Continuing from the previous post, let us talk about the Derelict that force landed on LV 426. The ship carries the eggs of Alien and from the 1979 film we know that it had a solitary pilot, the legendary space jockey. But, I would like to throw a crazy hypothetical in the mix and will say that there is something intriguing about the pilot. For starters, let me refresh your memory with the picture from Alien 1979.
Space Jockey – Identity and Time frame
From scale alone, it would be fine to assume that the pilot is an engineer. Let us run with this scenario for the moment. An infected engineer took off from LV 223 and force landed the ship on the neighboring planetoid LV 426, when a creature broke out of his chest. He just wanted to escape the madness and probably did not have any idea about the eggs. Of course, this is possible. But, there are some inconsistencies. We saw that the Deacon was very large when she broke out of the engineer’s chest. She actually tore through his torso with her head and emerged out of his body. Logically, such a size factor would dictate that the location where the “creature” broke out of the engineer inside the Derelict is inconsistent with the Deacon’s birth scene. Is there a way to resolve this? In my opinion, it is possible. For instance, in Prometheus, the stranded Milburn and Fifield find a mass of suited up dead engineers inside the hollow facility. We also learned that something broke out of their chests. The openings in their chest indicate that the creature that broke out was small.
We have already established the fact that the engineers had been testing the reverse engineered black goo on themselves and due to the failed experiment, the creature that evolved out of their bodies was not exactly what they had designed. My theory is that the opening wound on the engineer in the Derelict is very similar to the ones that Milburn and Fifield found on the dead engineers in Prometheus. So, my hunch is that the engineer on the ship had also been a victim of the aforementioned failed experimentation, much prior to the arrival of Prometheus to LV 223. This would mean that the engineer on Derelict had been dead for more than 2000 years. Like the hologram David saw on the bridge in Prometheus, perhaps this engineer was also in a hurry to leave and he succumbed to the infection on the pilot’s seat, before he could leave. This would also solve another very important problem. You see, in Alien 1979, when Dallas, Lambert and Kane inspect the Derelict, they realize that the pilot had been dead for a long long time and they discern that he is actually fossilized. The ship Nostromo investigated the signal emanating from LV 426 in the year 2122, while Prometheus’s encounter on LV 223 happened in 2093. Let us assume that the engineers returned to LV 223 with Shaw and David at around 2100. If the engineer had left LV 223 around that time, it would be scientifically impossible for his remains to reach fossilized proportions. But, if he had been dead due to break out of the epidemic around 2000 years ago like most engineers on LV 223 when Prometheus arrived, the fossilized form could be explained. So you see, with this scenario, we could resolve both problems, namely, scale and the fossil form due to time factor.
Based on my hypothesis, we have resolved a couple of important problems and have established the fact that the dead pilot on Derelict is in fact an engineer, but, he had been dead for more than 2000 years. Now, let us focus on a couple of other issues. In the original Alien, Nostromo’s main computer, Mother wakes up the crew as she had intercepted some kind of “distress” signal. The crew don’t know what to make out of that message, but, they are bound by protocol to investigate its source, irrespective of its alien origin. While Dallas, Lambert and Kane are inside the Derelict, Ripley tells Ash that Mother had partially decoded the message and it sounds more like a warning than a distress call!
Distress Signal – Warning!
I think it is very important to analyze this “distress” call for a few reasons. In Alien, we learned that Weyland Corp. knows about the Derelict and its location and apart from Ash no one knew anything. Returning with the biological specimen was priority number one with all others rescinded and of course the crew was expendable. It begs the question as to how Weyland Corp. would have gotten information about the developments on both LV 223 and LV 426. Remember, I had earlier talked about the possibility of another mission from Earth coming to LV 223-LV 426 system due to Prometheus’s most important passenger and that I wasn’t sure how such a mission would be integrated into the next film? We know for a fact that based on Prometheus’s specs, it took 2 years, 4 months and 36 hours to reach LV 223. In addition, it would be reasonable to assume that there was no final communication from Prometheus to Earth when she was in the midst of madness on LV 223. Although I am leaning towards the possibility of seeing such a rescue mission from Earth in Prometheus 2, I would like to admit that I am not a fan of the idea that this mission would have a direct, major role. But first, let us see why such a mission would make sense from a logical standpoint – 1. It would ensure fresh meat for the Deacon and also more instances of the black goo infection. 2. It is a bit difficult to believe that the filmmakers would press ahead with Prometheus 2 with only one human character (Shaw) and another human looking android (David). As we know, the rest are extraterrestrials (both engineers and Alien). 3. Finally, it would pave a way as to how Weyland Corp. would have gotten hold of the information about the Derelict and its cargo (not the distress call!). Now, the reason I am biased against this idea is due to the fact that I love Alien 1979 so much and still consider the creature from that film the very first of its kind – born from inside a human! As fans, we all know the impact the facehugger scene, the chestburster scene and the very first moment that Alien appeared on the screen had on us. If the human mission in Prometheus 2 results in an encounter between the Deacon and the humans, resulting in birth of chestburster like creatures, it would take the sheen off Alien 1979. So, my hope for Prometheus 2 is that they have such interactions, encounters between the Deacon and humans, but not result in further procreation. As mentioned above, for consistency purposes having a second mission from Earth makes a whole lot of sense.
Now, let us concentrate on the “distress” signal. My theory is, that the signal was sent out from the Derelict and could probably not be the source behind Weyland Corp.’s knowledge about Derelict and its cargo. I am making this judgement because, when Mother partially decoded the signal, it turned out to be a warning. This development obviously poses the question as to who activated the signal, warning anyone or anything to stay away from LV 426. I think this proves that Shaw has to be on the spaceship when it took off. I would also assume David is with her. But, the most important passenger would have to be the Deacon herself. She would do anything to protect her eggs and hence, it is foreseeable that there would be an epic encounter between the her, Shaw and David, similar to what we saw on Aliens. Since, David is well-versed with ship communication, he and Shaw would send out a warning never to look for the ship. David would be destroyed and Shaw would sacrifice herself by ejecting herself with the Deacon, thereby killing both of them. The ship with the already dead pilot engineer would then force land on LV 426. I have already spoken about the trickster nature of David. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if he might have programmed the ship to force land rather than destruct, which is exactly what Shaw would have done. My final post on Prometheus will be a reflection on David and some elements of the engineers’ biology.