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The alien, also called the Xenomorph,[1][2] by the humans, is a fictional parasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the main antagonist of the Alien film series. The term xenomorph is derived from the greek words xeno ("stranger", "alien", sometimes "foreigner") and morphe ("form", "shape")


The creature made its debut in the 1979 film Alien and reappear in its sequels Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992), and Alien Resurrection (1997). It has also appeared in the series' two spinoffs Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) as well as the series' subsidiary literature and video games.

Unlike many other recurring extraterrestrial races in science fiction, aliens are not an intelligent civilization, but predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the destruction of life that could pose a threat. Like wasps or termites, aliens are eusocial, with one fertile queen and a caste of sterile warriors.

The aliens' life cycle, in which their offspring violently implanted inside living hosts before erupting from their chests, is in many ways their signature aspect. Their design deliberately evokes many sexual images, both male and female, to illustrate its blurring of human sexual dichotomy.

The alien design is credited to Swiss surrealist and artist H. R. Giger, originating in a lithograph called Necronom IV and refined the series' first film, Alien. In that film the alien was played by an actor in costume (7 foot 2 inch Bolaji Badejo) and make-up, a technique was used in later films of the series. The queen was depicted in Aliens and Alien Resurrection using animatronic puppets and in Alien vs. Predator using computer-generated imagery. The species' design and life cycle have been extensively added throughout each film.

Life Cycle Edit

Aliens are depicted as eusocial lifeforms with a defined caste system which is ruled by a queen.[1] Their life cycle comprises several distinct stages: they begin their lives as an egg, which hatches a parasitic larval form known as a facehugger, which then attaches itself to a living host by, as its name suggests, latching onto its face. The facehugger then "impregnates" the host with an embryo known as a chestburster, which, after gestation, erupts violently from the host's chest, killing it. The chestburster then matures to an adult phase within a few hours. The Alien takes on the appearance of the host it was attached to.

QueenEdit

Main article: Queen

File:Anguish.jpg

Queen aliens are significantly larger and stronger than the warriors, approximately 4.5 meters (15 feet) tall, although weight has not been fully determined, they could weight close to a half metric ton.[3] Their body structure differs also, having two pairs of arms, one large and one small, and being built more similarly to a theropod than a humanoid. Queens have a much larger brain case than the average adults, protected by a large flat crest above their heads. Unlike other xenomorphs, the Queen also has high heel protrusions from her feet. The Queen also seems to have increased intelligence compared to the other lifecycle stages, as the Queen on LV-426 was able to learn to operate an elevator. Pregnant alien queens possess an immense ovipositor on their lower torso, similar to a queen termite's, which is responsible for creating facehugger eggs. The queen is able to detach from the ovipositor. When attached to her ovipositor, the queen is supported by a "biomechanical throne"[4]that consists of a lattice of struts, resembling massive insect legs. Unlike insect queens, there appears to be no need for drones to fertilize an alien queen's eggs. Queens apparently seem to be able to repress their aggresion long enough to get to their prey. For example, the queen in Alien vs. Predator seemed to have planned an escape from her Yautja captors.

EggEdit

The eggs laid by the queen are large, ellipsoidal, leathery objects about one meter high with a four-lobed opening at the top. As a potential host approaches, the egg's lobes unfold like flower petals and the parasitic facehugger explodes from within.
File:Aegg.jpg
Giger initially designed the eggs with a much more obviously vaginal appearance, complete with an "inner and outer vulva".[5] The producers complained that Catholic countries would ban the film if the allusion was too strong, so Giger doubled the lobes to four; so that, in his words, "seen from above, they would form the cross that people in Catholic countries are so fond of looking at."[6] The interior of the original egg was composed of "Nottingham lace", which is the lining of a cow's stomach. The quick shot of the facehugger erupting from the egg was done with sheep's intestine.[7] Initially the egg remained totally still, save for the hydraulic movement of the lobes; however, by Alien: Resurrection the entire egg was made to ripple as it opened.

