Alien is an influential science fiction series that began with the film Alien, which was released on May 25, 1979. The film became a pop culture phenomenon and spawned three more feature films and an extensive collection of licensed books, comics, video games, toys, and other products — all of which are set within a fictional future era. In 2004 the film series was officially crossed with the Predator series with the release of the film Alien vs. Predator (based on an earlier comic book), which was set in the present era. That film spawned a sequel and merchandise line of its own, merging the fictional storylines of the two franchises into a single continuity.
Winona Ryder wanted to use a body double to film her parts in the underwater scene of Alien: Resurrection because she suffered anxiety from nearly drowning at age 12 and had not been in the water since. She agreed to film the scene because the body double would be too obvious to audiences due to the difference in hair length.
Roughly 70% of the creature effects shots in Alien vs. Predator were created using suits, puppets, and miniatures rather than computer-generated imagery (CGI), as director Paul W.S. Anderson wanted the monsters to be "there in the frame". CGI tails were added to the Aliens and the queen, as they were difficult to animate using puppetry.
Ellen Ripley is the chief protagonist of the Alien series of films, played by actress Sigourney Weaver in all four movies of the series. The character debuted in the 1979 film Alien and was Weaver's first leading role in a motion picture. Ripley serves as the Warrant Officer on the spaceship Nostromo, which faces a serious threat when an Alien is brought onboard from planet LV-426. Ripley defeats the creature and is the only survivor. She returns in Aliens (1986) to lead a group of Marines back to LV-426, and has a climactic fight with the Alien queen. Alien 3 (1992) finds her on a prison planet battling yet another Alien, only to discover that she has an Alien queen growing inside her. Ripley commits suicide in order to keep her employer, the Weyland-Yutani corporation, from using the Aliens as biological weapons. In Alien: Resurrection (1997) Ripley is cloned on a spaceship by the military so that they can extract the queen from her and raise Aliens of their own, which quickly escape. The clone Ripley uses newfound abilities such as enhanced strength and acidic blood to prevent the Aliens from reaching Earth. In the end Ripley finds herself back on Earth, over 250 years after she originally set out on the Nostromo. The character does not appear in either of the subsequent Alien vs. Predator films, which are set hundreds of years prior to Alien. In 2003 Ripley was named by the American Film Institute as the eighth greatest hero in American cinema history.
"Let me see if I have this correct, Lieutenant - it's an 8-foot creature of some kind with acid for blood, and it arrived on your spaceship. It kills on sight, and is generally unpleasant. And of course, you expect me accept all this on your word." - Andrews in Alien 3
"There's a monster in your chest. These guys hijacked your ship, and they sold your cryo tube to this...human, and he put an alien inside of you. It's a really nasty one, and in a few hours it's gonna burst its way through your ribcage, and you're gonna die. Any questions?" - Ripley to Purvis in Alien: Resurrection