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Adam Savage is a bit of a fan of Ridley Scott’s film Alien. He spent years constructing his own replica of Kane’s space suit from the film, visited the sets of Alien: Covenant to check out the props, and wandered around San Diego Comic-Con with a space suit from the same film. Now, he has a new suit in his collection: one that a group of high school students constructed for their stage adaptation of the film.
Back in March, the students of North Bergen High School in New Jersey decided to adapt Alien for their spring play. (You can still watch it online.) They spent months assembling the complicated sets and costumes for it, making almost everything out of recycled parts and junk that they found and repurposed. After a video of the production surfaced on Twitter, it went viral, with everyone from Fox to Savage praising the project. When the students staged an encore performance a couple of weeks later, Ripley herself — Sigourney Weaver — showed up in person to deliver her praise and thanks on behalf of Scott.
At the time, Savage tweeted about the project and eventually met the director, Steven Defendini, who brought along a helmet from the production. Savage sent the students some of the parts from the costume in his collection, and Defendini gifted the space suit to Savage who unboxed it and showed it off in a new video on his YouTube channel.
Over the course of the video, Savage takes a closer look at how the students were able to construct the costumes using nothing but junk. A couple of elements stand out: the students sewed the space suit out of a packing blanket, which Savage points out was clever because it came with pleats already sewn in. A forearm controller was made out of a toy tank, and they used twine and hot glue to form some of the detailing on the helmet. While it’s not a replica, it’s a costume that certainly holds up nicely when you’re standing a couple of feet away from it.
I’ve met and interviewed Savage a couple of times over the years, and he wears his enthusiasm for building and costuming on his sleeve. That’s certainly apparent as he goes over the costume, piece by piece. He notes in the video that he’ll be displaying this particular costume in his workshop along with the hot glue gun that the school used to construct the costume, framed in a shadow box.