When Aliens was released across theaters in 1986, it soon became clear that this was one of those very rare occasions where a sequel could surpass a blockbuster original for sheer tension and thrills. As Sigourney Weaver promised to return to LV-426, after the constant persistence of creepy company man Burke, it was the starting flag for a rollercoaster of action sequences.
Ancient and Alien Habitats are Stories Waiting to be Told
Going back to places that hold historical significance was particularly poignant for Ripley, given that LV-426 was now colonized with families in the sequel. The director's cut also famously sets the scene of the protagonist's heartbreak over her deceased daughter. Some of the most ancient cultures still have a hold and influence on modern life because they create emotions and questions that go unanswered. Ripley's pining for what might have been touches on this.
The ancestral element of everything is dissected like an alien lifeform in today's technological world. Software programmers often use the backstory of ancient civilizations to animate games and storylines, from the Ice Age films to the fire blaze slots that light up casino games with an immersive, cinematic element. The air of mystery surrounding these civilizations makes for a great choice of aesthetic for games of this nature.
That's exactly how Aliens reels the audience in. It sets the scene for an hour with a build-up that has enough dramatic grip to keep the human tension spinning and then it hits with multiple sequences, like the best arcade shoot 'em ups of the 80s mixed with the heart and soul that was missing in Ridley Scott's 1979 classic. There is a humane and corporate element that clashes in the picture despite the content of the war with the xenomorphs. The human corporation is ready to see the crew as expendable in favor of bringing back an organism to study at any cost. Money talks when no one can hear you scream.
The Power of Mother Nature and Relationships in Aliens
Aliens is a film about mother nature and the sense of random fortune that surrounds it. When Ripley is told that all contact has been lost on the colony, it immediately dawns on her that something significant has happened. The only sight we, the audience, ever get of the nuclear family is in the director's cut as Newt's father, mother, and brother are seen together briefly.
Aliens finds a connection beyond space, suspicion, and suspense. There is resolution on many levels. Newt is the daughter that Ripley never had. Bishop is the trusted android, a million miles away from the cold and clinical synthetic Ash in Alien. There's even a hint of romance between Corporal Hicks and Ellen, although the circumstances of romance are somewhat undermined by weaponry.
The prelude to the final battle is also one of respect before all hell breaks loose for a typical gung-ho finish. When Ripley saves Newt and then stumbles upon the matriarch of the species, she fires a shot across the bows of the eggs as if to say "leave well alone". In a sign of mutual respect, the Queen appears to tell her guardian drones to step down and withdraw. That is until Hollywood intervenes for the final face-off.
That's show business.