Alien, Gravity, and Pacific Rim: The Radical Notion That Women Are People

One Room With A View

PSA: this piece isn’t an argument over whether Stone, Mori, or even Ripley do or don’t pass this or that feminist reading. Whilst this writer’s opinion is that they do, that particular discussion is already well-covered from all angles (and to be honest, I’ve gone over my word count). For the curious, there’ll be recommended reading at the end. No – what we’re looking at today is that elusive idea of the multi-faceted female sci-fi lead…

Ripley's successors

It’s 1979. Unknown actor Sigourney Weaver has just been cast in Ridley Scott’s next film, a low-budget sci-fi horror called Alien. What follows is unexpected commercial success, cult status, and the lasting impression that Ripley is something different. Something new. Something better.

Through the 1960s and 70s, Western sci-fi didn’t do too well by its women. Alien‘s casting directors were working with a script full of generic male characters they could…

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