Leading fromAlien: Unlocking the design of the Space Jockey
HR Giger's Necronom V (1976)
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.
b) Giger's Necronom V
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".
As Ridley worked on the storyboards, he took the whole torso 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, and that came to be known as 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.
Necronom V by HR Giger (1976)
c) Necronom V and the comparable part of the sideview of the space jockey. The female biomechanoid who looks as if she is in a pose for riding a motorbike becomes the seat.
d) The Necronom rider character with a limb that seems to have a limb with handles extending from the end of the upper torso, ending with a reptile head
e) The head of the rider and the character that Ridley turns into into a seventeenth century plague mask like form.
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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))
- 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)