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"You keep telling me how dumb I am. Well I'm smart enough not to have a life sentence on this rock!"
Aaron (from Alien3)

Francis Aaron,[1] nicknamed "85" (after his IQ), was a Weyland-Yutani Corporation employee and a prison guard at the Fiorina "Fury" 161 Class C Work Correctional Unit. When the facility was officially closed down by Weyland-Yutani, Aaron stayed behind, along with warden Superintendent Andrews, to oversee the prisoners who wished to remain. He was involved in battling a lone Xenomorph that was born in the prison in 2179.

While ostensibly second in command at the prison, Aaron was woefully unqualified to lead in the wake of Andrews' death and was not well liked by the prisoners. Despite this, he actually survived the Xenomorph's rampage, only to be shot and killed by Weyland-Yutani Commandos after assaulting Michael Bishop.

Biography

Early life

Aaron was born in 2140.[1] When Aaron first arrived on Fiorina 161, several of the prisoners managed to gain access to his personnel file and discovered that he has an IQ of only 85 — earning him the nickname "85", much to his indignation. Like Supt. Andrews, Aaron elected to stay when the prison complex was closed down in 2175, acting as Andrews' assistant and guard to the few remaining inmates.

Andrews' lackey

"What's going on, Mr. Clemens?"
"That's right, sir. What's going on, Mr. Clemens?"
Andrews, being parroted by Aaron (from Alien3)
Aaron was routinely seen at Superintendent Andrews' side during day-to-day activities at the prison. As such, he accompanied Andrews when he informed the prison populace of Ellen Ripley's arrival, and was also present when the warden interrupted the autopsy being carried out by Clemens on Rebecca Jorden's corpse. Likewise, he was involved in the aftermath of Murphy's death, surveying the scene with Andrews and Clemens. Whilst surveying the scene, Aaron spoke up, claiming responsibility for Murphy's death since he gave him the assignment, but hastily added that "he was a wanker." Nonetheless, Andrews shut him down before he could continue, assuring him that Murphy's death wasn't Aaron's fault.

When Golic seemingly murdered Boggs and Rains, Aaron took personal responsibility for the fact Golic had not been restrained, a suggestion quickly dismissed by Andrews. When the Superintendent subsequently met with Ripley to discuss her theory that a Xenomorph was loose in the prison, Aaron was present as always, and noticeably disturbed by her story.

Andrews' death

"Right, well, I guess I'm next in line."
"85's gonna be in charge. Jesus, give us a break!"
Aaron and Morse, bickering over who should succeed Andrews (from Alien3)
After Andrews was killed by the Dragon, Aaron briefly attempted to take charge of the survivors, but he was immediately overruled and found himself totally incapable of asserting his authority over the prisoners, who instead turned to Dillon and Ripley. Despite his lack of leadership status, Aaron was not a complete bystander — it was he who helped to formulate the plan to trap the Dragon in an unused nuclear waste tank at the facility, and he and David showed the Ripley the stores of quinitricetyline that they would use to create a fire to drive the creature. As the plan was put into motion, Aaron was tasked with giving the signal to detonate using one of the few remaining working electric torches, but the explosion was triggered prematurely when Frank was attacked by the Dragon.

Conflict with Ripley

"I've got a wife, I've got a kid, I go home on the next rotation!"
Aaron, refusing to turn the rescue team away (from Alien3)
After the disastrous failure of the quinitricetyline plan, Aaron accompanied an increasingly unwell Ripley to the remains of the EEV that had brought her to Fiorina, where he helped to operate the bioscan that revealed she had an embryonic Queen gestating inside her. In the face of this revelation, Ripley attempted to have Aaron contact the incoming Weyland-Yutani rescue team and inform them that the entire complex had been contaminated with toxic radiation, an act she hoped would turn them away and prevent the Xenomorphs from escaping the planet, but he refused to cooperate. After a despondent Ripley left, Aaron received a message from the company informing him that the team had been expedited and that Ripley should be quarantined; the company now knew of the embryo within her as well.

The-bait-and-chase plan

When the survivors elected to use themselves as bait in an attempt to kill the Dragon in the prison's lead works. However, Aaron remained confident that the Weyland-Yutani team would eliminate the Xenomorph when they arrived, and — ironically — Morse agreed with Aaron. However, Dillon eventually gave a rousing speech to the prisoners, inciting all of the prisoners including Morse to join him with the bait-and-chase plan. Declaring their actions were both suicidal and completely unnecessary, Aaron refused to take part and returned to his office alone to wait for the Patna.

Confrontation and death

"Fucking android!"
Aaron, attacking Michael Bishop (from Alien3)
Aaron gets shot

Aaron is shot by a commando.

