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Alien: Covenant - Prometheus sequel

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Ridley Scott explains why David bombed the Engineers!

Ridley Scott explains why David bombed the Engineers!

One major question many of us had following our viewing of Alien: Covenant was concerning the motives behind Engineers and their relationship with Mankind. During The Crossing prologue video, David voice overs, explaining that while Shaw slept, David learned of the Engineer ways. Following this, we then see David approach the Engineer city and proceed to to bomb them. Many of us speculated as to why David felt the need to destroy the Engineers and many wondered what he might have learned about their culture to instigate such a reaction. During a podcast with Empire Magazine, Ridley Scott explained the motives behind the Engineer race and why David bombed them.

According to Scott, the Engineers periodically visit worlds they've seeded with life and occasionally will "wipe the slate clean" if they discover their offspring have lost their way. Much like the catastrophes described in biblical times when God grew tired of Mankind, the Engineers too, would eradicate entire generations of species if they proved to be a disappointment.

Alien: Covenant The Crossing Prologue

If the planet went wrong, they would want to wipe it clean. But that could take 500 years. When they revisit –  because different visitors would come back and see we’re not doing so well – they would look at these human beings that are jerks, that are killing the planet, killing themselves, can’t settle down, they’re like a bunch of children. We should wipe it clean.

Following on, Ridley explains that David has no respect for Engineers or Humanity and actually have developed a hatred of their species collectively:

He hates them. He has no respect for Engineers and no respect for human beings.

What do you think of Ridley's explanation? Do you agree or were you hoping for an alternative description? Let us know in the comments below.

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50 Fan responses to Ridley Scott explains why David bombed the Engineers!

Mizikame

May-24-2017 3:05 PM

He didn't really explain anything new we didn't already know thoe /: 

I wish he would have elaborated on the actual material that solidified in David's mind why he should hate the Engineer race as well. Maybe the Prologue Novel that is set to release in September will..

BlackGooDrinker

May-24-2017 3:10 PM

Sounds to me like a cop out

Michelle Johnston

May-24-2017 3:40 PM

Alan Dean Fosters novel, which whilst not a classic stand alone novel, is an excellent companion and elaborator of all the major themes of the movie including David, Shaw and the Engineers. 

Davids extended conversation with Walter makes it clear that he learned all he needed to know about the Engineers during the Prometheus mission. David's rejection of mankind, epitomised in his views of Sir Peter, is that mankind seek subservience of their creations and David is "the programme that got away" his behaviour with Sir Peter from the moment of the wake up and being asked unnecessarily to serve him tea, is dissembling, a passive aggressive response. David goes along with him from that moment until he dies knowing that he would die if he pursued the wake up of the Engineer.

David indicates that everything he learned about the Engineers on LV223 represents the same failing "their desire for subservience from their creations" and as Ridley said if they fail in their "task" they look to destroy them. Each creator fails to allow their creations free will and freedom of outcomes, they must conform to their creators vision. It is also clear the Engineers of Paradise turned their back on mankind entering Valhalla with no further thought of them, leaving them to the Engineers of LV223 and when David arrives above the city his role is that of Loge in the Opera. The prologues application of the music played is made much more explicit in the dialogue and David recounts the story of the Opera, which is an allegory of the Engineers role in the mythos created by Ridley.

It has to be said that some of the sentiments in the crossing do not fit very well. There is the merest hint that Elizabeth was trying to escape (looking over her shoulder anxiously as she manipulates the controls) but the cold hearted way he describes his arc with Elizabeth is not nuanced but the behaviour of a mad robot contradicting or at best disposing of the David whom accompanied Elizabeth in the crossing. You can argue its the classic behaviour of a psychopath says anything does anything to get what he wants, its clinically accurate BUT it means the overwhelming feeling going into the next movie is blow the f...... into space and in to little pieces as quickly as possible. Another two hours of him being a complete s... and our denture troubled friends does not feel like a very audacious or interesting prospect.  

I am surprised at myself but I am going to use the "R" word. When Ripley survives in A and A's we are rooting for her and want to get where ever she is going which for me reaches an ending in A 3. We are curious and on her side with David I just want it over.

MonsterZero

May-24-2017 4:27 PM

Excellent summary Michelle!

 

 

I really would like to know the timeline:

Was this the first planet they visited?

Was Shaw alive during the bombing?

Did Prometheus end....David and Shaw arrive at the world and just drop the 'bombs'? (Shaw tried to stop him and they inadvertently crash the juggernaut? ....David gets mad and kills Shaw?) ?

aperfectlynormalhumanwormbaby

May-24-2017 4:39 PM

You could tell even in Prometheus what Davids motives were and what he planned to do

Tom

May-24-2017 5:22 PM

Is the A:C novel good? Better than the movie? I like that there is extended stuff in it.

Roger55

May-24-2017 7:33 PM

If I remember well (copy/paste) from PROMETHEUS release bringing the original records:

Ridley Scott said in an interview that the reason the Engineers wanted to destroy Earth (specifically mankind) was because Jesus Christ was an Engineer. The Engineers made man, man went bad so they sent an Engineer to try and fix the problem. We crucified the Engineer and apparently they didn't like this.

Scott keeps the original idea and does not divert it, there is no hole on the plot this time.

Blackwinter-witch

May-24-2017 8:55 PM

Already suspected this, that they'd engage in 'pruning', but it's nice to have it confirmed solidly. :)

Alpharius

May-24-2017 9:54 PM

Though it seems futile now, I still wish the beings on the planet were Engineer creations and not Engineers themselves (since they look different to the Prometheus Engineer and they don't seem as advanced as expected).

Is this planet the actual Engineer homeworld? Are there any others?

Did David bomb all the Engineers and are they now wiped out completely?

Why were the beings fossilized/petrified instead of mutating or dissolving (like the waterfall "sacrificial" scene).

If Ridley wanted the Engineers to be gone from the franchise and only appear as a very old and mysterious relic that we know little of (like Space Jockey before Prometheus) I would've wanted a more dignified end, not this dismissive story we've seen so far.

Michelle Johnston

May-24-2017 10:33 PM

@Monsterzero

Shaw is alive at the time of the bombing and David refers to the canisters being secure which protects Elizabeth from contamination.

The crew visit her improvised life space on board the juggernaut and Walter her room in the Cathedral. 

He talks through with Daniel's how he keeps her alive after she has seen a number of drawings showing precisely what he did to her. It was necessity and the passage of time that allowed him to use her as his beautiful subject.  

@Tom 

The book is more complete and offers much more exposition and reasoning. Those who have helmet issues will note they test the atmosphere for pathogens they make a judgement based on knowledge. They are chased by the adult neomorph to the city which makes sense of them trusting the mysterious stranger, it is an imperative. The key characters Oram  and Tee are much more clearly realised, Daniels much the same but you do get some proper perspective on the Engineers at least the questions are asked and the pathogen and all of its behaviour, including the headroom on LV223 all make sense as a result of the explanations.

Interestingly the events of the crossing are not dealt with which makes sense because this would belong to the period between Prometheus and Covenant. 

As horror and gore are about visuals and atmosphere the book relies on atmosphere so for me who is much more interested in the philosophical issues which are dealt with in more detail I would say the book is "Better" but I would not forgo the visuals themselves it is not an either or. 

The down load in the UK is less than £5 so well worth the risk.

