Again, we are delving into more Aliens “Expanded Universe” here, but at various points in the Dark Horse comic book series and their eventual novelizations, it is suggested that the “Aliens” were biological weapons created by the Jockeys, and that the one shown in the original movie may have been at best, unlucky, and at worst, a screw up who killed himself on accident.
Ridley Scott himself has gone so far as to say the Jockey was the ship’s pilot, as he saw it, and that the derelict ship was an aircraft carrier or bomber of sorts, that they dropped the alien eggs on other plants for them to wipe out the inhabitants. This coincides with point number two particularly well, because only a giant douche of epic proportions would do something like that.
Okay, so the same stories also suggest that the Space Jockey’s history with the Xenomorphs is more of a victim/murderer one and that the Space Jockeys hate the Aliens because they were almost eradicated by them. This does not mesh well with a ship full of them being piloted by the Jockeys, unless of course the guy in Alien was some sort of Space Jockey Al Qaida on his way to wipe out a city full of his own kind to earn 71 virgin snorkel-faced fat exoskeleton women. Although that is speculation on my part, and no doubt the subject of erotic fan-fic somewhere on the Internet.
The novelization released in 1979, based on an early draft of the screenplay (as most novelizations are), included some interesting tidbits left out of the film version. Apparently, Ash has even more exposition in his “I’m a head on a table and was going to totally feed your asses to the monster” speech, and he describes the Space Jockeys as “noble.”
He didn’t stop there, he also described them as being larger, stronger, and smarter than us, too. He also admired the alien, so maybe Ash wasn’t so much programmed by the company to get an alien specimen, but rather, he just f*cking hated people, seeing as how he apparently liked everyone else better.
Honestly, I’d feed your asses to a goldfish if the opportunity presented itself.