- "Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo, third officer reporting. The other members of the crew — Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash and Captain Dallas — are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off."
- ―Ripley (from Alien)
Warrant Officer Ellen Louise Ripley was third in command aboard the commercial towing vehicle USCSS Nostromo. In 2122 she encountered a deadly alien species, the Xenomorph, that led to the death of the rest of her crew and the destruction of the ship. Her discovery of the Xenomorph would change the course of her life and plague her for the rest of her existence.
Later promoted to Lieutenant 1st Class while on a mission with the United States Colonial Marine Corps, she would go on to have several more encounters with the creatures over the following decades, before eventually giving her life on Fiorina "Fury" 161 to put an end to the Alien menace once and for all. Her exploits were well-known among certain groups that dealt with the xenomorph.
Ellen Ripley was born on January 7, 2092 at the Olympia colony on Luna. After gaining a Masters in engineering from the New York Aeronautics University, she served with the US Merchant Navy aboard the Zelazny, where she acted as co-pilot. Following this, she was posted to the Nostromo. During a layover between trips, Ripley violated Weyland-Yutani regulations by allowing a natural pregnancy to come to term, eventually resulting in the birth of her daughter Amanda, although she was not disciplined for this discretion.
Prior to the fateful voyage on which the Nostromo discovered LV-426 and the Alien, Ripley attempted to renegotiate her contract so that she could take a leave of absence and spend more time with Amanda. Eventually Ripley and Weyland-Yutani reached a compromise whereby Ripley would agree to serve aboard the Nostromo for the forthcoming trip and take her leave subsequently.
Awakening and Distress Call
Ellen Ripley was one of seven crew members of the Nostromo in 2122. The crew awoke thinking they were done with their cargo haul duty but found out they were awoken to investigate a distress signal coming from the moon LV-426. The atmosphere of the moon damaged the ship, and so the crew had to stay on the moon until repairs were complete. An away team consisting of Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane and Navigator Lambert left the ship to investigate the signal. They found a Derelict Ship emulating the signal. Ripley stayed on the shuttle to oversee the repairs.
Kane and his "Guest"
Ash served as the observer for the ground team's status. The three entered The Derelict, but their radio signal was cut off and the others had no idea what happened to them inside. Later, Dallas and Lambert hurried the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo. Ripley refused to allow them to enter the ship, citing quarantine protocol. Despite this, Ash opened the entrance and let the three of them as well as the Facehugger onto the ship. Ripley was later attacked by Lambert for leaving them outside.
The crew tried to remove the Facehugger, but it was too firmly attached to Kane and could seriously injure or kill him if they cut it off its acid blood could compromise the ship's hull. Eventually the Facehugger fell off and crawled away. Ripley, Dallas and Ash searched for it in the infirmary. It hid in the overhead and jumped at Ripley, but died before it could attach itself. Ash kept its corpse for investigation, despite Ripley's doubts. Kane later awoke and seemed fine. The crew then had a final dinner before re-entering hypersleep, however, Kane started to convulse, and a Chestburster emerged from his chest and scurried off into the depths of the ship.
Hunting down the Creature
The crew held a funeral for Kane by spacing his wrapped body out the airlock and then mobilized to hunt down the Chestburster. Brett fashioned a cattle prod and Ash made a motion tracker to find the creature. Believing it to still be small, they decided to capture it with a net and eject it out the airlock. Dennis Parker, Brett and Ripley formed one team and Lambert, Dallas and Ash formed another.
After exploring the ship, Ripley and her team detected a signal on the motion tracker. However, they discovered it to just be Jones, Ripley's cat. Ripley sent Brett to catch the cat in case they picked its signal up again. Brett followed the cat deep into the ship and found a shed skin. He then found the cat, but the now fully-grown Alien snuck up behind him and attacked him. Ripley and Parker followed his terrified screams, but only found drops of his blood falling from the ceiling.
The remaining crew members grouped together and managed to figure out that the creature was using the air ducts to move around. Parker assembled several Flame Throwers and Dallas volunteered to use one to drive the creature through the air ducts to the air lock, where it would be jettisoned into space. Lambert and Parker would use the ship's equipment to find the Alien so Dallas could deal with it. The plan worked initially, as Dallas closed off parts of the air duct system to force the creature out into space and Lambert managed to pick up the Alien's signal on the tracker. However, the signal suddenly disappeared. Just as quickly, though, it reappeared and headed straight for Dallas. He panicked in the cramped space and actually ran right into the Alien. The crew tried to find Dallas' body, but they only found the flamethrower.
