In the previous films, wed only seen the aliens born from humans. But Alien 3 poses a different question what if, instead of bursting out of a human, the alien bursts out of something else? Its become accepted as part of the canon that the aliens take on the characteristics of whatever creature they gestate in, but Alien 3 is when that was really established. Unlike the previous films, the alien in this movie comes not from a human, but from the body of an ox (or a dog in the theatrical version). Since it came from an animal, this alien moves on all fours and has a different look, appearing reddish. This alien was also less intelligent than the ones in Aliens, who showed to possess problem-solving intelligence. Again, thats something attributable to coming from an ox. This alien is even more removed from humanity, more of a wild beast. Like Ripley says in one scene, its like a lion. It was also much sleeker and faster than the previous aliens, and the way Fincher portrayed its movement was wonderful. In a scene when running through the corridors, we see from the aliens perspective and the camera spins as the alien goes from crawling on the floor to the ceiling. Facing off a new kind of alien like this helps add something different to the formula. After all, weve gone from a single alien to a colony of aliens and the Queen, so now we need something different.
Percival Constantine is the author of several novels and short stories, including the Vanguard superhero series, and regularly writes and comments on movies, comics, and other pop culture. More information can be found at his website, PercivalConstantine.com