"In space, no one can hear you scream." That was the popular tagline that greeted you in 1979 as you gazed upon the poster for #RidleyScott's science fiction film #Alien. The film, Ridley Scott's second directorial feat, has been considered the start of one of the greatest movie franchises of all time. What many don't know, until a recent EW report, is that Scott originally intended for Ripley to die.
Ripley's Last Stand?
In the theatrical ending of Alien, Ripley has one final battle with the Xenomorph on board the space ship. She accomplishes a hell of a feat with very limited resources and lives to tell the tale.
But, what if she had died?
In his own words, Ridley Scott explains what his original ending was supposed to be:
"I thought that the Alien should come in, and Ripley harpoons it and it makes no difference, so it slams through her mask and rips her head off."
Morbid? Yes, but the Hollywood execs weren't having it, so he decided against it. Thankfully, this gave us more Alien films to keep our little chests bursting with joy.
A Sinister Twist
Not only would Ripley have died at the end of the film, Scott wanted the Alien to mimic Captain Dallas and sign off of the system, giving the film a macabre ending that would undoubtedly create a lot of plot holes, such as:
- If the Alien could talk, why didn't it mimic other's voices and kill Ripley from the start?
- If the Alien had the capacity to understand human technology, then why didn't it use it?
- If the Alien species need hosts to increase its numbers, why not send a distress signal with a fake human voice to draw more people there?
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point that this ending would have made the film a bitter pill to swallow. Not to mention the fact that it would depress the hell out of viewers and Hollywood executive pocket books.
Thank God For Ripley
Thanks to #SigourneyWeaver's impressive portrayal of Ripley as an action heroine and survivor in Alien, the Alien franchise has been able to thrive in a world where science fiction films have been dominated by male characters. Ripley offered the film industry a breath of fresh air in both a cinematic and feminist scale. She's a warrior, not a victim of her circumstances, and that's what sets her apart from many science fiction characters. Her resilience and strength make you root for her all the way to the end.
Need another Alien fix? Check out the latest trailer for Ridley Scott's new film in theaters May 19:
Do you believe Ripley should have died? Let's get a conversation going, shall we?