Ash shows his true colors
The remaining crew members discuss a way of dealing with the creature. Lambert was emotionally unstable and suggested that they escape in the Narcissus, but Ripley stated the shuttle could not support four people. She consulted the ship's computer, Mother, on how to deal with the creature, only to discover that it would not tell her. She did, however, find out about the company's 'special order': to retrieve the Alien and ensure its survival at the expense of the crew. Ash, who had been sitting beside Ripley, was attacked by her. As Ripley tried to find the other crew members, Ash kept shutting the doors.
He then attacked her, eventually pinning her down to shove a pornographic magazine down her throat. However, Parker and Lambert arrived at a critical moment to save her. Despite Ash's unnatural strength, Parker knocked Ash's head off with a fire extinguisher, revealing him to be an android. Lambert then stabbed Ash with the cattle prod, causing him to short-circuit. Ripley reactivated Ash temporarily to ask him his special order. He told them that they were doomed, but that they had his sympathy. Ripley then knocked the head over, deactivating him once again. With the number of crew members being reduced to three, the Narcissus would be able to support them.
The Nostromo's Destruction
Ripley, Parker, and Lambert decided to escape in the Narcissus after activating the Nostromo's self-destruct device. While waiting for Parker and Lambert to collect the necessary supplies, Ripley heard Jones over the intercom meowing, and left to retrieve the cat. The Alien then attacked Parker and Lambert. Ripley rushed to save them, but it kills them and she finds their bodies (with one of Parker's arms being torn off and hanging). She activates the self-destruct and rushes to the escape shuttle. In a deleted but later restored scene, Ripley finds the cocooned Dallas and Brett in the Alien's nest. Dallas is still conscious and begs Ripley to kill them. Ripley complied with Dallas's request and torched Dallas and Brett with the flamethrower. Ripley then had a short face-off with the creature in front of the shuttle, and with it blocking her way, she rushed to reactivate the cooling unit. However, despite the fact that she turned the cooling back on, Mother finalized the self-destruct. Ripley rushed back to the shuttle and found the Alien gone. She enters the shuttle and narrowly escapes as the ship explodes.
Ripley thought the Alien died in the explosion. However, as she prepared for hypersleep, she got a nasty surprise when the creature revealed itself hiding in one of the walls. Ripley panicked and scrambled to the spacesuit closet. Catching her breath and composure, she realized the creature hadn't discovered her yet. Unarmed and clad only in white T-shirt and an skimpy panties, she quickly made a plan to get rid of the creature once and for all, quietly slipping on a spacesuit and slowly making her way to a control console.
She then started the process to open the hatch and flush the creature out; unfortunately, the process gave off steam and the creature became agitated. Ripley quickly lost her courage, but by the time the creature was in striking distance of her she opened the hatch to the vacuum of space. All loose objects and the creature were sucked out. It held onto the entrance, until Ripley shot it with a harpoon gun. However, the hatch closed on it, tethering the creature to the shuttle. The Alien then tried to get back in via the engine, but Ripley hit the ignition and the creature was blown into space. After she gave her final report on the status of the ship, cargo, and crew Ripley signed off and entered hypersleep.
Return to LV-426
57 years after the events on the Nostromo, the crew of the Tripast Salvage recovered the Narcissus in 2179 and Ripley was transported to Gateway Station, where she stayed in a medical area following her 57-year record setting hypersleep. She is visibly traumatized by her experience and has recurring nightmares about being impregnated with a chestburster. She is introduced to a representative of Weyland-Yutani, Carter Burke, who tells her she is going to be brought before an inquiry for the destruction of the Nostromo and possibly the deaths of the crew, as the company does not seem to know about the Alien.
