'Alien' Question.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    How did 'the Company' know there was an alien lifeform on the planet before the Nostromo picked up the distress beacon?

    I didn't notice this question answered in the film, and I'd be interested to know if anyone can answer it, from the film/s or otherwise.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    If I remember correctly, I don't think they knew about it. They did however, have plans for such a contingency.
     
  3. Allan Petersen

    Allan Petersen Stunt Coordinator

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    "Mother" changed the course when it picked up the signal from the alien craft. As Dallas says, "She's programmed to do that should certain conditions arise. They have."

    The contingency plans, however, went much further than (most) of the crew had expected.

    That's my take, anyway.
     
  4. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I think that the company had the contingency built in. On receiving the unknown distress call, they respond as they should (probably in compliance to some kind of law). However, in the presence of Alien contact, the machines (by way of the android) execute a plan to bring the Alien home for study by the company.

    Good question, by the way.
     
  5. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Yes, thinking about it, your answers make perfect sense. If the contingency plan was always in place, it makes sense to have an android on board at all times. What prompted the question was the perfection of the creature for military/bio-weapon usage. It seemed to easy that they would design the plan in case such a creature was discovered, and then a perfect candidate for the scheme turns up.
     
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I would imagine their motive was to collect any alien-related artifact or species for their own personal evaluation before releasing intelligence of its existence to the authorities. In this case, there are military advantages to the species found, but there were additional benefits (The Royal Jelly was found to be very valuable in many other Alien media for example) that they could exploit.
     
  7. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    You know it's funny but I always half thought WU had "heard" the signal from further away and purposely sent the Nostromo on that course using the crew as Guinea pigs for the eventual rendezvous, the company did after all (paraphrasing Dallas)"suddenly replace my old science officer two days before launch with Ash". I'm not entirely convinced of this however. Just a thought I had when I first saw the film.
     
  8. Allan Petersen

    Allan Petersen Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the mention of Ash replacing the old science officer was done more for the sake of increasing the sense of paranoia. But it certainly implies that the Company might have known that something was going to turn up on the trip.
    The world of Alien seems to be controlled by corporations, very much in a typical cyberpunk fashion. Wouldn't it be logical for the Company to want ANY sort of alien lifeform (irregardless of the danger it would pose to the crew) due to the potential scientific monopolies it could yield? The ruthlessness of the Company is pretty clear in Alien as well as Aliens and Alien3. Alien Resurrection implies that control has been returned to some kind of governmental body, but it's never really clear.
    So the contingency could have been in effect for a long time, only this time they REALLY hit the jackpot.[​IMG]
     
  9. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Alien trivia... I remember in the paperback Lambert or Ripley mentioning that Ash was the only crew member they never slept with, hmmm, so what? Did that make him an android? Maybe the guy was gay. And I hope that helped answer your question Paul.[​IMG]
    Um Paul, Black Narcissus, the scariest movie about nuns? Have you seen The Sound of Music? That was pretty scary, creeped me out first time I saw it, those singing nuns... "The hills are alive...", brrrrrr. [​IMG]
     
  10. Dave Dahl

    Dave Dahl Stunt Coordinator

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    As I recall the Company had heard the distress beacon before the Nostromo set sail. Ash was placed aboard because they knew on the return voyage the Nostromo would pass the system in question. That's why Ash was given the order to protect the Alien creature above all other considerations. Otherwise Ash would not have had those orders.

    -Dave
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I don't remember anything in either the movie or book actually saying the company knew about the distress signal, but the fact Ash was put in the crew at the last minute is a nice subtle way of implying it was possible. Of course, in Aliens, Burke did send Newt's family out to find the spacecraft.
     
  12. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Just watched it, and I'm pretty sure that the company chose to stock the crew with an android to control situations like this. I think that Ash, consulting with Mother, decides to eliminate the crew when it becomes clear they'll kill the creature.

    It just seems like the company would be incredibly patient to send out a mining crew on an entire shift and then send them to investigate on the way back if they knew ahead of time.

    I'd put my money on them establishing the directive (#627 or something) ahead of time that laid out the response Ash and Mother follow.
     
  13. Anthony R

    Anthony R Stunt Coordinator

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    No, the company had to have known about the alien on LV-426 beforehand. Not only did they replace the science officer with Ash, the Nostromo's coordinates were rerouted so they would pass near enough to the planet to pick up the signal. In other words, the company preprogrammed the computer to venture out of the way and also knew, apparently, that there was a life form because Ash was instruced to obtain it. It's all in the special directive Ripley reads when she hacks into Mother.
     
  14. Allan Petersen

    Allan Petersen Stunt Coordinator

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    According to the commentary with Ridley Scott, the Company had androids on ALL ships to protect their interests. The fact that Ash replaced the old science officer might have been a "model upgrade" [​IMG].
    I still find the idea that the "special order" might be triggered on any ship that comes close to an unidentified radio source is much more sinister. Whether or not the Nostromo had orders to go directly to LV-426 is never stated clearly.
     
  15. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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  16. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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  17. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    Artur-
    Thanks, that is very cool.
    [​IMG]
    Mark
     
  18. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]
    I guess that's it then. I'd still be interested to know how they picked up the beacon so far away. And their interpreting it to almost certainly be hostile when it comes from an alien civilisation seems a bit convenient.
     
  19. Anders Englund

    Anders Englund Second Unit

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  20. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Didn't she suggest that it could possibly be a warning, not that it was more like a warning. How could she possibly have known if the transmission comes from alien equipment. Also, it clearly wasn't a warning, unless it had been placed their by some previous friendly visitor. The previous visitor couldn't have been human though, or the alien species would already be known, so any other visitor must also be extra-terrestrial, leaving the same difficulty for humans to decode it.

    Obviously its a work of fiction, and there are plenty of other instances of 'coincidence' is similar stories, but for me part of the terror of the film is the thought that such an unspeakable horror could be unwittingly unleashed on human kind. The fact that the company claim to know things about the 'distress beacon' that they couldn't possibly know (without further explanation) mars the film's logic a bit.
     

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