Is the Alien Biomechanical?19,851 Views12 RepliesAdd A Reply
As all of you are very well aware of, Ridley Scott took use of the concept art created by the late H. R. Giger when he made Alien. Giger’s art form became known as biomechanical since its motifs blended biological (humans, limbs, organs etc) with mechanical (tubes, gears, apparatus etc). To the biological part, the sexual aspect also belongs which is explicit in his art (genitals etc).
Biomechanics can refer to the study of e.g. human anatomy from a mechanical point of view (skeleton, joints etc). Biomechanics can also be the study of and experimentation in biology, chemistry, physiology etc, creating artificial organs and synthetically creating substances (mutagen e.g.).
One very obvious fusion of mechanics (gears, apparatus etc) and biology (humans, organs etc) is in the movie Virus where parts of the crew are transformed into a living fusion of mechanical parts and body parts.
In Alien, the juggernaut e.g. is sometimes mentioned as being organic, like it’s grown rather than fabricated. The Space Jockey looks like it’s grown out of the chair etc. That is, they have more of a biological/organic aspect rather than a mechanical? The alien monster also seems very much biological/organic rather than mechanical, drooling, dripping, breeding, laying eggs, eating, killing etc?
What are your thoughts? In what way is the alien monster (juggernaut etc) biomechanical?
Well i think as you pointed out there are various ways Bio-mechanical can come to mind, Bio-mechanics which as you said is about the mechanism of how Biological Life moves.
And Bio-Mechanic as in a combination of synthetic/organic material in which indeed synthetically created organs and body parts would fit.
The movie Virus is more of a Cyborg, its a Virus Machine that builds robots/Cyborgs out of Dead Bodies and Mechanical Components and is a bit like the Borg from Star Trek.
The Xenomorph however is grown, it is not created as a fusion of Synthetic/Mechanical with Organic Material on some kind of Production line or other interaction, the Xenomorph grows from a Embryo so it kind of has the Bio-Mechanical Atheistic within its DNA etc.
As the movies Progressed the Xenomorph became less and less Mechanical, even starting with Aliens the Xenomorphs retained a high level of the Mechanical look of the 1979 Xenomorph, but the Queen did not, it looked more like a Armored Exo-skeleton and so looked more like say a Scorpion Construction rather than the Organic and Mechanical Fusion that was HR Gigers Aesthetic
Alien 3, Alien Resurrection and the AVP movies toned down the Mechanical Look of the Xenomorph from Alien/Aliens and it appears Alien Covenants is more closer to a mix of Alien 3 Runner and Alien Resurrection Clone Xenomorphs.
I think while Gigers Aesthetic was unique its what made the Xenomorph so different, it is a little bit odd how it came to be, if we are looking at it kind of objectively from a science stand point.
The Reason being that the Egg, Face Hugger do not share any of the HR Giger Bio-Mechanical Aesthetic, the Chest Buster does but in a more Alien 3 toned down way.
Its only the Adult Form that is truly a merger of Organic and Mechanical Components.
Onto the Ships....
Indeed the Derelict had that more Organic look internally than the Juggernauts do, while externally they are not to dissimilar from a Aesthetic Stand Point.
Ridley Scott had addressed the differences in a number of ways.
*The Derelict was Ancient and in a Derelict State, the Juggernauts are in Pristine as New Condition.
*The Derelict Ship out-dates the Juggernaught Design by a few hundred years.
We dont know what stance RS will take now, but it appears his set of sequels to Alien Covenant will drive us back to Alien, and so we are assuming we may see How/When/Why the Derelict ends up on LV-223
Looking at HR Gigers Original designs and looking at his Mural
Which does give a lot of clues to fit in with the whole Prometheus Universe, which one of the two ideas i had to explore the Engineers in my canceled Prometheus 2 draft was to tackle... But i will by-pass the Engineer connection here.
so only looking at the Ship and its relation to the Mural, the U shaped object that looks like the Derelict but also a Xenomorph is maybe showing us a Genetic Connection between the Xenomorph and the Derelict Ship.
Indeed the Xenomorph Hives to have a similar Architectural Aesthetic to the Derelict interior and i am sure MANY Fans would have liked to see this connection explored.
But alas.... Prometheus gave us more Mechanical Ships and Less Mechanical Xeno related DNA.... So you cant help but think back then what if some Event Caused a Merger of the Mechanical Juggernaught and Organic Xeno-like DNA
What if a Event happened to a Crashed Juggernaught where somehow the Black Goo leaked and somehow it infected the Ship passing on the Black Goo DNA, while then also having some Organism grow from the Black Goo that took on the Juggernauts Construction Matter...
