Alien Wiki
Carter J. Burke
Biographical information
Date and place of birth
Rank Special Projects Director
Physical description
Gender Male
Species Human
Hair color Brown
Eye color Blue
Chronological and political information


Appearances Aliens
Portrayed by Paul Reiser

Carter J. Burke was a corporate executive who often comforted Ellen Ripley and became her friend while she was at Gateway Station. After revealing that Ripley had been frozen for 57 years, and that her daughter passed away two years earlier. After learning of The Derelict ship from Ripley, he agrees to help regain her flight license in return for her returning to LV-426 to investigate. Burke later had an opposing voice to the actions of the survivors keeping to The Company's interests as well as his own. Burke paid the ultimate price for his greed on the fateful mission to the colony.


Meeting Ripley[]

Carter Burke worked for the Weyland-Yutani corporation in 2179. He was the first person to acquaint himself with Warrant Officer Ripley after her rescue. Burke befriended Ripley on her stay at Gateway Station and was a familiar and friendly face to Ripley. He also says that her daughter, Amanda McLaren {nee Ripley}, is dead. When Ripley is saddened, Burke replies that Amanda's death was two years prior of old age, and that Ripley has been in statis for 57 years. After Ripley was demoted to Lieutenant, Burke came to her apartment with an offer to reinstate her Warrant Officer rank on accompanying Burke and a squad of Marines to investigate the loss of contact with Hadley's Hope, which was colonized on the moon Ripley and the crew of the USCSS Nostromo landed on decades before.

Mission to LV-426[]

Carter was one of the civilian advisors on the mission along with Ripley, presumably to safeguard the company's investment in the terraforming colony. Carter joins the marines when they go planet side and stays either near Lt. Gorman or in the APC while the marines search the colony and deem specific points safe. Burke sides with Ripley against Gorman when she points out that the marines' weapons could rupture the station's cooling system, explaining that the station is basically a big fusion reactor, and they could trigger a thermo nuclear explosion. He witnesses the marines being slaughtered by the Xenomorphs via the APC. Only Corporal Dwayne Hicks, and Privates Hudson and Vasquez survive the assault due to Ripley taking control and rescuing the the survivors.

However, when Ripley suggests they take off and nuke the site from orbit, Burke says he cannot authorize that kind of action, and the site has a substantial dollar value attached to it. He also reasons, against Ripley and Vasquez that the Aliens are an important species and they don't have the right to exterminate them. Ripley then points out the operation is under military jurisdiction and Dwayne Hicks is next in chain of command (Gorman is unconscious at this point). Burke then reasons that Hicks cannot make that kind of decision as the site is a multi-million dollar installation. Hicks then radios Ferro and orders immediate evacuation, planning to nuke the planet from orbit.

Betrayal & Death[]

Burke would betray Ripley and the Marines, as a captured alien would have great potential for research and bioweapons, which would earn him a lucrative promotion- he specifically targets Ripley for this, after she discovers his intention. He planned to smuggle the alien past quarantine through Ripley and Newt. He attempts to get them impregnated by locking them in a room with a pair of facehuggers; he later turns off the room's security camera. He would then sabotage the cryochambers in order to kill the marines, but his plan was foiled after Ripley triggered the smoke detector and the Marines rescued her. She then exposed Burke. The Marines planned to kill Burke after they realized that the aliens were approaching the medlabs. In the chaos, Burke escapes and seals himself off from the pursuing marines. An alien then attacks him from behind and kills him.

Personality & Traits[]

Carter was a selfish and manipulative person, caring only for his own needs on the investigation mission. He manipulated Ripley into giving him the corrdinates to the Derelict on LV-426 while playing the empathetic friend for her. Burke also had no issues ordering the colony to investigate the signal leading to their deaths, as well as trying to impregnate Ripley and Newt with Xenomorphs and sabatoging the cryotubes of the other survivors to cover his tracks. Although, considered ruthless, even by his compatriots at Weyland-Yutani, they lamented that Burke was "executive material".


Burke cocoon

Burke death

  • In a scene cut from Aliens, Burke survives and is instead captured and impregnated by the aliens in their hive. Ripley Comes across a cocooned Burke when she comes searching for Newt who was captured by the creatures as well. Burke reaches out to Ripley telling her he can feel "it" moving inside him. Even after he tried killing Ripley and the marines, she gives him a grenade to cut his anguish short. This scene was released for the first time on the 2010 Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set.