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I Have Some Super-Geeky Alien/Aliens Questions....


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#1 of 26 Ed Speir IV

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Posted November 04 2010 - 01:14 AM

Hi all.


Just finished watching Alien and Aliens again on Blu-Ray (outstanding transfers by the way, looks like they were made yesterday).  Watching the two back-to-back brought up some questions I don't quite have the answers for...let's discuss!


Did the Weyland-Yutani company already know about the existence of the Aliens?  Or did they first find out about them from the initial contact on LV-426 from the distress beacon?


I can't tell if it was a set-up or not...it seems that with the android secretly planted on board the Nostromo, ready to carry out the company's orders, they knew exactly what they were doing....


And if that is the case, why did the company never send another ship to LV-426 in the 57 years Ripley was in cryo-sleep?  Sure, there was a terraforming colony set up, but it seems they knew nothing about the derelict spacecraft until Burke's call to go investigate the site....


Opinions?


 


#2 of 26 TravisR

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Posted November 04 2010 - 01:21 AM

It's been a while since I've seen it but if memory serves, Ash's dialogue indicates that the company deliberately sent the Nostromo out there.


As for why they waited nearly 6 decades to get after it again, good question. I guess you could say that they did send more ships or teams out there over the years but they all failed and eventually the company gave up until the colony was set up and they decided to try again.



#3 of 26 Chuck Anstey

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Posted November 04 2010 - 03:09 AM

What about this idea?


The company sent out the ship because they knew of a distress signal and wanted to find alien technology.  Instead they found a very dangerous biological specimen and decided to bury the whole affair instead of trying to create a bio-weapon like in Resurrection after the ship blew up.  Plus it would look suspicious if they sent yet another mining ship out there.


57 years later a young executive tries to make a name for himself when he hears the story and they already have colonists on the ground.



#4 of 26 WillG

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Posted November 05 2010 - 03:23 PM


Did the Weyland-Yutani company already know about the existence of the Aliens?  Or did they first find out about them from the initial contact on LV-426 from the distress beacon?

It's a good question and answer was never entirely clear to me. Special Order 937 seems to suggest that they knew. "Nostromo rerouted to new coordinates.....gather specimen...." But maybe the order was made after Ash "correlated" with Mother. But then why were mere "space truckers" sent instead of a more appropriate team sent to get the Alien? When was the derelict beacon first detected, and why didn't that ship investigate as the movie made clear that it was S.O.P. for any ship to do so. Why did Scott cut the dialogue of Ash being a last minute replacement from the D.C. Why did the company go through all the cost of establishing a "Shake and Bake" colony on LV426?


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#5 of 26 Ed Speir IV

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Posted November 11 2010 - 10:41 AM



Originally Posted by WillG 


It's a good question and answer was never entirely clear to me. Special Order 937 seems to suggest that they knew. "Nostromo rerouted to new coordinates.....gather specimen...." But maybe the order was made after Ash "correlated" with Mother. But then why were mere "space truckers" sent instead of a more appropriate team sent to get the Alien? When was the derelict beacon first detected, and why didn't that ship investigate as the movie made clear that it was S.O.P. for any ship to do so. Why did Scott cut the dialogue of Ash being a last minute replacement from the D.C. Why did the company go through all the cost of establishing a "Shake and Bake" colony on LV426?



Exactly!  Sure would like some answers...anybody?



#6 of 26 TravisR

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Posted November 11 2010 - 11:58 AM

A related geeky question that I have is, why is there a way to blow up the Nostromo? I realize that there's multiple hoops to jump through (so it's not like someone can accidentally blow up the ship) but why is there a self-destruct at all?



#7 of 26 WillG

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Posted November 12 2010 - 03:34 AM

Well, it wasn't so much a self destruct button (although there was a console) it was more like shutting off the cooling systems causing the engines to go critical and thereby detonating. But I would suggest is there because of the possibility of picking up a deadly pathogen through space travel (although one would think the company would want something like that as well)


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#8 of 26 TravisR

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Posted November 12 2010 - 04:28 AM

Originally Posted by WillG 

But I would suggest is there because of the possibility of picking up a deadly pathogen through space travel (although one would think the company would want something like that as well)



I can buy that. Also, they might want to destroy the ship if priates (I'm assuming if there's space ships, there's space pirates) raided it and they had sensitive cargo. Granted, the cargo would have to be worth destroying an entire ship and losing the cargo over but I suppose it's a possibility.



