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Alien: Covenant Trailer Analysis - The Protomorph and Xenomorph

Alien: Covenant Trailer Analysis - The Protomorph and Xenomorph

Scified2017-01-21 09:43:12https://www.scified.com/articles/alien-covenant-trailer-analysis-protomorph-xenomorph-46.jpg
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Continuing on with our Alien: Covenant Trailer Analysis series, today we take an in depth look at the Protomorph teased at the end of the Alien: Covenant trailer and how it differs from the Xenomorph featured in the 1979 original. If you haven't read our previous trailer analysis of the Neomorph scene, the crashed Juggernaut ship, or David and His Engineer Cloak, we encourage you to do so as well!

What is a Protomorph?

A Protomorph is the name many fans have given to the early, primordial version of the Xenomorph. Initially fans thought the Deacon from Prometheus was a Protomorph but we soon realized the Deacon fit into a completely different classification of Alien.

Similarities to the Xenomorph

In the shower scene at the end of the Alien: Covenant trailer, we are given a brief shot through the Protomorph's perspective as it lurks closer and closer to the couple showering together. You can see its massive shape materialize behind them when the cameras switch to the audience's perspective:

Already we can see this Alien is massive, but is it the same size as the Xenomorph or larger? As the scene progresses we get our first major similarity to the Xenomorph, its tail.

The Protomorph slides its tail under and in between the legs of the male and the female, who are clearly engaging in sexual behavior. In Ridley Scott's Alien, the Xenomorph's tail moved under the legs of Lambert before she was killed off-screen.

Many fans wonder whether or not Lambert was in fact "raped" by the Xenomorph, but that outcome was never shown, nor confirmed - only implied. Upon discovering Lambert's remains, Ripley noticed Lambert was partially undressed as well, but her death was quick, suggesting the Alien may have derobed her after she died. Lambert's actual cause of death was insinuated to be a heart attack brought on by the sheer terror she experienced when faced with the Xenomorph up close. The tail reaching under Lambert was likely the Xenomorph using it to bring her closer for inspection before she died.

In Alien: Covenant it seems this Protomorph is too, curious about its victims and does not rush their mutilation. The meaning for its tail reaching under both individuals and likely penetrating the female is likely used to keep her from running away while it kills the male, as we witness shortly after.

Whether or not the "Alien rape" is personified in a literal, physical or metaphorical sense have yet to be shown. However, given that the Alien seems to possess no sexual motives, or reproductive organs for that matter, the idea of it purposely raping someone seems unrealistic.

The tail is likely positioned in the manner it is because it provides the most supported location to handle the motions of its victims - lower, middle section of the body, closer center of gravity, harder for the victim to rip free and escape.

The differences between the Protomorph and Xenomorph

Although the Alien shown at the end of the Alien: Covenant trailer looks and acts a lot like the Xenomorph, there are some noticeable differences between them. The first of which is its size.

As mentioned above, this Alien is huge. But we don't really get a good look at the creature itself before the camera cuts away. Upon leaning up against the glass however, certain aspects of the Protomorph are visible and lend clues to how it might compare to the Xenomorph's size.

The hand, which rests against the glass is massive. Its long fingers dwarf those of the Xenomorph in the original Alien film.

Comparing a similar shot from Alien, showing the Xenomorph's hand we can see some significant differences. The Xenomorph hands are thicker, possess shorter fingers and less separation between them. The Xenomorph has a kind of thick webbing in between each finger set as well.

Compare that to a focused and brightened copy of the screenshots above we can clearly see how much thinner the Protomorph's fingers are as well as the apparent lack of webbing in between them.

Another difference is the jaw of both Aliens. Comparing the two images above again you can see the Protomorph seems to have more exposed gums on its bottom jaw, while the Xenomorph does not. Both seem to sport somewhat of an under bite, though, which could account for a similarity.

More powerful head bite

We have not yet seen the second jaw of the Protomorph, but we can assume it indeed has one given the following and final cut scene of the trailer. The explosion of blood and tissue from the male victim is significantly more violent than every head bite delivered by a Xenomorph in the original saga.

Whether it be a head bite to the front of the skull or the base of the skull, the Xenomorph's second jaw penetration always seemed to cut cleanly through into the head cavity, never exploding the head in the process. 

This Protomorph however seems to be a bit more powerful which could be a result of its larger size. Perhaps its second jaw is significantly larger as well and exerts a lot more force when used.

