Russell "Russ" Jorden was a colonist and prospector living at Hadley's Hope on Acheron. He was the husband of Anne Jorden and father to Timmy and Rebecca Jorden. In 2179 Russ, along with his family, was one of the first people to rediscover the derelict ship on the planet.
Russ was the first colonist to become impregnated by a Facehugger, and as such it was he who triggered the Xenomorph infestation that destroyed the colony. He died when the Chestburster erupted from his chest.
Colony administrator Al Simpson sent Russ and Anne Jorden to investigate a set of coordinates out beyond the colony on the vague orders of Carter Burke back on Earth. After ensuring anything they found was theirs to salvage, Russ, Anne and their children Timmy and Newt discovered the ancient Engineer ship crashed on the moon's surface. Eager to investigate what they had found, Russ and Anne went inside the derelict spacecraft while their children remained on board their tractor outside.
Within the ship, the Jordens discovered the cargo of Xenomorph Eggs and Russ was attacked and subdued by a Facehugger. After his terrified wife dragged him back to their vehicle and radioed for help, Russ was taken to the med lab at Hadley's Hope. Once the Facehugger had implanted its embryo and died, Russ was confined to the medical facility out of fears for his health, while the Facehugger itself was studied by the colony's medical staff. 24 hours after he was first attacked, the Chestburster inside Russ hatched, brutally killing him in front of his wife, and also his children, who were secretly watching from a nearby ventilation shaft.
Behind the Scenes
Original comic book appearance
Following Aliens, the character of Russ went on to appear (in flashback) in the first Aliens comic series published from 1988-1989 by Dark Horse Comics, which continued the story of his daughter Newt as she and Hicks travelled to the Xenomorph home world in order to combat an infestation that has taken over the entire Earth.
However, following the release of Alien3 in 1992, in which Newt perished, the identities of several characters in the comics were altered to keep the stories congruous with the film franchise. While many of these characters also changed their names to differentiate them from the characters in the film continuity, Russ did not, simply becoming a different individual called Russ. The change first appeared in the novel Aliens: Earth Hive, an adaptation of the first Aliens comic series, released several months after Alien3. Subsequent reprints of the early comics have also used these altered names. Despite these changes, the characters' back stories were not altered (beyond the names of people and places), and so both Russ characters share remarkably similar experiences — both were deep-space colonists, both stumbled upon a derelict alien spacecraft containing Xenomorph Eggs with their family, both were impregnated by Facehuggers, and the subsequent Xenomorph infestation they unwittingly unleashed claimed the lives of every inhabitant at the colony with the exception of their daughter.
- Russ Jorden and the rest of his family (excluding Newt) were cut from the theatrical release of Aliens when the studio complained that the film was too long. The scene featuring him was later reinstated for the extended Special Edition.
- Russ was originally to appear in flashbacks in Mark Verheiden's Aliens comic series that dealt with his daughter, but when Newt was scripted to die in Alien3 Jorden's character was retconned into a different Russ.
- As Russ was the first colonist to be impregnated, it has been theorized by some that he may have given birth to the Queen on LV-426.
- Aliens Special Edition/novel
- Aliens Adventure Game (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (mentioned only)
- Alien: River of Pain/audio drama
- Aliens: Book One (appears in flashback)