When one thinks of an “action babe”, the image that comes to mind is something along the lines of Angelina Jolie starring as Lara Croft, in the Tomb Raider movies. That description sounds accurate, an explosive action film, with a beautiful woman portraying the main character. Of course like with all things, there had to be an origin. The original “poster girl” for the “action babe” archetype was Sigourney Weaver playing Ripley in the 1979 film Alien.
Starting with Alien in 1979, women started taking on leading roles in movies. This created a new archetype. In the movie Alien, once the crew started dwindling down because of the Alien, Ripley began taking charge of the situation. Although she was the next in line in the chain of command aboard their starship, typically in films the female wouldn’t end up being the savior. She ended up being the only survivor. Throughout the course of the film she proves her sturdiness, with handling all the situations against the alien. She helps kill the robot Ash. Normally a female character wouldn’t help kill, but an “action babe” would. In the movie Ripley doesn’t show off the fact that she is very womanly until the last scene when she finally gets rid of the alien. Before she gets into the space suit to do the deed, she is walking about the ship in a shirt and some small panties. It is required of an action babe to show off her womanly side. In most movies today with an “action babe” archetype in them they usually try to show off their sexuality more and use it to their advantage. In Alien Ripley showed off her womanly side with the scene where she was in her panties. There was no real occasion where she could have used her sexuality to her advantage to get the best of her situation. In conclusion Sigourney Weaver, portraying Ripley in the Alien film, does fit the Archetype of “action babe” and is the first one to do so.