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The title says it all. And this is spurred by a comment posted to this post on the “Movies & TV” site here.

Does the queen get to choose when the eggs open? That's not how it works with any egg laying creature I've heard of. But if Ripley attributes the egg opening to the queen's intent that might explain her behaviour. (Although the queen coulda waited another few seconds 'til Ripley wasn't looking!) – Grimm The Opiner

The general gist is whether there is any in-universe citation that explains how much control the Alien Queen has over the eggs and other aliens around her?

Specifically, there is this scene in Aliens (1986) (around 2:38 in) where Ripley confronts the Alien Queen and an egg opens up—seemingly on command of the Queen—right in front of her.

My interpretation of that scene—as a casual viewer—has always been that the Queen is in control and somehow able to make her eggs open at will like that. And yes, earlier in that clip the Alien Queen seems to order other, full-grown aliens by glancing at them, but that doesn’t really explain the egg near Ripley opening up like that.

Am I wrong in this assumption and the egg simply opened because a human was detected near it… And if that is the case, why only one egg and not all of them? Or at least a few more given the density of eggs in the reactor at the time.


Looking for an in-universe, canonical explanation. If one does not exist, something that can get as close to in-universe and canonical is acceptable.

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    Can't find anything official on this yet but everyone seems divided on this. Half say the Queen betrayed her and opened the egg, the others seem to think the egg just opened. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 11 '18 at 15:29
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    @JohnP Again that's not necessarily evidence of control but could just be them communicating to each other. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 11 '18 at 15:31
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    @JohnP “If you look at the same clip around 1:55, the Queen reacts to the flamethrower by backing off the full grown xenomorphs. So that is direct evidence of control of the other aliens.” In my mind, I don’t see that as being a level of “control” any more than humans—or even animals such as dogs and cats—communicating via non-verbal visual cues. – JakeGould Jun 11 '18 at 15:51
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    I think there are a lot of semantics here. I would say anything that behaves like large groups of ants, birds, fish, or the more numerous flying insects would have a hive mind mentality which is also swarm intelligence. Communication non-verbally through biological means and communication through mechanical means seems to give all the information these aliens were designed to do. But, if we are talking about some psychic abilities that we don't understand that gets really messy because then you have to assume EVERYTHING is telepathic until proven otherwise. – Byrd Jun 11 '18 at 19:01
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    The queen appears to have total control but that's not established until later films – Valorum Jun 11 '18 at 21:01

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