A question about the original Alien movie

If it turns out that the Nostromo was sent there deliberately, who the hell first discovered the crashed hive ship? Is there a prequel we haven’t seen about this?

As far as I know, the Nostromo chanced upon LV-426, but if it didn’t, it could have been sent there as a response to the signal beacon.

IIRC, the Nostromo’s navigational computer diverted the ship to respond to the distress beacon and awoke the crew in order to check it out. I think that the extra work (and danger) was partly what the unionized crew were bitching about prior to their deployment to the planet – i.e., they’re not paying us enough to do this sort of unscheduled mission, which we’re not getting paid any extra for, etc.

I could be wrong, though.

That’s the story Mother tells in the movie, but Lumpy seems to have information implying that Mother is lying.

There are a few subtle hints that the Company may have known that there was something there prior to the (alleged) discovery by Nostromo, specifically, the inclusion of Ash (the andriod) aboard the crew, which doesn’t seem to have been common practice at the time. Clearly, Weyland-Yutani has a vested interest in exploiting xenotechnologies and artifacts for their own purposes even at the expense of employees, contractors, and entire worlds. “And if I’d made it a major security situation, the Administration would’ve stepped in. Then no exclusive rights, nothing.” Gotta get those exclusive rights.

Stranger

The company clearly knew there was something on the planet, based on this snippet from the script:

Note that Ash said he was ordered to direct the ship to the planet. Presumably, Weyland-Yutani knew about the beacon beforehand, either from one of their own ships or through their military contacts.

I would swear that I once read that they had correctly deciphered the beacon’s message, and knew that it was a warning about the creatures (hence Ash’s order to investigate a life form). Perhaps it was in Foster’s novelization?

I’ve always understood those lines to mean that Ash was programmed to find and bring back any encountered xenomorphs, all other priorities rescinded, not that he was specifically programmed to bring back this particular species.

There’s the scene just before Ash tries to kill Ripley where following the Captain’s death acting command falls to her. Using her now upgraded access code, she discovers that Nostromo was diverted there specifically to acquire “bioweapons” samples, and that the crew have been classified “expendable”. That and Ash being an android, deliberately overriding security to allow the parasitized Kane to be brought on board, and having the highly illegal capacity to kill humans, all suggest that someone high up in the Company knew pretty much what would be found on Acheron. Although the fact that the planet was subsequently colonized and no further attempts were made to acquire alien eggs until Ripley’s account came to light suggest that that knowledge was not widely known even within the Company.

My hypothesis: Someone stumbled across the hive ship and the only survivor of the encounter was a Company executive who kept the knowledge to him/her self until they were in a position to send an expendable ship with an android sleeper agent aboard.

Well, this is where it falls apart. Ripley spent 52 years in space. Why didn’t the hypothetical executive send another ship?

I’m not sure if the company did, but the movie and novelization show Ripley figuring it out (how she does so is unclear).

I don’t know if it’s considered ‘canon’ or not, but the Alien vs Predator movie is something of a prequel. A very “pre” prequel. It doesn’t address your question about the Nostromo, but it does give a little background on the Weyland corporation and their previous encounter with the xenomorphs.

He/she could have died before the chance arose again, or been forced out of power for completely unrelated reasons.

This thread makes me want to see that movie again. I’ve got my beefs with Ridley Scott, but damnit, between Aliens and Blade Runner, he changed the face of science fiction movies.

That was my take, too, and that Weyland-Yutani made a habit of seeding their ships with covert androids in case they needed an agent on the ship they could count on to act in the best interests of the company instead of the crew.

Well the whole movie has a lot of unanswered questions.

One possible explanation is that Mother is in some sort of communications with corp HQ. After it becomes obvious that it is a alien signal (possibly decipher it) they send Special Order 937.

I assume they couldn’t afford another company from finding the signal, so they sent the closest ship (the Nostromo) instead of assembling a special team.

Doesn’t explain why they didn’t send another team after the destruction of the Nostromo.

The alien ship was a bigger question for me. Why didn’t anyone notice the signal for so long? (The alien in the chair was fossilized.)

What was the purpose of the ship? It seemed to be designed to transport the eggs, but they were no protection set up for the crew.

Was Don Fanucci someone that everyone thought was dangerous? Scratch that last question.

It’s possible that the Nostromo crew disrupted the signal of the Alien ship and the company didn’t have enough info on its exact position to find it again. Not a great explanation but it’s something at least.

Fossilized? Not that I recall the commentary describes him as ‘melted’ into his chair because he decayed so badly and there wasn’t any process in place to fossilize him anyway. Even if he was it wouldn’t matter. Space is BIG and we aren’t given a clue how weak the signal was when the Nostromo picked it up it seemed like pure chance to me.

The Nostromo crew member broke that glowing stasis field while he was exploring and nearly all the eggs under it were either decayed over time or still carrying their facehuggers. We don’t know how one of them got free but it’s safe to assume that the stasis field was supposed to be protection.

If you figure that a ship like the Nostromo is a huge investment, losing it probably cost everyone remotely involved in the project their job, and made damn sure that no one else went any where near it for fear of getting failure taint on them. Weyland-Yutani is an interplanetary corporation. It’s beauracracy is probably bigger than most modern-day nations. Very easy for stuff to slip through the cracks.

No way man, aren’t there insurance companies in the future?

Sure, but Geico jacked Weyland-Yutani on their rates for all their other interstellar ore carriers.

Smithers finally broke free of the baleful influence of Mr Burns and went into partnership with some Japanese investors?