A Science Fictional Year: The Alien Anthology

The proof that I might not be so far off the mark is this, if the author of this post is to be believed. In short: Giger struggled with night terrors. A form of therapy for him was to keep a sketchbook next to his bed and draw the things that caused him such anguish. The design for the alien is based on a painting (based on a night terror) by the title of Necronom IV, pictured in that link. In a very real way, the alien is a painting of anxiety and fear.

And this is what I think the Alien Anthology has to contribute to the idea of Science Fiction: transcendence is out there, waiting, but the path is littered with failures, and the cost of transcendence is terrifying and there’s the very real possibility you might not make it. But Ripley made it, and it literally cost her life (arguably seven of her lives). Skipping right to Alien: Resurrection, because movies two and three are just explorations of the first while Resurrection offers a new insight, Ripley achieves a kind of transcendence. Knowing what we here in 2014 know about the Alien universe, we know that the xenomorphs (as the second movie comes to call them) aren’t just terrifying space murderers, and they aren’t even the final reckoning. Rather, if the vision of Prometheus is to be trusted (though it is ever so briefly hinted at in the first movie), these xenomorphs are the most upsetting road signs on the way to a final transcendence: reunion with our creators.

Knowing that, and assuming you’re wont to take all five movies as contiguous commentary of the same universe, then it’s possible the only way there is through our Christ like death. A very literal dying to self in order to be united with our fears. That union allows Ripley, and could allow us, to push deeper into the unknown. But Resurrection comes with a powerful caveat: Ripley might have evolved, but so have her fears. Her fears have come to know her so well that they can mimic her, manipulate her, they know how to get from her what they need. Not only does she evolve, but she has to relearn how to be smart in the face of these limitations.

Published by

jh montgomery

I'm a guy with opinions. Some of those are about science fiction. Like a voice shouting into a hurricane of voices, I write about science fiction for Hush Comics. I grew up watching the original Star Trek with my mom in our basement. I have shockingly few memories of it, apart from the silver and gray grid covered VHS boxes old Star Trek tapes came in, but it left it's mark forever. My first memory of being in a movie theater was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A group entered dressed as the crew of Star Trek, acting the part (the man dressed in Vulcan robes addressing the man with a middle-aged lesbian perm as captain). I nearly lost my mind with the excitement of sharing a theater with Leonard Nimoy. No no, my mom would tell me: that's someone dressing up. Impossible. Later, I would walk in on my parents watching the wrong movie at the wrong moment and be mortally terrified of alien abductions from the age of eight to thirteen. This fear was so strong, I couldn't watch the X-Files until it came to Netflix. As a teenager, hearing the theme song coming from another room in the house would give me anxiety. Science fiction, at its best is the pursuit, and evolution, toward transcendance: cultural, technological, spiritual. Transcendance marked me early, and forever.

One thought on “A Science Fictional Year: The Alien Anthology”

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s