This would result in both the Ship and Organism to both become Bio-Mechanical like we saw in Alien.
But it appears this is not the route we are taken, however.... maybe they could do if David somehow Evolves the Black Goo so it can affect non-organic matter.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Alas BD you have missed the obvious, though TBH, it seems everyone has...
The juggernaut used by Shaw and David was identical to that used by the last Engineer in Prometheus; Mechanical.
Yet in AC its interior corridors mirror those of the derelict on LV-426.
What happened in between - David unleashed the Black Goo...
Indeed i had discussed this before, as indeed the Covenant Ship does have some Corridors that look more like the Derelict one.
The Set of this Corridor is next to the set of the Pilot Room, and when the Covenant crew explore the Juggernaught some of the Corridors match Prometheus.
I too when we saw the more Derelict looking Aesthetic of this Corridor wondered what connection it would have, and how this is different to the Ships in Prometheus.
But looking at the Crossing Video it appears this is just another part of the Ships that we did not see anyone explore in Prometheus
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
In your opinion, would you say that the notion “biomechanical” has to do with aesthetics (Giger’s art) and not with the technicality? It has to do with how the creature looks, not how it is created? In other words, the important thing is not if David himself (or parts of him) is somehow blended with organic/biological life - thus creating the xenomorph (with its biomechanical traits)?
Giger’s mural is interesting since it seems to depict the xenomorph’s life cycle upside down (from top to bottom - and not the other way around). The egg (with a facehugger) comes from a woman’s womb (Shaw?). There is also the pyramid form (hinting at the ancient cultures of Egypt, Maya etc)? There also seems to be a reference to the Freemasons with the pyramid and the eye at the top?
I think it was just HR Gigers Atheistic, they was working on a number of designs for the Xenomorph during the Production stage well Concept stage for Alien
Concept Artist Ron Cobb designed the first two images above, and the one on the far right is a sketch that Dan O'Bannon did that looks a bit like the Fresco Creature from Prometheus to me anyway.
Then O'Bannon had came across some of HR Gigers work and showed it to Ridley Scott and at that point RS was Sold and so they got Giger in to work on some designs.
Number 1+2 are what Ridley Scott liked and got Giger to come up with something related, and first Giger came up with image 3, but then he did number 4 and 5 (not sure which order) before RS liked number 4 but wanted it to be more like the image in Number 2... and so then Giger did his last design which was the Classic Xenomorph.
So Ultimately the way it looks is what drawn RS in, as it was so unique, and HR Gigers Style would give something never seen before. Without this unique look i guess we would have had a standard B-Movie Horror in Space.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Carrying on from this... indeed the Aesthetic looks very much like as if Machine has Merged with a Organic Life-form, where you struggle to see where the Mechanical Aesthetic starts or ends and where the Organic begins.
I did explain before how i felt this was at odds with the Organic Eggs and Face Hugger... but it is what it is....
Alien Covenant we have a not so Mechanical Looking Xenomorph, but the Eggs and Face Hugger are near enough identical. I think some may not like the U-Turn of the Curve-ball that David creates the Xenomorph.
I am also thinking there is a chance they MAY or at least have CONSIDERED having Synthetic Atheistic of a Android play part in how the Xenomorph gains its true Bio-mechanical Form.
Walter indeed appears via the Virals to have a different construction where some of his internal components look some what Organic... and we know the Fire and Stone Comics gave us Elden a Synthetic Construct and he could become infected with the Black Goo.... and so why not a Face Hugger.
So it would be interesting if they went for Walter to be a Synthetic Construct also (Part Organic/Synthetic) and if so then we can ponder could they get Face Hugged and what would the outcome be?
A Xenomorph that unlike those Organic ones in AC, would now be Part Synthetic/Organic? This kind of theory may upset some Alien fans though... and its a bit of a too obvious route... but alas we cant still rule out the WALTER-MORPH
Another thing to add with the the Synthetic Constructs was Originally Elden was going to be Eldena
And she would become something similar to Sil from Species but also similar to some of the Shaw concept works and would Birth the First Synthetic Xenomorph like Organisms.
Maybe they could still go this route if one of the incoming parties is Human from the Company, and has a Female Synthetic Construct... maybe called Xenia and she gets Face Hugged to produce the Bio-Mechanical Xenomorph lol
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Regarding the Mural of Gigers....
Indeed it could be looked as a Female as far as with their Legs open giving birth to a Egg, but this Female is infected with Xenomorph DNA. well is connected Genetically.
