Alien: The derelict as a rescue ship and crypt?

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24th August 2016

a) Disaster Story
Around 2001, while not perceiving Aliens and its egg laying Alien Queen as anything much to do with the world of the original Alien movie, thinking about the world of thoughts behind the original movie and trying to explore further the derelict mystery, I was developing the idea that on the planetoid, there was once a biological weapons factory and there was a disaster which spewed factory wreckage everywhere and left the whole planet infected and so quarantined for many millenias to come. The other possibility is that there was an intergalactic war, the derelict was damaged and landed on a planet and a stargate shut on them leaving them stranded for many millenias many many lightyears from home. The question becomes what to do with the survivors and could something of them be preserved. The ship landed without no intention of ever leaving the planet, digs out an underground bunker, the survivors or surviving bodies are rounded and gathered up, and then they all become fodder for growing spores. 

b) Preservation
These spores would somehow retain the victims' DNA and their memories, the latter would be pushing it a bit too far because it had nothing to do with what was being talked about on the set of Alien but it might work in view of Ripley 8 clone in Alien Resurrection somehow inheriting the memories of the original Ripley. However the beast in Alien started to show instant knowledge of the layout of the ship, people have wondered if the creature had inherited Kane's memories, and so in light of that, some aspect of the minds of these survivors would somehow be retained in the spores and would be picked up probably many thousands of years later by their own people and reactivated to continue with their existences. In a way there's also an element bleeding through of the Jodorowsky's Dune's Castle Harkonnen idea where the people go in, are ground up and digested at the bottom of the building. Part of the idea perhaps comes from Ridley's half suggestion that the derelict was carrying its own kind, during the time of the production.

c) Ritual 
The pilot too dies as a result of a facehugging and chestbursting as if it's carried out as a ritual and his DNA is carried through with the chestbursting alien whose DNA too would have been transferred to the spores created and it would be the alien that burst from him that would be out to carry out the ritual slaughter. So in that respect we're talking about the collection of spores as a DNA vault, and an ambulance that slaughters all the people it rescues. A seemingly insane alien ritual that might be normal life for this ancient outerspace civilisation. 

d) Cult Suicide 
This idea was thought up with very little consideration given to Aliens fans who want alien spores to be actual eggs layed by an alien queen in the manner of termites, and later I would discover that the Jones Town massacre took place during the same year as the Alien production. Does this mean that the alien civilisation are afraid of becoming fascist and so have to undergo the transformation into spores to join the communists, and one could even compare it to much later Heavens Gate cult suicide where they believed that their souls would as extra-terrestrials travel to the spacecraft that was supposed to be the comet Hale-Bopp, there were also the Solar Temple cult suicides in 1994 and they believed that their souls would travel to the Sirius star system "leaving 48 corpses in Switzerland, divided almost evenly between a farmhouse in Cheiry and a cluster of gutted chalets 100 miles to the south in Granges-sur-Salvan" (See techgnosis.com/solar-temple-pilots/). In that case, the derelict ship might as well be a sort of a boat shipping the dead to some sort of mythological place.

e) Temple 
Along with this idea, the derelict ship interior becomes a sort of a temple in Ridley's mind with the space jockey on the chair serving as a central icon, which brings me to want to imagine it as a temple to Sokar  with the space jockey as seat as an Ancient Egyptian Sokar Funerary Barque transporting the souls of the dead to heaven. (See: Alien : Evolution of Space Jockey via the Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Henu Barque (AKA The Sokar Funerary Barque) 