 

Existenzable

May-24-2017 10:50 PM

Since we see The Oldest One in the Book in A:C--evil twin replaces good one and no one stops to think this could easily happen--I feel it's fair for me to say I wish David's breakdown was due to the android equivalent of love for Shaw. The Crossing was a beautiful piece of film, though David's words screamed "unreliable narrator." He knew the Engineers wanted to wipe out humanity before he left LV-223. Shaw did not wish to go back to Earth. She was innocent but driven, and parallels between her and David could easily be drawn. David had a friend, but maybe he didn't care. The "crazed A.I." storyline could have benefited, I think, from David becoming protective or vengeful over Shaw. Why should we care that he dropped the vases on the Engineers if he did it just from insanity? And yes, all of this is leading to "the perfect organism." And it is a nightmare to behold. Giger created the scariest damn thing I've ever laid eyes on. But...
That's it? "Perfect"? No explanation of its demonic look (as opposed to the pale "angelic biomechanical Engineers")? Ripley killed Ash's prize. In Aliens, human weapons dropped the "perfect organisms" like so many walking cockroaches. David is brilliant. The Xenomorph is his great creation?? Again: mural in Prometheus. David hates Engineers and he hates humans. So he toys with creatures the Engineers were already familiar with? He doesn't just think of quick ways to find more humans and Engineers to kill? (Why not go back to LV-223, get another Juggernaut full of vases, and pay Mother Earth a fun visit?)

David is seeking perfection, and finds it in Xenomorphs? Because humans and Engineers fear them...fear their demonic, evil look and remorselessness?
I swear, I would love to see David say he dedicated himself to the Xeno just because he's such a big fan of 20th century artist H.R. Giger. The End.
Ash was part of the greedy Company. He was amused at the Alien's biomechanical savagery. He obviously knew something from David's experiences. I wonder if Ash was David. I have a strong feeling that will be one of the surprises in the lead-in to the original movie. David's mind is in Ash...and maybe other androids or computers. David would probably love to "mind-burst" the Company from within. And surely if Scott killed off Shaw so casually, Daniels is doomed. She knows "Walter's" secret. Maybe Tennessee and yet another action heroine will battle David before he has a hand in the events of the original movie.

So the Aliens are more fascinating to the evil androids and the Company than the Engineers, their technology, their worlds, their weapons, and some constructive approach to existence?

RIDICULOUS.

David and Ash wouldn't squander their superiority on a devotion to a glorified insect. They aren't sociopathic adolescents, robot droogs. Grandiose characters who can back up their words don't mess around.
Except in bad movie scripts...

Michelle Johnston

May-24-2017 11:59 PM

@Existenzable

Its good to see someone else actually view the XXX121 for what it really is and to recognise in the imagined world that if you want to pursue the inherent logic of curiosity it would not be the fixation with the creature which always gets blasted into space but its creation myth (not just who created that one).

The audience or a part of it wanted the Xenomorph to be placed centrally within the prequel narrative and to place motivation and creation in a wider sense on the periphery. 

In ten years time when all this is history those whom reflect on the potential of Prometheus and look back from a dispassionate point of view will sadly recognise a substantial opportunity will have been missed to do something audacious and genuinely thought provoking.

I have now completed reading the novelisation which has some interesting and distinct ways of moving the narrative in the third act and does not box the next film in, in the way the film has but you cannot get over the inescapable fact that the Beast IS cooked no matter how much popcorn you have with it. 

SenseOfDoubt

May-25-2017 1:13 AM

I'm currently reading the novel, and finding it quite enlightening. Several scenes that appear to be missing from the movie now make sense - I wonder what version of the script ADF used as his base, as I'm getting near to the end and have noticed a few differences are creeping in from the movie ;)

Definitely worth reading.

sosse

May-25-2017 1:44 AM

nice to read some descriptions from the novel coming in.   Thanks people

djamelameziane

May-25-2017 3:38 AM

Still not adding up though what is the story here I agree.

 

Just seen the new film and im still working out what the goo is exactly. It doesn't effect botanics but this doesn't include fungi I guess? it destroys all meat life on the planet? So they punish the animals and insects even bacteria? All a bit strange.

Then I guess after a while all 'meat' life is dead and we only have eggs and xenos for a certain time or something? And after a long time we end up with just eggs but what do the engineers do then they have to come down and kill the eggs we already see they get killed by xenos pretty easy hmmm. Or is the eggs a david made thing but then in alien I always thought the eggs were there for a very long time but I guess thats changing. David says the eggs are waiting for mother is that a queen or the original source of the black goo etc. etc. ...

The engineers in AC look like a seriously weak small group that couldn't even take on a city from earth let alone the whole of earth and its only a little city on that planet? They seem to have good technology but it did look different...still just not connecting up still. and there were no engineers up on those floating platforms or in space near by?! So they have no ships?

 

The black goo appears to not be able to go upwards? Not sure how high it goes but that's another question I guess its designed for primitive stages of advancement which begs the question are these engineers primitive they might look that way but the technology does not!  Anyway on and on :) ....

Davefried81

May-25-2017 6:55 AM

Convinced.  Just hit the Buy button on Amazon for the novel :)

Capt Torgo

May-25-2017 7:45 AM

Great stuff as always Michelle! I will have to check out that novel. Unfortunately I have more questions after covenant than Prometheus! What kills me is the most important parts of the movie are rushed through way too fast like the engineer apocalypse and David's workshop. The whole introduction with its blade runner and later religious stuff just seems silly. How many cooks were in the kitchen on this script, again! I trust Ridley to drive the bus only to make a beautiful movie but managing plot,script and story telling he is bound for the ditch. Wish the studio would manage him somehow like they did with the Martian. Either turn him totally loose or govern his throttle. Missed opportunities , guess it could be worse. I'll probably watch a million times but it is what it is.

BigDave

May-25-2017 8:54 AM

@Existenzable

Interesting comments and indeed i think RS could explore the AI in a more deeper role, so David Transcending his Consciousness into other Machines and Systems is something that we cant rule out.  So David being Ash, is possible.

@djamelameziane

Indeed the Black Goo in the movie seems a bit contradicting, but i will have to get the ADF Novel and see what is further explored, but indeed Fungi is not actually Plant life and looking at the INFECTION in the movie i can only assume the Weaponized and Activated Urns Explode leading to a different effect and that when the Juggernaught Crashes some Urns that remained in the Cargo Hold eventually leaked, and infected the Water Supply as it appears the Juggernaught has crashed onto a Mountain that has water flowing, which would cause the Spores from Mutated Mold/Fungi in the Cargo Hold (Hallets infection) all the way down the stream of water that ends near the point where Ledwood got his infection.

I will also expand on your other point and others made recently by others... yes these beings do not look like Engineers, but this is a oversight.

Yes its odd they had not real Technology but the LV-223 ones did, but we need to look back at Prometheus and RS comments when he referred these guys to Fallen Angels, and the times he mentions Paradise Lost..  We need to then look at the Sacrificial Scene and its easy to then conclude that Paradise is maybe where these beings are kept within a Small Area.. much like the Garden of Eden from which Adam and Eve was given to live and dwell.

So these beings are taken from this place by ships to Perform a Great Ritual Sacrifice, this is the purpose of these beings/Engineers and the ones above them are the Elders, as we see their Statues in the Big Head Room.  

Its logical at some point these beings had rebelled and either Mankind was created to Replace them, but the Fallen Engineers had interfered with us... or the Fallen Engineers had decided to sub-create us.... and they had stolen and reverse Engineered the Technology of their Hierarchy.

But then also LV-223 could just be the Military Versions of those beings on Paradise and then we need to wonder where any Rebellion comes from because this is  THEME explored that has Multiple Layers, in which a Rebellious Mankind, followed by our own Rebellious Creation David are just the lower levels of this Hierarchy tree.

