The Engineers, Pilots, Space Jockeys, Mala'kak, or Ossians are the main antagonists of the Alien franchise alongside David 8. They are an elusive race of large, sapient, extraterrestrial lifeforms known for propagating all life on Earth.
The Engineers were a mysterious race of aliens that were more than a million years old. By this point, their civilisation had developed advanced technology including starships and biotechnology. During this time, they visited the primordial planet Earth where one of their kind infected themselves with a bioweapon that killed him. His deceased body later fell into a waterfall where the biological agent disassembled his body that was spread into the water thus bringing about the spread of DNA on Earth.
As a result, this act led to the rise of human life that were derived from the Engineers. Ancient human cultures were noted to had seen the gigantic Engineers who pointed them towards a sequence of stars that were so far from Earth that it was impossible to see them. Around 2,000 years ago, the Engineers established a facility on LV-233 that contained numerous vessels along with their supply of bioweapons. It was believed that the Engineers bioweapon later turned against them leading to many of the Engineers being killed. This facility's personnel intended to take one of their vessels to travel onto Earth where they would wipe out the planet in order to re-engineer the world once more. However, the few surviving Engineers instead entered into hypersleep where they remained undisturbed for thousands of years.
By the 21st century, Elizabeth Shaw was involved in archaelogical expeditions on Earth that discovered evidence of the Engineers. This involved the discovery similar pictographs from seven different civilizations that had no contact with one another. The pictograph was believed by Dr. Shaw to be an invitation to Humanity to arrive on the world of the Engineers. Their discovery was brought before the Weyland Corporation which intrigued the interest of its head, Peter Weyland. As a result, an expedition was launched to explore the world in the pictographs which saw the Interstellar Research Vessel Prometheus being launched on a two year voyage through space in cryosleep on a secret mission to LV-233. Upon their arrival, the crew began exploring the world and uncovered mound-like temples along with the dead remains of numerous Engineers.
This saw David take one of the bioweapon urns and infect Holloway. The infected Holloway later had sexual intercourse with Shaw thus impregnated through the bioweapon despite the fact that she was sterile. In the meantime, the android David had secretly explored the Engineer temple under orders from Weyland who was actually alive in stasis on a secret part of the Prometheus. His mission was to find one of the Engineers for his creator in order to use their advanced science to allow Peter Weyland to gain immortality.
One of the Engineers were discovered in hypersleep where David uncovered their desire to destroy Earth. He later brought Weyland and Shaw whereupon he awakened the Engineer. However, the alien ripped David's head from his body and killed Weyland along with several of his bodyguards. Afterwards, the Engineer began the activation process of the ship that was actually located beneath the temple mound where he plotted a course for Earth. Shaw managed to escape from the Engineer and revealed the aliens intention to Captain Janek who commanded the Prometheus. Despite possessing no weapons, the Captain sent the Prometheus on a suicidal crash trajectory to the Engineer ship thus causing it to crash back to the surface of the planet. With his plan stopped, the vengeful Engineer travelled to the lifeboat of the Prometheus in order to kill Shaw.
Just as he was about to do so, she opened the medical bay that contained an alien organism that was born from Shaw as a result of her impregnation by Holloway. Released, the creature attacked the Engineer and grasp him within its tentacles where it engulfed his body whilst putting a tendril through the humanoid's mouth. Shaw later took the damaged David in order to use the android's knowledge to operate another Engineer ship in order to find the alien races homeworld and find out the reason for their desire to eliminate mankind. After the ship departed, the defeated Engineer on LV-233 died as the organism had impregnated him with a Xenomorph that burst through his body and took its first steps as it became fully formed.
In the meantime, Elizabeth Shaw was on-board the Engineer ship with David where she began to repair the Synthetic. She completed rebuilding him but as the journey time was unknown Shaw entered into a hibernation pod as the vessel went towards the Engineer homeworld. David managed the ship as he studied the Engineers and their history where he concluded that they were a threat. As the ship reached the planet, David brought it into docking procedures on the surface where a large crowd of Engineers was present. David then decided to unleash the content of the ship namely the pods containing the black liquid which detonated in the lower atmosphere and dispersed over the population. It instantly killed the Engineers where it turned many of their bodies into black stone with any survivors becoming incubators for the liquid that spawned deadly lifeforms that erupted from their hosts. The ship later crashed near the mountains where David was not stranded on the planet and he later ended up killing Elizabeth Shaw as he used her as part of his experiments on the black liquid based creatures as he sought to create the perfect organism. He remained on the world for many years where he ran out of subjects to experiment on and had concluded that mankind needed to be wiped out.
At some point, another Engineer vessel contained an entire cargo of Xenomorph eggs where the pilot was killed when one of this cargo that was contained in a compartment filled with electrical mist broke. A facehugger later impregnated him and he was killed whilst the ship crashed on LV-426. Despite being killed, the Engineer managed to send out a distress signal from his vessel that continued to be broadcasted afterwards. It was this transmission that attracted the Nostromo that was a mining ship of Weyland-Yutani corporation. The Company later redirected the mining ship to investigate the crashed derelict on the world which led to humanity's encounter with the Xenomorphs.
Fire and Stone
Life and Death