By Lynette Rice
Updated October 07, 2011 at 03:41 PM EDT
Credit: Everett Collection

It took all of — what, minutes? — at EW’s reunion of Aliens before the cast began to act like they were back on the movie’s set in London. “A lot of old jokes were being trotted out,” quipped Sigourney Weaver, who flew in from New York to join Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, and director James Cameron for one very important photo this summer in Los Angeles.

Paxton immediately noticed who was missing. (Yep, we agree with you, Pvt. Hudson: Pvt. Vasquez, a.k.a. Jenette Goldstein, and Carter Burke, a.k.a. Paul Reiser, should have been there, but both were out of town). At the same time, Paxton and Weaver were tickled about who did show up: Henn, better known to Aliens fans as the brave orphan Newt.

“Gosh she is the most wonderful and beautiful young women,” Weaver said of the now 35-year-old Henn, who ended up bringing her husband and grade school-aged daughter down from Northern California to the shoot. Henn stopped working shortly after Aliens; she’s now a teacher. “She escaped the business!” laughed Weaver.

When plans were hatched to make a third Alien movie in the early ’90s, Weaver figured her Ripley would reunite with Newt, Hicks, and Bishop in the next chapter. “I definitely thought we were going to become a family in the next one, until [director] David Fincher got the job,” Weaver recalled. “He decided to obliterate any idea of Swiss Family Robinson. I think it was a shock to Jim.”

Then again, this extraordinarily talented group didn’t need another action-packed sci-fi to help them feel connected. For proof, take a look at this behind-the-scenes homecoming of some old and very special friends.

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