The franchise baton gets passed to James Cameron, who at this stage is coming off the unexpected success of The Terminator.
Aliens cleverly picks up from the last film while simultaneously fast-forwarding 57 years. Just as Aliens is a completely different film from its predecessor despite sharing some of the same elements, Ripley is the same character thrown into a completely different time.
What a bold break it is. Where Alien is an atmospheric, suspenseful piece of work, Aliens is a loud, brash blockbuster. The production values are higher, the tone is lighter and the set pieces are more elaborate. Normally this is a recipe for disaster but somehow Cameron pulls it off. It’s different but every bit as good as Scott’s work.
A masterpiece in its own right.