Janine Engelbrecht chats about Amanda Ripley, from the Alien: Isolation video game, and her relationship with her mother, Ellen Ripley. Janine explores what makes Amanda a contemporary heroine, and how her story overlaps with Ripley’s in Alien.
What’s in episode 27, “Like Mother, Like Daughter: Amanda and Ellen Ripley”?
Janine welcomes listeners back and introduces the topic for this week’s episode – Amanda Ripley and Alien: Isolation. She also does the newly-introduced movie recommendation segment. Janine recommends The Heroic Trio for good weekend entertainment.
Janine starts off the discussion by giving some background on Amanda RIpley in terms of Alien canon. Janine also gives some background on the Alien: Isolation video game and her experience playing the game.
Motherhood in Alien
Janine briefly recaps some arguments made about Ripley and motherhood in the Alien franchise. She recounts how theorists say that Ripley’s motherhood denies her subversive potential.
Other iterations of Alien: Isolation
Janine briefly lists all the other manifestations of Alien: Isolation. This discussion includes comics, the novel and the animated mini-series. Here Janine talks a bit more about the mini-series and novel especially.
Amanda and Ellen Ripley’s relationship
Janine briefly considers what the mini-series and novel reveal about Ellen and Amanda Ripley’s relationship. She recounts how Amanda resents Ripley for always putting work above family.
Amanda and Ellen Ripley’s journey
Janine then gets into a discussion of how Amanda and Ellen Ripley’s stories are very similar. She then explores the significance of this and how this is a change from previous action heroines in games.
Amanda and Ellen Ripley as Final Girls
The first similarity between these two characters Janine explores is their status as Final Girls. Janine explains the Final Girl trope and how it is embodied by Amanda and Ellen Ripley.
Janine then briefly looks at Amanda Ripley’s physical appearance. She notes how, like Ellen Ripley, Amanda is desexualised and androgynous. Janine also briefly links this to fourth wave feminism.
Another similarity between the two, Janine notes, is the rogue android subplots in Alien and Alien: Isolation. Janine also explains how this makes the game even more difficult than it already is.
Final sequence of events
The final similarity between the two characters Janine explores is the final sequence of events in Alien and Alien: Isolation. Janine explains in detail how the movie and game end with almost exactly the same sequence of events.
She finally links this to the idea of positive mother-daughter relationships shown in Alien. Janine also explains how this links Amanda Ripley to the legacy of 1980s sci-fi heroines.
Janine wraps up the episode by mentioning her hope to see the character in more iterations in the future. Janine also encourages listeners to check out the Aliens t-shirt available on her t-shirt platforms.
This podcast is a fan production. All views made are that of the individual(s), and may not represent that of the podcast, or the Holosuite Media network.