Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O'Bannon. Based on a story by O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the Nostromo. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. It was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill through their company Brandywine Productions and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill revised and made additions to the script; Shusett was the executive producer. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more human settings.
The commercial space tug Nostromo is returning to Earth with a seven-member crew in stasis: Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, Warrant Officer Ripley, Navigator Lambert, Science Officer Ash, and engineers Parker and Brett. Detecting a transmission from a nearby moon, the ship's computer, Mother, awakens the crew. Per company policy requiring any potential distress signal be investigated, they land on the moon despite Parker's protests, sustaining damage from its atmosphere and rocky landscape. The engineers stay on board for repairs while Dallas, Kane, and Lambert investigate the terrain. They discover the signal originates from a derelict alien ship and enter it, losing contact with the Nostromo. Ripley deciphers part of the transmission, determining it as a warning, but cannot relay the information to those on the derelict ship.