Evolution of the Space Jockey
via Giger's Necronomicon


Necronom V
a) Ridley's Intentions
 As the explorers enter the derelict, Ridley wanted them to come up over the edge of something and into a vast chamber that is dominated by a huge chair. In preparing this frame of the storyboard, he went through Giger's Necronomicon and took a character, whom the production crew would label "The Space Jockey". Ridley wanted a fossil almost, one which the viewer would have a hard time deciding where it leaves off and the chair on which it died, begins. So they are there with the space jockey frozen in death to the weapon which is was firing when it died. And he was kind of gargoyle-like and spooky. Considering the large difference between the initial sketch and the final thing in the movie, it was a point where they got close to the intention of the films visuals on the storyboards

Necronom V detail
b) Working it out
At the beginning of Ridley's work on the storyboards, he took the whole torsoe and head of the figure sticking out of the back of the rider in "Necronom V" as the starting point for the pilot of the derelict vessel, that came to be known as the Space Jockey.

And from the script, Giger knew that the pilot was huge and had a hole in its chest but that was all. The Ridley suggested another of the Necronom creatures as a guide, notably the top left one from Necronom V. The resulting creature would not look much like the original entity but it was a starting point and the space jockey grew up from there in bits and pieces

The final creature had physically grown into or maybe out of his seat, and he is integrated into the function that he performs

Ridley's storyboard

Source Quotes
  1. HR Giger: From the script I knew he was huge and had a hole in his chest, but that was all. Ridley suggested another of my Necronom creatures as a guide. They don’t look much alike now, but it was a starting point; and the space jockey kind of grew up from there in bits and pieces. The creature we finally ended up building is biomechanical to the extent that he has physically grown into, or maybe even out of, his seat – he’s integrated totally into the function he performs. (Cinefex#1, p64, 1979.) 
  2. HR Giger: From the script I knew he was huge and had a hole in his chest but that was all. (Alien The Archive, p52, taken from Cinefex#1)
  3. HR Giger: They don't look much alike but it was a starting point, and the Space jockey grew from there in bits and pieces (Alien The Archive, p52, taken from Cinefex#1 minus one word) 
  4. HR Giger: Physically grown into, or maybe out of, his seat. He's integrated into the function he performs. (Alien The Archive, p52, taken from Cinefex#1)
  5. FX:  What was the inspiration for the Space Jockey?
    H R Giger: Ridley Scott pointed to a part on the top of my painting Necronom V and asked me to do something like it. (FX, 7, 1999 (spanish magazine))
  6. Ridley Scott: As they enter the derelict, I wanted them to come up over the edge of something and into this vast chamber that's dominated by a huge chair. In preparing  this frame of the storyboard, I went through Giger's Necronomicon and took this character, whom we call the "space jockey", because I wanted a fossil, almost, one which you'd have a hard time deciding where he leaves off and the chair,  on which he died, begins. So here they are with this dead space jockey frozen in death to the weapon he was firing when he died. And he's kind of gargoyle-like and spooky. Sometimes we got very close to the films visuals in the storyboard"
    (Fantastic Film, number 11 (US), p 28-29) 

2 comments:

  1. amazing. huge Giger fan. what a screwed up head he has but stunning art work.

    ReplyDelete