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The Voyage of the Narcissus!

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Dec-07-2015 9:48 AM

Here's one for Alien fans and maths heads alike. While thinking back on the first two Alien movies I was struck by something...

Alien is set in the Zeta II Reticuli system, nearly 40 light years from Earth.

Aliens is set 57 years after the events of Alien.

In Aliens Burke tells Ripley she had passed through the core systems (Earth?) and that it was blind luck that a salvage team found her when they did.

If, the core systems are our solar system and nearby systems this would suggest that while Ripley was in hypersleep the Narcissus drifted 40 or more light years in 57 years. Seems a tad farfetched. Any theories?

6 Responses to The Voyage of the Narcissus!


Dec-07-2015 11:19 AM

In Alien it was established that the Nostomo's journey time back to Earth was approximately 13 months. So it takes an FTL ship about 13 months to travel 40 light years, I am assuming a shuttle wouldn't have FTL capacity (or possibly limited FTL capacity? The shuttle did have a hypersleep capsule) Ripley would have burned all her fuel on course for Earth, did she reach light speed or a percentage of light speed? If so maybe she could have drifted 40 plus light years, but I agree it is a bit far fetched.

With 57 years of colonial expansion taken into consideration, the core systems could have encompassed more systems and expanded greatly since the time of the Nostromo's ill fated voyage, and possibly Burke was talking of the core systems of the outlying colonies, which the Narcissus drifted past? Doesn't really make sense though as you would assume the core systems would be our solar system and nearby colony systems.

The Alien franchise has never really acknowledged relativity either, on the Nostromo's journey (if they hadn't stopped off at LV426) travelling at or near to light speed, would mean Ripley's daughter would have been long dead anyway by the time the Nostromo made it's scheduled return to Earth. (Or does relativity not enter into the equation if you are travelling Faster Than Light?).

I suppose these are things that you just have to suspend disbelief over and it doesn't really affect your enjoyment of the films, but it's sort of got my mind working and I will see if I can come up with a theory to explain it logically.

I know this is a bit off topic but it's remimded me of another little lapse in logic regarding Aliens, Hicks says that once they are declared overdue they will have to wait seventeen days for a rescue team. So obviously there is a colony/space station/outpost 17 days travel from LV426, why then would the company send a rescue team 40 light years from Earth, instead of sending someone who could get there in seventeen days once contact was lost?


Jun-01-2016 3:38 PM

Burke and Ripley were required for the mission and they were Gateway.


Jun-01-2016 4:34 PM

Yes indeed its a bit odd, but the Narcissus
could have flown quite far before its fuel ran out and drifted the rest of the way.

So we cant assume the ship made the journey just floating at one set speed which would have averaged at 0.68 of the Speed of Light, the Nostramo would have reached Earth at 47X the Speed of Light... But its who says that Fox pays attention to such things when it is working out its plot for movies.

So it could be a oversight.

Also maybe the company knew of the ship but had a Agenda?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Jun-01-2016 4:43 PM

As far as the 2nd part... the 17 days....

Yes it would assume that a rescue could have been made within 17 days... yet the Sulaco took about 7 weeks was it? to get to LV-426

So maybe there is a ship that is within 17 days, or a outpost but as far as why not send a mission from there instead of the Sulaco?

Depends if the 17 days is a Ship and if by the time Burke Contacted Ripley about the loss of contact with Hadleys Hope, its a case of this ship being further away than the Sulaco.

or if its a Outpost/Colony... 

Then we have...

1) The Company may have protocols to send Marine Ship to investigate...  but then Ripley did inform then of what she found in that system and so they would have set off a Marine Mission as a Fail Safe.

2) Maybe the company knew what was going on anyway, and know more than what Burke was letting onto Ripley, which in Alien (Order 937) and Aliens (Burkes orders to obtain a sample) mean they knew about the Dangers on LV-426


R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


Jun-14-2016 8:13 PM

There's nothing to suggest Burke had orders.  Quite the opposite. It appears he was out for himself.


Jun-15-2016 6:44 AM

Lambert said it would 
Take them 10 months to 
Get back to earth.

The Nostromo was heading
For earth hut I don't know 
In which direction the shuttle 
Went in the opposite or same 
Direction as the Nostromo.

And at what speed unknown.

I am guessing she went the  
Opposite direction to get as 
Much distance as possible 
But she could still be going 
Going in the same direction 
As the Nostromo was albeit

There is still a chance she 
Could have set the direction 
Herself to earth? Prior to 
Going into stasis?

The core systems may be 
What lies withing the outer 
Rim / outer veil?

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