The Protomorph, not an official title given to the Alien seen in Alien: Covenant's most recent trailers, has been described as a Xenomorph by fans across the forums and social media constantly. However, this Alien is not the same species as the one seen in Scott's original ALIEN. This article will explain why that is.
Since Alien: Covenant began production, information leaked about the film's primary monsters. Two of which have now been shown in trailers and promotional material for the film. Although Ridley Scott did say Covenant would introduce us to the Facehugger, Chestburster and "Big Boy", at no point was this Alien referred to as the same Alien from the original. Instead, Scott's comments explained that Covenant would take us in the back door of the franchise and explain where the Alien and Space Jockey ship came from.
The point of Alien: Covenant, according to Scott is to explain who would create such a thing (the Alien) and why.
The iconic Xenomorph from Alien had a very distinct appearance. It was tall, very biomechanical and moved elegantly, swiftly and menacingly. It possessed 4 tubes which extruded from its back, as well as a spinal protrusion beneath the elongated skull.
What many believe/believed to be the Xenomorph in the latest Alien: Covenant Trailer may look like the Xenomorph at first glance, but upon studying its movements and aesthetic, we are able to notice some definite aspects which set it apart from the iconic Xeno.
It's extremely organic looking
Right away, many noticed how smooth and organic this Alien looks. It lacks the biomechanical wiring aesthetic and rigid design accents the Xenomorph is known for. Although it looks to have somewhat of an exoskeleton and some aspects remain similar, overall this Alien has a very different outwards appearance.
The limbs, fingers and rib cage look to be covered in a smooth skin. Now, considering these Aliens shed exoskeleton layers, much like insects the Protomorph may have just shed its cocoon and is still "soft" while the new exoskeleton has time to harden. This is a totally plausible explanation for why it looks the way it does.
However, when we even compare the mouth of the Xenomorph with the Protomorph we can notice differences between them. Again, the Xenomorph has extremely narrow and pointy canines, as well as a translucent lip. Let's also not forget that second jaw.
The Protomorph seems to have a rather Human looking set of teeth, with no evidence of such a lip. We also have yet to see the infamous second jaw come out of Covenant's new Alien.
The face and cranium of the new Protomorph also lack the biomechanical detailing of its Xenomorph cousin.
Also, notice the apparent lack of that upper spine protrusion that is very prominent on the Xenomorph design. Lighting up this screenshot, I can not see any evidence of that design aspect on this Alien:
Finally, the behavior of the Protomorph is completely opposite to that of the Xenomorph. The Xenomorph is ominous and relatively slow by comparison. It stalks its prey, toys with them, admires them before brutally killing them. This Protomorph is more animalistic and spastic, much like the Neomorphs.
Pair the obvious aesthetic differences with the completely opposite behavioral patterns we've witnessed in the latest trailer and we can deduce that the Alien shown in the latest trailer is NOT a Xenomorph, or at least it's not THE Xenomorph we were expecting.
Why reveal the film's biggest surprise?
As a side note it seems odd that Ridley Scott and Fox would blatantly show the beast in all its glory by the second trailer. That would be like J.J. Abrams showing the Luke Skywalker scene from The Force Awakens during its second trailer. It would completely ruin the surprise and leave fans with little mystery going in.
I speculate that the Protomorph and Neomorph reveals are meant to keep is thrown off something bigger... Something more terrifying which they have kept secret and will not reveal at all throughout the film's marketing. Something truly Alien...
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