Nerds: Hicks’ time of death?
Last week a landmark event occurred which may have slipped under the radar, or seismometer, or whatever contraption is used to measure the coming together of nerd like minds (A Wheatonometer? “Wow, that convention was at least point six Wils” — yeah, that works for me).
Anyway, for reasons which will be discussed at a later date, The Furman Machine’s Furious, Buzzmoo.com’s very own Buzzmoo and yours truly were together in the same state, in fact the same room for the first time ever. That’s right folks, in the whole time that Furious, Buzzmoo, The Romulans and myself were killing time making the Victory 04 machinima series or any of the various other projects that we’ve slapped together over the last six or so years, there’d never been more than two of us in a room together at once.
With a collection of nerds like that in the one place it wasn’t long before the inevitable happened. That’s right, we started arguing about a ridiculous and completely pointless event in a science fiction film.
The film(s)? Aliens/Alien3. The bone of contention? The character Hicks’ (played by Michael Biehn) time of death.
The debate began when I made an off handed comment about Biehn having probably one of the highest death rates of any actor that I could think of, meaning that his characters rarely survive to the ending of a movie. I was immediately challenged, so began naming the movies that he’s been (and died) in, but didn’t get any further than Aliens before topic took on a life of it’s own.
When did Hicks die? At the end of Aliens the three surviving characters (Hicks, Ripely and Newt) go into some kind of hypersleep/stasis state. However during the opening moments of Alien3 we discover that their ship has crashed and that neither Newt or Hicks survived the impact leaving Ripely to pull a Brittany — shave her head and hang around with questionable characters — while we’re all left wondering what the point of having Hicks and Newt survive to the end of the previous movie was?
Our old friend Wikipedia defines Stasis or Hypersleep as: “a science fiction concept akin to suspended animation. Whereas suspended animation usually refers to a greatly reduced state of life processes, stasis implies a complete cessation of these processes, which can be easily restarted or restart spontaneously when stasis is removed.”
In my interpretation if there was a ‘complete cessation’ of Hicks ‘state of life processes’ then that can only mean that his ‘living’ condition was also suspended. Meaning that he was neither alive OR dead until the point at which his condition changes. So, given that he never returns a living state his condition has to be dead! And therefore that condition status is retroactive to the point at which he enters hypersleep… meaning he ceased to be alive prior to the end of Aliens.
Of course I’m not claiming that I’m 100% right here – I don’t have to, it’s obvious that I am – but I’ve made this post so that the debate can continue. I know that Buzzmoo has more to say on the subject… so have at it! [source]