Rather than releasing a full trailer for Alien: Covenant, 20th Century Fox dropped an almost five-minute clip from the film, "Last Supper," to give us the tone and direction this movie is going. The prologue showed that this film definitely is trying to recreate the vibe from the first Alien from 1979 with a familiar but modernized set design, cast of likable jerks for the crew, and a few other things we will get to later.
As a hardcore Alien fan, I can say that I was impressed — it seems that director Ridley Scott is learning from his mistakes with 2012's Prometheus.
Releasing this prologue was a smart move on Fox's part, because we didn't get any spoilers for the film but we did learn enough to raise our anticipation and curiosity. Let's take a look at some of the prologue's Easter eggs, callbacks to the original film, notable moments and interesting questions raised.
A Not-So-Subtle Nod To The Last Last Supper
Proving that Scott is going in a direction closer to the film that started the saga, we got a very familiar scene in this prologue, which showed the entire crew enjoying themselves and their dinner until one member — played by Callie Hernandez — starts coughing and choking violently, followed by Danny McBride's character Tennessee jokingly saying, "C'mon, the food's not that bad." This leads to Michael Fassbender's character (we still don't know if he's David or Walter) saving her life.
This scenario comes directly from the famous dinner scene from the original Alien when Kane (John Hurt) started coughing and Parker (Yaphet Kotto) said that the food was not that bad. While I did roll my eyes a bit at this part of the prologue, I do appreciate the nod and the acknowledgement of going in a better direction.
Now We Know That James Franco Is The Captain, But Why Is He Sick?
When we heard that James Franco and Danny McBride were both going to be in this movie, some fans wondered if this was going to be a bizarre stoner comedy that happened to feature a xenomorph — but that is not the case.
The prologue revealed that James Franco will be Jake, the captain of the ship known as the Covenant, acting as the Dallas of this movie in a way. Some theories have already popped up suggesting that, since Captain Jake was ill, he will be the one to give birth to the alien. I doubt that, seeing as how the crew hasn't even gone into hypersleep yet.
Now We Also Know The Covenant's Mission — Or Do We?
We also learned that the Covenant's mission is to take the crew to a distant planet and establish a colony for the human race to continue on and expand throughout the universe...or is it? We all know that Weyland-Yutani is known for their lies to get what they need.
In the original, the company knew about the xenomorph species on LV-426 and wanted it for themselves, so they sent the Nostromo under the cover of other orders. More than likely that is the same fate with the Covenant.
Bigger Crew, Bigger Body Count
This prologue also showed us the crew of the Covenant, and it's huge! On one hand, this could lead to more a gore-tacular body count when the alien pokes its ugly head into the picture — but on the other hand, this could lead to a problem.
One of the common complaints about Prometheus was that it had too many characters; most of them were so underdeveloped that we didn't even know their names, so we didn't care if they lived or died. What made the original Alien work as a horror film was the small cast. We got to know and like the characters in the first act of the film, so when things went south, we wanted to see them live.
This prologue has so many characters, but only about half of them get any sort of dialogue; the rest are just standing in the background. Now they might have more dialogue in the full film, but it's a concern that I have.
However, Covenant could go the route of James Cameron's Aliens where we were introduced to tons of marines, but most of them were wiped out in the first run-in with the aliens. Perhaps that will be the case here, so that we are only left with the characters we care about.
Is Billy Crudup The Antagonist?
We didn't get much of an indicator of what kind of character Billy Crudup is playing in the first trailer, but this prologue hints that maybe he will be the loyal company man trying to get the alien back to Earth for the bioweapons division. He insults Tennessee, he glares at other characters ominously, and he seems to really want to be in command...perhaps enough to want to kill Captain Jake?
Who Will Be The Main Character?
While the trailers heavily push Franco, Fassbender and McBride, there is a high chance that Katherine Waterston's Daniels (looking very Ripley-esque in the marketing) might end up being the main characters since Alien movies are defined by strong female protagonists. This is definitely shown in the prologue with her having a big speech to the crew.
This was just a five minute clip, which gave us a solid look at some of the characters, a throwback to the classic starter film, and set the tone. A good piece of marketing that has fans excited to see the alien saga return to its roots in the horror/thriller genre.
Alien: Covenant slithers into theaters on May 19th, 2017! Are you excited or do you think Fox should just let this franchise get an alien tongue to the head? Let us know in the comments below!