SOME OF MY HYPOTHESES AND THEORIES
WHAT DID SPACE JOCKEYS LOOK LIKE?
I don't have a concrete idea.
I've had some ideas, but I haven't made any of them my canon.
My early idea was that maybe they were big grey humanoids quite similar to humans (I imagined this before Prometheus) living on an apocalyptically destroyed planet, infested with radiation and chemicals. Nature is mostly dead, turned into a desert. The survivors have turned their cities into bunkers to protect them from being poisoned and buried in the desert sand. They are slowly dying of disease and degeneration. They have lost the ability to have children, so they have used their biotechnological knowledge to create the artificial wombs we know from the movies as eggs. But all the embryos are dying of deformities. The species is dying out. They continue their biotechnological experiments, combining their genes with those of creatures that are able to survive on the contaminated planet, but the results are not satisfactory. Eventually, after several years of development, they let their biotechnology grow into a spaceship and fly off to establish a civilization on a new planet. However, either in the mind of the pilot or in the mind of the ship, after a long flight, madness breaks out, and the creations of this madness are xenomorphs.
In the end, I decided to abandon the story. All that remained was the idea of artificial wombs in the form of eggs.
After all, if we wanted to guess what they looked like, it's probably pointless.
I think it's obvious from the pilot that they have the technology to transform the body. Originally, they could have looked anything. For example, let's imagine they were aquatic creatures who built a civilization in the water, but decided it would be more practical to continue on land. So they transformed their bodies into a form that would be more suitable for land. Or they could have been terrestrial non-humanoids who decided that a humanoid body was more practical, so they just changed it. In short, they could have looked like anything.
A KIND OF INTELLIGENT PARASITE?
As I mentioned in the story. The hypothesis is that the facehugger is a baby space jockey that lives parasitically, and in time grows into something more intelligent.
Another possibility is that the young only look like parasites, but are actually a specific way of feeding on their parents. Similar to how mammalian babies drink milk. The question is whether they would attach themselves to their parents' faces or somewhere else.
But if they are a species of parasites, I would assume that they had domesticated animals on their planet, in a way that goes beyond what we on Earth know as domestication. They probably would have connected to their animals, and in a much more advanced way than parasites like ticks or leeches do that we're familiar with. It would then stand to reason that when this species achieves technological advancement, it would also connect to its machines. The animal is replaced by the machine. (Just as it was with human civilization: Horses and cattles -- steam engines and motors. But humans have never connected to animals, so connecting to machines seems strange to them.)
Maybe they have another kind of perception, a dual perception, one outwardly focused, the other inwardly focused, by which they control animals and machines. So a Space jockey has one perception looking through the "telescope" he uses to observe the universe, the other perception controlling the ship he is attached to. And by that connection, it also receives nourishment.
Or the origins of space jockeys could have been something else.
THEIR CYBER TECHNOLOGY
Their ship looks cybernetic, the xenomorphs look cybernetic, the space jockey is organic but connected to the ship and physically transformed.
It is not surprising, then, that I choose for my story that the nature of the ship and the xenomorphs is entirely cybernetic.
How did the combination of organic and synthetic components come about?
1st option is the gradual shrinking of technology and eventually the creation of nanotechnology, which is then linked to the organism. (But I don't like this option very much).
2nd option is that bioengineers rearrange and reconfigure the organic structures of life and make something new out of them. Something that can manipulate inorganic elements as well, and it can build bigger machines and ships, much like life can build shells and bones out of calcium. Technology growing out of life. (I'm leaning towards this possibility.)
3rd option is a combination of the first and second options.
4th option is similar to the second, but much more fanciful.
Imagine intelligent life living in water, perhaps right on a water planet. How will it achieve technological progress?
Terrestrial creatures would simply light a fire, smelt ore, extract pure metal, make tools, and gradually produce more precise and microscopic tools. Aquatic life has it harder.
Purely hypothetically, suppose that aquatic creatures had somehow learned to manipulate inorganic elements themselves, and just as they build shells and bones, they would build various tools. They would start at the microscopic level and move on to larger and larger machines. They would achieve a similar technological civilization, but a different path.
(I find this possibility interesting, but too hypothetical)
It seems most likely to me that the Derelict was a colony ship. As mentioned in the story.
The slow ship hypothesis
I have this idea that this civilization was very biotechnologically advanced, but didn't have the technology for faster-than-light travel. They didn't pursue that line of development. The ship may have had to use giant rocket systems to first slowly accelerate the ship and then slowly decelerate it. The three holes in the back of the Derelict that they went through in the first movie, those could have been used to connect to these engines. Empty engines, when they reach the destination planet, keep going or fall into some star. So the Derelict would just be a lander, unable to fly on its own. It might have had landing parachutes. Why make it complicated when you can make it simple? After the years, the wind would destroy any remnants of the parachutes. Also, the outer structure of the ship might have looked different. It could have had a smooth surface and thermal insulation against the cold of interstellar space, where no star heats up. And that surface would have disintegrated perfectly over the years, too, from the wind and snow, leaving only the bone we see now. Bone that insulates at least enough to keep the eggs warm.
Given the slow travel time, this ship would be built to survive thousands, maybe millions of years in space. Therefore, it would be able to survive on LV-426 for a very long time.
The hypothesis of a ship without a destination
In the story, I have the characters voice the idea that the ship was heading to Earth to colonize local life. There's also the possibility that the ship's creators weren't very good at mapping space, so they sent the ship blindly, hoping to discover a suitable planet. The pilot then had to conduct a search during the flight.
The ship's AI rebelled during the flight and created new cybernetic life. It took the embryos of its creators and altered them slightly to suit its new purpose, made them into the sperm of new life. And let them grow to a usable size inside the eggs - artificial wombs.
