Alien Glossary

Alien Glossary

Academy Award for Best Visual Effects

An award handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to the film with the best visual effects. Alien won this award in the year it was eligible


An organism not belonging to Earth


A dividing wall between different compartments of a ship or other vessel


Preserved to become a fossil


The extreme limit of settled land/planets


Another word for stasis/suspended animation. The process of slowing down the life process by using chemicals or cold temperature, without killing the person. It's a way to preserve the human's vital functions.


A place on a spaceship or other vessel where sick people are cared for and made well again

Lucky Star

A phrase repeated by Ripley in the film. It means good luck charm.


Of, relating to, or consisting of molecules


The core beliefs of a person concerning right or wrong

MU-TH-UR 6000 (Mother)

MU-TH-UR, dubbed "Mother," by the crew, is the computer system that governs the operation of the USCSS Nostromo. This is the system that controls Stasis sleep and navigation back to Earth, awaking the crew when it receives a mysterious signal from a nearby source. It is one of the primary symbols for technology in Alien, and is used to reveal Ash's ulterior motives to Ridley. It is also highly interactive, creating high-tension situations in which the crew tries to make use of Mother to fight the Alien threat, but alas, Mother is not able to save them and is used in the end to destroy the Nostromo upon the final escape.


To manipulate a force or wavelength so that it is given a single direction


Existing since the beginning of time


The isolation of an organism from a contagious and/or dangerous disease


Revoke, cancel, or repeal something


The feeling of pity for someone else's adversity

The Alien

In sequel films referred to as a Xenomorph, the Alien is responsible for the death of most of the crew members aboard the Nostromos. The antagonist of the film

USCSS Nostromo

The Nostromo is an American Spacecraft which is used to transport material through space as a tug. That is, until the owner corporation attempts to use the vessel to transport a dangerous alien life-form back to Earth to exploit the scientific discover for profit. The crew aboard the Nostromo fight against their demise and eventually evacuate on the "life-raft" shuttle as the Nostromo self-destructs.


The first form of the alien creature that emerges from an egg. A facehugger is a melon-sized organism with eight legs and a single tail extending several body lengths down. The facehugger leaps out of the eggs and attaches itself to a hosts face, using its tail to wrap around the windpipe, but keeping the host alive. After depositing an egg in the stomach of the victim the creature falls off and dies.

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