Tally up the body count, check behind the sofa, and count the box office takings, because Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant is finally in cinemas. Some 38 years after the sci-fi maestro introduced us to Xenomorphs, chestbursters, facehuggers, and its own encyclopedia of outer space nasties, Scott is back for his second in the Alien prequel series.
2012’s Prometheus divided critics, but now Covenant picks up the various loose ends and ties them to the tail of a ravenous new breed of alien. While we move one step closer to the events of 1979’s Alien, Covenant will still leave you hungry for more and a slew of questions that are burning still burning in your mind.
As Scott attempts to expand the history of the series and chart some bloody new waters, Covenant gives us an intelligent look at the creation of the Alien race and even has us questioning our own place in the galaxy.
Covenant is more puzzling than your average trip into the cosmos, so whether it be why all the final girls have to wear tank tops in this series, or why we swapped good old-fashioned animatronics for sketchy CGI, there is more than enough to chew over after the credits roll.
With this in mind, here are 15 Burning Questions We Have After Alien: Covenant.
15 How Many Species Of Alien Are There?
So, as Michael Fassbender's David put on his creator's hat to craft the film’s veritable zoo of beasts, just what is next? 2012’s Prometheus introduced us to the pointy-headed Deacon (more on him later) as well as the giant squid-like facehugger.
This time around, we got the albino Neomorphs and the long-fingered Protomorph, which all moved us one step closer to the classic Xenomorph from 1979’s Alien. It was the pale Neomorph that was arguably the scariest iteration of the beasts since we saw a Xeno pop out of John Hurt, but it met a quick and sticky demise thanks to Billy Crudup’s Oram.
Whether or not either species will return for the next installment, Scott is clearly expanding his Alien encyclopedia and it begs the question: how many different alien species are there out there? Back in the days of Ripley we only had facehuggers, the Xenomorph drones, and the queen to deal with. Nowadays you can’t move for being assaulted by Neo, Proto, or Xenomorphs.
14 Where Is The Deacon?
So, after Shaw’s bouncing baby Trilobite was trapped in the medibay of Meredith Vickers’ bachelorette pad, it looked like Rapace's hardened heroine would fall victim to the Engineer. However, if you remember the close of Prometheus, the attacking Engineer got a taste of his own medicine from the giant facehugger and found himself impregnated with its offspring.
Prometheus had the brilliant post-credit scene of the deceased Engineer popping out his own form of the Xenomorph that was dubbed the "Deacon." There were theories that it escaped Vickers’ lifeboat in time to sneak aboard the Juggernaut ship that we see in Covenant, but there was no sign of it during the latest film.
So, is the lonely alien still pottering around on LV-223 among the wreckage of Prometheus? It is implied that a mutated form of the Deacon is around in the events of the comic book Prometheus: Fire and Stone - Omega, but as not official canon, it is yet to make an appearance in the films.
Interestingly, the viral marketing website for Covenant gives you a detailed explanation of the Deacon if you enter the right code word, but it still offers no details on the alien’s fate.
13 How Did Elizabeth Repair David?
It appears that you really can be too nice for your own good, especially in an outer space sci-fi horror. It was tragedy that struck when Noomi Rapace’s Dr. Elizabeth Shaw met the ending that we all thought she would and became David’s pet project.
Ironically, Shaw became the tool of her own demise by giving this psycho bot a new lease of life. As the duo blasted off at the end of Prometheus, David was slightly worse for wear, having his head ripped from his shoulders and then used to beat his creator to death.
However, David was back in full working order and in dire need of some hair dye when the Covenant crew caught up with him 10 years later. While David revealed that Shaw had repaired him, he remained sketchy on just how she mastered such a feat. Shaw was an archeologist by trade, but the Covenant prologue shows her happily tinkering away on David. Stuck on a flying alien ship, just where did she get the knowledge and tools to fix her friend-turned-foe?
12 Is MU-TH-UR The Same Computer From Alien?
In a nod back to Scott’s first flight into Alien lore, Covenant brought back a minor (but equally important) character from 1979. A Tennessee and Daniels-filled promo reintroduced MU-TH-UR - the ship’s computer from the doomed Nostromo.
MU-TH-UR of Covenant was much more of an ally than the antagonistic AI we met in Scott’s original. Our new/old version was seen doling out friendly advice, weather forecasts, and the location of the titular aliens. However, will the computer we meet in Covenant go on to be the MU-TH-UR 6000 that helps Ash enact Order 937?
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s maligned Alien: Resurrection had the USM Auriga piloted by a computer called “Father,” so we know that there are other models out there. Also, if it was the very same operating system but uploaded to the Nostromo, it might explain why MU-TH-UR in 1979 was so knowledgeable about the Xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani’s real motives.
11 How Did The Scan Miss The Engineer Homeworld?
Apart from the blatant disregard for human life and lax safety procedures, Covenant's colony journey seemed to be pretty well thought out. After years of scanning the unknown solar system, Weyland Industries settled on Origae-6 as the mission’s last stop and the next place to set up shop.