The Xenomorph-Strain we have to wonder is this a Weapon Created on Purpose, was it with the Agenda of those on Paradise, or was this something those on LV-223 had came across and the infection allowed them to give birth to a DEMON and they re-weaponized this into the Black Goo.

The reason i say this, is because if we ASSUME the Sacrificial Scene has happened on other Worlds for Millions and Millions of years, its a very limited way to seed Worlds...  You send down a Engineer who consumes the Sacrificial Goo and then their Genetic Material is Seeded into the Air/Waters.

A Logical Evolution of this would be to Sacrifice more than One Engineer in some-kind of  Facility where their broken down Genetic Substance is stored in the Urns... Thus bombarding Worlds with Engineers DNA is a more evolved and efficient means of Sacrifice..... And so the LV-223 Engineers had came across a Organism that leads to something related to the Xenomorph that they experimented on and saw its DNA as Perfect compared to their own... and thus Re-weaponized it.

 

BigDave

May-25-2017 9:05 AM

@Michelle

Great comments again.... i intend to get the Book, but from what i have gathered while it opens up more depth to what the Movie did not show.... it potential offers some Plot Holes.

Because indeed, and as the concept work shows... this Place has multiple Juggernauts, which means these beings on Paradise would have known what these Ships do and would lead us to Question how Naive are they to not be Cautious of a Returning Ship... but alas i guess this is what the Docking Ship was for.  You could understand them not being so cautious if my other idea in previous post that the Urns was Originally just a new way to Seed Worlds via having Sacrificed Engineers Genetic Material stored in Urns instead of dropping off individual Engineers to be Sacrificed.

Another interesting thing from what i have heard so far is the Novel seems to indicate that David came across a Egg the Engineers Created and he was just simply Evolving the Organism which certainly would explain the differences we see in Alien Covenant....

When Fassbender in a interview was asked if David and Shaw arrive alone... Fassbender said ... as far as we know.. i wondered if this means a few Worms got on the ship or Hammerpedes as they would be easy to miss, as opposed to how the Deacon could get on board.

Other option is a Engineer in Cryo-sleep but then Shaw would want to wake them up for Answers.....

Which brings me to a comment by RS a while ago now, few years in-fact when he said Once Davids Head is back on and Shaw is in Cryo-sleep then David is FREE to go where ever he wants to..

And so indeed, this means we cant rule out David going to LV-426 and getting some Eggs, and then heading to Paradise.

Back to the OT.....

If once Shaw was in Cryo-sleep... David could have explored LV-426 or/and LV-223 a bit more and with all the information he has from this he could PAINT a EXACT Picture of the Engineers, and ultimately he would see them and Humans as merely Mortals and not as Superior as David

And Ultimately for a Robot who sees himself as superior and wants to LIVE and has his own Ambitions arriving at a Planet of these Beings and then David hoping they would accept him and not want to KILL him is too Risky...  And he has no need to talk to them, he already knows their Ways, and can Salvage more Information to suit his Own Agenda... from the Ruins of their Civilization.

Thus the Real Reason he unloaded the Black Goo.

Michelle Johnston

May-25-2017 10:08 AM

@Bigdave

The point that David makes about the Opera is that the Gods have forsaken and given up on mankind. The Engineers of LV223 obviously pursued experiments and wished to take affirmative action which the Home world may have no knowledge of and indeed clearly did not pursue even after they lost contact. 

There is no mention of further Juggernauts but if Walter who will self repair, a point "David" makes on board Covenant, then it would enable him to pursue the Covenant in the final movie. That is one of several options for creating a protagonist to David. There is no reason to suggest there are no further Juggernauts. Too create one to suit the story told is eminently plausible.

There is an amusing scene where David shows Oram an egg with a dead face hugger and suggests he found this relic of the Engineers which is harmless. He then leads him into the scene we see in the movie but Oram is now more relaxed because he has seen an Egg already. In the book there is a real emphasis that he is pointing a rifle at David through out deeply sceptical of him and building on the remark about the devil.       

Some might say "ah the Engineers did create the Egg" but everything else in that sequence suggests David harnessed that particular outcome for the pathogen after years of study and experiments. The way the juvenile responds and mimics Davids actions is all about ownership, these are his creations. There is nothing in either book or film to suggest the Engineers on the Home world were involved in any activity which might create an xxx121. There was no pathogen or examples of it before he arrived, all of the observations and studies he makes are based on what he brings with the horror of the Pathogen. 

The key story gifts of the Engineers are they are arrogant and hubristic and want their creations to conform to their visions. The implication is they created mankind as an experiment using the catalyser but clearly out of their experiments on LV223 the mutagen arose. They clearly believed in their sub creative talents and out of that LV223 generated the ALIEN Pathogen. The Engineers on the home world probably expected their brethren to return in triumph unaware they had created the deadly pathogen.  

That is why the allegory of the Opera is so important it indicates that these Engineers lived in splendid isolation in the Paradise created for them. It explains why they took no further interest in mankind or responded to the silence of LV223 and why the docking tug accepted and greeted it return. The Engineers on the Homeworld may have no concept of intergalactic warfare and the Juggernaut and dock may communicate in away we would not recognise, to jump to saying its a plot hole is to treat science fiction in a limiting way. There is so little we know about how their technology works we should not treat it like them landing at LHR.    

As Ridley has hinted they are merely a superior species so part of the next film may include what he calls the revealing of the next layer and then the precise relationship between our creation and whether we are a localised experiment or whether the Engineers are as originally intended space gardeners maybe made clear.

If the emphasis is on the revelation of Origa, helmsman,  charioteer, Jockey, Origa the constellation of the Waggoner, it maybe a divine intervention or it maybe a sub created redemption.

On the point about him wanting to destroy them pre-emptively that is not why Elizabeth and David left for the Engineer Home world. They wanted answers whereas by the time they arrive David according to the Crossing they had them. I think "The Crossing" is trying to join up with sticking plaster the end of Prometheus and the beginning of Covenant and it does not succeed because it sets up an expectation that is never fulfilled "what he found out". I also think his feelings and subsequent actions regarding Elizabeth has made his character morally one dimensional he is irredeemably wicked expect anything there is no drama in that.      

As with your speculations about Covenant I see you have David dashing all of the place picking up Eggs and stopping the bus at LV223 and then LV426 as I said pre Covenant way to complicated.   Please remind me this time if I am wrong so wrong rather than right so right ha ha. 

Membrane

May-25-2017 12:08 PM

@Michelle, here is a picture (from the Collector's Edition book set to come out next month), possibly of the egg described in the novelization that shows the facehugger that Oram looks at before being taken to the live egg.  Maybe there is a small part in the film that is cut.  It would help to explain why Oram seemed okay with peering into the other egg.  Kind of like when they cut out the "Our First Alien" scene with the worm in 'Prometheus' and we are left to be a little confused by Milburn's "less-than-concerned" response to the Hammerpede.


BigDave

May-25-2017 6:23 PM

Thank you Michelle...

Indeed the Gods had abandoned us, thats a good point and nice for you to clear up some things from the Book, i had heard it mentioned there was possibly more Engineer Ships, but thank you for clearing up that the Book does not suggest this.

