By Tim Stack
July 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Everett Collection

This coming Monday will be the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s classic Aliens. To celebrate the occassion, Cameron and his cast—Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Carrie Henn—along with producer Gale Anne Hurd gathered at Comic Con’s Hall H for a panel moderated by EW’s Anthony Breznican. The raucous panel—an audience member surprise proposed to his wife!—was filled with nostalgia and great behind the scenes anecdotes. Here are some highlights: 

  • Cameron originally tested the queen alien’s choreography in the parking lot outside Stan Winston’s offices with ski poles and large garbage bags. The final queen was eventually manned by two men inside and 14 operators. 
  • Despite playing one of the toughest heroines ever, Weaver admitted she still can’t bring herself to watch Hurd’s series The Walking Dead
  • Biehn talked a great deal about how much he loved the relationship between Hicks and Ripley. Cameron then quipped about Alien 3, “I think it could have gone somewhere if Fincher hadn’t killed you off.” 
  • Hurd said that the production received more notes from the studio on wardrobe, particuarly Ripley’s outfits, more than anything else. 
  • Now a fourth grade teacher, Henn, who played young Newt, says she now has her student’s parents show up with DVDs for her to sign.
  • Cameron recalled a story where Henn had to pretend to be trapped in the alien’s slime. He was applying more goo to her face and Henn said to him, “It should be illegal for you to do this to little kids.” 
  • A fan asked Weaver about the much rumored Neil Blomkamp Alien sequel. Weaver said the script is done and “gives the fans everything they’re looking for.” She added, “He has work to do and I have work to do and I’m hoping when we finish those jobs we’ll circle back and do it.”
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