If it took you so long to painstakingly search for the right place, how did you miss the giant planet that was even closer and had a habitable atmosphere? More to the point, the Covenant planet was by no means small and seemed to be around the size of Earth (if not bigger). Also, although it was deserted by the time we arrive, it was at one point teeming with signs of life!
What’s more, Dr. Shaw had been sending out her garbled rendition of “Country Road” for the past 10 years, making it even easier to spot the planet in the vast emptiness of space. Perhaps the only solution is that the Engineers had mastered some form of cloaking system. After all, we did see that Shaw use the Engineers' ship’s navigational system to map her way to their world at the end of Prometheus.
10 How Did The Neomorphs Grow So Quickly?
As the younger brother of the Xenomorphs, those toothy Neomorphs made light work of the Covenant crew. The superb “backburster scene” was our first look at the latest in genetic modification and a teeny little Neomorph made its first steps into the world.
The bleached baby made light work of Carmen Ejogo’s Karine, then soon moved on to poor Faris, while out in the wheat fields it was already flexing its muscles before anyone could realize what was going on. It is a well-established gripe that the Xenomorphs from Alien and beyond grow quickly, but the Neomorphs really took the cake.
By the time we catch up with the remaining Covenant crew, the Neos look to be full sized. Maybe there is something in the water, but that is one hell of a growth spurt. When the alien makes its way into David’s sanctuary, we see an adult Neomorph standing much taller than a human and gleefully decapitating Rosenthal.
It may have just been to keep the pace of the film moving, but it felt like we missed out on those terrible twos and went straight for the testosterone teens of the Neomorphs.
9 Why Don't The Aliens Kill David?
While the aliens in Covenant played second fiddle to the real villain, David, we still saw the creatures take out their rage on the crew. We see that somehow, David has survived the past 10 years relatively free from the stresses of murderous alien hybrids, allowing him to focus his efforts on creation rather than survival.
David has become the de facto alien whisperer and escapes their murderous ways. As the Covenant survivors enter his sanctuary, he reassures them that they are safe here. So, what is David’s skill at surviving the bloodthirsty horrors?
You can’t even use the excuse that he is synthetic, because as the likes of Aliens and Alien3 have shown us, the monsters aren’t fussy when it comes to killing robots and humans alike. Perhaps they can sense that he is their creator and have some God-like allegiance to the mechanical maniac.
8 Why Did Covenant Leave Earth?
Set in the year 2104, Scott’s latest film isn’t actually set too far into the future, but the entire purpose of the Covenant mission still remains a mystery. We see the crew of loved-up pairs and the 2,000+ civilians stored in the deep freeze, but why are they heading to Origae-6?
The far-off planet seems like a long way to go for just a simple colony mission, implying that there must be some imperative for Weyland-Yutani sending them there. The fact that we see terraforming machines onboard implies that the crew was in it for the long run and it was likely a one-way mission.
If you remember the end of Alien: Resurrection, Ripley and her band of survivors finally land on a wrecked version of Earth. It is clear that life is still ticking along on our little 3rd rock from the sun, but it looks like a pretty desolate place. Was the intent of Covenant to find a new world for the entire human race to inhabit? Scott could certainly use the future of the franchise to rally some political message on recycling and the state of the planet.
7 Is Origae-6 Actually LV-426?
Another big mystery is the actual planet of Origae-6 itself. It may have been the destination of Covenant, but we all know that the ship hasn't made it yet... yet. It is still far enough away that the survivors have to head back into those temperamental cryo-sleep chambers, but just where is it?
Looking at Covenant, the planet that we spend our runtime on is affectionately called “Paradise" and looks a million miles away from the LV-426 we have known since 1979. The entire Alien franchise has depicted LV-426 as some grey, barren, land that is wracked with storms. Remembering Aliens, Hadley’s Hope seemed to be doing just fine on LV-426 until the colonists discovered the original Xenomorph haunt, but there was no mention of a Covenant mission prior to the events of Alien.
Given the final scene, if Paradise isn’t LV-426, David could certainly be piloting Covenant there himself. The biggest hint toward the two planets being the same is that we haven’t actually seen Origae-6 yet, however, we will have a bit of a wait until we find out.
6 Where Do Alien Queens Come From?
Although Covenant gave us some new species to ponder, there wasn’t even a sketch of an Alien Queen in David’s grungy lab. It may not be from the mind of Ridley Scott, but James Cameron’s Aliens upped the ante, and similar to Covenant, gave us more than just one of the carnivorous critters.
Aliens took more of a beehive approach and introduced the drone Xenomorphs as well as the Queen. We have already seen David tinker with genetics, so the Queens could be just another result of his experiments, or they might not exist at all. Scott has recently spoken out on the Xenos being hermaphrodites, which also begs the question: Where do Alien Queens come from?”
