Alien Movie Universe

Space Jockey or Engineer: Official Alien art suggests two different species after all?
Scified2018-05-13 10:24:32
Written by Chris53,514 Reads21 Comments2018-05-13 10:24:32

Prometheus attempted to explain who was that big guy in the chair from Alien. Alien: Covenant attempted to explain how the Alien came to be. Both prequels tried to explain the fundamental questions the original 1979 film posed, but sadly did not offer any concrete answers. If Fox allow Ridley to continue his planned saga, it will take at least two more films to actually link all these films back to the original Alien. In the meantime, without those answers, Prometheus and Covenant posed even more questions for us to ponder over and one of the biggest debates since 2012 concern the difference between Engineers and the Space Jockey.

Fans have been quick to point out that the Jockey was much larger than the Engineers introduced in Prometheus, which is true. We also know that the biomechanical suit was not as organic as the fossilized Jockey remains within the Derelict. For these reasons and more, many of us within the fandom refuse to believe that the Jockey was in fact an Engineer. Instead, many theories exist suggesting that the Jockey if anything represents a higher level of hierarchy within the Humanoid genetic chain. As Prometheus established, Engineers made Humans. But what if the Engineers were made by the Space Jockeys?

The themes of a creator's spawn rebelling against them remain consistant throughout this new series, so to assume Space Jockeys created Engineers as their successors or workers to tend to planets they habitate is not that far fetched. Jockeys create Engineers, Engineers rebell and feel as though they are superior - steal technology from their Gods to use against them and aid their own advancement. Engineers then seed their own planets with Human DNA to preserve their lineage and expand their reach. Humans in turn feel superior to their Gods and rebell, create Androids and robotics to succeed themselves and advance their own reach. Artificial Intelligence then sees itself as superior (David) and they too rebell against their creator. David then creates Xenomorphs to extermimate Humanity and eliminate any threats to the existence of A.I., etc... the cycle repeats indefinitely.

All that being said, on Alien Day last month, Fox released a fresh piece of artwork for a prop giveaway they held:

The artwork however is of a skull, not a helmet and it is not a skull of an Engineer, but one that looks more inline with that of a Space Jockey. Of course this is a major reach to assume this was a subtle hint, but what if this suggests the "Space Jockey is its own species" theory is not completely off the table for future Alien films and Covenant sequels?  

Yes, we're taking a huge leap here in assuming this artwork has any relevance to this topic in particular. Yes, Prometheus and Covenant attempted to dispel the idea that the Jockey was a seperate creature to the Engineers. However, fan feedback suggests that was the wrong path to take. We know that the Covenant sequel is supposed to heavily feature the Engineers and more of their story so is it fair to assume we could see an explanation for the differences between the Jockey and Engineers? Certainly. Could this also be nothing more than a hypothetical fan theory based primarily on wishful thinking? Also yes. Time will tell if the Derelict Space Jockey is ever truly explained properly.

What are your thoughts concerning the Space Jockey vs Engineer debate? Could there be more to this artwork or are we totally out to lunch? Sound off in the comments and let us know what YOU think!

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MemberFacehuggerMay-13-2018 10:27 AM

Called it

Dark Nebula

StaffXenomorphMay-13-2018 11:01 AM

Hmm it doesn't really look like a SJ skull to me (the SJ has a more elongated head). To me, that drawing looks like it is depicting 2 merged mammal skulls. David had a bunch of animal skulls on display.

These could be a different type of mammals native to Planet 4,maybe affected by the black goo.

David also has 2 engineer heads on display

Those are my assumptions.




MemberTrilobiteMay-13-2018 2:48 PM

I agree with Dark Nebula here. The OP pic is neat but does not look like anything in the Alien franchise I have seen. The heads look pretty much the same except the one on the right seems to have its overbite lower jaw chomped off.


MemberTrilobiteMay-13-2018 3:10 PM

 correction- UNDERbite


MemberChestbursterMay-13-2018 11:11 PM

@Chris No one says in the prequels that is his race is better than others with the exception of David, the psycho robot. Even Weyland in Prometheus considers himself equal to the Engineers ("gods") as he is a god as he creates synthetics. Humans have not stolen engineer tech. The murals seem to imply that the Engineers have conquered/stolen from a xeno-fingered creature, but nothing more as of yet. Only David clearly stolen something from "gods", so I cannot see no pattern here.

And if they will introduce a giant elephantine being over the engineers will be only a cop-out, to appease angry fans, losing any creative integrity.  


MemberChestbursterMay-14-2018 7:20 AM

Considering the latest "canonical" books this is plausible. The third race there (A:OOTS, A:SOS) is described to have heads/skulls with canine features wich fits the picture above.