How the Alien in Covenant could be a Xenomorph

The only way the Alien in Covenant could be a Xenomorph and not some earlier, primordial version, would be if the Alien from Scott's original Alien was still an adolescent and the one in Covenant, a fully mature adult. The two share many similarities, but enough differences to suggest they are in some way different to one another. 

Possible explanation 

A possible explanation for the larger eggs, larger Facehugger and larger Alien could be that the Protomorph were the Engineer's primary antagonist like the Xenomorph is for Humanity in this series. The Xenomorph could be an evolution of the Protomorph to more finely tune its target on Humans rather than Engineers. In order for this perfect organism to be perfect, it also needs to be efficient. Sizing down its eggs, Facehuggers and resulting Aliens would save resources, energy and produce Aliens at a faster rate; ones that could sustain themselves on the specific host supply of Humans over Engineers.

Of course this last bit was pure speculation. Do you agree with these concepts suggested or do you have a an alternative theory? Share them in the comments section below if you do! Also, be sure to check back again soon for the next entry in our Alien: Covenant Trailer Analysis series!

If you're a fan of Alien / Prometheus and would like to discuss Alien: Covenant and its upcoming sequel with other like-minded fans, be sure to join in our Alien: Covenant forum! Ranked the #1 Prometheus forum back in 2012 and reigning as the web's top Alien: Covenant fan site, it's a great place to discuss the upcoming Prometheus sequels, dissect details from every trailer and engage with other fans just like you.

Written by ChrisPublished on 2017-01-21 09:43:12

About Alien: Covenant 2 / Alien Awakening

The state of the Alien: Covenant sequel continues to remain uncertain. Ridley Scott has mentioned previously that they have a story already in place and know exactly where the sequel to Covenant will go, however the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox film properties by Disney have potentially put the rumored-to-be-titled Alien: Awakening on hold for the time being. As new details arise concerning Alien: Covenant 2 we will be your premiere source and you can find information on the Covenant sequel by visiting the About Alien: Awakening page here.

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36 Fan responses to Alien: Covenant Trailer Analysis - The Protomorph and Xenomorph

A L I E N 4 2 6

Jan-21-2017 10:59 AM

The shadowing used here is GENIUS. It shows us our new Alien character without REALLY showing him, so we can't really tell how big he is or what he looks like. 

KingKaijuGojira

Jan-21-2017 11:19 AM

I always thought Lambert was impaled by the tail. In the AVP 2010 video game, one of the Alien's stealth kills is the tail entering human body through the rear and exiting through the mouth. This type of impalement was also used in medieval times as a form of torture/death. While I see the Facehuggers as raping their victims (which, when you think about it, they technically are) but not the full grown adults. Since the Queen does the reproduction, what purpose would it serve a drone or warrior class Xenomorph? They kill anything that isn't their own kind on sight unless they are being used as a host. But, if Big Chap did have some sexual contact with Lambert, it could have been because of Kane. It was implied in the deleted scenes that Kane and Lambert had some kind of relationship (at least I think they did, it's been a while since I saw ALIEN). Big Chap is "Kane's son" as described by Ash. But, no one can be sure. All we know is that Lambert died horrible off screen. The Protomorph may repeat this killing scene with this new couple. Once the man is disposed of, we might see the same thing happen to the woman. It could be off screen or we could see it on screen and get a sense of what actually happened to Lambert. All I know is that the Protomorph is going to be the closest to the actual Xenomorph in both appearance and ferocity.

KaijuFall3

Jan-21-2017 12:30 PM

I always though that they just used the tail too sting or impale Their victims I know theirs sexual undertones in alien but i in one of the alien vs predator games one of the finishing moves was to impale the victim fro behind and out the mouth a similar animation in alien isolation

 

ninXeno426

Jan-21-2017 3:37 PM

Oh $h1t i never noticed the hand.

BigDave

Jan-21-2017 4:09 PM

Its hard to tell from the trailer in detail but we can assume this Xeno-morph is the one in the poster... i know many on here have refered to it as Protomorph which some on other forums dont like how we use the Term... but we have not officially been given a name for it, the Neomorph was confirmed by Watterston in a interview.    Then the Terms Neo/Proto can be used to describe any Newborn stage (Chest Buster) and any Monster that predates the Xenomorph

I think this Alien is not as old as the Xenomorph and so cant be a Protomorph in a way... but then we as of yet dont know if those Eggs in AC have been there for a year, 5 years, 10 years, 100's or thousands.

