What was the Nostromo's real mission?

Dave

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In 'Alien' shortly before the scene when the alien infant bursts out of Kane's chest, there is a scene with Ripley and Dallas discussing Ash.

We later find out that Ash is a company spy and an android, but at this point no one knows that.

Ripley asks Dallas if he ever shipped out with Ash before (so she can never have worked with him in the past). Dallas replies that the five times he has worked was with another science officer, and that two days before departure Ash replaced him.

I took this to mean that the Nostromo's mission was never intended to be the ore cargo, but always this unscheduled stop-over on the way back.

The later films enforce this idea, with the company seemingly desperate to get it's hands on an alien.

Do you agree? Or, do you think the signal they pick up from the derelict on the planet was a real SOS, and it was pure coincidence.
 
I always got the impression that the discovery on LV-426¹ was accidental, but that Ash was always going to act as he did when the signal - which Weyland-Yutani anticipated - was received. I hadn''t considered the replacement factor.

1. Yes, I remember the name of the planet. And the company. I'm not proud of the fact. It's as bad as being able to identify an episode of ST:TNG after half a seond. It's terribly depressing.
 
From what I could gather both were the missions right from the start. IT seemed that Weyland-Yutani always new about the derelict and what the crew believed was the primary mission was an actual mission but also an excuse to get a ship out to the derelict.

Gypsy
 
just to add

When Ash loses his head, he does say things about the alien that he could only know if the company already knew about LV426 before the mission. Then there is 'order 937' - for the science officer's eyes only - rerouting the ship & 'Crew expendable'. It seems to much of a coincidence.

But, on the other hand, if they were so desperate to get an alien, why did Burke order the to terraforming of LV426, setting up a colony there with 'families', but never to revisit the 'alien eggs' for 57 years until after Ripley is found at the start of Aliens. That's a long time to wait for specimens, and it is a total disregard for human life. I am more likely to believe Burke, that it was a mistake.
 
Ash idicates that the Alien SOS had been decipherd by the company so they knew the existance of the derelict long before the Nostromo left. He also said it was quite detailed. The fact that there was a special order to be answered for also shows this. Then it was just a matter of waiting for a ship with the correct flightpath and inserting a new crewman to ensure things went smoothly.
 
Neither answer makes complete sense. If the company knew about it beforehand why send space truckers? Why not a company ship just for Alien harvesting? If they didn't know why the sudden change of the Sci officer?

I see two possiblities.

1) they were starting s blanket campain to find Alien life and were placing their andriods on all of their ships to take action in the case of finding signs of life. The Nostromo just happened to win the lottery from hell.

2) The company detected the signal, but had it's hands tied by goverment regulation, and had to act in it's own interests and make the discovery and recovery seem like a chance happening. Crew expendable.
 
Originally posted by MetalAlien
Neither answer makes complete sense. If the company knew about it beforehand why send space truckers? Why not a company ship just for Alien harvesting? If they didn't know why the sudden change of the Sci officer?

I see two possiblities.

1) they were starting s blanket campain to find Alien life and were placing their andriods on all of their ships to take action in the case of finding signs of life. The Nostromo just happened to win the lottery from hell.

2) The company detected the signal, but had it's hands tied by goverment regulation, and had to act in it's own interests and make the discovery and recovery seem like a chance happening. Crew expendable.

That is a good point - if the company knew of the aliens, why send a team of "space truckers" (wasn't that a movie, too ;)), instead of a dedicated team? Perhaps LV426 was simply too far out for it to be worthwhile sending a ship out there just to investigate a rogue signal of unknown origin. But by putting Ash onto the first ship that was scheduled to intercept the planet, they thought they could get their sample of alien life with minimal effort? Clearly they underestimated the aliens!!

I'm not too sure about the "lottery from hell", although there is nothing to disprove that... We don't know how prevalent androids were at that time, nor do we know how many mining ships were out there, etc..

I got the impression that the company was too big to be stopped by any government, in fact I rather got the feeling that they were more or less the government. I forget what was said about the demise of the company in Resurrection...

It doesn't strike me that at the time of the "Alien" the company was obsessed with obtaining an alien, but perhaps when they detected the signal they just diverted the Nostromo out of speculation. Okay there was the whole "crew dispensable" order, but maybe it was the excitement of finding an alien life-form that prompted the company to risk the lives of a small mining crew to obtain it. After that crew failed to report back, and the alien signal presumably stopped transmitting, LV426 was forgotten about, until the terraformers arrived. Without the signal they didn't find the derelict, but when they did find it, it was already too late....

Most of that if off the top of my head, please forgive if I've been a little inaccurate, it must be time to get the box set out (am waiting for the chance to see Alien in the cinema to be honest!)
 
Well I always say that trying to figure out movies is a lost cause. Movies aren't trying to build a complete universe, they are just moving the plot along for the desired effect.

The simple fact is the movie series has plot holes. Everything that happened on the nostromo was supposedly known by the company through transmissions by Ash..... but they just forget about it? Nope, it doesn't make sense. Unless of course you want to make a sequel where an entire colony was built in the worst possible place thus setting up a great movie.

Why would a company send space truckers to recover a potentially dangerous or extremely valuable Alien lifeform? They wouldn't, unless you wanted to set them up to be killed one by one making great drama. :)

Sometimes it just doesn't make sense, but it makes a great movie. Perfect example, my Alien game. The plot flies in the face of the movies. But I had to write a story to fit the pictures so I bent the plot to fit. People don't seem to mind. :)
 
Yeah you're right, but it is sometimes fun to exercise the old grey matter and try to imagine the motivations of the company, how much they knew etc. But after a while it does boil down to inconsistencies and plot holes, especially where sequels are concerned....
 
