Character Cage Match: Alien's Ripley vs. Prometheus' Elizabeth [Vote]
10.09.12 by Ryan
Polarizing sci-fi flick Prometheus may not have been one of the best movies of the summer to some, but it was certainly one of the most talked about movies, with audiences pouring over the many unexplained (or should we say vague) details. Ostensibly a prequel to director Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic Alien (or, considering the sequel that's in the works, Prometheus is actually the prequel to the prequel to Alien), the DVD and Blu-Ray for Prometheus is hitting shelves today, prompting us to consider which of Ridley Scott's leading ladies was the bigger bad-ass: Prometheus' Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) or Alien's Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)?
The Rules: Though Prometheus is coming close to franchise-status with the eventual Prometheus 2 on the way, it wouldn't be fair to compare Rapace's Shaw with the entirety of Weaver's appearances as Ripley, so we'll just compare Weaver's Ripley from the original Alien and not the cargo-loading, Newt-obsessed, bald and basketball-savvy Ripley that arrived in later sequels. Gotta make it a fair fight.
Before you vote, let's compare the characters' strengths and weaknesses.
Shaw's strengths: Endless curiosity and intelligence. An established archaeologist, Elizabeth's grasp of science comes in handy when she needs to conduct a hasty surgery. On herself. It's Shaw's smarts that helps her survive and her curiosity that drives her to want to find out why the Engineers hate humanity.
Shaw's weaknesses: Endless curiosity and intelligence. While Shaw comes to regret her decision to bring the scientific vessel Prometheus and its crew to the distant moon LV-223, let's not forget that her miscalculation dooms various pockets of humanity for centuries to come. Sometimes one's greatest strength can also be one's greatest weakness.
Ripley's Strengths: Pigheadedness. Her stubbornness is certainly an asset, since Ripley is the only one who doesn't want to let Kane (John Hurt) on the Nostromo with a facehugger on his head. Had everybody listened at the time, the collateral damage of the crew would have been greatly diminished. That said, once the xenomorph is on board, Ripley also knows how to survive, even with her pants down.
Ripley's Weaknesses: Company loyalty and technological incompetence. No one likes a kiss ass, and while Ripley learns to hate "the Company" (Weyland-Yutani), she's their greatest defender for most of the movie. Also, in the future, it seems that getting along with your ship's computer is vitally important and Ripley just can't get "Mother" to obey her commands. And don't get her started on androids.