12 QuESTIONS WE HAVE AFTER WATCHING
BY ALEXANDER DEFERT
IF DAVID CREATED THE XENOMORPHS, HOW DID THEY GET TO LV426?
So our favourite Lawrence of Arabia loving android was the one who created the Xenomorphs, and not the Engineers (as we initially had supposed). Right. OK. That actually sounds like a fairly decent plot twist that should reinvigorate the franchise, right? EXCEPT THAT IT MAKES NOT ONE IOTA OF SENSE! The Engineer ship found by Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo a mere 20 years after the events of Alien: Covenant, containing thousands of facehugger holding eggs, had already been chilling on LV 426 for several millennia. So if David made them, how did they make it into the cargo bay of a ship that had already been there for thousands of years, and whose pilot was killed by a chestburster?! Not to mention the fact that Xenomorph carvings were clearly visible in the thousand year old Engineer bio-weapons complex seen in Prometheus.
Now maybe David isn't their creator, but merely re-discovering them (his versions are a little different to the classic H.R Giger terrors), but then we're still left with the question of why the Engineers made them in the first place, as well as how Alien: Covenant is possibly going to narratively link up with the original Alien. How? Who? When? Why? I don't know, you don't know and at this point I'm fairly certain Ridely Scott doesn't know either.
IS DAVID MALFUNCTIONING?
After quoting a passage from 'Ozymandias', Walter asks David to identify its author. "Byron", says David. "Shelley", corrects Walter before adding, "When one note is off, it can destroy the entire symphony." What does this mean? The implication is that something is off with David's programming (and after having his head torn off and botched back on, who could blame him?). But after this line, this juicy concept is entirely abandoned. Here's hoping that Ridley decides to revisit the question of whether David is malfunctioning, or simply ascended beyond his mechanical programming to a higher degree of consciousness.
WHY DID DAVID KILL THE
ARE THERE ANY ENGINEERS LEFT?
I get that David hates humanity. He views himself as an improvement on his creators, and seeks to eradicate their 'dying race' with a 'perfect organism' which corrects their perceived faults. But what was with the genocide? Did the Engineers, as humanity's creators, fall prey to the same logic? Was it simple revenge for his decapitation? Did he seek to hijack their advanced technology, and assumed they wouldn't be open to any kind of collaboration? Covenant isn't forthcoming with the answer.
So that may be that for Space Jockey's still largely unexplained species. But, as noted above, how does one turn up (+ Xenomorphs) in Alien? Granted, that one is thousands of years dead (and may be from LV 223), but the hope that some colonies are left alive is one that fans will cling to in order to keep the possibility of their species' mysteries open to future explanation.
HOW DID WEYLAND-YUTANI MISS THE 'PARADISE' PLANET?
Fans of the series know that Weyland-Yutani won't be winning any 'competent corporation of the year' awards, but someone in their planet spotting department really dropped the ball in missing a perfect 'goldilock'-zone planet sporting an ancient technologically advanced alien civilization whilst looking for colony locations. A simple line to say that the Engineers were shielding their planet would have solved this quandary, but it was apparently too much trouble to write one into the script.
WHEN, EXACTLY, DID SHAW DIE?
The revelation (ahem...) that Prometheus'...let's say 'poorly recieved' heroine met her end as one of David's experiments is one unlikely to garner many tears from fans. Her fate was more a formality then a plot crucial point but, considering her status as the lead character of the previous installment, a little more backstory on her demise would have been appropriate. Was she killed in cryosleep? Did she wake up in time to witness the aftermath of David's cull of the Engineer civilization? I suppose we'll never know. Given the various locations of her ID tag and belongings, the implication is she survived the Engineers (at least temporarily) in an alert and awoken state. Her battle with David could well be among the deleted scenes, but until then it's a mystery without an answer.
WHY DID DAVID KILL SHAW?
Was she appalled at the massacre of the Engineers? Simply a useful subject for experimentation? The question is essentially dodged in Covenant, and in large part depends on whether David was being honest in professing his love for her, or whether he simply produced the crocodile tears advertised by Prometheus promotional material as a capability of the David 8 in order to win the Covenant crew's trust.
WHO CREATED THE ENGINEERS?
WHY DID THE ENGINEERS ON LV223 Want To DESTROY HUMANITY?
Ridely Scott revealed in an interview after Prometheus that the Engineers were themselves created by an even higher being, and the 'Big Head' shrine in the film was a shrine to these higher creators. Fans hoping for an answer about who these beings are, and how they link into the theological 'creator/created' theme of the rebooted series will be left sorely disappointed. No answers were given in Covenant.
It's the end of Prometheus. Elizabeth Shaw has spurned the opportunity to return home and has instead decided to pursue the Engineers to their homeworld in order to find out why, having created us, they suddenly decided to purge us from existence. In Shaw's words, she "deserves to know". Well so do we. It was, after all, the cliffhanger question on which Prometheus ended, and the answer to this question was the enticement we were given for why we should see Alien: Covenant. If Ridley Scott has the finer details hammered out, however, he isn't telling.
WHY DID THE OREN-XENOMORPH GROW SO QUICKLY?
Are the Xenomorphs on a mission to beat their personal best growth time?! In Alien it took the chestburster 24 hours to incubate inside Kane. In Alien 3, it took about 5. But the chestburster born out of Oren in Alien: Covenant seems to have taken a half hour max to poke its grim little face out. What's the explanation for the inconsistent maturation rates? Differing host biology? Or just plot convenience?
WHY DID IT 'WORSHIP' DAVID?
OK. This was the moment that Ridely Scott officially wore out the last vestiges of fan patience. The scene where the baby Xenomorph stands up out of its afterbirth and does the first sequence of YMCA for David's entertainment. Seriously, are getting an explanation for that utter claptrap? Yes movie, we get it. David's seeks divinity. The Aliens are his creations. But at some point someone on the writing team needs to research the difference between subtle theme exploration and flogging a dead horse over enthusiastically with a barge pole while merrily hitting the audience over the head with a hammer large enough to make Mjolnir blush. THEMES! MOTIFS! SYMBOLOGY! Oh, the film seems to say, you wanted logic as well? Well tough cookies, we've got no time to indulge your whining! Just shut up, enjoy the spectacle and keep your icky common sense to yourself!
HOW DID DAVID HAVE TIME TO IMPERSONATE WALTER?
More a plot fail than a serious unanswered mystery, but how in the ever loving name of all that is gory did David have time to play swapsies with Walter? During the climax of the movie, David stabs the impossibly resilient Walter to death with a knife, puts on his clothes, burns off his left hand, spiffs up his hair and repairs (without tools) his mangled and crackling voicebox; all in the space of about 5 mins. Even allowing for the film's blase attitude to time (things just seem to be when and where the plot demands they be, regardless of sense), the lengths David goes to in such a short time to dupe Daniels and hijack the Covenant strains credulity (even for a Sci-Fi flick).