Before her debriefing, Burke showed Ripley a photograph of her adult daughter and informed her that she married without children and died two years before Ripley was awakened. Ripley was then brought before a court of Weyland-Yutani officials. She tried to convince them of the existence of the Alien, but they denied that their 'special order' existed and also denied the existence of the Alien, or any similar species. Ripley asked them to check out LV-426 to find out for themselves, but she learned that a terraforming colony has been living there peacefully for years. They finally decide she has acted 'with questionable judgement' and put her on a six-month period of psychometric observation and revoke her flight license, although they do not file any criminal charges. Ripley settles down on Gateway working as a Power Loader operator, but she misses working on a starship and still has nightmares about the Alien. Ripley was later persuaded by Burke to accompany a team of Colonial Marines back to LV-426 after the colony lost contact with Weyland-Yutani.
Ripley was one of two civilian advisers to the mission, the other being Burke for the interests of the company. Ripley gave a debriefing on her prior experiences with the creatures. Although some of the Marines joked about the "bug hunt", their Sergeant quickly put them in their places. Ripley would also use her skills with a Power Loader to help the Marines in moving supplies.
During one of the meals, she discovered that the executive officer Bishop was an android. After her near death experience with Ash, Ripley was left wary of synthetics and went on the offensive at Bishop, ordering him to stay away from her. Burke told Bishop that Ash "malfunctioned" and that "a few deaths were involved". The investigation team prepped and supplied before heading planet-side.
Investigation and Encounter
After the APC was dropped, the Marines went on patrol through the medical and operations buildings within the colony and found it to be deserted. However, there were signs of battle, barricading and large acid burns to the structure of the complex. After the building was secured, Ripley, Burke and Lieutenant Gorman entered. Exploring the complex, a startling discovery was made: two alive Facehuggers were kept in stasis tanks in the med lab, showing the colonists had already discovered the Derelict. While they were exploring, a signal was picked up on a motion tracker. The marines were surprised to find that it was a young girl. Corporal Dwayne Hicks reached for her only to get bit in the hand and lose her down a ventilation shaft. Ripley then chased after the girl into the vents and managed to corner her and talk the girl in coming back with her to the marines. Bishop began an examination of one of the dead facehuggers. As Dietrich the marines' medic treated the girl, Ripley asked her questions regarding the other colonists, her parents and her brother. The girl replied that they were all dead, which Ripley understood all too well. She introduced herself as "Newt", real name Rebecca Jorden.
Watching an ambush and Getting Stranded
Ripley grew fond of Newt, remembering her own deceased daughter. The Marines found the colonists using the computer and discovered they are all grouped around the main cooling tower in the atmospheric processing center, a large reactor which made breathable air on LV-426. They took the APC to the entrance and the Marines investigated.
Inside the processing station, the Marines kept in contact with Ripley, Burke and Gorman via radio and a camera which showed what they were seeing. Eventually, the team discovered the Alien nest, where all the colonists are being kept. However, the signal from their cameras and radios became fainter at the point due to the structure of the processing station. Ripley realized that the Marines were right under the cooling tower and she informed Gorman. He was confused, but Burke explained that the processor "is like a big nuclear reactor": the type of bullets used by their Pulse Rifle and grenades could rupture it and cause a thermonuclear explosion. Gorman agreed and had the Marines hand their grenades and ammo over to Frost. Ripley watches as the Marines found the cocooned colonists and some open Alien eggs with dead Facehuggers. However, no live Aliens were found. She witnesses on the camera feedback as Dietrich discovers one of the cocooned colonists is still alive. She begs them to kill her, but they do not listen and try to comfort her, promising to free her. Ripley was upset when the woman started to convulse, and a Chestburster erupted from her. The chestburster was quickly incinerated by Apone, this caused all the warrior aliens to attack the marines. The ambush began when one warrior captures Corporal Dietrich causing her to discharge her flamethrower that covers Private Frost which in panic falls to his death, frost's ammo bag which like him is also on fire exploded killing Private Crowe. In the mist of the chaos the xenomorphs managed to capture an another marine Private Wierzbowski. This caused Vasquez and Drake to open fire on the aliens with their Smartguns. Gorman orders Apone to fall back but before Apone gets the orders he's captured by a Warrior.
