The Company wasn't nefarious, until it was

Started by OpenMaw, Oct 09, 2022, 04:10:11 PM

The Company wasn't nefarious, until it was (Read 2,747 times)


QuoteIf you think there's something of value to collect, shouldn't you be sending a qualified team and not people who are completely unprepared.
You send the closest ship you can to secure your claim. That they didn't send a dedicated team speaks more to not knowing exactly what was there than anything.

Ash being put on board really doesn't speak to an automated process either. They swapped out the science officer right before they left with an Android specifically placed to ensure the special order was followed.

Sure automated processes could account for that, but you're going out of your way to ignore what's plainly the intent for no real benefit. The Company wasn't out to kill anyone, they just didn't care if they did. And history shows that's often the case even with actual people making the decisions.


Pretty much.

David Weyland

David Weyland

If the company wasn't out to kill anyone then but knowledge of the life forms capability and tendencies then you could argue that they did, certainly a charge above involuntary manslaughter in the workplace.

If they had gone into hyper sleep before Kane's son hatched, maybe the rest of the crew would debrief, go home and Kane would die in a lab.

However let's say Lambert and Parker along with Ripley survived also to bear witness & didn't float in space for 57 years but just a few months would that be too much knowledge for the Company & hush them up post a successful return to Earth?

Anyway I now think the AI is the nefarious perhaps they might have been believed and a team would have been sent out to investigate the Derelict's coordinates sooner to nobody's benefit.

That triggered another thought what if the Narcissus was nefariously 'redirected' to float into infinity but someone messed up 😄


They'd probably say they're crazy and quietly send out a more prepared ship.

Aliens makes it pretty clear it's 100% people calling the shots and being indifferent to human collateral. There's no real need for conspiracy theories.


Quote from: SiL on Oct 18, 2022, 12:56:17 AMAliens makes it pretty clear it's 100% people calling the shots and being indifferent to human collateral. There's no real need for conspiracy theories.

Aliens makes it clear that Burke made the decision in this particular instance. Nothing in the original film indicates whether people were specifically involved or not. Given all of the metaphorical and allergorical elements of the film regarding the cold and uncaring nature of the ship, the alien, ash, the universe at large, i'm more inclined to believe not.



Alien presents its various AI as tools of people. Mother is not MCP - she's not even HAL. Ash is following the directive given to him.

Decisions are made elsewhere and then executed by workers and robots; the lower staff are collateral. The allegory was contemporary large scale multinationals, run by people, not machines.

If the movie were made today I'd agree that it's all AI is fine, but that's a retroactive reading that ignores the intended allegory of corporate upper management indifference.

That the original sequels all followed this line of thinking, and were all produced by the same people, speaks volumes to the intent.


I added some more points here, and given the perspective of seeing only the first two movies and no deleted scenes or anything part of the EU.

That is, the company worked closely with government, given the point the the colony in the second movie is a joint project, as mentioned in the investigation. That means revenues were tied with weapons research, etc.

We don't know if the hundreds of worlds with lifeforms mentioned in the second movie took place during the time that Ripley was in hibernation, but given the fact that they had mining and other colonies by the start of the first movie, then the discoveries of various worlds and lifeforms had been taking place long before the first movie. There's also the references to bug hunts and Arcturians in the second movie.

Everyone wanted a cut, from the space truckers in the first movie to the wildcatters in the second to people like Burke to the USM wanting advanced tech to even the salvagers who find Ripley's shuttle. In which case, it's probably not so much the company being nefarious as doing business, which includes taking advantage of each other or mutual gain.

In which case, if the phenomenon of discovering worlds and lifeforms (intelligent or otherwise?) had been happening throughout (i.e., even before the setting of the first movie), then even the idea of requiring ships to investigate phenomena (like what happened in the first movie) would not have been surprising to the space truckers, especially given their awareness of things like quarantine protocols. And if, as the marines implied, the expedition sounded routine, that might also mean that they--the company, government, and USM--had been doing such things routinely across some of those hundreds of worlds or so.


They say in the first movie that investigating life forms is contractual. The actual shiftiness was the Company rerouting the ship (now with Ash on board) to intercept the signal to trigger those protocols.


The company might not be moustache-twirlingly evil, but they're definitely amoral to the point of being outright dangerous. Burke isn't a lone actor - he goes out of his way to say that despite working for the Company, "he really is an okay guy", implying that the Company (or at least, the public's perception of it) is full of scumbags but he's not one of those "bad" ones. Burke does his own thing in 'Aliens', but not because he's a bad apple amongst an otherwise okay company, but because he wants to be the one who does it first. If he hadn't done what he did, someone else absolutely would have. Burke shows his uncaring and unremorseful nature towards the colonists he doomed because it would make him (and Ripley) big money "if they play their cards right". That's not actively going out of your way to hurt people like some kind of supervillain, but it's the next best thing.

