What was Weyland-Yutani's plan in Alien and Aliens?!

So in Alien WY secretly advises Ash to bring back a specimen which is why he opens the ship.

So now WY knows about the planet and presumably the alien and derelict ship, and the freighter dissapears with all crew presumed lost(until Ripley is found by a salvage crew half a century later) so in the mean time WY is heavily involved in a mining/colonizing operation on the planet the derelict is on.

Presumably some aerial or orbital surveys had picked up the ship, but they first sent colonists to investigate AFTER Ripley was found? Or was that a rogue decision by Burke?

It’s been a while, but I don’t think the corporation knew about the planet and the derelict in Alien. I think Ash was (and possibly Mother, also) just operating on a pre-programmed “bring home any interesting shit you find that might be good for the corporation” directive.

Maybe it’s just in the special edition, but in Aliens it’s made pretty clear that the corporation doesn’t really know about the derelict until settlers reported finding it, and didn’t put two and two together until people started dying.

Thaaaaat’s when the evil plans started.

Ok you are correct on Alien, I was just wondering how the company didn’t see that derelict ship within driving distance of the colony.

(I’m ignoring the stupid alien vs. predator movies and their revelations)

Speaking of, you must see this.

It was made clear in the novels and technical manual that the colonists were sent to investigate the ship in response to Ripley’s story. It wasn’t coincidental that they just happened to discover the ship a few months after Ripley returned to Earth.

The ship was only within driving distance of the colony in the same way Panama is within driving distance of Washington. It’s part of the same landmass, but it was several days journey to get there across a major mountain range.

Orbital surveys hadn’t found the ship, which is hardly surprising. Aliens is set five minutes into the future. They don’t have radically improved technology and the only survey that had been done was geological and a cursory environmental impact analysis. A computer doing an analysis of aerial images for minerals wouldn’t even be looking for a ship, and depending on the spectra used the ship might not even be visible. Given the atmospheric composition and the fact that there are no known intelligent life forms in the universe, you’d expect that only the most cursory search for structures would be carried out.

After Ripley returned, the company knew from the flight computer on the lifeboat exactly where the *Nostromo *had put down, so they knew within a mile or so where the alien ship was. Someone then ordered an investigation of the area, leading to the events we see in the movie.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve see it, but I believe this point got lampshaded at the beginning. It’s when Ripley is facing down the Board of Executives of the company and explaining what happened to the rest of the crew. In between furiously chain-smoking cigarettes and sneering in disbelief at Ripley, one of the execs says something like “We’ve surveyed that whole planet and never saw any ancient spaceship.” Ripley counters that the ship was already very old when the Nostromo crew went there, and must have crumbled away iin the intervening 50+ years she was in suspension, likely because of the volatile environment.

Thank you for that!

In Alien, I think you could argue either way whether the company knew there was something there ahead of time. On the one hand, how would they know it was there and why would they be sending this random mining ship to investigate it? On the other, Ash had replaced their science officer right before that trip and the order diverting the ship could be read to have been given before the beacon was detected. Whether the ambiguity was intentional or not, it’s to Ridley Scott’s benfitit 'cause it’s got to have given him more freedom with Prometheus.

Newt’s father was the first colonist infected in the version I saw, presumably they were able to drag him back to the colony before the chest burster emerged.(they werre in a large all terrain vehicle and his wife brings him back)

This is get’s even more complicated depending on whether you accept the AvP movies as canon or not. If so then Weyland-Yutani has had some kind of vauge knowledge of Xenomorphs since the early 21st century when they were seperate companies.

That being said I think KneadToKnow’s explantion is most likely. Maybe after Ripley was found somebody found something in the corporate archives and made the connection.

Well, not some generic “somebody”, but Carter Burke, the character played by Paul Reiser. The impression I got is the corporation was prepared to write off the whole Nostromo thing as an icky costly moment of craziness, but on his own initiative Burke sent a directive to the colonists to check out the crash site, later maneuvered himself an observer position with the marines. The corporation itself wasn’t xeno-hunting - they still weren’t sold on the idea that xenos existed - Burke was playing his own game.