FacehuggerEdit

File:Alien-The Facehugger.png

A facehugger, is the second stage in the alien's life-cycle. Its bony finger-like legs allow it to crawl rapidly and its long tail can launch it in great leaps. These particular appendages give them an appearance comparable to Chelicerata arthropods such as arachnids and horseshoe crabs.

The facehugger, is a parasitoid; its only purpose is to make contact with the host's mouth for the implantation process, by gripping its eight long, bony finger-like legs around the victim's head and wrapping its tail around the host's neck. Upon making contact, the facehugger tightens its tail around the host's neck in order to render it unconscious, through oxygen deprivation. If the host's face is covered, then the facehugger will use it's acidic blood to melt a hole and gain entry to the host's face (as shown by the facehugger that attacked Kane in Alien) The facehugger then inserts a proboscis down the host's throat, supplying it with oxygen whilst simultaneously implanting an embryo. Attempts to remove facehuggers generally prove fatal,[1] as the parasite will respond by tightening its grip, and the facehugger's acidic blood prevents it from being safely cut away. It has also been observed shedding its cells and replacing them with polarized silicon in order to better survive in adverse environmental conditions. At least one facehugger has been shown to be capable of surviving exposure to the hostile environment of the moon LV-426, where temperatures were cold enough to freeze carbon dioxide. Once the alien embryo is safely implanted into the victim, the facehugger detaches and dies. Facehuggers may not be very intelligent creatures, but they demonstrate great stealth and patience when in pursuit of prey. There is also a facehugger that carries queen embryos. It is a little larger then normal facehuggers and is a little darker in color. It seems to demonstrate a queens level of intelligence on certain occasions.

ChestbursterEdit

File:Alien-The Chestburster.png

After implantation, facehuggers die and the embryo's host wakes up afterwards, showing no considerable outward negative symptoms. Symptoms build acutely after detachment of the facehugger, the most common being sore throat, slight nausea, increased congestion and moderate to extreme hunger. In later stages where the incubation period is extended in preparation of a queen birth, symptoms will include a shortness of breath, exhaustion, and hemorrhaging (detectable through biological scanners and present in nosebleeds or other seemingly random bleeding incidents), as well as chest pains inflicted, either in lack of chest space due to the chestburster's presence, or even premature attempts to escape the host.[2] The incubating embryo may take on some of the host's DNA or traits, such as bipedalism, quadrupedalism[2] or also having mandibles and other body structure changes. Over the course of 1-24 hours (indeterminable in some cases, and sometimes up to a week, in the case of some queens), the embryo develops into a chestburster, at which point it emerges, violently, ripping open the chest of the host.

Growth and MaturityEdit

When a chestburster erupts from the body of its host, it is less than one foot tall. However, it soon undergoes a dramatic growth spurt, reaching adult size in a matter of hours; in Alien the chestburster had grown to two meters in height by the time the Nostromo crew located it again.[8] What or even if it ate to fuel this prodigious growth rate is unknown as it did not kill any crew members during this time; it has been suggested by John Shirley, author of Aliens: Steel Egg, that the chestbursters indeed "scavenged food stolen from storage, human flesh - even metal, softened by acids - but that consumption wasn't documented in the other Alien adventures because the people involved were too busy just trying to stay alive to do an inventory of the ships's stores or see how much human flesh might be missing from the corpses of the creature's victims." The novelisation of Alien by Alan Dean Foster shows the crew discovering the remains of rations that had been devoured, whilst the comic book adaptation of Aliens, Newt's Tale, makes reference to livestock going missing, which accounts for both hosts and nourishment. The chestburster is shown to have molted before reaching maturity, similar to a snake shedding its skin.

