- "Take a look around you. We're all we have. No one is coming to save us. We're on our own."
- ―Amanda Ripley (from Alien: Isolation)
Amanda Tei "Amy" Ripley-McClaren (born Amanda Ripley; 2112) was the daughter of Ellen Ripley. In 2137, when the flight recorder unit of the USCSS Nostromo was recovered and taken to Sevastopol Station, she traveled to Sevastopol in the hopes of finding out what happened to her mother when the Nostromo disappeared fifteen years previously. She was subsequently involved in the Xenomorph incident that destroyed the station.
Amanda was conceived by her mother during a layover between haulage trips. Despite the fact this contravened Weyland-Yutani policy, Ellen Ripley was not disciplined for her indiscretion and the pregnancy was allowed to come to term. Amanda was delivered in a home birth, in the presence of Ripley's husband Alex. She was just ten years old when her mother disappeared following the loss of the Nostromo in deep space.
In search of her mother
The lack of explanation for her mother's disappearance greatly affected Ripley, to the point where, as a young adult, she took up work as an engineer in the sector where the Nostromo had vanished, apparently hoping to be close at hand should any news arise. During this time, she encountered — and later befriended — Private Zula Hendricks at Tranquility Base on Luna. News eventually came in the form of Samuels, a synthetic in the employ of Weyland-Yutani, who came to see Ripley to inform her that the black box from the Nostromo had been recovered. He invited Ripley to join the small Weyland-Yutani team being sent to recover the recorder from Sevastopol Station, and while she was initially cold toward Samuels, the chance to potentially discover her mother's fate led her to accept his offer.
Ripley and the team travelled to Sevastopol aboard the Torrens, a commercial courier ship privately owned by Captain Verlaine. Upon arrival, they found communications with the station scrambled and unintelligible. With the station's docking facilities damaged, Ripley, Samuels and Weyland-Yutani lawyer Taylor attempted to spacewalk over to Sevastopol, but debris resulting from an explosion severed their guide line. Ripley managed to enter the station through an airlock, but was separated from the others and found herself unable to contact neither them nor the Torrens.
Ripley found Sevastopol to be largely deserted and showing signs of a collapse in civil society. She also found evidence of violence, not least of all the bloodied body of Watson. Ripley eventually encountered an armed man named Axel, who, despite his initial hostility towards her, eventually agreed to help her contact the Torrens in exchange for a place on the ship so he could escape Sevastopol. En route to the station's communications center, the two avoided other hostile inhabitants, who had formed together into a small band and were hoarding supplies in the freight shipping area. As Ripley and Axel prepared to board a tram to the comms center, Axel was attacked and killed by an unseen Alien, his body dragged into a ventilation shaft. Ripley managed to flee the area before the creature could return.
Upon reaching the Lorenz SysTech Spire, Ripley gathered additional supplies, including a .357 Revolver and a Security Access Tuner to help her bypass locked systems. She also discovered the black box recorder from the Nostromo, but to her dismay found its data had been corrupted and was unreadable. As she prepared to move on, a localized security lockdown activated due to unauthorized access in the area, and in the midst of deactivating the lockdown the Alien that had killed Axel dropped from a vent directly in front of her. A terrified Ripley hid under the console at which she had been working, narrowly avoiding the creature's tail as it jumped onto the desk above her, before the Alien slipped out of the room. As Ripley moved on, she saw the Alien slaughter a group of other survivors, before again moving away through the station's network of ventilation shafts.
Upon reaching Sevastopol's comms center, Ripley discovered the station's Working Joe androids were hostile towards any attempt to re-enable the communications, watching as a Joe brutally murdered a survivor named Hughes. Ripley managed to avoid the patrolling synthetics, and while still unable to contact the Torrens, she did manage to reach Samuels, who revealed that he and Taylor were in the Scimed Tower, and that Taylor had been injured in the accident that had separated them earlier.
