a) Initial Perceptions
When researching the development of Giger's derelict design, I read Giger's discussion about how he imagined it to be like something like a plant on the verge of maturing as he came up with the image.
I took note of how Ridley took note of Giger's Mordor IV painting showing some shapes being played like musical instruments, and also how Ridley like to refer to the derelict as a croissant, while Brian Johnson who appeared to be see everything in terms of Escher's work thought that the derelict looked as incomprehensible as an Escher drawing.
b) Stretching Out
I would come to think about Dan O'Bannon wanted a derelict ship to resemble a lobster which was why he was content with Chris Foss' derelict so much and how one of Giger's unused sketches resembled a lobster with its outstretched claws.
Then I took a another look at Foss' image and saw how Giger might have simplified its shape and used it as the left half of his ship and then added something new to the right half.
When trying to work out the right half, I came to think about perhaps Giger's use of the French Curve set , loosely croissant like shapes with curved nodules extending from the sides.
c) Relating to Symbolism?
I later stumbled upon an image of a 45rpm record adapter that gave me a bigger insight into the development of the shape which also reflected upon Giger's interest in forms reminiscent of the three legged triskellion symbol.
In the need to connect the form with Ancient Egyptian symbolism, I would connect it with the Barge of a Million Years, and then wondering what might have been the inspiration for the hammer tip, it dawned on my that one of the Was-sceptres with representations of the god Set on the top I had researched a few years ago had that hammer like odd shape. In view of that,
I'd hazard a guess that the engine on the left may non-specifically incorporate forms from Ancient Egyptian falcon head imagery. Additionally an early painting from 1975 showed up from the Mordor series that revealed Giger painting a space jockey type entity rowing a prosthetic arm gondola along with a punt.
d) Comic book imagery
It also came to me that Giger was abstractly referencing the sometimes mysterious comic book artwork of Jack Kirby and in his The Eternals comic book series, there were some images that looked very likely as if they crept into the Alien designs