Is there any indication that (perhaps in some script version), as in Alien 4, that the trilobite, being the offspring of Shaw, recognizes her and that motivates it to attack the Engineer which, in this case, saves her life? I realize that it seems pretty mindless, basically a machine for creating the deacon but it would be interesting if indeed the trilobite had some protective motivation.

  • I'm guessing the the trilobite would not be much more protective of Shaw than chestbursters are, of their hosts. Although unrefined, it's still a bio-weapon.
    – Raj
    Apr 1, 2019 at 13:46
  • @Raj: I agree, but at the same time, some kind of sentience that would make it choose to protect its "mother" would be consistent with not only Alien 4 but also Alien 3 where an alien chooses not to attack Ripley when it senses that she bears a chest burster.
    – releseabe
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:39
  • I may need to rewatch Alien 4. Although your example from Alien 3 might be a good precedent, I would personally argue that it's a different case as Ripley is still needed by the chest burster that she is carrying. Once Shaw has "delivered" the trilobite, she's probably outlived her usefulness.
    – Raj
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:42
  • In Alien 4, a "baby" (born almost like a mammal from a giant queen) alien seems to show actual affection for Ripley.
    – releseabe
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


If you pay close attention to the scene where the Trilobite is released and attacks the engineer, you will also notice during the scuffle at one point that it wraps a tentacle around Shaw only to almost immediately release her and pursue the engineer. This a possible indication that it recognizes shaw.

  • 1
    Interesting and consistent with Alien 3 and 4 where indeed xenos treat Ripley differently than other humans. I will have to rewatch the scene in Prometheus.
    – releseabe
    Apr 6 at 4:04

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