OriginsEdit

The Xenomorph's origins are mostly unknown and highly speculated upon. The Initial encounters between the Xenomorph and humanity occurred primarily in prehistory during the time when ancient cultures worshiped the Predators and served as hosts for the xenomorph. The first recorded date of interaction was in 1904 on Bovetoya island Antarctica. The species was being bred by the Predator race as prey for the sacred initiation hunt. The species seemed to be captured and restrained by the Predators rather than created by them. This is in keeping with the non-canon sources which have depicted Predators seeking to capture Alien Queens from infested worlds and subdue them to produce prey for the hunt. The next interaction (although it is unknown if actually recorded) with the Xenomorphs was in 2004, where a crew led by Charles Weyland found an Antartic period, and was presumed to be caught between a confrontation with both the Xenomorph's and the Predators. There was also another interaction literally hours after the first one, happening in a small town. It is unlikely that the Predators themselves either evolved on the same planet as the Aliens, seeing as they have unique environmental necessities or that the Predators originally created the Alien species. The Xenomorph was later encountered by the crew of the Nostromo on the moon LV-426. Here Alien eggs were being stored on a crashed Space Jockey ship. It has been tentatively speculated that the Aliens may be the result of genetic manipulation by this species either as a terraforming mechanism designed to destroy an ecosystem for later replacement or as a bio-engineered weapon designed for mass genocide. The Predators may have encountered the Alien from the Space Jockey race and adapted it for their purposes. It is unknown if the Space Jockey race still exists or if the Aliens eventually led to their destruction.

Name Edit

The creature, has no specific name, and has been referred to most often onscreen, and in the credits of each film, simply as the alien. It was called an alien and Kane's son in the first film. In the Aliens vs. Predator books, the Predators refer to them as the kainde amedha . It has also been referred to as a creature,[1] a beast,[2]a dragon,[2] a monster,[1] a bug (called this in the game AvP2), or a thing. The term xenomorph (lit. "alien form") or xeno was used by Lieutenant Gorman in Aliens[1] and by Ellen Ripley in a deleted scene from Alien³.[2]This term, has been adopted by fans[9] and is used in merchandising[10] as a convenient name. The species binomal name is given as Linguafoeda archeronsis ("foul tongue from Archeron") in some comic books[11], while the Alien Quadrilogy DVD suggests, Internecivus raptus (literally "murderous thief"). Also The Hunter, Tractus Res (Space Thing), Alienus, Alienus Bestia.

Predators have several words for the Xenomorphs, the most commonly used being "serpent" and "hard meat".

Characteristics Edit

Continuing advancements made in the field of special effects technology as the series progressed have led to numerous variations in the creature's design, including varying numbers of fingers, limb joints and head design.

When standing upright, the aliens are vaguely bipedal in form, though they adopt a more hunched, quadrupedal stance when walking or sprinting, standing anywhere between seven and eight feet. They have a skeletal, biomechanical appearance and are usually colored in muted shades of black, blue or bronze. Aliens do not radiate, as their body heat matches the ambient temperature of the environment they are found. In most of the films, adult aliens have the ability of running and crawling along ceilings and walls. They have enormous physical strength, having been shown to be capable of breaking through welded steel doors and matching Predators in close quarters combat. With a weight less than that of a predator, on average, they move quickly and silently.

Aliens have segmented, blade-tipped tails. The sharp tip was initially a small, scorpion-like barb, but from Aliens onwards the blade design increased in size and changed in appearance to more closely resemble a slashing weapon. From Alien Resurrection onwards, the tails have a flat ridge of spines at the base of the blade. This was introduced to help them swim convincingly, and was left intact in the subsequent cross-overs. The original shooting script for Aliens and the novelization both featured a scene in which Lieutenant Gorman is "stung" by the barb tail and rendered unconscious. In the final cut of the movie, Gorman is knocked out by falling crates. However, it is clear from the films that the aliens do have some means of rendering their victims unconscious in order to capture or cocoon them, as Newt and Miller are both seen awaking, cocooned, from a groggy state, prior to being attacked by a face hugger. As a weapon, the strength of the tail is very great, having been shown to be strong enough to impale and lift a Predator or an android with seemingly little effort. They are also adept at using their tails as blunt weapons, sometimes to deadly effect, as seen in Alien.

