Eggmorphing is a process of turning human hosts into Alien eggs and a part of the Xenomorph's alternate life cycle. Initially cut from the first Alien movie, but re-inserted in the Director's Cut, eggmorphing (also known as ovomorphing) is used by Xenomorph Warriors when an Alien Queen is not available to produce more eggs.
The Concept Of Eggmorphing
Eggmorphing, or Ovomorphing, is an alternate survival strategy for Xenomorphs. In the absence of an Alien Queen, Xenomorph Warriors (or Drones) undertake the task of expanding their species. They capture hosts and encase them in a resin, exposing them to enzymes and hormones. This transforms their bodies into Ovomorphs or Alien eggs. The Warrior injects genetic material to incubate a Facehugger inside, thus continuing their lifecycle. This transformation usually takes between 24 to 36 hours.
In the original Alien film, crew member Dallas was to be shown in the midst of this horrifying transformation. He was cocooned and on his way to becoming an Ovomorph, but was still semi-conscious and could mumble out words. Dallas asked Ripley to kill him and she filled his requests by painfully torching him with a flamethrower. Perhaps letting him wait for about two minutes until the ship exploded would have been a bit more merciful. This scene demonstrated the grim fate of those captured by Xenomorphs and the disturbing efficiency of their reproductive process.
Brett, another crew member, met a similar fate. Brett was captured a few hours earlier than Dallas and had been headbitten, destroying his brain. His body, even after his presumed death, was repurposed by the Nostromo Xenomorph. Brett had almost fully transformed into an Alien egg, only his slime-covered face was protruding out of it. This highlighted a chilling aspect of eggmorphing: the victim doesn't need to be alive for the process to be successful, as dead matter can also be used.
The eggmorphing concept showed up in some of the alternate scripts for Alien 3, including Eric Red's and Willaim Gibson's. William Gibson's script was later turned into a book, comic, and even an audio drama, all featuring an egg growing inside Bishop the android on the USS Sulaco. However, this wasn't a full eggmorphing, the egg was growing out of the lower part of Bishop's body and his upper half remained untouched. Presumably, when the Alien Queen cut off Bishop's legs with her tail, she inserted Alien spores inside of him, which started to slowly develop. During the weeks that Bishop and the others were in hypersleep, the spores grow into a fully sized egg, continuing the Xenomorph's survival for this alternate Alien 3.
Behind The Scenes
Originally, the climax of Alien was to include the eggmorphing scene, where Ripley finds Dallas and Brett transforming into eggs. HR Giger designed this small hive, although his initial drawings somewhat resembled a wasp's nest. However, director Ridley Scott cut it, feeling it slowed the film's pace. Despite its removal, the concept remained known through the novelization and other media. It became a topic of debate among fans: could eggmorphing coexist with the Queen-based reproduction introduced in Aliens? The Director's Cut of Alien later partially reinstated the scene, keeping the concept alive in the Alien lore.
Later Appearances and References
Although initially cut from Alien, eggmorphing surfaced in unproduced Alien 3 scripts and other Alien-related media. It made an interesting appearance in the Aliens vs. Predator: Jaguar, where the Alien player could cocoon victims, and use them for save points to respawn after dying. Later on, in Alien: Prototype, a mutant Xenomorph type nicknamed the Necromorph exhibited eggmorphing, suggesting it might not be a common trait among regular Xenomorph species. It has been theorized that the Xenomorph infestation on the Sevastopol Station in Alien: Isolation was the result of eggmorphing.
Eggmorphing is the terrifying and slow process of turning a human victim into an Alien egg, a fate seemingly even worse than being facehugged. Instead of a quick death by chestbursting, the victim would slowly lose their mind and body. It illustrates the unique Xenomorph biology and relentless drive to survive and multiply, even in the absence of their Queen. However, it is not the only alternate means of reproduction available for the Xenomorphs. Praetorians can mutate into Alien Queens with the help of Royal Jelly, and the Predalien can inject embryos through its mouth.