I think that regardless of what direction they go, it should not be a major part of the film. Go ahead with Hicks as the male lead, have a female lead that could possibly
be Newt. The main focus of the film should be the plot, the story, the tale of survival against a nigh-indestructible force of nature that is dead-set on wiping out the crew. Surviving on an alien world. Discovering the deepest, darkest secrets of the universe and what a cruel mistress mother nature truly is. That we are not alone in the universe, and this very simple discovery boasts forth the single most destructive and terrifying events humanity has ever experienced.
If Ripley must come back for one more Alien
, let it be as a plot point specifically to explain the presence of Hicks (or not, I mean, we've got Colonial Marines
if all else fails), or to recount the horrors she faced at the mercy of experiments for Weyland-Yutani's bio-weapons division (thereby explaining Alien 3
). Nothing more. A few lines of dialogue towards the end. Nothing more. I also liked the idea one member pointed out earlier about the Sulaco
being re-routed to Fiorina-161 by the Company as part of said (theoretical) experiment (Local Trouble or SM I think it was).
Above all, it must not only fit with Ridley's prequel series, it must also build upon it. It needs to be a definitive climax for the entire franchise, and while it does not have to explain everything, it must reinforce all preexisting installments by bringing its own contribution into it. It can truly be a renown work of art, much in the way Alien
is in the Congressional Library of Arts. It doesn't have to suck. Period.
I have an old theory that the company intentionally diverted the Sulaco to Fury 161 to isolate Ripley and the alien on a planet exclusively under their control and presumably outside the jurisdiction of Colonial Administration.
By that rationale, it's possible that the company was able to intercept the Sulaco and contain the survivors to prevent them from blowing the whistle about what really happened on LV-426.