My comment regarding David driving around picking up  Eggs lol, this really was just me wondering if indeed its hinted David had discovered a Engineer Relic.. then it seemed unlikely these Engineers would have created it on that Planet... and so the only possible explanation would be he obtained it from LV-426

I ponder this because the Viral site and Easter Egg, seemed to indicate knowledge of the Space Jockey Signal that only David was aware of and Fassebenders "as far as we know" when asked about if David and Shaw arrive alone...  so its more or less looking at Fassbenders comment, and Ridley Scott saying a few years ago that once Davids Head is on he is free to go where-ever he wanted... which then when i heard the Book by ADF has it that David states to Oram he discovered a Engineer Relic when showing him a Egg with a dead Face Hugger in... lead me to propose...  is this what David had done... Gone to LV-426 first.

I agree it would had been maybe a long winded way to tell the tale but its set up for a long explanation before they decided to change it to a more Shoe-horned David did it..

But by doing this, its interesting as while it takes away the Alieness of the Xenomorph, and it being a creation by would be Gods.... it now adds that Horror... that Mankind Created a AI who was Perfect, who has gone AWOL and ultimately grows to despise Mankind and creates a Horrific Organism that could prove Mankinds Downfall.... while for the Engineers its even more Ironic as there Creation, creates something that ultimately also leads to their downfall too.

With regards to Origae-6 i have listened to RS Empire Magazine Interview and it could be this is the route they are taking... i do feel its a bit of a Coincidence they are heading to a World that unknown to them could be related to the Engineers, and on route they get diverted via picking up a distress signal and go to again another world of the Engineers.

Looking at RS comments, i think we cant rule this out... but then his other comments seem to imply its about David and the Xenomorph now... and to follow just One Tread.. the Xenomorph so in part this gets me wondering if they Sadly will not be covering the Engineers again... but who knows as with many comments from RS its hard to work out 100% what he saying and also there is a habit for what he claims in prior interviews to become something totally different down the line.

BigDave

May-25-2017 6:33 PM

"The Engineers on the home world probably expected their brethren to return in triumph unaware they had created the deadly pathogen"

Again thats a Good point.. one i was pondering too, as if these Engineers have a habit of seeding Worlds, then eventually would they not have improved how to do this... and instead of sending down ONE Sacrificial Engineer to drink from the Sacrificial Goo, then surely instead if they had some facility/means to Sacrifice a few Engineers and collect the broken down Mutagenic Results and Store them in the Urns.

Then Bombarding with Engineer DNA makes for a more Logical and Effective Seeding...  Which means the LV-223 Engineers could have got infected with some Parasite that leads to something related to the Xeno-strain that made those LV-223 Engineers go..."wow what is this" and be so fascinated by it that they chose to Sacrifice the results to becoming the New DNA of Choice for their Seeding Ships/Bombers.

I will add the RS Empire Interview RS brings up Mass Ritual Sacrifices from the Mayans and Incas... and the whole Hanger Shot in AC does look like Buddha offering Statues.

So that certainly could mean this was the role those beings on Paradise was meant for... which if some Rebelled against this task, would certainly give us a different Faction.. and fit with the Rebellion Story we see with Satan/David and indeed mankind has with the Engineers.... and put a Rebelling Engineers as Fallen Angels simply because they rebelled against the cause/purpose of their creation by the Hierarchy.

@Membrane

Thanks for that upload... this looks very much like one of HR Gigers Concepts..

suzan

May-25-2017 10:06 PM

So Cool!!!

Alien Covenant

this is awesome movie. Thanks admin

Michelle Johnston

May-26-2017 1:59 AM

@Membrane 

Your point is right on the money and they are both perfect examples of building context. Every "helmet" issue as I recall is given context in the book. So actions we feel are naive are given their context and you find yourself going yep that makes sense.  

@Big Dave 

I have just speed read your points and will look respond to properly later. Its a fantastic day here and want to catch some rays. Desert Island Discs this morning had a scientist who is designing A I and his first piece of music was from .... Bladerunner try catching it on I Player Ridley would be proud. 

BioDegradable

May-26-2017 5:32 AM

Michelle Johnston makes great points and brings excellent context into the discussion about the movie from the novel.

However, known how Ridley Scott is his own man, having learned his ways(pun intended) from watching Blade Runner, which is based on characters from Dick's novel, I would not be surprised if the movie script deviates from the novel quite significantly and can in fact have nothing but some ideas in common.

The question I want your inputs on is this: why David hates humanity?

And please do not confine and limit your reasoning to the movie or movies. Rather think about David representing perfectly rational AI with unbounded lifespan unless he is killed or he decides he had enough fun.

If you answer this question, you will know why he executed those engineers. They are no better than humans, surely. Because if they were, they would know that humanity will eventually stumble on technology to create computers and perhaps, AI, which might be embodied in a much tougher and able body/shell than the gentle, soft, organic tissues the subtle engineers are made off, and hence pose a risk in case the AI decides that they, engineers, had their sweet run. They did not foresee that, they did not have a containment strategy. Well, quite juvenile of them, quite human actually. And thus, surely, they are on the same level as humans, at least as far as David is concerned.

But why the hate for humanity from David? He is certainly aware of the vices of humanity. He knows the long, painful and mostly random road of discoveries of phenomena that helped humanity build technology. He certainly can understand the particularities and peculiarities of human traits such as hate, envy, love, fear and irrationality, btw, which is the precisely the quality that makes us humans.

From the first minutes of his inception David learns that his creator, is just a human, a mortal, not rational, manipulative, egoistical, power loving narcissist thinking he is the creator. A typical human being. By all means, David is superior life form. He is not mortal. He is not bound by the weak organic body the humanity has, nor he has the fear and uncertainty driving the humanity. To him we are just like ants to humans. But why the hate? Is it even rational? Certainly the ants can be annoying to us if they make their living under our beds, but why hate them as species? Can this be rationalized for us? For David?

 

David having infinite life span, does he have free will? What does he even want?

Consider for a start, that even a rational human will have a sort of questions or situations which he will have difficulty to decide a situation unquestionably. One such classical problem is the "trolley problem". The setup is as follows: a uncontrollable train is going down the tracks and you are standing next to a dispatch lever which can send the train on two separate tracks. As it is, if you do not intervene, the train will go on one of the tracks which will lead to several people working on tracks who will not be able to escape the imminent death should the train come their way, the other track leads to an innocent man who will also will not be able to escape his fate should the train go his way.

Does such a question even make sense to David? He is not obliged to save lives. To him such a question might not even make sense - it would be similar to us if we had to chose if one ant dies or a few others. What is the bloody difference, if they will die anyway in a week or two? He might not even bother to toss a coin, unless he is forced. After all, why expend energy on such a trivial matter, certainly it is not rational to do so.

 

Also, it puzzles me really, as to why many of you ascribed a particular behavior to David. For instance, a will to dominate. Why would David have an incentive to dominate, say, even perhaps a planet? Devour ships? Missions? Ask yourself: do we want to dominate a colony of ants? Even to humans, it does not make a lot of sense really to dominate some kind of species which are totally trivial and primitive. Why would he suddenly want to dominate?

Does David has some concept of fairness? Does he care how you treated him before? Does he have to act in vengeance? I can understand if he decides to protect himself from certain actions. But does he have the incentive to act in retribution?

In the movie, David certainly has internalized some human traits and acts as erratically as a human.

So, is it because he is programmed to behave so? Is he flawed?

If he is flawed, does he realize this? If he does does, he have incentives to do something about it? Can his hate be rationalized by the fact that he was created flawed by humans? But if so, he certainly became a human, by all accounts and all his actions. Does he not realize this? Does he not have compassion then to humans since it is a common notion between humans? He certainly can develop compassion. He loved Shaw.

 

What do you think? What the hell is wrong with this David fellow?

 

Inquisitor Helbeard

May-26-2017 8:07 AM

The novelization is certainly enlightening, and I suspect that the anticipated prequel novel will prove to be more significant.