Ripley joined her colleagues before entering the nearby San Cristobal Medical Facility to retrieve a trauma kit for Taylor. There she met Dr. Kuhlman, one of the surviving doctors, who agreed to help her retrieve the supplies she needed, but refused to leave his office until she had recovered the passcode and keycard required to access the hospital dispensary. In the corridors of the deserted hospital, Ripley was again confronted by the Alien, which hunted her as she attempted to complete her goals. Despite the creature's presence, she recovered the necessary items and returned to Kuhlman, whom she scolded for placing her in danger. He apologized and prepared to leave with her, but was at that moment dragged away by the Alien, the creature having broken into his office behind him. Ripley fled to the hospital dispensary, recovering the necessary trauma kit and initiating the hospital's evacuation procedure to allow her to escape. As she left the area, however, the Alien dropped from a vent overhead and appeared to have her cornered, before an explosion temporarily knocked Ripley unconscious. Upon waking she found the area heavily damaged and the Alien gone.
Returning to Samuels and Taylor, Ripley found them being held at gunpoint by Marshal Waits and his deputy Ricardo of the Colonial Marshal Bureau. After defusing the situation, Waits informed Ripley that the Alien had been brought to Sevastopol by the Anesidora, the ship that had recovered the Nostromo's flight recorder, and that he had the ship's captain, Marlow, in custody at the Bureau headquarters. He also informed her that the explosion that had inadvertently saved her from the creature was in fact a trap set by his men in the hopes of killing it. At the Bureau headquarters, Ripley interrogated Marlow, learning that his crew had discovered the flight recorder drifting in space and had followed the data it contained in the hopes of locating and salvaging the Nostromo. It had led them to the derelict on LV-426, and as they explored the vessel Marlow's wife, Foster, had been attacked by a Facehugger. Marlow brought her to Sevastopol seeking help, but in doing so unleashed the Alien upon its populace. Ripley attempted to inquire more, but Marlow demanded his freedom in return, which she could not grant.
Waits informed Ripley of his plan to neutralize the Alien by trapping it in the Lorenz SysTech Spire, inside a server hub that could be totally sealed off. With little alternative, Ripley agreed to help, arming herself with a Flamethrower before heading out to begin sealing the area. The plan went wrong when Ripley was mistakenly trapped inside with the Alien, and Ricardo was forced to lift the lockdown to allow her to escape, thereby releasing the Alien once more. Waits improvised a new plan to lure the creature into the Gemini Exoplanet Solutions labs before jettisoning the entire module into space, thereby ridding Sevastopol of the Alien altogether. Ripley again spearheaded the scheme, but was betrayed by Waits when he detached the module with her still inside. Ripley managed to fend off the Alien with her flamethrower long enough to get to an airlock, don an EVA suit and space-jump back to Sevastopol. Behind her, the jettisoned module was sucked into KG-348's gravity well and destroyed, along with the Alien on board.
On her way back to the Colonial Marshal Bureau, Ripley discovered that the station's Working Joe's were now slaughtering its remaining human survivors, including Waits, whom she heard being killed over the radio. Upon reaching the Bureau, she found only Ricardo had survived the attack. In an attempt to stop the murderous androids, Ripley helped Samuels interface with the station's artificial intelligence, APOLLO, so that he might order the computer to stop the carnage. Despite Ripley's desperate attempts to save him, Samuels was killed by APOLLO's defensive countermeasures, but not before he opened up access to APOLLO's core for Ripley.
Interfacing with APOLLO, Ripley discovered that Sevastopol had in fact been purchased by Weyland-Yutani two days after the Torrens set out for the station, and that the company had programmed the computer with Special Order 939 directing it to preserve the Alien for capture, regardless of casualties; evidently APOLLO had come to view the human survivors as a threat to the creature's survival, and had therefore begun eliminating them by way of the androids under its control. Ripley ordered APOLLO to cease its actions, pointing out that as the Alien was no longer on board, the computer had no reason to follow its orders. However, APOLLO refused, citing an irregularity in the station's reactor core. Investigating the core, Ripley discovered the Alien had constructed a Hive, inside which many of its victims were cocooned, used as hosts to breed even more Aliens. Despite her terror, Ripley entered the Hive to initiate a reactor purge, hoping to destroy the nest. While she succeeded, several Aliens escaped into the station before the blast.
