The Newborn is a unique creature from the movie "Alien Resurrection," known for being a hybrid of human and Xenomorph, two different species. This character is the result of experimental cloning done on the spaceship USM Auriga. Unlike other Xenomorphs, the Newborn has human-like features and emotions, making it a somewhat hated standout in the Alien series. It was born from a Queen Xenomorph that had been mixed with human DNA from Ripley 8 (a clone of Ellen Ripley), leading to its distinctive appearance and behavior.
Birth On The Auriga
The Newborn's origin is linked to a series of cloning experiments conducted on the USM Auriga, a spaceship belonging to the United Systems Military. These experiments aimed to resurrect the Alien species, which had seemingly been killed off centuries ago. However, the process went awry when a Queen Xenomorph, extracted from the clone of Ellen Ripley, was accidentally infused with human DNA. This ultimately led to the birth of the Newborn, a significant deviation from the standard Xenomorph life cycle, which usually involves hatching from eggs. The Newborn was born near the waste tank of the ship, where the Queen had set up a secret hive.
Killing The Cloned Queen
After its birth, one of the Newborn's first notable actions was the killing of the Cloned Queen, the creature that had given birth to it. After sniffing her, it ripped off the top of the Queen's head with it's bare hand. This act was a dramatic departure from the established Xenomorph behavior, as they are typically depicted as following a hive-like structure with the Queen as the leader. The Newborn's aggressive act against the Cloned Queen indicated its distinct nature, showcasing a break from the standard Xenomorph behavior and hinting at its complex blend of inherited traits.
Affection For Ripley 8
Contrasting its earlier aggression, the Newborn exhibited a surprising level of emotional attachment towards Ripley 8, a clone of the series protagonist, Ellen Ripley. The Newborn possibly considered Ripley 8 to be its true mother, after rejecting the Alien Queen. The creature wanted to lick and hug Ripley, showing its affection like a small child. This behavior was unusual for a Xenomorph, as they typically do not demonstrate such emotional capacities. The Newborn's interaction with Ripley 8 was indicative of its unique hybrid nature, combining human-like emotions with its alien instincts.
Escape To The Betty
Following its short time on the Auriga and being distracted with killing the mad Doctor Gediman, the Newborn followed Ripley 8 to the Betty, a smuggling ship. While on the Betty, the Newborn's behavior was unpredictable and varied. It interacted with the ship's crew, displaying a mix of curiosity, confusion, and aggression. The Newborn killed Distephano by crushing his head, and started to torture Call, the android. However, this was stopped by Ripley 8, who confronted the creature.
The Newborn's life came to a tragic and dramatic end. Exploiting the emotional bond that had formed, Ripley 8 manipulated the situation to lead the Newborn towards a small opening in the ship, created by Ripley's acid blood. This resulted in the Newborn being violently expelled into space, causing its death, while Ripley 8 seemed to be emotionally affected. The manner of its demise was significant, as it reflected the complex and conflicted relationship Ripley 8 had with her hybrid offspring.
Newborn's Distinctive Traits
Visually, the Newborn was significantly different from typical the Xenomorph anatomy. It possessed lighter and softer, flesh-like skin, in contrast to the hard exoskeleton of its alien counterparts. Additionally, it featured human-like facial characteristics such as eyes and a nose, further distinguishing it as a hybrid. The Newborn had no clear gender and had both female and male genitalia, which was not clearly visible in the movie, but was later revealed in behind-the-scenes photos.
Newborn's Intelligence and Abilities
The Newborn showed higher levels of intelligence and emotional depth compared to other Xenomorphs. It demonstrated an ability to form attachments, particularly towards Ripley 8, and displayed understanding and curiosity. Alongside these mental capabilities, the Newborn also had considerable physical strength, combining the formidable attributes of both humans and Xenomorphs. The Newborn was able to slap off the Queen's face with one hand, making it one of the strongest Xenomorphs ever.
Behind the Scenes: Creation of the Newborn
In "Alien Resurrection," the creation of the Newborn character involved intricate special effects and animatronics, conducted by Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. The design of the Newborn underwent several changes during the film's production from both more human-looking to Xenomorph-looking, evolving into the final form seen on screen. The process of bringing the Newborn to life was a complex blend of creative design and technical prowess, highlighting the advancements in movie special effects at the time. However, the Newborn creature was not popular with either fans or critics, while HR Giger famously said "It looked like crap".
Appearances In Games And Toys
The Newborn has been featured in some Alien franchise games and toys, allowing fans to explore this character beyond the film. A Newborn Alien figure was released by Kenner in the 90ties, a relatively accurate portrayal of the cartoon-like toy line. Years later, NECA would release the best portrayal of the figure, as part of their Alien: Resurrection toy line. In the underrated Alien: Resurrection video game, the Newborn was a formidable end-game boss. Although many Alien games have been released since then, the Newborn has not been featured in them, not even in a cameo.
As a character in the Alien film series, the Newborn stands as an intriguing example of the outcomes of genetic experimentation and species hybridization. Starting from Alien: Resurrection, the series steered towards "bigger and badder" Aliens, just like the Predator series. This is unfortunate, as the original Alien and Predator creature designs are still great and worth exploring.