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Ridley Scott Talks Xenomorphs, Space Jockeys, and More for ‘Prometheus’

Written by on December 19, 2011 

No, he isn’t coming right out and telling us every fine point, but an interview with Filmophilia (via /Film) sees Ridley Scott at his most open on Prometheus. Yes, there were the inevitable questions regarding its connection to Alien, what the Space Jockey is doing there, and if some familiar faces are present — and, amazingly, he didn’t bat them down.

First up is that whole Alien DNA thing; when asked if he was linking the proceedings to his 1979 film, he put it simply: “Not at all.” But then he got a little more coy, following that up with this quote:

“I mean, you could actually say, and there’s a quote I did, a pretty good quote: By the end of the third act you start to realize there’s a DNA of the very first alien, but none of the subsequent aliens. To tell you what that is is a pity, and I’m not going to tell you, because it’s actually pretty good, pretty organic to the process and to the original. But we go back, we don’t go forward.”

I don’t doubt that some will voice dissatisfaction with this vague response — spoiler culture is built upon knowing more, after all — but I, like many others, would prefer the answer be saved for when I’m sitting in a dark theater. Regardless of preferences, certain details are bound to leak out on a big, franchise-based production such as this one; hence, everyone (including the interviewer) knows that Alien‘s Space Jockey is coming back around.

Because it’s no secret, Scott was, again, forward, and said the following:

“Yeah, so there you have that. I was always amazed that, I mean, I’ve only done two science-fictions, but I was always amazed that no one asked who the hell the Space Jockey was. He wasn’t even called the Space Jockey. During the film they started to call it the Space Jockey. I don’t know who started that one off. I always thought it was amazing that no one ever asked who he was, and why was he there? What was all that about? I sat thinking about this for a while and thought, well, there’s a story! And the other four [films] missed it! So, here it is.”

On the subject of what might be done with the character:

“[T]his one does actually raise all kinds of other questions, because if someone could, a being, could be as monstrously clever to create something like we experienced in the very first one – I always figured it’s a weapon, and I always figured that [the ship in the first Alien] was a carrier of weapons. Therefore, who is that, inside that suit? That wasn’t a skeleton, that was a suit. And if you open up the suit, what do you get inside it? And why were they going, where were they going?”

This is no new territory; Scott has been envisioning the Space Jockey as such since at least June of 2010 (but, in reality, for much longer). It’s an interesting direction to go in, though if it’s the right one is up for debate. I personally feel that this storytelling tendency — i.e., leave everything out in the open, and don’t let the audience fill in the blanks — is a large poison to the modern blockbuster, but nothing I say stops that.

Finally, if Scott is to be believed, what “we experienced in the very first one” isn’t cropping up once more:

No. Absolutely not. They squeezed it dry. He (the xenomorph) did very well. (He laughs) He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!”

Granted, an article from February claimed that we’ll see the xenomorphs — just not in their original form. That being based in truth leaves room for him to dance around the hard facts; I wouldn’t necessarily call it “the Alien creature” if it bears little resemblance.

Prometheus opens on June 8th, 2012.

Do these comments fuel your anticipation for Prometheus?

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