The Symmetry of the Alien Trilogy

Last week I published an article showing that Alien and Alien3 mirror each other quite well. For the sake of completeness, I now present the chiasmus of the entire Alien Trilogy, including Aliens in the middle. I had previously published my Aliens chiasmus several years ago, but Max Collins found that the first and third films in the series bookend that film’s symmetry. So I have simply put my work and Max’s together to create the following beautiful story structure. Enjoy!

Alien

A. Incoming transmission received by the Nostromo, sealing its fate
 B. Lights turn on and doors open aboard the Nostromo (starts with cryopods)
  C. Crew awakens and gathers to the mess
   D. Mother relays secret company directions for the crew about an alien
    E. Parker reasons that crew is not suited for a rescue mission, in a meeting
     F. Ash gives an ultimatum stating all shares are forfeit without rescue
      G. Foreboding sunset preludes descent
       H. Nostromo descends to planetoid
        I. Nostromo gets damaged in a rough landing, and the fires are immediately extinguished
         J. Brett smokes a cigarette while making repairs to the Nostromo
          K. Kane is suddenly attacked in the head by a facehugger alien
           L. Kane is stuck with the facehugger but alive in the infirmary, foreshadowing the embryo
            M. Ash makes an incision to remove the facehugger from Kane, spilling acid blood
             N. Ripley is summoned to the infirmary by Dallas to check on a comatose Kane
              O. Ripley argues with Dallas in a corridor about dealing with the facehugger. Dallas dismisses her argument because they ultimately must obey the company
               P. The crew gather in the infirmary to assess Kane’s disoriented condition
                Q. Kane dies in the mess, losing a lot of blood, and the alien runs away
                 R. Ripley, Brett, and Parker are dispatched to locate the alien with lights
                  S. Dallas goes into a ventilation shaft and encounters slime, only to suddenly get attacked by the alien and die
                   T. Ripley finds out the crew is expendable and the alien is top priority, and she suffers an emotional shock
                    U. Ripley reactivates Ash to extract information about the company plans
                     V. Ripley ends up alone in her underwear adrift in space in an escape shuttle
                      W. Ripley blasts the alien out into space
                       X. Ripley sends a distress call and goes into hypersleep

Aliens

                        Y. Ripley and Jones the cat are in hypersleep together
                         Z. Ripley has a horrifying nightmare involving an alien
                          AA. After awakening, Ripley tells Jones, “It’s over”
                           BB. Ripley learns that her daughter is dead
                            CC. Ripley gets stripped of her title by the company
                             DD. Newt’s parents leave her in order to explore an alien ship
                              EE. Newt screams at the sight of a facehugger attached to her father
                               FF. Lt. Gorman guarantees Ripley’s safety on a rescue mission
                                GG. Sulaco heads to LV-426 on a rescue mission
                                 HH. At breakfast, Pvt. Hudson acts cowardly during Bishop’s knife trick
                                  II. Ripley is worried Bishop will betray her because he’s an android
                                   JJ. Ripley briefs the colonial marines and shows her prowess in a power loader
                                    KK. Hudson boasts about the powerful weaponry they’ll use to protect Ripley
                                     LL. Armed to the teeth, the marines search the colonists’ compound
                                      MM. Ripley finds, and tries to comfort, Newt, the only surviving colonist
                                       NN. Marines are forbidden from using their guns against the aliens
                                        OO. Marines find the colonists, who have been cocooned and killed
                                         PP. Ripley’s nightmare comes to life when a colonist is killed by a chestburster
                                          QQ. With zero visibility, the marines get separated and picked off by attacking aliens
                                           RR. Ripley smashes through several barriers to rescue the surviving marines
                                            SS. The survivors discuss their options to continue the fight or retreat
                                             TT. Shuttle gets destroyed, stranding the survivors on the planet
                                             TT. They salvage what they can from the shuttle wreckage
                                            SS. They discuss their limited options of survival
                                           RR. Ripley organizes teams to build barricades to repel the inevitable alien attack
                                          QQ. Cpl. Hicks gives Ripley a tracking device as a precaution
                                         PP. Newt tells Ripley about her scary dreams and they discuss monsters and pregnancy
                                        OO. Ripley, Bishop, and the marines talk about who is responsible for the eggs that killed the colonists
                                       NN. The first set of sentry guns fail to stop the aliens (Note: NN and MM are out of order)
                                      MM. Ripley confronts Carter Burke about his role in getting the colonists killed
                                     LL. Weaponless, Bishop crawls through a tunnel to the uplink tower
                                    KK. The second set of sentry guns prove effective in stopping the aliens
                                   JJ. Hicks trains Ripley on how to use the marines’ weapons
                                  II. Burke tries to get Ripley and Newt impregnated with aliens
                                 HH. Under an onslaught of alien attackers, Hudson demonstrates his bravery
                                GG. Bishop tells Hicks a shuttle from the Sulaco is coming to rescue them
                               FF. Gorman kills himself, making good on his promise to protect Ripley
                              EE. Newt screams when an alien grabs her
                             DD. Ripley flies into the aliens’ nest to find Newt
                            CC. Ripley takes charge and gives orders to Bishop
                           BB. Ripley destroys the Alien Queen’s eggs
                          AA. After escaping a nuclear explosion, Ripley tells Newt, “We made it”
                         Z. Ripley tells Newt they can both dream after finally facing their nightmares
                        Y. Ripley and Newt go into hypersleep next to each other

