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.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Sarah Connor is in a mental institution and John Connor is a juvenile delinquent.

Call to Adventure

The T-800 is sent back in time to protect John Connor, by John Connor’s future self, from the new model terminator the T-1000

Belly of the whale

The motorcycle truck chase in the drain where John is nearly killed.

Refusal of the call

John refuses to follow the T-800 instructions and instead insists they rescue his mother Sarah from the mental institution first. T-800 doesn’t want to do this because he thinks it’s a risky move.

Supernatural Aid

Sarah has been John’s mentor all his life preparing him for when he must lead humanity in the fight against the machines.

Crossing the First Threshold

Rescuing Sarah from the mental institution

The Road of the trials

They go on the run with the T-800 and begin teaching him to be more human

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress

I don’t think either of these stages are used although you could look at the relationship between T-800 and John.

Death of the mentor

Sarah decides to leave John and let the T-800 be his father. In an insane world this is the sanest choice.

Atonement with the Father

Sarah can’t kill Dyson when she is face to face with him, when John arrives he sees the humanity in his mother and instead of seeing her as a psychopath that he described her as at the start of the story, he now tells her he’s always loved her. He sees her as a mother.

Apotheosis

The T-800 cuts the flesh off his arm as proof that he is from the future and then tells Dyson the story of everything he is about to do which results in the deaths of three billion people. It’s imparting God-like knowledge of the future.

Ultimate Boon

They destroy Cyberdine, all the tech and Miles Dyson is killed. Ending any chance of Skynet coming to be.

The Magic flight

The T-1000 chases after them and the final battle in the metal factory.

Rescue from without

The T-1000 recovers from the shot gun blasts but T-800 appears with a missile launcher which strikes him in the chest and he falls into the molten hot metal.

The crossing of the return Threshold

John must say goodbye to the T-800 and live his life without him. At first he refuses but ultimately accepts it.  This stage more or less is blended with the next stage.

Master of two worlds

T-800 can’t self terminate and asks Sarah to do it for him. He now knows why John cries but he can never do it himself. The best way for him to protect John is to die.

Freedom to live

The future is saved and filled with hope “If a machine can learn the value of human life, so can we.” 

 

Terminator 2; Judgement day takes on the challenge of being a sequel by introducing new characters and giving the old characters that we knew from the first film new goals and challenges rather than just repeating the same story from the first film like many, many, many other cash-in sequels do.

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress missing? There was a cut scene when they pulled the chip out of T-800’s head and Sarah wanted to destroy it and kill him but John refused to let her do this. This could serve as the Temptress moment and John could serve as the Goddess for the T-800 as he inspires him to be a hero. That’s my best guess but feel free to include your thought below.

 

You may also want to look at

The Terminator Hero’s journey breakdown

The Terminator Save the cat beat sheet

 

The Terminator The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Sarah Conner is a waitress

Call to Adventure

Reece rescues Sarah from being killed by The Terminator

Refusal of the call

Reece tells her the story of the rise of Skynet and how two soldiers have been sent back in time, one man, one machine. One to kill, the other to protect, but she doesn’t believe this and tries to get out of the car.

Supernatural Aid

Reece comes from back from the future to rescue her with the aid of a time travelling machine and special knowledge that comes from having arrived form the future

Crossing the First Threshold

They go on the run from The Terminator

Belly of the whale

Reece is arrested and she falls asleep in the police station until The Terminator arrives and kills everyone. Reece is wounded.

The Road of the trials

The Terminator chases them and the trials are trying to avoid capture whilst at the same time Sarah is trying to come to terms with the situation she is in. And, of course, like all love stories the trials involve the two characters falling in love and the obstacles in the way of that.

Meeting with the Goddess

Reece is her love interest; he admires her for the woman she is about to become even though she’s just a waitress and barely a fully-grown woman at this stage.

Woman as Temptress

The police tell her that Reece is crazy and it’s all some made up story. She’s confused but inclined to believe them. If she does believe them then it will pull her away from her journey.

Atonement with the Father

This was cut out of the film but it’s when Sarah looks up Cyberdine in the phone book and wants to attack it and do to Skynet what it is trying to do to her son John.

You can watch it here

Apotheosis

The Apotheosis is flipped on The Terminator, he impersonates Sarah’s mother and gains special knowledge as to her whereabouts.

Ultimate Boon

Reece and Sarah make love and she becomes (although as yet unknowingly) the future mother of John Conner, leader of the resistance.

The Magic flight

The Terminator arrives at the motel and chases them again. They throw their home made grenades at him and the fight ends when the truck crashed and The Terminator is engulfed in flames.

The crossing of the return Threshold

Reece is injured and can barely stand, The Terminator is bashing down the door, suddenly we see a side of Sarah we haven’t seen yet. She yells at him to get to his feet and drags him up so they can escape. Giving us a glimpse of what the future Sarah and mother of the resistance leader is going to look like.

Death of the mentor / Rescue from without

Reece sacrifices his life in an attempt to blow The Terminator up. Although the explosion doesn’t kill The Terminator, it breaks it in two and gives Sarah a precious advantage so she can kill it.

Master of two worlds

“You’re terminated fucker.”

Freedom to live

She drives down the road, pregnant with knowledge of the storm that’s coming for humanity.

 

 

This is perfect story telling, both as a stand alone film and also when looked at within the context of it’s sequel T2.

Compare with

The Terminator – Save the cat beat sheet