#9 of 26 Rex Bachmann

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Posted December 12 2010 - 05:40 PM

"Geekery", huh?


WillG wrote (post #4):



When was the derelict beacon first detected, and why didn't that ship investigate as the movie made clear that it was S.O.P. for any ship to do so.


Who says a ship detected the beacon?  Given the vastness of space, it makes far more sense---that is, there would be far greater probability---that some kind of deep-space satellite telemetry has detected the signal and relayed it to the so-called "core systems".



Special Order 937 seems to suggest that they knew. "Nostromo rerouted to new coordinates.....gather specimen...." But maybe the order was made after Ash "correlated" with Mother. But then why were mere "space truckers" sent instead of a more appropriate team sent to get the Alien?


There's no direct evidence, so far as I know, but maybe the idea is to send an "expendable" crew that could be "impregnated", as Berk tries to do with the military crew of the Sulaco in Aliens (1986), and returned in controlled stasis for extraction and examination of, as well as experimentation with, the alien, as we see being done by the "mad scientists" in Alien: Resurrection.  How much the Company knows about the alien before sending the Nostromo crew to the planetoid in the original film is still unknown, even though hinted about.  In such a context, mention of "rerouting" seems like a formality and a pretext.



Why did Scott cut the dialogue of Ash being a last minute replacement from the D.C.


Perhaps to imply that the Company had planned to send a crypto-synth along on the mission from the very beginning and that this wasn't just due to some last-minute discovery of an interesting, but dangerous EBE?  Maybe it has known about the EBE long before that particular mission has been instituted?


Why did the company go through all the cost of establishing a "Shake and Bake" colony on LV426?


"shake 'n bake" is the term used in Aliens by the colonial marines to refer to their mission to "rescue" the colonists from what, they don't know.  In general, the term is used to 'designate something instant, ready-made, formulaïc, or artificial', according the "OED Online" (2nd ed.). (Of course, the "grunts" think this operation will go "by the numbers".)   In the extended edition of the film, Van Leuwen, the Company executive, tells Ripley that the colonists have been on LV426 for several decades (if I remember correctly), setting up the "atmospheric processors" in the Company's terraforming operation.  Hardly, a "shake 'n bake" colony.


TravisR wrote (post #):


. . .  they might want to destroy the ship if priates (I'm assuming if there's space ships, there's space pirates) raided it and they had sensitive cargo. Granted, the cargo would have to be worth destroying an entire ship and losing the cargo over but I suppose it's a possibility.



"Space pirates" in deep space?  Not very likely. (This ain't Star Trek, Babylon 5, or Firefly.) That seems more a likelihood within a solar system like Earth's (as in Alien: Resurrection), but not so much in interstellar space (where the ore or whatever cargo spends most of its travel time).  Again, too vast.  Detonating (by nuclear reäction, yet) these huge cargo vessels in well trafficked star systems would definitely present hazards for local space travel.  (One would assume that ships would take established routes within those systems to make the most efficient use of the gravitational properties of the local heavenly bodies (just as, for example, NASA has used fly-bys of the larger planets to give extra boosts to some of its satellites), as well as to avoid known or suspected danger spots.  (And let's forget the fact that Hollywood producers and scriptwriters ignore such scientific probabilities for the sake of moving along their plots. The movie-viewer still needs to be alert to them.)


"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#10 of 26 Colin Jacobson

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Posted December 14 2010 - 12:17 PM


No, it's not.  "Shake and bake" is used only by the executive to describe the nature of the colony - the Marines never use the phrase.  They plan to rescue some juicy colonists from their virginity during their "bug hunt", but unless I'm totally blanking after 30-ish viewings of the movie, no Marine uses the phrase "shake and bake"...

Originally Posted by Rex Bachmann 

"shake 'n bake" is the term used in Aliens by the colonial marines to refer to their mission to "rescue" the colonists from what, they don't know.  



