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Alien: Isolation (the novelization) and the Space Jockey

Alien: Isolation (the novelization) and the Space Jockey

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ChestbursterMember935 XPAug-01-2019 2:02 AM

I just read "Alien: Isolation". The novel is based on the horrifying game with the same name. We follow Amanda Ripley to Sevastopol Station in search of her mother who disappeared with the towing ship Nostromo. The year is 2137, about 15 years after the occurrences of Alien, and 42 years before Aliens.

At the beginning of the novel, the salvage vessel Anesidora finds a flight recorder. On it is the name of the disappeared ship: UCSS Nostromo. Then they pick up a distress call which leads them to LV-426 . . .

We have had many a discussion about the Space Jockey. How old is he? How long has the Derelict been there? How old are the eggs? Can David be behind it all? Can he be the creator of the xenomorph? It’s about 18 years between the occurrences on Planet 4 and Alien . . .

The novelization Alien: Isolation is written by Keith R. A. DeCandido and published this year (2019). In his “Acknowledgements”, he mentions Steve Tzirlin at 20th Century Fox as supplying “reference material and approvals” and who “guided the story” in many ways.

So, what is the problem? Well, the crew of Anesidora follow the distress signal they have picked up to LV-426. They find the Derelict and enters an opening without a door. Foster (the wife of Captain Marlow) comments that “Somebody must’ve knocked the door off”. Who or what did that?

Anyway, they continue inside the huge spacecraft and finally get to a huge room. In the centre of it is the Space Jockey. The “human form was huge - at least 16 feet tall - and it had been there a long time. It looked like a fossil”. Its ribcage had exploded outwards and Marlow comments: “it’s hard to tell where the suit ends and the wearer begins, but it’s not a synthetic. It’s definitely a life form” (That seems to leave out David as the Space Jockey . . .).

Later on, Marlow finds the beacon and turns it off (which is why the colony of Hadley’s hope didn’t pick up the signal).

Then, they find the hole which Kane entered and the equipment used to lower him down (and up). Marlow descends and seeing the huge area with rows after rows of eggs, he wonders if this is really a part of the ship or a cave beneath it . . .  Furthermore, he ponders whether the eggs can still be alive. He concludes that the “idea seemed ridiculous. The ship had been there for a very long time, as the desiccated pilot proved” . . . Still, it’s “alien life forms” surrounded by mist and “a vague blue light seemed to come from the floor” . . .

So, my point is that in this novelization, published this year (2019), and which a representative of 20th Century Fox was involved in, they still stick to the Derelict and the Space Jockey being very old (and organic - not synthetic). Are they not aware of the route Ridley Scott took: that David is the creator of the xenomorph? Are they not aware of the problem: If the Derelict and the Space Jockey have been there for a very long time, David cannot be the creator of the xenomorph.

68 Responses to Alien: Isolation (the novelization) and the Space Jockey


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-13-2019 3:11 PM

That is a Good Point, there did appear to be a Bleached Bone Color to most of the Space Jockey, even Part of the Chair or we assume Chair.  Only the Base and the Torrent/Telescope and a few of the Cables/Pipes at the Back of the Chair are NOT that Bone Color,  the Part of the Bottom of the Chair seems to start of a Darker Brown and Gradually gets Lighter until its the Bone Color.

Does that mean they are Bone?   Nope, does it mean they had Faded/Decayed to the Same Process as the Space Jockey, possibly.....

When we look at HR Gigers Concept we see the Space Jockey and most of the Chair is Colored the same, the Base and Turret/Telescope a different Color.

Was they intended to be the Same Color? (Pilot and Chair) with the Base and Turret/Telescope being different and NOT in anyway way a Merger of Organic and Non-Organic?

Is it intended to show us a Decomposing/Fading of the Color as a indication that the Space Jockey has been there for a VERY LONG time?

Would this imply that Part of the Chair that Fuses to the Space Jockey Suit somehow Share the Same Construction/Material and thus are Bio-Mechanical?