The average Alien Drone is a powerful critter, as seen in Alien Resurrection when they are bursting through the door, or in Aliens. In the first Alien it pinned down a large Parker and in AVP it kept the Celtic Predator pinned for some time. However he like his brethen was a young blood, and so it is almost certain he was less physically developed and durable than a fully grown male. In the sequel, for example, the fully grown hunter Wolf held two xenomorphs helplessly by the throat, one in each arm, with very little effort.

They have elongated, cylindrical skulls but possess no visible eyes, though in the original Alien film, the top of the creature's head was semi-transparent, with empty eye sockets of human appearance visible within. This element was re-used for the "Predalien" 29 years later. In the video game Aliens vs. Predator (2010), Karl Bishop Weyland states in an audio diary that the Xenomorph have rudimentary broad spectrum sight, how this is accomplished by the aliens is unknown. It is also believed that they are extremly advanced in other senses with explains how they can find predators with cloaking. In Alien³, a fisheye lens was used to illustrate the alien's point of view. In the novelization of the movie Alien, the creature is held mesmerized by a spinning green light for several minutes. In Aliens, the adult creatures have a more textured head rather than a smooth carapace. In the commentary for Aliens, it was speculated that this was part of the maturation of the creatures, as they had been alive far longer than the original alien. Elsewhere in the DVD extras, Cameron said that while preparing for Aliens, he was allowed access to many of the original props used in Alien by Bob Burns, and when the alien head prop arrived the smooth, translucent cover had become detached, revealing the ribbed details underneath. Cameron liked the ribbed appearance so much that he decided to keep the look for the design of his aliens. The smooth design of the carapace would be used again in Alien³ and Alien Resurrection, although made narrower with a longer muzzle and more prominent chin. This design would be kept in Alien versus Predator and abandoned in Aliens versus Predator: Requiem in favor of the ribbed design.

Alien blood is an extremely potent acid and is capable of corroding on contact almost any substance with alarming speed. It is dull yellowish-green in color, and seems to be pressurized inside the body so that it spurts out when punctured. Shusett suggested the idea that the creature have acid blood as a plausible means to make the creature "unkillable"; if one were to use traditional firearms or explosives to attack it, its blood would eat through the hull of the ship. The Alien novelization suggests that, at least at the "facehugger" stage, the acid is not blood but a fluid maintained under pressure between a double layer of skin. In later films in the series, the aliens are shown to be conscious of the effects of their acidic blood, and even use it to their advantage. In the Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem documentary: "Science of the Alien", it is theorized that the aliens acid blood could be some type of hydro sulphuric acid composition due to its corrosiveness and the conspicuously toxic effects on living human tissue. The documentary also speculates that Aliens are immune to their own acidic and toxic liquids due to a endobiological build-up not entirely unlike the human stomach's ability to protect itself from its digestive fluids. The documentary takes this theory one step further and speculates that the Alien organisms protection system against its own toxic hydro sulphuric acid is protecting the rest of the organism with what is basically a bio-organic produced teflon isolation.

Aliens can produce a thick, strong resin that they use to build their hives and cocoon victims. They also salivate profusely. In the original Alien, the facehugger is shown to be able to "spit" acid, melting the faceplate to Kane's helmet and allowing the creature immediate access to the inside. This ability is also exhibited by adult aliens in Alien³ and Alien Resurrection; much like a spitting cobra, they use it to blind and immobilize their victims.

File:AR Swim.jpg

It is later revealed in Alien Resurrection that the aliens are in fact amphibious and good swimmers, because they don't seem to have any trouble while in the water, and Xenomorphs were agin seen swimming proficiently in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, undualating their tails like crocodiles.

Although they do not demonstrate human-level intelligence as a species, events on the LV-426 colony and USM Auriga showed that the species excels at observational learning. In both cases, the aliens managed to learn how to operate the machinery of their mechanized environments at a very basic level. On LV-426, the aliens were able to cut the power from a section of the LV-426 complex to allow themselves access to the humans. The queen was able to learn how to operate a giant elevator simply by observing it once. In the director's commentary for Aliens, James Cameron noted that the creatures in Aliens had been alive for far longer than the alien in the original, and so had more time to learn how to manipulate machinery. With the exception of the "Newborn", Aliens have demonstrated little actual emotion, save for self preservation and maternal instincts toward their eggs.

