At the end of Aliens, Ripley stows away in the pod with the young girl, and goes into stasis. In Alien 3, we discover that there was actually a face-hugger on board. Ripley later finds out that she's got a parasite inside of her.

However, her stasis pod was intact when she was discovered, and she was never attacked by a face-hugger in Alien 3. She also shows no signs of ever have being latched onto by a face-hugger; all previous attacks caused distinctive lacerations and abrasions to the sides of the victims' faces.

When / where did she get that parasite from?

  • Wasn't her pod the one with shattered (or corroded?) glass? Or was that one of the other capsules? Have to watch it again...
    – Mario
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 23:32
  • 4
    Just checked. Ripley's pod glass is indeed smashed (missed that the first time around) due to the crash, but it still doesn't seem likely that a face-hugger got to her at that point. It should have left marks, and it would have died rather than jumping out of the ship later to infect the dog. It also doesn't explain why Ripley's embryo is a queen.
    – Polynomial
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 23:45
  • 1
    “It should have left marks” — maybe you only get marks if you struggle, and she didn’t because she was in hypersleep. Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 13:13
  • Its also theorized that the queen brought a royal facehugger egg into the ship in Aliens to later implant a queen alien into Ripley.
    – user64166
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 14:34

3 Answers 3


Ripley was impregnated in deep space before the escape vehicle was jettisoned to Fiorina 161. You can see the facehugger attached to her in the computer scan of her pod below.

Ripley facehugged at last

Her pod was not intact. Before the escape vehicle was jettisoned, the glass casing of her pod could be seen to be broken.

Ripley in her pod, glass broken


Had a quick look as well (cause this is something I asked myself as well, while just taking it as a fact).

Her pod is indeed open (after all she's been washed ashore), which leaves room for interpretation. Obviously there have been at least two eggs in the escape pod section.

Ripley's open cryo chamber

I haven't heard the DVD's commentary yet, but I think this is what happened:

  • There have been two eggs or facehuggers inside the crashed section.
  • One stayed idle (the one later killing in the colony).
  • The one impregnating Ripley obviously has been the one damaging the escape pod (I assume), trying to get into Hick's chamber (there is visible corrosion on it).
  • During or after the crash this one managed to get onto Ripley (due to the broken glass), but got hurt during the crash and/or drowned shortly after (which might explain the missing marks).
  • Also keep in mind that Ripley indeed has wounds on and around her face, which might as well be mistakenly assumed to be caused by the crash itself.
  • This could also explain the egg hatching into a queen, considering it's been the first around having a host (although I'm not that deep into background lore, so I might be completely off with this point).
  • 1
    I'm with you up to the last point - how is this situation any different to the multiple live hosts facehuggers have infected before, including the one that lead to the famous chest-bursting scene in the first movie?
    – Polynomial
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 0:05
  • Yeah, might be wrong on that one. So it might indeed depend on the eggs (similar to how bee queens "control" the gender of future generations). They've just been lucky for the Alien in Alien not being a queen.
    – Mario
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 0:12

I know it's a late response but in the opening scenes we can see the facehugger attempting to break into Ripley's chamber. Several minutes passby and it succeeds in impregnating Ripley at the same time the corrosive blood causes the fire during flight causing the crash landing. Hicks was impaled by the safety support and the droid, Bishop, was disconnected and severed into pieces, and Newt drowned.Ripley was concerned that Newt may have been impregnated with a xenomorph, despite the Dr stating that her death was due to drowning. She still insisted on a autopsy which concluded that Newt in fact died to liquid in her lungs.

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