District 9's Director Tells Us All About His Alien Back Story

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Who are the humanly named "prawn" aliens of District 9, and where did they come from? Director Neill Blomkamp reveals all to us about these beings, their planet, ships and possible home in the Andromeda Galaxy. Spoilers!

At Comic-Con, we interviewed Neill on camera, and he mentioned his hive mind concept about the aliens of District 9. Later on, we got to press further about the entire alien world that Neill had built around his alien creatures, past the hive.

What is your own back story for these aliens? What's their home planet like? Why did the end up on Earth?

The hive mind [concept] is the most important thing to me, because I love the idea of a civilization that can build all of that technology and then, at the same time, just have a massive population that was just drones that needed direction, and were absolutely incapable of building that stuff on their own. I found that to be a really interesting concept. Also, it sort of explains why they don't turn on the humans. Individually, they may be feeling oppressed, but they don't have it together enough to form a resistance and back one another. So I found that really interesting.


I think that they do have a home planet, it's pretty far away probably in the Andromeda Galaxy, but what I like is that they'll live on the ship for thousands of years. Obviously, there's much more of a population on the main planet, but the ships will go out and get the minerals and the ore and whatever resources they need and then bring them all back home.

The other thing is that the ship was meant to clip together with other ships. So there's, like, vast amounts of resources that they're bringing to the parent planet. And the ship, when the army generals or the queen of that particular ship died off by some sort of virus or bacteria that they picked up on some other planet, that killed them off. And it didn't effect these sort of resilient, hardy sort of drone workers. Then the technology is usually the thing that they relied on to save them, but in this case it sort of screwed them because it brought them to a planet that kind of treated them pretty badly, but it was the ship that realized that, unless it gets to a life sustaining planet everything is going to die, which is a cool idea. So the ship just auto pilots to the closest one in the Goldilocks band, and it's our planet and then pulls up and hits the breaks.


Where does this leave Christopher Johnson [an abnormally smart prawn who sparks a bit of a revolution... Not to give too much away]?

I think it's taken 20 years. I think because there is a subconscious hive mind happening, really what they should do is lay one egg that has a different embryo in it that grows into a Queen or being someone that dictates direction. But I think in the interim, because they may have done that, there may be an egg out there with that, but as that being is growing, I just like the idea that he may have been a lot more directionless in the beginning. But the hive structure of their society may just pick one or two that starts to become the leader. Like the overall structure of his brain may change because the hive may want that to happen. So he starts having a direction and a goal. Which is an interesting idea and it's just enough to kick start them to be able to get to the ship to get back.