|"Hudson" links here. For the Kenner Space Marine, see Hudson (Space Marine).|
Private First Class William L. Hudson was a combat technician in the United States Colonial Marine Corps, part of 2nd Battalion Bravo Team. He was a member of the combat unit deployed to Acheron aboard the USS Sulaco in 2179, to investigate the sudden loss of contact with the colony of Hadley's Hope. He was subsequently involved in combating the Xenomorph infestation at the colony.
Hudson was part of First Squad's gun team, along with Private Vasquez. He was also the squad's leader, although Sergeant Apone assumed nominal command for the initial operation at Hadley's Hope. Hudson was also designated First Squad's Motion Tracker operator. He was among the last to perish in the incident, eventually becoming host for a Xenomorph Chestburster. His body was later found by Corporal Christopher Winter from the USS Sephora during a subsequent investigation of the colony.
Joining the Colonial Marines
Hudson was not a career soldier — he joined the Colonial Marines on a 10-year deployment chiefly for the pension he would receive at the end of his service. With this money, he intended to open a bar, hire an experienced manager to run it for him, and retire on the profits.
Mission to LV-426
- "We're on an express elevator to Hell... goin' down!"
- ―Hudson, enjoying the drop to Acheron's surface (from Aliens)
The mission to Acheron was supposed to be Hudson's last, as he had only 4 weeks left on his deployment and was due to be honorably discharged upon return to Earth. As soon as he emerged from hypersleep he began aggravating Sergeant Apone with his sarcastic comments. Following this, he moved on to Private Vasquez, inquiring (due to her muscular physique and masculine haircut) whether she had ever been mistaken for a man; she promptly shot him down by asking whether he had the same problem.
During breakfast, Hudson acted as ringleader in the Marines' attempts to get Bishop to perform his knife trick. Bishop eventually caved, although Private Drake "volunteered" Hudson for the trick by restraining him and pinning his hand to the table with Bishop's hand on top. Hudson could only watch, terrified, as Bishop performed the trick on them at blurring speed.
During the briefing on what they might encounter at Hadley's Hope, Hudson again focussed on aggravating others, ridiculing Lieutenant Gorman for confusing him with Corporal Hicks and mocking Vasquez for being an illegal immigrant. Following the briefing, Hudson managed to incur the wrath of Apone once more by asking for a way out of "this chickenshit outfit". During the drop, Hudson's sarcasm continued as he attempted to get his fellow Marines fired up and in good spirits ahead of a mission that most of them believed would be a waste of time. Hudson also mocked Ripley's insecurity, bragging that the team would protect her with their advanced weaponry and firepower.
Investigating the colony
- "Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen! Found 'em."
- ―Hudson, on finding the colonists' transmitters (from Aliens)
After landing at the colony, Hudson bypassed the door into the main admin building before helping to clear the ground floor with the rest of First Squad. After mistakenly identifying pet hamsters as a threat on his Motion Tracker, Hudson and Vasquez discovered the first signs of Xenomorph presence at the colony, coming across several large holes burned through the building's sub-levels by Xenomorph blood. With the building secure, Hudson began accessing the colony's central computer in the operations room, attempting to locate the missing colonists through their PDTs. Before long he located the signals, gathered in the Atmosphere Processing Plant, and the Marines set off to investigate.
Upon discovering the Hive within the structure, Gorman ordered all rifles to be slung to prevent gunfire damaging the Processors reactor; Hudson was among the more vocal objectors. His protest was proven to be justified when the killing of a Chestburster woke the entire Hive, with Hudson picking up the movement on his motion tracker. The Marines were soon set upon by a swarm of Drones, one of which attempted to drag Hudson away before Hicks intervened, although Hudson was lightly wounded. Upon returning to the APC Hudson was further injured when a Xenomorph's acid blood burned his arm after Hicks killed it with his shotgun.
- "Game over, man! Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now?!"
- ―Hudson, after the drop ship crashes (from Aliens)
Following the disastrous ambush, Hudson discovered that — judging by their vital signs — Apone and Corporal Dietrich had not been killed in the ambush, but had instead been taken alive by the Xenomorphs. However, he opposed any attempts at rescuing the two, an opinion backed up by Ripley, who insisted they were already being cocooned to be hosts for more Xenomorphs. After a plan to escape the moon and destroy the colony with a nuclear strike was undone by the loss of their dropship Bug Stomper, Hudson finally lost his cool, freaking out and insisting they were finished, with Hicks having to calm him down. The Marines salvaged what they could from the wreckage and returned to the operations center.
