Any fan of the ALIEN series will tell you that the central character, Lt. Ellen Ripley, is one of the most bad-ass female roles to ever grace the big screen. She is the singular survivor of her crew in Alien, the first film in the series. (Not forgetting Jones, the cat) This was no simple feat, as evidenced by the dead and almost dead bodies of her crew mates that she discovered glued to the walls of the ship and strategically placed to receive the spawn of the alien creature lurking in an egg in front of their face. (The face-hugger having become as frightening as the creature itself.) We are left to wonder if Ripley will be found in space or drift into nowhere.
Sigourney Weaver would become akin to a super-hero when she reprises the role of Ripley in the sequel, ALIENS. This is one of the few instances when a sequel is as good, if not better, than an original film. Against her will, Ripley finds herself doing battle once again against a herd/pride/scrum/gaggle of double-jawed beasties, all the while playing mother to an orphaned girl and taking point with what's left of a supposedly elite group of Marines. (Who knew Bill Paxton was such a whiner?) This film answers the question of WHO is laying these eggs. The final showdown is slightly campy, but fully entertaining. To this day, I run into people who quote Ripley (in jest) and tell someone to GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU BITCH! This time, we are left to wonder what will become of the hyper-sleeping Ripley, Newt, and Cpl. Hicks. (If you don't know who Newt is, this commentary is not for you.)
The third film, Alien 3, gives Ripley back to her fans in a less than stellar scenario. At the time the film was released, there were reports that the story line had to be changed because Ms. Weaver had a child/children old enough to view the film and she did not want them to see her with guns, bombs, and the like. Supposedly, this is why the only weapon available in the third film is molten lead. Despite the lack of action, Ripley fans rooted for her when she found affection in an unlikely place and cringed with her in the now iconic 20 seconds that find her against a wall with an alien drooling KY jelly all over her face as it smells her. As a mega-fan, I knew exactly what was going on when the beast did not kill her. I did not anticipate her final solution, but there was a sense a closure and my heart was heavy even as I applauded her brave choice.
What's this? I thought Ripley was dead! Well, she is and she's not. In the fourth go-around, Alien Resurrection, Ripley is back as a genetic mutant. (Again, if you have to ask, this isn't for you) For me, this version is the pits. She's more bad-ass than ever with her new DNA and acquired ability to bleed acid, but the film left much to be desired. And a lot of questions unanswered. This is why we need Aliens 5 to happen ASAP.
First, Sigourney isn't getting any younger and she HAS to be Ripley. No other actress will do. The series is horror/sci-fi/action and fans need to see Ripley in action. Second, we need to know how this new and improved Ripley will behave on planet Earth. Fans were left with the image of Ripley et.al in a ship that is landing in our atmosphere. Ripley is finally home, folks. I want to know what that means for ordinary humans. Will she have a temper? Will she breed? What would that child look/be like? Will she encounter a relative like a great grandchild to the 10th power? Will she kill everyone on the ship? Will she get arrested since she's with fugitives? Will she hide her abilities, join the military (be reinstated) as a Science Officer and clone herself? Will she find practical applications for her blood? Will the Earth become populated with genetic mutants like her? So-many-questions!!
What questions do YOU have? Would you welcome one final Aliens film? (I'm sorry, but I do not consider Prometheus a precursor to the franchise I know.)