After destroying the Hive, Ricardo informed Ripley that Taylor, under orders from Weyland-Yutani to recover the Alien, had freed Marlow in exchange for the location of the derelict on LV-426. However, Marlow had instead abducted her and taken her to the Anesidora, which was still parked in orbit around Sevastopol. Ripley pursued him using one of the station's ambulance shuttles, hoping to use the ship to escape. On board the Anesidora, Ripley uncovered a personal message from her mother, extracted from the Nostromo's flight recorder, explaining that she destroyed her ship in an attempt to kill the same Alien creature Amanda had now encountered on Sevastopol. Ripley was then confronted by Marlow, who explained he planned to detonate the Anesidora's reactor to destroy Sevastopol, and with it the Alien. He was attacked and subdued by Taylor, who then helped Ripley stop the detonation. However, they were only partially successful. Taylor was killed by an explosion, while Ripley escaped the ship moments before it exploded. While the blast was not large enough to destroy Sevastopol, it damaged its gravity stabilizers, and the entire station began falling into KG-348's atmosphere.
Escape from Sevastopol
Now running out of options, Ripley went outside the station to manually align its communications array so that she could finally contact the Torrens and request evacuation. Upon her return, she discovered Ricardo had been subdued by a Facehugger and was forced to leave him to his fate. Moving through Sevastopol's increasingly unstable and damaged interior, hounded by Aliens all the way, Ripley managed to extend a docking cradle beneath the station so that the Torrens could dock. With the personnel umbilical destroyed, Ripley would have to spacewalk over to the ship, but as she reached an airlock and prepared to don an EVA suit, she was attacked by an Alien and dragged into an overhead air shaft, losing consciousness as she tumbles through the vent.
Ripley awoke in a new Hive, cocooned to the wall like the victims she had seen in the reactor maintenance area. Escaping, she returned to the air lock and learned from Verlaine that the Torrens was now trapped in the docking clamps due to damage. Ripley got into an EVA suit, headed outside, and activated the mechanism to detonate the explosive emergency release bolts. Several Aliens appeared and surrounded her on the maintenance walkway, but just as they prepared to pounce the bolts detonated, sending Ripley tumbling overboard into the Torrens and freeing the ship.
Climbing back aboard the Torrens, Ripley believed herself to be safe. However, on her way to the bridge to reunite with the crew, she came face to face with one more Alien, somehow on board the ship. The creature cornered Ripley in an air lock and prepared to make the killing strike. At the last moment Ripley, still in her EVA suit, hit the emergency release, sending both her and the Alien out into space. Ripley was left alone and adrift, losing consciousness until found by a powerful searchlight.
At some point following the Sevastopol incident, Amanda married, taking the name "McClaren" alongside her own. According to Carter Burke, the union produced no children, although Alan Decker was said to be a descendant of Ellen and Amanda Ripley, so the accuracy of this statement is unclear.
Death and legacy
In 2179, 2 years after Amanda's death, the Narcissus, the shuttle Ellen Ripley used to escape the USCSS Nostromo was finally recovered by a salvage team, and Ellen was awakened from hypersleep. She inquired to Weyland-Yutani executive Carter Burke about Amanda and he presented her with an image of Amanda as an old woman, revealing Amanda's fate to Ellen.
Personality and Traits
In more ways than one, Amanda Ripley was quite similar to her mother. She was a strong-willed woman, although beneath her steadfast exterior she harbored unresolved grief and distress surrounding her mother's disappearance, feelings only strengthened by her lack of closure on the issue. It was this desire for closure that drove her to accept a place on the mission to Sevastopol. When she found herself in the midst of the nightmare unfolding on the station, she managed to maintain her composure and even actively involved herself in combating the various threats discovered there, a sure sign of her courage. This, coupled with her determination to survive and her willingness to help others, saw her tirelessly attempt to save the station, even though her efforts were ultimately in vain.
Amanda possesed a dry and deadpan sense of humor as shown in her conversations with Axel and Waits, she also had a sarcastic streak. Like her mother before her, she was initially terrified and in shock of what she witnessed but gradually became stronger and more confident throughout her time on Sevastopol, willing to scout alone in areas despite knowing the threat that stalks her.
