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Author Topic: How long has Ridley held this notion of who the Sp...  (Read 161 times)

Feb 12, 2019, 02:17:48 AM
Topic on: Feb 12, 2019, 02:17:48 AM
So now that some time has passed and a lot of the implications of Prometheus have been digested, a question occurred to me.  I'm not sure if theis was ever really delved into.  It's really a two-part question..

1.  Just how long has Ridley Scott considered that the Space Jockey in Alien is really an engineer; a creature which is "us" and created us?

2.  While we're dealing with that, how long has Ridley Scott held that the aliens were a creation of a human-built android?

I think that these questions are only as profound as their real answers.  If it was Ridley Scott's intent all along, since the late 70's, that the Space Jockey was an Engineer who created us, then the story of Prometheus has merit and is true onto itself.  If it is a pipe dream of his originating somewhere around 2008, and completely upending his original intentions, then it begs the question about what that thing in the chair really was intended to be.  The second question is, well... secondary.

We do have that old Giger painting which shows the guy in the space-suit getting impregnated.  It looks a bit like an Engineer.

Also, Ridley was but one person in the crew of creatives who came up with the Alien mythos.  Perhaps Dan O'Bannon had a different vision for who the Space Jockeys were?  I am curious about how well the notion of the Space Jockey was fleshed out before it became the Engineer, and if it was intended to be an Engineer all along.  With all the interviews which took place, does anyone have any insights?

Feb 12, 2019, 02:27:07 AM
Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 2019, 02:27:07 AM
O'Bannon originally envisioned the Aliens as a civilised, learned and long-lived race one they got over their adolescent blood lust.

The beings in Giger's mural weren't intended to be Space Jockies (despite some similarity).

Ridley's ideas about reinterpreting the Jockies as Engineers and having David create them would've come from the development of Prometheus and Covenant I imagine.  He never mentioned such ideas prior to that in interviews or commentaries to the best of my knowledge.  Valaquen would be the expert though.

Feb 12, 2019, 08:31:13 AM
Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 2019, 08:31:13 AM
Don't know the answers to any of your questions, and probably you'll only find them inside  Scott's head (and a few close confidantes), but...

I'm fairly certain I read some BTS stuf once (maybe the Cinefantastique issue I had on the making of Alien '79), in which there was a description of Scott's first reaction to the completed Alien head. At that time, the plastic dome was a lot more clear and transparent that we know it today. If I remember this correctly, (and I admit to reaching into the darkest recesses of my memory for this), Scott had some reservations about the human skull being so obvious, so he got them to overspray some diffuse paint along the bottom edge to help disguise it.

<speculation mode: on>
 I've also heard Scott describe himself as a logical thinker(as in, things in his movies have to make sense), so it could be that right from the very inception of the alien's head design (Giger's painting "Necronom IV") Scott had been puzzling over the skull, trying to rationalize a reason for human anatomy to feature in an alien species. Perhaps this was the starting point for what was to become Prometheus?
</speculation mode: off>

For my part, I used to wonder about the possible genesis behind a hybrid biological - machine creature. There has been some fan speculation about David incorporating features of his own body into the next generation of xeno (with the assistance of the black goo). I guess this would be one explanation.


Feb 12, 2019, 08:38:44 AM
Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 2019, 08:38:44 AM
Scott came up with the "DNA" reflex explanation in '78, '79 before Alien 3 made it a thing. He said it looks like a person cos it came out of a person, and that if it had got the cat it would've looked like the cat.

The Old One
Feb 12, 2019, 12:28:50 PM
Reply #4 on: Feb 12, 2019, 12:28:50 PM
1. Jon Spaihts, he came up with the idea that the Engineers were us and we were them, because he thought Prometheus and the SJ would only work if "Ultimately it's a story about us." (Because he's a hack that wrote Passengers.)

2. Ridley Scott changed his mind from the Engineers creating the Alien to David creating the Alien, and he's right- out of those two options an A.I that's essentially "Other" to begin with, creating the Alien is far more appropriate than what's essentially space humans.

As for Ridley Scott's original ideas on who the SJ was and where the Alien came from, I don't know about the former but I imagine in the eighties regarding the latter he would've said; Hell.


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