Despite Hudson's continued hysteria over the desperate situation they faced, Ripley managed to calm him to the point where he was able to assist in setting up sentry guns and other defenses inside the colony. When Ripley and Newt, the only surviving colonist, were attacked by Facehuggers in the med lab, Hudson personally saved Newt. When Carter Burke was revealed as the culprit and his plan to eliminate the surviving Marines and smuggle a Xenomorph home was exposed, Hudson was all in favor of executing him for his treason.
- "What do you mean they cut the power? How could they cut the power, man? They're animals!"
- ―Hudson, before the attack on Operations (from Aliens)
Before the Marines could hand out Burke's punishment, the Xenomorphs cut the power to the building. Hudson briefly patrolled the corridors with Vasquez using Motion Trackers, but when they realized they were up against a huge force they fell back to the operations center and sealed the doors. The Drones entered through the ceiling and attacked, and while Hudson managed to hold them off virtually single-handed for some time, another Drone eventually pulled the floor out from beneath him. Despite trying to shoot the creature and Hicks' attempts to save him, he was dragged away. Hudson's ultimate fate is unknown, though it was likely that he was cocooned and impregnated with a Chestburster; the Chestburster later killed him when it reached maturity and birthed. Hudson was posthumously decorated for gallantry under fire for his actions on LV-426.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
17 weeks after the destruction of the Atmosphere Processor and most of the Hadley's Hope colony, Hudson's well-preserved corpse was found by Corporal Christopher Winter from the USS Sephora, still cocooned to the wall in the sewers where he had died.
Personality and Traits
Hudson was cocky and loud, determined to have the last word in any situation, whether he be cracking a joke or losing his cool over the desperate events on Acheron. This behavior often got him into verbal confrontations, both with his superiors and his peers. Prior to the disastrous ambush inside the Hadley's Hope Atmosphere Processing Plant, he was supremely confident of the Marines' abilities, citing their advanced weaponry and "badass" constitution as evidence that they could not fail but overcome anything they discovered at the colony.
Hudson appeared as the resident funny man of the squad, alongside Frost, always acting brash or making crude remarks whenever possible. However, Hudson's constant boasting and bragging turned out to be tinged with irony, as after the Xenomorph ambush, he was quick to suffer from a nervous breakdown and was suddenly the complete opposite of the "badass" he had previously described himself as, instead becoming hysterical, frantic and paranoid. The fact that Hudson was so close to the end of his deployment likely contributed to this breakdown. However, despite his increasingly hysterical behavior, he ultimately regained his focus (if not his composure) when the Xenomorphs launched their assault on the operations center, valiantly fighting the creatures off with a ferocity not matched by any of the other Marines.
Despite his lack of cool, Hudson possessed a degree of ingenuity, such as when he correctly predicted that the Xenomorphs may operate a society similar to that of ants, with a single fertile female in charge of the entire Hive.
Hudson shared a love/hate relationship with Vasquez, whom he exchanged a friendly rivalry with. The two constantly quarrelled and exchanged insults, with Hudson usually goading her. Regardless, the two worked well as a team and would minimize bickering during serious situations.
Hudson was outfitted with standard issue M3 Pattern Personal Armor and an M10 Pattern Ballistic Helmet for protection, with a TNR Shoulder Lamp attachment for illumination. He had notably customized his armor's chest plate with an image of a dagger piercing a skull and crossbones, with the words "or Glory" painted beneath (i.e. "Death or Glory"). Hudson had also stenciled a love-knot and the name "Louise" over his heart (a reference to Bill Paxton's real-life wife Louise Newbury), painted the phrase "Contents under pressure, dispose of properly" on his armor's back plate, a pair of googly on the back of his right shoulder plate, painted a magic 8 ball on the back-left side of his helmet and humorously added a can opener to his crotch protection.
As the covering element of First Squad's gun team, Hudson carried the standard assault rifle of the Corps, the M41A Pulse Rifle as well as an M314 Motion Tracker. Also, as a combat technician, Hudson also carried a field technician kit in a trifold pouch on his belt which contained various tools, wrenches and electronic devices, including two alligator clips allowing him to bypass sealed doors.
- Hudson actor Bill Paxton also played Detective Jerry Lambert in Predator 2. Lambert was skilled in electronics, a trait he shares with Hudson.
- Paxton appeared in several other films written and directed by Aliens director James Cameron in the 1980s and 90s, playing the part of an unnamed punk in The Terminator, Simon in True Lies and Brock Lovett in Titanic. In The Terminator, his character is killed by the titular cyborg; this, combined with his deaths in Aliens and Predator 2, makes Paxton one of two actors who have been killed on-screen by an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator, a dubious honor he shares with fellow Aliens actor Lance Henriksen (although Henriksen's character in Aliens was technically only ripped apart without being explicitly killed).
