A question about the original Alien movie

I’m not a big fan of Alien, in part because its cobbled-together seams still show. They were clearly screwing around with various notions. A lot got discarded, and some only seem partuially discarded. If you followed the fan magazines before its release you saw a lot of the tried-out-and-discarded stuff. (Especially interesting to me was the pre-H.R. Giger artwork. I think Giger made that movie. If he hadn’t come on board, I don’t think it would have been the success it was.) They tried out the idea of the Alien creatures being “worshipped” by the inhabitants of the planet, with a big rock “tomb” filled with carvings and hieroglyphics of the creature’s life ctycle. Obviously, no crashed alien ship in that version. They replaced this with a version with a crashed alien ship belonging to other aliens that they investigate, but lost the evocative tomb and hierglyphic stuff (although I notice they got to recycle this in the recent Alien vs. Predator flick). They tried a version in which the computer “Mother” sides with the alien, because it’s a more perfect creature. They tried doing the same thing with Ash as a robot instead of Mother. They probably tried a version in which the Corporation sent them there on purpose.
Foster’s details in the novelization certainly aren’t gospel (his explanation of how Palpatine became Emperor in Star Wars – everybody’s convinced he wrote the novel, not Lucas – doesn’t fit the storyline of even the second movie). Later Alien movies certainly felt free to muck around with the background.

My sense, when I first saw the film, was that the ship had been diverted there by the emergency beacon and encountered the Alien eggs purely by accident. but Weyland-Yutani, ever with foresight, had started placing androids/robots on board their ships programmed to take advantage of flukes like this to get new resources for the company, even at the cost of other crew members (Asimov would’ve been shocked). That seems like a huge liability and an extraordinary amount of power to put into the hands of an unsupervised android, but , as I say, don’t think the flick was really well thought-out. Besides, without Ash’s interference, the film is over when they don’t let John Hurt’s character back inside because of their quarantine rukles, and the film becomes an interesting short on the hazards of interstellar parasites.

If the second movie is to make sense at all, you have to assume that the Company was aware of the loss of Nostromo but not of the specific circumstances or alien involvement. They seem to have readily assumed that human sabotage (or at least human error) was responsible, until Ripley was found and told her story. If they had suspected anything more than that, 57 years would have been more than enough time to fully investigate and probably find the derelict ship again.

I agree… they stumbled upon the beacon. Ash probably had a mess of other odd orders set in his brain for odd cases where the crew would be deemed expendable (say they decide to sell their haul to another company. Android kills or convinces them to protect the company property… or whatever.) These guys were just unlucky enough to come across the derelict ship.

Holes in logic and what not the film is still one of my favorites for the atmosphere, truckers in space look, and the creature itstelf.

I barely remember this movie. I simply watched it for the continuity and it scared the bejeezus out of me! But I didn’t want to not get in on a Alien thread.

This movie was the scariest, if only because you saw such fleeting glimpses of the Alien, and never clear looks at it. Plus for most of the movie (IIRC) the crew doesn’t have any idea what’s happening to them. Freaky.

Well, the older A-2’s were always a bit twitchy.

My memory of the novelization says that there was an unmanned probe that passed through the system and picked up the distress signal, which caused the Nostromo to be diverted. I doubt they were thinking far enough ahead at that time for there to have been the AvP crossover history with the Weyland corporation.