Alien: Primitive Alien Culture Becomes
A Biological War Weapon


a) Ron Shusett and Dan O'Bannon's Birth Pyramid
In the original Alien story, an alien traveler landed on the planetoid and had investigated an old pyramid there and the traveler had been infected and killed by the creature that had been dormant for thousands of years. It had planted an organism in the traveler's chest through his mouth, that grew and exploded from it's ribcage. Dan O'Bannon in the script, had an alien race involved in a complex bloody birth ritual. He saw them as tough, primitive, and with an extremely complicated sexual cycle. Reproductions was very difficult for them and had therefore become central to their religion, and so this pyramid was a temple to reproduction.

When the Nostromo crew were to come upon a crumbling structure covered with angular carvings, they begin to realise that they are in the presence of something of real antiquity. They can not find an entrance at the base, so they scale the pyramid and discover at the top a flue that goes straight down from the peak. This is where the character Kane sets up his tripod and winch and lowered himself down, way below ground level to the floor of the chamber. Using his suit lights he looks around in the darkness and in the middle of the room finds a stone plinth with blood drains in it. All over the walls are alien hieroglyphs, Also in there centrally located are these eggs that would be described as spores.

The alien race had two sexes of their own, but needed a third host animal to reproduce. They would bring in an animal, put it on a plinth with a spore and suddenly the creature we come to know as the facehugger comes out to deposit its seed within the animal. They would lead the inseminated creature to an enclosure where it would await the birth. However over the years, the planets has become dead and the civilisation has died out a million years ago. All that remained was the pyramid and the spores that were life forms that were about to survive dormant for incredible lengths of time even under the most adverse conditions. And this was his vision of the alien life form before the blurring of this alien culture and the Space Jockey's took place.

Source quote
  1. O'Bannon:"I saw the inhabitants of the planet as tough and primitive, and with an extremely complicated sexual cycle. Reproduction was very difficult for them and had therefore become central to their religion. And this pyramid was an temple to reproduction. When the astronauts came upon this crumbling structure covered with ugly angular carvings, they begin to realize that they are in the presence of real antiquity. They're unable to find an entrance at the base, so they scale the pyramid and discover at the top a flue that goes straight down from the peak. This is where the character Kane sets up his tripod and winch and lowered himself down - way below ground level - to the floor of this chamber. Using his suit lights, he looks around in the darkness and in the middle of the room finds a stone plinth with blood drains in it. all over the walls are alien hieroglyphs. Also in there centrally located are these eggs - spores really. So these beings had two sexes of their own, but they needed a third host animal to reproduce. So they'd bring in an animal , put it on a plinth with a spore, and whammo! Then they'd lead the inseminated animal off to an enclosure somewhere to await the birth. But the planetoid was now dead and this civilisation had been gone for a million years. All that remained of it was this pyramid and these spores - which can survive dormant for incredible lengths of time even under the most adverse conditions. That's what I originally saw. And since I made it up, naturally I'm going to like it better: but to me that's a lot more sinister sequence of events and a lot more ingenious than blurring the two cultures together." (Cinefex 1, p48)
b) Ridley's begins to think about warfare
Since the blurring of the cultures had taken place, there were still questions about how long they had been down there, and why they're down there. Ridley talked about thought that these things had been down their waiting for thousands of years for some other life form to come by, because its only trigger was another another life form, a biological presence that enabled it to move on and develop. He perceived an abstract kind of purity as if it was a weapon. However we are left asking if he already saw it being a product biological warfare or simply a product of natural biological processes, and well Ridley brought the subject of warfare into the statement. In the final film it seemed as if there could not have been any natural life on the planetoid, so one wonders what the spores were doing there as it seemed that they could not have been natural to the place and so Scott made the assumption that perhaps it was developed as a weapon and got out of control. If one imagined a few thousand of these creatures, that would be quite an impression. His thoughts about exploring what happened with two different civilisations in a sequel never received any further exposure.

Source quote
  1. Interviewer:"So the alien of the film's title was the dominant life form?"
    Ridley Scott:"On that rock, yes,. It may have waited thousands of years for some other life form to come near. It's only trigger you see is another life form. Another biological presence enable it to move on and develop. It truly does have an abstract kind of purity. And almost like a weapon, a product of biological, rather than bacteriological warfare. We never went into any of this but perhaps it was developed as a weapon and got out of control. Imagine a few thousand of those things,  " (Cinefantastique 9:1, p14)
c) Giger's idea about a biomechanic landscape
If we assumed a former civilisation here had an ability to use space travel, life forms could have found there way here through one way or another.  Giger designed a landscape for the planetoid to be biomechanic, as a mixture of technology and some kind of magma, so as to create the feeling that maybe a technical civilisation that existed there once had been destroyed.

Source quote
  1. HR Giger: I don't appreciate that kind of science fiction where every element is invented. That's why I wanted the landscape to be biomechanic, a mixture of technology and some kind of magma, so as to create the feeling that maybe something has happened on that planet, maybe a technical civilisation has been destroyed. Unfortunately, as most of the landscape footage has been cut by Ridley Scott, I doubt whether all that can be felt any more. (Cinfefantastque vol 9, no 1, p37)

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