Design wise it does indeed look like the Xenomorphs from the Xeno King Sideshow Model

I dont like the look of the Trailer Xenos hands... look odd and gangly... hopefully a clearer shot will show them to be different and who knows if its even the Aliens Feet?

BigDave

Jan-21-2017 4:13 PM

As far as rape goes, i think the way the Xeno has been shown since Alien has painted their reproduction as more instinctive and i would not see any reason for Rape beyond natural instincts.

Then we need to logically look at WHY would the Xeno do such a thing to Lambert and WHY it may do so to Hernandez Character (but we dont yet know how she dies apart from at the hands of the Alien).

So the only logical way for a Xeno to need a Female would be if the Tail can enter the womb and steal Eggs which it then uses the Egg for some purpose to allow for procreation... maybe the Egg Morph or some other slightly different variant could be shown?

BigDave

Jan-21-2017 4:15 PM

@Ati

Indeed it does.... the Sideshow King Xeno also has longer fingers too... Not saying we are getting a King though lol

If as i mentioned in a theory in previous post they show the Alien uses its tail to extract Eggs from a Female Host then we have to ask what happens next

If the Alien can then modify these Eggs, and then seed them to the ground and they grow... or seed them into a Host and the Host then grows into a Egg, with the Human Egg inside evolved into a Face Hugger..... this could make a good way to look at procreation.

Maybe this could hint at how those Eggs got into the Cave... maybe they are Shaws Eggs... but something else had acquired them from her.

That was not interested in David because he posed no benefit towards the Organisms Procreation and provided he does not get in the way.. the Organisms would ignore him...  Like they do with the Synthetics in Alien Isolation

A L I E N 4 2 6

Jan-21-2017 4:45 PM

Big Dave, which interview did she call it a Neomorph? Can you send the link? 

Neomorph

Jan-21-2017 7:53 PM

Both the shadow and the long fingers could be a camera illusion of the xeno looking bigger than it actually is. I think it's about the same size as the classic big chap, otherwise it wouldn't be able to crawl through air vents which I guess it'll do if it's going to sneak up on people like this in the trailer.

Remember the rotating xeno hand prop for AC like a year ago? Not much larger than a classic xeno hand.

A massive xeno stomping around in corridors would give it away too easily, so I think it'll be big enough to use vents.

With that said, a massive xeno is undeniably a terrifying unstoppable monster, like the Queen or the Alien in Isolation made bigger thanks to extra leg joints a lá Resurrection xeno design.

 

Noonespecial

Jan-21-2017 10:26 PM

Shaw was infected in Prometheus after the removal of the trilobite, maybe something else was left behind that started the change to her eggs/body, who knows.......

chli

Jan-22-2017 4:52 AM

Also, notice the difference between the tails in the alien from -79 and the present. The tail which glides behind Lambert is more like a hook (to grab the victim with) whereas the tail in the shower scene is more pointy (perhaps to impale the victim with).

smallfish

Jan-22-2017 7:36 AM

I am not keen on a 'sexual'  or a 'violent sexual' angle for this movie as it detracts from the story and is really just horrible and stupid, horribly stupid, pretty much in the same way as shaw's baby was horribly stupid in Prometheus. If you want sexual horror tune into Cronenberg shivers, as he knows who to do creepy crawly leg things very, very well, Aliens should not be used gratuitously as they have their own inate fascination, but the best thing to do with an ALIEN is to kill it, trust me , Im the Doctor.

mark_9000

Jan-22-2017 8:40 AM

Hello,

Glad to participate in this forum for the first time.

In my opinion, Alien Covenant is a transitional film, with elements of both the franchise: "Prometheus" and "Alien". So  there are new “pets”: Protomorph or Neomorphs, which appear to develop from the own ecosystem on the planet Paradise, from the action of black Goo, spores, etc. I sincerely hope that they have nothing to do with the Deacon, which I believe can be explored in due course, as a unique Dna-mix individual: human (lula Shaw's daughter), alien and remaining engineer contained in black Goo. These then the elements of Prometheus.

On the other hand, we have the elements of Alien: a xenomorph completely formed (the poster of the film; which attacks the couple in the shower during the sex scene) and a Queen xenomorph that lays eggs, since we can verify their existence in the trailer. I hope sincerely, to keep the logic, the Queen has NOT developed spontaneously from the planet's ecosystem, but the death of our dear Dr Shaw, infected. There's a quick scene in the trailer: the camera moves away from what appears to be a ship of the engineers and the distance something that looks like a human body lying on the ground ... can only be her.

