Alien: Unlocking the design of the Space Jockey

Editorial image

leads from 
 The Space Jockey
Development of Giger's art

a) Giger's space jockey and his earlier works
Giger came to design the space jockey once Ridley Scott decided that Giger would handle all the Alien environments rather than just the alien race on the planetoid and the egg silo and then Ron Cobb would design the human environments. Ridley Scott started with a creature from one painting by Giger, that looked liked the bare remains of a fossilised creature with some humanoid features, and its seat was the back of the female seated figure bending forwards as if riding a motorbike, that it had been piercing into. Soon the entity evolved into something that was done much earlier in Giger's career during the 1960s, when he was drawing ink drawings showing humanoid with pipes coming from the face and also with hands on handlebars which are popular reoccurring image in his works.

Necronom V
b) Henu Barque
At some point in time, the Henu Barque entered into the design of the seat and telescope, the image can be found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead Papyrus of Ani and also found in various Egyptian tombs, temples, sarcophagi and idols. Questions might be asked about whether the Henu Barque painted on the East Wall at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre where Alien had its premiere, have anything to do with the inspiration for the seat with the telescope since the antelope head with its horns on that is quite prominent enough to invite comparisons, and one might ask what else that strange image inspired since it looks almost like a human standing on the back of a giant bird

the restored Henu Barque on the East Wall at the Grauman's Egyptian Theater

1. The Space Jockey design as it is in Alien

2. Space Jockey Evolution via Giger's Necronomicon pt, 1 

3. Evolution of Space Jockey via the Egyptian Book of the Dead

4. Evolution of the Space Jockey via Stanley Kubrick's 2001

5. Evolution of Space Jockey via Texas Chainsaw Massacre

6. Likely inspiration from the Excessive Machine in Barbarella

7."Martian Dali equipped with a double holoelectronic microscope" inspired the telescope ?

8. Evolution via Giger's Necronomicon part 2

9. Evolution of the Space Jockey via the Waiter's Friend / Sommelier knife ?

10. Ridleygram of The Space Jockey Chair shows more inspiration from the Henu Barque and also Moebius?

11. Jack Kirby's Leviathan Whale to Giger's Necronom III to Kirby's Celestial Giant in Rocket Capsule Statue to Giger's Space Jockey

12. Space Jockey seat references Celestial on hover sledge in The Eternals #7 ? 

13. Alien: Space Jockey design references anti-shock seatfrom Jack Kirby illustration for S.H.I.E.L.D.?


work 380 "Pilot in Cockpit'


  1. Regarding your fifth paragraph, is the detail of the Necronom IV, not from the bottom left, but just the top of the image?

  2. Thanks for the observation, I'm going to correct it when I work out what I am talking about in relation to the image.

  3. This page has since been broken down into headings leading to various pages with different sections about Giger's space jockey's design evolution.

  4. awesome blog! i've been looking up search engines for some information from the alien series. keep up the good work!