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You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? The Perfect Organism... Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
~ Ash, referring to the Nostromo Drone.

The Nostromo Drone, or also simply known as "The Alien", is the iconic Xenomorph and main antagonist of the 1979 sci-fi/horror 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 its 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 the Sevastopol Drone.

It was portrayed by the late Nigerian visual artist Bolaji Badejo in his only film role while its vocal sound effects were provided by the late Percy Edwards.


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 an apparent distress beacon originating from a planetoid within close proximity to their ship and in accordance with company policy, were required to investigate it.

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 spacecraft, which had apparently crash landed here many years ago. On the ship, Warren Officer Ellen Ripley determined that it was not a true S.O.S. beacon but a warning signal.

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 manages 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 towards Lambert and was about to kill her, but was ambushed from behind by Parker. Despite being in excellent condition, Parker was overpowered 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 airlock 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.

Personality and Traits

Perhaps due to being the first Xenomorph that made its debut in the franchise (as at that time more fact about its kind was yet to be conceived), it was not given much personality. However, the Xenomorph is very smart, capable to ambush its unsuspecting prey by using ventilations for its advantage, something that all Xenomorphs have and retain until today. It also never attempted to attack the entire crew at once and waited until the crew was separated from one another before it began an attack.

It knew that it was vulnerable in its Chestburster state and immediately fled after bursting out of Kane's chest.

In appearance, Nostromo Xenomorph is fit to that of typical Drones, but is outdated due to its tail blade was smaller and more like a scorpion's barb.





  • Due to being the first Xenomorph that appeared and designed within the franchise, some elements of its physical appearance less resemble other Xenomorphs that appeared after it, namely lacking more flatten ridges on its tail that enable it to swim, more humanoid limbs, having six-webbed fingers instead of either three or four, and its tail blade were smaller, which more resembles a 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 its killing spree.
  • The American Film Institute ranked the Alien as the fourteenth best villain in American film history on their list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains.
  • In Alien Isolation, its sibling, the Sevastopol Drone, ironically became the nemesis of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of its (Nostromo Drone) human killer.


           Official AVP Logo Villains

Xenomorph Queen (Empress, First Acheron Queen, Second Acheron Queen, Cloned Queen, Antarctic Queen and The Matriarch) | Drones (Nostromo Drone, Sevastopol Drone, Mendel Drone, Lead Alien and Grid) | Runner (The Dragon) | Warrior | Raven | Newborn | Deacon | Rogue | White Hybrids | Red Xenomorphs | Predaliens (Gunnison Predalien and The Abomination) | Praetorian Xenomorphs

Jungle Hunter | City Hunter | Berserker Predator | Ultimate Predator | Chopper Predator | Celtic Predator | Scar | Tracker Predator | Falconer Predator | Killers

Peter Weyland | Carter J. Burke | Ash | David 8 | Karl Bishop Weyland

The Engineers | Edwin | Will Traeger | Stans | King Willie | Borgia Industries | Mason Wren | General Spears

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