Sci-fi has been a popular genre in filmmaking since it was first introduced, and still finds a way to captivate moviegoers. Aside from blockbusters like Star Wars and Star Trek, one of the most popular sci-fi properties also contains elements of horror: the Alien franchise. Xenomorphs have terrified generations of moviegoers, with the most recent installment being 2017’s Alien: Covenant. Every facet of the Xenomorphs are scary, even before their born. Because we all know what happens when you get too close to an alien egg.
Eggs in the Alien franchise are nearly as iconic as the full grown Xenomorphs themselves, as they’ve been known to scare audiences and take the life of various characters. Facehuggers live inside the pods, and they hatch and immediately begin thirsting for blood. But it turns out the eggs’ appearance needed to be altered for the original 1979 Ridley Scott film. According to art director Roger Christian, they originally looked a bit too much like female genitalia. As he explains it:
Well, that’s not a problem you hear about everyday. It looks like the eggs in the Aliens franchises could have looked much different than the ones that eventually became iconic and nightmare-inducing. They were actually going to resemble lady parts, so much so that it worried the film’s producers.
Roger Christian’s comments to EW show how much things change during the development stages of major blockbusters. While the Alien franchise wasn’t the beloved horror staple it is now, special care was taken to create the visuals of the sci-fi world for the first groundbreaking movie. That includes the Xenomorph eggs, and their penchant for bloody murder. But they looked too much like female genitalia, and adjustments were made at the behest of production.
What makes this story so hilarious is that Roger Christian maintains that offending religious moviegoers was less of a concern than having visuals that resembled the female form. The Xenomorph eggs must have been seriously phallic (yonic?) in order to illicit that type of strong reaction. One can only imagine the eggs looked like, and how their appearance altered the birthing of facehuggers.
The eggs have been a recurring presence in the Alien franchise, including a few years ago with Covenant. They typically bring a sense of unease to each blockbuster, as the action temporarily slows to display them in their eerie glory. But that breather usually ends tragically, as facehuggers fly out of the eggs and murder the nearest victim.