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figuremasterles
06-28-2007, 08:24 AM
I have seen so many posts regarding this subject, that I thought an open thread on just this was in order.

To begin, here is a comparison to ants, which is the best Earth based life forms that echo in the Aliens world.
Here is a cold definition of an Ant colony structure (Taken from Wikipedia on Ants):

They are known for their highly organized colonies and nests, which sometimes consist of millions of individuals. Individuals are divided into sub-fertile, and more commonly sterile, females ("workers"), fertile males ("drones"), and fertile females ("queens").

That is just basic biology.
So, if you apply that to ALIENS, then you get some interesting results.

Here, in an online article written by a man named Hugh Fisher that is very interesting at least...
ALIEN BIOLOGY ARTICLE (http://members.ozemail.com.au/~laranzu/rants/alien.html)


Now, I know, these are not real creatures. They are movie fantasy constructs, that seem to be redefined a bit from film to film. Especially in the AVP movie(s) where all known laws no longer apply, except in basic to get them out there for action purposes.

But in the first three movies for sure, there is a standard of sorts. Kind of. Getting past the first one that was just, plain, WEIRD and of course, ALIEN.

As I personally see it, The Queen needs no explanation. A "Warrior" is a good name for a "worker" or hive maker and defender, as in ants, and a "Drone" is as good a name as any for that first, domed headed guy, that shows up, pre-queen in both ALIEN and ALIEN 3. They precede a Queen and may even serve a further "male" purpose regarding her. The rest, the un-domed masses, must be "female" nest defenders.
That is the closest to reasonable I have ever come up with or understood.

I think once Alien Resurrection and AVP came along, the return to the domed headed Aliens, messes up any chance at explaining James Cameron's arbitrary removal of the domes from the "Drones/Warriors" so that it all become too weird to follow anymore.

But, since the only films in the series that seem to stick to any rules are the first three, and are the only ones to contain the REAL Ripley, they are also the only ones I respect absolutely.

Therefore, I submit this above explanation for their structures, if indeed there are any to defend.

Otherwise, all this is moot, and is in the eyes of the beholders, ie., anyone, and thier personal opinions of the Aliens.

I do indeed have a comp chart, that shows the differences, that is now lost somewhere deep within the confines of the now locked, original Aliens thread, so I need to go find it and post it here.

In that, at least, is non-arguable comparison between the versions of the "Warrior Drones" as I prefer to call them all.
Much easier, and in this company, more politically correct?
Maybe.

Anyway, hope some of you have pros, cons and more to say here.

This is a start at least.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/alien2.gif

figuremasterles
06-28-2007, 08:28 AM
Here is the overview chart I made:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIEN_WARRIORDRONE_Chart_001b.jpg

figuremasterles
06-28-2007, 08:33 AM
Here are the more, movie specific charts...

(I do have larger versions, but my photobucket can't contain them)

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIENWARRIORDRONEChart2Alien01A.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIENWARRIORDRONEChart3Aliens01A.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIENWARRIORDRONEChart4Alien301A.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIENWARRIORDRONEChart5AlienRes01A.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/ALIENWARRIORDRONEChart6AVP01A.jpg



My respects to all sources, online and otherwise, that I used in the making of these charts. Especially that of Harry Harris and his ALIENS Website. Images used by permission.

Wor-Gar
06-28-2007, 08:44 AM
That all makes sense to me -- I'll buy it. And with Cameron's obsession with strong females, it makes sense that he would "uncap" the aliens and make them female.

CANON at last.

I'm glad the comments in the ALIENS thread stirred up some passion here to get the word out. Thanks, Les.

But I still like the HT Aliens alien. Can't wait to see how you improve upon it to make it accurate. By that time I'm sure we'll all see the differences and desperately want one.

FACEBOX
06-28-2007, 09:00 AM
I love you Les.

bagelsncheesey
06-28-2007, 10:33 AM
Very cool thread Les. Thanks man! :rock :rock :rock

I think i'll always love the look of the Aliens from Aliens. If they took the modern day effects and revamped the overall movement of those Aliens, it would be so awesome. Still great though.

abake
06-28-2007, 01:14 PM
Alien biology, oh man... this is one that can go on forever! :D

But that's why we love our dear little aliens!

