This post contains potential spoilers for #AlienCovenant which will be released on May 19th 2017.
The Alien: Covenant trailer dropped early yesterday and looks brilliant. Though it is leading on from #Prometheus, it is still a prequel to the '70s cult classic Alien but we do not know how much time is between the two films or if there will be another sequel to this before the timeline catches up with the original #Alien. This trailer promises the return of the xenomorphs and the addition of a new alien!
In this post I will explore #theories, speculate on the plot, and explain some major and minor details in the trailer. I will go through the #trailer by locations and themes instead of the order in which the scenes appear.
Starring Fassbender and Fassbender
In Prometheus we met #MichaelFassbender's David, a synthezoid manufactured by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and the first of his kind. Alien: Covenant will introduce us to Walter, a more advanced (and a later model) yet identical synthezoid in a similar fashion as to how we were introduced to Bishop, a more advanced android from #Aliens.
#GuyPearce (top right) is expected to reprise his role as the owner of Weyland-Yutani, this time without the obscene amount of prosthetics from Prometheus (top left). He is rumored to be in a sort of prolog or flashback at the start of the film where we will see David (Fassbender) switched on for the first time.
This could be what we see in the scene set in the white room (vertical middle) or this could be David and Walter conversing for the first time. I imagine it is the former because we see one of Fassbender's androids, presumably, David in the flashback, look up with a gaze of amazement or slight confusion (at experiencing the world for the first time or finding out he is an android?). If it is the latter, however, it is probably still a flashback because of the setting; the one in white would probably be Walter because David would not be surprised or shocked (bottom left) about much after the events of Prometheus. We do know that Walter will be with the crew at the start and David will be alone on the planet thanks to the plot description on IMDb:
The crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but it is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.
Building Better Worlds
At the 0:41 second mark, we see a ship, presumably some sort of mothership to the Covenant, over a planet (top left). The trailer goes on to show a smaller ship containing the crew landing on what is seemingly a paradisiacal planet and disembarking the ship. We know that the intention of this ship is colonization thanks to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation badges on the arms of the uniforms and the plot description on IMDb.
As you can guess, the paradise they are looking for is not to be found here. I think that the crew has possibly received a distress call, maybe left by Elizabeth Shaw after crash landing with David on this planet after the events of Prometheus and gone down to investigate or they have crashed on this planet. This is proven because the planet (last seen in Prometheus) is called LV-223 and on the Covenant ship (or what we presume is the Covenant) LT-303 can be seen written on the side - presumably the planned final destination.
We then see the crew head out on an exploration expedition. They can be seen to be armed. This could either mean that they know there is some sort of threat after a crew member has already been attacked by a facehugger or they are simply taking precautions because of the distress call (if that is, in fact, the case).
Aliens: Old and New
On the right, we can see we can see a Xenomorph egg, a nice nod to the original, and one of the crew members - seemingly the captain - attacked by a facehugger. This is probably just in the trailer to reassure the Prometheus-hating fans that we will see more of the original Xenomorphs and less of the flop that was Prometheus.
On the left, however, we see a sex scene quickly followed by a Xenomorph attack. I'm not sure why these two crew members would be having sex when they know there is a Xenomorph onboard their ship. This could be a similar kind of situation to the end of Alien when Ripley thinks she has escaped but the Xenomorph is actually aboard the escape module. I like how they have obviously tried to bring the franchise back to the first two movies, easily the best of the franchise.
We see some new aliens released from spores and enter through the ear (as you can see at the 1:07 mark) and we got a little more information on this from AVP Universe:
"The new aliens reportedly school one from black goo new mutating a local ecosystem. When pods growing on trees are disturbed, they release spores, and those spores enter the crew members of the covenant through the nostrils and ears… the spores then grow into the Neomorphs inside the infected hosts."
We also know that these neomorphs have a lot of visual similarities to the Xenomorphs of the original, again thanks to 'AVP Universe':
Unlike the earlier Prometheus concepts, the neomorphs also have tails. In addition, the adult Neomorphs also developed a slightly translucent appearance."
This will hopefully not stray too far from the legend of the old Xenomorph. Another difference is that they seem to not have a defined exit point for when incubation is finished. Again, a report from #AVPUniverse gives us more information:
"One of the Neomorphs bursts from the back of one of the infected crew, a 'backburster'. The other crew-member's Neomorph erupts through their throat"
They could also be fireproof, a major weakness of the original xenomorph. When one of the crew members can be seen to be shooting one with a flame-thrower (middle right) the ship would seem to catch on fire - though we do not know this was from the same explosion (middle left), this would be too easy of a way out for the film to simply end there. This does make it look like Covenant will be straying into uncharted territory while keeping true to the original!
Weyland-Yutani Colonial Marines and Fassbender Swapping Identities
I like to think that there will probably be some swapping or confusion of identities between David and Walter. I think that Walter, however, will generally represent the more morally acceptable side, wearing generally bright colours, while David will generally wear darker clothes and be more of a villain with morally ambiguous purposes, much like Ian Holmes' Ash in the first film (we may even see one of Fassbender's androids glitch out). I think this is quite likely because it will avoid confusion and is reminiscent of the original films. I imagine that the cloaked android (bottom left) is David as the crew finds him, this furthers my light/dark theory.
Continuing with the theme of reminiscence, the Weyland-Yutani marines (top right) released in a teaser photo are different, less evolved even, than those we saw in #Alien3. I like that they are sticking with the sort of bug-hunt military feel that made James Cameron's Aliens so great. This teaser photo brings us onto some unanswered questions, not from the trailer, but from some more news about the film released earlier this week.
Cryptic Codes and Casting Catches
These four photos were released by the 'Alien Anthology' Twitter and Facebook pages in the days leading up to the trailer. They had only a string of numbers as captions. No one has been able to decipher their meaning yet but dates of upcoming trailers seem to be the main theory.
I have noticed that the top 2 both have the number pattern 22__120_2104 but the bottom two only have 1___120_2104, meaning all four contain ____120_2104. If you take the first missing numbers of each of those, you get 4011. This number seems like nothing at first but the same Twitter page also released a picture from the set of #JamesCameron's Aliens in which Ripley can be seen to be fighting the 'mother alien' in her mech-suit. This could be a tease for a similar kind of fight coming up in the movie (or it could just be a coincidence). It has also been pointed out to me in the comments that 2104 is the year in which the film is set. This would imply that they are dates to do with the actual timeline of the film - possibly indicating the order in which these scenes will appear. Let me know what you think in the comments.
It was also released earlier this week that #JamesFranco would star in the movie. This is a strangely late casting announcement so he will probably only have a minor part. #KatherineWaterston, however, has a very large part that we do not know much about. All that we know is that her character's surname is Daniels and she is Ripley's mother! I don't personally like that she is her mother because it means we know she survives or Ripley is already born (in which case Ripley would already know how she died at the beginning of Alien). Let me know in the comments if you have any theories or ideas on this.
I am looking forward to this film but I am also worried that it will turn out to just be another Prometheus.
Do you have any theories for Alien: Covenant?