The fight between the pilot and the AI was, I would say, a schizophrenic situation of two partially connected minds. It left them both dead, the ship automatically landing on a planet only minimally habitable, and transmitting a warning signal. (A simple radio signal at the speed of light.) A deadlock.
A similar rebellion may have occurred on the Space Jockeys' planet. A civilization in full force that had gone somewhere in its development where it began to lose power and couldn't stop it. And it may have ended in all-out war or a suicidal apocalypse that nothing survived.
FACEHUGER, CHESTBURSTER, GROWTH
So, a facehugger, in my opinion, is a cybernetically modified creature that has cybernetic cells or microtechnology in its blood that, when injured, attacks like a kamikaze and destroys everything. Acid blood effect. Same with the blood of xenomorphs.
The Facehugger has a cybernetic seed inside it that grows into a chestburster.
The chestburster looks very organic, only the teeth look metallic. Because there's no inorganic material in the human body. (It can use some blood iron, but not too much so that the person doesn't die.) All he had was what was in the seed. (I suppose this seed is about the size of a human little finger. Certainly not bigger.)
When a chestburster leaves its host, for example on board a ship, it has plenty of material to grow around it. Pure metals, plastics, maybe a water in pipe or a reservoir. Food in concentrated form. I imagine it finds a suitable material to grow on, attaches to it, transforms into a cocoon that roots into that material and grows. From the cocoon emerges a xenomorph, leaving a hive, like a human embryo in the womb dividing into embryo and placenta. However, the hive survives on and the xenomorph can return to it and develop it. Xeno can connect to it through the tubes on its back.
(What I would definitely change about the xenomorph is the short tail between these tubes. It gets in the way of the head. It's unnecessary. I would remove it. In the old movies, I might consider it a developmental defect that the first xenox have. If there was a new movie being made, I just wouldn't put that back tail in. I would also make it so that the back tubes could be bent and pressed up to the back. It would be more practical that way. It would be like a porcupine that can erect the quills or leave them unerected. Xenos back tubes would also be useful for carrying kidnapped people: wrap their legs with the tail, then put them on the back between the tubes and use those to grab their arms.)
If the chestburster were not on a ship, but in nature, it would probably have to obtain the necessary substances from nature, just as microorganisms and plants do. It would probably embed the root of the hive in some dirt or rock, and to get everything he needed from it would require a lot more energy and time, and he would have to grow through a lot of material. The growth of a xenomorph might take more than a week.
It is also possible that xenos can eat something by mouth and digest it. Maybe some tasty copper cables, a quick snack.
THE LIMITATIONS OF THIS CYBER LIFE
There are various nanotechnology and nanorobots in science fiction stories, so I deliberately don't use the word nano anywhere to avoid confusion.
I don't think the cyber-cells will be capable of such fast action as is sometimes seen in sci-fi nanotechnology. It's not that I consider nanotechnology capable of being faster, it's more that I find the representation in science fiction absurd. The most absurd example was in the Picard series. A Borg queen injected a human with nanorobots under the skin on his face, and that human was under her control within seconds. Absurd.
The fastest action a cyber-cells (or some xenos analogue of nanotechnology in their blood) will perform is a kamikaze attack that looks like the effect of acid blood.
If the cyber-cells do something constructive, like grow into a chetburster, it will take hours. If, for example, they wanted to take over someone's brain, like in Picard, it might take more than a day.
Aliens do not produce microscopic germs or spores. (Theoretically, they could intentionally learn to do this, but they don't have enough mental capacity to do so. Explanation later in this text.)
I think a cyber-cell that contains all the genetic and technological information and all the cellular tools necessary to live would be pretty big. And this cell will be found primarily in seeds intended for reproduction. In the rest of the body, there may be smaller and specialized cells that don't have all the information. Kind of like a simple soldier or citizen who can do some specific things but doesn't have all the knowledge of their civilization. So it would not be like normal living organisms that have complete DNA in every cell. So even if you could get a living cell from a random part of an alien, it would be impossible to clone it. I think the germ cells would just be deep inside the core of each alien. Definitely not somewhere in the skin or a limb.
Neither the xenomorphs nor the hive are fully aware of all the information this cell carries, nor are they able to fully control it consciously. As I described in the story, they are like children. Or like humans who are also not aware of the information in their DNA, nor are they able to tell their bodies to grow a severed limb. They are alive, but they don't know how their body works.
In the story, there is something below the surface on LV-426 that used to be a ship or the contents of a ship that has moved below the surface. This something is left with some primitive consciousness, basically just the basic systems of the ship. And after this has acquired (or absorbed) colonists, I also give it a kind of low intelligence or instinct. The Hughunter is a creature that lived on a planet of Space Jockeys, but it's a different species. It's a replacement for the facehugger that this underground thing has chosen by instinct. Because the facehugger is a small, weak parasite incapable of living on its own for long, capable of infecting only one host.
I don't think aliens have a miraculous ability to heal themselves. I think they have a good one, but it's not a superpower. If an alien gets shot to pieces, it just dies. Head and trunk injuries can be fatal. Limbs and tail could grow back.
The limitations of this fictional world
I don't want any special mental abilities, no energetic immaterial beings, no paranormal, no phasers and blasters. I just want it to be more like sci-fi, not sci-bulshit. I considered having my ships have some anti-gravity bubble shields, but no, I left that out too. I'm just working with some hypothetical gravity and antigravity technology for the purpose of propulsion and artificial gravity. Further, I don't want time travel or other dimensions here. I feel like that doesn't belong in this world. Just a simple linear ruthless empty universe.