After the advent of A:R and AvP (and of course AvP2) I think the only explanation we can have for the ridge-heads is that these only occur in mature hives.
There was no old/mature hive in A:R (actually, there wasn't a true hive, since the queen -and her offspring- were basically mutations), so the warriors could not have had time to adapt to the hive and loose their cowls/domes.
Same can be said of the warriors in AvP, there was no hive, so there was no shedding of the cowl.
My point of view concerning the terms warrior and drone is to apply warrior to lone xenomorphs outside of a hive (think Kane's son and the xeno from A3), and also to other xenomorphs outside of a hive environment.
Drones to me are usually the xenos living within a hive and defending a queen, as seen in aliens.
Thus, ridge-heads would always be drones and cowlies would be warriors. This has no bearing on their unfortunately (for other species) violent and predatorial demeanor.

Now we have to wait and see how old the hive and queen in AvP2 will be (there is a strong indication that there should be a queen and hive in AvP2), and whether this will help confirm a theory or just make the aliens even more incomprehensible...

ambac
06-28-2007, 02:04 PM
More Alien biology discussions! Always fun!

Best idea I've ever read to explain domed/undomed Aliens was that mature Aliens shed the dome to reveal the chitinous detail underneath, like a larvae. In Aliens, the only time we've seen them without a dome, that hive was established for several months. In every other movie, the Aliens were relatively newborn.

devlinboy
06-28-2007, 02:09 PM
More Alien biology discussions! Always fun!

Best idea I've ever read to explain domed/undomed Aliens was that mature Aliens shed the dome to reveal the chitinous detail underneath, like a larvae. In Aliens, the only time we've seen them without a dome, that hive was established for several months. In every other movie, the Aliens were relatively newborn.


im an alien...and this is correct about us. you guys all kick ass. i will be hanging out in your stomachs:dump ....see you soon!!!

pjam
06-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Great thread.

I was a Bio Major in College and I don't have a clue but it's sure fun to discuss... Insects vary so much, so may species, so much to contemplate.

Wor-Gar
06-28-2007, 02:23 PM
More Alien biology discussions! Always fun!

Best idea I've ever read to explain domed/undomed Aliens was that mature Aliens shed the dome to reveal the chitinous detail underneath, like a larvae. In Aliens, the only time we've seen them without a dome, that hive was established for several months. In every other movie, the Aliens were relatively newborn.

So it's like a "shield" to protect the immature brain. I think I like this explanation best -- does away with the whole male/female angle. I kind of like the aliens to be beyond such gender constrictions.

The ill Jedi
06-28-2007, 02:31 PM
Simply awesome Les, you should write a book about this, I would definitely buy it! :clap

figuremasterles
06-28-2007, 03:26 PM
So it's like a "shield" to protect the immature brain. I think I like this explanation best -- does away with the whole male/female angle. I kind of like the aliens to be beyond such gender constrictions.


I have always dug that angle too. To be honest, I have disliked any gender reference brought in since ALIENS, but what can you do? It's there. Part of the continuity. SO, maybe this dome thing is a maturity issue. It would allow the AR and AVP kids in to play....
I do prefer my Aliens...ALIEN. Weird. You know...(in best Bill Murray voice) "Just not right!"

But, I am open to any interesting interpretations.

Love dem aliens! :joy

Wor-Gar
06-28-2007, 04:15 PM
It does simplify things to have non-gender aliens. Let the Queen be the alien-maker when no hosts abound.

Either way works. Maybe some day, someone will make a proper ALIEN sequel and explain some of these things. Of course, then there goes the mystery...

I guess at the end of the day, mystery is always best.

And the biggest mystery of all seems to be WHEN WILL SOMEONE MAKE A GOOD (Alien) GIGER ALIEN???

figuremasterles
06-28-2007, 04:21 PM
And the biggest mystery of all seems to be WHEN WILL SOMEONE MAKE A GOOD (Alien) GIGER ALIEN???

That again! :lol :rotfl
:D

ambac
06-28-2007, 10:34 PM
I have always dug that angle too. To be honest, I have disliked any gender reference brought in since ALIENS, but what can you do? It's there. Part of the continuity. SO, maybe this dome thing is a maturity issue. It would allow the AR and AVP kids in to play....
I do prefer my Aliens...ALIEN. Weird. You know...(in best Bill Murray voice) "Just not right!"