- Concept art by Manuel Gomez for the 2013 video game Aliens: Colonial Marines seems to indicate that Hudson was originally supposed to be the surviving Marine from the USS Sulaco instead of Hicks. One piece of art appears to depict Hudson with a beard wearing Weyland-Yutani clothes underneath his chest armor with various improvised weapons and an Ithaca Model 37 (possibly meant to be Hicks' Shotgun). However, another piece of art labels the character as a "Hadley's Hope Colonist Survivor", although, in that art, he is not wearing Hudson's armor.
- Hudson's famous "Game over, man! Game over!" line after the dropship crash was ad-libbed by Paxton. The line has been lampooned many times since and was later used for the title of a trophy/achievement in the video game Aliens vs. Predator (humorously awarded to the player when they complete the game's three campaigns, essentially marking the point at which the game is over). A trophy/achievement and its prompt when exiting the game ("Game over, man?") in Aliens: Colonial Marines also used the name.
- Hudson's "Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen!" line is a quote from the AC/DC song "Shake a Leg".
- Of the 25 uses of the word "fuck" (and its variations) in the movie, 18 are spoken by Hudson.
- Hudson's distinctive dagger/skull/crossbones armor design appeared on the icon for the "State of the Badass Art" trophy/achievement in Aliens: Colonial Marines.
- In Cameron's original treatment and the novelization of the film, Hudson is a Corporal rather than a Private First Class. In fact, in the initial treatment, he is actually superior to Hicks.
- Also in the novel, Hicks tries to shoot and kill Hudson when he is dragged away by the Xenomorphs, to spare him the horrific death that goes with becoming a host, although it is not clear if he succeeds in killing him.
- A figure based on Hudson was released by Kenner Products as part of the company's Aliens toy line. This Hudson was also later re-released as part of a combat two-pack with a Scorpion Alien.
- Hudson was again released in action figure form by NECA along with Hicks and a Drone Alien in June 2013. There is also a two-pack featuring an alternate version of the NECA Hudson figure and a battle-damaged Xenomorph.
- Hudson's customized armor, specifically the "Death or Glory" skull and crossbones, was later used for Rookie's armor in Aliens vs. Predator. Hudson's armor customization also appeared in the episode "Space Race: Part I" of animated comedy series Archer, on armor worn by the titular character.
- Hudson makes an appearance in the level "The Raven" in Aliens: Colonial Marines, cocooned to a wall in the sewers beneath Hadley's Hope with a gaping hole in his chest, showing that he was killed by a Chestburster. His customized Pulse Rifle can be found later in the same level as a "Legendary Weapon". Strangely, his body shows no signs of decomposing, despite having been cocooned for 17 weeks; this is likely just a conceit on the part of the developers for dramatic effect.
- Although seen dead in the single-player campaign of Aliens: Colonial Marines, Hudson is a bonus skin in the game's multiplayer mode. In this appearance, he is voiced by actor Andrew Bowen.
- Several weapons in Aliens: Colonial Marines are also based on dialogue spoken by Hudson in Aliens, specifically from the scene in the extended Special Edition where he brags to Ripley about the USCM's advanced weaponry and superior firepower. These weapons include "phased plasma pulse rifles", "sonic electronic ball breakers" and "sharp sticks".
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Alien Resurrection (novel) (appears in flashback)
- Aliens: Field Report
- Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report
- Alien: River of Pain
- Dark Mother (indirect mention)
- Deep Black (indirect mention)
- Aliens Adventure Game (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (indirect mention)
- Alien Trilogy
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (corpse only)
- S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report: Hudson discharge papers insert (2014), Insight Editions.
- S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 95 (2014), Insight Editions.
- Hudson's actor's (Bill Paxton) height was 5ft 11 ½ (181.6 cm), so that is also how tall Hudson would have been.
- James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens (1986), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Chris Roberson (writer), Paul Lee (illustrator). Aliens: Field Report (2014), Dark Horse Comics.
- Aliens: Infestation (2011), Gearbox Software, WayForward Technologies, SEGA [Nintendo DS].
- Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 229 (2014), Titan Books.
- James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens Special Edition (1991), 20th Century Fox [LaserDisc].
- Gale Anne Hurd, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton, Stan Winston, John Richardson. Superior Firepower: Making Aliens (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- "Weyland-Yutani Archives". Retrieved on 2013-04-18.
- Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 49 (2014), Titan Books.
- Alien II treatment (September 21, 1983) by David Giler, Walter Hill and James Cameron
- Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 274 (2014), Titan Books.