The Warrior, also known as the Soldier or Hunter, is the primary assault caste of the species Xenomorph XX121 and as such is almost certainly the most numerous caste of Xenomorph in existence. They are fast, reasonably tough, and savage combatants. Even in death the Warrior is dangerous, as its pressurised bloodstream will cause it to burst apart, drenching nearby enemies in acid blood. Warriors are identified by their ridged heads, and stand around 7–8 feet tall on their hind legs. They are about 14–16 feet long, including their tail.
Warriors first appeared in Aliens, but were actually the result of a last-minute design change made by director James Cameron; the original smooth Drone headpiece was considered too fragile to stand up to the rigors of filming and so it was removed, revealing the ridged structure beneath.
The most recognisable form of warriors are spawned from human hosts, and are basically bipedal as a result, although they have been known to frequently move on all fours, particularly when climbing walls or ceilings, a task at which they are adept. They are extremely agile, capable of navigating through vents, up walls or across large areas swiftly and nimbly. They also have an astonishing leaping ability. Warriors stand at around 8 feet in height, taller even than a typical Yautja. They are dark in skin color, typically black but sometimes incorporating dark brown or blue tones.
Warriors are seemingly even stronger than Drones, capable of lifting humans clean into the air with little effort, and breaking down metal pressure doors when in groups. In combat, some Warriors have been known to continue fighting, or at least trying to fight, after losing limbs. Their heads are covered in ridges for increased structural strength, allowing them to use their skulls as ramming weapons, often to force their way through doors, vent covers or other physical obstructions. Their segmented tails end in a blade-like tip that can be used to propel the creature swiftly through water. They also feature the dorsal tubes typical of many Xenomorph castes, and some Warriors have been seen to possess blade-like protrusions at the elbows.
When a Warrior is killed by weapons that cause massive physical trauma, its highly pressurized bloodstream causes the creature to explode, showering the surrounding area with molecular acid. This has been seen to cause severe injury and even death to humans caught in such a blast. A similar effect has been seen when a Warrior is set aflame, typically through the use of military-issue flamethrowers; the intense heat from prolonged burning can cause the creature to violently explode, likely as a result of its already high-pressure circulatory system boiling within its body.
They have been known to employ stealth tactics, and are able to blend into their surrounding environment, particularly within the Hive, before ambushing targets. However, they more often employ direct assaults and swarm attacks, using sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm defences and subdue their prey. While this behavior often leads to high casualty rates against prepared opponents, it brings with it distinct psychological benefits with regards to enemy morale. It is not clear whether such reckless attacks represent a diminished intelligence and/or survival instinct on the part of the Warrior when compared to the more stealthy Drones, or whether it is a result of influence from the Queen.
Despite this, Warriors clearly possess some ability to plan and adapt; for example, in Aliens they were shown to be capable of cutting power to certain areas of the colony, finding openings in their opponents' defenses, and successfully sneaking up on victims even when they were on guard and at full alert. Warriors display high degrees of aggression and will attack any non-Xenomorph life forms they encounter.
Warriors are often said to evolve from Drones, although it is unknown at which point this change may occur, or whether there are external factors that can influence it. In the expanded universe, Warriors are shown as being able to further evolve into various other Xenomorph forms, most notably Praetorians and even Queens. The factors influencing these changes are not well understood; it is possible the evolution takes place at the individual's own volition, or it may be instigated by either external factors or direct influence from the Queen. Like most Xenomorphs, Warriors can evolve from exposure to Royal Jelly.
Drone and WarriorEdit
It has long been theorized that ridge-headed Warriors and smooth-headed Drones are in fact the same caste of Xenomorph, and that the ridged head structure of the Warrior is simply a sign of ageing or maturity in a Drone. Drones and Warriors have never appeared in the same film throughout the Alien franchise; currently, Drones have only been depicted in Alien and Alien vs. Predator, while Warriors appear in Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (the other films of the franchise feature other Xenomorph variations, such as the Runner in Alien3 or the Cloned Xenomorphs in Alien Resurrection). However, several video games have portrayed the two castes working alongside one another. The ageing theory is backed up by the fact the Xenomorphs featured in Aliens have been alive for considerably longer than those seen in either Alien or Alien vs. Predator (however, it does not explain the presence of Warriors in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, despite those creatures being only recently born).