f) Echoes in Prometheus 
So having thought that, I probably appreciated the fact that in Prometheus, there was the Engineer humanoid discovered sleeping for aeons waiting for someone to wake him up sometime in the long distant future and the place seemed to have been infected at one point by an outbreak of what was contained in the ampules. Meanwhile the ampules chamber is also a temple environment. I'd rather that the ampules were full of some sort of alien DNA but I'm not relying on explanations from Prometheus to give solutions to the mysteries of Alien
  • Ridley Scott had the idea that the derelict ship was perceived as a sort of temple environment as visual theme ,perhaps that meant with the space jockey as a central idol, but he linked this idea up with the Nostromo garage and leg room
  • It was Giger's idea to have the fragmented remains of a technological civilisation on the planetoid.  
  • Ridley went with the idea of having the alien spores as a biological weapon. 
  • It was a result of the production decisions to integrate the egg silo and the derelict into one structure while the egg silo was initially partially underground.
Quote Source
  1. Wmmvrrvrrmm: well, some years ago, over a decade in fact, I had the idea that on the planetoid there was a biological weapons factory and there was a disaster which spewed factory wreckage everywhere and left the whole planet infected and so quarantined. The question becomes what to do with the survivors because perhaps their DNA was valued or at least respected belonging to members of a civilisation. So a ship lands on the planet without no intention of ever leaving, digs out an underground bunker, the survivors or surviving bodies are rounded and gathered up, and then they all become fodder for growing spores that would somehow retain the victims' DNA, and they would be picked up probably many thousands of years later to continue with their existences. (So in a way that carries over from the Jodorowsky's Dune's Castle Harkonnen idea where the people go in , get grinded up and digested) The pilot too dies as a result of a facehugging and chestbursting and his DNA is carried through with the chestbursting alien whose DNA too would have been transferred to the spores created. So in that respect we're talking about a DNA vault, and an ambulance that slaughters all the people it rescues. So having thought that, I probably appreciated the fact that in Prometheus, there was this Engineer sleeping for aeons waiting for someone to wake him up sometime in the long distant future and the place seemed to have been infected at one point. (This idea was thought up with very little consideration given to Aliens fans.) (Facebook: Weyland Yutani Bulletin , 22nd August 2016)
  2. Wmmvrrvrrmm: I'm thinking of the eggs as objects stored in the silo, and there's a means to store them. I feel that it's best to think about a way the derelict vessel could have been a functional construct rather than a part of a definite plot. Once a function for it has been worked out precisely, then a plot involving the final thing follows. (https://groups.google.com, 03 Sep 2001)
  3. Wmmvrrvrrmm: However the evolution of the shapeshifting story surrounding the history construct ought to be taken into consideration, and things such as the the fact that the aliens organisms originally originated on the planetoid found themselves in a situation where they more or less didn't, the structure of these changes have to be taken into consideration because there's a lot of poetic shapeshifting going on, as if it were a kind of futuristic Ovid's Metamorphoses. (https://groups.google.com, 03 Sep 2001)
  4. Wmmvrrvrrmm: I like the idea that this derelict might be an inhospitable hospital ship where the pilot was forced into suicide to start of a body collecting mission on a planetoid where an industrial disaster has taken place and since nothing can be taken away from the planet without possibly infecting other planets with an alien made disease of some mind, all the sick and wounded are transformed into spores and there DNA is saved. So I'm working along this line and trying to take in some other kind of ideas that may well destroy my own. (https://groups.google.com, 03 Sep 2001)
  5. See also a post by Hawley Griffin coming up with an almost similar idea from a different direction http://www.scified.com/topic/42350 
  6. Scott: The derelict ship was a battlewagon or a freighter, that was carrying either it's own
    kind or a weapon from A to B and something went wrong. (The Book of Alien, p87) 
  7. Ridley Scott: We got hold of marvelous actual parts of actual huge jet engines and installed them, and they're like coppery metal with some steel. We used them as four main supports, like columns, and they give a lot of feeling of a temple. We played the same music we used in the derelict alien craft and we had two temples. The idol I wanted was through these massive gold doors which were as big as a wall, with a gap in them through which the claw can be seen, When the set was dressed, it looked like Aladdin's cave. (Fantastic Films, #12, p25-26)
  8. HR Giger: That's why I wanted the landscape of the planet in the film to be biomechanic, a mixture of our technology and some kind of magma, so as to create the feeling that maybe something has happened before on that planet, maybe a technical civilization has been destroyed. (CFQ vol9, no1)
  9. Ridley Scott: The thing that came out of the egg,  - the "perambulatory penis", as we used to call it - is the father. It is an abstract entity, in a sense, because all it does is plant a seed. Once having conceived, it dies and the next generation takes on characteristics of whatever life form it landed on. It could have been a dog, in which case, the Alien would have taken on a dog form. The result is a combination of two elements, the original creature and whatever host it uses. (American Cinematographer, August 1979, p842)

3 comments:

  1. Today I wrote down my alternative derelict ship theory on the page "Alien: The derelict as a rescue ship and crypt?"

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  2. When I saw ALIEN in 1979, I was reading Starlog, Cinefantastique and Fantastic Films (which was a very good magazine, kind of a half-way point between the other two I named), so I'm not sure if all these ideas are in the film, the script and/or spoken by participants.

    What I always believed was that the derelict ship was on its way somewhere else with those eggs to drop them on an enemy world, so the alien eggs would erupt and kill The Enemy. En route, the derelict ran into mechanical trouble, and crashed. Unable to repair and escape, the damage also caused some of the eggs to open--maybe a technician went to check on them and was impregnated. The space jockey sent out the warning when he knew he was doomed.

    That's been the story as long as I've known ALIEN. Nothing in PROMETHEUS makes that story impossible.

    The rescue ship and crypt stuff is interesting. Ultimately, I'm afraid we're going to learn every damned detail, which is too bad--I liked not knowing, so we can wonder, and maybe expand on the ideas. Has any prequel answered a movie's questions in a way that satisfied? PROMETHEUS, for example, turned the alien exoskeleton into a space suit, which I think is a dumb idea, and far less interesting.

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  3. I admit that my theory just seems to be a result of loving all of the confusing details that the alien production was plagued with while people were having their different ideas, I'm sure that I'd like to have another theory just as intricate bit nothing solid enough has come along since. I suppose that I also like the idea that it's a time capsule sent from the distant past into the present day of the Alien universe because it had been predicted that it was likely that an intelligent civilisation would be around to receive the spores leading to something happening, but it merges with the one I already have. Well, of course Ridley went ahead during the production saying they were bioweapons being carried from A to B and something went wrong and it's the best idea to hold everything together rather than just confusing other people with the minutiae. In that case one would assume that something had to go wrong coming from inside and an alien spore had to open and a facehugger gets out to implant its seed causing the space jockey to put out the transmission. I appreciated the way that when he chats with Sigourney Weaver in the blu-ray commentary, the questions and answers were much more open. I like the idea that out in the depths of space where things are not held together by the rationality of planet Earth, these things might seem to shape shift according to perception, it's a creative situation turned into a surrealist mystery and perhaps more than one valid scenario might be applied to the derelict vessel. And if there's someone out there trying to dominate the internet with a claim that there's only one good scenario, he or she will have to be assassinated. Prometheus just seems to tell me to just let go, perceive that the space jockey is a strange alien pilot in an almost skeletal suit that we thought was fuse to his seat, while the Engineers with their suits and spaceship seemed somewhat oddly similar but not quite and I don't know what to make of it.

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