Throughout their appearances, human spawned Aliens have been shown to have a varying number of fingers. In Alien and Alien 3, the creature has webbed, six fingered hands. The number of fingers is reduced to three in Aliens, and are shown to be much longer and more skeletal. In Alien Resurrection, the number of digits is increased to four, with two long middle fingers and a pair of thumbs. This design is kept in the Alien versus Predator films, though the hands were made bulkier in order to make the Aliens seem more formidable against the Predators.

Aliens have been alternately portrayed as both plantigrade and digitigrade organisms, usually in accordance to their host. Human spawned aliens were usually portrayed as having humanoid hind limbs, while in Alien³, the featured Alien sported double-jointed legs due to its quadrupedal host. This characteristic would be continued in Alien Resurrection for the human-spawned aliens. Tom Woodruff, who had previously played the "dog-alien" in Alien³, described the human spawned aliens in Resurrection as feeling more like a dog than the previous creature, despite having been born from human hosts. The human spawned Alien warriors would revert back to a plantigrade posture in Alien vs Predator.

The Alien's ability to crawl along solid surfaces is clearly shown as not a simple case of grabbing onto protrusions on the walls, this fact is seen on multiple occasions. One may assume that the Xenomorph may accomplish this through the Van der Waals force, perhaps with their secreted resin (please note that this is only theoretical, not a known fact).

Weaknesses Edit

It seems that the Xenomorphs do not like fire. A Marine wielding a flamethrower in the 2010 AVP game noted that the 'Xenos' hate fire. In the novelization of Alien, the Xenomorph was held mesmerized by a spinning green light for several minutes, suggesting that the Aliens can be temporarily distracted by bright light. In Predator: Concrete Jungle Xenomorphs were shown to be vulnerable to both sonic and EMP detonators, which both stun and paralyze the creatures, despite the latter generally only affecting mechanical objects. In addition, if incapacitated by sonic mines, they will remain immobilized far longer than humans, nearly a minute longer than a stunned human. In Alien3, the Xenomorph's carapace was shattered by heating and then rapidly cooling it with water.

Variants Edit

There are Aliens that deviate from the normal form depending on the different host the facehugger has laid its egg in. There are also some, made by technical engineering like the Rogue in the novel "Aliens: Rogue" or the Newborn in Alien4 (made of human DNA mixed with Xenomorph DNA).

Queen Edit

Main Article: Queen

File:Queen AlienPress still01.jpg
Unlike the other Aliens where the variants depend on what person they seed. The Queen is born when a victim is seeded by the rare Praetorian facehugger. The Queen still manifests the accrued DNA of its host as is the case for the Predalien Queen in AVP: Requiem which took on characteristics of predators such as mandibles and dreadlocks. After the chestburster emerges from the host, it is redder in color (not from the blood), it soon grows into a Praetorian a juvenile version of the Queen. It is speculated that this is a survival mechanism designed to allow her to create a sizable force before finding a permanent hive center to mature and immobilize herself by growing an ovipositor. The queen is the leader of the hive, much like a queen ant. The queen is born fertile as is the case for the queen in Alien Resurrection and AVP: Requiem but in non-canonical novels it is described that the queen, in a large enough population of multiple hives, is fertilized by a king alien similar to termites. This practice may be how the species maintains genetic diversity and avoids the pitfalls of asexual reproduction. After fertilization the queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs. The Queen is significantly bigger and more powerful than most other Xenomorphs.

Drone Alien Edit

Main Article: Drone

The Drone Aliens are the most common breed of Xenomorph, as they are born from inpregnated human hosts. Their primary job is to keep the Queen safe, more specifically to scatter the eggs to make room for more. They collect potential hosts and deposit them in cocoons for later inpregnation and possibly food consumption. Though the drone is not the strongest breed of aliens, it is not the weakest. They are very lethal and capable of devouring a single Predator.