But, I am open to any interesting interpretations.

Love dem aliens! :joy

I don't like the gender reference either, but to be perfectly honest, we only refer to the Queen as a Queen because it's the only reference our puny human minds can use. We're the ones imparting a female gender on the creature, which could in fact be genderless!

abake
06-29-2007, 07:20 AM
If you throw in the Ridley Scott's DC of Alien it becomes even better!

I see no problem in continuity if the aliens can actually morph hosts into eggs when there is no queen available to do the job.
Makes them even more sinister and yucky! :D

figuremasterles
06-29-2007, 07:23 AM
I don't like the gender reference either, but to be perfectly honest, we only refer to the Queen as a Queen because it's the only reference our puny human minds can use. We're the ones imparting a female gender on the creature, which could in fact be genderless!

Well, I can agree on a certain level, as understanding or debunking Aliens is sort of mythblowing, but...biology is biology, and Cameron more or less committed to it. Especially, absolutely in design. If you look good under her crotch area (and echoed in other areas on her body), her "femininity" is magnified times ten! (She even has high heels! :lol )

Note this design sketch:


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/queensketch2.jpg


Seen from underneath, it's outright pornographic. No, The QUEEN is indeed a female. Any egg layer is a female in most biological terms. That is one of the definitions of the term.
As for a "male" I still like the Drone idea myself. A predecessor to the Queen. Makes a certain sense to me.
I am still open to other ideas. I just like those. And, Cameron sort of locked in a gender thing, as Wor-Gar said, Cameron's obsession with strong females made this a sure bet for Aliens.

Anyway, it is always open to debate though.

Xander
06-29-2007, 08:47 AM
Man, now I REALLY want a giger Alien! Especially looking at theprop pics up close again. I found the male to female concept to be interesting, and the comparrison to ants. That's how I've always thought of them is like ants or even bees. Pretty interesting stuff.

minivader
06-29-2007, 09:45 AM
hmm... if I understand the alien life cycle correctly. it like this:

queen - eggs - chestbuster+host - final alien.

if there is a sex angle to their biology, (which I dont really like the idea, alien sex is just...:monkey4 ) then its more likely determined during chestbuster+host stage. I dont have any particular proof for that assumption except that alien seem to adopt the form of the host creature, dog alien in AR, and humanoid alien in A1 and A2. So perhaps the host's sex also determine the sex of the alien.

I do think, however, its more likely aliens are non-sex repro creatures. for a very vicious creature, they are heavily depended on host creature to continue their life cycle. If there was only one host and one egg, and one alien was hatched (like in A1) there would be no chance for that particular alien to continue the alien life cycle if they are required to mate to continue the lifecycle. So it makes more sense to me that each and every alien has the ability to become a queen if there is no pre-existing queen. otherwise, the lifeline dies completely.

pjam
06-29-2007, 10:25 AM
Man, now I REALLY want a giger Alien! Especially looking at theprop pics up close again. I found the male to female concept to be interesting, and the comparrison to ants. That's how I've always thought of them is like ants or even bees. Pretty interesting stuff.

Oh Yeah. A Giger "ALIEN" is most Wanted!

I've been studying insects for an upcoming project and it is just mindblowing; the variances in species, function, communication, behavior, form, function, life cycles, etc.

abake
06-29-2007, 11:19 AM
hmm... if I understand the alien life cycle correctly. it like this:

queen - eggs - chestbuster+host - final alien.

if there is a sex angle to their biology, (which I dont really like the idea, alien sex is just...:monkey4 ) then its more likely determined during chestbuster+host stage. I dont have any particular proof for that assumption except that alien seem to adopt the form of the host creature, dog alien in AR, and humanoid alien in A1 and A2. So perhaps the host's sex also determine the sex of the alien.

I do think, however, its more likely aliens are non-sex repro creatures. for a very vicious creature, they are heavily depended on host creature to continue their life cycle. If there was only one host and one egg, and one alien was hatched (like in A1) there would be no chance for that particular alien to continue the alien life cycle if they are required to mate to continue the lifecycle. So it makes more sense to me that each and every alien has the ability to become a queen if there is no pre-existing queen. otherwise, the lifeline dies completely.