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#11 of 26 Johnny Angell

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Posted December 14 2010 - 03:11 PM



Originally Posted by WillG 

Well, it wasn't so much a self destruct button (although there was a console) it was more like shutting off the cooling systems causing the engines to go critical and thereby detonating. But I would suggest is there because of the possibility of picking up a deadly pathogen through space travel (although one would think the company would want something like that as well)



I didn't  think that was right so I popped in my blu-ray of Alien and paused when Ripley was reading the instructions.  The display reads:

DANGER

EMERGENCY DESTRUCTION SYSTEM

ON ACTIVATION SHIP WILL DETONATE IN T MINUS 10 MINUTES

CUT-OFF SYSTEM WILL NOT OPERATE AFTER T MINUS 5 MINUTES


In the Scuttle Procedure that follows, there is mention of a "NUCLEAR BOLT CODE" and a "NUCLEAR HEAD".  Clearly the scuttle procedure involves detonating a nuclear bomb of some sort.  It's not just shutting off the cooling systems.  Allowing the engines to overheat or overload would probably be a much less precise way (in terms of time) to scuttle the ship.  And we all know the ship blew up right on schedule.


Until a future movie, if any, fills in the details I don't think we can know exactly what led up to the Nostromo being re-routed to the planet.  I'd love to see a prequel show the space jockey aliens as they discover the Aliens and collect the eggs.  What were they thinking?


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#12 of 26 Jeff Cooper

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Posted December 15 2010 - 05:55 AM

OK, here's something that's always bothered me:


In the original movie, are the eggs actually in the derelict ship?  When Kane is lowered into the egg chamber, he mentions that it is 'different', and 'some kind of cave'.  In scale, it also looks to be MUCH larger than what could possibly fit into the ship based on other outside establishing shots, and the geography doesn't really make sense.  It seems like it is rather some kind of underground chamber rather than part of the ship.


Now given, that at the beginning of Aliens, Ripley mentions that the eggs were not indiginous, and it would be rather conveinent that the derelict ship just happened to be right on top of the chamber, but still...


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#13 of 26 TravisR

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Posted December 15 2010 - 06:08 AM

^ I always thought it was the derelict ship's cargo hold and the differences that Kane notes are due to the "secreted resin"* that is the building material for the nest.


* I know that quote is from Aliens but looking at the interior of the derelict and the coccoon sequence, I think you can apply to Alien as well.



#14 of 26 TonyD

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Posted December 15 2010 - 07:00 AM

Rex is back, surprised this is the first post of yours that i've bumped into since coming back here.


anyway, I always felt the eggg chamber was not part of the ship but a cave or hole in the area under the ship of the space jockey.

Also isn't the space jockey going to be an important part of the prequels that Scott is working on?


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#15 of 26 WillG

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Posted December 15 2010 - 08:05 AM




Originally Posted by Jeff Cooper 

OK, here's something that's always bothered me:


In the original movie, are the eggs actually in the derelict ship?  When Kane is lowered into the egg chamber, he mentions that it is 'different', and 'some kind of cave'.  In scale, it also looks to be MUCH larger than what could possibly fit into the ship based on other outside establishing shots, and the geography doesn't really make sense.  It seems like it is rather some kind of underground chamber rather than part of the ship.


Now given, that at the beginning of Aliens, Ripley mentions that the eggs were not indiginous, and it would be rather conveinent that the derelict ship just happened to be right on top of the chamber, but still...


I figure it could be this. The Derelict had some eggs in their cargo. Or maybe not even eggs, maybe it happened similar to the Nostromo crew. One of their number gets implanted on some planet somewhere, ship takes off, and then the Alien is born while in flight (we know that at least one was born from the outward bent bones of the Space Jockey). Also, at least one of the Aliens born is a queen. So then, the Derelict becomes damaged somehow while the crew tries to fight off the aliens and lands on (what will become known as) LV-426. The Jockey crew programs their warning signal before they all perish. From there, the aliens burrough into an underground cave (one should note that the hole the Nostromo crew find and explore looks to be something physically dug or burned through.) In this area, they make a nest. It made evident that a significant amount of time passed from the demise of the Derelict crew to when it is found by the Nostromo crew (body of the space jockey fossilized, no signs of any warrior aliens present etc.). So, in that time they build the massive nest.


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#16 of 26 Rex Bachmann

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Posted December 20 2010 - 12:33 PM

Colin Jakobson wrote ( post # 10):


Quote:
"shake 'n bake" is the term used in Aliens by the colonial marines to refer to their mission to "rescue" the colonists from what, they don't know. 