Warrior Alien Edit

Main Article: Warrior

The Warrior Alien is one of the most common Xenomorph spawns. They derive from human hosts and are believed to be matured drones, as it possesses much older and skeletal features such as the spiked cranium, but that could also mean that they are a male type of xenomorphs. The jaw also seems to lack the amount of flesh on its cheeks, but contains larger fangs and a thicker tongue. Their overall body seems to have more organic details around the neck, waist and limbs. They also seem to be more intelligent as they rather save their victims for harvesting, rather than for food. Along with the drones, warriors protect the hive and from entry.

Drones and WarriorsEdit

Smooth head "drones" and ridged head "warriors" never appear in the same film serving different roles in the Alien hive. Instead, "drones" and "warriors" fill the same workhorse role respectively in Aliens, Alien Resurrection, AVP and AVPR.

So the above classifications may not be necessary. Drones may just be warriors. The appearance difference is barely a design issue.

Runner Alien Edit

Main Article: Runner

The Runner Alien is the result of a facehugger seeding a dog (Alien 3). The Runner Alien crawls on all fours, has a shorter head, long/small body, crooked legs and brown skin with a black tan. The Runner Alien was depicted in the AVP game franchise as a fast runner or scout for the hive perhaps due to its quadrupedal nature.

Predalien Edit

Main Article: Predalien

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The Predalien is the result of a predator being impregnated by a facehugger. The Predalien is considered unholy by the predators, and must be killed at all costs. The Predalien is loyal to the Aliens. The Predalien has a standard alien body with mandibles, dreadlocks and yellow skin. The Predalien in the AVP games and AVP Requiem was the product of a normal Drone egg implanted in a Predator. Non-canon sources suggest that there are ways for the Aliens to continue the hive after a queen is killed, and that the PredQueen in AvP-R is not a natural queen, but a normal drone that is undergoing a metamorphosis. This could explain the bypassing of the facehugger stage.

The Predalien first came up in 1992 in a drawing that showed up on the internet by Dave Dorman who was a cover artist for Dark Horse. It later showed up in the comic AVP: Duel. Then 1999 the Predalien showed up in the first-person shooter Alien vs Predator. In the game, the Predalien was an experiment caused by the mixed DNA of an Alien and a Predator. It was later playable in AVP:PH. the finished design came up in AvP: Requiem.

Praetorian Edit

Main Article: Praetorian

File:Alienpraetorian.jpg
The Praetorian is an Alien who acts like the personal guard to the Queen. They are about as big as a Predalien, and have an extremely long tail. They are slow but incredibly strong. They are pale and have a Queen like crown. They also hunt in groups of two. They first showed up in the AvP arcade game and later in the Alien vs. Predator games. They have also appeared in numerous fanfics. It has been suggested that Praetorians are immature Alien Queens that have been hormonally stunted by the Queen to secure successors to the position of Queen should she ever be killed or possibly to break away from the main hive upon maturity and form a second hive. Non-cannon sources state that the necessary factor for their maturity is to consume the royal jelly formed by the Queen's secretions this has parallels to bee behavior. Its possible that specimen six was a praetorian but the queen possibly through unknown means stopped/hindered the growth to hide its intelligence and protect her heir, everyone knows a queen is far smarter and cunning than a warrior.

Hive Nodes Edit

Hive nodes create the Alien life web. Drones carry dormant hive nodes in their stomach and using a gag reflex, release hive nodes on walls and on the ground. Once deposited the node uses up available organic materials from plants, carcasses, and even microrganisms to produce the hive's structure. This demonstrates the species complete hostility toward all life forms. The life web slowly destroys the natural ecosystem of entire planets. If not in a fight an Alien can stand near a hive node and heal itself, making hive nodes a very valuable asset when infesting a planet. This is only found AvP: Extinction.

