Rebecca Jorden, nicknamed Newt, is the sole survivor of the Hadley’s Hope colony on LV-426 after Xenomorphs overrun the settlement. A Colonial Marines unit is dispatched to LV-426 to find out what happened on the planet and discover her hiding in the ventilation system of the facility. Ellen Ripley befriends her and later rescues her from the Alien Hive from the Queen. After almost all of the Marines are killed, Ripley, Newt, Hicks and Bishop go into hypserleep on the Sulaco.
After a Facehugger stowed away, the Sulaco ejects the cryotubes into an E.E.V. which crashlands in the water on Fiorina “Fury” 161. Newt is killed when she drowns in her cryotube. Newt appears in 1986’s Aliens and is played by Carrie Henn and her corpse played by Danielle Edmond, appears in 1992’s Alien 3. The character of Newt also appears in the early Dark Horse comics Aliens: Book One, Aliens: Book Two and Aliens: Earth War as well as 1992’s Aliens: Newt’s Tale.
Newt was born on March 15, 2173 on the Hadley’s Hope colony on Acheron. Her parents are Russ and Anne Jorden and she also has an older brother called Timmy. Newt was actually the first person to be born on the colony itself.
Hadley’s Hope, Acheron
In 2179, Ripley informs the board of directors at the Gateway space station about the Xenomorph and the Derelict Spacecraft. Carter Burke gave the alleged coordinates of the spacecraft to the Hadley’s Hope colony and in turn, Newt’s parents brought her and her brother along to explore the specific area of the planet. They soon discover the Derelict Spacecraft and Russ and Anne venture inside leaving their children in the buggy. They explore the insides of the mysterious spacecraft just like the Nostromo crew did and discover the Alien Eggs. After some time, Newt’s mother appears at the buggy and tries to contact the colony over the radio. Newt peers beyond her mother and sees her father who has been incapacitated by a Facehugger. What happens to the colony directly after that is left ambiguous. (Editor’s note: What happens on Hadley’s Hope is picked up in the 1992 Dark Horse comic, Aliens: Newt’s Tale). It’s assumed that Anne Jorden takes Russ back to receive medical attention and the scientists there begin studying the Xenomorphs. The aliens escape and start kidnapping the colonists and drag them back to the Atmosphere Processing Plant. The Xenomorphs go into hibernation while Newt manages to stay hidden in the colony’s ventilation system.
After communication is lost, a squad of United States Colonial Marines, along with Ellen Ripley and Carter Burke, is dispatched to Acheron to investigate Hadley’s Hope. After the marines enter the compound, they soon discover Newt on the motion tracker who scurries into a vent. Ripley goes after her and finds her hiding in an area of the vents. She brings her back to the squad where Corporal Dietrich checks her over. Dietrich said she was malnourished but physically fine. While she was originally very quiet, Ripley manages to strike a rapport with her and Newt tells Ripley her name. The Marines realise all the colonists have been taken to the Atmosphere Processing Plant and travel in the A.P.C. along with Ripley and Newt, to the location. The squad explore an area of the reactor that has been covered in some sort of resin. The Xenomorphs soon ‘awaken’ and attack the Marines. As they are being slaughtered, Ripley drives the A.P.C. and rescues the remaining survivors. The group get clear of the reactor and plan to escape the planet on a dropship but that is destroyed by a Xenomorph. Newt tells the remaining survivors that the Aliens mostly come out at night and they should return to the operations compound.
Back in the compound, Newt helped the Marines build a defence against the creatures. As the survivors waited for Bishop to remotely pilot a second dropship from the Sulaco, Ripley and Newt go to sleep in the colony’s medical station. As they slept, Burke releases two Facehuggers into the room and locks them in there with Ripley and Newt. Ripley awakes and realises what has happened. She uses a lighter to trigger the room’s sprinkler system which in turn, alerts the remaining Marines. The Xenomorphs soon overrun the compound and Newt leads Ripley and the remaining Marines through the vents. As Vasquez and Gorman sacrifice themselves with the use of a grenade, the explosion causes Newt to lose her footing and slip through a fan. Newt falls into the sewer where she is attacked by a Xenomorph which takes her back to the hive.
