Alien: Covenant Trailer #2 Breakdown & Analysis

Xenomorph in Alien Covenant

Just as hype for Logan reaches a fever pitch, Fox is gearing up for the next R-rated franchise film to come out. A second trailer for Alien: Covenantthe third film from director Ridley Scott in the Alien franchise, was released ahead of Logan's wide release, no doubt meaning the trailer will be attached to the film. Filled with mayhem, terror, and one angry alien, this trailer promises a bloodbath and a frighteningly good time. It also teases the answers to questions left over by Prometheus, the latest release in the franchise.

Prometheus left fans and audiences divided, yet Fox feels confident enough to give Alien: Covenant a prime May release date. Has Scott returned to the former glory of the first Alien? Based on the visuals and teases in this trailer, our answer is yes. Here is our trailer breakdown for Alien: Covenant.

Where is James Franco?

Alien: Covenant cast photo with James Franco

Despite appearing in the prologue film The Last Supper,  James Franco has yet to make an appearance in either of the film’s trailers. The Last Supper sees Franco’s character Branson, who is referred to as the captain, excusing himself from the festivities due to an illness. However in this trailer, Daniels (Katherine Waterson) refers to the character played by Billy Crudup as “captain.” That does not bode well for Branson.

This film will no doubt be a bloodbath, but the change in rank might point to Franco’s character being the first to die, though most likely not at the hands of a Neomorph. Could some space sickness wipe him out before the ship makes landfall? Or will Franco’s character be critical to the plot in some way, which is why the marketing team is concealing him until the film is released?

Signs of Life...or Lack Thereof

Alien Covenant - Sergeant Lope inspects wheat

When the crew of the Covenant makes landfall on their new home, they’re greeted by a strange sight. Someone has beaten them to the planet, or at least it looks that way by the wheat that they discover already planted there. “What’s the odds of finding human vegetation this far from Earth?” one scientist remarks. Daniels replies, “who planted it?” It seems that the planet they’ve come to colonize might already be someone’s home.

Then again, it might not be. As one of the crew points out, there’s nothing to hear on the planet. “No birds, no animals. Nothing.” That sets up a chilling atmosphere for the rest of the trailer, as well as heightens the mystery of the new planet. As the tagline says, “the path to paradise begins in hell.” This is definitely paradise, which provides the perfect backdrop for the hellish trials the crew will endure.

Elizabeth Shaw’s Fate

Alien Covenant - Elizabeth Shaw's dog tags

The crew soon stumbles upon a massive, crashed ship that viewers will recognize as the Juggernaut from Prometheus. The ship is empty, prompting one scientist to remark “what happened here?” Viewers already know, of course, but we don’t know what has happened to the occupants of the ship. Both scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and android David (Michael Fassbender, also seen as the Covenant’s android Walter) are nowhere to be seen. Daniels discovers a pair of dogtags dangling from part of the ship with the name “Dr. E. Shaw," identifying them as belonging to Elizabeth. That begs the question of what happened to her, and what prompted her to abandon her dog tags. What’s particularly interesting is the audio at this point in the trailer. If you listen closely, it almost sounds like someone is saying “David.” Whether this is a subtle reminder to audiences of who was onboard the ship, or a hint to dialogue yet to come, it’s a chilling way to tease the mystery surrounding the survivors of Prometheus.

Plenty of Body Horror

Alien Covenant - Xenomorph egg

Of course, what would an Alien movie be without aliens attaching themselves to people’s bodies, aliens bursting out of people’s chests, and other gruesome images? Once the action in the trailer really kicks into gear, there are plenty of shots teasing the film’s gorier elements. Crudup is attacked by a face-hugger, and another crew member (whose face is obscured) has something coming out of his spine. Towards the end of the trailer, there’s a shot of what appears to be Crudup’s character writhing around on the ground as something pushes against the inside of his shirt in an homage to the chestbursting alien from the original film.

Scott has already promised that the film will more than earn it’s R rating, and a red band trailer that dropped last year showcased the brutality present in the film. It seems as though the franchise is returning to its horror roots, while still building on the mythology that was introduced in Prometheus. The shots of Daniels and company fleeing down the narrow hallways of their spaceship while being pursued by the alien also harken back to the original film, and promise all the thrills and chills of it as well.

The Hooded Figure

Alien Covenant - Hooded figure

One of the most mysterious parts of the trailer involves a hooded figure firing a gun into the air and, later, walking towards a building past what seems to be a field of bodies. The internet has already worked itself into a lather over who the hooded figure might be, with both Shaw and David being the popular guesses. Some theorized that it could be both of them—after all, we don’t see the character’s face, so the hooded figure could easily be two separate characters.

Although Scott himself said early on that Rapace would not be returning for the film (perhaps to keep her return as a surprise), reports later emerged that she would in fact be reprising her role from Prometheus - though she probably won't get a lot of screen time. It is likely that the hooded figure is a returning character from Prometheus - be it David, Shaw, or another yet to be revealed character.

Daniels Channels Her Inner Ripley

Katherine Waterston as Daniels in Alien Covenant

Be it the haircut or the tank top, but it’s hard not to draw parallels between Daniels and the quintessential heroine Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Throughout the trailer, Daniels finds herself pushed to the limit, and yet remains a badass. “Where is it?” She growls, while holding a gun and raring to take action; a few shots later she’s sliding off a space ship will still firing a gun and ready to take on the Neomorph. Clearly, she’s a badass, and most likely will be the last man standing once the dust has settled.

It’s a tradition of the Alien franchise to have a strong woman at the center of their films. Daniels is merely carrying on the tradition that was started by Ripley and continued by Shaw. Daniels is the perfect heir to Ripley’s crown and will no doubt leave the audiences cheering for her.

The Xenomorph

Xenomorph in Alien Covenant

While the trailer keeps certain elements of the plot shrouded in secrecy, it certainly has no problem showing off the crown jewel of the film. The xenomorph is frightening, fast, and tough as ever, as evidenced by the final shot where it is trying to break into Tennessee's (Danny McBride) cockpit. We see the creature in all it’s frightening, drooling glory. Clearly, the marketing team knows what audiences want to see, and is reassuring them that yes, this Alien film will feature an alien.

However, this leaves us with one big question. If the alien itself is not going to be the big reveal of the movie, what are they keeping a secret? Is it the ultimate fates of Shaw and David, or is there another twist that is being kept hidden? Regardless, this film looks as though it is bringing the horror back to the Alien franchise and keeps the tension level at eleven, all while promising yet another wild ride for fans.

What other moments and revelations did you catch in the trailer? Let us know in the comments!

Next: How Alien: Covenant Connects to Prometheus and Alien

Key Release Dates
  • Alien: Covenant (2017) release date: May 19, 2017
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