This past week, fans everywhere celebrated the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens. Aliens has, in many ways, become the gold standard for Hollywood sequels. Not only did Cameron make a film that held up to the success of the original film both critically and commercially, he did so by pushing the Alien franchise in a new and different direction. Aliens is still at its core a creature feature, but instead of imitating Ridley Scott’s claustrophobic horror from the first film, Cameron chose to nudge Aliens into the realm of war movies. This makes Aliens a rare type of sequel: both unwaveringly faithful to the original and entirely its own animal altogether.

And as part of the Comic-Con International lineup this weekend, the cast and crew of Aliens each took a few minutes to answer questions from the internet about the film. In one section, Bill Paxton describes a scene where he and Jenette Goldstein nearly choked to death on toxic fumes as his favorite scene to film because it was “kind of exciting.” In another, Michael Biehn admits to recently re-watching Aliens for the first time in nearly ten years because it came on one night when he was bored and channel surfing. I’d like to think that Michael Biehn and I would get along in this regard: my family has an informal house rule growing up that said any evening plans were subject to change if we stumbled upon Aliens on cable.

Of course, the highlight of the Q&A is Sigourney Weaver, who as always is thoughtful and candid about the legacy that she helped build with Ellen Ripley. Weaver briefly touches on the decision to change Ripley from a male character to a female character — “not for any feminist reasons, they did it because they thought no one would ever think that a woman would survive” — and describes working with a director like James Cameron. In addition to Paxton, Biehn, and Weaver, the Q&A is joined at one point or another by Cameron, producer Gale Ann Hurd, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, and Carrie Henn.

You can check out the full Q&A at the link above and check out our special Aliens edition of You Think You Know Movies? in the video below.

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