In Aliens, when Ripley first meets Bishop and is unhappy with his presence, Burke explains her hostility by informing Bishop that the android on her ship malfunctioned, with Bishop suggesting that he was sorry and this couldn't happen with newer models.

Of course, Ripley was well aware that Ash was acting on Company orders. Why didn't she mention this, either when she was being debriefed (possibly very difficult), or when she first met Bishop on the Sulaco? It would have been of interest to the Marines that the Company was somewhat (allegedly) run by a group of devious individuals.

  • This question could probably do with a more descriptive title... Aug 30, 2016 at 21:59
  • @DangerZone - Better?
    – Valorum
    Aug 30, 2016 at 22:01
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    I doubt any of the Marines would've believed her if she tried to tell them. They were already skeptical of her reports on the xenomorph. If no one beats me to it I'll see if I can find some script quotes to make a proper answer out of this comment.
    – Ixrec
    Aug 30, 2016 at 22:04
  • @Valorum - Much! Aug 31, 2016 at 13:35
  • It is also confusing, that at the end of Alien that Ripley, after she blasts the alien into space just before she went into the ffreezerino's with Jones the cat, notes " the crew who have been killed include "Kane,Lambert, Brett, Ash and Captain Dallas have been killed". Why not mention "Oh, by the way, Ash was a homicidal android acting on company orders to ensure the company had anew weapon for its weapons division"? Often books try and get around these plot holes, did the Alan Dean Foster novelisation address this?
    – jim
    Apr 30, 2021 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


In previous scenes Ripley is shown to be mentally and physically depleted, not least since she has been told (by Burke) that her daughter (and every other personal relationship)is gone due to her extended hyper-sleep. On top of this her intelligence and professional ability has been demolished - she is demoted after being accused of acting irrationally in destroying her ship (the suggestion is she may be culpable for the crews deaths). She is shown to struggle with the request to go back to LV 426 initially rejecting it. But what else does she have? Certainly no purpose in her life at that point and in a steep decline.

So, by the time she gets to the ship and the scene you mention, she is already fatalistic, suspicious of officials and unsure how much everyone else in the group knows - in this situation you wouldn't divulge sensitive information to an unknown group of people you have just met concerning the motives of the corporation (Weyland) that essentially owns the environment you live in and the mission you are engaged in. You would keep quiet and let everyone else talk - the same as you do in a corporate, military or social situation if you have any sense. Think before you speak or act.

Once Ripley has evaluated the situation and found the team to be naive and wholly wanting (after they get there 'asses kicked' under the reactor)- she steps up and asserts herself, taking command in all but rank.

Short answer - Ripley has nothing to gain at this point in the mission by disclosure (about previous events, the corporation's real motives and lack of concern for the crew / colonists) - she did this at the board review already and it fell on deaf ears. She has now determined her own purpose and mission now - to go to LV 426 to destroy the alien investation.

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    "Ripley has nothing to gain at this point in the mission by disclosure (about previous events, the corporation's real motives and lack of concern for the crew / colonists) - she did this at the board review already and it fell on deaf ears": I remember her stating that they had landed on company orders (that was acknowledged) but don't believe she mentioned the role of the company. By this time, some 50+ years in the future, many (if not all) of the people involved would have been dead and the present company could have possibly provided mock shock and horror at these revelations.
    – user66716
    Aug 31, 2016 at 12:45
  • @Jim. That's a fair point. Going to a board of enquiry for destroying an expensive asset (spaceship), Ripley would have had to submit a full report beforehand (standard MO in our world, military and corporate). We don't know whether she mentioned a malfunctioning homicidal Ash in the 'report' I agree, or the fact that she read an instruction from Mother suggesting that the crew had been deemed expendable - Van Leuwen mentions something like 'the ship's record corroborates some of your account' though. Last point, Weyland/Yutani sticks to the same standpoint over time... franchise tells us this Sep 1, 2016 at 9:55
  • This is leaving out the fact that right after Burke says “malfunctioned”, Ripley says “malfunctioned!?!” clearly indicating she doesn’t find that word appropriate to the events. But she does refrain from going into it any further at the time. Perhaps she is trying to go along with the company to not jeopardize her chances of getting reinstated as a flight officer May 1, 2021 at 22:02
  • Ripley was a fighter. A much better explanation is provided in Alan Dean Foster's official book of the film about the meeting where Ripley states "Then somebody's got to it and doctored the recorder. A competent tech could do that in an hour." When Ripley asked who had access to the recorder she was fobbed off and she realised her suspicions that the meeting was a sham were proved correct.
    – jim
    May 9, 2022 at 10:23

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