Gorman starts to panic and freeze up as the Marines' radio is cut off, while they are slaughtered. Ripley yells at Gorman to do something before she seizes control and drove the APC into the Alien Hive. Corporal Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez managed to evacuate the scene. During the escape, the APC was damaged to the point where it could no longer drive. Gorman was knocked out by falling crates. The group remained inside the APC and discussed ways to exterminate the Aliens another way. Ripley suggested leaving LV-426 for the Sulaco in orbit to destroy the colony. The Marines praised Ripley's idea, but Burke claimed the Aliens are an 'important species' and that they had no right to exterminate them, much to the chagrin of Ripley and Vasquez. Despite Burke's protests, they went with Ripley's plan and signaled one of two dropships to land and collect them. But the dropship had an alien sneak onboard which killed Spunkmeyer then opened the door to the cockpit, and Ferro, assuming it was Spunkmeyer turned to talk to him only to find out it was the Warrior that had snuck onboard. Ferro quickly reached for her VP70 but was killed. This caused the dropship to lose control and crash into the APC and destroy both the Marines' transport and also most of their weapons, but nobody ends up dying or getting injured in the crash. At the suggestion of Newt, the survivors barricade themselves inside the colony complex.
Surviving on the colony
The survivors set up camp in the main living quarters and med bay. The only intact weaponry from the APC was a collection of guns, ammunition and four robot sentries with ammo. Hicks informed the group that they would have to wait at least seventeen days before they can expect a rescue. Hudson, having lost his emotional stability is fearful at this prospect, but Ripley, sick of Hudson's ranting, told him Newt survived longer than that. Hicks gave Ripley a tracker beacon that she could wear on the wrist. In turn, she gave it to Newt. Newt, finally able to sleep in safety, is tucked in and comforted by Ripley.
Bishop informed the group of a threat: the fight with the Aliens damaged the colony reactor, and they only have a few hours before it explodes. The group decided that they should pilot the second dropship from the Sulaco and escape while the nuclear explosion kills the Aliens. However, the colony's radio link was down and the only active connection was outside. Bishop volunteered to go, as he was the only member of the mission qualified to pilot the dropship. Ripley then directed the Marines in sealing off every entrance to the colony to keep the Aliens out.
The Aliens attacked, and wore down the ammo of the Marine sentry guns to almost nothing but retreated knowing the Marines were now defenseless. Ripley read the colony's files and discovered that Burke ordered the colonists to investigate the Derelict. She confronted him and told him that she would not allow him take an Alien back to Earth.
Fight and Flight
Ripley, having gone to the med lab to sleep with Newt, suddenly woke up. She realized something was wrong and soon realized that the two live Facehuggers have broken out of their containment. Ripley awoke Newt and looked for the facehuggers. One leapt at her, but she dodged it. They discovered that the door was locked, and Ripley's pulse rifle was outside the room. She tried to get the attention of the Marines using the CCTV camera, but Burke turns it off before any of the Marines can see Ripley. Running out of time, she tried breaking the glass window by slamming a chair into it, but it was sound proof and very strong. She finally managed to trigger a fire alarm with a cigarette lighter, and the Marines rushed to the med lab. However, one of the Facehuggers almost manages to attach to Ripley, but the Marines arrived in time and pulled it off of her, killing both of the parasites. Ripley calculated that Burke planned to impregnate her and Newt with embryos and sell them to Weyland-Yutani, and also kill all of the Marines in hypersleep. The Marines are all for killing Burke, however just as they are about to, the colony powers down.
The Aliens had cut the power somehow, and the group realized that they must have found an alternate route into the station. The Marines got a tracker signal, but could not tell where it was coming from. As they retreated into the med lab, they realized that the signal had come so close that it ought to be in the room: but there were no Aliens in sight. Hicks discovered that they had been using the air ducts. The Aliens attacked through the ceiling. The Marines held them off, and the group escapes through the air ducts with Newt as a guide. Burke snuck away but ran face-to-face into an Alien. Everyone except Hicks, Ripley, Newt and Bishop (who has managed to guide in the dropship) is killed in the attack. Due to the death of Vasquez and Gorman, who used a grenade to kill two Aliens ambushing them, Newt was knocked into a duct and landed in a pool of water. Ripley and Hicks found her and tried to rescue her, but an Alien kidnapped her and took her to the nest. Ripley and Hicks escaped the complex, but during the escape Hicks was wounded by an Alien's blood. The three of them are ready to leave in the dropship, but Ripley refuses to leave Newt behind and instructs Bishop to land on a platform in the cooling tower. Ripley takes her Pulse Rifle, flamethrower and a flashlight and duck tapes them together, then grabs a ammo belt from the dropship's arsenal along with the tracker device she can use to find Newt. Prepped up, she enters the Alien Hive alone.
