If it was to be used in the next film - why did none of the myriad scripts so much as mention it, never mind exploit it?
As far as all were concerned - Ripley was not a moron who just forgot about it.
Never said she was. Perhaps she too just assumed it was toast, and went on with her life.
It's possible for a human being to go through all kinds of hell, and simply forget things that are important to them. Ripley just saved her new daughter, survived the hive, the queen fight, and all that other mess since the moment Burke chucked the facehuggers in with her. Then she had to get everybody including bishop into cryo. I imagine she was rather exhausted and happy to be alive with her new family by that point. A normal person could very well overlook all kinds of things after that.
I don't think the AP destroyed any eggs though. So it's basically mission unaccomplished. But it leaves opportunities for future movies.
So we've gone from 'we're going there to wipe them out', to 'nuke the entire site from orbit', to 'oh, I'm sure there's no more Aliens, and I'm not going to bother to check lol'.
The way the movie rolls, the AP goes up, she fights the queen and then it's bed time. The derelict is never shown to be destroyed, nor is it mentioned. Seeing as how that was the source of all the death from the first movie, Ripley's ptsd, and the eggs that caused the outbreak at Hadley's Hope, I just always wondered why it was never addressed. Wherever that derelict was, it was far enough out that Newts family had to drive to it. Do I personally think it survived? Yeah, mostly. Although it looked like it had decayed somewhat since the first film, which could have made it less structurally sound.
Does the fact that it's not addressed in the movie mean it wasn't destroyed? No, I suppose not.
I just think it's destruction is too important an event not to be mentioned or shown. Even if she would've asked Bishop to scan the area, it would've helped. But there's nothing. So either Ripley just assumed it was gone with the processor, or it was on oversight by Cameron. I'm inclined to think it was an oversight. Big boom, everything must be gone.
Well, I personally don't think so. Likely not the eggs underground. So yeah, Ripley saw the death of all the grown xenomorphs. But she also missed the egg on the sulaco that got everybody killed. A moron? absolutely not. Human? Absolutely.
Like I said, the movie shows us what Cameron wanted us to see. A big boom, the queen fight, then lights out. Unless it's directly addressed on film, it's all up in the air. Seeing is believing.
We've only seen a portion of a large underground cavern. Who knows how big that cavern is? Where it goes? Or how many other eggs or even creatures there are down there?
Did she really "wipe them out?" I honestly think the odds are on the low side.
And all of this is leaving out the fact that (as much as I can't stand it) the colony survived the explosion in A:CM. Which has been sold as canon. So if it can survive at that range, I'd guarantee the derelict did.