Spoilers for Alien Covenant follow.
In the fan community, Alien Covenant seems to be just as controversial as Prometheus and this lack of shared appreciation appears to have affected the box office return for the film. I enjoyed the film quite a bit, just as I did with Prometheus, with Covenant being a thematic sequel to Prometheus (with some plot points carried over too) and also dealing much more with the Xenomorph and its origins. The ending of Covenant makes me desperate to find out what happens next and, unless the aforementioned poor showing at the box office changes this, Ridley Scott plans to make at least 2 more films with Covenant being the start of a new trilogy. So, what should happen in these sequels? I’m not going to write a huge fan-fic script but I have come up with five hopes for the future of the franchise; let’s explore.
Maybe I’ve just been listening to too much Deep Purple but I want some Space Truckin’ in a Covenant sequel. The first Alien film worked so well because, despite its outer space locale and otherworldly monsters, the characters felt real. Alien was released in 1979 which is the same year that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released and just look at the difference. Star Trek TMP tosses away all the colour of the series and replaces it with sheer light grey blandness because that’s the way Sci-fi films looked in the seventies. Alien however gave us a visual of space travel we had never seen before with a dark, dank and dirty ship and a crew who are essentially Space Truckers who care about little but their pay checks and survival. While Prometheus and Covenant (both the films and the titular vessels) are beautiful to look at and create an atmosphere of their own I do want to get one more look at the lower end of the Weyland-Yutani workforce in a ship (or space station like in Alien Isolation) similar to that of the Nostromo.
After seeing Prometheus I desperately wanted to find out why the Engineers created and then wanted to destroy humanity but then after seeing Covenant I realised it doesn’t matter. You can see more of why I think this in this previous article but the main thing is that the sheer act of creation and then the act of the Engineers deeming us unworthy of the life they have given us is what’s important not the reasons why. Therefore if we never see the Engineers again I’ll be fine with it but I do think there are some interesting things that can be done with the species in a future movie. The planet seen in Covenant could very well have been just a colony of Engineers and not their homeworld so there is probably more of them out there and I’d think it would be interesting if the Engineers took it upon themselves to try and wipe out the Xenomorphs and stop David because he used their own bioweapon to create them. At least one more Engineer has to appear to set up the events of Alien or I guess ‘The Derelict’ could already be crashed and the pilot dead due to a neomorph chestburster on LV-426 but those eggs do have to get into that ship somehow.
First Xenomorph Queen
While I like what Ridley Scott did with the mythology behind the creation of the Xenomorph in Covenant some plot points do niggle my die-hard-Alien-fan brain so I’ve had to put my opinion of them on hold until I see where they go next. A big one is the lack of a Xenomorph Queen in Covenant; sure, I can accept David using the black liquid, the neomorphs it creates and some dead bodies to create the classic Xenomorph including some eggs but in order for the race to continue without David’s involvement a Queen needs to be created. There are plenty of possible answers like David using the 2000 or so colonists as more test subjects to engineer Xenomorphs into Queens like he did with Neomorphs into Xenomorphs or the Facehugger embryos he regurgitates at the end of Covenant could be special ones that makes people ‘give birth’ to Queens.
Other Alien Life Forms?
It’s never really been clarified in any Alien movie about what other sorts of alien life have been discovered in the galaxy. There has to be some or characters wouldn’t believe one another when they mention the Xenomorph and they would have acted a bit more shocked when they saw an egg or any other stage of Xenomorph evolution. On the other end though the other life forms can’t be too large, intelligent or spectacular or the Xenomorph won’t seem as interesting or horrific. There have been references to other alien life forms before like the famous “Bug Hunt” line from Aliens and even in the ‘last supper prologue’ to Alien Covenant there is a reference to some “crazy bugs” that look like dog-sized cockroaches. I don’t specifically want to see other aliens in the next film but clarification on the limit of their existence would be neat.
Wake Up the Other Colonists. All 2000 Of Them.
While I think David will probably use all the sleeping colonists as incubators for Xenomorphs between films (that ship’s going to get messy) I was struck with an interesting image during the ending of Covenant that I can’t get out of my head. What if all 2000 colonists woke up at the same time in that narrow room where they lay in stasis and there is a door at one end and a Xenomorph at the other. They are freshly awakened, feeling weak and nauseous, and yet they have to run for their lives away from a nightmarish creature. The Xenomorph would kill literally hundreds as the colonists (who are in relationships with one another and want their partners to survive too) push and shove each other, some being crushed in the stampede of wall-to-wall people, to the exit and their survival. It would be extraordinarily violent, tense and visually spectacular. I’m not sure how to work it into the plot exactly but they hire writers for that stuff.
What are your hopes for the future of the Alien saga? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Alien on Twitter @kylebrrtt.