Ripley had less than half an hour before the reactor melted down. After an express elevator climbed down fifteen floors, she reached the nest. She did not see any Aliens and used marking flares to mark her path. Soon, she found the tracker beacon alone. Believing Newt dead, she cried in despair. Fortunately, Newt was indeed alive, and trapped in Alien webs, faced with an egg. Awakening, she saw the egg open and the Facehugger begin to emerge. Newt screamed, allowing Ripley to follow the scream to her. Ripley destroyed the Facehugger as well as some other Aliens before freeing Newt and making her way to the exit. However, they entered another chamber filled with eggs. In the heart of it all, producing the eggs, was the vast Alien Queen. Several Aliens were about to attack. Ripley demonstrated her flamethrower to the Queen and threatened to destroy the eggs if the guards did not stand down. The Queen, realizing this, complied. However, as Ripley backed away, she burned the eggs, killed the guards and fired grenades at the Queen's Egg sac, destroying it and stopping her from laying any more Eggs. The Queen became enraged and tore free of her ruined Egg sac, pursuing Ripley and Newt.
Ripley reached the elevator with scant minutes to spare before the reactor exploded, but it approached too slowly and the Queen caught up to them. Ripley tried the other elevator and began climbing a ladder, but the Queen appeared suddenly. Just as it looked like the Queen would attack, the elevator appeared and Ripley and Newt made their escape as the reactor began to collapse. However, when they reached the platform, they found the dropship gone. Screaming a curse at Bishop, Ripley discovered that the Queen had learned how to work an elevator and was progressing up to them. Her ammunition fully depleted, and with no way to escape alive, Ripley and Newt prepared to jump to their deaths rather than be taken by the Queen. However, at the last minute, the dropship reappeared and rescued them. The dropship rams into the Queen as they take off, but the survivors eventually reach the Sulaco as the colony is engulfed by the explosion.
On the Sulaco, Ripley commended Bishop for his bravery. Shortly after this, Bishop was impaled by the Queen's tail and torn in half; she stowed away on the dropship's landing gear. Newt ran into the floor vents after Ripley distracted the Queen, and Ripley escaped into a storage room. The Queen then goes after Newt. When it looked as if the Queen was about to kill Newt, Ripley appeared in a power loader, yelling at the Queen, "Get away from her you bitch!" Ripley then battled the Queen with the loader, and pushed her into an airlock. The Queen pulled Ripley down into the chamber with her, however. Ripley tried to climb out of the air lock chamber, but the Queen stopped her by grabbing her legs. Ripley then activated the air lock and held on for dear life. Eventually, the Queen lost her grip and was sucked out of the Sulaco and expelled into space. Ripley then struggled to climb out of the airlock, and turned it off. She, Hicks, the upper half of Bishop (which was still functioning) and Newt entered hypersleep for the voyage back to Earth.
Crashing on Fiorina 161 and Death
Shortly thereafter, an Egg, presumably hidden aboard the Sulaco by the Queen before she attacked Ripley in the hangar bay, hatched and the Royal Facehugger that emerged attacked Ripley as she slept in her cryotube. At around the same time, Weyland-Yutani PMCs infiltrated the Sulaco as part of operations to recover viable Xenomorph specimens, eventually leading to a firefight in the hypersleep chamber and a fire. In response to the situation, the remaining occupied cryotubes were automatically launched aboard a Type 337 EEV which then crash-landed on Fiorina "Fury" 161. Turk (who's corpse was mistaken as Hicks') was apparently impaled and crushed by a support beam and killed, Newt drowned in her cryotube and Bishop was further damaged and placed in a scrap heap by the prisoners at the Class C Work Correction Unit on the planet. Their loss greatly affected Ripley as she tried to figure out what killed her companions.
