This Time, It’s War: Ripley Vs Aliens

This Time, It’s War: Ripley Vs Aliens

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
ALIENS (Blu-ray)

Release date: October 25th 2010
Certificate: 18

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Daniel Dieker, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Paul Reiser, Jeanette Goldstein, Al Matthews, Mark Rolston

As we continue our features on the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set, we now turn to Aliens, James Cameron’s sequel to the 1979 original.

Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor of the alien attack on the ‘Nostromo’, awakes after 57 years in suspended animation when she is picked up by a salvage ship. Facing an interview panel of executives from the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, Ripley tries to explain about the events which took place on the Nostromo, forcing her to blow it up, but is met with much scepticism. The panel react by revoking her license and demoting her but she is even more shocked to hear that the planet, LV-426, where she first encountered the aliens has now been colonised.

There is also more bad news for Ripley when she learns that her daughter, Amanda Ripley-McClaren, passed away during the time she has been away, at the age of 66.

Aliens (1986)Aliens (1986)

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One of the Weyland-Yutani representatives, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser), informs her that they’ve lost communication with the colony on LV-426 and it’s not long before the Corporation are trying to persuade her to return. Reluctant at first, but realising that this might be her only opportunity to face her fears and also because there’s nothing left for her on Earth, she accepts the offer and is reinstated as an officer.


  • 1986 Theatrical Version
  • 1991 Special Edition with James Cameron Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by Director James Cameron, Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Alien Effects Creator Stan Winston, Visual Effects Supervisors Robert Skotak and Dennis Skotak, Miniature Effects Supervisor Pat McClung, Actors Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn and Christopher Henn
  • Final Theatrical Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Composer’s Original Isolated Score by James Horner
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • MU-TH-UR Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream

When Ripley and a team of marines land on LV-426, they find it deserted, but not for very long. Not only do they encounter the aliens, just as Ripley had warned, but Ripley meets a little girl, Newt (Carrie Henn), who like her, is also a lone survivor and without a family. For her, it becomes a second chance at motherhood; an opportunity to take back something which was taken from her and her efforts for the rest of the movie all lie on her protecting Newt, none more apparent than the infamous scene where Ripley orders the alien to “Get away from her, you bitch!”.

As one of the iconic films of the 80’s, Aliens has been described as more than just a horror film; it’s action, adventure and science-fiction all rolled into one epic jaw-dropping journey. Nominated for 7 Oscars, including a Best Actress nomination for Sigourney Weaver, it certainly raised the bar for movies in those genres and helped to establish James Cameron as a major player in Hollywood.

Aliens (1986) RipleyAliens (1986) HicksAliens (1986) Newt

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  • Original Treatment by James Cameron
  • Pre-Visualizations: Multi-Angle Videomatics with Commentary
  • Storyboard Archive
  • The Art of Aliens: Image Galleries
  • Cast Portrait Gallery


  • Production Image Galleries
  • Continuity Polaroids
  • Weapons and Vehicles
  • Stan Winston’s Workshop
  • Colonial Marine Helmet Cameras
  • Video Graphics Gallery
  • Weyland-Yutani Inquest: Nostromo Dossiers


  • Deleted Scene: Burke Cocooned
  • Deleted Scene Montage
  • Image Galleries
  • Special Collector’s Edition LaserDisc Archive
  • Main Title Exploration
  • Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright
  • Trailers & TV Spots

If you thought you knew everything there was to know about Aliens, then you would be wrong, as I discovered with the Anthology special features dedicated to Aliens. Both theatrical and director’s cuts are presented on one disc, but there are only few fans not familiar with the latter. Deleted and extended scenes have long been featured on previous releases, but if you have a look at the 5th disc, that’s where you’ll discover a wealth of information in the form of documentaries and galleries.

What I found most interesting was hearing about the casting for one of my favourite characters, Corporal Hicks. The role had first been offered to a different actor before Michael Biehn stepped in a few days before shooting began. It’s also great to hear how young actress Carrie Henn who played Newt, coped on the set of such a huge movie and was able to bond with her on-screen surrogate mother Sigourney Weaver.

It’s not just a nostalgic trip down memory lane though. Cast and crew talk frankly about many of the difficulties even before cameras started rolling. Sigourney’s pay, walkouts, arguments with Cameron over lighting, impossible deadlines for scoring the music and on-set accidents are covered in great detail, making the Aliens part of the Alien Anthology an insightful and great night’s worth of genre-crossing entertainment.

About Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.