Alien: Covenant ^ Explained & Dissected

There is no doubt that Alien: Covenant is one of the best films of 2017 so far. However, as a part of an extended universe, sometimes the film is hard to follow, specially if you never got the chance to see the adventures of Sigourney Weaver and the Xenomorph in the 1980s and the 1990s. And even harder in the case you missed the 2012 Ridley Scott’s feature Prometheus. So, if you needed some answers for the questions you probably asked yourself during the movie, you are in the right post. Get comfortable, because we are going to explain and dissect the lastest installment of the Alien Universe called Alien: Covenant. Spoilers Alert.

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1 ^ Is Alien: Covenant a sequel or a prequel to Alien?

Alien: Covenant is technically the sequel to Prometheus . Both films are prequels to the original series of films starring Sigourney Weaver between 1979 and 1999.

The timeline of the Universe Alien can summarized as it follows:

  • Prometheus takes place in the year 2093 .
  • Alien: Covenant takes place 11 years later, in 2104 .
  • The first film Alien takes place in the year 2124 .
  • The events of Aliens , the second installment, take place in 2183 .
  • The events of Alien 3 , take place in  2184 .
  • And finally, the events of Alien: Resurrection take place in 2434 .

2 ^ What planet does Alien: Covenant take place in?

Alien: Covenant takes place in the fourth planet of an uncharted planetary system, just in the circumstellar habitable zone. Since the planet is located on an uncharted sector, there is no name for it – at least for humans. What is 100% clear is that this planet was the Home Planet for the Engineers, the alien race that created the human race in the Alien Mythos.

3 ^ What happened to David and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw after the events of Prometheus ?

At the end of Prometheus, David and Shaw were heading to the coordinates of the planet of the Engineers. Just as David said, Dr. Shaw repaired him, but before reaching the planet, David probably had to lock Dr. Shaw in order to start the initial phase of his experiments and before releasing the virus on the planet. There is no way that Dr. Shaw would have allowed such a genocide had she been in command.

4 ^ Why did David kill all the Engineers?

David, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, is an incredibly complex character. It is a robot created with the ability to analyze, create and improvise. It’s the closest a robot can be to a human being. However, from day one David creates a bond with his creator Peter Weyland (Guy Pierce), admiring him in a manner similar to humans admire the idea of ​​a Creator. The difference is that if David was facing his creator all the time. And he was able to see how imperfect and flawed his Creator was.

In any case, the relationship between David and his creator, and David and other human beings, scalated to an increasingly antagonistic treat. David causes caution and envy in other humans, because David is -in a way- perfect. David can do most of the things a human being does, with the advantage that he is much stronger, intelligent and durable, to the point that he is considered immortal. The verbal abuse that David was the victim of, both from his creator and other human beings, makes his emotional foundation intensely negative, to the point of developing a visceral desire to destroy the human race.

This desire leads not only to annihilate the Engineers (technically the creators of his creator), but to try to perfect a weapon to end the human race the scariest way possible.

5 ^ Why does the virus David released on the Planet of the Engineers cause different effects to the Black Goo found on LV-223?

In LV-223 those exposed to the virus (black liquid or black goo) suffered an intense change in their genetic structure, to the point that the infected finally gets transformed into a violent creature willing to destroy anything that is across their path. Specially another human being.

However, the version of the virus that David released on Planet Engineer has the ability to create a different organism into the host body. How can this be explained? First of all, David altered the liquid composition of the virus and turned it into a powder able to spread through the planet’s atmosphere. This is, in essence, a more pure version of the virus, a version that alterates the DNA of the host organism to the point that creates a hybrid creature within its body. This hybrid is finally born killing the body where it was conceived by tearing it apart.

It is inferred that the high concentrations of virus decreases the hybrid gestation period and the consequent «birth» to even seconds.  This virus affects only animal species, which could be explained by the fact that the organisms with photosynthetic cells are immune to the virus.

6 ^ Why the virus is in the form of pods on the planet of the Engineers?

One of the first challenges that the crew of the Covenant had to face on the planet of the Engineers was the infection of two of its members. The infection occurred in both cases because the pods where the virus was concentrated were disturbed. But why the virus is found in these pods?

There are several theories about this, the most popular is the virus made a symbiosis with a plant or fungi organism present in the planet. But this theory does not match the statement made by David who said the virus affects only animal organic matter.

Chances are that once exposed to the atmosphere without new organisms to infect, the virus fall into a state of inactivity creating a solid wall around itself with solid organic material generated by the same virus to avoid being degenerated by the atmosphere. Thus ensures that only when an animal accidentally touches the pods the virus gets activated and infects the distuber, as it happened with the crew of the Covenant .

Likewise, the theory that it is the pods form of the virus what generates the Neomoph into the host bodies is also false. This is evidenced by the fact that when David releases the virus on the planet of the Engineers Neomorphs were created immediately on the planet and the virus was in the containers of the ship, not in the form of organic pods.

7 ^ How did David create the Xenomorph?

David was essentially based on what happened with Dr. Shaw in Prometheus . When the virus directly affects a human egg, it creates a facehugger, needing a second organism to gestate a very resilient creature.

In Prometheus, Dr. Shaw got «pregnant» when one of his eggs was fecundated by the infected semen of her partner. The egg eventually created a giant facehugger (the trilobite), which then took an Engineer as a host body to create a creature quite similar to the Xenomorph we all know, the Deacon.

