Ridley Scott’s Alien quickly and very deservedly gained a reputation as one of the greatest movies that both the sci-fi and horror genres had ever seen, and anyone brave enough to tackle a sequel would face a daunting task. Fresh off the success of The Terminator, James Cameron welcomed the challenge, and his decision to turn the follow-up into a guns blazing action epic was genius, with Aliens earning over ten times its budget back at the box office and winning widespread acclaim, picking up seven Academy Award nominations including a Best Actress nod for Sigourney Weaver’s iconic turn as Ellen Ripley.
Even after another two sequels, a pair of crossovers with the Predator franchise and Scott’s return for prequels Prometheus and Covenant though, the Xenomorphs have never come close to recapturing the glory days of their first two wildly different but equally legendary big screen installments.
Of course, fans are still discussing the themes and subtexts of the movies well over 30 years later, and a new theory now claims that Lance Henriksen’s android Bishop may have secretly been the villain of Aliens all along. Ripley is obviously very distrustful of Bishop given her experience with the homicidal Ash in the previous installment, but he eventually gains her approval after a series of heroic acts, including being ripped in half by the Alien Queen.
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Many people have speculated that the damaged remains of Bishop were responsible for the facehugger impregnating Ripley, which powered the story of the divisive Alien 3, but given the movie’s troubled production, it’s more than likely just a plot hole. Admittedly, there’s no evidence that the android definitely isn’t responsible, with the theory saying that his main goal may have been to acquire a live specimen by any means necessary, and the opening of Alien 3 would seem to confirm that he had succeeded if that was the case.
After all, he’s property of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, and we know better than to trust big companies in sci-fi and horror movies. However, there isn’t really enough evidence to prove the theory, although it does at least tie Alien 3 to the events of the previous two better than the narrative itself managed to accomplish.