It is also true that the Space Jockey head (Alien) looks different but it also hard to tell where the body starts and the suit ends.


MemberNeomorphMay-14-2018 8:28 AM

"And if they will introduce a giant elephantine being over the engineers will be only a cop-out, to appease angry fans, losing any creative integrity." IgnorantGuy

There are those that have complained that there is a difference in size between the SJ and the Engineers so maybe that could fix it to a degree. They will get **** no matter what, damn if you do damn if you don't. I would not mind if the SJ is a specie above the Engineers and I also think that the idea that the Engineers rebel against the SJ specie is interesting but we do not need to see that to save some mystery.

"Space Jockey is its own species"

That seems interesting and could work if they really try to make it interesting. They do not need to show us that but could give us strong hints towards it. If they show us the SJ specie then they could just be featured for a short while just enough to show us a bit of how the ship got to LV-426 so we do not need to see it all to leave some of the things up to our imagination.

The pictures that Dark Nebula has in red look more like some animals to me.

I understand the themes of the franchise but without good human characters it becomes underwhelming to say the least. They should have gotten writers in the beginning that knew how to make characters.

"David then creates Xenomorphs…"- original post

Screw that, I can tolerate that he re-created it but David as the creator of that sucks donkey balls. Who came up with that stupid idea?

The skulls in the picture look interesting.

Lawrence of Arabia

MemberChestbursterMay-14-2018 8:53 AM

Why would Ridley Scott, who stated the Space Jockey and the Engineers are one and the same, do that? It makes zero sense except to those grasping for straws. Course correcting after two films would be nonsense.


MemberDeaconMay-15-2018 7:09 AM

Regarding the Skulls they could be Mutated Organisms, a mixture of creatures that David had tested and created as a Hybrids... The images do have a element of the Space Jockey to them, and maybe FOX have released it to Stir-up the Fanbase and Gauge the Reaction.   Those behind the scenes would be looking at reaction to the Franchise and Concepts and i am SURE they are aware that Fans Can notice a difference between the Space Jockey and Engineers,  SIZE is the biggest difference.   So they could release images like the OT to Stir the Fans into debating about such a thing.... It seems a wise PLOY as if they get the impression that most Fans seem to find a more Alien Looking Creature as the Space Jockey more Appealing then its something they could then PRESENT to us in Future Movies (IF any happen).

The Skulls do have a kind of Atheistic to the Space Jockey, but any REAL Organism that has a Trunk like Appendage  would not have that kind of NASAL area Bone Structure (Elephant, Tapir etc).  A Elongated Snout like Ant Eaters or some types of Shew would have a little similar features.  A Armadillo too...

So taking this Skull as a Actual Skull, it would not be of a Intelligent Species due to the Cranium area for holding a Brain, unless the Organism had a very Large Head that would cause it to hunch forwards if it was Bi-Pedal... 

Looking at the Skull i could ASSUME the Organism in question would look like a Cross between a Alpaca/Llama and a Armadillo, as the Skulls Features are more closer to those Skulls.


MemberDeaconMay-15-2018 7:38 AM

Regarding the Engineers..... YES Originally the intention was for them to be the Space Jockey,  Thus Humanoids in a Space Suit...  the Size was a Problem though because the Concept was 12-15ft  but by the time we got to Shooting, the Production Team had decided upon NOT using any Special Effects and so limited Camera Trickery was used to create a Illusion of a 9ft Race.... which in a number of shots only created the Illusion of a 8ft Race.  But our Engineers had been intended to have been 15ft tall, then down graded to 12ft tall.   The Actual Space Jockey would have Stood about 13ft.

A Number of Fans feel the Space Jockey was NOT  suit...

However if we look at HR Gigers Concept Works we can see the concept was very much a Suit, the Hose looked Mechanical, the Arms and way they connected to the Chair looked like they was attached Mechanically, although with a Bio-Mechanical Aesthetic.  If we look at HR Gigers Mural and Face Huger Concepts we can see  SUIT that shares some Athestics with the Space Jockey, but also see influences with the Engineers Suits in PROMETHEUS and HR Gigers Concepts seemed to show Bald Humanoids, who Ritually Sacrificed themselves to the Xenomorph and looking at the MURAL we can see these beings are connected to the Space Jockey via this Mural, and also the Face Hugger Victims, it appears there is some Process here where the beings in the Face Hugger Concepts and Mural Concepts could have evolved into the Space Jockey Concept.

HOWEVER..... there are a FEW Flaws between Engineers vs Space Jockey... First is the Size of 7.5ft vs 13ft, there are a few Aesthetic differences between the Engineers Space Jockey suits and the Space Jockey but a BIG difference is the Color.... the Engineer Suits that had been around for THOUSANDS of years appear a Dull Grey Color, they have not discolored to the point of the Space Jockeys BONE like Color.

