Aliens_Cast_1986

Aliens – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Ripley has been recovered from deep space fifty seven years. She’s suffering from posttraumatic syndrome, lost her child and she’ s lost her job.

Call to Adventure

They’ve lost contact with the colony on LV-426 and they want Ripley to go in as a consultant. If she goes, she gets her job back.

Refusal of the call

Ripley doesn’t want to go.

Supernatural Aid

Hicks is her mentor. He teaches her how to shoot and gives her the talisman of the tracking device which she later uses to save Newt.

Crossing the First Threshold

She joins the crew of the Sulaco as a consultant and heads off to LV-426

Belly of the whale

The first hint of death comes when enter the drop ship to get to the surface of the planet. Stakes are now raised and she’s not completely safe from the Aliens anymore.

The Road of the trials

Click on the above link for Road of the trials and it goes to the definition. The main trials are defined and all are easily identified such as Abduction when Newt is captured.

Meeting with the Goddess

Ripley meets Newt, she’s about the same age as Ripley’s daughter was when she left on her original journey which she made in the original movie Alien. This is the relationship which inspires her to be a hero in the third act.

Woman as Temptress

Temptation is flipped on to Burke. He’s sold out his humanity and morals. He was the one who told the colony on LV-426 to investigate the alien craft and then comes up with a plan to implant the alien into Ripley and Newt and then kill the rest of the crew so he can get the Alien back to Earth and then exploit the Alien for military purpose. He’s succumbed to the temptation of greed.

Death of the mentor

Hicks is sprayed by acid blood from an Alien and becomes incapacitated. Now, she must face the final challenge alone.

Atonement with the Father

Aliens is all about Motherhood and its at this moment where she learns what being a mother is all about. Confronting her fears and a willingness to sacrifice her own life to protect Newt.

Apotheosis

Ripley has the ability to track Newt into the Alien hive. (I always look for some God like ability, something special which an ordinary human can’t do)

Ultimate Boon

Ripley blasts up the Alien Queen’s lair and then all of the Aliens are destroyed when the nuclear plant explodes.

The Magic flight

They escape the explosion and fly up to the Sulaco

The crossing of the return Threshold

They’ve returned to the Sulaco and Ripley makes peace with her hatred of the synthetic human Bishop. She’s ready to go home but there is one more villain that needs to be defeated – The Alien Queen.

Master of two worlds

She combines her skills as both  a power loader operator and Alien killer in a one on one battle with the Alien Queen. How much more satisfying was it to watch this combination rather than her just running away and getting a gun to kill the Alien Queen. When thinking about creating you character, think about how you can combine elements of both worlds, even if these worlds (from the first and second Acts) are incredibly removed from one another. How do you combine them for a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.

Rescue from without

As Newt is getting sucked into the airlock to certain death, Bishop grabs her and saves her life. Although this isn’t saving Ripley herself, in the process of saving Newt he’s helping Ripley achieve her goal.

Freedom to live

“Can we dream?” “Yes Honey, I think we both can.”

 

So this film fights it out with Empire, T2 and Toy Story 2 as the best sequel of all time. James Cameron actually adapted this story from one of his other original ideas called Mother, a story about an alien bugs which have a Queen on another planet. Make sure you check out the link for Road of the Trial and any of the other headings of stages you don’t understand.

You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.

save cat aliens

Aliens – Save the Cat Beat Sheet

Aliens

Opening image

Ripley floating alone in hypersleep.

Theme stated

“If one of those things gets down here then that will be all. Then all this bullshit you think is so important you can just kiss all that goodbye.”

It’s a deadly situation and no one seems to be listening to Ripley or giving her the respect she deserves.

In the directors cut there is a scene where Ripley lost her child , so motherhood is the theme and this ties in nicely with the B story and the mother alien but it wasn’t in the theatrical release. Is it possible to remove the scene which states the theme and still have that as the theme of the film? Often the Dark Night of the soul moment is a moment where the hero acknowledges, understands, accepts the theme. Motherhood, where someone is willing to sacrifice their own life for their child. The Alien Queen is also a mother facing obliteration from Ripley. Most accurately the theme is Motherhood in a deadly situation.

Setup
Ripley is recovering from spending fifty seven years in hypersleep, suffering from post traumatic stress and her employers don’t believe her story about what happened to the ship.

Inciting Incident
Burke tells Ripley they’ve lost contact with the colony.

Debate
Burke wants her to go as a consultant but she isn’t refuses to go until she wakes from a nightmare and feels like the only way to end the nightmares is to face the fear.

Break into two

She flies to the planet with the Colonial Marines.

