Ridley Scott Plans to Introduce a Child Version of Ripley in Future 'Alien' Prequels

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 12:02PM
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 12:02PM
Ridley Scott Plans to Introduce a Child Version of Ripley in Future 'Alien' Prequels
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Image credit: 20th Century Fox
With Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studio short films taking the internet by storm, it's hard not to mourn for the cancelled Alien 5 that would have teamed up the prolific science fiction director with Sigourney Weaver to give Ellen Ripley, the franchise's second biggest star (after the xenomorph itself) a fitting end to her story.

Never fear, though; Ridley Scott, the man responsible for the disappointing Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, has plans to introduce a child version of Ellen Ripley into his ongoing series of prequel movies instead, maybe using CGI!

Wait, what?

The question came up in a recent fan Q&A, in which one fan asked whether or not Ripley would ever return to the franchise. According to Scott:

Opening quote
"We're heading toward the back end of the first Alien so [using CG] may be feasible. I don't think it'll... but Ripley's going to be somebody's daughter. Obviously. We're coming in from the back end. The time constraints, of what's the time between this film, where we leave David going off heading for that colony, I think you're probably two films out from even considering her."
Closing quote

Here's the full video of his response:

It's bad enough that the xenomorph's backstory has become so needlessly convoluted, but Scott bending over backward to place the Ripley family at the center of every alien outbreak in history makes the universe seem very, very small.

The reason why Ripley works as a hero in the original Alien is because she's an unlikely hero—it's not until a significant way through the story that audiences realize she's the protagonist in the first place, meaning that it's very hard to predict the twists that the movie is going to make. Ripley is meant to be a nobody, a random space trucker that the universe doesn't care about. Going back and making more connections between her or her family and the aliens just feel superfluous. It's kind of like how, in all the increasingly bad Jaws sequels, giant sharks feel the need to specifically target the many branches of the Brodie family. This comes from lazy writing as directors try to jam as much familiar material into their movies as possible.

Having claimed to have learned lessons from Prometheus, Ridley Scott's approach to Covenant was to take an unrelated space horror story and squeeze in as many Alien visual references as possible. To include Ripley in a future movie would be a similar halfhearted attempt to appease fans without having to develop a genuinely original movie.

Scott has spoken before about how he's based his plans for the Alien prequels on what George Lucas achieved with the second Star Wars trilogy. If that's the case, someone might need to explain to Scott how unpopular those movies are before we get an extended scene in which Ripley's parents are murdered by a xenomorph, filling her with a thirst for revenge that retroactively changes her whole character.
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