Ridley Scott has hinted with Prometheus there could be some other Race at play above those LV-223 Engineers.... but with Alien Covenant its teased that these Engineers could be a Bio-Engineered Race created by those Planet 4 Engineers.  As Ridley Scott referred to the Planet 4 Engineers as ORIGINAL Engineers but also implied just as there are many different creeds/races of Humans, WHY cant the same be said for the Engineers.

The Prometheus Mythos was loosely implied.... in a ambiguous way that leaves room for debate...

Wayne Haagg who worked on Alien Covenant had the feeling that the Engineers maybe Found or Stole the Bio-Mechanical Technology... so its a Question of where he gets this IDEA from... or if its just his own ASSUMPTION.

So it is POSSIBLE we could be introduced to another Race, that if they are portrayed as higher than the Engineers, are shown to be more Alien and have a Sinister Agenda/Outlook and are 12ft+ Then i think this could WORK.


MemberChestbursterMay-15-2018 7:46 AM

BigDave no, please live the giant evil elephant-man alone as they would just as much controversial and ****ty.


MemberDeaconMay-15-2018 8:33 AM

EXACTLY.... ;)

I think they are in a Tricky Situation now...  while i think the Space Jockey as a Elephantine Race would be LAME...  The Engineers were interesting, yet not QUITE Alien enough... The Height was a Problem but we could have seen Taller Engineers introduced....

With Alien Covenant our Engineers are made even more Human and Fragile and Gullible and Naive. 

The Majestic Appearance of those beings in PROMETHEUS now Tarnished..

I think a introduction to another Humanoid Larger Race with some of the ideas HR Giger had would be a way to FIX the Problem we now have.



MemberOvomorphMay-18-2018 4:14 AM

Well the first thing i thought about was the mural from Prometheus

I couldn't make sense of this mural. It looks like the Engineer subjugates this thing. It is reminiscent of the Engineers space suit and of course it is reminiscent of the alien.

It could also be that this is in fact an truly alien organism that the Engineers encountered accidentally. Or it may even be the creator of the Engineers and they finally overcame them and stole their technology (which is why the Juggernaut and the space suits look so gigeresque and their city on Planet 4 looks completely different). This seems like a far stretch but I read this theory online and as far as I know this was somewhat of the original idea of Lindelof in Prometheus (that the Engineers encountered some organism and on LV-223 tried to recreate it).




MemberDeaconMay-18-2018 6:55 PM

I interpreted the Mural as being this one of Prometheus and his Punishment.

The Organism does share a Aesthetic with the Xenomorph and Engineers Bio-Mechanical Technology/Suits.  It kind of does look like its Subdued by the Engineer, but the Engineer is not looking at this Organism like the ADAM and GOD Mural from the Sistine Chapel but more like the Prometheus Punishment Mural.... the Organism appears to be Submissive but it also looks like a Fetal Position (Just Birthed)

"that the Engineers encountered some organism and on LV-223 tried to recreate it"

I am not sure on Lindeloff saying that... but it is what is kind of implied in Alien Engineers by Jon Spaights which Prometheus Evolved From..

Alien Engineers Basically Showed us...

*Nano Scarabs Consume Engineer and Store Engineer DNA, these Bite a Primate and Evolve the Primate to a Primate/Engineer Hybrid AKA Our Ancestors..

*Nano Scarabs attack/Bite Fifield (escape from a Broken Urn) and Inject DNA just as they did with the Primate only Fifield Evolves into something very Xenomorph Related... HENCE... these Scarabs got this DNA from a Xenomorph related Organism (Sacrificed)

*Holloway is infected with a Octopus like Face Hugger that is hanging from the Caves on LV-426... Produces a Chest Buster with Mollusca like Characteristics.

*The Engineer Ships Cargo Hold Contains Face Huggers that Produce Xenomorph like Organisms from Humans... and a Different Ultramorph with Engineers.

*The Engineer Ships have 7 other different Cargo Holds each with various varieties of Xenomorphs..

Logical Conclusion....

The Engineers Encounter a Organism that leads to a Chest Buster, that the Engineers then Re-Engineer/Experiment with using their Creation/Hybridization Tool the Nano Scarabs.

THUS.... similar to the Experiments David conducting using the Neomorphs and the Black Goo.

