Bridging the narrative of Prometheus and Alien, Ridley Scott's latest film, Alien: Covenant, offers up something that many eager fans have been patiently expecting: more Xenomorphs. This time however, we get a more comprehensive look at Xenomorph biology, starting with its most humble life stage. In David's words: "Big things have small beginnings," and so too do Xenomorphs; namely, in the first stage of their life cycle: the Egg (Ovomorph).
We're proceeding into spoiler territory for #AlienCovenant, so keep your pulse rifles at the ready before you venture any further. A similar warning would likely have saved acting captain Christopher Oram from a most unpleasant encounter with one of David's Facehuggers. However, Oram's death raises questions about David's collection of Xenomorph Eggs: Exactly how and where did he get them?
If we assume that Eggs presuppose a Queen, this opens up the possibility that David successfully spawned a Queen through the only surviving host at his disposal.
Her Name Is Dr. Elizabeth Shaw
Despite being an android, David speaks about Dr. Elizabeth Shaw with mournful nostalgia. She was, after all, the only human with whom he bonded and who showed him any compassion, even going so far as to say that he "loved" her.
This makes it all the more horrifying for crew members of the Covenant when they discover Shaw's body strapped to a table in David's collection of curios, her chest fully exploded in the wake of an obvious Chestburster emergence. The shocking realization that David experimented on Shaw further reinforces David's unbending desire to create the perfect species, even if it means sacrificing his most cherished (and only) companion.
David's Insidious Experimentation
One thought-provoking theory put forth regarding David's experimentation on Dr. Shaw suggests that the Trilobite Dr. Shaw surgically removed from her uterus in Prometheus could be an early-stage Ovomorph. The Reddit theory suggests that, perhaps if left undisturbed, a Trilobite folds in on itself, hardens, and becomes an Egg. Furthermore, there's no telling how many times this procedure could be repeated on Dr. Shaw, yielding enough Xenomorph Eggs to populate David's entire nest.
While this theory is highly plausible, we're forced to consider another alternative: What if David's experimentation on Shaw successfully spawned a Xenomorph Queen, proving him with a renewable source of Eggs. However, even if — after a decade of genetic tinkering — David were able to engineer a Queen Xenomorph, a Queen can grow to be approximately 20 feet tall when standing and 53 feet in length. Moreover, the Queen is affixed to an immobile Egg sac, meaning she would be unable to leave her nest. As we saw no evidence of a Queen in David's lair, we have yet a third option as to how David could have procured the Ovomorphs.
A deleted scene from the original Alien movie could explain exactly how David was able to pull this off.
Though hotly debated for its authority in Alien canon, a process known as Eggmorphing was originally intended to be a part of Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien. The scene was eventually cut from the film, only to be released in the 2003 Alien Director's Cut. According to the scene description:
"Eggmorphing" is a process by which Xenomorphs are capable of transforming non-Xenomorph organic material into a viable Egg. It is in essence an alternate means of reproduction that does not require the presence of an Egg-laying Queen.
This suggests that David could have harvested Eggs via a Xenomorph he spawned from a host. During the process of Eggmorphing, the host functions as a source of nutrients that feeds the growing Egg. However, this theory is not without its flaws, as each human host yields just one Ovomorph. Seeing as Shaw is the only viable human host — and her body is still intact as it's presented in David's collection — it would be impossible for David to yield such an extensive clutch of Eggs without multiple hosts.
Incubate And Wait
Probing into the world of Ridley Scott's mind often yields more questions than answers, like: What exactly happened in the Alien: Covenant ending? With any luck, Scott's next Alien movie will continue to dig into our burning questions without further muddying the waters of the already overly complex Alien mythos. Until then, we're patiently incubating until more details burst forth — violently kicking and screaming.
Alien: Covenant is in theaters now — don't miss it.
What is your theory on how David acquired so many Ovomorphs?