We need that third Alien prequel. Ridley Scott's Alien-turned-Prometheus movies have proven divisive among fans and critics, but the visionary director should be allowed to wrap up the ambiguous saga of David 8.
Movie fans the world over were undeniably excited when it was first announced Ridley Scott was returning to the Alien franchise for a prequel. The director had been away from both the Alien series and the sci-fi genre for over 3 decades, and the proposed prequel would finally give him the chance to explore the backstory of the Space Jockey from the original. The original script was dubbed Alien: Engineers and followed a team of scientists exploring a planet that holds the key to the origins of humanity.
Engineers was straight up Alien movie, featuring the origins of eggs, facehuggers and new variations on the classic Xenomorph, but during development, things started to shift. Damon Lindelof (Lost) was brought on to rewrite Jon Spaiht's script and shape it into more of a spinoff, removing the classic monsters and focusing instead on the Engineers and their plans for mankind. There was confusion leading up the release of Prometheus about its connections to the series, and while there was a nod to H.R. Giger's Xenomorph design with the Deacon creature in the final scene, the movie made it clear that while it shared DNA with Alien, it was charting a new course.
While Prometheus was a sizable hit, there was a critical backlash, focused on the messy screenplay and numerous plotholes, as well as the shift away from classic Alien tropes too. Of course, others loved that it was big budget sci-fi movie asking some pretty interesting questions. The movie also introduced the android David 8, played by Michael Fassbender - a clear favorite. The follow-up, Alien: Covenant, was partly a response to the Prometheus backlash, bringing back the original Xenomorph and imagery, but also making clear David was the new "protagonist" of the series, and the movie ended on a bleak but tantalizing note about the future of the franchise.
The saga of David has been controversial thus far but his story deserves to be completed, which is why Prometheus 3 needs to happen.
What The Alien Prequel Saga Really Is
Prior to Prometheus, whenever Ridley Scott was asked if he'd ever return to the Alien series, he always said the same thing; he wanted to explore the origins of the Space Jockey. The director had always assumed the Alien itself was a weapon designed by this pilot creature and his race, and he was surprised none of the subsequent sequels explored this angle. The original Alien is a B-movie premise elevated by the talent of the cast and crew, but Scott was never going to be tempted back to the series if it was going to be another creature chasing new victims through vents and corridors; it needed to be something juicier.
Scott has also been vocal that he believes the beast has "run out," and after years of overexposure through movies, video games and comics it's lost the ability to terrify an audience. He still holds H.R. Giger's design in reverence, but he made it plain when he cut the monster from Prometheus that his prequels weren't going to focus on the creature itself. Instead, the movies are about creation and legacy; the Engineers created mankind but grew disgusted with how they evolved and attempted to wipe them out. Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) also created David, an android who is superior in just about every way to the beings he serves, yet he's treated like a slave, and he grows to hate his masters.
Alien: Covenant continued this theme, revealing David has been experimenting with the Engineer accelerant (aka the black goo) and created life of his own. The two movies are about the complicated relationship between creator and created, god and subject. These are heady sci-fi themes, ones that Scott had previously explored them in Blade Runner and Kingdom Of Heaven. He used the Alien series as a canvas to explore these ideas in a commercial way because these questions go down smoother with the occasional monster attack. This is also the reason some fans have felt let down with the movies; it's Alien, but not as they know it – or want it.
Why We Need The Final Prequel
Even those who don't like Prometheus or Covenant tend to admit David is a fascinating character. Played to icy perfection by Michael Fassbender, he's by turns charming, intelligent, arrogant and vicious. He's a manmade monster who regards his creators with contempt and seeks to transcend his origins. This lead to his experiments with the accelerant, and his quest to create offspring of his own, including - controversy - the Xenomorph.
Alien: Covenant ends with David having taken control of the colony ship, which provides him with over 3,000 human hosts to play with, and at least 7 years to perform more experiments until the ship reaches its destination. Scott has revealed his plan for the third Alien prequel would focus on the world David creates free of mankind, and that the Engineers would come back to seek revenge for his actions. Scott also insisted he wanted to evolve the series away from the Xenomorph and replace the central threat with A.I.'s instead.
Scott's Planet of Dr. Moreau-style concept could be potentially fascinating, and David's ascent to self-made godhood is the natural endpoint for the character. The final prequel also needs to make good on the promise to link to the original Alien, and the origins of the Space Jockey who crash-landed on LV-426. Some convincing fan theories have even claimed David himself become the jockey, and like the Engineers and Weyland before him, he's destroyed by his own creations.
Read More: Alien Trilogy: Is David The Space Jockey?
Scott's Alien prequels have been undeniably messy; character and plot logic are often sacrificed in favor of setpieces or long philosophical speeches, but they've also taken the franchise to rich new areas and expanded the mythology. The David 8 story is the most exciting thing to the happen to the movie franchise in a long time, and both the story and character deserve a fitting sendoff.