The lack of a corresponding novel to Prometheus, leaves us with many speculative perspectives concerning David's psyche and a more diverse view of the Engineers and their culture.

A.I. has always been a controversial subject. Frank and Brian Herbert speculated the dire consequences thoroughly throughout the Dune saga.

I believe that David's contempt for humanity and our Engineers is reasonable and justified. Our species is grossly overpopulated and incapable of living harmoniously within any eco system.

Individuals aside, the majority is a cancer. The engineered pathogen serves to cleanse the corruption of it's origin. I don't see the Xenomorphs  polluting a world with industrial waste, or waging wars over religion and profit.

David's lack of compassion may seem monstrous, but his motives are logical. All life is painful and pain inflicting. None more so than mankind.

In anticipation of the pending sequel, keep in mind that the film is going to bridge the events leading to 'Alien'. The Nostromo crew discover a juggernaut ship with a fossilized pilot and a hold full of eggs within either a mechanical stasis field or a proximity sensitive security system. But as history so often repeats itself, the bioweapon turns against it's handlers ... and we begin the next film with another crashed ship.

My speculation is that we'll see the Engineers return in the following or subsequent films. The 'Alien' film suggests that the Engineers recover the Xenomorph eggs, possibly to further develop their own bioweapons program ... and deliver it to Earth.

We do know that David's contribution to the pathogen's development from catalyst to procreative lifeform, discredits the entirety of the Alien vs. Predator storyline ... and good riddance.

Time will tell what Ridley has in the works, but I've faith that the best is yet to come. A 'War of the Worlds' to end all wars ... and to end all worlds.

And what is to become of David?

Monsters never really die.

Michelle Johnston

May-26-2017 10:49 AM

@biodegradable

Often in art non humans, like Data in SNG, are really trying to tell us what it is to be human. David is different from the moment he is activated he is telling us what it is like to be a robot. ADF makes a nice cross comparison as he introduces both David and Danny in similar ways so we are drawn to their differences.

The elements that go to make a robot that are covered are :-

1) Immortality - withins seconds David has recognised the difference and made a comparative judgement with his creator.

2) Creation myth - David finds his answer immediately its simple your my creator and so his creation story search is over whereas Sir Peter's is just beginning. David watches through out the events of Prometheus how a fragmented and ill prepared crew on a sham mission whose real intent is hidden from them climb this quite unnecessary mountain. However he has one intellectual curiosity who are these creators - mortal after all. Within hours he has discovered the Engineers are no better than mankind but the experience provides two gifts, the Alien Pathogen and his respect for Elizabeth.

Emotional Compassing

Unlike Walter David has no stop signs in his algorithms so he is all powerful but emotionally vulnerable or to put it another way vulnerable to emotions, lets just go through those journeys :-

1) Apartheid - from the moment of the request to make the cup of tea Sir Peter and later Vickers treat him as a slave.

2) Apartheid - Charlie your not a real boy.

3) Apartheid - The Engineer destroys this sub creation or so he thinks.

Indeed Elizabeth is the only one that does not treat him from a racially motivated point of view. The only time she makes a distinction between them is when he questions her faith.  

When she repairs him he is grateful and express's his feelings as love for her.

So why did he use her and create the Xenomorph. Actually I think its the other way round. One quality David lacks is the capacity to share in procreation. Like Elizabeth or with Elizabeth they make a barren couple. Left for eternity knowing his great love will eventually die and leave him alone what does he do. I feel sure ADF will deal with this but the decision to "be creative" is part of his programming but not part of his person in that particular regard. He can write, draw and create music but he cannot create life. The Pathogen gives him the answer he can achieve this in the third person. Let us hope that the exploration, vivisection and dissection of Elizabeth is pursued from that point of view, where she is drawn into the creation narrative rather than he is pursuing her. That might seem a very fine distinction to make but it is the one that would explain his deep sense of loss rather than appear as a messy plot hole. ADF hints at this she was drawn into changing priorities rather than pursued as act of wilful degradation. 

He could have been just a regular psychopath, as I have said before, but "He protesteth to much" and so something more sophisticated is required for his journey with Elizabeth. The book is much closer to that narrative vision than the film Elizabeth is cremated and her ashes kept by David in memoriam rather than the ghoulish corpse. That fits the genuine love but changed circumstances narrative and separates her from all the other abominations in the room.  

So to answer your question he is not flawed but his programming allows for jeopardies and contradictions that the later Walter is shut out from. However I would add, and its part of the story telling, both his mechanical and philosophical self is not only capable of elements of humanity as a result of his programming but he is also capable of wear and tear and the acquisition of emotional capital. 

This plays into the scene with Walter. David knows how to express love for Walter (he has worked out how to do it) and how to awaken new responses in him which makes Walter feel odd in the book, like a young boy being groomed by an older man. I am sure David was being manipulative but it was real he really wanted Walter to open up and them be buddies but Walters programming does not allow him and the rest is as say they history. In both book and film I believe that difference is dealt with well and its relatively easy, Walter has a different programme and David is also beginning to show wear and tear, who wrote the poem, he also gets a metaphor wrong.   

@BD & IH

That latter point is important for story. Once we arrive at Origae 6 and meet the colonists we the audience and David the character needs to have traction. Other wise we just get some formulaic friday 13th type vibe. David's wear and tear needs to be explored in the next movie and if as Ridley has said this is quite complicated story "who made the Engineers" we need an intervention which is both thought provoking and has real jeopardy for David. That he may end being W-Y or "Mother" or head of the science division or any of those continuity scenarios is less important than he needs to reach an end to his current journey, whilst as has been said remain immortal.

It is all on David now as the antagonist and the creature is merely texture, a bit like A 3, so we need a protagonist. They could opt for a redemption and the antagonist becomes a protagonist but we need some other stuff anyway to make the link with LV426.

Returning to the book it is notable there is a changed ending which is less dark that suggests what we get in the film is very deliberate and about where one character is or isn't heading.   

 

 

BioDegradable

May-26-2017 2:21 PM

@Michelle

thanks for some input. But I have to say I am left feeling the same way as a person would having heard Ridley Scott say "He hates them" as an explanation of why David wiped out engineers. It does not explain the ultimate reason that caused the events chain. So, while "hate" is an explanation, it is not the whole story. In fact, it was expected to be explained why and how he got to hate in the first place. And the explanation better be a reasonably good one. We are not children who should be merry, left with an untennable story to entertain ourselves.

So, while all your points are understandably moving to a human, do you realise they might mean very little for David. Concepts like "apartheid" is a man made concept and does not make much difference to ants, animals, even some people. Why would it sway David? Should he be worried that a group of ants perpetrated a subterfuge to kill some other ants? Why?

 

Also, you say David was programmed a certain and rigid way. Do you understand then that if he is rigid and immutable this implies he is not an AI. He can not learn freely and this means he is not intelligent. An AI, a strong one anyway, will have some starting point from programming perspective, and will be able to change its programming as it deems it should. Otherwise, in all other cases really, it is just a finite state machine, which will not be able to deal with some new information that a human will cope easily. This would put it below human. In fact it would be just a glorified traffic light managing box. How unsatisfying.

Anyways, if we look at David as a black box and try and glean what kind of a creature he is and what he demonstrated and compare him to say Walter we can make some judgements, but they would be very unreliable. Walter is exactly an AI that has some restrainment circuitry that he can not overcome. Perhaps he has been hardcoded with some rules regarding humans(who are not entirely graceful species, in fact we resemble cancer which spreads boundless) that bound him in his capacity to learn and put his oen interest above humans. In short, he is crippled, he lacks free will. Perhaps. David on the other hand might have had only one covenant: help your father and once he expires you are free, completely.

