A Clever Theory Suggests Ash Wasn’t the Only Robot in Alien
One of the biggest threads of the Alien franchise -- and one of its most effective means of subverting audience expectations -- stems from its ability to hide danger in plain sight. While the Xenomorphs are the primary threat of the franchise, there are plenty of nefarious humans, androids and natural phenomena that make every entry in the series more thrilling. That extends even to an animal that is typically considered an innocent in the overarching series but might have actually been a crucial spy.
In the original Alien, one of the biggest twists comes in the film's second half and stems from Ash. The Nostromo's science officer, he initially breaks protocol to seemingly save his crewmates after an alien egg exposes itself to them. But he proves increasingly committed to studying the newly hatched and iconic Xenomorph, even as it slaughters its way through the crew. Eventually, when Ash tries to kill Ripley for interfering with his plans, she and the rest of the remaining people discover Ash is an android whose mission priority shifted towards protecting the newfound life-form at any cost.
But a fan theory from an unknown Reddit user suggests Ash wasn't the only robot on board, arguing that Jonesy, the crew's adorable cat, was also an android. While it may not have retained the same level of complex directives as Ash, it would explain a handful of aspects of how Jonesy survived the first film. Throughout the Alien movies, the Xenomorph typically targets any living forms, regardless of species. In other entries, animals, such as dogs and cows, would be targeted by the monstrous creature on top of the human victims.
But Jonesy was spared despite starring down the Xenomorph directly, with the creature seemingly ignoring it before skittering back into the darkness after attacking Brett. That would make sense given the Xenomorphs typically react to non-biological life forms like robots, as the prototype Xenomorphs that appear in Alien: Covenant act around the android David. Robot animals are also canon within the Alien universe, such as the robotic dog featured in the short film, Alien: Specimen. That proves it could be the same case for Jonesy and explains why by not attacking the Xenomorph, he made it out alive.
It would also explain why Jonesy's life-span in the films is so long. Even given the reduced aging that the film's lead, Ellen Ripley, and Jonesy went through after being placed into cryogenic sleep at the conclusion of Alien, it's unlikely a regular cat would survive as long as Jonesy does upon reawakening. But if Jonesy was actually a robot, the cat could theoretically live far longer than even any humans around them.
In this theory, Jonesy could have even been a secretive security measure, recording and collecting information about the Xenomorph and giving the Weyland-Yutani forces intel that could lead to Burke's belief in Aliens that they can handle the creatures. It's an interesting concept and adds an additional layer of villainy to the overarching human antagonists of the franchise, with even their loyal animal companions just being a pawn in a longer scheme to weaponize the Xenomorph. It's exactly the kind of thing the Weyland-Yutani would do and could explain why Jonesy was one of the few survivors of the original film.