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Laser pistol (Nostromo)

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"I'm gonna break out the weapons."
Dallas regarding the laser pistols (from Alien)
P1040053
Laser pistol
Production information
Type

Laser pistol

Technical specifications
Usage
Era(s)

2120s

Affiliation

USCSS Nostromo crew[1]

  [Source]

A laser pistol[2] was used by the crew of the USCSS Nostromo.[1] Derived from the technology used in laser welders,[2] the laser pistol was equipped with a 4x20 scope.[1]

Laser pistols were used by the crew of the Nostromo while investigating the derelict ship on LV-426.[1] All of the Nostromo's laser pistols were presumably destroyed when the ship's self destruct system detonated.[3]

OverviewEdit

HTKanepistol holstered

A laser pistol holstered on an MK 50.

The laser pistol was a miniaturized, weaponized version of the laser welders used by Dennis Parker and Samuel Brett aboard the USCSS Nostromo.[2] The pistols used by the Nostromo crew were equipped a 4x20 scope mounted on top of the weapon and an unknown device (possibly a laser guide)[4] on the bottom. The pistols used by the crew of the Nostromo also had "NOSTROMO" and "LIGHT SYNC. DIAL" on the side in the right font Futura Demibold.[5] Presumably, if the pistol were used on another ship, "NOSTROMO" would be replaced with the ship's name.

Some MK 50 Compression Suits in 2122 featured a holster for the laser pistol on their right leg.

HistoryEdit

When the crew of USCSS Nostromo was readying to explore the surface of LV-426 in 2122 after receiving a mysterious distress call, the pistols were mentioned by Arthur Dallas when he suggested preparing weapons for the crew members that were going to explore the surface. Dallas, Gilbert Kane and Joan Lambert carried laser pistols in a holster on the legs of their MK 50 Compression Suits. The crew never used their laser pistols and they remained holstered as the crew explored the surface, the derelict ship and when the crew returned to the Nostromo.

After the crew returned to the Nostromo, the laser pistols were placed on the table in the Nostromo's mess hall and were there when Ash attempted to kill Ellen Ripley and when Ash's head was reactivated on the same table. All laser pistols aboard the Nostromo were presumably destroyed when the ship's self destruct system detonated.

Non-canon depictionsEdit

Alien Director's CutEdit

Main article: Alien Director's Cut

In the Alien Director's Cut, Kane unholsters his laser pistols when approaching the Egg inside the derelict.[1]

Behind the ScenesEdit

Ridgram-laspist

Ripley, aiming the pistol at the Alien in the storyboards for the original ending to Alien.

In the original ending of Alien, Ripley was to find herself hanging outside of the shuttle Narcissus by a cable, with the Alien clinging to the end. Before climbing back aboard she was to shoot the Alien in the head with one of the laser pistols, only for it to have almost no effect on the creature.[6] Storyboards were created for the sequence, but it was later simplified to the version seen on film.

PropsEdit

Rexim fv alien

The Swiss Rexim Favor

The pistols were designed by Roger Christian.[7] As he had previously done for Star Wars, he based the design on an existing real-world firearm for ease of construction;[7] in this case, the full-size props were based on the Rexim-Favor sub-machine gun. The weapons had their barrels shortened, their stocks and magazines removed, 4x20 scopes added to the top and a Single Point Scope (which was also used on blaster props in the Star Wars films) attached to the bottom of the magazine wells.[8] The weapon handled by Kane additionall had the words "NOSTROMO" and "LIGHT SYNC. DIAL" in the font Futura Demibold added to the side of the pistol.[5]

Webleymk2 alien

The Webley Junior Mk.II

A second, smaller version of the pistol was also custom-made, based on a Webley Junior Mk.II air pistol[9] by Webley & Scott. These props consist of a commercial Webley metal air gun with various production modifications, additional dressing including a metal tube with threaded plug in the gun barrel, an added arm and a sight-scope accessory on top, etc.[4] The miniaturized versions were used by the children who played Dallas, Kane and Lambert in some long shots where the pistols were seen in the holsters on the suits' legs, and was scaled down to match their smaller suits.[9] Three of the Webley props were constructed.[10]

