Memories of Nostromo: Ari’s Story

 


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Ari Williams is an accomplished cosplayer who aspires to work as a professional makeup/FX artist. She brings creativity, insight, and an eye for detail to her art…and she really rocks “Ripley”! Check out more of her work on her Instagram account. Ari lives in the US.

 

 

The Nostromo, by Ari Williams

A freight spacecraft that is the basis and majority of the setting in the first Alien movie in 1979. A mechanical marvel that is both futuristic and retro at the same time with its design and technology, the claustrophobic vents, and the AI, Mother.

 

 

I grew up with my dad introducing me to all sorts of sci-fi and horror movies, and I was immediately hooked. One of those movies was Alien, and I remember the flashing lights, the music and the atmosphere that terrified me as a young child. I also remember being afraid of the Nostromo itself, with its dark corridors and vents, the construction and textures that I had never really seen in any other sci-fi or horror movie before.

And when the alien came, blending in with the ship, I was afraid of the vessel even more…my young mind fearing that the ship and alien were one thing and that the ship was going to come alive.

 

 

I didn’t watch Alien for years (fear being the primary basis) and eventually forgot about it altogether. It wasn’t until 2013 that I rediscovered the Xenomorph design when I was in college and fell in love with it. And since I was (and still am) planning to go into the movie industry for special effects and character design, I began to look up the Alien franchise again and finally managed to sit down and watch the first three movies again.

When I was rewatching Alien, I began studying everything about the movie and the world of the story it told. I fell in love with the designs of everything, from the alien to LV-426, from the individual characters to the claustrophobic, clean, geometric look of the Nostromo’s interior. The ship stands out to me because of it’s strange and beautiful design. Geometric, industrial, and cyberpunk all in one.

Although when I had first rewatched the movie, I had thought that the large vessel that the Nostromo had been tugging was the actual ship and not the cargo, it wasn’t long before I realised the small ship was indeed the Nostromo.

 

 

The interior of the beloved yet doomed ship was ahead of its time, I feel. Despite the movie being created in the Seventies, the design being a rustic type of cyberpunk/futurism with a strange — almost alien — type of charm. I feel like a lot of the piping, chains, plating, and metalwork in the end matched the feel of the alien itself and that it created the perfect camouflage for the monster.

That was perhaps one of my favorite things about the ship: the strange yet comforting clean feeling that when a monster is on board and using it to hide, the ship seems to almost come alive with something using it to its advantage. A strange network that looks so simple and easy to navigate yet you could almost get lost within it. Perhaps an almost comforting yet cold presence…one that feels like safety before the storm.

When the events of the first movie are over, the Nostromo is almost like a ghost, a doomed soul that haunts Ripley through the rest of her life. She might only be mentioned it briefly to others, but it’s become a part of her… a part that she can’t escape or forget. Even when she gets a final glimpse of the underside of the Nostromo through the window of the Narcissus, she seems almost heartbroken as she leaves the ship and the remains of her crew behind.

 

 

The Nostromo is a very iconic starship, making a way for other starships within the sci-fi/horror genre of alien life-forms and first contact. It’s still a ghost, haunting all of its descendants that are infested, maybe not with the Alien, but with their own horrors. But evidence of its influence within the genre is huge, mainly with similar design and interior/exterior elements.

It continues to be a huge inspiration to others, and is the starting point, the very beginning of the story of the franchise that has come to be so beloved throughout the years.

 

Photo credit: Leena Loli

 

 

 

 


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