In the cast and crew commentary for Aliens, James Cameron confirms the ageing concept, stating that the Warrior Xenomorphs in his film are indeed intended to be adult Drones. The change in design was originally implemented because Cameron was concerned that the smooth head piece of the original film's design would crack or otherwise be damaged during the increased stunt work required of the Xenomorph suits in Aliens. As a result, he simply removed the smooth cover from the heads, exposing the ridges beneath.
Although there is no true "standard" Warrior, the design seen in Aliens is generally considered to be the typical Warrior form. However, the Xenomorph species is highly variable and the creatures are able to adapt their physical form to match any environment. They mostly appear black or black-blue in color, the latter being the case with Specimen 6. Even the Warriors shown in the movie Aliens showed slight variations amongst themselves, including the presence or absence of blades on the forearms; these protrusions can be seen most clearly seen on the Warrior that takes Newt in the Hadley's Hope sublevels.
In the video games Aliens: Colonial Marines and Aliens vs. Predator, the Warriors encountered in the campaign, which constitute the most numerous of the Xenomorph types, are based on James Cameron's design used in Aliens. However, there are several minor differences between the creatures seen in the film, including longer, thinner dorsal tubes and no arm blades (although as mentioned above, some Warriors in Aliens did not feature blades either). The Warriors in Aliens vs. Predator games also lack the fifth tentacle-like dorsal tube located just below the back of the creature's skull in the films; this was removed to allow the Warriors to look forwards when moving on all fours, which they do with far greater regularity in the game. While the dorsal tube is present in Aliens: Colonial Marines, it is far smaller and tends to glitch through the creature's head when they are moving on all fours, making it hard to see. Also, in Aliens: Colonial Marines, the Warriors were given a green tint to most of the body.
While the Warrior already possesses a ridged skull, a more rugged version called "Warrior Carved" or "Warrior Ridged" is known to exist. Their carved, ridged head gives them an additional 40% bullet resistance over the standard Drone The only known encounter with the Carved variant was in Gunnison, Colorado, Earth in 2004, but all of them were eradicated when a nuke was dropped on the town. The ridged head may have been a side effect of the Yautja breeding the Xenomorphs for sport.
The Warrior variant called "Warrior Dome" possesses a smooth black head akin to that of the Drone. From this it can be assumed the type of carapace a Xenomorph has depends on that individual Xenomorph.
Cystic Infused WarriorEdit
Warriors are made even more dangerous through the use of mutagenic acids on their host before implantation. They are much hardier than their more common brethren, and are identified by the large red stripe that runs down the top of their cranium.
Onslaught Genome WarriorEdit
When needed, human-hosted Warriors can evolve to become more suitable for heavy assaults. First, they develop hardened chitinous ridges that enable them to penetrate tougher armors. Second, they develop a redundant vascular life support system, enabling them to continue fighting even after sustaining crippling damage including limb loss. Third, they improve their already amazing abilities to regenerate themselves with the added assistance from Hive resin. The latter two abilities combine to enable the creature to regenerate lost limbs and return to perfect health fast through sustained healing at the Hive.
Cystic infused Onslaught Genome WarriorEdit
A lethal, stronger version of the Onslaught Genome Warrior. These Warriors are created the same way as the Cystic infused Warriors. They also have a large red stripe running down the top of the cranium.
- Main article: Palatine
The Queen Mother's chosen protectors or "chosen few" were first encountered on a mission to recover the Queen Mother from the Xenomorph homeworld. Emerging from the five egg-like pods connected to the Queen Mother's central pod, a chosen protector was described as a "Queen-sized Drone"  and possessed a pair of fang-tipped protrusions on each side of the head. Faster than the Xenomorphs encountered on Earth, the chosen protector was capable of tearing through the alloyed steel of a Power Loader.
- Main article: Razor Claws
Razor Claws were frighteningly faster, tougher, stronger, bigger type of human born Xenomorph Warrior that was as big if not bigger than Praetorians. The claws on its hand grew to immense proportions and were extremely sharp and damaging, hence its namesake. Their skin wasn't always purple, but the majority of the time they weren't gray.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Main article: Aliens (film)
The Warriors in Aliens were portrayed by stuntmen in a variety of suits ranging from very detailed plastic and foam rubber examples to significantly less detailed but more flexible latex body suits with Xenomorph details applied over the top. Clever lighting and camera angles helped to hide the more crude suits on-screen. For particularly violent shots of Warriors being blown to pieces by gunfire, static models were used and fitted with pyrotechnic charges that would release chemicals simulating the creatures' acid blood.
