Alien: Dead alien astronaut in Landscape (work 385)(1978) by HR Giger for Alien references Roman Envoy thrown out of his litter in "Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield" (originally published in Pilote in 1967)?

leading from 


a)  Landscape (work 385)(1978) by HR Giger for Alien

Here we are presented with Giger's landscape painting with the nearly hidden corpse of one of these entities that we know of as The Space Jockey that the Nostromo explorers would have been expected to walk past on the way to the derelict, but completely miss, while it would only be picked up on the cameras and seen by the crew member Ash who was secretly an android overseeing what turned out to be a mission. ( See Alien: HR Giger's landscape (work 385)(1978)) 

Giger's landscape (work 385) (1978) for Alien


b) Roman Envoy on the ground and how that could be interpreted in behind the scenes story of the space jockey

b.i) Connecting Space Jockey in Landscape scene with "Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield"

In the Asterix story "Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield" (originally published in Pilote in 1967) the Gauls come by the guards of the Roman envoy Noxius Vapus. The Gauls throttle them and so Obelix the Gaul chucks the envoy himself out of his litter and on p20 of the collected volume of the comic book itself, we find the Roman envoy Noxius Vapus, lies on the ground after being thown out of his litter by the character Obelix who is a member of the Gauls 

b.ii) The Gauls as the planetoid's primitive alien race?

In a way that doesn't tie in with Dan O'Bannon's original script, this sort of comparison begins to present the dead Space Jockey's civilsation landing on the planetoid as near enough invading Romans. Perhaps one could imagine that they were trying to build on the planetoid and so the planetoid's alien life form rebelled much like the Gauls with their breast shaped pyramids looking roughly similar as an image to the domed thatched roofs of some of the buildings from the Gaulish Village (See: Alien: Egg Silo exterior (work 378) (1978) by HR Giger references thatched domed roofs of Gaulish village huts from Asterix the Gaul stories?)

b.iii) Discussion about Asterix The Gaul continues in the Alien Covenant sequel?

I would like to think it might have been part of the thinking if Ridley Scott and Giger were working with the comic book series to develop the visuals since Giger would already have been familiar with it. It would present a rough story actually comparable to the sort of things that went on in European history and so the interest in using the Asterix ideas would would later carry into Alien Covenant, where while it seemed Ridley in an interview was talking about the humans as Romans in their attempt to settle on Origae-6 but settling for another planet on the way, the Engineer race had settled there anf built a city there a long time before. (See: : Alien Covenant: Comparison to the Asterix comic book stories)

Still even in Dan O'Bannon's script, with the ever present remains of this little alien civilisation around the planetoid in their sleeping forms, they still live, they are a force to contend with perhaps as much as Asterix with the other Gauls. But beyond that could be many ways to interpret it.

c.i) Detail of the Roman Envoy lying on the ground and the dead space jockey on the landscape

The Roman Envoy and the dead space jockey on the landscape. The corpse of the space jockey once caught up in the perils of the planetoid and imbedded in the landscape outside of its space ship as an idea when there didn't appear to be the money to create a whole space jockey in its chair as seen in the final film.

By the time of Prometheus we might consider this dead Space Jockey to be a discarded and completely empty Engineer flight suit unceremoniously dumped on the landscape for whatever reason.


c.ii) Going back to the earlier sketch of the dead astronaut in the landscape 
Looking at the drawing of the dead alien pilot found in the landscape it seems as if once Giger had sketched the outer form of the pencil image making it look as if it was going to evolve in one direction with a side view of the space jockey, he drew the corpse lying on its side. 
One could think that it was a little inspired by the idea of the Roman Envoy as well


1 comment:

  1. "Alien: Dead alien astronaut in Landscape (work 385)(1978) by HR Giger for Alien references Roman Envoy thrown out of his litter in "Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield"(originally published in Pilote in 1967)?" was posted 24th August 2022