a) A New Starting point
While it became clear that the DNA was the mystery of the Space Jockey.
Ridley also managed to share with magazine "L'Ecran Fantastique" something more to explain how he could claim it contains the DNA of Alien, talking about how a charcoal rendering of the Space Jockey that Giger gave him which was displayed on his wall at home inspired him with the idea about where to go with a sequel.
Ridley thought ""Damn! This is where we should start again!"
|Sketch by HR Giger . source: Michalovski's website.
(Is this the one on Rdley's wall?)
b) A character named The Juggernaut
Sylvain Despretz recalled that there was discussion about the Space Jockey being a man in a suit even before the Fifth Element production came into being.
Ridley had also been thinking about a little green watercolour by Moebius of an alien space pilot, he showed it to Sylvain Despretz, who worked on concept art and storyboards for some of Ridley's films, and would refer to this character as The Juggernaut (in sharp opposition to the Space Jockey)
The original space jockey drawing that Ridley came up with based on a Giger drawing looked like a flight suit that had become a chrysalis for a moth or butterfly. One might perhaps ask what was inside it.
|Ridley's storyboard which adapts Giger's Necronom V
c) Early indications that it wore a suit
But Ridley would describe the Juggernaut character to Sylvain as being in "scuba gear" which appeared to imply that what we saw of the Space Jockey was a suit.
What we do know is that the final space jockey design by Giger looked as if he had a biomechanic body or wore a biomechanic suit and had a see-through space helmet which wasn't used in the film. Perhaps the skull of the creature was its own, but not for Ridley.
What Ridley liked very much about Giger's space jockey design was that one couldn't work out whether the pilot was part of the whole ship or was just melding with it for the flight.
Back then Ridley had ideas for the Engineer's planet that was far more alien and insane than what we have seen in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, and we might wait to see if there's anything more to be seen of them in future Alien films.
|Moebius' space jockey (I scanned this from Alien The Archive)
d) See: Alien/ Prometheus: The doorway to the next chapter
- Ridley Scott: Moreover, after Giger has completed his drawing of the driver, he made me a present of the original. This is a beautiful piece, drawn in charcoal black on white paper, which I displayed on a wall at home. I spent so much time looking at that I ended up saying "damn! This is where we should start again! "[laughs]. [Laughs]. That is why I believe that we can quite accurately describe the Prometheus project, saying it contains the DNA of Alien. (L'Ecran Fantastique Hors-Serie #20, p13)
- Ridley Scott: I came up with saying, "what happens if these guys exist? And if they do exists, who were they?" And I always figures that pilot was flying a battleship and the battleship was a carrier of deadly objects. The deadly objects were the eggs, and the eggs were the DNA that would be carried out to destroy, would be used to destroy. What would they be destroying? (The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus(07:18) )
- Dominic Kulcsar: Whatever
the space jockey was in the first film, it was sculptural shell made to
look realistic and other ideas could grow out of that. Then of course
in the early storyboards that Ridley did, he took a part of Necronom V
and drew something that resembled a chrysalis. One could look at that
and wonder if it contained something else in the way a chrysalis would.
But I suppose this question about the space jockey as a suit is
something with different possible answers from different contexts. (See thread in Alien Explorations: 23 May at 11:38 )
Sylvan Despretz: Yeah. I think it might be a mistake to try and pin down an exact crime scene because that's not really how ideas work.
Most ideas travel with their opposite--with their contradictions.
It's not until you fully unpack them that you become fully aware of what you meant by them.
My memory is hazy but I recall that the inspiration for the "juggernaut" (how Ridley used to call it, in sharp opposition to "Space Jockey") was a little green watercolour done by Moebius which Ridley showed me in his office, before adding that "Giger developed it further".
I seem to recall Ridley describing the Juggernaut as in "scuba gear" which implies to me that the chrysalis was always in the back of his mind. And Giger, indeed, did a hybrid with one of his Necronomicon creations that seemed to simply grow out of the chair. Ridley originally said that he liked that you didn't know if the Juggernaut was the whole ship or just melding with it for flight. It's possible that the decision to have an ordinary Marvel Jesus-Super hero inside came to him as a 26 year late afterthought. More than likely, it's more part of a shitty Damon Lindeloff idea. The story Ridley told me about the Juggernaut planet was far more alien and far more insane than what he's done with it which seems more tailored for sequels and regurgitation. Anyway. This process is alway one of cross pollenation and you can never point to an idea and truly tell whose it is. Clearly, an alliance made the first Alien something uniquely grand which no one was ever able to rekindle... not even the original director. (See thread in Alien Explorations: 23 May at 11:38 )