When the rescue team arrived Aaron was there to meet them, and he immediately realized their priority was the retrieval of the Dragon. Even so, he no doubt remained hopeful that the survivors would be saved, and he led Michael Bishop and his men to the foundry, arriving moments after Ripley killed the Dragon. Aaron stood to one side as Bishop attempted to convince Ripley to come with him, and as he listened Aaron came to realize that she had been right all along — the company was only interested in recovering and exploiting the Xenomorph within her, and they were willing to deceive them all to achieve their goals. When one of Bishop's commandos shot Morse for resisting, Aaron finally realized his absolute faith in the company had been built on false pretenses.

Aaron picked up a metal bar and sneaked up behind Bishop, before calling him a "Fucking android!" and striking him once over the head with the bar, tearing his ear off in the process. Although Bishop survived the attack, one of his commandos shoved Aaron back and ducked to the ground, allowing a second commando to open fire on a fleeing Aaron with his Pulse Rifle. Riddled with bullets and in a blind panic, Aaron ran off the platform on which they were standing, falling about twenty feet on to another platform below, where he died from his combined injuries within seconds.

Special Edition

"You're not the religious type?"
"Shit no, I've got a job."
Ripley and Aaron (from Alien3 Special Edition)
In the calm after the prisoners successfully trap the Dragon in Special Edition, Aaron and Ripley got to know each other a little better, being the only two people left on the planet who were not convicts. As the prisoners prayed to celebrate their defeat of the Xenomorph, Aaron quietly voiced his opinions to Ripley on the inmate's religious views, making it clear he did not believe in God. They went on to debate what Weyland-Yutani would do once they arrived, with Aaron firmly believing the company would kill the Dragon without hesitation. Ripley was uncertain, and the two contacted Weyland-Yutani requesting permission to kill the creature. Ripley's fears that the company wanted the creature alive were confirmed when they received an immediate response forbidding any offensive action, although Aaron remained unconvinced.

Personality and Traits

"What's this '85' thing?"
"A couple of us sneaked a look at his personnel file the day he arrived. It's his IQ."
Ripley and David, discussing Aaron's nickname (from Alien3)
Perhaps Aaron's most notable trait was his low IQ, which, unfortunately for him, the prison populace were aware of and consequently used as a frequent source of abuse. He was also very much the stereotypical toadying lackey — he was always at Andrews' side, often parroting what the superintendent said or verbally supporting the warden's opinions and statements (even when he clearly did not entirely agree). This faith in his superiors extended to the company that employed him, and when Ripley attempted to convince him that Weyland-Yutani's interests lay solely with the potential profit of studying the Xenomorph, rather than aiding the survivors on Fiorina 161, he steadfastly refused to believe her. Likely as a result of his subservient personality, the inmates at the prison had almost no respect for him. In return, Aaron had little respect for the prisoners' religious views, often mocking their beliefs (behind their backs) and referring to the men derogatorily as "Dillon's God squad".[4]

However, beneath these obvious faults Aaron had several more positive qualities, such as devotion to his family, who he looked forward to seeing again when he was rotated off of Fiorina 161. Also, while he was not in charge of the survivors, he was pro-actively involved in combating the Dragon. His attitude even toward Morse mellowed somewhat when the two briefly reached a mutual agreement about waiting for the Weyland-Yutani team to arrive instead of going through with the bait-and-chase plan. While his trust in Weyland-Yutani rendered him initially blind to their true motives, he eventually came to realize the truth, and when confronted with this fact he struck out, paying the ultimate price for his late change of allegiance.

Aaron admitted that he was not the man Superintendent Andrews was shortly after the latter was slaughtered. Nevertheless, he was ready to take responsibility for whatever may have happened due to his actions, such as Murphy's death. This would suggest a higher IQ level than his personnel file had estimated.

Behind the Scenes

Alternate deaths

The way in which Aaron died changed numerous times throughout the production as the script was constantly rewritten. Originally, the final confrontation with the Dragon took place in a glass works, not a lead foundry, and Aaron was killed when the Xenomorph fell into a vat of molten glass, dragging him with it.[5] Later, Aaron was given the role of Dillon (who was already dead in this script draft) inside the lead mold, ultimately staying behind to hold the creature in the mold while Ripley escaped. Additionally, an alternate draft of the final shooting script had the Weyland-Yutani Commandos shoot Aaron down when they arrived at the prison, as soon as he tells Bishop that he had seen the Alien.[5]

Appearances

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 132 (2014), Insight Editions.
  2. Vincent Ward (writer), David Fincher (director). Alien3 (1992), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  3. S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 136 (2014), Insight Editions.
  4. Vincent Ward (writer), David Fincher (director). Alien3 Special Edition (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - The Many Deaths of Aaron 85". Retrieved on 2013-04-19.