I can only ASSUME the Engineers had been Punished either by a Organism Sent to Punish Them and they Re-Engineered it...  (MISS USE OF THE STOLEN FIRE OF THE GODS)

Or Punished for attempting to experiment with a Organism discovered using the Creation Tool in a Unintended way and are Punished via Hubris...  (PLAYING WITH FIRE)


MemberTrilobiteMay-18-2018 8:07 PM

Interesting pic of Prometheus. Another take on it could be a message of history repeating itself.


MemberDeaconMay-19-2018 7:47 AM

I think it depends how THOUGHT out the Plot and Connections were and HOW many times it has been changed and so is any of the OLDER clues not Relevant at all?

The Prometheus Mythos was at Play... to some degree, its a Question of HOW Literal is this Mythos now...   The only Main Theme that seems to be at play now is that....

There are some Things that are better left alone, some things only intended for use by a Selected Few and Stealing/Misuse of this leads to Hubris, Punishment and CHAOS.


MemberNeomorphMay-22-2018 8:14 AM

Lawrence of Arabia:

It would be nice if Scott did something right with the prequels. There have been so much bad things in them so why not have something good for a change? Alright I exaggerate, there have been some good things in the prequels but the important parts have been letdowns. Some course correcting (I guess that I learned a new word so thanks) is needed because if the direction for the next movie is like Alien Covenant then it will be crap.  They need to have some damage control. You call a change in that nonsense, I would see it as a likely improvement. Unfortunately they made the SJ less alien by claiming that they and the Engineers are the same but unfortunately the way the Engineers were treated bad in AC. Furthermore the planet that the Engineers were at in AC and their buildings were not very impressive.  

They and the SJ if they are supposed to be the same were made a disservice in AC and because of that they need to make the SJ and the Engineers different but maybe related species. Maybe the SJ race created the Engineers maybe as servants to the SJ specie? I do not care if Scott is against it because he has caused much crap but the problem is also Fox. Hopefully Disney will improve this so we will not be given a third disappointment and that they will not approve of a movie that do not put the human characters first no matter what Scott says.


MemberNeomorphMay-22-2018 8:18 AM

Big Dave

Maybe I am wrong but the face of the Space Jockey in that picture looks a bit like the face of the Orchs.



MemberDeaconMay-23-2018 6:26 AM

Ha ha.... maybe a bit Thoughts_Dreams

Your points again are SPOT ON our Engineers were Mysterious, Enigmatic but not quite as ALIEN as the Space Jockey the Plot was BOLD  in that these beings were our GODs but they are not Gods... and that in effect Weyland and Humanity are just as Godlike, well we created a more Perfect Being in David and with Engineers Technology and Knowledge maybe WE could be the GODS now..

It was interesting.... but those Engineers still had something about them, where they clearly looked far more advanced and more powerful than Humans...

In Alien Covenant our Engineers were just presented to us as only a more Ancient Humanoid Species... Ridley Scott even saying these guys on Planet 4 are the Original Engineers and they live for 150 years and so these revelations and the lack of Technology on Planet 4 just made these Engineers nothing more than another Humanoid Species. they lost that Mystical Appearance that those in Prometheus had..

And then to simply Brush the Engineers under the Carpet, making them Helpless against David and their Bio-Weapons, had just reduced the Engineers as far as Credibility as Would be GOD's just as much as the AVP Franchise movies Reduce our Xenomorph from the Iconic Alien Nightmare...

So its going to be hard to introduce the Engineers back as anything really Special, the Xenomorph too...   So a Logical Route would be to introduce another Species that fit the scale of the Space Jockey more.

And make these Guys, Bad-ass and Wicked and something to be FEARED

I think the Space Jockey should be introduced as a Space Suit, but have a Bi-Pedal Humanoid inside.... one that does not have to be too similar to a Human, it could Human looking like the Engineers, it could be something more Alien looking or something in between.

But i feel they need to introduce another RACE a race that can capture the Allure and Enigmatic look of the Original Space Jockey Scene.

Capt Torgo

MemberFacehuggerMay-25-2018 5:00 AM

I've got no beef with the size difference or it being a suit. What I'd like a deeper look into on film is are these suits grown & harvested from a creature. There's just so much cool potential with these guys and their tech. Those pressure suits were genius


MemberDeaconMay-25-2018 8:03 AM

Indeed you almost get the feeling they could either have...

*Experimenting with their Black Goo/Creation Tool to Genetically Enhance themselves like the Pressure Suit but some Experiments went wrong and produced something related to the Xenomorph and they was like WOW! and began to Experiment with creating more.

*Similar to above where they came into contact with something that created something similar to the Xenomorph, and they attempted to Experiment on this to obtain the Pressure Suits as part of Re-Engineering.

*Or they either Stolen this Bio-Technology or they was created/used by some other Species/Race and given this Technology but they rebelled and chose to us it for their own Agenda.

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