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The Urns of Prometheus
and Alien 79


In Ridley Scott's 2012 Prometheus, the touted prequel to Alien 79, one of the visual icons of his latest sci-fi venture is the Urn (IMAGE 1). A container that holds the mysterious "black goo." The liquid WMD that the famous Alien creature can claim as it's roots. There are thousands of these urns as reported by the film's lead character Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.

A similar scene in Alien 79 where Kane is in the egg chamber below the derelict ship, we also see thousands of the xenomorph eggs, or at least that was what Ripley claimed in Aliens 86, "Kane, who went in that ship, said he saw thousands of eggs there. Thousands. . ."

It appears Scott used a common visual theme for both films, rows and rows of eggs, rows and rows of urns. They both harbor an organic ingredient of death. No alien eggs ever appeared in Prometheus and likewise, no urns appeared in Alien 79.

While there are no visual urns in his sci-fi horror classic, that doesn't mean Ridley and/or the writers didn't have "Urns" on their minds when making Alien 79. In the June 1978 final revised script, there are various bits of info that never made it to the final cut.

One well known tidbit from the script is the rock formation containing a fossilized shape about fifteen feet tall. Ash was studying the video snap shot and it revealed it was a skeleton.

After viewing Prometheus, I decided to read this script version again and came across a curious bit of info. When Kane, Dallas, and Lamber first entered the aperture at the side of the ship, they were exploring a corridor twisted with strange shapes (IMAGE 2).

On film, their corridor stroll lasts just a few seconds and it's uneventful up to the point where they discover the opening to the Space Jockey's cockpit chamber.

However in the script, it describes a couple of discoveries inside that corridor that never made it on film. One is, they discovered one of the alien's machines: "On the mechanism, a small bar moves steadily back and forth. Sliding noiselessly in the grooves."

The second and more interesting discovery: They came across an "URN." This is described in the script as, "Dallas shines his light about, sees. . . A large, glossy urn, tan coloration. Round opening at the top, empty within." (IMAGE 3)

Now of course this can be chalked up as coincidence and looking for something that's not really there. And it's possible Ridley doesn't even remember the large urn mentioned in the 78 script. Regardless, it's at least intriguing that a discarded urn was discovered by the Nostromo crew just outside the Space Jockey's cockpit chamber.

Was this long forgotten piece of info in the Alien script something Ridley referenced when working on the Prometheus project? Only Ridley knows for sure.

Written by SFMZ Webmaster







IMAGE 1 - The Prometheus Urn





IMAGE 2 - Alien 79 Corridor





IMAGE 3 - Script Snapshot




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