I assume it was the pilot of the derelict ship who sent the SOS that set the plot in motion, but Alien only gives us a brief glimpse and not many clues (at least none so overt that I picked up on them).

Alien derelict ship captain

So who or what is that? Do we know anything about him? Do any of the other movies or books go back and fill in any of his back story?

  • 4
    Technically once Ripley analysed it further she worked out it seemed more like a warning than a distress call.
    – Stefan
    Oct 17, 2012 at 11:06
  • 2
    I always assumed that the distress/warning beacon was something automated that turned itself on after the crash (or upon detecting the aliens onboard).
    – Omegacron
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


That is "the space jockey." The upcoming movie is supposed to go into detail about this race and how the badguys spread around the universe.

  • 2
    I completely forgot about video games! Also, "Recently, Ridley Scott, the director of the original Alien film, has begun production of two prequels to the series" is the best news I've heard yet this year. Thanks! Jan 13, 2011 at 0:10
  • The movie has pretty much been cancelled according to IO9. The film now called Prometheus with the Aliens DNA running through the script. An entirely new universe and concept. Jan 18, 2011 at 0:08
  • it is a prequel and i hope mr scott doesn't let us down
    – user5638
    Apr 3, 2012 at 16:13

From Prometheus, we find out that this is an "Engineer" inside the "Space Jockey" suit. By-the-way this should not be a spoiler since the movie has been out for a month now. Go see the movie so that we will get a Ridley Scott sequel which is apparently already titled as "Paradise".

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