Ripley had the prison doctor, Jonathan Clemens, perform an autopsy on Newt. She feared that she was carrying an Alien embryo, though she did not share this information. Instead, she merely lied and stated that they were investigating a possible case of cholera. A funeral procession for Turk and Newt was later held at the facility's blast furnace, where their bodies were be dropped into the leadworks. The leader of the prisoners, Leonard Dillon, recited a poem that caused Ripley to weep.
Ripley's unusual behavior began to agitate the prisoners and frustrate the prison warden, Harold Andrews, who found her to be incredibly disruptive to the status quo in the prison. All prisoners embraced a religion that forbid sexual relations, and Ripley was a danger to this. She later walked to the scrap heap to recover Bishop's remains, however she was attacked by several prisoners trying to rape her. Dillon intervened and beat them back. Ripley then took Bishop's remains and partially repaired him. He confirmed Ripley's fears and suspicions that an Alien was involved in their crash. Bishop then asked to be terminated, and Ripley complied with his request
During the funeral, an Alien is seen gestating inside a dog, with the Chestburster maturing quickly. It later invaded the infirmary and killed Clemens then moving to kill Ripley, but strangely it restrained itself and left. Ripley and the mentally unstable Walter Golic were the only witnesses. Ripley then rushed to the mess hall to warn the prisoners, but as she arrived, she witnessed Andrews being pulled into the air ducts and killed.
The prisoners then started looking to Ripley for ideas on how to kill the Alien. Their first plan involved filling the ventilation system with toxic waste, and igniting it to flush out the Alien. Unfortunately, the creature struck and caused a large explosion that killed several prisoners. Ripley then started to feel sick and had shortness of breath, she thought it was a side affect from abruptly waking from hypersleep. Regardless, she then had Francis Aaron help her run a scan in the EEV and she then discovered she had been impregnated by an Alien. She then asked Dillon to kill her. He agreed to do so, but only after she helped kill the adult Alien.
Their new plan involved trapping the creature in the prison's lead works and drowning it with molten lead. The catch was that everyone was going to use themselves to bait the creature there. Most of the prisoners were killed with only Ripley, Dillon, Robert Morse, and Aaron left alive. The creature was trapped in the mold with Ripley and Dillon. Ripley then volunteered to stay behind to distract the creature, but as Dillon climbed the mold, the creature followed him; he then stayed behind to hold the creature off until the lead was dumped. Ripley reminded Dillon of his promise, but he told her, "God will take care of you now, sister!". The creature charged Dillon; even with his large build, Dillon was no match for the creature and was killed. After climbing out of the mold Ripley told Morse to pour the lead. It appeared that the Alien had drowned or was destroyed by the high temperatures. However, the creature was still alive and it escaped from the mold, now covered in hot molten lead, proceeding to set its sights on Ripley. Morse then told her to turn on the water sprinklers. When she did, it caused the Alien's exoskeleton to rapidly shatter via thermal shock and explodes.
She then had one final task to complete: kill herself and the Alien in her. As she put her plan into motion with the help of Morse; members of the Weyland-Yutani company arrived to retrieve Ripley. As they arrived, Ripley saw a familiar face, Michael Weyland who designed the Bishop android came to give her a "friendly face." He told Ripley how he planned to save her by removing the embryo inside of her, claiming that it would be destroyed. As tempting as the offer was, she had enough dealings with the company to see through the facade. Aaron then assaulted Bishop with a wrench; nearly taking off the man's left ear, believing he was another android. Bishop reasserted that he wasn't an android as Aaron was shot to death for the assault. Ripley continued to help the wounded Morse move up to the platform over the furnace as she declined Weyland's offer. Bishop then let the lie go stating he "must have it". Ripley was still unconvinced. As her Chestburster was about to erupt, she slowly and gracefully let herself fall towards the molten lead, an event witnessed by Corporal Hicks and Samwell Stone. The queen erupted from her chest, but she still had enough strength to hold onto it as they were taken by the lead. Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the last survivor of the Nostromo's destruction, as well as the mission on LV-426, had died.
Life After Death
As a Synthetic
During the Alien infestation of Earth, not even twenty years after Ripley's death; There was an advanced model synthetic of Ripley, which had the real Ripley's memories up until after the disastrous mission at Hadley's Hope. This version of Ripley took part in taking back the Earth from the Aliens in the mid 2190's.
