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Whilst Ripley is launching the Nostromo self destruct, she uses this panel with some interesting buttons:

The image is from TypeSetInTheFuture.com. Some of the buttons are:

  • PRANIC LIFT 777
  • LINGHA
  • YONI
  • SHAKTI EXCESS
  • AGARIC FLY
  • And of course, PADME

Now out of universe these terms were taken from a Hindu book:

Well, according to the Alien Explorations blog, designer Simon Deering needed some complex-sounding labels for the keyboard at short notice. He was reading The Secret Doctrine by Helena Blavatsky, a Russian philosopher and occultist, at the time of filming. Blavatsky’s book attempts to explain the origin and evolution of the universe in terms derived from the Hindu concept of cyclical development. Deering found his inspiration in its pages, and the Nostromo‘s odd keyboard was born.

But my question is, what is the function of the buttons in-universe?

  • 6
    I'm reasonably sure that Lingha and Yoni are Sanskrit words for one's naughty parts. – Valorum Mar 6 '17 at 13:05
  • 10
    anyone realizing, that hum is left of padme, that makes me think of the snskrit mantra Om mani padme hum – Torsten Link Mar 6 '17 at 13:33
  • 7
    @Accio_Answer - I think your own links make it clear that it's just a "generic control panel with lots of buttons*". The buttons don't button anything – Valorum Mar 6 '17 at 13:39
  • 4
    @Accio_Answer - It doesn't even mention them: "Gauges and controls functioned patiently within, waiting to be told what to do. There was one particular board whose switches were outlined in red. She studied it a moment, recalling sequences, then began to close the switches one at a time. One double switch lay protected beneath a locked cover. She pried at it a moment, then stepped back and hammered it loose with the butt end of the flamethrower, moved up, and threw the dual control." – Valorum Mar 6 '17 at 13:44
  • 6
    Isn't the answer simply that pushing the Padme button causes the user to lose the will to live? – Ellesedil Mar 2 '18 at 20:50
3

The button is never observed to be physically pressed "in-universe" -- so we have to infer what might happen from the universe of our own imagination, and experience.

Padme is Sanskrit for the lotus flower. The lotus flower symbolizes the promise of enlightenment in Eastern ideologies - for example:

"In Hinduism, the lotus flower is very significant as it relates to the sacred Padma lotus, and is associated with numerous gods, including Vishnu, Lakshmi and Brahma. In many ancient works of art, the gods are depicted with lotus flowers as they represent purity and divinity"
https://www.onetribeapparel.com/blogs/pai/meaning-of-lotus-flower

In-universe the obvious parallel to the Padma Lotus is David's tempting, but face-hugger-spewing, egg.

The Illuminating Alien Egg

There was never any guarantee that the actual state of existence confired upon the "enlightened" would be healthy for the confirmant crew of the Nostromo deep in the heart of darkness... of Space; and that fact is borne out by the consummate fate of first the captain and then his entire crew, each cocooned into their own living hells - including Ripley who ultimately plunged into the furnace in Alien3.

As Mother revealed -- the crew was always expendable in the context of the company's desire to achieve its collective, self-worshiping, goal.

Ripley fell into the furnace

-- That's what happened when the Wayland-Yutani Corporate-Collective gave in to the temptation of David's button, and tried to become as God, in-universe

The Horror!

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