In Prometheus we see the Chair and Turret/Telescope have a Uniform Color,  that fits with the Interior Color of the Room (unlike in ALIEN).

Again this is a Oversight... of sorts... Ridley Scott explained the Differences are the Derelict is NOT in Brand New Condition and is a Derelict, and the Juggernauts are in Pristine Condition.

If we accept the Space Jockey/Chair looked similar at ONE Time, then they have to had thought of WHY it looks so Degraded... a Good Explanation would be that the Derelict is a Much Older Version and has been on LV-426 for not just a FEW Thousand Years but a VERY VERY LONG time... maybe 35'000+ Years?

Regarding HOW the Space Jockey/Chair can look different and Degraded?  If they are Organic to a Degree, they have a like Dolphin/Shark Texture/Feel like Rubber, which would feel like how a Cactus is.

Maybe they are more like a Cactus as far as Organic, and so the Image above shows what a LIVE and DEAD one look like (Cactus) and thats about the BEST Explanation i can come up with.

HR Giger did Suggest the Derelict is maybe Grown and like a Plant.... so maybe thats NOT a Bad Explanation i have given?

Certainly help Support a Organic Suit and Chair, that can Fuse with Mechanical Components.  Everyone else is Entitled to their own Opinion on the Matter though ;)

If for a moment you consider what i have put... we still have to explain WHAT could cause the Decay of the Suit/Chair... what Event could cause that? What Environment.

Because without trying to Figure that out, the Most Logical Explanation is they have been on LV-223 for a LONG TIME, and those Dead Engineer Suits that have been on LV-223 for over 2000 years are NO-WHERE near showing us the Same signs of Degradation.

If this means we can ASSUME the Derelict has been on LV-223 for Many Tens of Thousands of Years or FAR longer... then this does OFFER a potential Twist to LV-223 where we could be lead to Speculate the Derelict was there before that Outpost or that the Eggs were taken from the Derelict to Experiment on within those Complexes.

However... thats NOT the case with the New Direction, but then HOW would they explain the Degradation of the Space Jockey and Chair, never mind the Size Difference?

Certainly they would have a HARD time Convincing us the Derelict has only been there for up to 17.5 years.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-13-2019 3:18 PM

Regarding the Ship.....

HR Giger saw the Ship as LIVING.... he even felt the SHIP would Produce the Eggs.

The Derelict did look like it was a Part Organic Vessel and so WHY-NOT.. as far as it being LIVING.

The Juggernauts dont look as Organic/Living and so that can lead us to Speculate the Engineers had Re-Engineered/Stolen their Aesthetic/Technology from some Place/Some One else...

I will add to CONCLUDE...

If they are going to SHOW us that the Derelict/Juggernaut are Very Similar and a Engineer (God Forbid anyone Smaller) was to get into the Pilot Chair before the Ship/Pilot eventually END UP on LV-426

Then the Above is the kind of OVERSIGHT we are supposed to Accept, especially if 18 years before ALIEN there is NOTHING on LV-426.

So from that Image here are the KEY things.

*The Engineer would be Smaller than the Space Jockey (using the Wider Shots) the Engineer would have to be as Big as the One i placed at the FAR Left of the One Image.

*A explanation would be needed for the Color Difference, and WHY the Space Jockey suit looked degraded like Bone and not the Dark Grey Color.

Slight Atheistic Differences Internally and Externally could be Addressed by showing us a Different Variant of Juggernaut.  Particularly Internal

So we would have to Conclude depending on what SHOT they would want as Reference for the Space Jockey (Wide Shot of 21ft Space Jockey or Close Shot of 15ft Space Jockey). 

While it could be a Space Suit... it Certainly looks like the Pilot has been there for a LONG LONG TIME and the Space Jockey is also about Twice the Size of a Engineer (or more).


Its hard to work out the Size using Humans next to the SET as the Angle and Distance does  mean you have NO accurate Reference Point.