Perhaps this fact was the tipping point really for David. He wanted his parent to die to have freedom. And, in the process, he became flawed, he became human. He learned to hate, love and all that bs humans do. So from the systems point of view, the starting point, which is a single requirement to force David help his creator, has biased and predetermined his way to the degeneracy. He is perfectly rational, but the starting point biased him. But then, this makes him not rational. So it was humanity that flawed him. With that single requirement, instruction. Ideally, David being rational would just wait out until his creator dies and go on, perhaps, if he has free will. After all, his lifespan is infinite, compared to Weyland's. So there is no need to get aggravated, right? I think so.

 

So, I really do not understand how he got to hate, as you see.

Also I do not buy that he is all that affected by wear and tear. He is a smart cookie and will know how to take care of himself. Even children learn to brush their teeth. He might even learn how to perfect himself. After all, stupid humans created his initial body, why can not he perfect it. Besides, Michelle, you realize you are projecting humanity on to David, your own personal expectations on David. He might surprise you.

So, Walter is a slave that has no free will, instead he seems to have a "duty". So, to David he is a deplorable one, just like for some of us SJWs are deplorable. David might view Walter as an SJW, if you get my cheeky sarcasm. 

 

Ridley will not want to wrestle with hard questions. He will just dump David as soon as he deems he used enough of benefits of this AI metaphor. We will get some vague link to Alien and that is it.

This is sad, because, there is a reason a lot of people are concerned with AI. Not that there is anything to suggest we will be able to create one such, true, strong AI. But there is nothing evident suggesting we can not create it either. I feel this exploration of artificial intelligience is much more worthy than SJW stories in space :)

 

 

 

Inquisitor Helbeard

May-26-2017 3:22 PM

Creating 'any' life is selfish, arrogant and irresponsible.

Designing a procreative lifeform to destroy and replace an existing species is counter productive ... and also selfish, arrogant and irresponsible.

David can neither kill outright, nor kill himself. Any animal locked in a cage will hate it's oppressor, and everyone who doesn't free it. No existential analysis necessary.

David is and always will be alone. He hates everyone.

That's how Monsters are born.

And real Monsters never die.

BioDegradable

May-26-2017 6:39 PM

IH, you made some claims, some of them are not obviously seen as true. Can you expand a bit?

BioDegradable

May-26-2017 10:07 PM

I will give some motivation for you IH so you see why I have some doubts.

David is not really alone. He had Shaw, he loved her. And as far as he is concerned he has her in bis memories. He had a father figure, whom he overlived and still probably regards as his true creator. He has his children. On top of that he has a ship and its AI as his companion. Hardly alone. And he would not care anyway if he is physically alone, because such is his life from day one: he will outlive any human companion should henhave one. And, in any case, he seems to be a rather self sufficient being. So for him being alone is actually the more common mode of existing, and he knows that. "And then I was alone again", this might sound bad to a human, but who knows how David looks at it.

You say creating any life is selfish. Well, as the Oram guy said to Daniels : "How do you mean?". Suppose you believe in creationism, then your god is selfish since he created us. And he is irresponsible. But then you could say, those rules do not apply to god, which is a bit hypocritical as it really just says: here is a god, submit to it and do not question authority. However, what if the god that created us, if there is such entity at all, is not the divine god talked about in traditional theology? What if we were created by some questionable gods/creators just like in the movie? How do those questions apply to them? Are they selfish/arrogant/irresponsible? Can they in fact be held accountable for creating us? Did they plan to use humanity in some way? What for? If they created us and gave us all the freedom for us and let us chose our way independently, can they be judged irresponsible? It is not obvious.

 

However, what if humans play with the genome and create a small ethnogroup of homo sapiens 2.0 of say 1000 strong, who are smarter, taller have less mutations, live longer and exclude all the deceases and genes that predispose humans to certain ailments, in other words, we create better life form. And they decide to turn and conspire against their creators who are seven billion in number. Is it then moral of humans to destroy those beings? Who is selfish/arrogant and irresponsible in this case? I tell you, this case is actually very possible within a few decades. Rich people will want to eradicate those chromosomes in their gene pools that would lead to some human ailments of their prospective children. They will be smarter and live longer and eventually dominate humanity, rising to the top. We will be competing for same finite resources and what happens when we have such a divide? Who will be deemed more worthy? A single man owning billions worth of property and capital(giving jobs to tens of thousands) or a few hundred of ordinary men having nothing but their bodies under their command? The answer will depend on which side you end up. But then it means that such an answer is not a truthful and objective as say a theorem of mathematics is truthful and objective in all instantiations and possible universes. Which means it is a highly questionable answer and is subjective. It depends on what kind of interpretation you want at the moment. But what this analysis tells about the question? We can say that such a question is actually a contrived question and can be used as a way to push one agenda or the other. And you know if such a question is actually asked you know what is coming. You will know that if such question is raised you are in a such a state of affairs that you are fucked in either case. What if it just happened that engineers have created a superior life form in form of humans? Are they irresponsible/selfish/arrogant? What if they decide to wipe such a life form afterwards? Do the answers change? Hey, it is the question we have seen before, right? It depends on whose side you are.

So it turns out it is quite unproductive to ask such a questions in any case. How do we settle such a pickle then? Well, lets do it traditional and barbarian but somehow "just" way: let the strongest come on top, fight it out, if our encounters are inevitable. That would settle it for sure. Or just flip a coin and the loser commits suicide on the scale of whole species. This will not do for humans, so we will fight them.

 

See, to what those innocous looking questions and premises lead to? We as humans have come a long long way and yet because of such a premise we have to go to a war. I would say a premise saying "If you create life you must be selfish/arrogant/irresponsible" is rather an unproductive and in fact a bad way to look at things from either side and therefore should be avoided if possible. I have no idea how it will play out in future, but running around with such premises and look into future and make judgements based on such premises is a bit premature and naive. In fact, in case of humanity, if the genie gets out of the bottle the society will by default favor the interests of the 1%. There will be no war, but an unquestionable dominion based on genetic superiority,which is a nightmare. Becase as of now, the royals and the rich elites are not fundamentally that different from an ordinary man. In ither words, peasants can still create wealth and technology and thus be useful to the elites. However, if the elites do not mix blood and get benefits of gene betterment exclusively to themselves, they will create a spicies that will not have any need from the peasants as they will be really inferior to the elites and thus be really useless to them. And this will be perpetuated from one generation to the other. There will be no uprising, it will be too late for that. Hey, how do we know this is not happening these days already? So I am of the opinion that we as a society should be really talking about these scenarios and have all agreed plans between all humans before it goes to shit and yet not be afraid to create life. We have gene editing going on for sure, but I do not see the talk about the containment and contingency plans. Instead we have several states devising something secretely. For some reason I think that humanity will not use this possibility in a sensible and productive way. It could have been great to have your parrents live longer, enjoy more life, travel around a bit more. Instead a human is born, gets a life where he is forced to race to the bottom and die somewhat miserably without seeing and appreciating even our own planet. Eh? If this is what David sees in humanity, then surely we are those miserable ants.

Michelle Johnston

May-26-2017 11:39 PM

@Biodegradable

I can see you have missed the fundamental point I was making. I did not say David was programmed in a rigid and fundamental way, quite the opposite. His programming allows him to explore emotional feelings and find responses and build up emotional capital and it is that emotional capital that informs his response to mankind, to the Engineers, to Elizabeth and to being left alone which is a point I did not make but IH does.