Well, yes, aliens reproduce asexually. They don't have sex with each other to further the species. It is actually a nasty form of partenogenesis (sp?), where they don't die, but a host from another species dies...
It seems to me that the alien queens don't need to be impregnated, they just grow and start producing eggs.
In the case of there not being a queen, you can always look to the Director's cut of Alien, where the alien was morphing Brett and Dallas into eggs.

devlinboy
06-29-2007, 11:51 AM
im not too familiar with aliens but could there be one female queen and many males. as soon as the female queen dies the dominant male changes sex and becomes the new queen? like clownfish do ?Clownfish live in their anemone in groups. Usually a female lives with other males. When the dominant female dies the head male changes sex and becomes the female.

im just throwing this out there, ,i really have no idea.

minivader
06-29-2007, 11:59 AM
I guess there are 2 kinds of alien life cycles:

Alien:

egg - chestbuster+human - alien - kidnaps human and make them into egg.

Aliens:

queen - egg - chestbuster+human - alien - kidnap human for chestbusters.

dekadentdave
06-29-2007, 01:01 PM
My biggest question about Alien physiology is: where are the eyes?

The Giger Alien has a humanoid skull cranium with large eye-sockets under the dome. I always figured that this was designed upon a human head and integrated into Giger's design. You could argue that its a function of the humanoid host that shares the genetic structure of the alien.

Cameron's Alien has tubes going into the dome sockets approximately where the cranium sockets were located on Giger's Alien.

Now, I've always found it cool that the Aliens appear to have no eyes which makes them look wicked as hell. Yet somehow they must have some kind of "sense" that would give them the some kind of perceptory recognition of the environment, like bats with sonar or extrasensory hearing, or smell. Or perhaps the eyes are conveniently disguised elsewhere on the dome around all of those biomechanical tubes?

Wor-Gar
06-29-2007, 01:10 PM
When I first saw ALIEN I always thought that the "dome" was a kind of multifaceted sensor, hence the long, flat smooth section on an otherwise craggy animal. Cameron's ALIENS kind of dismantled that concept, although I still thing the idea works.

ambac
06-29-2007, 01:43 PM
Well, I can agree on a certain level, as understanding or debunking Aliens is sort of mythblowing, but...biology is biology, and Cameron more or less committed to it. Especially, absolutely in design. If you look good under her crotch area (and echoed in other areas on her body), her "femininity" is magnified times ten! (She even has high heels! :lol )

Note this design sketch:


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/queensketch2.jpg


Seen from underneath, it's outright pornographic. No, The QUEEN is indeed a female. Any egg layer is a female in most biological terms. That is one of the definitions of the term.
As for a "male" I still like the Drone idea myself. A predecessor to the Queen. Makes a certain sense to me.
I am still open to other ideas. I just like those. And, Cameron sort of locked in a gender thing, as Wor-Gar said, Cameron's obsession with strong females made this a sure bet for Aliens.

Anyway, it is always open to debate though.



But if we just base it off our visual interpretation, then face huggers are all female? Because the underneath of a face hugger looks far more like that special female body part than the space between the Queen's legs.:)

I'll admit though that I think of the Queen as a female gender, as that's what I'm hardwired to do and what Cameron intended. Again, puny human minds....

ambac
06-29-2007, 01:47 PM
My biggest question about Alien physiology is: where are the eyes?

The Giger Alien has a humanoid skull cranium with large eye-sockets under the dome. I always figured that this was designed upon a human head and integrated into Giger's design. You could argue that its a function of the humanoid host that shares the genetic structure of the alien.

Cameron's Alien has tubes going into the dome sockets approximately where the cranium sockets were located on Giger's Alien.

Now, I've always found it cool that the Aliens appear to have no eyes which makes them look wicked as hell. Yet somehow they must have some kind of "sense" that would give them the some kind of perceptory recognition of the environment, like bats with sonar or extrasensory hearing, or smell. Or perhaps the eyes are conveniently disguised elsewhere on the dome around all of those biomechanical tubes?


