he's all alone when a Xenomorph corners him....
- Disc-One Final Boss: Killed by a Xenomorph before Ripley confronts the Alien Queen.
- Faux Affably Evil: He actually does a good job of acting like a benevolent figure, before the magnitude of what he's done (and tries to do) comes to light. At its earliest, it's seen when he protests the decision to nuke the site from orbit.Burke: This is a multi-million dollar installation, okay? He can't make that kind of decision, he's just a grunt! [to Hicks] Ah, no offense.Hicks: None taken.
- Fauxshadowing: A deleted scene and a tie-in comic reveal that Burke was taken back to the hive and suffered the same fate as the colonists; Ripley was to find him begging her for help and saying he could feel the embyro inside of him, but Cameron didn't feel that this matched the established timeline for the alien gestation cycle, so the scene was never restored. That said, there are a couple of scenes in the film that still foreshadow his Karmic Death: the first comes when the squad makes it to the medlab and he puts his face right against the jar of a still-living facehugger, which tries to get to him through the jar, to which Hicks teases that it likes him. The second comes from Ripley when she confronts him over his crimes. She says, "I'm going to make sure they nail you right to the wall for this," and guess where the xenomorphs hang their victims?
- Gratuitous Spanish: He refers to the marines as 'tough hombres' and when explaining the issue with the primary heat exchangers to Gorman."Look, this whole station is basically a big fusion reactor...right? So you're talkin' about a thermonuclear explosion and 'Adiós, muchachos.'"
- Greed: His motivation for pretty much every move he makes.Burke: Now if I go and make a major security decision out of it, everybody steps in. Administration steps in, and there's no exclusive rights for anybody, ok, noboby wins.
- Ripley calls him out on it.Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.
- Ripley calls him out on it.
- Hate Sink: Once Burke's true slimy colors are revealed, even Reiser's own parents cheered when Burke gets exactly what he deserves. His sister even punched him (jokingly) after the premiere for playing such a disgusting character.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: In a movie filled with terrifying alien monsters, he manages to come across as the most vile and despicable character of all.
- Jerkass: He's an arrogant, self-absorbed and manipulative person with zero empathy for others and consumed by greed.
- Just Think of the Potential: Averted, actually. The company certainly holds this view in regard to the alien, but Burke is strictly a money-orientated individual who thinks of the aliens only in terms of how he might profit from them, never showing any interest in what the company would use the alien for.
- Karmic Death: Burke is killed by one of the aliens on the Colony; fitting, considering he's responsible for the alien outbreak to begin with.
- Lack of Empathy: His response to Ripley's accusation of murdering 157 colonists? Administration complications and profit margins.
- Meaningful Name: Doubles as a Punny Name. Burke, as per Cockney Rhyming Slang, is indeed a berk.
- Never My Fault: He tries to escape blame for the alien outbreak at the Colony when Ripley confronts him."Okay, look. What if that ship didn't even exist, huh? Did you ever think about that? I didn't know! So now, if I went in and made a major security issue out of it, everybody steps in. Administration steps in, and there are no exclusive rights for anybody; nobody wins. So I made a decision and it was... wrong. It was a bad call, Ripley, it was a bad call."
- Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: Everyone in this movie tends towards this, given the high stress they're under, but homeboy looks like somebody emptied a glass over his head after he's confronted for his attempt to have Ripley and Newt facehugged... Then again, in addition to the threat of the entire colony installation blowing up and the aliens that are out to get them all, he is facing the rather more immediate threat of being surrounded by very angry marines who want to shoot him then and there.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As opposed to the other company higher-ups, Burke seems more sympathetic to Ripley's situation. As it turns out, he's worse than the rest of them put together.
- Save the Villain: Hicks - and everyone else present, for that matter - wants to just kill him after his crimes are exposed, but Ripley prevents him. She says he 'has to go back,' but an alien attack quickly renders the conversation moot. It seems likely she wanted to expose him and the company in a public trial. Another reason may be that Ripley is aware that if they kill him then and there, not only would they be unable to prove his and the company's culpability in the events, but that they themselves might be accused of his murder.
- Slimeball: Ripley outright tells Burke he won't be able to slime his way out of his crimes.
- Smug Snake: He certainly considers himself smarter than the likes of Ripley and the marines, considering her to be psychologically frazzled and them to be grunts.
- The Sociopath: Averted with unusual gruesomeness: Burke's nervous tells, particularly his tendency to avoid eye contact and fidget when faced with evidence of his having done something awful, betray a recognition of his culpability that is incompatible with sociopathy. Sociopaths can't feel guilt; Burke feels it, he's just adept at rationalizing his actions, and does them anyway.
