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One Subtle Ash Detail In Alien Hinted At His True Synthetic Identity


One Subtle Ash Detail In Alien Hinted At His True Synthetic Identity


Summary

  • The white milk fluid Ash drinks in Alien is not what it seems, symbolizing his android composition.
  • Ash’s true identity as an android is hinted at throughout the film, leading to a shocking reveal.
  • Ash’s unique anatomy reveals his synthetic nature, adding a layer of fear surrounding bodily intrusion.



As surprising as Alien‘s Ash synthetic identity reveal may seem, the movie perfectly foreshadows it with one detail in a previous scene. Ridley Scott’s Alien is jampacked with several twists and turns, but one of its most shocking revelations comes when Ash’s real android identity is disclosed. In the second half of the film, Ripley accesses Mother and learns that Ash has been ordered to return with the alien while dismissing the safety of the crew.

For obvious reasons, Ripley is infuriated by this revelation and tries to confront Ash after learning about his true motives. With what follows in the Ridley Scott movie, Ash turns hostile and attempts to strangle her. However, Parker shows up on time and smashes Ash’s head off his shoulders, revealing he is an android. This scene marks a significant shift in the film’s storyline because, after being reconnected, Ash assures the crew they have no chance of surviving against the alien.


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Ash’s Milk Drink In Alien Proved He Was An Android

The Milk Drink Is Not What It Seems

Ian-Holm-Ash-Alien-android-reveal

Before Ash attempts to kill Ripley in the Alien, a bead of white sweat rolls down his head. Moments later, when Park clubs him to “death,” a similar white liquid oozes out of his body, revealing how his body’s composition differs significantly from that of a human. This is foreshadowed in an early scene where Ash seemingly drinks a glass of milk while the other crew members eat a regular human meal. Considering the white mess that pours out of his body after he gets decapitated, it seems evident that he was not drinking milk in the previous but, rather, the lifeblood or fuel that supports his mechanical system.


What The Milk Fluid Ash Drinks Really Is In Alien

The Milk Drink Has Thematic Significance

When Ash’s head gets separated from his body, thick wires can be seen popping out of his neck, revealing how, much like a human, the android has its own unique anatomy. Just like the blood’s circulation in the human body promotes vital functions, the white liquid was probably the hydraulic fluid that ran through the wiring inside the android, maintaining the functionality of its mechanical systems. From a symbolic standpoint, the white fluid can also be interpreted as another visual representation of exaggerated sexual imagery in the Alien movie franchise.


…since androids in pop culture are usually portrayed as mere metal parts and synthetic coverings, Ash’s internal composition with the white fluid makes him seem more “organic” or “human.”

Owing to the fluid’s distinctly milky and biological appearance, it is hard not to see it as another extension of Alien‘s exploration of themes surrounding the fear of bodily intrusion and violation. Additionally, since androids in pop culture are usually portrayed as mere metal parts and synthetic coverings, Ash’s internal composition with the white fluid makes him seem more “organic” or “human.” Interestingly, moments before he dies, Ash seems more human than ever as he mocks the humans with a smirk, saying, “I can’t lie about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.


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