Alien Covenant (2017) – Teaser

Outlook: Promising 

My apologies for not reviewing Alien Covenant’s trailer sooner. The trailer, like the series’ titular monster, appeared innocuously over the Christmas break, only to emerge from hiding when it is far too late.

The dictionary defines a covenant as ‘a promise’. The word itself brings forth biblical connotations of both God’s promise to protect the Israelites if they were faithful to him, and God’s promise to Noah to no longer harm human life once the flood subsided.

Ridley Scott’s choice of Alien Covenant instead of Prometheus 2 must have been deliberate, especially as Prometheus is the titular myth where an act of theft creates humanity. Scott’s sci-fi works explore the relationship between creator and created. They challenge the belief that humanity has value over other life because we were purposefully created. In Scott’s Prometheus,  humanity is created by another race, but never clarifies why we were created. It only reveals that our creators decided to destroy us.

Hopefully, Alien Covenant will reveal why the ‘Gods’ from Prometheus created humanity. It would be interesting if the choice of ‘covenant’ does relate back to God’s promise to Noah, to learn why our creators reneged on their attempt to destroy us. Hopefully, Scott will depict humanity as an experiment gone awry that spread like a virus, just like the alien.

The new trailer for Alien Covenant mixes together Prometheus and Alien but adds new elements too. The space crew panic through dimly lit and claustrophobic corridors, just like the crew of the Nostromo. The rejected pleas of one crewmember to be released from a medical room was reminiscent of Ripley’s refusal in Alien to let the scouting team back aboard the Nostromo. The crew encounter both the parasite virus from Prometheus, and the iconic facehugger from Alien. What a great combination.

Fassbender returns from Prometheus, but he is not the same David android. His hair is brown not blone, indicating that he is a newer model. Curiously, the new David android seems to be in a similar room to where Peter Weyland, who financed the Prometheus mission, recorded a message for the Prometheus crew. Covenant ties to Prometheus in less obvious ways. Katherine Waterston’s character finds what is probably Elizabeth Shaw’s dog-tag in a ruined alien spacecraft. The armed and cloaked figure at 1.31 is either Shaw, or the older David model, having somehow crafted a new body.

Danny McBride has been one of my favourite actors since Easbound and Down. I am looking forward to seeing him perform in a more serious film, and go beyond comedic relief. Katherine Waterson will hopefully veer away from the type of helpless damsel she has played in both Inherent Vice and Fantastic beasts and where to find them. Hopefully, working with Ridley Scott has realised Waterson’s potential, which I have witnessed in brief flashes in other films. Fassbender was great as the android in Prometheus. I expect he will deliver another great performance in this role.

I do have some gripes with the amount of plot that the trailer revealed. Especially in terms of Danny McBride’s death by the alien and the infection of one other crewmember by the virus which appeared in Prometheus.

Finally, I would love it if the original David android, has lured the crew in Alien: Covenant to this new planet. David’s motive would be to send the alien to earth, thereby enacting revenge on humanity, which David laments created him for no reason in Prometheus.

By Saul Shimmin

For the trailer, see below:

 

 

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