Alien: Chris Foss' Derelict

Leading From
The Derelict,
Chris Foss' art

Also visit:

a) Chris Foss's Derelict Ship. 
Foss possessed a colorful and flamboyant style O'Bannon considered ideal for the derelict ship and its benign aliens. 

His design actually bears a resemblance to the description given in Dan O'Bannon's original script which was something comparable to a titanic lobster and happened to be the one that Dan approved of the most.

"Through billowing dust-clouds, a huge SHAPE appears. The dust clears, and THEY SEE:A GROTESQUE  CRAFT, nose down in the sand like some titanic lobster"(1)Dan O'Bannon's DVD version of the early Alien script.

Quote sources
  1. Foss possessed a colorful and flamboyant style O'Bannon considered ideal for the derelict ship and its benign aliens. (Cinefex 1, p36)
  2. Dan O'Bannon: I conceptualised the derelict as a gnome's castle - colorful and interesting and bizarre as hell, but not morbid. Chris Foss did a wonderful painting of the ship, which is still my favourite, bronzed lobster like thing sitting in the sand, very technological, very odd looking, very difficult to work out how it would fly" (Cinefex 1, p64) 

e) Comparing the three derelicts
Pictures of the designs 1 and 2 both have show similar front (or is that the engine?), one can see nearly the whole body of the 1st resting upon the sand,  and the 2nd like the 3rd is half buried in the sand, (perhaps both would come across as concepts easier to put on screen than the 1st.)

The 2nd also has a fin like structure poking out of the sand behind it roughly similar to the third one. The 3rd one can also be seen to be a reinterpretation of Chris Foss' design for a Harkonnen Flagship from Jodorowsky's Dune ill fated Dune project in 1975.

Both ships have a main central body vertical with arms branching to down the side ending vast bauble like engines (Also: Read about the Unseen Dune at the the Dune Info website:

g) See : Comparison between Giger's derelict and Chris Foss' spacecrafts
(right image from Charles Lippincott's collection)
(right image from Charles Lippincott's collection)


  1. Amazing similarities between derelict 1 and the design of Serenity's Firefly...

  2. Yes, indeed, you've got that right. I can't claim to be a Firefly fan but I'll make a section showing that and credit you for telling me. Thanks very much