Unlike the Neomorphs, gestated when the virus is in its pure form, the Xenomorph is an incredibly most powerful being. It has an exoskeleton that makes it almost invulnerable. His blood is a powerful acid that destroys anything it touches and even more, has a voracious and insatiable appetite for flesh. Also, the Xenomorph is way smarter.

To reach that level of perfection, David experimented apparently for a long time with Shaw’s eggs and eggs from other creatures until he managed to create facehugger eggs, waiting just for a human host to complete the cycle.

8 ^ Why did the Engineers create the virus?

Why such an advanced race created such a lethal virus? Simple, engineers created life, but they also saw the need to destroy it if that life threatened to destroy the planet they were set on or if they happened to represent danger for engineers. For some reason, engineers also hate humans. And theories are so varied that there is one that explains that Jesus was one of the most prominent Engineers and was killed on a mission to improve the Planet Earth.

9 ^ What happened to all the Neomorphs and animals in the Planet of the Engineers?

As David clearly explained, all the animals on the planet of the Engineers were infected and produced Neomorphs in a very wide range of shapes. This infection spreaded to all forms of animal life, including larvae and eggs. However, after 10 years none of these forms of life is left on the planet. What happened to them?

To answer that, we must understand that engineers created the virus as a biological weapon to wipe planets. They did not intend to create a new species, let alone an Apex Predator permanently inhabitating the planet. So, the life span of these Neomorphs created by the virus can be counted in weeks, at most.

But even if  their life span was longer, the Neomorphs, that feed exclusively on animal organic matter, should have been started eating among themselves, since there was no longer any other food source on the planet. In either case, the extinction must have occurred within the first year that David came to the planet of the Engineers, because 10 years later the only evidence of Neomorphs are the desiccated bodies found on David’s dean.

10 ^ Why did David kiss Walter?

In one of the most controversial scenes of the film, David kisses Walter, also played by Michael Fassbender, saying that nobody will love him more than him. However, rather than an erotic statement, David kisses Walter to confuse him and give him time to turn it off and carry out their plans, including, but not limited, to destroy the human race.

11 ^ When did David took Walter’s place?

In the last scene we saw Walter, he was about to kill David. However, the destructive logic of David could affect the perception of Walter, giving David time to knock him out. In fact, David’s plan seems to have been all the time, attract the Covenant to the planet and impersonating Walter. That is why he cut his hair. To carry out his plan, David did not even had to cut his hand to resemble the other robot, but simply change the memory core from one body to another.

12 ^ If David is a robot, why does his hair grow?

Because David is made from robotic parts covered with organic tissue, skin and hair, for example. Just like The Terminator. This organic tissue is alive and can grow and age. But if we consider how little David’s hair grew in ten years, and how little he aged, we can conclude that this tissue grow and age in a slower rate than it does in humans.

13 ^ What will David do with the bodies of the 2000 colonizers and the 1000 embryos? Where is he taking the Covenant?

Chances are that David wants to use the colonizers as material for multiplying the Xenomorph. Remember that these creatures are unable to reproduce unless you have a queen to lay eggs of facehuggers, and yet, there is no guarantee that they can find a host to gestate the Xenomorph.

What may be true is that David is looking for ways to create a queen who is able to extend the existence of the species. There is no indication in David’s experiments that he has given this ability to the Xenomorph. Yet.

If David can create a Xenomorph Queen in future installments, that would explain why there were eggs in the first movie of Alien.

Any more questions? Doubts? Comments or insults? The comments are open for everyone.

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12 comentarios en “Alien: Covenant ^ Explained & Dissected

  1. How is possible that in the first alien an engineer ship appears? Theoretically the eggs had been created just 20 years before on covenant ship by David himself.

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  2. Hi, I’m doing my research (I love movies thar make me do that!), and your info is the best I’ve found about Covenant but I have a doubt: are the Alien vs Predators movies not cannon to Alien (is there any official voice obout it?)? If they are, how do they fit into the Prometeus/Covenant storyline?

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  3. Hi Carlos,
    Where did the second xenomorph came from? I mean, the have to deal with two xenomorphs, the first one in the planet before they go back to the ship, and the second one already on the ship; the first one came from the captain being facehugged in front of David, but the 2nd one? still wondering…
    Nice post, very good job.
    Thanks for your time.

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  4. hi James (he’s more better known as angry video game nerd) when reviewing all the series of alien film’s said Prometheus isn’t a prequel to alien it’s a film all of it’s own set in the vast alien universe r,scot created and says the planet in promithus can not be the 1 from the 1st alien film as the space jockey which we now know is a engineer is 1000s maybe more years old as he’s fossilized so predating david by a vast amount of time so were have all the eggs in the ship (and there’s alot so at some time there must of been a queen that burst out off the engineers chest as you can clearly see that a xenormorth has burst out of his chest) come from given the age of the ship and as david wasn’t created till some time later when he was supposed to of created the xenormorths so how did they get on the ship other than the engineers were 1st to create the xenormorths and if your thinking at some point david must of gone to that planet and put a queen on that ship why would he the planet hadn’t been teraformad yet for the colonists so as far as david would know it’s a uninhabitable planet with no life and will by all accounts stay that way and he would equally not know the mining ship would pick up the distress call and go and investigate thus starting the event’s in alien sorry to on but this needed to be explained in great detail so would be able to get all the facts and problems to give the answer you think best explains as i can’t even know where to begin thanks and look forward to you giving some answers to all this as good as your other’s

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