The Hopes and Fears of Alien : Covenant

Here we are, a short time away from a new Alien movie released to the masses. It has been *twenty years* since an official movie with the iconic facehuggers, chestbursters, and xenomorphs. That movie was the underwhelming Alien: Resurrection. Since that time we’ve had two subpar Alien vs. Predator movies to sit through and Prometheus. Which brings us to Covenant. What is going to happen on May 19th when the movie finally releases?

“Big things have small beginnings” was the tagline and hope for Prometheus (and for this little site as well). The movie began as a direct prequel to Alien. Ridley Scott remained fascinated that no one (I guess Ridley doesn’t read comics?) had explored the story of the Space Jockey and the Derelict. I nodded my head enthusiastically at this notion, as I’ve had a long standing fascination with them both myself. However, the focus eventually shifted a “side story” as Ridley Scott claimed he wanted nothing more to do with the standard Alien lifecycle and wanted to tell a different story. Damon Lindelof was infamously brought in to change the script and we ended up with Prometheus. It was supposed to be the start of a new trilogy. So much for that.

After getting involved in the fandom through social media, I learned that Prometheus severely divided the fanbase. The rather dubious writing, characters, and plot turned off lots of people, while the sheer beauty of the film and bold ideas found some appreciation. While it wasn’t the film I wanted, I did enjoy it despite it’s many flaws. And I do have Prometheus to thank for reigniting my fandom flame. A sequel was guaranteed, but what would it be?  Rumors of “Paradise” and returning the Engineer’s world were what was expected. But once again, things change.

Ridley Scott decided that the alien life cycle was worth returning to after all. Prometheus was removed from the next movie’s title completely. It seems Ridley has owned up to Prometheus being a mistake or an experiment that failed, as it’s not even alluded in the movie’s title. Alien: Covenant seems like a brand new beast. David is now one of the main characters, as Shaw failed completely to resonate with any one.

Fox began a brilliant social media campaign for Covenant, leaking a still from the movie or production each day leading up to the trailer. The fans were drooling acid blood in anticipation. Each still was broken down and analyzed, as the demand for the trailer increased. In fact, it launched a fun meme war in the Weyland-Yutani Bulletin Facebook group that will go down in the annals of history. The clock struck midnight on Christmas, and Fox gave us our present. The Covenant trailer released, and the debates began.

The good news, is that the movie looks and feels like an Alien movie. It has a sense of fear and dread that wasn’t in Prometheus, the characters look utterly terrified. Fox lets us know this is an alien movie. We see an alien egg, we see what looks like a “Backburster”, and the face of a xenomorph towards the end. I geeked out seeing these things, but wish they weren’t all shown in the trailer. But this is an over arching problem with trailers these days, far too much given away. And this was just a “teaser trailer!” So, almost 600 words later, let’s get to my hopes and fear. 

Hopes: First off, I want a good Alien movie. If Star Wars can rebound from the prequel shenanigans, the Alien franchise can find it’s way too. I do not expect this movie to live up to Alien or Aliens, that is not realistic. Covenant seems like this is the movie Ridley Scott wanted to make from the start. The characters seem terrified, which is hopefully a good sign we will be as well. David and Walter are going to be a great dynamic, as is what the hell David has been up to all this time. I look forward to new characters and new stories. I am also very excited at the fresh changes : A lush world and two synthetics. Neither has been presented in an Alien movie before and should make for a refreshing change 

Fears: I’m worried it’ll be too much of a retread of Prometheus for some. If this is truly the movie we were supposed to get, will that be enough to reinvignorate the stagnant franchise? The early screenings called the movie gory and action packed, but will the movie have a soul?  Alien and Aliens weren’t just about action and gore, they had great characters and writing. We need to be able to care for the characters on screen. There will be religious overtones, but it can not overshadow the movie. I think it brings a different element to the franchise, but it shouldn’t be forced onto the audience.

With plenty of time left until the movie releases, there will be more nuggets of information released. As we learn more, perhaps our opinions will change. What are your personal hopes and fears about Alien: Covenant? Sound off in the comment section below!

 

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