TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

Alien Resurrection

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

Film 

YEAR:

1997 

WRITER(S):

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet; Written by Joss Whedon 

OWN COPY?

No 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

from imdb: It is 200 years since Ellen Ripley died on Fiorina 161. Ripley's former employers, The Weyland-Yutani Company has dissolved and now the United Systems Military has assumed the task of breeding and harnessing the deadly aliens. With blood samples taken from her previous life, scientists clone a new Ripley in order to extract the queen alien inside of her. The new Ripley, known as number 8, acquires physical and emotional traits from both humanity and the aliens, making her question where her allegiances lie. Shortly after, the aliens break free and commence killing those onboard. Ripley, along with a crew of smugglers that unknowingly helped in delivering hosts to breed the alien species, must now escape the perilous ship. Along the way, Ripley encounters a shocking revelation that truly sets herself against both humanity and the alien species. She must now decide what she truly is, in order to save humanity once more. 

ERA/YEAR:

Distant future 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

The future is rife with shifty governmental organizations using and abusing science and technology, without regard for human life.  
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
Number 8: Ellen Ripley Clone 
DESCRIPTION:
As a mixed species clone, not quite human or alien but utterly both, Ripley negotiates her own identity and shifting sense of presence throughout the film. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
Moral and ethical struggle to define herself as a self and decide where her allegiances lie: with alien or human. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
Ripley is super human. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
The United Systems Military: a conglomeration of research scientists and military personnel. 
MAJOR GOAL(S):
Through cross breeding with humans, the scientists believe they can harness and tame the awesome destructive power of the Alien Species. (hubris) 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
All the characters that come in contact with Ripley are surprised by her supernatural strength and telepathic skills.  
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
Ripley is conflicted with her augmented sense of presence. She struggles to define her identity as a clone and the implications of what it means to be reanimated after killing herself 200 years ago to prevent the government from taking the monstrous Alien to Earth. Likewise, Ripley is imbued with Alien traits and feels a sense of empathy for the queen she has mothered. 
USER AWARENESS:
All characters are aware of her dual nature. Call, the android crew member from the mercenary ship The Betty, is the only one that insists she must be destroyed because of it. 
VALENCE:
Ripley's presence and ultimate allegiance to the human race is of great benefit to the other characters. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
As the smugglers hurry back to their ship, Ripley comes upon the cloning chamber where she was conceived by the scientists. Confronted by multiple Ripleys in various states of disfigured suspension, Ripley grows horrified by the awful practice of ethically devoid cloning. She sets the laboratory ablaze and in the process comes to terms with her sense of augmented self. 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
In an emotional scene near the end of the film, Ripley destroys the Alien offspring she helped gestate and saves the human race from imminent destruction. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
 
CODER NAME:
Katya Gorker 
CODER E-MAIL:
katya.gorker@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University, FMA 
DATE CODED:
3/24/2008 

 


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