Notable Xenomorphs Edit

Grid Alien

Specimen 6

Creation and Design Edit

File:NecronomiconIV.jpg

The script for the 1979 film Alien was initially drafted by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett.[7] Dan O'Bannon drafted an opening, in which the crew of a mining ship are sent to investigate a mysterious message on an alien planetoid. He eventually settled on the threat being an alien creature; however, he could not think of an interesting way for it to get onto the ship. Inspired after waking from a dream, Shusett realized that the alien could "screw" one of the crew members, planting its seed in his body and then bursting out of his chest. Both realized this had never been done before, and it subsequently became the core of the film.[7] "This is a movie about alien interspecies," O'Bannon said on the documentary Alien Evolution, "That's scary because it hits all of our buttons."


File:Hrgigeralien.jpg

The title of the film, was decided late in the film's development. O'Bannon had quickly dropped the film's original title Star Beast, but could not think of a new name to replace it. "I was running through tiles, but they all stank," O'Bannon said in an interview, "when suddenly, that word alien just came out of the type writer at me. Alien. It's a noun and it's an adjective." The word alien subsequently became the title of the film and, by extension, the name of the creature itself.

Prior to writing the script of Alien, O'Bannon had been working in France for Chilean cult director Alejando Jodorowsky's planned adaption of Frank Herbert's classic scifi novel Dune. Also hired for the project was Swiss surrealist artist HR Giger. Giger showed O'Bannon his nightmarish, monochromatic artwork, which left O'Bannon deeply disturbed. "I have never seen anything, that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work," he remembered later.[12] The Dune film collapsed, but O'Bannon would remember Giger when Alien was greenlit, and suggested to director Ridley Scott that he be brought on to design the alien, saying that if he were to design a monster, it would truly be original.[7]


File:A Xenomorph.jpg

But ultimately also designed the alien planetoid LV-426 and the Space Jockey
alien vessel.[7]

Giger conceived the alien as being vaguely human, but a human in full armor; protected from all out side forces. He mandated that the creature had no eyes because he felt that it made them much more frightening if you could not tell if they were looking at you. Giger also gave the aliens' mouths a second inner set of jaws which are located at the tip of a long, tongue-like proboscis which can extend rapidly to use as a weapon. The inner jaws are powerful enough to smash through bone and metal. His design for the creature was heavily influenced by a design aesthetic he had created and termed biomechanical, a fusion of the organic and the mechanic. His mock-up of the alien was created using parts from an old Rolls Royce car, rib bones and vertebrae from a snake molded with plasticine. The alien's animatronic head, which contained 900 moving parts, was designed and constructed by special effects designer Carlo Rambaldi.[7] Giger and Rambaldi would both go on to win the 1980 Academy award for visual effects for their design of the alien.[13]

Scott then decided, on the man-in-suit approach for creating the creature onscreen. Initially circus performers were tried, then multiple actors together in the same costume. Neither of them proved scary. Deciding that the creature would be scarier the closer it appeared to a human, Scott decided that a single, very tall, very thin man be used. Scott was inspired by a photograph of Leni Riefenstahl standing next to a 6'4" Nubian.[14] The casting director found 7'2", rail-thin graphic designer Bolaji Badejo in a local pub. Badejo went to tai chi and mime classes to learn how to slow down his movements.[7]

Citations Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 James Cameron (writer and director). (1886). Aliens DVD. 20th Century Fox.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Vincent Ward (writer) and David Fincher. (1992). Alien 3 DVD. 20th Century Fox.
  3. Sideshowtoy. URL last accessed 15 February 2006.
  4. James Cameron, Alien Evolution: Aliens
  5. Giger p. 46
  6. Giger p. 46
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Star Beast, the Alien Quadrilogy boxset
  8. In Aliens Ripley claims that the creature killed the entire crew in twenty-four hours, so the growth stage must be under one day
  9. planetavp Retrieved 2008 - 02-29
  10. Forbiddenplanet.co.uk Retrieved on 2008 - 02-29
  11. The comic book Aliens Predator versus The Terminator includes the binomial name Linguafoeda archeronsis; more information found here
  12. Paul Scanlon, Michael Gross (1979). The Book of Alien. WH Allen & Co.
  13. IMDB: Alien: Awards
  14. HR Giger (1979). HR Giger's Alien. Sphinx, 60.
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