But if we look into the Mind of HR Giger more, he had the idea that the Derelict was Grown, and the Cargo Hold/Egg Silo would have columns that had like Bio-Mechanical Pregnant Bellies that Produced the Eggs.
He even did concept work for this and this was used for the Cargo Hold/Egg Silo but his original Concepts for this above the Pregnant Bio-Mechanical Bellies was the Alien Mural.
This to me when combined with the Mural seems to show us that HR Giger may have en-visioned that the Ships actually produced the Eggs, from tiny like worm Organisms.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Great post, i'll feature this awhile so it doesn't get buried. x
Interesting idea that the mechanical looking juggernaut is transformed into something more organic over time, perhaps having to do with the black goo (and perhaps because of the atmosphere of the planet and vegetation creeping into she ship over time)?
Yes, perhaps it’s time for a female synthetic in Alien: Awakening, BigDave? :) (We have Call in Alien: Resurrection, of course) Nice going through of the aesthetics and ideas of Giger and Scott.
If we take a closer look at Giger’s Mural, the frame around the xenomorph life cycle is a woman bending over at the hips. The left frame is a leg and the right frame is an arm. The woman's face (lower part - jaw and mouth) can be seen in the upper right corner. In the middle is the womb giving birth to the xenomorph egg (with a facehugger inside). But, there is also a sperm swimming towards the womb (merged with the all seeing eye of God)?
This mural gives an eerie sense of resemblance with the fate of Shaw, doesn’t it? The lower part of her face missing in David’s painting, but it’s here in the mural . . .
“The all-seeing Eye” and the Freemasons is perhaps a topic of its own? :)
The Alien is a biomechanoid as Giger and Ridley envisioned it. The pathogen itself is a form of radical A.I..
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."
@ Lawrence of Arabia
Yes, I saw the short film about David calling the mutagen/pathogen "Radical AI" and saw the discussion in another thread. The problem is, of course, what that means . . . The philosophical questions remain: AI (program)/soul/free will/synthetic/biological (organic)/soul etc. Humans are built up on replicating DNA (a program?).
When it comes to the alien monster, the are two possibilities when we talk about biomechanical:
1: It's the aesthetics of the creature (the way it looks). This is of course from Giger's art. The monster itself is biological (organic).
2: The monster is a blend of biology and mechanical (synthetic) parts. The mutagen/pathogen could be a mixture of synthetic and organic matter, or David perhaps contributes with synthetic traits to the alien creature?
I think one way the Alien could be biomechanical is...
We all notice how tube and wire-like structures are prominent all over the Alien's body such as the head here.
We see such tube like structures along the length of its head that mostly have ends somewhere around the mouth. In this example we know the Alien has a powerful bite force and these pipes look like they're helping such functions. Plus the appearance and form of these pipes give me a feeling that they are working like a Hydraulic system. (Hydraulics are mechanical systems that utilise liquid in a pipe that can be sucked and pushed by a pump so as to extend or retract a component on the other end of the pipe basically) Seriously the tubes and whatever those junctions are look an awful lot like a hydraulic system.
Here on Earth animals are composed of tiny but numerous cells that join hands to perform specific actionsm Animals have cellular muscle for movement but the alien may use this non cellular mechanical system for that purpose at least in some functions, pretty sure they obviously are composed of cells too but cellular components work alongside mechanical units which are absent in animals. This would mean the Alien is in some of these mechanical areas more simple and less complex in design from animals but that may not mean worse. Humans don't build machines that lift heavier weights than elephants with cells obviously but with simpler and larger components. Some fusion of pipes and pumps of a tow crane may be less than the complicated workings of the millions of cells of an elephants trunk but which is stronger?
Hydraulics probably aren't the only mechanical systems present in the Alien and the purpose of movement may not be the only life function performed with mechanics. Even their mode of reproduction; the egg doesn't get fertilised inside the host, an embryo directly gets implanted inside. There is something that feels very industrial and mechanical about that. It feels rather constructed than 'born'. All this and that may be one of many ways an alien is a fusion of life and machine.
This got me thinking, animals are like that, fully cellular because in view of the beginning of evolution from a tiny microscopic piece of life, we had to start from the bottom and work our way up to here by building up our numbers and complexity. But the millions of cells of various distinct groups integrated to form a man lifting a load is done by some slabs of metal covering some pipes and gears and yes machines can be complex too but nowhere even near, not even close, to how an organism is composed. But we don't build them that complex because we don't need to. The organisms were complex because they had to evolve to more advanced forms naturally. Would that be a hint to the theory that the alien had at least some sort of intervention in its evolution or existence as a species? That would make them even more akin to machines.