Then it would be very exciting to know that all the aliens would have this common human origin and perhaps the fight of the Queen alien, who knows yet with some kind of conscience from genetically of Shaw, and their young aliens fighting a war against the engineers on their own planet, in order to save the human species itself!

David would do the role of the narrator of the story. He who knows the facts occurred. Could himself have contaminated Shaw ... but I don't think so. I think it will remain just as knowledgeable of the facts, the human side, the side of the engineers and the aliens themselves. Hence its importance: all the accumulated knowledge. Who knows, maybe even developing feelings ... which side?

To close. Daniels could be the mother of Ripley. Then we'd have a first clash between a Queen xenomorph and the first Ripley, later to repeat, as seen in Aliens and in other future movies, making the thing a little more personal. 

It would be awesome! 

Neomorph

Jan-22-2017 9:09 AM

@smallfish me neither but look at this 

That's the main inspiration for the first xenomorph.

H.R Giger may be gone but to follow in his footsteps and tie into Alien, we simply can't avoid more or less sexual implications whether it is in the design or possible symbolism (tail raised between legs) 

Let's not get into what the facehugger "attack" implies. 

 

SmartGun

Jan-22-2017 10:53 AM

The xeno in Alien is pretty big like how much bigger is the one in the trailer. I think people are getting carried away looking into things way too much. Your're already calling it a protomorph in the piece through pure speculation and no actual facts really. Imo its a standard xeno came from a face hugger obviously there will be slight differences it was 37 years since Alien was made.Also if you look at the hands in this picture they dont look webbed. Gotta look at things logically too instead of pure speculation.

 

 

A L I E N 4 2 6

Jan-22-2017 10:56 AM

SmartGun, you're probably right. The only thing I can think of that could support a "massive" Alien would be that report from awhile ago that said Waterson was being chased by "giant" aliens 

Neomorph

Jan-22-2017 12:51 PM

Wow was the Big Chap that big?

Dark Nebula

Jan-22-2017 1:31 PM

Yes.

The guy who played Big Chap was 6'10" ,Veronica Cartwright was 5'6" .

If the proto-morph has the same type of legs as the Alien from Alien isolation,then it will look much bigger.

The Alien from Alien isolation has more dinosaur like legs while the 1979 Big chap has more human like legs.

1979 Big chap

Alien: Isolation 

Neomorph

Jan-22-2017 1:46 PM

Yeah another illusion of size then as Veronica is considerably shorter.

The Neo has those animalistic leg joints like the xeno in Alien Isolation and AR.

Goddamn Tropics in here

Jan-22-2017 2:41 PM

With regards to hands, Kane's son had the smallest hands of all versions, however from the same strand off eggs, this solider from Aliens ( Hicks shot gun victim ) had very similar massive hands / fingers to the shower Xeno in AC

I'm not sure if the shower lurker will be bigger or smaller than Kane's son, however I'm quite sure it will be a 'base model' from the planet's ecosystem / shaw and what David sets free or emulates. Final evolution in the next films to the big chap, with small hands of course!

Something Real

Jan-22-2017 6:15 PM

With regards to a "sexual tone" underlying the Alien mythology, I have always felt that it somewhat mirrors certain vampire mythology. There is subtle sensuality in certain monsters - and the Alien embodies a fine line between horror and more carnal notions. In the end, life and death are very much two sides to the same mysterious coin. Humans, like any animal, exist solely for one purpose: genetic continuity. Naturally, we typically like a little more romance with our courtship. The Alien, on the other hand, is simply (in my opinion) the absolute personification of Mother Nature's implacable will. It is cold, heartless continuity - an unstoppable force of self replication for the singular purpose of survival. Nothing more.

A L I E N 4 2 6

Jan-22-2017 7:47 PM

SmartGun, we have "supposed confirmation that a more organic version of the Xenomorph already exists on Paradise, called a Protomorph. So just chill out before you start throwing around accusations 

Ruhaniya

Jan-22-2017 9:58 PM

Some interesting things going on here in this early HR Giger Alien design. It's an insectoid, reptilian, semi-transparent, terrorforming, demon from hell.  