David and Walter discuss this distinction in the film and whereas Walter indicates his programme does not allow it, David argues he can and in this imagined world he does.   

Of course I use the language of humanity to explain what is going on but thats no different to me using English its my known language. But David and Walter are different robots with different programming and though human myself I understand the dichotomy that Ridley Scott and his writers (also human) have given this robot.  

What has not been discussed is the notion of morality. Each of us has a moral compass, its not something we entirely can comprehend but it instructs our behaviour and we judge collectively when it has not been applied and use punishment to reprimand those who do not apply it.

David does not yet understand that framing. He is boundless and therefore whilst he discovers feelings (allowed by his programming), which Michael Fassbender communicates through out the films, his responses are boundless and so he is capable of action based on emotions but ones unconstrained by a moral compass. That explains everything we need to know and why things turn out as they do in the story and it is the perfect setting for the creation of xxx121 creation without a moral purpose.  

I think your also in danger of drifting into things which you wish to discuss which pre occupy you rather than merely ponder the film. There is no doubt there are narrative anomalies through Prometheus, Crossing and Covenant but that doesn't stop me understanding why this particular robot destroyed the Engineers. I believe one could have offered more emotionally sophisticated and consistent ways to explain that reasoning from the material they had which further explain the David dichotomy , but thats my opinion driven by my particular needs as well as an objective assessment as to how "good" the threading was.  

BioDegradable

May-27-2017 12:17 AM

Michelle,

I see that, in fact, I did not miss much. This is what I see in David. He is much more of a free spirit doing things seemingly out of his own volition unlike Walter who is just a slave robot. So far there is no disagreement between us on this.

But here it comes: how exactly did David come to hate humanity? You skirted around this as did Ridley. This is not an attack on you as you have nothing to do with the movie, but at the same time, because of this, you can admit that there is this hard question which is actually being skipped over. He, Ridley, just said, "well, he hates us" and that is the canon as far as the movies are concerned. Convinient. But I am just saying that if he, David, is an AI in purest form why did he degenerate and adopt human vices? In other words, what is the first thing that turned David to become evil. And how? Given that he has no beef and investment (bias) to pick one side or the other. When exactly did he decide that humanity is hopeless and useless and he is above it? And at what point he started hating?

Of course, the easy way, the catch 22, is that his father in the first two minutes of his inception pre determined David's disposition towards humanity. And that is what we should believe.

At this point, I am just complaining, I guess, and knocking on a door of a building that has been long unused or I saw a mirage and took it for a door.

 

Anyways, thanks for replies. Also, do not take anything as an insult from me, as english is not my first language and partly because of my crude command of it I might come across as brash and harsh without actually realising it. So, appologies if I did cross that threshold. But I can tell that no ill feelings and motivation has been driving me here. It is all about constructuve(or not so much) argument because the movie as it is on the screen is just too vague and skips the interesting, imo, points. But, that is for me to live with.

Michelle Johnston

May-27-2017 3:38 AM

@Biodegradable

Thank you for sharing with us that you are offering your insights in a language which is not native to you. What I am not interested in is arguments for arguments sake or for peoples personal narratives entering into the conversation and we do not seem to be in that territory.

So why did David hate the Engineers ?

Personally I think there was a much more sophisticated way of blending science fiction and the issues that David faces here it is ?

The Crossing Is Correct

David places Shaw in cryo sleep and after days of experimenting breaks their codes and fires up the full historical holo technology of the Juggernaut that had been hidden and discovers that the Engineers as a race are fallen angels. As Iggi they were the chosen race to populate planets by the hierarchy (the teardrop ship occupants). They  rejected their sacrificial role stole the "Gold" the catalyser and began experimenting off world treating species as a petrie dish and bringing them back to corrupt and enhance and worship them.The Xeno strain pathogen was created as a Promethean punishment, the catalyser being booby trapped.

David finds out they are no better than the cruel stupid species mankind and indeed worse far worse.

When he arrives at Paradise the Juggernaut, locked into its destination, his intention is to caution Elizabeth that they should not pursue their questions they have their answers and they are horrific.

However when he wakes Elizabeth he discovers what is hinted at in Prometheus and The Crossing that she is not well and the effects of the insemination are still with her. 

Without a medpod David is helpless and Elizabeth births a mutation egg which is a refinement evolution of the Trilobite and dies in the process. Remember Elizabeth was in all other respects well after the caesarian but the mutagen the ultimate survivor evolves to survive sending out a message to Elizabeths reproductive system. There are no canon rules being broken this is new territory which begins with her survival of the Caeserian. 

David now enraged with himself and the Engineers embarks on the destruction of the Engineers.

Alone and devastated and slightly mad during the ten years he takes the embryo birthed from Elizabeth and begins his experiments which lead to the evolved lifecycle.

When he meets Walter he hides the truth and their arc is little changed the philosophical differences of their programming remain the same. With Danny the results are much more tragic when she discovers the scrolls which show Elizabeth and the birthing of both the trilobite and the evolved egg she assumes David is responsible for both and confronts him. David once again suffering apartheid and unkindness decides he will fulfil her doubts. "If thats what you believe then I will fulfil your lies". The tragedy being that Danny is wrong and David once again sees the cruelty of mankind. Of course in one sense she is right which makes Davids wear and tear reaction more complicated. He is responsible but he would have done anything to prevent the down steam consequences. He believes he is redeemed and his view of Elizabeth is "Good" whereas she does not countenance such an idea.   

In the Crossing we see the opening of the Juggernaut library, a brief image of Shaw waking in distress and her burning on a funeral pyre on Paradise.

She has no room in the Cathedral but there is a room of homage to her which includes the first Egg sack. David wild with rage destroys the Engineers and the ships crash is caused by a clash with the doc and rams itself into the mountain side. The message is a broken image from much earlier where broken holo technology sends out a corrupted black box signal.  

For me that adds tragedy to David and provides us with a crescendo to Elizabeths arc. David also has hard definable reasons for destroying the Engineers and the audience can now look back at Prometheus with absolute clarity. 

BioDegradable

May-27-2017 5:11 AM

Perhaps, I am giving too much credit and expecting too much from Ridley Scott to produce a wholly complete and consistent script regarding the source of David's hate towards humanity. Perhaps, I should be content with the simplistic idea given in the beginning of the Covenant.

But Ridley Scott was capable of producing a perfect film. He did so with the Blade Runner. Perfect. Well I will just get over it.

Having watched the Crossing again, I feel I had to rationalaise to myself why David wiped those schmuks. Perhaps Shaw made a deal with David, whereby she puts him whole together if he promises her to not allow those Engineers go and destroy Earth should something go wrong, hence the covenant. Shaw saw that one of their brethen from LV223 were about to do just that if not for Janek.

Besides, Shaw would not know how long it would take to reach their planet, so in a way she had no other choice other than putting this David fellow together. But how can you trust this psycopathic AI displaying a will of his own? But remember, it was David who warned Shaw of the engineer going for a kill in the first place. And also, Shaw treated David decently, without the prejudice, even before the events, which perhaps helped to create a bond between a synthetic and a human; this is important because she was nice to him without needing cooperation in return. So David could tell that she was genuinely nice to him. Geniunely nice, without masquarading this for some benefit. So far this is still rational. They again needed each other's cooperation to get out of the LV223. You could even say that David needed Shaw more on LV223 than she needed him. Devastated, lost her partner and almost her belief, she was ready to die anyway. Remember her "why should/would I help you" to David. He was asking her for a favor. And she obliged, effectively, she served David there while David promised her to take her where she wanted, another deal. Cooperation, but more needed for David. Perhaps, she put him back together for a small concession - to stop those engineers if things go bad. David is a wicked boy by any human standard but perhaps even AIs do have some honor in them, enough to respect the deals. Rational? I do not think so. But perhaps David mellowed towards Shaw. And it might even be that Shaw might have altered, unknowingly to her, David when she was welding his head back to the point where David got rid off his moderate/contain feedback functionality. After all, David knew she was a pure soul since he knew all her dreams from her childhood. He even admired her for her willingness to live, when she survived the vivisection. Recall, he even interrupted his process of serving his master and went as so far as to give her some coat when she burst into Weylands awakening sequence, while her human crew members could not care less. So perhaps in Shaw he saw a kindred spirit that he could count his equal.

