|First Appearance||Alien (1979)|
Little is known about the derelict ship piloted by an extraterrestrial commonly referred to as the "Space Jockey". It has been theorized that the derelict was a weapon carrier craft that had crash landed on the planetoid known as Acheron at some point in the distant past. 
The interior design of the ship resembled the vertebrae of some giant beast, giving credence to the idea that some elements of its manufacture may even have been biomechanical in nature. The cargo bay of the derelict served as a nursery, housing several thousands of xenomorph eggs. At some point prior to landing on Acheron, one of the eggs must have released a larval xenomorph (often referred to as a "facehugger") which then used the pilot as a host body for the gestation of a full xenomorph. Prior to his death, the space jockey sent out a distress beacon which was broadcast throughout the Zeta II Reticuli System.
In 2122, the commercial freighter USCSS Nostromo picked up the distress beacon and sent an away team down to the planetoid's surface to investigate it. They found the fossilized remains of the pilot, fused to the seat of his command chair. The ribs of his chest protruded outward as if something had burst its way out from the inside. The first officer, Kane, found the xenomorph nursery in the cargo hold and was attacked by an embryonic "facehugger". Desperate to save Kane's life, the crew hurriedly brought him back aboard the Nostromo.
The derelict remained undisturbed for several decades. By the year 2159, Colony LV-426 had been established on Acheron, but it wasn't until 2179 that someone discovered the derelict and its deceased pilot. Russ Jordan, a "wildcatter" working at the colony, was sent to investigate the derelict by order of Weyland-Yutani executive Carter Burke. Based upon information he had gathered from Ellen Ripley (a member of the original landing crew), Burke knew about the Xenomorph egg chamber and deliberately put Jordan and his family at risk in the hopes of obtaining a specimen. Like Kane before him, Jordan was attacked by a facehugger and impregnated with a xenomorph seed.
Ripley and a troupe of Colonial Marines came to LV-426 and engaged in an entire nest of xenomorphs. Ultimately, Ripley and Corporal Dwayne Hicks escaped from the carnage and set off a thermonuclear weapon that destroyed the colony, the derelict and the remains of the space jockey.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The interior shots of the derelict as well as the Space Jockey were designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger.