Just one day from its release, Alien: Covenant has racked up an amazing amount of hype with its clever marketing campaign, intriguing trailers and connection to a franchise we all love.
The most important aspect, however, is that the film is a direct sequel to Prometheus, as well as the second prequel within the wider Alien saga. Whilst the marketing campaign has been careful not to reveal too much (and for the better, since we can’t wait to see what surprises are ahead), let’s go through the connections that have been established between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.
WARNING: CONTAINS PROMETHEUS SPOILERS!
The return of David and Doctor Shaw
Prometheus left off with surviving characters Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and android David (Michael Fassbender) leaving the planet LV-223. Their quest: to find out why the Engineers (an alien race responsible for the creation of mankind) wanted to destroy humanity.
The trailers and prologue movie for Covenant confirm that Rapace and Fassbender still have a part to play, revealing Shaw in stasis as David (apparently) prepares to drop a payload of the Engineers' own weapons upon them. (More on which, momentarily.)
Fassbender is also playing another android, Walter, who, like David, is created by the Weyland corporation. Even though one would think they’d act the same since they are synthetics, it’s said that the two characters are very different from each other, Walter's emotional capabilities more limited than those of his predecessor.
The return of the Xenomorph
At the end of Prometheus an impregnated Engineer gave birth to a quasi-Alien known as the Deacon, not quite the creature that we recognise from the other movies. The trailer for Covenant however shows the new crew encountering the classic Xenomorph on an uncharted planet that is referred to as ‘paradise’.
This shows that Covenant is going back to the roots of the series: while Prometheus told an interesting side-story to the original Alien, exploring the creation of mankind, this latest movie looks set to revisit the terrifying aliens that we all know and love.
The return of Ridley Scott
With Prometheus esteemed director Scott (also responsible for classics Blade Runner and Gladiator) returned to the Alien franchise for the first time since he kickstarted the series back in 1979.
Prometheus was visually stunning with excellent production design and special effects, and we have no doubt Scott will pull off an equally impressive sequel. Given he has more knowledge about the Alien franchise than anyone else in cinema, Scott is definitely the perfect choice to helm Covenant.
As mentioned, Elizabeth Shaw and David are set to return for Alien: Covenant, and a couple of weeks ago a prologue, 'The Crossing', was released continuing the journey of these two characters.
After David is decapitated and Shaw escapes the Engineer, the pair board the Engineer’s spaceship to head off in search of the source of mankind. Shaw re-attaches David's head and he then puts her in hypersleep. The spaceship then arrives at the Engineers' home planet as David recites the ‘Ozymandias’ poem: "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair".
Could this mean that David is the creator, or that he’s set to destroy an entire race of people? Also, the theme of the ‘Ozymandias’ poem is the ‘inevitable decline of all leaders’ – could this be a reference to the death of the Engineer in Prometheus?
Was David an android that wanted to be a creator, like the Engineers and the humans that built him? Or does he consider himself a master of destruction? We can’t wait to see the answers to some of these questions.
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Jake Gibbard is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.