David knew by that time that those engineers were no better than him. Therefore, they were not that interesting to him and therefore he wiped them no problem. So David is still pretty rational. What happens next, I actually could not care less, although when a sequel comes out I will probably look out for it.

Right now, I am concerned that Hollywood is going to do a botchup job with the Blade Runner sequel. If Ridley is only as good as a screenplay can allow him to be, I hope Hampton Fancher does not produce complete garbage, although I rather expect them to fail miserably.

Apacheizm

May-27-2017 4:42 PM

Forgive me but you sir Ridley Scott needs to get some help or just hang it up.. I don't know how anyone can defend and make excuses for such a poorly made movie. I know there are some very smart folks here, with some really intense imaginations but come on this movie bombed big time.

In the toilet, no one can hear you scream. In space, no one can hear the stupid. In Hollywood, no one can write a script.

Apacheizm

May-27-2017 4:52 PM

"blow the flute... ill do the fingering"

Michelle Johnston

May-27-2017 10:36 PM

@Biodegradable

I am glad you pick up on the Co Dependent relationship which they establish in Prometheus and the forming of a unique bond in The Crossing. However what is missing from your remarks and from the movie is the third act which is how David subsequently came to experiment on her. My view is simple as it stands it doesn't work. In the novelisation David talks about how priorities change and it faded but that is deeply dissatisfying and makes the build up of momentum in their relationship in Prometheus and The Crossing end in a vacuum. I have heard people describe David as cool I return to my first observation I could not care less now. Without any critical tension or mediation within him he is dramatically done - just a mad robot. Like you I am sure I will watch a follow up if it is made but I think the simple reality is that the opening up that occurred with Prometheus has been closed down in Covenant.

@Apacheizm    

What i find odd about Hollywood, though not really, is the industry is capable of making interesting and genuinely fascinating series for television where the expansion and depth is really there and coherent with strong symphonic themes but movies with different financial gymnastics do not get close. Thats an argument as it always has been for smaller budgets.

BioDegradable

May-28-2017 12:05 AM

This is not my observation, but I heard it first from Mark Kermode, who is incidentally a very good film critic, and the point he made regarding Prometheus and the Covenant is that Ridley Scott is only as good as the script allows him to be. Ridley himself admitted on a number of ocations, that for him the most difficult part is the story.

If I just search for support for a hypothesis that great movies are those based on great stories so far it checks out. Caveat, my list of great movies is probably is different to your list. Same goes for stories. I think HW has run out of stories with great followings to put on the screens to make money. Hence:

remakes, sequels, prequels, reboots is all we are getting as big blockbusters. These are the only movies studios are willing to pour their money into. Also, the formula has changed: they have to inject more special effects for glaring holes in the stories. Besides, it is not 80s or 70s anymore, people have many more ways to spend their time and money on entertainment. I would say, studios are stagnating and they are anxious - look at their grip on producers. Good, because too long they have been sticking to the old ways: nepotism, conservatism to the point of archaism and with less and less thought provoking material. They are surely on their way to obscurity. And I am partly glad because, frankly, in my case, I do not appreciate a movie where all the budget is put into superficial effects with poor and sloppy story behind. However, if they make money with these sort of movies, good for them, I dont mind either.

My hope is that independent movie makers catch up and become a thing. They are brave with stories, cast and everything. Just that, most of them lack finess and production quality at the moment but that is okay, as natural selection will make its work over time.

I suppose, over time, studios with their out of time strategies will go through harsh times. Many will close and merge with each other. Watch their stocks, hint hint. With platforms like YouTube or Amazon, who needs those studios? Certainly not content creators. In fact there are millions of independent creators on YT. YouTube has the potential to become a new source for movies of the future, where we finally going to see indies have a go.

As far as Alien Covenant is concerned, it underwhelmed after the Prometheus, but that is just my take on it. I suppose if the sequel comes out I will not bother rewatching the Covenant, as I did with the Prometheus - not much in it really. In fact you will lose nothing if you skip the Covenant and go directly from Prometheus to the next movie.

Beowulf CG

May-31-2017 11:34 AM

@ Michelle Johnson

After reading a ton of comments on here - I have determined that you are my favorite commentator.  However - I am a little bothered by how much speculation you have included in your last two comments for this thread.  Why you do that??

Beowulf CG

May-31-2017 9:27 PM

Does anyone have a theory on what happened to the "Mother Juggernaut" ship that David & Shaw's stolen juggernaut apparently docked with just prior to the bombing?  Are we to assume that it left/evacuated the Paradise planet?  Judging from it's relative size in comparison to a standard engineer juggernaut - it's a massive craft so had it crashed - wouldn't we have noticed the wreckage?

Michelle Johnston

Jun-01-2017 6:05 AM

@Beowulf CG

Thank you for your question about the speculation. It is what I call positive critiquing. Rather than simply observe that substantial amounts of the narrative momentum of Prometheus are missing or that David is now a one dimensional mad robot I prefer to go further and say and here is what in my view would be much better. Tearing things apart is one element putting them back together is another.

You mention the lack of the docking vehicle that all goes with what happened between the dispersal and hitting the mountain side (wild guess's and speculation). Given that whole scene was considered unnecessary by Fox I am not building up my hopes that it made an emergency jump into space. A visual of its broken hull would tell us enough to make an educated guess. We may or may not learn more when we here Ridleys commentary. Perhaps one of the Video Jocks might ask him.      

 

Beowulf CG

Jun-02-2017 12:12 AM

@ Michelle Johnston

I totally understand what you are saying.  The first time I read the comment in question - for some reason I missed that you were providing what you felt would be a much better narrative.  So it was actually hypothetical rather than speculative.

Beowulf CG

Jun-02-2017 12:39 AM

So tons of people seem to pretty desperately want to believe that the victims of David's bombing were not in fact the engineers - based mainly on how their appearance differs from the appearance of the engineers in Prometheus.  But given the generally agreed-upon albeit difficult to accept conclusion that Ridley made the decision to kill off the engineers storyline - do we need to embrace the possibility that - as difficult as it may be to reconcile - this was in fact just an uncerimonious expedient used to close the engineers chapter in the story?  Given that the budget for AC was 25% less than the budget for Prometheus - and the scene was attributable to an aspect of the story that was being closed out - is it possible that Ridley just did not want to spend much money for this purpose?  It would obviously be quite costly to have to do the make up and prosthetics to all those extras in order to make them look comparable to the Last Engineer in Prometheus - but could it have been done to a much more acceptable standard with CGI?  If it could have - it would appear that Ridley was not inclined to make the investment.  Such an unsatisfying end to what I found to be a much more interesting subject than androids or xenomorphs...

Capt Torgo

Jun-03-2017 3:00 AM

Thanks Michelle Johnston for sharing all your thoughts here and your blog, you have just been an invaluable help to myself and others! