Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow. 

DISCLAIMER: The following post may contain spoilers for the Alien franchise. If you haven’t enjoyed the films, I highly suggest checking them out!

Ellen Ripley

Fast Facts:

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Aliens.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Aliens.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) was born on the colony of Luna and went on to gain her Master’s degree in engineering from the New York Aeronautics University. She briefly served with the US Merchant Navy aboard the Zelazny before working for Weyland-Yutani. She had one daughter, Amanda Ripley-McClaren, prior to her voyage on the USCSS Nostromo. On their way back, the ship receives a transmission from a nearby planetoid. Ripley and the team decided to check it out and when they land, an unknown creature infiltrates the ship.

The creature, we now call Xenomorph, manages to kill everyone except Ripley. She manages to escape the destruction of the Nostromo and safely makes it to the ship’s shuttle. Ripley quickly learns that the Alien did too and after successfully expelling it into space, she charts her route home. But this isn’t the last time Ripley would come in contact with the Alien. After 57 years, she arrives back on Earth to find her daughter dead and everyone believing she made up everything.

However, the colony on LV-426 losing contact with Earth in the same place Ripley and her crew first encountered Alien. She is requested to join the Colonial Marines aboard the Sulaco to investigate. Once there, they find the planet overrun by the Alien’s spawns. Ripley barely makes it out with her life alongside a few others. She even goes head to head with the Alien Queen and wins, allowing them to escape successfully. However, they end up crashing on Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161 – an abandoned foundry facility and penal colony.

Unfortunately, Ripley didn’t realize that an Alien egg was aboard as well and after it hatches within the prison, all hell breaks loose. However, the Alien itself won’t attack Ripely but is killing everyone else. She soon realizes that she has the embryo of an Alien Queen growing inside her. She fights to kill the other Alien and then sacrifices herself to make sure the Alien Queen can’t be born. However, 200 years later, The United Systems Military has a group of scientists clone Ripley. They then surgically retrieve the Alien Queen embryo from her body to study.

The United Systems Military hopes to breed Aliens and study them on the spaceship USM Auriga; however, they eventually escape their enclosures and Ripley and the others are forced to flee. Ripley is eventually caught and brought to the nest, where the Alien Queen gives birth to a new type of Xenomorph with human traits. It seems to recognize Ripley as its true mother and kills the Queen. However, Ripley is forced to kill the newborn after it is discovered aboard, attacking the other survivors. Ripley and other survivors successfully make it off the ship before it crash lands into Earth and the explosion kills all of the Xenomorphs in a massive explosion.

The last we see Ripley, she is able to make it to Earth alive and hopefully no longer has to deal with Xenomorphs.

The Real Deal:

Ripley is the real deal. She is a strong-willed woman who rarely lets her emotions get the best of her. Ripley keeps her calm and focuses while planning and executing orders to keep herself and her comrades alive even in the face of almost certain death. But she wasn’t just this stone-faced person. Ripley had compassion for those around her and she fought to the end to save as many people as she could. She ignored her better judgment and risked her life to save Newt after she was captured. In fact, Ripley even sacrificed her own life to ensure that the Alien Queen growing inside of her would never see the light of day.

Why She Matters:

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Aliens.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Alien.

So why does Ripley matter? The character of Ellen Ripley has been widely considered one of the greatest female characters in science fiction. Some even go as far as to say that she is the first action heroine and I have got to agree. She challenged and changed gender stereotypes within the science fiction genre. She changed the face of action films, proving that female characters can and should be able to do everything their male counterparts can. But she doesn’t stop there. Ripley has even stood the test of time and is still seen as an icon and role model celebrated for her roles within the Alien franchise.

So be like Ripley. Challenge and change gender stereotypes in your field, be strong-willed even in the face of danger and have compassion for the people around you and do everything you can to help them.

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!


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