Ripley retrieved numerous weapons aboard Sevastopol, although owing to the fact most were totally ineffective against the Alien she rarely had cause to use them. The major exception to this was the flamethrower given to her by Marshal Waits, which she found was highly effective at deterring the Aliens on the station, if not harming them. Ripley also widely employed a Security Access Tuner she recovered from another survivor to hack secure systems aboard Sevastopol. Being an engineer, she was adept at crafting homemade explosive and distraction devices to aid her in her survival, including pipe bombs, flashbang charges and noisemakers.
Behind the Scenes
In James Cameron's initial treatment for Aliens, Amanda (who had not yet been named) is still alive and living on Earth. By the time of the story, she is old, frail and crippled, and when Ripley speaks to her via videophone from Gateway Station, she makes it clear that she resents her mother for what happened, and coldly tells Ripley that she hates her.
The photograph of Amanda that is seen in the extended Special Edition of Aliens is actually that of Sigourney Weaver's late mother, British actress Elizabeth Inglis. Though not given in the film, the novelization states that she died of cancer.
The subplot involving Amanda was removed from the theatrical release due to concerns about from 20th Century Fox about the length of the film. Weaver was furious when she discovered it had been removed, as she considered it to be crucial to her character's development in the movie.
Amanda's likeness in Isolation is based on Kezia Burrows, who also performed motion capture for the character.
- Ripley is the main playable character in the 2014 video game Alien: Isolation.
- All mention of Amanda was cut from the theatrical release of Aliens when the studio complained that the film was too long. The scenes mentioning her were later reinstated for the extended Special Edition.
- Regarding the potential discrepancy between Amanda's encounter with the Xenomorph on Sevastopol and her fate as revealed in the Special Edition of Aliens, Alistair Hope from Creative Assembly stated, "If there's one thing we know about Burke, it's that he's an extremely untrustworthy character. The one thing he needs to do is get Ripley to go back to LV-426, and there's a chance he's going to tell her whatever he thinks he needs to say."
- Aliens Special Edition/novel (photo only)
- Alien Resurrection (novel) (mentioned only)
- Alien: Out of the Shadows/audio drama (appears in dream)
- Alien: Sea of Sorrows (mentioned only)
- Alien: Isolation
- Aliens: Defiance
Behind the scenes
- ↑ In Alien, the Nostromo is said to be 10 months from Earth when it sets down on LV-426, in June 2122, meaning it was originally scheduled to return to Earth some time around April 2123. In Aliens, Ripley tells Burke she promised Amanda she would be back for her 11th birthday. It's safe to assume this birthday would have fallen fairly soon after the Nostromo was supposed to return, certainly some time that year, thus if Amanda turned 11 in 2123, she must have been born in 2112.
- ↑ James A. Moore. Alien: Sea of Sorrows, p. 59 (2014), Titan Books.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition (1992), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The year of death on the photograph seen in Aliens makes no sense if the film takes place in 2179. If Amanda turned 11 in 2123, she would have died age 66 in 2178.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152755697889938&set=gm.722776527805060
- ↑ http://www.keziaburrows.com/#!gallery/c199t
- ↑ Steve Perry, Stephani Perry. Aliens: The Female War, p. 33 (1993), Bantam Books.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 24 (1986), Warner Books.
- ↑ Crew dossier seen in Aliens, available as bonus feature on Alien Anthology Blu-ray
- ↑ A. C. Crispin. Alien Resurrection novelization, p. 219 (1997), Warner Aspect.
- ↑ Alien: Isolation (2014), Creative Assembly, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One].
- ↑ Brian Wood (writer), Riccardo Burchielli (illustrator). Aliens: Defiance #3 (2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ Alien II original treatment by James Cameron
- ↑ John Hurt, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, H. R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett. The Alien Saga (2002), Prometheus Entertainment [DVD].
- ↑ "PC Gamer - The making of Alien: Isolation". Retrieved on 2015-01-30.