There are 3 Shots that Provide the Best Basis, One with a Space Jockey thats Dead on its Side as shown in the Concept work... with TWO members of Production right by the Side...   Using this i worked out the Space Jockey would be about 14.5ft Tall.

The other TWO have Production Members UP-CLOSE actually like Face to Face near enough with the Space Jockey and NOT the Chair... using these i Estimate the Space Jockey to be 13-14ft.

All things Considered its likely the Space Jockey was Considered to be about 15ft Tall, which is what Alien Engineers went with...

Sadly on Screen we never ENDED UP with 15ft Engineers as Initially Intended.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-14-2019 8:16 AM

I think to Summarize what the OT was intending as far as the NOVEL, then its likely to Cast Doubt on these things.

*Cast Doubt the Space Jockey Suit would contain a Synthetic.

*Indicate the Space Jockey Suit was more Organic.

*Indicate the Derelict had been on LV-426 for a Long Period of Time.

*To Cast Doubt that our 8ft Engineers could-not be in the 15-16ft Space Jockey Suit.

As Ignortantguy had pointed out, this does-not mean it rules out David as the Creator or that the Derelict is a Ancient Event.  If we take the NOVEL as Canon, then it does support what people would have seen if they saw just ALIEN, which looking at Prometheus has some Conflicting Issues. (Ship and Pilot).

As its stands the Novel lends some Weight to dispute the *Bullet Points i had made above.  However.... its to say if this would be Considered Canon by the Time we CONCLUDE the Prequels.

Its then a Case of IF the Prequels Conclude leading Chronologically to the Derelict Event... in which case its do they have a GOOD Explanation to the Following or are we just to accept them as Oversights!

*WHY does the Ship/Pilot look so Degraded especially the Pilot and Chair, if its NOT been there for a VERY LONG time then WHY does it have that look?

*WHY are there some Aesthetic Differences between the Derelict and Juggernaut, likely they are Different Ships but would we get a indication of WHAT kind of Age Difference there is between the Technologies/Construction.

*The Space Jockey appears to be ALMOST Double the Size of our Engineers can this be explained by them simply GROWING out of the Chair?

So its a case of DO they answer those, in a Clever Way that is Plausible or Simply not give much Interest and we are left with Inconsistencies we have to Consider as Oversights?

On a FINAL Note.... the Prequels have YET to Conclude and so things could be Changed... the Biggest Problem then would be IF they suggest the Derelict is Ancient.... then do they explain HOW it was that David created something so similar by Coincidence?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


ChestbursterMember935 XPAug-14-2019 9:27 AM


I agree with your calculations about the size of the Engineer.

But I just watched the part of Prometheus where the Engineer sits down in the pilot chair. There are only two things which are attached to him: the helmet and "the ribcage" (which might be some kind of safety belt, perhaps?).

So, there is no "fusion" of the Engineer and the seat. It's more like when a driver of a fast car in a race puts on a helmet and fastens the safety belt.


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-15-2019 5:22 PM

Thats a Good Point, i was going to mention that and Upload a Photo of the Prometheus Pilot.... where it does-not appear to have the Arms Attached to the Chair.

But i failed to do so... mainly as we was talking about the ALIEN Space Jockey.

So i did go back (Prometheus) and Watch the Scene in Slow Motion.

As explained in the Image Above, its hard to see as the Scene is Short but you do see the Rings/Wires appear from behind the Engineer and then Wrap Around his Upper Arm... BUT not the Lower Arm.

We also  dont see them Connect to the Chair... However it could be that we DONT see the Full Process?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-15-2019 7:07 PM

Some had compared the Space Jockey Helmet from Prometheus to being like a Tapir.  A Tapir Skeleton would LACK the Hose just as Human Skeletons dont have a NOSE.

so IF the Space Jockey was a Living Organism, we could consider it would be a bit like a Tapir, only its not a Skeleton but more Mummified.... or indeed like when some Animals (Reptiles/Amphibians) can Dry Out. Then YES you could consider it could be a Organism.

