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10 Non-Costumed, Non-Powered Female Heroines
by The Mary Sue Staff | 12:30 pm, February 29th, 2012
Ellen Ripley is a legendary asskicker since making her debut in Ridley Scott’s Alien in 1979. But even in this terrifying, twisted, Giger-inspired version of outer space, Ripley is just a typical warrant officer. In the context of the movie, this is nothing to sneeze at, but does achieving the rank of warrant officer bestow someone with superpowers? Not at all. The script actually mentioned that the Nostromo crew were akin to “truckers in space.” In other words, not superscientists, no superpowers, no super intelligence or strength. Just a group of people, doing their job. In space. And Ellen Ripley is “merely” resourceful, strong, and quick-thinking when she eludes and fights that nasty alien.
Ripley is a great example of someone who is just like us, a regular person, who finds herself in extraordinary circumstances. Had she never boarded the Nostromo, she probably would have continued to work her way through the ranks and become a great leader, albeit in a much calmer situation. But that’s not what happened to her. Instead, she found herself fighting for her life and the ship she was aboard, and (in the second movie) tapping into her most primitive instincts to save a child who doesn’t belong to her. Ripley is, to say the least, reliable. She is also a fighter. And, aside from the fighting of aliens in deep space, someone who is completely believable.