BigDave

Jan-22-2017 11:13 PM

Indeed it was the above image that was going to be one of the Prometheus 2 monsters, well a fresh retake on it... which seems to now have been replaced with the Neomorph.

Tiago_miami_la

Jan-23-2017 5:06 PM

Cant wait for the movie guys...i need to know how david found or made the eggs and what he knows about the xeno and engineers...that will give us so many answers to speculations we have on figuring the future plots.

 

Chris knows his shit,smartgun, eggs are bigger facehugger is bigger,alien hands are bigger, 

I would simply put ..this xeno is nature looking,ferocious, primeval,wild

The big chap is spaceship looking, calculated,refined,not so organic.

 

Could be environment breeding related, or origin and process of creation.

give me one of these and ill be a happy hardcore fann straight from the bat

 

Tiago_miami_la

Jan-23-2017 5:12 PM

Also...if the differences in design or hands is prop and technology related since alien 1979...then my friends of ac production...duck you all.

Respect the proportions and design..dont modify it just cuz we can do better cgi and props now in 2017. For a hardcore fan 5cm matter! It gives a whole lot of additional theories of the facts such as this valid thread!

BigDave

Jan-25-2017 1:33 AM

Well it would be interesting to find out about how those Eggs got there, i think this movie is going to give  a lot of ambiguity and maybe wont go into full detail of how those Eggs came about.

I think also maybe the Spores could even be ambiguous, we are all lead to assume they are the result of Black Goo contaminating the Environment but then there is a lot of flaws with this, unless David dropped a bit in a specific location... otherwise if the Goo infects Plant Life to produce the Spores then we have to wander why was not much of the other Plant Life infected, as most of the Plant Life looks normal and not evolved like in Fire and Stone Comics

Could the Spores had been there prior?  We cant be 100% sure, right now we are lead to assume David has been on Paradise for up to 10 years and in that time and with the Black Goo he is pound to want to experiment with the stuff and so far we have been shown TWO MONSTERS the Spore Based Neomorph and Egg Based Xenomorph related Organism...  surely David has experimented to get one of these? or has he experimented to get something else we have yet to see?

BigDave

Jan-25-2017 1:35 AM

As far as the Aesthetics to the Monsters, indeed i think a lot of closer shots will use a combination of Prop Work and Actors in Suits.

It appears indeed the Xenomorph has been redesigned to fit in more with the Queen and Alien Resurrection Anatomy and it seems that to a degree Alien Isolation has also redesigned these Aesthetics as far as the Legs are concerned.

petrified

Jan-25-2017 10:21 AM

honestly i think that its just the fully grown backburster cause if you compare the teeth of the neomorph to the teeth of the alien in these images they match up pretty closely and the images of the neomorph also displays large fingers also. the main thing i want to point about the neomorph is that what was shown in the concepts are the burster form so its entirely possible that they can molt and that this scene displays one of the fully grown specimens

 

BigDave

Jan-26-2017 7:36 AM

I dont think we have seen a close up of the Neomorph... there was one Prop head... that maybe could be the Neomorph but this had Human Teeth...

I would say the Shower Scene Alien is the result of the Eggs.

view

Feb-01-2017 11:34 AM

This trailer looks like a very expensive sleazy horror slasher movie.  Hope they put more thought into it than that.

brego

Feb-03-2017 11:34 PM

Well the original Alien (Xenomorph) was described as 7 or 8 feet in height. The creature we see in these amazing screen grabs look no bigger than that to me. I cannot express how happy I am to see the original, very creepy and beautifully understated Giger tail back on film. I love the movement of the tail too. Re the hands. I love them, creepy, spindly and possibly with finger splits within the seven digits. Ridley always said he wasn't happy with the hands of the original Alien, so I'm not surprised he has lengthened them and made them look a little more proportional to the lengeth of the rest of the arms and body.

My suspicion re the Xenomorphs creation is simple. After landing on Paradise, David realises that Shaw cannot survive and uses her as a host. He experiments with the spores and or the other native flora and fauna and ends up creating the first true Xenomorph making Shaw the Mother of all Aliens and plans to use his creation to destroy Humaity and possibly the Engineers as well. I like it.

Re the eggs. Perhaps the first Xenomoph, Shaw's baby, will thrive and become a Queen. Perhaps meaning to use the locals (Neomorphs) as hosts.....

Cannot wait to find out. Nice to see some Gigeresque creature design back in Alien. I missed it in Prometheus.

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