B story

Often the B story is the love story and in this case it’s motherly love. Ripley lost her daughter at the start of the film and the B story is maternal love story between Ripley and Newt

Fun and Games

They explore the empty space colony and discover clues as to what happened. They discover where the entire population of the colony is located and the marines go in after them

Midpoint
They enter the alien lair and the aliens kill some of the marines and Ripley rescues them but their shuttle crashes and they are stranded on the planet.

Bad Guys Close In:
Burke releases two face huggers to get Ripley and Newt implanted with aliens and the stations nuclear reactor is going to explode.

All is Lost
The aliens infiltrate all the defences and kill the remaining marines except for Hicks. Newt is taken by the aliens and Hick is wounded by the alien acid blood.

Dark Night of the Soul

They get the shuttle but they can’t leave because Ripley has to go back and save Newt

Break into three

Ripley enters the hive to save Newt

Gather the team
Ripley’s on her own but assembles her weapons and fortifies herself for the upcoming battle.

Storm the Castle:
Ripley blasts her way into the hive, saves Newt, burns all the eggs and has the alien queen chasing after her in hot pursuit.

High Tower Surprise:
They think they escaped but the alien queen hid on their craft.

Dig Down Deep:
Ripley in a loading suit fights the alien queen.

Victory (or Defeat):
The alien queen is sucked into space. Not bad for a human.

Final image

Ripley and her new family, asleep in their pods

 

You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.

alien

Alien – Save the cat Beat sheet

ALIEN

Opening image

The Nostromo star ship in the middle of space

Theme stated

“Anybody ever tell you that you look dead?” You’re doomed and you don’t know it yet.

Setup 
Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo wake up after their hyper sleep

Catalyst
The computer woke them up because it detected a strange signal which may be a distress call.

Debate
Parker and Brett don’t want to go as it’s not their job and but they are contracted to go and so they must. Ripley and Ash have a soft argument over whether or not the signal is a warning or a SOS.

 

Break into Two

They land on the planet and Kane ends up with a face hugger

B Story

The closest thing to the B story is her relationship with Ash the robot. It’s the secret smaller battle going on while the larger battle between the crew and the alien is happening.

Fun and Games

This bizarre alien creature has acid for blood and can’t be removed from Kane’s face. However a short time later the creature just falls off his face and Kane seems fine.

Midpoint

The Chest burster explodes out of Kane and runs away.

Bad Guys Close In:
The creature grows and kills Brett. Dallas arms himself with a flamethrower and goes after it in the vents but he is killed as well

All is Lost:
Ripley gets access to Mother and discovers the real reason behind Ash’s behaviour. He has orders from the company to protect the alien and the crew is expendable. Ash tries to kill Ripley but she is saved by Parker

Dark Night of the Soul:
They find out from the robot they have no chance to survive, they are in the middle of deep space and their company wants them

Break into three:
They decide to take their chances and make the ship self destruct..

Gathering the team:
Lambert and Parker are killed by the Alien and Ripley is the last one standing.

Storm the Castle:
She executes the plan to self destruct the ship.

High Tower Surprise:
The Nostromo explodes and she thinks she’s safe but the alien is onboard with her. Surprise!

Dig Down Deep:
Ripley has to put on her space suit and strap herself into her seat without alerting the alien to her presence.

Execution of new plan

She opens the airlock to purge the cabin to suck the alien out to space

Victory (or Defeat):
She returns to hypersleep and the Alien is dead.

Closing image

The escape pod deep in space.

 

You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.

 

alien

Alien – The hero’s journey breakdown

Alien

Call to adventure

The crew is awoken from hibernation because they have received a distress call from an unknown source.

Refusal of the call

A couple members of the crew resist going but Dallas, the captain, insists.

Supernatural Aid

The onboard computer Mother. It knows the true meaning behind sending them on this quest.

Crossing the First Threshold

Entering the crash landed Alien Space ship. Kane encounters and is attacked by the first form of the alien.

Belly of the whale

They bring back Kane with the face hugger attached and put him into the infirmary.

Road of the trials

The Alien explodes out of Kane’s chest and then transforms into a larger creature. They hunt it and try and learn it’s weakness as it kills a number of them.

Meeting with the Goddess

Ripley gains access to Mother and  learns the secret mission and that the crew are expendable.

Woman as Temptress

The unseen forces of the company, they are the ones who sought the Alien life form and it’s potential as a weapon regardless of the consequences for the crew.

Atonement with the father

She learns she was right about Ash, he had a secret agenda and they fight to the death.

Apotheosis

Ripley is able to resuscitate Ash and extract information out of him about the Alien.

Ultimate Boon

To escape with their lives, Ripley concludes they must get on the escape pod and detonate the ship

Magic flight

Running around the ship, being chased by the Alien, as the self destruct timer runs down.

Master of two worlds

She uses her skills to get into a space suit and jettison the Alien from the pod

Freedon to live

She has survived and  enters hibernation

You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.