I've said it before; Alien 3 was a perfect ending to the Ripley story arc. Her journey was doomed from the very minute they picked up that signal on LV-426.
Simply put, Alien 3 was an illogical, cheap, jarring, and inappropriate continuation of what Aliens set up.
I agree with both these polar opposites. I think that 3 was really poorly set up: film is about character and people were invested in those characters. To kill them off before the film starts is just bad writing. Kill them off during the film - give them a satisfying
ending. Or something else. But as I say, I think a lot of the grief 3 gets is down to this. (and the magic eggs).
But - it was
a good arc for the character. Even if the beginning
is cheap and jarring.
I really think that the dream thing is what they're going to go with. I know that most hate the idea - the "cheap" accusation could be leveled at that angle. But its not jarring - I think Hicks reminded me on another thread that there were professional dreamers for entertainment set up in the novels and/or comics. Prometheus sets up lucid, third person hyperspace dreams.
So that's in the continuity. It's not even fan theory or "just from the novels" any more. It's up there, its been set up. In all the threads on this, the clones (as good as POs idea is) and all the rest is just jumping through hoops.
I can't see them ignoring the 3 and the (horrid) Resurrection entirely (indeed, he said he will acknowledge them IIRC) - so I'd put money on the dream sequence conveniently hand-waving those movies.
3/4 (even outside of here in the real world *loll) are divisive movies. Aliens isn't. Everyone loved it. Everyone wanted "the same but different." They didn't get it and nothing that isn't "the same but different" that has been served up since 86 has been looked at barely half-way decent. Most loathe AvP and AvP:R. Most where "meh" on Prometheus (sure it made money, but it came and went - in terms of impact, it was a pebble compared to the meteor of Aliens).
So. If you have a plot device (hand-wave... cop out... shitty terrible idea... call it what you will) that has been set up in that Universe's past (David/Prometheus) and you have a problem that you don't want totally ignore canon but you don't want to use it... what are you going to do?
Use the plot device would be my guess. It solves all the problems and you could handle it in a few shots like they did at the beginning of Alien3 with the mystery egg and all that. A few flashes... a cgi-youngered Sigourney's face twitching.... a few more flashes.
Bingo. We get what's gone on - it was
all a dream and now all is right with the Alien-verse (for many people at least). Then again - I bet they'll kill Ripley and Hicks off at the end of it, but that's another story.
As was said - the best way is have this a parallel to 3... but that won't happen. We know Weaver and Biehn are on board (pretty much) we've seen that Rippers is a big part of the movie... so I think the only neat
way to do it is by using what the audience already knows.