Who Is Ellen Ripley?

Who Is Ellen Ripley?

Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the main character of the Alien franchise, however, the mixed DNA changes Ripley in the fourth film, and so her story is only counted in the first three films. We don't really learn much about Ripley's life before the first film, except in the second installment. Before boarding the Nostromo in the first Alien, she was married with a 12-year-old daughter, held the rank of lieutenant and was employed by the Weyland Yutami company.

In this article, we will ask ourselves more questions regarding who is Ellen ripley.

In the first Alien movie

In the inaugural installment of Alien directed by Ridley Scott in 1979, we find Ripley positioned as the third in command within the military hierarchy aboard the spacecraft Nostromo. Tasked with transporting a payload of minerals from an Earth colony located in a remote solar system, Ripley's authoritative role within the ship's structure sets the stage for the unfolding narrative. As the story unfurls, her character becomes central to the evolving drama, navigating the complex dynamics aboard the Nostromo and ultimately emerging as a pivotal figure in the face of the extraterrestrial threat that ensues.

The crew is in cryogenic sleep when they are awakened by the ship's main computer, Mother, which tells them that a distress message has been intercepted. The Nostromo heads for the planet from which the message originated. Captain Dallas, his first officer Kane and navigator Lambert disembark and begin their exploration. Kane is attacked by a parasite that clings to his face, a face-hugger. Ripley, who has remained aboard the ship and is in command, refuses to let them return to the ship to avoid risking contamination. But the rest of the crew object, and the three men board the Nostromo.

Later, the alien embryo grows, kills Kane in a memorable sequence, escapes into the ship, grows bigger and bigger, and decimates the entire crew, except Ripley, who survives thanks to her ingenuity and a good dose of luck. She escapes in a capsule, the lifepod, but the alien is with her. Ripley opens the door to suck him in and finishes him off with a galactic rifle. The alien is dead.

In the 1986 Aliens movie

Despite all this, Ellen Ripley is vulnerable. In Aliens (James Cameron, 1986), she breaks down when she learns of her daughter's death. She is plagued by violent nightmares.

She's also furious because the company refuses to let her fly again because of the events that led to the destruction of the Nostromo.
When marines Burke and Gorman offer to take her to Archeron to track down the aliens, she refuses because the company has ruined her life by taking everything she had.

But she soon changes her mind when she realizes that her nightmares will never stop unless she faces her fears.
Once there, Ripley lives again. She meets a little girl, Newt, who reminds her of her daughter. Newt is lonely, scared and a survivor, just like Ripley. Ripley also becomes attached to a crew member, Hicks (Michael Biehn), and befriends the crew's cyborg, Bishop (Lance Henrikssen). Together they survive the hell of Archeron and emerge full of hope.

In David Fincher's Alien 3

It's all the harder for Ripley to wake up at the start of Alien3 (David Fincher, 1992) to find Newt, Hicks and Bishop dead. Ripley's shock is compounded, and even turned to rage, when she realizes that an alien is roaming free in the place where she landed, Fury, an intergalactic prison. Ripley is filled with despair and sadness for herself and her lost loved ones. Ripley wants to die, she's no longer afraid of aliens or humans, she's become a true warrior. With the help of the prisoners, Ripley kills the alien on the loose.
When the company's "representatives" land on Fury to capture the alien and remove the queen embryo from Ripley's body, she commits suicide in a superb finale, because she knows the company's dark intentions.

In Alien: Resurrection

Alien Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1997) is set 200 years later. Aboard a military ship, a team of geneticists manage to clone the aliens from blood samples recovered on the planet Fiorina16. On the eighth clone, they finally succeed and immediately operate on Ripley to remove the Alien Queen from her womb.
The researchers, fascinated as much by the Alien as by Ripley, keep her alive and imprison her for study. Meanwhile, General Perez smuggles humans from pirates to serve as hosts for future Aliens. At the same time, Ripley discovers that her physical abilities have increased dramatically; her blood is acidic.
Shortly afterwards, the Betty, a pirate ship, docks with the Auriga and transfers its cargo (the hosts), and the smugglers are welcomed aboard. After a brief visit to Ripley, Call (the Betty's mechanic) is surprised by the General's men, a fight breaks out; the pirates have the upper hand and decide to join the Betty.
At this point, Dr. Gediman witnesses a curious scene in front of one of the cages: two aliens gang up on a third and kill him; acid flows out, digging a hole in the floor and the aliens escape. The alarm is sounded, but too late, and some of the soldiers die (including Perez). The leader of the mercenaries is killed, and Ripley manages to escape from her cell; by chance, she rejoins the group of mercenaries and Dr. Wren (taken hostage by the latter) and unwittingly saves them by killing an alien.

They then set off to return to the Betty; on their way they discover Purvis, a host who is not yet dead, and Ripley's first seven (failed) clones. After an exceptional underwater hunt from which some of them never return, Wren shoots Call in the stomach, revealing that Call is not a human but an android. Call and Ripley manage to reprogram the Auriga and prevent Wren from escaping with the Betty. Eventually Ripley is captured by the drones, who take her to the Queen's room, where she witnesses the birth of a half-human/half-alien hybrid creature. Ripley manages to escape and joins the Betty. But the hybrid (the newborn) follows her and breaks into the small ship. Finally, Ripley melts a porthole with her blood: the creature is sucked into space and the Auriga crashes to Earth.

That's it for today! We hope you enjoyed our "Who is Ellen Ripley?" article! If you like this kind of article, we recommend you check this one about Venom. 

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