Podcast Research – ‘Alien’ Design: The Spacesuits

Design aspects of Alien were divided among various artists, and French illustrator Jean Girard aka Moebius was tasked with designing the outfits for the film, worn both internally and externally by the Nostromo crew. His spacesuits went through an evolution, dictated by the changing nature of the stormy planetoid they landed on according to various script drafts. Early concepts of what would be later designated as LV-426 in Aliens had the planetoid with unbreathable air but air pressure similar to Earth, so the crew members who ventured outside only needed air masks. This would later be changed so that they would require full pressure suits to survive in the environment.

Space suit design for Alien by Moebius
The pink suit. Cpt. Dallas would end up wearing a mauve suit in the film.

 

A space suit design by Moebius, for Alien
Another unpressurized design. Note the mitre-ish helmet that is a trademark of Moebius

 

Space suit design by Moebius, for the film Alien
Pressurized suit with wrist-mounted grappling hook

 

Space suit design by Moebius, for the film Alien
Helmet design, very close to the end result.

 

Space suits from the movie Alien, designed by Moebius
The final product, with Dallas in his red-ish suit. The design is heavily influenced by Samurai armour.

 

As I sign off, I give you the spacesuit from Alien screenplay writer Dan O’Bannon’s classic SF spoof Dark Star, complete with silver-painted muffin tray fastened to the front.

Space suit from John Carpenter's sci-fi movie Dark Star
Muffin pan space man, Carpenter’s Dark Star

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