The Warriors' apparent lack of self-preservation instincts in Aliens, particularly when compared the Alien's intelligence in the first movie, has led to criticism from some that director James Cameron made the Xenomorph seem stupid and weak in the second movie. However, Cameron himself responded that the changed behavior was an intelligent response to the differing prey the Xenomorphs faced in the two films; the USCSS Nostromo crew had no military training and were armed only with homemade flamethrowers, whereas the Colonial Marines in Aliens are hardened combat veterans with superior equipment. The stealth tactics employed by the Drone in Alien would not have been a viable solution in Aliens. Even if the creatures had initially succeeded in capturing or eliminating a few humans, the remaining military personnel would have quickly adjusted their tactics so that stealth attacks would have been completely ineffective. As Cameron himself put it, "One, crazed man with a knife can be the most terrifying thing you can imagine, if you happen to be unarmed and locked in a house alone with him. If you're with ten armed police officers, it's a different story." As a result, the Xenomorphs in Aliens employed their strength in superior numbers to overcome their prey.
The Making of a WarriorEdit
To make the cable-actuated Xenomorph puppet more maneuverable, the SWS crew loaded the cables and controllers onto a wagon so they could quickly reposition the cable-controlled Alien to perform wherever director James Cameron wanted it to.
Unlike the slow-moving horror of the original Alien from Alien as established by Ridley Scott, James Cameron created a film in which the Xenomorphs would be fast, active & dynamic.
To achieve the range of action & mobility required by Cameron's vision, the Stan Winston Studio team created many different versions of the Aliens depending on whatever the shot called for: hero insert puppets with articulated upper torso, mechanical lips, tongue and jaw for closeups; lightweight black "Alien" leotards covered in polyfoam for stunt performers to wear in action shots; and posable alien warrior figures for blowing up, setting on fire, running over & for stunts too dangerous for stuntmen to perform.
In the final film, even though Stan Winston and his team only built 12 Warrior suits, James Cameron managed to create the illusion of "an entire army", and make FX history, by "using every trick in the book."
- Warriors are known to be excellent swimmers, which was also shown in AVP:R.
- The Warriors in Aliens: Colonial Marines (referred to as the "Soldier" in-game) has a golden brown tint as well as a glossy carapace. It's also worth noting that while they are not the largest in body, soldiers have the largest canine teeth of Colonial Marines' humanoid Xenomorphs.
- A Warrior is the Xenomorph depicted on the cover of Aliens: Colonial Marines.
- A Warrior was part of the first cinematic crossover between the Alien and Predator franchises when a Warrior's skull appeared in the trophy cabinet aboard the Mother Ship near the end of Predator 2. The skull was included as something of a joke by effects artist Stan Winston, who worked on both Aliens and Predator 2, and also as a nod to the original Aliens vs. Predator comic.
Behind the scenesEdit
- ↑ AVP: Evolution
- ↑ Aliens: Colonial Marines [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Gearbox Software.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Aliens vs. Predator [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Rebellion.
- ↑ Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Alien Resurrection [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 AVP: Evolution
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
- ↑ Aliens: The Female War
- ↑ Aliens: Earth War
- ↑ "A queen-sized drone, bigger than any Wilks had ever seen..." p. 143 Aliens: The Female War
- ↑ Aliens: Earth War
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill, Stan Winston. Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 "Weyland-Yutani Archives - James Cameron's Responses To Aliens Critics". Retrieved on 2013-07-01.
- ↑ https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/blog/aliens-movie-the-making-of-a-xenomorph-drone
- ↑ Alien Anthology (2010)/Prometheus to Alien: The Evolution - Alien Anthology Archives - Aliens - Production - Photography - Stan Winston's Workshop
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=177521885774448&set=a.177200059139964.1073741828.177187029141267&type=1&theater
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=177626332430670&set=a.177200059139964.1073741828.177187029141267&type=1&theater