Alien3

                       X. Ripley is in hypersleep when a fire alarm goes off onboard the Sulaco
                      W. Ripley is launched on an Emergency Escape Vehicle (EEV) out into space
                     V. Ripley washes up on shore alone in her underwear from the EEV adrift in the ocean
                    U. Ripley reactivates Bishop to extract information about the company plans (Note: This is out of order. It actually appears in-between Q and P)
                   T. Ripley finds out Hicks and Newt died in the crash and an alien may have been in the EEV with them, and she suffers an emotional shock
                  S. Murphy goes into a ventilation shaft and encounters slime, only to suddenly get attacked by the alien and die
                 R. Boggs, Rains, and Golic are dispatched to survey sections of the facility tunnels with torches
                Q. Boggs and Rains die in the tunnels, losing a lot of blood at the hands of the alien, and Golic runs away
               P. Ripley and the head staff gather in the infirmary to assess Golic’s disoriented condition
              O. Ripley argues with Andrews in his office about killing the alien. Andrews dismisses her argument because they ultimately must obey the company
             N. Ripley is quarantined in the infirmary by Andrews with a restrained Golic
            M. Clemens makes a sedative injection for Ripley, and the alien attacks Clemens, spilling his blood
           L. Ripley encounters the alien but remains alive in the infirmary, foreshadowing the embryo
          K. The alien suddenly grabs Andrews by his head in the cafeteria and kills him
         J. Jude tries to smoke a cigarette while preparing quinitricetyline, but Aaron stops him
        I. Prison sustains damage after a series of explosions, and the fires are immediately extinguished
       H. A Weyland-Yutani rescue ship approaches Fiorina 161
      G. New sunrise ushers in resolution (Note: This is out of order. It actually appears in-between D and C)
     F. Dillon gives an ultimatum stating lives will be lost regardless
    E. Aaron quietly refuses to join the others in attempting to kill the alien
   D. Bishop pleads company goals for Ripley and the alien inside her
  C. Soldiers escort the sole survivor to the exit. Shot of empty cafeteria
 B. Ripley’s old distress call replayed over a shot of her empty cryopod in the EEV
A. Final transmission summarizes the fate of Fiorina 161

I discussed each of the points above at length in the separate Aliens and Alien/Alien3 Cinematic Chiasmus articles. If you’d like to delve deeply into this chiasmus, feel free to check those out. Thank you for indulging my desire to complete a puzzle I would have hated to leave unfinished.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

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About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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