Prometheus: The Derelict
and the Juggernaut

leading from

image from a Ridleygram of the croissant shaped Juggernaut

a) Ships related by birth.
Ridley had decided that the derelict ship in the first Alien was one of the group that had gone off and his cargo had gotten out of control, and the space jockey died in the process. So that ship happened to be as it were a brother to the Juggernaut that we see coming out of the ground in Prometheus. They were made roughly the same period give or take a hundred years. Rick Stammers as special effects superviser was made aware it might have come from the same factory as the one in Alien, and there again they are not the same ship, it had less emphasis on the bones and organic shapes that were present in Giger's work. Beyond that there is no real link between the two, but it shows who may have had these capabilities to have dreadful weapons beyond anything we could possibly conceive, as sort of bacteriological drums of awful substance that you can drop on a planet. Because the Juggernaut was carefully stored away underground, Conor O'Sullivan talked about how the details on the walls and the ground are much finer and better defined because the environment is meant to be in almost mint condition.

The derelict from Alien
The Juggernaut from Prometheus

b) Transformation of the Space Jockey's suit
There are also no signs of decay to be found with the Engineer's suits in comparison to what was a kind of remains withered away skin on the surface of the Space Jockey and its pilot seat which had been created by applying a thin layer of latex to get a mummified look.

The biomechanic details have been transformed to resemble the biomechanic ideas of the Russian artist known as Gutalin. So what you see as the space jockey with the tube emerging from his nasal cavity in a state of decomposition, one will supposedly see in a new state while the engineer get into the chair cockpit for taking off and maneuvering the vessel. The viewer would see how the suit wraps around the engineer humanoid. The production team felt that the reproduced quite faithfully Giger's design while imagining what these suits could be like when they were new and in working order, but making them more mechanical than biological this time.

remains of the space jockey from Alien
The engineer in his suit that represents the idea of the Space Jockey of Alien
c) See also : Prometheus: Ridley's design criteria for the engineers' world

Source quotes
  1. Richard  Stammers (Special Effects Supervisor): The Juggernaut might look like it has come from the same factory as the derelict in Alien, but it is not the same ship. The exterior shape is similar, but it has way more detail; and inside, it had a little less emphasis on bones and organic shapes  than were present in Giger’s work. We had two practical set pieces representing the juggernaut, with doorways again resembling an orifice of questionable nature. (Cinefex 130, p59)
  2. Conor O’Sullivan: En ce qui concerne les décors du vaisseau extraterrestre et les combinaisons, Ridley Scott a tenu à rendre hommage au travail de Giger, en employant à la fois certains de ses anciens dessins réalisés à l'époque d'Alien et des designs nouveaux, produits spécialement pour Prometheus. Comme je vous le disais précédemment, Neville Page, un designer anglais qui vit aux États-Unis, a été chargé d'établir le design des ingénieurs. Ridley est très attaché à l'aspect biomécanique, mais dans Prometheus, les détails biomécaniques sur les parois et sur le sol sont beaucoup plus fins, beaucoup mieux définis, car cet environnement est censé être presque en parfait état. Il n'y a pas de signes de décrépitude, de rouille, ni de boue translucide visqueuse comme dans Alien, car le temps n'a pas encore fait son effet... Nous avons donc appliqué la même démarche en créant la combinaison spatiale de l'ingénieur, dont tous les détails sont plus fins et plus nets. Comme dans les illustrations de Gutalin.
    L'Ecran Fantastique
    La conception de la combinaison de l'ingénieur a consisté à faire de la "rétro-ingénierie" en partant de l'aspect du Space Jockey découvert dans Alien et imaginer comment elle fonctionnait quand elle était neuve et en parfait état de marche ?
    Conor O’Sullivan: Exactement.
    L'Ecran FantastiqueLe casque de l'ingénieur a un tube placé en face de sa bouche. et d'autres éléments branchés sur lui: comment les avez-vous adaptés pour en faire des accessoires fonctionnels crédibles ?
    Conor O’Sullivan :La combinaison complète du pilote une fois portée par l'ingénieur a été animée en animatronique. Ce que vous voyez sur le Space Jockey, c'est-à-dire ce tube qui émerge de sa bouche, et cette combinaison en état de décomposition, vous les découvrez à l'état neuf quand l'ingénieur se met dans la chaise du poste de pilotage pour faire décoller et manœuvrer Le vaisseau. Nous voyons comment la combinaison se referme autour de lui pour l'envelopper. Nous avons donc reproduit assez fidèlement Le design de Giger tout en le modernisant et en imaginant ce que ces combinaisons pouvaient être quand elles étaient neuves et en état de marche. Elles sont donc plus "mécaniques" que "bios", cette fois-ci ! [rires). Le département des costumes et des créatures s'est occupé des animatroniques que L'on voit dans cette séquence. Nous n'avons pas participé à ces effets d'animation.