Giger deliberately designed the orignal Alien to appear blind, because he thought it was scarier if the creature didn't need to look for you, but could always sense you. The original Alien suit is literally a human skull that blends into the large ***** shaped head, complete with eye and nose sockets. The sockets were filled in for the Aliens suits and all other versions of the suit omit the skull aspect completely.

figuremasterles
06-29-2007, 03:51 PM
This is great! Love all this conjecture! :D

I like the idea of blind aliens myself. Seems weird and strange.
I think they use organs inside that huge cranium of their's to see with. Some kind of weird, ALien-vision! And not just a weird camera thing, like in Alien 3.

I have a great Dark Horse comic set around here somewhere, ten years old at least, that is an amazing Aliens comic, with art by Killian Plunkett, who drew, bar none, THE BEST LOOKING ALIENS I HAVE EVER SEEN! Perfected ideas of what an Alien SHOULD look like. To me that is.
Anyway, the comic is really cool, a four parter, and has an ALIEN autopsy scene in it. There is a scientist that "explains" the organs of the inner head, and it makes the most sense to me of anything I have ever read regarding their biology, vision, and other activities.

I will look for it and scan and post some pics when I can. Amazing stuff. Can't remember the writer, but it is superb.

dekadentdave
06-29-2007, 03:54 PM
Wouldn't happen to be the original Mark Verheiden mini-series that was black&white would it?

figuremasterles
06-29-2007, 04:13 PM
Wouldn't happen to be the original Mark Verheiden mini-series that was black&white would it?
Nope. A much later comic. Got all those too Dave. I got all the Dark Horse stuff. Man, that second set, the painted ones by Denis Beauvais, look JUST LIKE a sequel to ALIENS that could have been! Great story! Great Aliens too!

And, I have the TRIBES book illustrated by Dave Dorman, and he signed it, and a nice poster of the Queen illustrated inside. Love Dorman's art. That one image of the Predator fighting off a bunch of Aliens while knee deep in water, is a landmark early AVP image. Got that image signed too. Amazing work.

Anyway, I just found the comics. ALIENS Labyrinth is the set I am referring to. Written by Jim Woodring, and art by Killian. I will scan some shortly.

figuremasterles
06-29-2007, 04:53 PM
OK, here are some examples of Killian Plunkett ALIEN art...I just like the way he captures Alien physicality. Something subtle about it. And very cool!

And specific to this thread, a few pics down, the Alien Autopsy scene.
I really like the ideas behind this. I REALLY wish someone would do this kind of thing in an ALIEN movie!

Anyway, enjoy the art if nothing else. The last one is a GREAT page from that old, second Dark Horse comic about the further adventures of Hicks and Newt. If only....:monkey2

Enjoy!

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/Aliencom000a.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/Aliencom001a.jpg

The Autopsy dialogue

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/Aliencom002.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/Aliencom003.jpg

And one of the ALL-TIME great ALiens art images...

HICKS and NEWT, in action! In a sequel of sorts to ALIENS...

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a10/angremien/Aliencom004.jpg


Anyway, just adding to the Aliens fun. :D
As for biology, I am still after some more info. I will add images as I can.

dekadentdave
06-29-2007, 05:14 PM
That's very fascinating Les. So the cranial membrane does act as a telepathic receiver that translates the electromagnetic impulses into images directly into the Alien's cerebral cortex...

So fascinating that it's almost as if it were by DESIGN as the scientists suggest that it's genetic makeup had been SYNTHESIZED.

Now the question is by WHO?

Could it have been by the SPACE-JOCKEY aliens who were transporting the eggs found in the derelict spaceship on LV-426?

So many mysteries. Every answer opens another door to a new set of bigger questions.

minivader
06-29-2007, 05:44 PM
I remember that comic. It was very cool to see aliens treated like a pet dog.

Dark_Spidey
07-03-2007, 04:12 AM
That's very interesting Les, thanks. I've always been fascinated by the Aliens. Seeing how their organisms work is very exciting.

abake
07-03-2007, 07:11 AM
I really like Killian's art, I might have to look Labyrinth up...
Thanks for the pics Les!

customizerwannabe
07-03-2007, 08:05 AM
Great tutorial Les!