Ridley Scott's Xenomorph is the only justifiably humanoid alien to me2,197 Views2 RepliesAdd A Reply
This post is taken directly from my personal blog:
The concept of the humanoid alien (and more specifically, alien) must've began with the depiction of "Grays" 100 or so years ago. "Grays," the kind of aliens you'd see on The X-Files or on Roswell propaganda, are characterized by large heads, large black eyes, a thin frame, and-or course-gray skin. So, why is this? Some will tell you it's because humans "evolved" from them, or vice versa. A reason that's grounded in the reality that aliens aren't real is that their appearance is familiar, as well as easily portrayed by human actors in film and TV. In this post, I'd like to discuss the only alien known to me whose humanoid form is justified: the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott's 1979 movie, "Alien."
While one can say that the Xenomorph is humanoid because it suits (pun) the human actor wearing the costume, the movie's mythology actually justifies its appearance.
Simply put, the Xenomorph takes the form of its host, which, in every movie in the Alien universe-prequels included-except Alien 3 (in which it is a dog/ox), is a human (let's forget about its tail for the sake of this argument). Now, while the reason for this is not explicitly stated in the movies, I can assume there's some DVD special features that do.
Take the Facehugger. It survived just as easily on the Nostromo's shuttle as it did in the derelict ship, meaning it's able to adapt to atmospheric changes. It also somehow knew to feed Kane oxygen/air after it hugged his face. Once it was in the med bay, its skin had hardened to silicone, which Ash observed.
Now, back to the Xenomorph. I'll venture a guess that it takes the form of its host because its host was already suited to survive in that environment. Also, the fact that an alien parasite looks like you is unnerving enough as it is. On the film-making side, its humanoid form also reinforces the sexual themes such as oral impregnation throughout the movie. The movie is, after all, "body horror."
"Alien" is my favorite movie for both the justification of the Xenomorph's humanoid form, as well as all of the mythology the movie-makers were able to squeeze into 100-some-odd minutes (the derelict ship and its pilot, etc.).
Speaking of "Alien," if you're wondering where the word "Nostromo" comes from, it's the title/name of the main character of an early 1900s book of the same name. I have not gotten around to reading the book, but I understand its plot of government conspiracy influenced that seen in "Alien," albeit in South America, not in space.
id say the tail actually makes sense. being 'evolved' from primates we have a tail bone. the use of our tail, going by evolution, has been diminished so over the millennia, we have lost our tail completely as we no long require it. but the bone is there and possibly the remnant genetic markers so the fact the xeno has a tail would make sense, even if the original form didn't have one
Speaking of Nostromo, the book (by Joseph Conrad) is set in a place called Sulaco. And the escape vessel in Alien is called Narcissus, from another Joseph Conrad book.