- It's Not Male All That's Called Jerry

Drac Jeriba 'Jerry' Shigan is the reptilian humanoid alien from the eighties' classic Enemy Mine.

This extraterrestrial has claws, its body and head are covered with brown plates of various size. Also, this reptilian alien has three fingers and a tail.

When we first meet Jerry in the movie he does not wear any clothes, and right away we find out that he is not very well-adapted to cold. He is a great swimmer, though.

Jerry and the human Willis Davidge, both mortal enemies, find themselves marooned on the same inhospitable planet. Very soon they realize they have to mend their fences and work together if they are to survive the harsh environs inhabited by lethal predators.

Through Jerry's interaction with the human, we learn lot about his race: what kind of religion they have, how important their lineage is to them, what kind of language they use, how they reproduce. At the end of the movie we get a glimpse of their home planet Dracon.

Their religion is based on the teachings of Shismar, which are very important to them. These teachings are collected in a small book called talmon, which they wear on a string around the neck. When a pupil is ready she or he receives from her/his teacher the book.

Apparently it is not enough just to read a talmon, as Jerry explains to Davidge: "The words of Shismar must be sung" in the drac language based on a series of gurgling sounds of different pitch and length.

Besides their religion, there's another thing they value above all else - their lineage. Before a young one is accepted into the society of grownups its parent has to recite its whole lineage before a Holy Counsel on their home world.

For instance, Jerry's linage is very long and it goes back 170 generations. There are five names in Dracs' lineage: Sheegan, Gathic, Islane, Tighe and Zamis. These names are passed down generations in this order. Eventually, the names of Willis Davidge is added to the list.

Another peculiar fact about this reptilian alien species is that they are hermaphrodite and reproduce through parthenogenesis - which is an "asexual form of reproduction found in females where growth of and development of an embryo occurs without fertilization by a male."

When the time comes, which is something they cannot control (never mind the rumors to the contrary!), they give birth to an alien baby.

Lastly, it is worth noting that though this reptilian alien happens to be one of the most detailed portrayal of an on-screen alien species, there is subtle irony in this. What we know about the alien we get from Davidge's point of view, which is inevitably flawed and skewered.

Even the moniker "Jerry" Davidge gives the alien hints at the fundamental misconception - Davidge, and by the same logic, we who watch the movie through his eyes and accept what he says as true, cannot but escape the human perspective and all it entails.

Meet other Reptilian Aliens

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