Later, Newt awakens cocooned to the hive wall, and an Alien Egg in front of her opens up releasing a Facehugger. As Newt screams, Ripley comes to her rescue and kills the Facehugger and releases her from the cocoon. The two end up in the Queen Alien’s chamber where they watch the Queen producing lots of Alien Eggs. Ripley uses her flamethrower and incinerates the Alien Eggs as well as throwing some grenades into the eggsack. Ripley and Newt head back to the landing platform with the Queen in pursuit. As the Atmosphere Processor is exploding around them, Bishop arrives in the dropship to rescue them and they head back to the Sulaco. Back on the Sulaco, Ripley thanks Bishop for rescuing her when the Queen reveals herself and severs Bishop in half. Newt hides under the floor grating while Ripley runs to another area. The Queen hunts for Newt as she scurries under the grating. Just as the Queen is about to kill Newt, Ripley emerges inside a Power Loader. Ripley battles with the Queen and eventually ejects her into space. After finally having killed the Queen, Ripley, Bishop, Newt and Hicks enter hypersleep for the trip back to Earth.
Fiorina “Fury” 161
A short time after the survivors entered hypersleep, a Facehugger had stowed away aboard the Sulaco and began causing problems on the ship. Acidic blood from the Facehugger had burnt through Newt’s cryotube starting an electrical fire. The Sulaco ejected the four cryotubes into an E.E.V. which then crashes in to the water on Fiorina “Fury” 161. Water then flooded the E.E.V. and Newt drowned in her cryotube. When Ripley regains consciousness, she realises she had been rescued by prisoners in the Work Correctional Facility nearby. Ripley suspects Newt had a Chestburster inside of her so she asks the facility’s doctor, Clemens, to perform an autopsy on the girl using a reason of suspected cholera. Clemens performed the autopsy and found nothing unusual inside Newt’s body. Newt’s body, along with Hicks’, was cremated in the facility’s furnace.
Personality and Traits
Newt was a quiet and shy girl but she had a good relationship with her parents and with her brother Timmy, who was the only one to call her by her first name. She and her brother frequently played in the colony’s ventilation system. After the Xenomorphs had attacked Hadley’s Hope and everybody had been killed or kidnapped, she showed great courage and ingenuity by managing to find food and shelter to hold out until help arrived. Her only friend throughout the ordeal was her favourite doll called Casey . When help arrived, she developed a close relationship with Ripley who became her surrogate mother. After the squad of Marines is ambushed in the Atmosphere Processor and the subsequent loss of the dropship, Newt managed to remain calm while other survivors like Hudson were falling apart. Out of all the Marines, Newt became closest to Hicks who treated her as an equal.
Behind The Scenes
Newt was one of the most difficult roles to cast in Aliens. The casting director, Mary Selway, went through hundreds of children throughout the United Kingdom but because a lot of them had done advertisements, they were used to smiling after delivering their lines. Carrie Henn was born in America but her father was stationed at a US airforce base in England so she spent much of her childhood there. She got the role of Newt despite not having any previous acting experience.
In 1988, Dark Horse released Aliens: Book One and the first three stories continued the story after James Cameron’s Aliens. Aliens: Book Two was released in 1989 followed by Earth War in 1990. After the release of Alien 3 in 1992, the killing of Hicks and Newt obviously broke continuity in the comics so Dark Horse renamed Newt to Billie and Hicks to Wilks in future reprints.