200 Years Later
Following the events on Fiorina, samples of Ripley's blood were recovered from the facility. It took two hundred years and seven attempts to successfully clone Ripley on the medical vessel USM Auriga. The eighth produced clone was dubbed Ripley 8. Ripley was cloned for the purposes of extracting the embryo in her body. This process left behind Alien DNA that turned her into an Alien/Human hybrid, providing her with superhuman abilities and a peculiar attachment to the Alien species.
Personality and Traits
Ellen Ripley is the primary protagonist of the Alien series of films, appearing in all chapters. Ripley was a strong willed woman that had a degree of professionalism while on the job and would follow the rules, such as when Lambert and Dallas demanded Ripley let them and Kane back on board with a creature attached to him, despite a code that required 24 hour quarantine. (The rule was broken by Ash, the android science officer aboard the Nostromo.) She kept her calm in certain situations that meant life or death. She demonstrated this when the Alien snuck on board the shuttle and startled her but calmly spaced the creature. She would also get emotional at times, such as discovering the company's secret orders as well as finding her dead crewmates.
The events on board the Nostromo, would traumatize Ripley and effect her greatly after being brought out of an extended hypersleep. She suffered from nightmares related to the creature and lost her flight status. Ripley had little tolerance for the ignorance of what happened on her last assignment and the cover up by company officials. Ripley was later asked by Burke to come back to LV-426 as an advisor to eradicate the creatures and not be brought back for study.
When the mission started to unravel when the Marines were in the atmospheric processor, Ripley took charge and took the APC to rescue the survivors of the ambush. She later told the Marines that they couldn't help their comrades that "survived" as they were being cocooned by the creatures. She later changed this attitude when she went back to rescue Newt, who she grew close to with loosing their families and dealing with the creatures. She also had to overcome her prejudice towards synthetics that she got from dealing with Ash. She eventually conceded to Bishop that he did "ok".
After crashing on Fiorina, Ripley was devastated by the loss of Newt and Hicks, suspecting that an Alien was involved. She would keep Doctor Clemens and Superintendent Andrews in the dark regarding the creature and her suspicions that Newt had one inside her. After discovering that she had a Queen gestating in her, Ripley attempted several times to have Dillon finish her and the creature off. She also lost faith in the company completely after the Hadley's Hope infestation and distrusted Michael Weyland when he came to "rescue" her. Ripley then took fate in her own hands to end the creature that was inside her and keep it from the company.
There seems to be some confusion over the rank that Ripley holds throughout the series. In Alien, her rank is never specified, although she is clearly subordinate to both Captain Dallas and First Officer Kane. At the start of the extended Special Edition of Aliens, her rank is stated to be that of Warrant Officer (although she is subsequently stripped of this rank following the inquiry into the destruction of the Nostromo). However, by Alien3 she is said to be Lieutenant Ellen Ripley. If this were the case, she should have had superiority over Corporal Hicks during the events of Aliens, when clearly she did not. What's more, Alien Resurrection states Ripley was a Lieutenant 1st Class at the time of her death.
While the issue is never addressed in the films, it seems likely that Ripley was given the rank of Lieutenant 1st Class upon her reinstatement in Aliens, once she had agreed to return to LV-426, and that the rank of Lieutenant ascribed to her in Alien3 was merely an abbreviation of her full title. Furthermore, as her rank was an ICC commercial rank, Hicks — who held a military rank — was still superior despite only being a Corporal; essentially Ripley's situation could be compared to the "Captain" of a commercial cruise liner being stranded with enlisted Navy SEALs. The fact that Hicks accepts Ripley's suggestion to "nuke the site from orbit" is merely a sign that he a) respects her experience with the Xenomorphs, and b) wants to get home alive.
Ripley would use what ever she could for her survival. In her encounter with the Alien she used a Flame Thrower, harpoon gun and spacesuit to finish off the creature. After spending some time with the Colonial Marines and being instructed in how to use their weapons, Ripley became proficient with a M41A Pulse Rifle as well as a M240 Incinerator Unit, which she would combine together with a locater using duck tape, to rescue Newt later on. Ripley also made use of flares as well to illuminate and to mark her path inside the hive. She also used a locater to find Newt. Ripley even used a Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader (Power Loader) to fight the alien queen in the climax of the second film. Ripley would also use pipes and flares to fight off the Runner when she was stranded on Fiorina 161.