Worryingly, Scott may have completely retconned anything beyond his original film. Covenant shows the eggs come from his gene-splicing and the unfortunate demise of Shaw, with no egg-laying Queen in sight. It is hard to imagine the ongoing franchise without the super-sized Queen, but maybe that is where we are heading.
5 Is Walter Really Dead?
In opposing parts as the nefarious David and the lovable Walter, Fassbender did a stand-up job of differentiating between the two robots.
For a while, we may have feared that the brunet Walter was going to go down the Ash/David route and also be a villain, but her remained a hero til the end. After an all-too-early send off in David’s lair, there was thankfully some miraculous resurrection as Weyland's latest model, which meant that Walter returned just in time to rescue Daniels and Lope.
However, after another bot bust-up it seemed that the one-armed Walter was bested (again) off-screen, leading David to practice his doppelgänger skills and infiltrate the Covenant ship. The twist that Walter was David may have been clearly signposted, but does this mean Walter is really dead?
If Hollywood has taught us anything, if you don’t see a body, never assume they are actually dead. For all we know, a one-armed Walter is still pottering on Paradise in the remnants of David’s lab and maybe even concocting his own dastardly plan.
4 How Did MU-TH-UR Not Detect David?
As MU-TH-UR alerted the crew that there was an unknown life form aboard, it looked like David’s gig could be up. However, it turned out that the ship’s computer had actually detected the Protomorph that had burst out of Lope and David was free to continue undercover.
Arguably the highlight of the film, we watched Tennessee and Daniels stalked through the bowels of the ship and lure the alien to its death with the help of an unwilling David. So, presumably knowing that David was not Walter, why did MU-TH-UR not warn Daniels? Scanning everyone on board, the intelligent computer would surely have known that it was just Fassbender putting on a different accent and not Walter the friendly robot.
At the end, we see David use his security access to enter the hold of fetuses and fresh souls for mutation. It could suggest that David may have some higher Weyland security back from his days playing Weyland Jr., so perhaps MU-TH-UR was in cahoots with him all along.
3 How Did The Eggs End Up On The Ship In The Original Alien?
Even if Scott did retcon everything after Alien, he has also created a seemingly huge plot hole for his original adventure. We saw the bold move of David wiping out the entire Engineers species part way through Covenant, so how did a fresh clutch of Xeno eggs make it onto the Space Jockey ship back in 1979's film?
There is that iconic imagery of the Nostromo crew exploring the derelict on LV-426 and Kane getting a face mask from the very first facehugger we met. So, if David wiped out the Engineers after Prometheus and introduced the facehuggers in 2104, it would be impossible for the eggs end up on the Juggernaut that Ripley and co. discover.
Given that the plot hole has gathered such attention since the film’s release, it will presumably be something that Scott must discuss in the coming sequels. Perhaps some Engineers survived and will cross paths with us again, or perhaps more interestingly, it isn’t an Engineer in that famous pilot seat. Daniels, David, Tennessee? Place your bets now on who is behind that Space Jockey mask.
2 Is Daniels Really Ripley's Mother?
Let’s move onto Katherine Waterston’s Daniels; the cautious, lovable, and feisty final girl of Covenant who butted heads with the aliens and David.
One of the biggest rumors prior to Covenant was that Daniels could actually be related to Ripley or even be the mother of our screen legend. It was an idea that wasn’t even alluded to during the film, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t gone away. We saw a mourning Daniels pack away the possessions of James Franco’s Branson and they could've easily donated one of the frozen embryos on board.
There are 20 years until the events of Alien, and Weaver was around 30 at the time of filming. Even though the timelines don’t quite marry up, it could still work as one of the best Easter eggs ever. Either way, here's hoping that Daniels’ trip into the cryo-tube won’t lead to another lackluster hero’s death off-screen (RIP Shaw). Let's be honest, the ongoing franchise is in dire need of another powerful heroine in Weaver's absence.
1 Where Will The Sequel Fit?
Whichever way you look at it, Alien: Covenant will almost certainly be seen as superior to Prometheus. As we tie closer to Alien, the pieces of Scott’s puzzle are starting to come together - it is just a shame we have had to wait nearly four decades for it.
With Scott teasing that he could direct Alien movies forever, there are no plans to wind up the franchise just yet. Continuing the tale of the Covenant ship, or taking a side tangent, he really could carry on the lore of LV-426 forever.
As Scott queues up his next film, we will undoubtedly be guessing where the story goes next. The director recently said the order would go, “Prometheus, Awakening, Covenant,” and while he has since implied it was a slip of the tongue, it has lead some to believe that his next Alien film will come between his two prequels.
It would certainly be more confusing that the convoluted X-Men timeline and we don’t know where the story would take us, but the Alien films have never been that bothered about stepping on each other’s toes have they?
Which burning Alien: Covenant question do you demand the answer to? Sound off in the comments below!