Before the voyage
Aurora was a journalist on Earth. Her father, former Pulitzer Prize winner Oliver Lane, died early. She then took to journalism and became an author. Eventually she signed up for the Homestead project, which was to transport five thousand human individuals to the planet Homestead II, a suitable world for colonization.
In the voyage
Aurora was first encountered by Jim Preston, a young mechanic who had also signed up for the voyage. En route to Homestead the ship crashed into an asteroid belt although it tried to go round. The crash caused immense damage to the ship's computer which resulted in Jim abruptly awakening from his 120-year sleep after only 30 years.
Jim walked round the empty ship, calling out for any awakened crew and realizing he was the only one awake before encountering Arthur, a robot bartender. He and Arthur became close friends during the voyage for a whole year, but Jim was still unhappy and lonely. On a bout of suicide, Jim found Aurora quite by accident asleep in her stasis tank. Struck by her beauty, he researched her and found her novels and articles. He also liked her sense of humour and became obsessed with her.
Jim debated with Arthur about the necessity of awakening her and thereby condemning Aurora to never reach the planet, by being stuck on the ship til their deaths. But Jim was slowly going mad from isolation and opened Aurora's case out of desperation. She, like him, wandered round calling for other people until they met. Jim desperately asked Arthur not to tell Aurora that Jim awoke her deliberately.
Jim and Aurora tried to get back to sleep but upon realising there was a malfunction on the ship they couldn't. Resigned to their fate, they began dating, and pretty soon animal instincts took over as their courtship became steamy. All the while, however, Jim did not tell her the truth that he had already chosen her.
Jim introduced Aurora to Arthur. By a mistake, Arthur let slip that Jim had released her on purpose.
Aurora got furious with Jim and tried to kill him but, though she didn't follow through, her anger remained. She began avoiding him instead and rebuffed him. But, when a crew official, Chief Deck Officer Gus Mancuso, also awoke from hibernation as a result of the ship becoming unstable, they were forced together when Mancuso got angry at a tree Jim had planted on board.
Mancuso enlisted them both to help out determine the cause of the failures. In the process, he confirmed that Jim's pod had malfunctioned and that Aurora's had been sabotaged. Aurora tries to complain to Mancuso about Jim, accusing Jim of being essentially a murderer, but Mancuso turns the question around and tactfully asks her essentially if she would not have done the same thing if loneliness got to her. Aurora, despite still being angry, begins to ponder the situation on Mancuso's advice.
Aurora and Jim realized Mancuso was very ill and was gradually dying. Before he did, Mancuso told them there was a major problem with the ship concealed in an engine room. Then he died. As the failures began cascading only moments after this, Aurora and Jim quickly left. Aurora asked Jim if he could fix the ship; Jim said yes, but he still needed her help. The two run toward Arthur, who was on self-destruction mode, and disconnect his CPU; they then get to the task at hand.
Jim and Aurora got to the fusion reactor room which was destabilizing and fireballs punching in. Jim realized he had to spacewalk in order to fix the problem and ended up sacrificing himself for the sleeping passengers. He did fix the technical fault, at the cost of his life. However, brave Aurora grabbed the other spacesuit and was able to pull him back inside the ship. Jim was then successfully revived by Aurora on the Autodoc table. Accepting her fate to never reach Homestead, and realizing that she couldn't leave behind a man that legitimately loved her (no matter how much wrong he had done to her by waking her up and then deceiving her about it for a while) she chose to forgive and reunite with him and was grateful to have finally met someone after years of depression. So, they lived a happy life on the ship til their eventual deaths.
After the voyage
Eighty years later, the ship arrived at Homestead II and the passengers came out of hibernation to find a beautiful garden Jim and Aurora had created.
Personality and hobbies
Aurora was more than a beautiful woman; she was brave, witty and inventive. She was very creative as she spent her time writing. She was obviously a thrill seeker as she quite quickly got bored with life on Earth and wanted a big adventure. She got one but not in the way she imagined.
In her non-writing time, Aurora loved to jog and swim. Swimming provided her with solace for de-stressing from her situation.
As a journalist Aurora was relentless in her quest for the truth, as shown in her articles about the economic domination of several corporations in the world system (possibly including Homestead as well). She loved her hometown, New York City, and mentions two well-known landmarks (Central Park and the Chrysler building) which she particularly remembered with fondness. Jim plants the tree in her honor for her to remember the park and gives her a miniature Chrysler building figurine he made out of metal scraps, and she gladly accepts.
- In the original script of Passengers, Aurora's surname was Dunn instead of Lane. (This surname was kept for some markets, such as China.)
- She was portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence.