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2019-08-15 Home Front: Culture Wars
Why Ripley In ‘Aliens' Is The Ultimate Anti-Mary Sue
[HollywoodInToto] Few science fiction films have aged as gracefully as 1979's "Alien."

The special effects, the monster makeup and even the anti-corporate jabs seem as fresh today as they were back then.

The same holds true for its belated sequel.

The 1986 smash "Aliens" brought Sigourney Weaver back for more intergalactic scares. This time we weren't surprised by Weaver's Ripley. She appeared to be just one of seven potential victims in the first "Alien" adventure. By the film's end we saw a natural born leader, a scrappy soul who outlasted an efficient killing machine.

Ripley became nothing less than a sci-fi icon in "Aliens."

What's fascinating about watching James Cameron's sequel today is spotting what isn't on the screen. Thirty-three years ago, Cameron didn't stuff the narrative with empowering speeches. He didn't need to virtue signal to his fellow filmmakers.

The screenplay doesn't emasculate male characters to make Ripley look more bad ass. Bill Paxton's glorious Hudson is blissful comic relief.

In short, Cameron wrote Ripley as a full-bodied character sans agenda. And she's glorious.

The 1990 Director's Cut version, available on the franchise's four-pack edition, is a mixed bag. Some scenes are clearly unnecessary, like a series of remote gun turrets which blast the alien invasion until the ammo runs dry.

Other moments pack a sizable wallop.

Had "Aliens" been made in 2019, the mother-daughter connection might have been underplayed or ignored entirely. Motherhood connects to the patriarchy, the screenwriters might declare. Social Justice critics would complain about parenthood getting in the way of Ripley’s career and/or heroism.

Ripley’s romantic bond with Hicks (Michael Biehn), served up with delicacy by Cameron’s script, also wouldn’t make the cut.

Powerful women can’t be identified by their cis-gender emotions. Why doesn’t Ripley flirt with Vasquez, the buff female Marine played by Jenette Goldstein?

Any flaws in Ripley, from moments of weakness to feminine flourishes, would be wiped clean.

Instead, she exists forever on home video and streaming as the Anti-Mary Sue.

It’s one reason the ’80s endure. The decade offered direct pleasures, free from social media scolds and finger-wagging lectures. The films featured heroes who could do the wrong thing, or treat their fellow characters in ways we wouldn’t accept with our friends and families, and still earn our cheers.

Imagine "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" hitting theaters today. The cries against a straight white male gaming the system would drown everything out.

"Save Ferris?" How about, "Check your privilege!"

No apologies are necessary with Ferris or Ripley. They remain entrenched in pop culture lore, impervious to cultural scolds.
Part of the reason of Hollywood declining and pumping out reboots as fast as they can. Anyone with real writing talent will be shunned in favor of "wokeness" and making all female roles Mary Sues.
Posted by DarthVader 2019-08-15 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [326 views ]  Top

#1 Also fr pile, re the Masked Malaysian (really showinf off the ol' work ethic on this one):

Ayuda me, muse, as I canto...
Of whom? The Mohammedan Santo,
Ms. Mary Sue! Yay!
Now I've no more to say
And descend to an end rallentando.
Posted by Dopey Phatle7682 2019-08-15 06:50||   2019-08-15 06:50|| Front Page Top

#2 The SJW's have made it hard to find any new science fiction to read if it is published by one of the major publishers... So, yeah, I see what he is saying.
Posted by magpie 2019-08-15 11:40||   2019-08-15 11:40|| Front Page Top

#3 The SJW's have made it hard to find any new science fiction

Try rereading some of the old (our contemporaries) guys: Bulmer, Offutt, etc...
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-08-15 11:48||   2019-08-15 11:48|| Front Page Top

#4 I'd be interested in your opinion of Andi Through the Multiverse.
Posted by Fred 2019-08-15 12:07||   2019-08-15 12:07|| Front Page Top

#5 To save you lazy bums the trouble of googling: Andi Through the Multiverse

It sounds like fun.
Posted by SteveS 2019-08-15 12:39||   2019-08-15 12:39|| Front Page Top

#6 I like Baen publishers, they do Larry Correia's
Posted by Frank g 2019-08-15 13:20||   2019-08-15 13:20|| Front Page Top

#7 Another character whose progression from naif to expert was logically done so her capabilities were earned is "Game of Thrones" Arya Stark.
Posted by Ptah 2019-08-15 13:30||   2019-08-15 13:30|| Front Page Top

#8 I liked David Weber's 'Honor Harrington' series
Posted by Seeking Cure For Ignorance 2019-08-15 14:15||   2019-08-15 14:15|| Front Page Top

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