Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film is a 2011 behind the scenes book covering the making of the 1979 film Alien, written by Ian Nathan and published by Aurum Press in the United Kingdom and Voyageur Press in the United States. It was published on September 1, 2011 in the UK[1] and September 17, 2011 in the US.[2]

The book features a wealth of conceptual and development artwork and materials, including Ridley Scott storyboards, script pages, H. R. Giger's concept artwork, sketches and construction blueprints for the USCSS Nostromo, costume designs by Mœbius, exclusive behind the scenes photographs, and reproductions of in-universe documents and items.

Publisher's Summary

In space, no one can hear you scream.

For over thirty years, audiences have been simultaneously captivated and appalled as the spaceship Nostromo is invaded and its crew stalked by a terrifying parasitic creature. From the gore of the infant alien bursting from Kane's chest to the mounting claustrophobia as Ripley discovers the monster has followed her into the escape shuttle, Alien is a chilling masterpiece.

Now, Alien Vault opens a portal into the making of this legendary film, tracing its path from embryonic concept to fully fledged box office phenomenon.

Featured herein are director Ridley Scott's own annotated storyboards, Polaroids and script pages; the elegant but disturbing concept artwork of H.R. Giger; sketches and construction blueprints for the Nostromo; costume designs by Mœbius; a treasure trove of never-before-seen photographs of the cast and crew; and ten meticulously reproduced artifacts, enclosed in vellum envelopes, for readers to remove and examine more closely.

Fully authorized and illustrated throughout, Alien Vault is the ultimate tribute to a movie that changed cinema forever.


  • Alien Vault mentions that adult Xenomorphs have very short lifespans, lasting only four days from birth. Although not necessarily made clear on screen in Alien (and certainly contradicted by its sequel Aliens), this was indeed the original concept developed for the first movie, and is mentioned in both The Book of Alien and The Officially Authorized Magazine of the Movie Alien. The idea would later go on to feature in Eric Red's unproduced script for Alien3.
  • Despite the publisher's summary stating that the artifacts were "meticulously reproduced" the Nostromo patch says, "USCS NOSTROMO", when the patches in the film clearly say, "USCSS NOSTROMO".




  1. "Goodreads - Alien Vault". Retrieved on 2018-11-07.
  2. "Goodreads - Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film". Retrieved on 2018-11-07.


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