In Aliens (1986) when "Newt" first encountered the Marines and Ellen Ripley after they landed on LV-426 she ran away from them.

How long was "Newt" living alone on LV-426 and why did she run away from the Marines and Ripley when they are the first people she's seen in a long time?

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    Honestly, you might be over-thinking the last part. She was just a small child and a traumatized one at that: most small children are going to be afraid of a big group of unfamiliar adults running around and making noise. Jun 4, 2018 at 13:55

2 Answers 2



The script of the film states it takes the Marines 3 weeks @FTL (Faster than light) to reach the planet, and the settlers signalled for help the day they were attacked.

The extended edition of the movie explains that even though distress signals travel beyond FTL, it would still take 2 weeks for the signal to arrive on earth.

2 weeks signal time (approx) + 3 weeks travel (approx) + mobilisation window (a few days) ≅ <40 days.

There are also hints all the settlers didn't die in the initial attack on the colony, such as half eaten food (Donuts!) that look fairly recent. It's unlikely a donut would have remained fresh for 5 weeks...

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    ...whereas a Twinkie would still be 'fresh' when the sun goes dark... ;-)
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 3, 2018 at 14:42
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    Earth donuts sure, but space donuts? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Jun 3, 2018 at 16:02
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    @jeffronicus You dropped this `\` ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – aloisdg
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:15
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    Weren't some of the colonists still alive, being used as alien incubators? Maybe the gestation period of an alien might offer some hints.
    – user9146
    Jun 4, 2018 at 10:31

Why did she run away from the Marines and Ripley when they are the first people she's seen in a long time?

I'll answer this since the other part of the question has already been answered.

I believe the reason is that from her experience, people who think they can fight back or protect others always end up failing and being killed. On the other hand, her experience of hiding by herself has shown her that this is the only way that survival is possible. It would be natural to be afraid that if she tags along with this new set of people, that they will just end up getting her killed.

See for example the following dialogue:

Ripley: These people are here to protect you. They're soldiers.

Newt: It won't make any difference.

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