I agree with markpud here. We all know that these are movies and as such only there as an entertainment tool but speculation on these films kinda adds to their appeal. ;)

I wonder if The Company had rivals and as such where open to competition or industrial espionage? Mounting a full blown research team would arouse intrest in other companies prehaps. By making it seem like an accident they could get what they want and keep their source intact. Also im sure Ripley and Ash mention quarantine procedures. That means that even The Company has to follow certain rules. They want the Alien and they dont want to announce it. They cant launch a formal expedition so they sort out which ship will be closest to the source target, swap a team member to ensure the smooth running of things (Dallas quotes this to be the case) and then lets things run their course. If the stuff really hits the fan then well, they have plausable deniablility.
 
Both of you are completely right. But after making point and counter point and yet again making a counter........ I dunno, I just have to stop. It's maddening to try and figure out something that wasn't meant to hold up against such scrutiny. But I do admit it can be fun to try. :)
 
Originally posted by L. Arkwright
I agree with markpud here. We all know that these are movies and as such only there as an entertainment tool but speculation on these films kinda adds to their appeal. ;)

Yes, I know that they are only films, and if we go into too much detail we all sound like Nerds, but the fact is that the creators of these films spent considerable time writing, producing and directing them, so they ought to have made them plausible. If they want us to go and see the 5th outing, it is only right that they make the saga believable, otherwise why should we bother? Why should WE care, if they don't?

Originally posted by L. Arkwright
I'm sure Ripley and Ash mention quarantine procedures. That means that even The Company has to follow certain rules. They want the Alien and they dont want to announce it. They cant launch a formal expedition so they sort out which ship will be closest to the source target, swap a team member to ensure the smooth running of things (Dallas quotes this to be the case) and then lets things run their course. If the stuff really hits the fan then well, they have plausable deniablility.

Now that is a suggestion that makes perfect sense, and I can buy it totally. It was a way to circumnavigate Intergalactic Law, and to avoid drawing the attention of competitors.
 
Yes, I know that they are only films, and if we go into too much detail we all sound like Nerds, but the fact is that the creators of these films spent considerable time writing, producing and directing them, so they ought to have made them plausible. If they want us to go and see the 5th outing, it is only right that they make the saga believable, otherwise why should we bother? Why should WE care, if they don't? Dave's Quote

I agree with you 100% Dave, thats the point I was trying to make, I was posting that in a response to one of MetalAliens earlier entries. I love this kinda thing and I love the fact that ive found like minded people to do it with. :p


I think nerds are cool. It takes a lot of dedication :rolly2: :D ;)
 
The option that has been missed is the age old screw up theorem.

Ash happened to be available when the ship sailed. Crewmen can and do suffer accidents, illness, go AWOL, resign, or simply get arrested by the shoreside police.

Standing order is to go to the assistance of a ship in distress.

As this is a galaxy where humans predominate, yet there is no instant method of getting there before you start (ala Star Trek), it is reasonable to suppose that those same standing orders cover such possibilities as meeting or finding evidence of alien life, especially if there may be something to gain.
Remember those ships voyages could last many years and they can't simply phone home if they meet something not in the book.
 
The option that has been missed is the age old screw up theorem.

Ash happened to be available when the ship sailed. Crewmen can and do suffer accidents, illness, go AWOL, resign, or simply get arrested by the shoreside police.

Standing order is to go to the assistance of a ship in distress.

definately the most likely explanation!

Ash being on board was a coincidence

The distress beacon was picked up while they were all in CRYOsleep, "Mother" re routed the course of the nostomo and woke them up when they were within range. I remember ripley being confused when she realized they were in the wrong system and no where near earth(they were heading home).

the "Crew expendable" order was given AFTER Kane was brought on board with the face hugger attached(after ash had relayed the information to "the company")

Now....as to why the company didn't have records of this...I've got nuthin, cept that after 57 years things go missing...paperwork gets lost, computers crash, data gets corrupted, changes in staff and management(I bet there wasn't anyone left working for the company from when the nostromo crew found the aliens)
 
Ok but if the Weyland Yutani company had the original purpose of landing on LV-426 then WHERE did they get the prior knowledge of the species? Unless you take into account that the occurances in the AVP movies is cannon, is it? Because that's the only way I could see that the company would have any prior knowledge to the species of xenomorphs.
 
dudebro, I don't know if we are classing the AvP films as canon in this, but do note that this thread is a lot older than those movies, so the comments do not consider them. However, I did notice that Charles Bishop Weyland looked an awful lot like the Bishop androids in Aliens and Alien3 ;)

I do think there could have been any number of other ways for the company to have heard about the Aliens first though - they have mining ships that could have come across evidence elsewhere, or, they could have come into contact with the 'jockey' alien that had become a victim on LV-426.
 
That is true, they might have come in contact with the space jockey. But still, I'd like to count at least the 2nd AVP film as canon (yes I know that that means that the 1st one would have to be also, but the 1st one was so crappy (in comparison) that I don't even count that as a movie). That ties it all together a lot better, that AND the fact that weyland utani looked like bishop hehe.
All other theories are pure speculation as far as I can tell, this is the most solid theory for the reasons.
 
I'd have to go with Metalalien. If the company knew about the derelict, they'd just send an expedition - no need to pussyfoot around with a crew that doesn't know the real mission.
 

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