The so-called Space Jockeys made their first appearance in Ridley Scott’s original 1978 Alien movie when Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo attempted to answer a distress call and landed on the Moon LV-426 only to find one with its chest hollowed out. They were presumably the first victims of the series’s iconic xenomorph species, and they remained shrouded in mystery until they were a little less shrouded in mystery as the Engineers in Scott’s 2012 prequel Prometheus. Unsurprisingly, they’re back again in Scott’s sequel to the prequel, Alien: Covenant.
20th Century Fox released a new set photo in celebration of Scott’s 79th birthday, and it’s a sight any Alien fan will recognize. Scott is in the foreground, but in the background lies a reclining Space Jockey pilot from the ships seen in the previous films in the series.
In Prometheus, we found that the Jockey was the final Engineer on a whole different planet called LV-223 who ended up being killed by the alien birthed from Noomi Rapace’s character Elizabeth Shaw’s stomach. Rapace high-tailed it off the planet with Michael Fassbender’s android character, David, in tow, and we’ll presumably find out where they went in Covenant. The new film sports an all new cast led by actress Katherine Waterston who apparently stumble upon a remote paradise-like planet whose sole inhabitant ends up being some form of David.
If the ship from the photo is from the Engineer ship piloted by Shaw, then it’s safe to assume Waterston and the crew will simply explore the ship itself on the paradise planet, which could maybe be LV-426 from the original movie. If it’s an all-new Engineer craft then that means Waterstons squad is going to have a lot more to worry about than just xenomorphs.
Alien: Covenant is scheduled to hit theaters on May 19, 2017.