The Alien was a lone Xenomorph Drone that was born on board the USCSS Nostromo from Executive Officer Kane in 2122. The Alien was responsible for wiping out all but one of the Nostromo's crew in just a few hours. It was eventually killed by Ellen Ripley, who ejected the creature into space.
As an EggEdit
The Alien began its life as one of many Eggs aboard an Engineer spacecraft. The Eggs' exact means of creation and possible purpose remain unknown. At some point, this spacecraft crashed on the moon LV-426 under unclear circumstances, while at around the same time the vessel's Pilot was apparently impregnated by a Xenomorph. Before dying, the Pilot set up a warning beacon to deter any other lifeforms from investigating, and this signal was later detected by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
In the year 2122, while returning from a job in the Solomons, the Nostromo, a commercial towing vehicle, was redirected to LV-426, supposedly in response to detecting the distress signal emanating from the planetoid; in reality, Weyland-Yutani had pre-selected the Nostromo to investigate after detecting the signal themselves, placing a Synthetic sleeper agent aboard to ensure the survival of anything that was discovered.
Three of the ship's crew — Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane and navigator Joan Lambert — set off in search of the signal's origin, eventually discovering the derelict spacecraft. While investigating, Kane stumbled across the ship's cargo of Eggs and was attacked by a Facehugger. After he was returned to the Nostromo and the ship took off, attempts to remove the Facehugger failed. Later, with embryo implantation complete, the Facehugger detached and died, leaving Kane apparently unharmed until the Chestburster within him erupted during a meal, with the creature rapidly escaping into the bowels of the ship.
Stalking the crewEdit
Within hours, the Alien had grown into a full-sized Drone and claimed its first victim, technician Samuel Brett, who was ambushed as he searched for the ship's cat Jones; the Alien punctured his skull with its inner jaw before dragging the corpse into the Nostromo's ventilation ducts. It later killed Captain Dallas when the latter went into the ducts in an attempt to flush the creature into the ship's main airlock using flamethrowers.
Eventually, the survivors — Ripley, Lambert and Parker — elected to set the Nostromo for self destruct and abandon the ship in its shuttle, the Narcissus, although in order to survive they needed to collect additional coolant for the shuttle's life support systems. The Alien ambushed Lambert and Parker on the lower decks while they collected the necessary supplies. While Lambert froze in fear, the Alien easily overpowered Parker and killed him with a headbite, before returning to Lambert, mutilating her, killing her and hanging her body from the ceiling.
Ripley, now alone with the creature, set the Nostromo's engines to self destruct and headed fro the Narcissus, but was cornered by the Alien and cut off from the shuttle. She escaped while the Alien was distracted by Jones, left behind in a cat box, but was unable to shut of the ship's self destruct sequence. With no choice, she made for the shuttle again, this time finding the Alien gone and escaping before the Nostromo exploded.
After preparing to enter hypersleep, Ripley discovered, to her horror, that the Alien had actually snuck aboard the Narcissus with her and was sleeping in an alcove. After donning a spacesuit, she blasted the creature with steam to lure it out, before opening the shuttle's airlock and ejecting the Drone into space just moments before it could attack her. However, it clung on in the open doorway and began to haul itself back on board; Ripley shot the Alien in the abdomen with a harpoon gun, flinging it out into space. The harpoon became caught in the closing door, tethering the Alien the she ship, and once again the creature attempted to climb back aboard, this time through the shuttle's engines. Ripley ignited them, incinerating the Alien and finally hurling it away into space, killing it.
In a scene reinstated in the 2003 Director's Cut, the Alien is seen to have created a small Hive in the Nostromo's hold where it cocooned Brett and Dallas, with the former slowly transforming into a new Egg. Ripley discovered the nest during her escape from the ship and incinerated it, and its occupants, with a flamethrower.
- Many fans have given the Alien in Alien various nicknames to differentiate it from other Xenomorphs, such as "Kane's son" (a phrase actually spoken in the movie by Ash) or "Giger's Alien" after it's designer.
- The fully grown Alien in the novelization of the movie is quite different. It has an alarming ability to regenerate after sustaining injury, possesses large eyes, and notably does not have an inner jaw, instead using its bare hands to kill its victims.
- While the Alien does not have eyes in the film, it does have human eyesockets in its skull under its domed carapace. While they are difficult to discern in the movie, they are quite visible in production stills of the suit.
- According to the book Alien Vault, the Alien originally had a 4 day lifespan and the reason it hid within the Narcissus was because it was looking for a perfect place to die alone.
- The American Film Institute ranked the Alien as the fourteenth best villain in American film history in their list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains.
- Originally, the Alien was shown to be able to create more Eggs out of dead or dying biomass, although the scene showing this, where a dead Brett was seen transforming into an Egg while Dallas was cocooned nearby as the eventual host, was cut from the theatrical release of the film. The sequence was subsequently reinstated in the Director's Cut, released in 2003. Termed eggmorphing, many fans postulate that Xenomorphs use this tactic as a secondary means of reproduction in the absence of a Queen, and possibly to create a Queen in the first place.
- Alien/novel/comic (First Appearance)
- Aliens/novel (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)