Somehow this transitioned to company policy by the third film. Trying to shoehorn in Aliens vs. Predator isn’t Kool-aid I’m willing to drink.

For that to work out logistically, then Newt’s dad must get implanted with a queen, which then lays all the eggs for the rest of the aliens. I guess that fits with the travel time, since we know from Alien3 that queens take much longer to gestate.

There’s a parallel issue here - was the company’s desire to bring back an alien morally wrong, or not? Was it ever explained what their ultimate goal was? It’s implied that they wanted to somehow tame the aliens, and use them directly as bioweapons, but on further reflection the idea comes across as absurd - they aliens are even more indiscriminate than traditional biological warfare, and the risks are enormous.

Perhaps the company was blinded by arrogance, or they planned to use them to sterilise entire planets. Drop a few aliens on a hostile planet, wait, and then send in robot drones to strip-mine the place. But then again it’s also implied that the Alien universe doesn’t have “hostile planets”, e.g. there’s just mankind clinging to some colonised balls of mineral rock, and some stupid tenacious bugs and microbes, but no civilised alien life. At least, not any more. The only other intelligent life form was long-dead, with a hole in its chest.

On the other hand, reading the novelisation of Alien, I assumed that the company just wanted the alien for its acid. Ash seemed fascinated by the alien’s acid. If they could study the acid and learn its secrets, they might be able to revolutionise manufacturing; and perhaps the alien’s incredible reproductive speed could be used to cure cancer or re-grow severed limbs. And at the very least, if Weyland-Yutani came to understand that the creatures couldn’t be tamed, they could develop some kind of poison that kills 'em stone dead.

I mean, Ripley just wanted to slaughter them on sight - understandably so, and I can imagine her dropping a nuclear bomb on New York to clean up an alien outbreak, even if there were still millions of people left alive - but that approach wouldn’t work if there were beehlyuns and beehyluns of the things spread across the galaxy. Can you imagine Carl Sagan fighting aliens? I would pay to see that.

The issue most characters in the Alien movies have had with the company wanting a specimen isn’t so much the desire itself, as the methods they were willing to employ for it.

Ash was explicitly instructed that the Nostromo’s crew was expendable, and when that’s discovered, he immediately turns to murder to try to keep it from getting out.

Burke didn’t warn the colonists about what he was sending them to investigate almost certainly because he was hoping they’d get infected to provide live samples. When that spiraled out of control faster than it could be handled, he’s then willing to sacrifice everyone else on the mission to get his specimen.

In Alien 3, the company didn’t get much of a chance to be evil. They shot some prisoners, is all. Lukewarm evil at best. Kind of an outlier here.

In Resurrection, the ethical lines crossed are really too numerous to list. The movie’s an endless parade of company horrors.

When the methods employed are done with such casual disregard for human life, it seems pretty natural to question the motives behind them.

They were semi-evil. Quasi-evil. The margarine of evil. The Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.

“I Can’t Believe They’re Not Evil” ?

Bear in mind that with the upcoming Prometheus, we’re likely to find out more about Weyland-Yutani and their goals.

This may be only sort-of right. It may be that all aliens have the capacity to grow into queens, but that this capability is switched off by some sort of chemical cues emitted by existing queens in a hive. So a newborn alien in a hive with a queen would just grow into a drone, because it’s been exposed to this chemical “grow into a drone” signal - but absent that signal, an alien would naturally grow into a queen as its last stage of development and begin building its own hive.

The key point here is that Newt’s dad didn’t get fantastically unlucky and find himself implanted with a queen - any alien would have doomed the colony.

That chemical signal would have to be picked up by the gestating chestburster then, because - and this is only according to the wiki - queen chestbursters gestate longer.

How many examples of gestating queens do we have, though? If we go solely by Ripley’s experience in Alien3, there are fanwankable alternative explanations, i.e. the fact that Ripley was implanted while in hypersleep (something which I think doesn’t make a lot of sense, but whatever) greatly slowed the development of the chestburster, so much so that it gave Ripley a few extra days.

I’m okay with the idea that a drone, in the absence of other drones, will become a queen. This has some support in light of deleted scenes from Alien, where Ripley discovers the alien has coccooned Brett and Dallas.