Alien : Moebius' derelict ship exterior

Leading From
a) Moebius' derelict exterior
When Moebius arrived on the project and stayed for a short time, Ridley had him design a derelict ship.

Moebius came up with a view of the vessel in the distance on a landscape and a closeup of the vessel's observation dome.

The shape of it might be comparable to a space rocket capsule or an inverted spinning top.

Moebius's derelict ship (from SFX December 2014 preview of The Alien Archives book)



b) See: References Early Ridleygram of the derelict exterior?

https://alienexplorations.blogspot.com/2019/12/alien-early-ridleygram-of-derelict.html




c) Comparisons to Bilal's Martian Chronicles cover illustration
What was interesting also was how elements of this resembled Enki Bilal's spacecraft design for the cover of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles from 1975.

Bilal was another illustrator working for Metal Hurlant, whose work Ridley admired and would later influence aspects of the look of his movie Blade Runner.

A question to ask is how involved Dan O'Bannon would have been to get the most out of Moebius, as he was certainly talking to Moebius and seeing what he was drawing.

I might wonder if he was the one familiar with the Bilal drawing, loved it and recommended that Moebius use aspects of it for the derelict.


Enki Bilal's cover painting for Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1975)

Enki Bilal's cover painting for Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1975) and Moebius's derelict ship for Alien

closeup of Enki Bilal's cover painting for Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1975) and Moebius's derelict ship for Alien

tops of Enki Bilal's cover painting for Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (1975) and Moebius's derelict ship for Alien




d) Comparison to villain's spacecraft from Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows
Thursday 30th March 2017, I purchase a copy of "Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows" by Jean Claude Mezieres and P Cristin at the Forbidden Planet in London.

The French comic book story was initially published in 1975 and would have been something possibly referenced by Moebius.

I find  a very strange image of a spacecraft and excitedly realise that somehow it was part of the design evolution of the derelict ship.

In the story the ship is own by a gang of extra-terrestrials who come to kidnap an ambassador

villain's spacecraft from Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows


It is as if Moebius, who would have been naturally very familiar with Mezieres and his work, had taken a single corner section with the antennae on the top, which he expanded to make a whole spacecraft merging it with details from the Bilal spacecraft.

The crystal windows on the side transform into a dome side window and the shape of the entrance below he has abstractly turned upside down on his derelict ship

villain's spacecraft from Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows and Moebius Derelict


corner pod of villain's spacecraft from Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows and Moebius Derelict



Entrance of villain's spacecraft from Valerian - Ambassador of the Shadows and Moebius Derelict


Quote source
  1. Ridley Scott: This was a Moebius idea of the derelict. It's actually rather nice and slightly archaic and faintly Victorian for some reason or other. I quite liked it but we finally decided, it simply wasn't strange enough - not unearthly enough. It was too normal, so therefore Giger came up at a much later stage and did another one (p28, Fantastic Films (GB) #2/(US) No.12)

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