No, it's not.  "Shake and bake" is used only by the executive to describe the nature of the colony - the Marines never use the phrase.  They plan to rescue some juicy colonists from their virginity during their "bug hunt", but unless I'm totally blanking after 30-ish viewings of the movie, no Marine uses the phrase "shake and bake"...

   

Although I haven't reviewed all the early marine scenes, you seem to be correct.  However, that's a terrible misuse of the term "shake 'n bake", which (doubtless) aided in my memory lapse.

Even what I have reviewed, though, makes me recall how much better a film this is than the joky and totally arch Starship Troopers.  In fact, I can't think of a better space war movie.



"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#17 of 26 WillG

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Posted December 20 2010 - 03:42 PM


makes me recall how much better a film this is than the joky and totally arch Starship Troopers.

In the defense of Starship Troopers, it's pretty clear that it's intended, in part, to be satire. And actually, the film does, albiet unintentionally, become a rather accurate allegory of the wake of 9/11.


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#18 of 26 Will_B

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Posted December 20 2010 - 07:58 PM



Originally Posted by Rex Bachmann 

Colin Jakobson wrote ( post # 10):


Quote:

Quote:
"shake 'n bake" is the term used in Aliens by the colonial marines to refer to their mission to "rescue" the colonists from what, they don't know. 


No, it's not.  "Shake and bake" is used only by the executive to describe the nature of the colony - the Marines never use the phrase.  They plan to rescue some juicy colonists from their virginity during their "bug hunt", but unless I'm totally blanking after 30-ish viewings of the movie, no Marine uses the phrase "shake and bake"...

   

Although I haven't reviewed all the early marine scenes, you seem to be correct.  However, that's a terrible misuse of the term "shake 'n bake", which (doubtless) aided in my memory lapse.

Even what I have reviewed, though, makes me recall how much better a film this is than the joky and totally arch Starship Troopers.  In fact, I can't think of a better space war movie.




Maybe you are too young to remember, but "shake n bake" was an instant salt-and-seasoning mixture that you could add to chicken. It was essentially a plastic bag with the ingredients inside. You insert the chicken wing into it, shake it, and your chicken wing is ready to be cooked with all the gourmet flavorings of a chef... It was a cheap and fast way to set up chicken.


So a "shake n bake" colony is a colony that was similarly cheap and "instant". Like instant coffee. It's a proper use of the term.


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#19 of 26 Brett_M

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Posted December 23 2010 - 02:21 AM




Originally Posted by Will_B 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Bachmann 

Colin Jakobson wrote ( post # 10):


Quote:

Quote:
"shake 'n bake" is the term used in Aliens by the colonial marines to refer to their mission to "rescue" the colonists from what, they don't know. 


No, it's not.  "Shake and bake" is used only by the executive to describe the nature of the colony - the Marines never use the phrase.  They plan to rescue some juicy colonists from their virginity during their "bug hunt", but unless I'm totally blanking after 30-ish viewings of the movie, no Marine uses the phrase "shake and bake"...

   

Although I haven't reviewed all the early marine scenes, you seem to be correct.  However, that's a terrible misuse of the term "shake 'n bake", which (doubtless) aided in my memory lapse.

Even what I have reviewed, though, makes me recall how much better a film this is than the joky and totally arch Starship Troopers.  In fact, I can't think of a better space war movie.




Maybe you are too young to remember, but "shake n bake" was an instant salt-and-seasoning mixture that you could add to chicken. It was essentially a plastic bag with the ingredients inside. You insert the chicken wing into it, shake it, and your chicken wing is ready to be cooked with all the gourmet flavorings of a chef... It was a cheap and fast way to set up chicken.


So a "shake n bake" colony is a colony that was similarly cheap and "instant". Like instant coffee. It's a proper use of the term.



Exactly.  As for the detonation of the ship, I would think that the Company created that contingency not so much to deal with the million things they think could go wrong during interstellar space travel but for the million things they didn't think of. 

Who's to say that the company didn't dispatch a colony immediately after losing contact with the Nostromo.  It's not like LV-426 is around the corner distance-wise.  Plus, they had colonists there for decades.  They had surveyed over 300 worlds.  That sounds to me like a company colonizing space for resources of every kind, including biological specimens.  The Nostromo was a tug boat for an oil refinery (in the novel anyway).  Oil companies are evil.


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#20 of 26 Colin Jacobson

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Posted December 27 2010 - 11:54 AM

How did I become "Colin Jakobson"??? Posted Image


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