- Suit with Vested Interests: He's there with the hidden agenda of getting a sample of the creature and won't let the safety of the unit and any remaining survivors distract him from that.
- Too Dumb to Live: Cowardice aside, what is Burke thinking when he separated himself from the group and locked himself inside a room without any other way out? Even if the Aliens couldn't enter, he would had died from the meltdown. Unfortunately for him, an Alien was already inside the room and killed or captured him.
- Walking Spoiler: For some reason, a sympathetic authority figure becomes far less sympathetic when equipped with tropes like Big Bad Ensemble and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
- Would Hurt a Child: He literally locks Newt (who's only a second-grader, thus approximately 8-years-old) in a room with deadly aliens, knowing full well what'll happen to her. Twice.
The chairman of the Interstellar Commerce Commission board that reviewed Ripley's case concerning the destruction of the Nostromo. He dismissed her claims, revoked her flight license and submitted her for psychological evaluations.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: While Ripley's story is certainly pretty unprecedented, he refuses to entertain the possibility that it was not something she just hallucinated or made up. Then again, there is a colony on LV-426 and they didn't report anything of the sort.
- Jerkass: He is less than understanding of what Ripley has been through (including her 57 years in hypersleep) and pretty much disbelieves everything she says about the xenomorph.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In a way. It's hard to blame him for disbelieving Ripley's tale, considering that she had no proof to back up her claims. When she talks to Van Leuwen after the hearing, he seems like a pretty nice and reasonable guy. Plus, despite not believing her tale, he just took away her license for "questionable judgement" rather than assuming she had essentially murdered the rest of the Nostromo's crew.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He strips Ripley of her flight license because she showed "questionable judgement" in destroying the ore shipment in order to kill the xenomorph, which he thinks is made up anyway.
The Alien Hive of Hadley's Hope
The Queen of Hadley's Hope
A Queen is a large form of the species Xenomorph XX121 that serves as the mother and leader of a Xenomorph hive.
- Big Bad: Serves as the final antagonist in the climax after Burke bites it.
- Defiant to the End: After being overpowered by Ripley in her mech and ready to be Thrown Out Of The Airlock, the queen suffices with just forcing the mech into dispatch too and trying to drag Ripley to her death with her as she's sucked into space.
- Greater-Scope Villain: If she was the one who laid all those eggs in the first movie, then by default she's also this for the first movie.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Ooh boy... the Queen is the largest and most powerful caste.
- High-Heeled Feet: Up until Alien vs. Predator she was portrayed as having high heel shaped feet.
- It Can Think: The Queen is terrifyingly intelligent. She recognizes the power of Riplys flamethrower, orders her drones around with head nods, and navigates how to use a lift. Stowing away on a spaceship and waiting to strike means she clearly thinks well in advance.
- Large and in Charge: The Queen is Tyrannosaurus rex-sized, and it's not slow either.
- 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.
- More Deadly Than the Male: There really isn't much evidence that Xenomorphs have genders, being implicitly asexual or hermaphroditic. However, it's common in the Expanded Universe to explicitly describe the huge, powerful Queen as a female and the "Praetorians" or Warriors as males, who mate with the much larger and stronger Queen to help her produce eggs. A Dark Horse novel/comic, Rogue, involves an attempt by a Mad Scientist to genetically engineer a "King Alien," the titular Rogue, who is mindlessly violent and aggressive, slaughtering every other Xenomorph it encounters — until it meets the Queen, which is smaller but smarter, quicker and more agile, quickly tearing the King apart.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Unlike other castes, Queen Xenomorphs have four arms: a pair of larger main arms and a pair of small, skinny arms attached to their chests, which according to sources are her gentler "egg manipulator" hands.
- 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. Though to be fair, Ripley gave her a 'warning shot'. The Queen tried to have it both ways, and when one of the eggs opened, Ripley decided all bets were off. Though that's on the basis the Queen could/did command the egg to open: if it just did so because it sensed movement, the Queen was just SOL.
- Rule of Cool: The Queen is based on the oversized "queens" of eusocial insects like bees and termites, but in insects, the "queen" is little more than an egg-making machine and has little to no control over her colony, or ability to defend herself (and the workers may even kill her under certain circumstances). The Xenomorph Queen meanwhile has total dominion over the smaller Warriors, puts up a ferocious battle, and can even detach from her massive egg-filled abdomen at will (something no insect queen is capable of). Biologically and behaviorally, none of this makes any sense, but it does make her an awesome final opponent for Ripley.
- Super Toughness: Driven back in pain by Ripley's incinerator, but ultimately immune to any actual harm from flames and heat like her adult children. And that's not accounting for the fact she is able to survive perfectly fine in the vacuum of space, just like a Drone and Warrior.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The Queen Alien's feet are shaped like high-heeled shoes.