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Corbelan IV: Guide To The Alien Romulus Ship

By | Published April 07, 2024

The main ship from Alien Romulus is not called Romulus, deviating from the convention set up by Prometheus and Alien Covenant. The ship is named Corbelan IV, while Romulus is the biolab part of a space station designated as Renaissance. While the movie takes place in the year 2142 (between Alien and Aliens), the ship is more modern the USCSS Nostromo from 2122, but obviously less advanced than the warship USS Sulaco from the year 2179. In this guide, find out everything we know about Corbelan IV and its role in the movie.

Significance Of The Ship's Name

The front docking port of Corbelan IV from Alien Romulus

The ship's name "Corbelan IV" is seen on the starboard side of the ship's bow, written in white paint. In addition to "IV", there is a "04" next to it, indicating a fourth ship in the same series. As with many other ships in the Alien series, the name "Corbelan" is taken from one of Joseph Conrad's novels. Specifically, in the novel "Nostromo", there is a character Padre Corbelan, of a big Corbelan family, living in a remote fictional town in South America. Other ship names derived from Conrad's novels include the USS Sulaco, USCSS Patna, and the USS Sephora.

The Type Of The Ship

A closeup of the Corbelan IV

Next to the ship's name "Corbelan IV", is a Weyland-Yutani logo, indicating ownership by the company. However, it is not clear if Weyland-Yutani also built the ship, as for example the USCSS Nostromo was actually built by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Colonial Marine ships in the Alien series are designated with "USS" (like the USS Sulaco), so most likely this is a simple transport ship, without any armament. As confirmed by director Fede Alvarez, the ship is transporting about half a dozen young travelers, some of whom are possibly siblings, and androids. Underneath the ship is an orange transport container held in place by big clamps, possibly hauling some cargo.

Corbelan IV Docking With Renaissance Station

The Corbelan IV approaches Renaissance Station

As seen in the Alien Romulus trailer, the Corbelan IV approached the Renaissance with the intention of docking. The ship has a docking port on the front of the bow, for the transfer of humans and smaller cargo. The orange storage container is possibly transferred separately. The intention of the ship docking with the space station is not clear, perhaps it is a scheduled supply run, or the ship is in some kind of trouble and seeking assistance. The human passengers of the ship will end up on the station, and come into peril, with a Xenomorph infestation (via facehuggers) spreading fast. The Facehuggers originate from the Xenomorph experiments in the Romulus biolab, while the station also has an older part - named Remus.


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The Corbelan IV Bridge

A view of the Corbelan IV Bridge from Alien Romulus

The Corbelan IV's bridge is revealed to be small and compact, fitting the relatively small ship. More like a cockpit, the bridge possibly has only one seat, for the captain or pilot. A large viewport is in the front, giving a good overview of the surrounding area. The bridge is connected to the rest of the ship by a corridor and an air-sealed door. It is also possible that the bridge could detach, and become a lifeboat on its own. There is no sign of a "Mother interface room", but it's possible that such a small ship has no such need decades later than the Nostoromo.

Ron Cobb's Semiotic Standard

Ron Cobb's Ship Symbols

The Corbelan IV conforms to the "Semiotic Standard", created by Ron Cobb for the first Alien movie. The Semiotic Standard is a ruleset of symbols, meant to be used inside all commercial trans-stellar & heavy element transport craft. This is a similar system that civilian boats use (often on flags) from the 20th century. In-universe, the rules came into effect on April 16th, 2078, and were used by both the Nostromo and Sevastopol Station from Alien: Isolation. On the Corbelan IV, the symbols are visible just outside the bridge, where a symbol labeled "Hazard/Warning" is on the left, and the "Bridge" indicator is on the right, confirming that it is indeed, the bridge.

Renaissance Station (Romulus) Explosion And Final Fate

The Romulus Station explodes next to Corbelan IV

The final fate of the Corbelan IV ship is hard to predict, but some indications are given in the Alien Romulus trailer. Two characters are on the ship's bridge (a male and a female) when there is a large explosion on the Renaissance station, knocking the ship to the left. If the ship did not receive major damage, it would be possible for the survivors to escape. However, another main character is later shown wielding a pulse rifle still on the station, indicating that another group is attempting to escape. In tradition there always being a stowaway on the ship in the Alien series, it is possible that one of the two survivors on the bridge is facehugged, and will birth a chestburster soon.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the ship that the main characters arrive on in Alien Romulus is called Corbelan IV, a name taken from one of Joseph Conrad's books. The ship is a small cargo hauler that belongs to Weyland-Yutani and has the crew and passengers of about half a dozen young people on board. The big space station is called Renaissance, which is divided into an older part (named Remus), and a newer part with a biolab (called Romulus). The Corbelan IV ship seems to depart from the Renaissance after an explosion with at least two characters on board, but its final fate is unknown.

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