Firstly, if you’re in here, I presume you don’t mind *Spoilers*, and by *Spoilers* I do mean HUGE ones, for the entire Alien universe. Herein lie *Major Spoilers* for Alien: Covenant, and beyond.
Secondly, I kinda sorta have to say, “Told you so”, but we’ll get to that in a few.
Appearing at SXSW this past weekend, Ridley Scott — along with Covenant cast members, Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender and Danny McBride — screened three clips, two of which featured some pretty heavy and familiar-sounding violence involving the Covenant crew and our old friends, those pesky xenomorphs. You can read very detailed synopses of the clips here. There are twists on familiar scenes from past Alien outings and reading through, you might begin to get the feeling it’s all retread; we’ve seen this before, but what the hell — we love our Alien movies, right?
The third clip, though; holy, the third clip. I’m very surprised Sir Scott would let out such a huge secret at a preview, knowing the information would immediately spread across the webosphere like, well, like a cave room full of hatching xeno-eggs, speaking of …
Here come the huge *Spoilers* (Covenant, Prometheus, etc). This is your last chance to get out.
The final clip featured Billy Crudup’s first mate, Christopher Oram meeting with Fassbender’s David (that’s David from Prometheus; not the newer model, Walter). I’m sure you remember David’s intense interest in the black goo he recovered back on LV-223, and subsequently infected Holloway with, leading to Elizabeth Shaw’s “pregnancy”. Such a curious android, that David, isn’t he?
David tells Oram that he’s been studying the xenomorph; “become something of an amateur zoologist” and discusses his studies, dissected xenocritters on display. Leading Oram into a “subterranean chamber” that sounds much like the cave area where Prometheus’ Millburn and Fifield found the cylindrical chambers that held the snakelike critters who led to their untimely ends, David shows Oram the alien eggs he’s been experimenting with … assures him they’re “perfectly safe”. When Oram asks the particular status of the eggs, David says, “They’re waiting for mother“.
Yep, as you might have guessed, poor Oram leans over one of those nasty things, it starts doing that wiggly percolating thing we all know will not end in a good cup of coffee, and everybody stop — it’s facehugger time. We saw a tiny bit of this footage in the Covenant trailer.
What Ridley seems to be implying from the footage is that David’s experiments ultimately led to the events in Alien proper, and that David’s genetic mutations resulted in that particular xenomorph version.
Didn’t I tell you the bots would kill us all?
While this bit of spoilerish information is very interesting and feels like a twist, it only leaves me with more questions about Prometheus, during which we saw several familiar incarnations of the xenomorphs. What we’d hope is yet to be made clear through Covenant, and perhaps explains why Scott didn’t mind sharing what feels like a huge reveal, is: exactly how much and in what way did David’s interventions affect the xenomorph’s lifecycle?
Since Covenant‘s Walter is purportedly the updated model of David, I wonder if David actually calls (through a shared programming/network/inherent connection) Walter, in effect to bring a whole colony of humans to the paradise-like Covenant planet, with the intention of further mutations spreading the xenomorph throughout the galaxy? Do David and Walter collaborate to end humanity? I still want to understand these photos, and this screenshot from the trailer:
Meanwhile, Ridley did squash that fun rumored connection to his original film; Waterston’s character, Daniels, is not related to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. When the question arose at some point during production, Scott told a SXSW roundtable group:
Should she be the daughter of Ripley? I said, ‘No She’s herself.”
(Presumably, the director meant to say “mother” instead of daughter.)
Alien: Covenant hits theaters May 19th.