Quote from: SiL on Oct 15, 2022, 07:34:35 PMEven Alien 3 doesn't solidify any sort of overarching Evil Company scheme. They want to f**k around and find out about the Alien, sure. But they aren't abjectly evil in going about it. The only person they kill violently assaults one of them with an improvised weapon first; they escort the survivor out.
To be fair, they kneecap said survivor without a second thought for following Ripley's instructions.

Quote from: OpenMaw on Oct 16, 2022, 03:08:12 PMGranted, but that doesn't follow that there was someone back home that made a specific call on that. S.O. can just as easily be a protocol that is called up. Just like the clauses Ash quotes to Parker, just as Ash was transferred to the ship, just as the S.O. if it's all just part of an automated, uncaring, computerized network there's no need for a nefarious suit back home. All the pieces are put into a place by a corporate entity (as in the social organism) to CYA in any circumstances. We have things in place to make calls on these eventualities should they arise and we need not worry.
The Nostromo was intentionally sent to a specific set of coordinates with the Special Order in place referencing a sequence of events that would play out if they went to those coordinates, with a synthetic sleeper agent onboard who was added to the crew at the last minute (and hid all of this from the crew), it was pretty deliberate.
Like 'Aliens', the Nostromo was an example of someone at the Company wanting to Get There First, before someone else did the same thing. That's why they hastily threw Ash on a civilian ship at the last minute and sent it to a set of coordinates, because it was convenient. As opposed to, say, sending a properly equipped science vessel. They didn't know what they'd find, they didn't care if it was dangerous, they didn't care what happened to the crew they sent.

Does the EU take it too far? Yes. Is the company still evil? Yes.



Right but they kneecapped the dude, they didn't blow him to pieces.

The Company has always been evil, but in a way that leaves enough weasely legal wiggle room to get away with it.

See also Umbrella, games vs movies.



Quote from: SiL on Oct 22, 2022, 03:17:22 AMRight but they kneecapped the dude, they didn't blow him to pieces.

The Company has always been evil, but in a way that leaves enough weasely legal wiggle room to get away with it.

See also Umbrella, games vs movies.
I barely even remember how Umbrella is portrayed in the movies (except for the most recent movie, where they're kind of portrayed like "Alien movies Weyland Yutani evil" if anything).
To be fair I'm also not very well versed in the RE games so I'm not equipped to compare the movies to the games.



Anderson has them as just ... overtly evil and somehow still functioning after the collapse of humanity? It's like the EU WY as written by a 14 year old.

In the games they're more like WY - a shady, unethical, powerful company, but still one that has to worry about how the fallout of their f**kups might affect the bottom line. They're not all-powerful.


They still end up being bought by Walmart in the end so yes pretty much.

The Cruentus

I agree that the company wasn't evil originally and the fact that video games and comics have taken the mustache twirling evil route for them really does annoy me. In the first two movies, hell even the third, they were fairly neutral and just neglectful at worst. In the first movie, Ash malfunctioned trying to reconcile orders from the company with what was going on the ship.

In the second before, Burke was acting alone for his own greed.

in the third movie we just have bishop offering the Ripley the chance to live, its ambiguous whether he is being truthful or not. His armed guards don't even kill the remaining survivor and only fired at Aaron after he assaulted Bishop.


I think it's clear WY had some knowledge and moved the Nostromo into proximity of LV-426. It could be just some midlevel fellow like Burke that had some inside info, or it could have been the entire board of directors. We just don't know.

As for Burke, I kind of think that he wasn't really a bad guy, until he literally was on LV-426 and had his moment and stepped in that direction in the medical bay. Like that was the line he couldn't come back from. Burke never admitted it was his fault. He is a narcissist, but he may have been truthful on the bad call line. It was initially just a story and maybe he didn't really believe it, but curiosity got the better of him and he messaged the colony.  Like maybe before his ass was on the line he would never have tried to hurt anyone, but once he saw an avenue to give himself a chance to get off planet, and cover up what happened (knowing the place is going thermonuclear), he was too far gone to go back the other direction, and wanted to avoid prison and litigation. It's like he doesn't really have a full grasp on reality until he runs into the alien.  It's more interesting that a not so great, not so bad dude with some ambition made some costly mistakes, and then got desperate to try to fix them by any means necessary than it is that he was just like "Aw man, I should send a family out to investigate the face raping carnivore species without warning lolmybad."

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