Behind the Scenes
Ellen Ripley's Body Level Organ Torso
Ellen Ripley's Body Level Organ Torso comes from the scene in which Ripley undergoes a CAT-scan, where she uncovers that she has been impregnated by a Xenomorph. For this sequence, this torso was was filmed as an insert for the monitor displaying Ripley's scan. Crafted from foam latex, this torso represents Ripley's inner organs, including her heart, lungs, and intestines, all of which have been highly painted with red and orange colors, while the reverse side that has not been painted or textured.
This organ torso measures approximately 16" x 9" x 28" (41cm x 23cm x 72cm) and today features wear from production use and age, particularly to the material which has hardened in several places, causing the foam to crack and flake. There is also a large hole within the foam that is located on the backside, exposing the organs. This torso has also been redressed with stage blood for use in another production after the completion of Alien3. Aside from the noted flaking, today this piece remains in overall fair condition despite its age.
This prop was briefly available at the Prop Store's website in 2013, but it was purchased sometime between 3.50 PM the 15th and 7:15 PM the 16th of October the same year. The page for the prop was subsequently deleted.
- Ripley actress Sigourney Weaver became worried she would lose the role when early in filming it was discovered she was allergic to Jones the cat. However, it eventually transpired that it was a combination of cat hair and the glycerin used to make the actress appear sweaty during scenes that she was allergic to; one without the other had no effect on her.
- While the majority of the characters in the original Alien script were written so that they could be either male or female, Ripley was always intended to be a man. Tom Skerritt was cast as Ripley before the decision was made to make the character a woman; Skerritt was subsequently recast as Dallas.
- Ripley has an action figure made in her likeness in the Kenner line of Alien toys.
- Ripley is briefly mentioned by Karl Bishop Weyland in an audio log in the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator.
- In the Aliens arcade game by Konami, Ripley is mistakenly portrayed with blonde hair.
- Although Ripley died in the third instalment of the Alien franchise, Sigourney Weaver has expressed interest in a fifth Alien film reprising her role as Ellen Ripley.
- Ripley's combination M41A Pulse Rifle/M240 Incinerator Unit from Aliens appears in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines as a "Legendary Weapon", but only to those who pre-ordered the Collector's Edition or purchase the weapon as additional DLC.
- Several lines of Ripley's dialogue later inspired the titles of achievements/trophies in Aliens: Colonial Marines, including "I Can Handle Myself", as well as "I'm Happy to Disappoint You", "We're Still Collating", "They Can Bill Me" and "It's the Only Way to Be Sure" from the expansion Stasis Interrupted.
- Ripley is one letter off from Ridley (the director of Alien). Also, flipping the "p" in Ripley's name upside-down will create Ridley. However, this is merely a coincidence as Ripley was named before Ridley became involved with Alien.
- Dr. Ryan Stone from the 2013 film Gravity has been compared to Ripley.
- Alien/novel/comic (First Appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Earth Hive (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (mentioned only)
- Aliens: The Female War (mentioned only)
- Alien Resurrection/novel/comic (mentioned only)
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game, mentioned only)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines/Stasis Interrupted (video game, mentioned only in base game)
- Alien: Out of the Shadows
- ↑ Original crew manifest, available as an Easter Egg on Alien Anthology Blu-ray
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director). Alien Resurrection [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Crew dossier seen in Aliens, available as bonus feature on Alien Anthology Blu-ray
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Vincent Ward (writer) and David Fincher (director). Alien3 [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- ↑ Alien 3 (Comic) Issue 1
- ↑ Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- ↑ Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien Director's Cut [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Heavy Metal Presents Alien: The Illustrated Story
- ↑ Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Aliens: Newt's Tale
- ↑ Aliens: The Female War
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 http://www.propstore.com/product/alien-2/ellen-ripleys-body-level-organ-torso/ (dead link)
- ↑ Ridley Scott, David Giler, Walter Hill, H. R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett. The Beast Within: The Making of 'Alien' [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ McCarthy, Todd (August 28, 2013). "Gravity: Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter.