Aliens Sigourney Weaver: Is She Really the Queen of Sci-fi Movies?

The short answer is, yes, she is. Ever since her days in the 1979 film “Alien” directed by Ridley Scott, Aliens Sigourney Weaver has been praised as the ideal female heroine figure in the sci-fi horror genre on screen. Her straightforward approach, a byproduct of a commanding presence and intelligence, left viewers throughout the duration with an overwhelming bewilderment and respect.

Ellen Ripley

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver portrayed Ellen Ripley in Alien, a warrant officer and part of the crew aboard the USCSS Nostromo on an ill-fated space trip back from Thedus to Earth. With the exception of the ship’s computer and the android science officer, the crew members – including Ripley – were not aware of the mission’s real objective: return to Earth with an alien species, later identified as the Xenomorph. By the time the truth eventually came out, the situation on the ship had already been tough. This was where the tough side of Ripley got going.

Role Model

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

Weaver’s display of bravery and courage had become a prime example of how an actress can perform as a lead character without too much of a masculine-driven mannerism. She was independent in every sense of the word and invulnerable to any form of intimidation. Ripley is the sci-fi role model for every female protagonist that follows. 

Formidable Opponent

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

The aliens that Sigourney Weaver must overcome in the next three sequels were of the Xenomorph species. Despite the lack of technological advantage, the aliens were depicted as the perfect predatory extraterrestrial lifeforms whose sole purpose was the preservation of their own species. They would kill anything that even remotely resembled a threat without hesitation. Their imposing figure, stealthy motions, and lethal aggression were only matched by Ripley’s survival-driven determination and ingenuity.

Transcending Gender Roles

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

Weaver’s Ripley occupies a permanent spot in the hearts of sci-fi fans worldwide because she is the embodiment of the best action heroine of all time. Her marvelous physique allowed for lightness of movement and the authoritative presence that transcended gender roles in the film industry. Some critics believed that the original Alien would have been just another B-film if not for Weaver. It is true that any actress could run around on a spaceship with a flamethrower, but no one delivered the same level of suspense and confidence as Weaver did in Alien.

A Genre Icon

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver made her film debut in the 1977 “Annie Hall” where she portrayed Woody Allen’s date. It wouldn’t be too surprising if only a few people can remember the role. Fast forward to two years when Alien hit the theaters, and everybody paid attention. The film became an instant hit and soon enough she was unofficially a genre icon. Reprising her role as Ripley in three sequels, Weaver never lost her persistent leading-figure touch. Some films in the original series received mixed reviews from critics, but the actress herself had nothing but high praise for her performance.

Outside Alien Franchise

Aliens Sigourney Weaver

The Alien franchise and Ripley started it all for Weaver, but she once expressed the desire to jump around and play different types of characters in as many different genres as possible. That said, science fiction ended up being her priority simply because of the flexibility and limitless possibilities of the characters she could play. Outside the Alien franchise, she appeared in two Ghostbusters films and a parody feature Galaxy Quest. She also voiced the computer on the Axiom ship in Wall-E. Sigourney Weaver made her way into James Cameron’s Avatar as a sort of established sci-fi royalty.

Comedic Too

It is safe to say that every movie has its own way to brag about everything it has when Sigourney Weaver is part of the cast. It doesn’t even matter whether she has a small or big role. Everybody knows she is the undisputed alien exterminator. Weaver is almost inevitably associated with space-travel-gone-wrong, but it never stopped her from securing other more lighthearted roles.

For example, she played Gwen DeMarco in the spoof film Galaxy Quest and was featured in an episode of Futurama; both are comedic in nature. In Galaxy Quest, her character served as the blonde sex symbol; a far cry from Ripley’s traits. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a Certified Fresh rating with 90% positive reviews. Her role in Season Four Futurama episode “Love and Rocket,” where she played a female Planet Express Ship, was a bit reminiscent of Alien – the director jokingly mentioned Weaver was taking the role of Mother, the computer in Nostromo spaceship. 

Different Nature

In Avatar, she played another commanding figure but of a different nature. Instead of being a ruthless defender of human purpose on Pandora, she promoted a peaceful relationship between humans and aliens (native inhabitants of Pandora). Portraying Dr. Grace Augustine for sure relaunched her stardom status to higher prominence. It has been confirmed she will reprise her role in three sequels.

Hard to Dethrone

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Avatar has brought her back to Hollywood’s brightest spotlight, but it is hard to deny that much of Weaver’s best works were in the older movies. Today, she is the undisputed queen of sci-fi. That said, quite a number of actresses are catching up quickly with the likes of Daisy Ridley, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Lawrence, among others. There may be a time when Sigourney Weaver steps down from the throne, and one can only hope her replacement is worthy of the title.

Sigourney Weaver is the consummate sci-fi heroine for us. She doesn’t play a Ninja, or even a trained soldier, but her characters are intelligent and resourceful, and they always find a way to beat the bad guys. 

Which is your favorite Sigourney Weaver movie? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

If you liked this, then check out 21 Aliens Names and the Sci-Fi Characters We’ve Come to Love and Hate

Other things you might want to know about.

What other movies has Sigourney Weaver been in?

According to there is a very long list. Here are some notable films from the past 10 years. 

  1. The Cold Light of Day (2012)
  2. Red Lights (2012)
  3. Vamps (2012)
  4. Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
  5. Chappie (2015)
  6. Ghostbusters (2016)
  7. A Monster Calls (2016)
  8. The Assignment (2017)
  9. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
  10. My Salinger Year (2020)
  11. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
  12. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Sigourney Weaver

According to her birth name is Susan Alexandra Weaver. She was born in New York, New York. Her profession is actor, writer, and producer.

Here are some fast facts about Ms. Weaver that might interest you. 

  1. At age 14, she took the name Sigourney for a character in The Great Gatsby.
  2. While a student at Stanford University, she joined a theater group, lived in a treehouse with a friend and spent two months in Israel on a kibbutz.
  3. Her breakthrough role was Ellen Ripley in Aliens.
  4. She earned an Oscar nomination for her role of primatologist Dian Fossey in a 1988 film called “Gorillas in the Mist.’ She is an honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
  5. She has a fear of elevators.
  6. She starred in both the 2009 film Avatar and the video-game version of the film.

Go to to read more details about this talented actor. The article is Sigourney Weaver Biography. 

What awards has Sigourney Weaver won?

According to Ms. Weaver has been awarded several accolades during her career. 

Working Girl (1988)-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)-Golden Globe for Best Actress in a drama

The Ice Storm (1997)-BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

She has received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album

She is a three-time Academy Award nominee, four-time Emmy Award nominee and a Tony Award nominee.