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Nostromo Drone (Xenomorph)

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Alien head 02
You still don't understand what you're dealing with, d'you?...The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
~ Ash, referring to the Nomostro Drone

The Nostromo Drone or also known as simply "The Alien" is the iconic creature and main antagonist of the 1979 horror/sci-fi film Alien. The creature comes to be after a member of the Nostromo space station crew named Kane, is infected by an alien facehugger and impregnated by it. This leads to the horrifying birth of the alien Drone, which begins to hunt the remaining members of the crew attempting to turn the Nostromo into it's own Xenomorph nest. Eventually The creature is pitted against the last remaining crew member and Alien series protagonist Ellen Ripley in a fateful game of cat and mouse.

It is a deceased sibling of Sevastopol Drone.

Alien (1979)

In the year 2122, while returning from a job in the Solomons, the Nostromo passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system when the Nostromo's onboard computer, MU-TH-UR, awakened them from hypersleep prematurely (Kane was the first one to awaken). The computer had intercepted a distress beacon originating from a planetoid within close proximity to their ship.

The Nostromo crew responded to the beacon and took a drop ship to a planetoid (which later came to be known as Acheron). The weather conditions on the planetoid's surface were extremely violent and the ship suffered extensive damage while trying to land. Kane was part of a three-person survey crew that explored the planetoid's surface. Along with Captain Dallas and navigator Lambert, they discovered the ruins of a derelict space craft, which had apparently crash landed here many years ago. They determined that it was the ancient S.O.S. beacon from this vessel that their ship had intercepted.

Kane explored the cargo bay of this carrier ship and found a giant nursery filled with thousands of large, bio-organic pods. Drawing his weapon, he examined one of the pods at close range and found that it was actually an egg. His proximity to the egg prompted it to hatch, eschewing forth a facehugger which attached itself to Kane's helmet. The facehugger secreted an acid that bled through the helmet, allowing the organism to attach itself directly to Kane's face and impregnate him with the Alien's embryo.

Kane was brought back to the Nostromo for treatment, but soon recovered and had almost no memory of his experiences on the planetoid. During the crew's dinner, the Alien embryo eventually matured into a chestburster and burst from Kane, killing him. Due to Ash's intervention, it manage to flee further into the Nostromo. When it matured into a drone, it began to kill the ship's crew starting with Brett. It then captured Dallas in the Nostromo's air shafts and cocooned him along with Brett's body in order to produce more Xenomorphs, though the cocoons were later destroyed by Ripley.

By the time Ripley, Parker and Lambert were the only surviving crew members left, they decided to use the shuttle. While preparing, the Alien snuck up on Lambert and was about to kill her, but was ambushed from behind by Parker. Despite being in excellent condition, Parker was over-powered by the Alien almost instantly. After finishing Parker off, the Alien returned its attention to Lambert and killed her by mutilating her.

It was nearly killed when Ripley set the ship to self-destruct. However, it hid in the escape ship, thinking quickly, Ripley opened the air lock and the alien was blasted out the door by a grappling gun. The Alien nearly crawled up the ship's engines, only to be blasted into space by the engine's exhaust, killing it.


"You admire it!"
"I admire its purity. A survivor...Unclouded by conscious, remorse, or delusions of morality."
Ash explains the Drone's personality to the survivors
Perhaps due to being the first Xenomorph that making it’s very debut in the franchise (as at that time more fact about nature of it’s kind yet to be decided by the movie creators), it was not given much personality. But it’s obvious that some elements of it’s personality similar with slasher film villains such as Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers due to it’s sadism in killing majorities of humans in Nostromo, enjoying its victims’ fear right before killing them, and pitting them in the cat and mouse chase.

In spite of such sadism and murderous tendencies, this xenomorph is very smart, capable to ambush it’s unsuspecting preys by using ventilations for it’s advantage, someting that all xenomorph have and retain until today.


  • Due to being the first xenomorph that appeared and designed within the franchise, some elements of it's physical appearance was less resembles other xenomorph that appeared after it, namely laking more flatten ridges on it's tail that enable it to swim, more humanoid limbs, having six-webbed fingers instead either 4 or 3, and it's tail blade were smaller, which more resembles scorpion's.
  • The fully grown Alien in the novelization of the movie is quite different to that in the film. It has an alarming ability to regenerate after sustaining injury, possesses large eyes, and notably does not have an inner jaw, instead using its bare hands to kill its victims.
  • According to the book Alien Vault, the Alien originally had a 4 day lifespan and the reason it hid within the Narcissus was because it was looking for a perfect place to die alone after it's killing spree.
  • The American Film Institute ranked the Alien as the fourteenth best villain in American film history in their list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains.
  • In Alien Isolation, it's sibling, the Sevastapol Drone, ironically became the nemesis of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of it's (Nostromo Drone) human killer.

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