The Greatest Movie Badasses Of All Time: Ellen Ripley

The 'Alien' astronaut proved over four movies that she deserves to be in our badass top 10.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contender, “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

Name: Ellen Ripley

Occupation: Weyland-Yutani corporation employee, assigned to the Nostromo

Movie(s): [movie id="859"]“Alien,”[/movie] [movie id="878"]“Aliens,”[/movie] [movie id="860"]“Alien 3,”[/movie] [movie id="115679"]“Alien: Resurrection”[/movie]

Weapons: Fists, pulse rifle, exosuit cargo-loader

Archenemy: Aliens, Alien queen, face-huggers, various disloyal crewmembers

Profile: Born sometime in the future (2092? 2103?), Ellen Ripley attended Brea-Olinda Private School in Los Angeles and Aeronautics University in New York City (with a focus on engineering). Mother to Amanda Ripley McLaren, we were introduced to her in the 1979 Ridley Scott classic “Alien,” as personified to perfection by three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver.

When that film opens, Ripley is working on the spaceship Nostromo, towing ore from Earth to Thedus. After the ship’s computer, “Mother,” wakes the crew up 10 months prematurely, three members of the crew investigate the disturbance — with Executive Officer Kane being attacked by an alien parasite. Despite her reluctance to let the landing party back onto the ship, the attack would soon mark the beginning of a Ripley/aliens smackdown that would stretch over the course of four sci-fi films.

In James Cameron’s 1986 instant-classic sequel “Aliens,” Ripley is awakened from her space-sleep nearly 50 years after the Nostromo attack. As the only survivor of the ordeal, the government pulls her out of cryostasis and asks her to lead a team of space marines to LV-426, where a human colony has fallen prey to hundreds of alien attackers. Once again, Ripley kicks a lot of alien ass — assuming, of course, that those things even have asses.

David Fincher’s mixed-bag “Aliens 3″ has a chrome-domed Ripley landing on the penal-colony planet Fiorina 161. After learning that a face-hugger has implanted a queen embryo within her, Ripley commits suicide by diving into an enormous furnace. In Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 1997 “Alien: Resurrection,” Ripley is cloned some 200 years later, only to learn that the U.S. military scientists haven’t fully removed the alien embryo from within her, leaving Ellen with superior strength, endurance and the ability to communicate with the aliens. The clone, known as “Ellen Ripley 8″ because of the seven failed attempts that preceded her, survives the events of the final film.

In real life, the now-59-year-old Weaver has said in past years that she’d be interested in reprising the character but has since reversed that position. At the Golden Globes , she told us, “I love the ‘Alien’ films, and I’m very proud of them. They have so many fans still. But I think enough, already.” If this is true, then it is time to officially say goodbye to what might just be cinema’s greatest female action hero. In space, no one can hear you scream — but in the movie theater, Ripley elicited shrieks of joy and terror from millions of die-hard fans worldwide.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Alien.”

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