- ""A survivor...Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality...""
- —-Ash, regarding The Alien, from Alien
The Drone is the Xenomorph's first stage of maturity after progressing through the chestburster stage. Drones construct Alien Hives using a resin-like secretion that they produce and collect hosts for impregnation. Drones are easily identified by their smooth head carapaces, among the smoothest of all Xenomorphs, and they are capable of spitting cysts of acidic blood at their enemies.
Drones stand around 7–8 feet tall when standing on hind legs, and about 14–15 feet long, tail included. They are dark in color, typically black but often with some grey coloration on their smooth heads. They are often said to fulfill a worker role within the Hive, building and tending to the nest, although they are also voracious predators possessing incredible strength, easily capable of restraining or subduing a physically adept human. Their most distinguishing features are their smooth heads, dorsal tubes and barb-tipped tails, which can be used as a formidable flailing weapon, powerful enough to hurl an average human through the air.
Drones primarily employ ambush tactics, and are almost never seen working in coordination with other Xenomorphs, even when inside the Hive, preferring instead to operate alone. They are shown to be intelligent and patient, employing stealth in their assaults, often seeking to blend in with their environment and waiting motionless for their prey to come within range before striking. Drones often operate as scouts and are capable of making independent decisions.
The following information was featured in the 2003 Director's Cut of Alien and may be ambiguously canon
In the absence of a Queen, a Drone possesses the ability to create a complete reproductive life cycle that did not require a Queen to lay more Eggs. Rather, the Drone would cocoon a victim in its Hive, and the victim would subsequently be changed by unknown means into a new Egg containing a Facehugger. Footage of this process was shot for Alien, although it was later removed from the final print of the film. The sequence was, however, included in the novelization of the film, and the movie footage was subsequently reintegrated in the 2003 Director's Cut.
The Queen and Drone's methods of reproduction have never been reconciled in the films. However, the novelization of Alien3 suggests that both methods are typical of the species, and that the alternate version seen in the Director's Cut of Alien is simply an alternate means for a Xenomorph to reproduce when a Queen is not present, or possibly even the means by which a Royal Facehugger is created.
- A different type of "Drone" was originally going to appear in Aliens. These Drones were going to be much smaller than the Warriors seen in the film and white in color, with an excreting probe in place of the Warrior's jaws. They were to be a worker caste inside the Hive, tending to the Queen and moving her Eggs. They were ultimately cut from the movie before filming, although they appeared in the novelization by Alan Dean Foster. While their attributes have since been applied to the Drone from the movies, the original albino caste has yet to appear in any other media.
- Actual Drones were originally going to appear in Aliens but during pre-production the creature's smooth carapace was removed out of fear the fragile dome would crack during filming, a modification that gave rise to the Warrior caste.
- ↑ Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien Director's Cut [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster (1986). Aliens novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 210.
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster (1992). Alien3 novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 185.
- ↑ "Alien II" initial treatment by James Cameron
- ↑ Alan Dean Foster (1986). Aliens novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 230.
- ↑ James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.