Characteristics And Inspirations For The UFO “Jean Jacket” In Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope,’ Explained

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Jordan Peele’s “Nope” has not only made a splash at the box office but also become one of the most popular horror movies in the world. After his intensely pragmatic vision of horror in “Get Out” and the doppelgänger skeptical horror of “Us,” “Nope” is interpreted as an alien-conceptual UFO-centric thriller that Jordan has captured with his IMAX lenses. However, Jordan doesn’t limit himself by showing aliens, but his mastermind storytelling and uncanny intimidation depict the flying phenomena as a larger, exotic, and ferocious carnivorous creature that made the Haywood Ranch his feast. Emerald, motivated to expose the UFO, names it after her beloved horse, “Jean Jacket,” by which the creature is best known.

Spoilers Ahead


An Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) “Jean Jacket”

Jean Jacket’s bloodshed begins with the untimely death of OJ’s father, Otis Haywood. Pointy objects rain down from the sky and injure him, which awakens the idea of the “Bad Miracle” in OJ’s mind. But this monstrous object in the sky first catches OJ’s attention when almost all the horses at the Ranch begin to fall victim to it one by one. OJ and Emerald hypothesize the existence of UFOs. In this regard, Emerald desperately wants to film the UFO exposure, which will give them both fame and money. OJ and Emerald, with the help of Angel, put the camera on the roof of the house, and Angel catches, in a time-lapse video, a cloud standing still among all the floating clouds in the sky.

They concluded that there was a UFO hidden inside these clouds. The discussion brings up the name of the UAP, which stands for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, as OJ believes it is a life-devouring creature that has taken over the skies of the Ranch in search of readily available food. OJ becomes more convinced when the beast engulfs all the theme park visitors, including Ricky Park. OJ survives for hiding himself. Later that night, when the flying beast hovers over OJ’s house, many people are heard screaming from inside. That means it has not yet consumed the people, but it is digesting the flesh and regurgitating the waste material over the house. OJ’s house is seen blood bathed in a flash of lightning. Even with the appearance of the beast, the weather is changing, and electricity is being destroyed. Haywood’s siblings and Angel understand that this is not an ordinary mechanical flying saucer but a strange creature from a different dimension or planet that will devour all the lives present on the Ranch. But OJ perceives  its limitations. He realizes that the creature considers eye contact dominating, causing each of the victims to become the meal when they look into its eyes. So they have to avoid eye contact to escape from it.

After Jean Jacket’s rampage throughout the episodes of OJ and Emerald’s survival, we see its true form. This appearance takes a terrifying form by exposing the eye zone to various layers. While OJ is driving Jean Jacket away, Emerald releases one of the theme park’s giant helium balloons into the sky, which naturally catches Jean Jacket’s attention. Jean Jacket is a creature from another planet but has less intelligence than a human, causing it to swallow the balloon and blast itself with a huge explosive sound.


Jean Jacket Mechanism and Characteristics

Jordan Peele’s alien concept permeates the fear-mongering story on screen. While the predator beast “Jean Jacket” is a figment of Jordan’s imagination, still its presentation is highly scientific and logical. Just as this alien creature unleashes its ferocious side, eventually it has to be caught in the web of human intelligence. The basic speculation says that it has come from a different planet or dimension, but it behaves like a regular carnivore. It takes over the region’s skies, not seeing Haywood Ranch’s lack of food. It even traps the ranch horses with its decoy using a rope-like structure with colored flaps on it. Jean Jacket is discoid, which makes it look like a flying saucer, but we have seen a closer view when its eye and electrostatic lift organs are shown. It captures its prey by generating air-current movement and swallows them like a snake. While swallowing the food, the flesh gets squished due to the narrowing of the walls, and only soft tissues get devoured while the undigested parts are regurgitated, as we have seen, it is blood bathing OJ’s house and throwing up the metal substances. Like other wild animals, it hides its existence and hunts in secret. Jean Jacket feels dominated and aggressively attacks when it sees the prey in its eyes. But if one avoids eye contact, Jean Jacket rewards them with life, not understanding the victim’s instinct. 

All these qualities we find in any common wild animal. But one of the distinctive abilities of the Jean Jacket is the disruption of electricity. Likely, the air current movement it creates for hunting and the preservation of that tremendous energy enables it to cause localized electrical damage, which further provokes the story’s ominous circumstances. However, the Jean Jacket is a silent animal with no screeching or roaring, but the intimidating part is the screams of prey when it is chewing them. Finally, the Jean Jacket wraps his clothes like tentacles around the sky like an octopus. We also see many layers of its eye organ being exposed, which might have the ability to hypnotize the victim in some way so that it can easily seize them. However, it is doubtful whether it can smell blood or flesh like other wild animals; as Emerald throws the balloon to distract Jean Jacket, it engulfs the balloon, causing itself to explode and die.


Inspirations For “Jean Jacket”

In an interview, Jordan Peele revealed the inspiration for the alien UFO was the Navy Pilots Dave Fravor and Alex Dietrich’s first encounter with a UFO while they were flying over the Pacific Ocean in November 2004. As we can already say, Gordy is the cinematic version of “Travis the chimp.” In the same way, the Navy Pilots’ first UFO encounter is the basis for Jordan’s “Jean Jacket.” However, Jordan Peele doesn’t disclose much, but his movies are a topic of discussion in his fandom, from which many theories are derived. According to some fan theories, the structural and natural characteristics of Jean Jacket can be inspired by many interesting things that are-

First of all, as Jordan Peele liked a tweet on Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) on Twitter, fans started speculating about the structural similarities between his Jean Jacket and the Evangelion’s 10th Angel named “Sahaquiel.” Many fan speculations say Jean Jacket’s natural and structural traits are derived from the HP Lovecraftian monster “Flying Polyps.” Both Jean Jacket and Flying Polyps don’t like to be noticed, and if they are, they violently attack the victim. Flying Polyps are alien monsters that can change the climate and their size as well.

Many biblical references are shown in the movie “Nope,” including the Prophet Nahum’s quote, “And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a spectacle,” which indicates Jean Jacket’s massive destruction of the world without sparing humanity. So it might be a possibility that biblical monsters like the swallowing beast “The Giant Leviathan” inspired Jordan Peele’s Jean Jacket. The Leviathan used to swallow its prey and send them to another dimension. Although Jean Jacket might not send them to a different dimension, he is definitely from another dimension whose expanding structures resemble a sea monster like the “Leviathan.” 

Last but not the least, it is a very common theory that Jean Jacket is visibly inspired by marine creatures like jellyfish, squids, and octopuses. In particular, in the ending scene, when Jean Jacket takes its true form, as if we see an octopus flying in the sky. These sea animals also hypnotize and change their structure to imitate to catch their prey which are familiar traits of Jean jacket. 

Jordan Peele’s fictional picture of Jean Jacket is entirely reasonable. He doesn’t only unreasonably blend his imagination with scary reality, but his previous films, including Nope, have always highlighted his hard work and research. His out-of-the-box storytelling style in “Nope” is both gruesome and elucidated at the same time, which will not deny Jordan’s contribution to the path-breaking style of horror films.


See More: ‘Nope’ Ending, Explained: Is O.J. Haywood Able To Get Rid Of The UFO? Does Emerald Get Her “Opera Shot”?


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami is an artist and an aspiring screenwriter both by profession and passion. Apart from writing stories, poems and songs, studying cinema is her obsession. She is also a freelance painter yet it is the world of cinema that fascinates her the most.

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