Prometheus comes out this Friday and I want to be ready for it. In that endeavor I recently got over my fear and watched Alien. More recently I watched Aliens. I was excited to watch Aliens because I knew that it’s a lot different from Alien. In Alien, Ridley Scott created a small, intimate horror movie. In Aliens, James Cameron created a thrilling action movie.
Here are some thoughts I had while watching Aliens.
The aliens are the main enemy in Aliens, but the evil corporation is just as bad. Ripley said it herself when she told Burke that the aliens weren’t out there screwing each other but he was. Burke’s greed pushed him to endanger the lives of everyone in general and Ripley and Newt in particular. Greed is an uglier monster than the alien queen. Greed pushes us to think that we can never have enough regardless of the innumerable ways that God has blessed us. Greed blinds us to all the things we do have and makes contentment a near impossibility. Burke couldn’t control his greed and (spoiler alert) it eventually cost him his life. Our greed may not lead to our bitter end, but it could make our lives very bitter to the end.
Even though Aliens is much bigger than Alien, the relationship between Ripley and Newt brings a high level of intimacy to the sequel. There weren’t a lot of likable characters in Alien other than Ripley and the cat; and Ripley risking her life to save the cat was one of the most confusing aspects of the first film. Having Ripley interact with a little girl, Newt, brought a relational element that was missing from Alien. I cared about Ripley and Newt’s relationship and believed that Ripley would never abandon Newt. Ripley’s determination to go after Newt at all costs is a small window into God’s love for us. Romans says that there is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love; not sin, death, darkness, principalities or a crapload of aliens.
Artificial life is a common theme throughout science fiction.
Star Wars had R2-D2 and C-3PO.
The Next Generation had Data.
Battlestar Galactica had the Muffit.
Aliens had Bishop.
The creation of artificial life is the ultimate step in humanity’s desire to be like God. In the Garden, Adam and Eve first sinned because they were promised that they could be like God. No matter how hard we try, though, we can never be like God. We can never gather dust from the ground and breathe life into it. If we manage to create some artificial life, though, that might get us close enough. The creation of artificial life never goes that well, though.
Star Wars had IG-88.
The Next Generation had Lore.
Battlestar Galactica had the Cylons.
Alien had Ash.
When God created life, we rebelled. Indeed it would be arrogant of us to think that we could create life without getting the same result. Understanding that God is the creator and we are the created is foundational to living the best life possible. It would be easy to forget that if we ever began creating life.
I really enjoyed Aliens and am excited to see Prometheus this weekend. Aliens was very different from Alien but provided a great experience in its own right. Hopefully I’ll be able to avoid the same nightmares that seemed to plague Ripley and Newt.
What did you think about Aliens?