The MXOV-801, designated "Black Boa", is a spacecraft in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The craft is assigned for and piloted by Doctor Aki Ross to assist in her travels around the Phantom-infested Earth.
Built as a large-scale transportation shuttle, the MXOV-801 was originally made for use in the construction of a space station for human habitation. However, due to the war between the USMF and the Phantoms, the construction project was suspended and only one shuttle was finished. The construction of the Zeus Cannon and the subsequent smaller MXOV-600 series shuttles also made the project obsolete.
When the MXOV-500 series environmental research aircrafts were retired from military use, the United States Military Force obtained the MXOV-801, outfit it with a scan radar system and changed its role from a transport craft to a reconnaissance craft, codenamed the "Black Boa". The Black Boa would then see itself assigned for use as a research craft for Dr. Aki Ross. Its cargo compartment holds the Quatro, which is a quad-axel, all-terrain rover.
The Black Boa's first appearance in the movie is as it drifts on autopilot in space while Aki uses its sensor equipment to find the sixth spirit. After which she pilots the craft into the atmosphere, landing in the New York City wasteland where she went in search of the spirit. Aki would later be found and rescued by a Deep Eye squad and the Black Boa would be taken into the custody of the USMF in the New York Barrier City.
The ship remains detained until Aki, Dr. Sid, and the Deep Eyes squad attempt to escape the New York Barrier city as the city falls victim to a Phantom attack. The Black Boa was launched but at the cost of Neil, Jane, and Ryan's lives. Safely in space the three survivors (Aki, Dr. Sid, and Gray) search for the final spirit, locating it in the Leonid Meteor in the Middle East where, using one of the Boa's survey craft, Gray and Aki entered to retrieve the last spirit and complete the wave to counter the Phantoms before the Zeus Cannon destroyed Gaia.
Behind the scenes
Like every other flying vehicle in the film, the Black Boa's layout is that of an eagle in flight.
The serial number 102171 that is found on the side of the Black Boa is the birth date of one of the artists who designed and textured the ship.
Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, references the Black Boa in his game Lost Odyssey. A large seafaring vessel, the White Boa serves as an integral part of the game's plot.
The Black Boa was originally used as a large-scale transportation shuttle to be used in the construction of the habitable space station 'Olympus'.
Design cues for the Boa were taken from the NASA X38 International Space Station Crew Return Vehicle while the design aesthetic of the Boa cockpit is a combination of the Space Shuttle and a 747 cockpit.