In some ways Alien is innovative and presents a new formula for science fiction films, but in other ways it is extremely traditional and stereotypical. Introducing a strong female protagonist provides a different dynamic between characters. Ripley is in a leadership role on the ship, and is respected to a certain extent, but her orders are not always obeyed. She has to fight harder to be heard than her male counterparts. Ripley is threatening to men, and this is shown while she is talking to Ash and casually holding a scissors. He seems defensive, possibly suggesting an underlying fear of castration? Lambert, on the other hand, plays a stereotypically female role. She is intelligent and helpful, but cracks under pressure and is sensitive to a fault. In terms of race, the African American characters serve as laborers on the ship and are seemingly only present for comic relief. They are never really taken seriously, and are continually cracking crude jokes and making inappropriate comments. It is interesting that these race, class and gender roles still apply even while orbiting in space. Miles and miles away from Earth, and these crewmembers are still under control of the government (â€œMotherâ€?). Another important aspect of this film is its take on individualism. In some parts it is celebrated, while in others strongly discouraged. Throughout the majority of the film, the crewmembers are safe while with the group. Once a character journeys alone they encounter the alien and suffer a brutal death. Ripley transforms as the films progresses. She refuses to banter with her crewmates and starts to simply give orders. She succeeds in the end by using her intellect and keeping her best interest in mind.