Aliens: Book One
In ‘Outbreak’, the story picks up 10 years after the events in Aliens. Newt is in a mental institution while Hicks agrees to go on a mission to alien homeworld to recover some eggs and destroy one of the hives. Before he leaves, Hicks visits Newt and frees her from the facility. They both leave for the homeworld and while they’re away, Earth is overrun by Xenomorphs. The group lands on the homeworld and Newt has fallen in love with a solider named Butler, who later turns out to be a synthetic. A different group of soldiers attack them and want the Alien Eggs for themselves. Eventually, Hicks and Newt escape back to Earth while Butler has been severed in half. As they get back to Earth, they are told to leave because of the Xenomorph infestation.
Aliens: Book Two
The story picks up in ‘Nightmare Asylum’ and Butler, Hicks and Newt find themselves on a cargo ship transporting aliens to an unknown location. When the aliens are killed, the ship autopilots to a military post where they find somebody called General Spears training Xenomorphs to use as weapons. The aliens soon escape and wreak havoc, and Hicks and Newt escape on Spears’ ship leaving Butler behind. They realise that Spears is transporting the trained Xenomorphs back to Earth to use them against the Xenomorphs on Earth. Hicks and Newt use an escape pod and sets a course for Gateway station.
Aliens: Earth War
Aliens: Earth War was released in 1990 and continues with Hicks and Newt at Gateway who meet up with Ripley. They go to the Xenomorph homeworld to capture the Alien Queen Mother and bring her back to Earth. The plan was to use the Queen to lure all the xenomorphs all together and detonate many bombs. Meanwhile, Newt becomes obsessed with saving a girl called Amy back on Earth. When the group return to Earth, Newt sets off to find her. They eventually save the girl and detonate the bombs on Earth and destroy the aliens once and for all. Earth War was adapted into the 1993 novel Aliens: Female War by Steve Perry with the characters’ names changed.
Aliens: Newt’s Tale
Aliens: Newt’s Tale was released in 1992 and is set entirely from Newt’s point of view on the Hadley’s Hope colony. The comic begins with the Jorden family heading out to the Derelict and Russ Jorden being attacked by a Facehugger as we saw in the Special Edition of Aliens. Russ awakens in the colony 25 hours later and as Newt and Timmy can’t see him, Timmy’s friend Aaron suggests they go through air vents to see him. They reach the vent overlooking their father and several men who were sent to investigate the Derelict return with Facehuggers attached to them. Just then, they watch a Chestburster emerge from their father, killing him. A few days later, Anne, Timmy and Newt as well other colonists are sent to a storage area for safety and barricade themselves inside. They are told to wait it out and wait for the Marines to come and help them.
The Xenomorphs soon storm the colony. Anne asks another colonist for a gun, saying she would rather kill her children than let the Xenomorphs take them. The colonists open the barricade so that they can rescue any survivors and before they know it, the Xenomorph storm the storage room and kill or kidnap everybody. Anne prepares to kill her children but Timmy suggests they can escape through the vents. A Xenomorph kills Anne while Timmy grabs a gun and shoots one of the aliens. Acid splatters all over Timmy and kills him. Newt is the only colonist to escape the storage room and she hides in the ventilation system for two weeks before the Colonial Marines find her. The comic continues from there just like the movie.
Alien 3 Comic
Dark Horse released a comic adaptation of Alien 3 in 1992. Events are fairly similar to the movie with regards to Newt. She drowns in her cryotube though the Queen Chestburster actually crawls out of Newt’s mouth and then into Ripley’s when it realises she has drowned.
- At the end of Aliens, when Ripley is carrying Newt around, for many of these scenes, Sigourney Weaver is actually carrying a light dummy.
- Newt has a minor appearance in the Aliens arcade game from Konami. She can be seen crawling out of air ducts in the first level. There are also driving sections that involve the characters driving to rescue Newt.
- Newt has a minor appearance in the 2013 video game Aliens: Colonial Marines. She can be heard in her mother’s audio message found in Hadley’s Hope. Newt also appears in the DLC Stasis Interrupted in an audio message she recorded for Hicks when he tries to contact Earth.
- It was rumoured that Newt might make some sort of appearance in Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel which retcons Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection bringing back Ripley and Hicks.