"Your Props" Webley pistolEdit

The "Your Props" Webley pistol, or the "NOSTROMO kids gun" as it is known on the prop's page at at yourprops.com, is one of the laser pistol props based on a Webley Junior Mk.II. There is still some of the white lettering that used to say "NOSTROMO" visible on the side of the weapon today.[10]

"Profiles in History" Webley pistolEdit

17565208 4

The "Profiles in History" prop.[4]

The "Profiles in History" Webley pistol, or the "SCREEN-USED NOSTROMO GUN FROM ALIEN" as it is known in the catalog to the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 56,[11] is another prop based on the Webley. This prop exhibits some production distress and age, but is overall in very good condition (as of November 2, 2013).[4] The prop was in the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 56 where it was item 613. It was predicted that the prop would sell for $8,000 to $12,000,[11] However, the prop was not sold during the auction and the prop is not mentioned on the Prices Realized page.[12] The prop was later included in the ScreenUsed Fall 2013 Auction located in 4750-G Almaden Expy #364, San Jose, California, 95118, United States[4] where it was item 27.[13] Once again, the prop did not sell and had a starting price of $3,000.[4] This prop is distinguishable from the "Your Props" pistol as the welding marks from where the scope was attached to the pistol are different on both and the scratches, dents and other small damage marks are also different on both.

TriviaEdit

  • Although only ever seen being used by the crew of the Nostromo, it is likely the laser pistols were issued to all crews across the Weyland-Yutani haulage fleet as standard, presumably for self-defense.
  • The weapons are never identified in the movie, but the novelization describes them as laser pistols.[2] Owing to the use of contemporary projectile-based weaponry in Aliens (set some 57 years after Alien), it seems likely the concept of laser pistols has essentially been retconned from the series.
  • A brief shot added in the Director's Cut of Kane holding one of the pistols while investigating the Egg is the only time one of the weapons appears clearly on screen.
Kanes gun

The promotional image of Kane with the laser pistol holstered backwards.

  • The laser pistols were used in some of the promotional images for Alien where it would sometimes appear in the hands of characters who never used the weapons in the final film. Also, in one promotional image of Kane, the gun is holstered backwards on his belt.
  • A laser pistol was included with the Hot Toys Kane and Dallas (in MK 50 Compression Suit) figures.
  • Strangely, a laser pistol was also included with the Kubrick Ripley in Nostromo Suit figure. The inclusion of the laser pistol with the figure seems strange as Ripley never uses the pistol in the film (although in the original ending, Ripley was going to use a laser pistol while in the space suit the figure is also in).
  • The Super7 Alien ReAction Kane figure is missing the laser pistol.
  • The laser pistol was featured on the cover of Starlog Number 26.

AppearancesEdit

Non-canonEdit

GalleryEdit

Promotional imagesEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

PropsEdit

FiguresEdit

OtherEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien Director's Cut (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Alan Dean Foster. Alien, p. 59 (1979), Warner Books.
  3. Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien (1979), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 http://www.icollector.com/Alien-Nostromo-Gun_i17565208
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.therpf.com/f9/nostromo-pistol-78747/index2.html
  6. "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Alien Unseen Part Two: Production Storyboards". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul Scanlon, Michael Gross. The Book of Alien, p. 48 (1979), Heavy Metal Press.
  8. http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/18610-pistol/
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ridley Scott, David Giler, Walter Hill, H. R. Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald ShusettThe Beast Within: The Making of 'Alien' (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.yourprops.com/NOSTROMO-kids-gun-original-movie-prop-weapon-Alien-1979-YP54550.html
  11. 11.0 11.1 https://www.profilesinhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/HA56L.pdf
  12. https://www.profilesinhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Prices-Realized-Detail-Auction-56.pdf
  13. http://www.icollector.com/ScreenUsed-Fall-2013-Auction_as28251
  14. http://propsummit.com/viewtopic.php?p=20643&sid=00f09f6d3cb4287ac8915df091afe10e
  15. http://www.alienscollection.com/nostromoreference.html
  16. http://alienseries.wordpress.com/series-f-a-q/

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