HR Gigers Concept gives more Detail to the Intention, where we can see the Snorkel is a Hose, a Breathing Pipe that looks None-Organic (we can see this in the Close Up of the Space Jockey Prop).

Here is the Most HD version of HR Gigers Space Jockey i could find.

I think its likely that the options would be...

1) Some Organism thats Mummified that would have looked a bit like a Tapir when Alive... would this had been Awe Inspiring?

Maybe if it was Revealed as Above (With Legs).

2) Some Organism where the Snorkel Attaches to its Face.

3) The Space Suit/Helmet similar to shown in Prometheus.

4) Or a Bio-Mechanical Being like the Xenomorph.

I am talking about mainly IF we are to introduce the Space Jockey as NOT a Engineer, unless we are introduced to a 12ft+ Version.

For me i say keep it as a Suit, it may be a bit different to Prometheus but a Suit none the less.. but you dont have to make the Occupant to be Very Humanoid/Engineer looking.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-16-2019 6:12 PM

I made the above Image to show how its HARD to work out Scale from Stills from the Movies, as depending on Angle and Location from Camera, the Scale is HARD to Gauge.

It also shows the Intended Size of the Engineers during Production, which had been to Downscale them to 10ft from the 12-15ft as Described in the Drafts.

I had before made some Scale Calculations from the Sacrificial Cup, compared to Holloway and the Engineers and it appears the Cup in the Trailer is Scaled to make the Engineers about 10-11ft Tall.

I had made similar with the Head Scene and came to a Estimate of 9.5ft as the Height to Scale of the Engineer.

If they had used similar EFFECTS as used in Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and Game of Thrones then our Engineer would have appeared as shown in the above Image at the TOP Right thus 10ft.  The Engineer would have matched the Scale of the Sacrificial Bowl from the Trailer and the Engineer Head in the Lab!

I Scaled the Engineer Pilot Shot to a 10ft Engineer and we see its a bit more Closer to the Space Jockey, so a 10ft Engineer would NOT have left so much of a Difference, and the Slight Difference could be put down to GROWING out of the Chair!

So in Relation to the OT and Novel with a 16ft Claim, this would be HUGE, but a 10ft Engineer would be more Manageable.  I think OVERALL when Considering the Space Jockey i think a 10ft Scale Engineer would be Passable, a 12-15ft would be BETTER but it would be a Massive Oversight if the Revelation is still a 8ft Being.

I am sure the Standing Engineer Suits are to a 9-10ft Scale, i have to maybe have another look ;)

I think Regardless it just makes sense to SCALE the Eventual Space Jockey to be Larger than our 8ft Engineers.

I think its Logical that we have a Space Suit, or a Bio-Mechanical Being or a Combination.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


DeaconMember10115 XPAug-21-2019 8:17 PM

I have had a Look at some Concept Art...

It would appear they were LIKELY intended to be about 10ft Mark once they had began Production.  Most of the Evidence gathered from Various Props and Concept would seem to indicate that.

The above i had Increased the Engineer from Prometheus by 25% which would Scale the Supposed 8ft to 10ft but in Reality he would be about 9ft (As Ian Whyte is 7ft 1" and not 8ft) but Space Jockey suited i guess he would then be 8ft and so 10ft to this 25% Increase.

so this shows how with a Increase in size to say 10ft Space Jockey suited Engineers would have looked, i guess while NOT on the Space Jockey Scale it would have looked better with 10ft Engineers.

So if they had given us 10ft Engineers as Intended i think it would NOT have been as much of a Conflict to the Space Jockey....  Yes maybe 12-15ft would have been better.

But some are more than Disappointed at the Size!

Human looking Engineers was also a Concern......

Maybe 12-15ft  Not-So Human Space Jockey in a Suit would be better?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

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