    Conor O’Sullivan:Regarding the sets of alien spacecraft and suits, Ridley Scott has paid tribute to the work of Giger, using both some of his old drawings at the time of Alien and new designs, products specially Prometheus. As I said earlier, Neville Page, an English designer who lives in the United States was responsible for establishing the design engineers. Ridley is attached to the biomechanics, but in Prometheus, biomechanical details on the walls and floor are much thinner, much better defined, because the environment is supposed to be almost in perfect condition. There are no signs of decay, rust, or translucent viscous sludge as in Alien, because the time has not yet taken effect ... So we applied the same approach in creating the space suit of the engineer, the details of which are thinner and sharper. As in the illustrations of Gutalin.
    L'Ecran Fantastique:The design of the suit of the engineer was to make the "reverse engineering" starting from the appearance of the Space Jockey in Alien discovered and imagine how it worked when it was new and in perfect condition?
    Conor O’Sullivan:Exactly.
    L'Ecran Fantastique: The helmet of the engineer has a tube placed in front of his mouth. and other units connected to him how you adapted to make credible assistive devices?
    Conor O’Sullivan: The complete suit of pilot once worn by the engineer was animated animatronics. What you see on The Space Jockey, that is to say, the tube that emerges from his mouth, and this decaying decaying, you to discover the new state when the engineer gets into the chair cockpit for take off and maneuver the vessel. We see how the suit closes around to wrap. We have reproduced quite faithfully the design of Giger while the upgrading and imagining what these suits could be when they were new and in working order. They are more "mechanical" that "bios" this time! [laughs). The costume department and creatures took care of that animatroniques We see in this sequence. We have not participated in these animation effects.(L'Ecran Fantastique Hors Series 16)
  3. Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub : Can you talk about approaching how you wanted the technology to look in this movie? Because it’s unclear when it is relative to Alien, but this is more advanced technology that they are using than other people have been in Alien.

    Scott:  Yeah, but I couldn’t help that, because I didn’t know, did I? (Laughs) For all intents and purposes this is very loosely a prequel, very, and then you say “But how did that ship evolve in the first Alien?” Then I would say “Actually he’s one of the group that had gone off and his cargo had gotten out of control,” because he was heading somewhere else and it got out of control and actually he had died in the process and that would be the story there. That ship happened to be a brother to the ship that you see that comes out of the ground at the end. They are roughly of the same period give or take a couple hundred years, right? Other than that, there’s no real link except it explains, I think, who may have had these capabilities, which are dreadful weapons way beyond anything we could possibly conceive, bacteriological drums of shit that you can drop on a planet.(, June 1st 2012)

Ridleygram of engineer flight suit with humanoid occupant


  1. After reading profusely and interest almost everything related to Alien and its sequel (prequel) "Prometheus" always come back to the same idea that burdens me over many years:
    Ridley Scott had no fucking idea what he planned to do neither with the first "Alien, the 8th passenger", much less, which builds on Prometheus, which was earlier chronologically, but with more advanced technology ()
    I'm a fan first "Alien, the 8th passenger" and a disenchanted sequel-prequel, because, apart from playing the same "ticks" in several scenes, reiterating its complacency by something that goes well, try to make up with a sequel-prequel something purporting not want to repeat, neither visually nor in the script ...
    "We do not want to be the abandoned ship Giger, but should look, if only for" Ruddy honor ", although, of course, be more" clean "and" neat "than the original ship.
    Of course the space jockey is no longer that of the first film: these are engineers, "and his appearance is very humanoid, but with clear references to Miquelangello of Buonarrotti.
    And, of course, this is not an exoskeleton !!!!! It is clearly a spacesuit with biomechanical engineering; and that big head so horrible is no such thing: it is a biohelmet, with modernized adaptation to the taste of the latest 3D technologies ..