“Aliens” from 1986 is a sequel to the 1979 movie, “Alien”. Aliens is one of those rare cases where the sequel is equally as good or perhaps even better than the original. It was directed by the then still largely unknown James Cameron, with only one hit in his portfolio from two years earlier with the Terminator, he was still a nobody in Hollywood and the choice of director left many fans of the original skeptical of the film’s potential.
Sigourney Weaver, who plays Ellen Ripley, had been on board for a sequel since the first film, so Cameron already had some traction for the sequel. A good friend of Cameron – “Game over man!” – Bill Paxton, was considered for the film as he had a very small role in 1984’s “Terminator”. Michael Biehn, who also starred in “Terminator,” as the protagonist soldier Reese, joined the cast in a similar role as Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Beside the gung-ho marines such as Hicks, Hudson (Paxton), Apone (Al Matthews), there is Bishop, an executive officer of the Sulaco, and an android, played by Lance Henriksen.
Set 57 years after the first film, “Aliens,” follows Ellen Ripley after she is found drifting in space after she escaped from the first aline epidemic aboard the ship Nostromo in the first film. After communication is lost with the station Hadley’s Hope on LV-426, Colonial Marines, alongside Ellen Ripley and Weyland-Yutani Corporation’s Carter Burke are inbound to investigate and are greeted by “Newt” (Carrie Henn), the only survivor of the colony.
“Get away from her, you bitch!”
With that quote, Ellen Ripley was fully and firmly established as the action heroine. She is strong, she is tough, and she is there to save the day, and Newt. When she comes through the door in the power armor and confronts the Queen, it’s on.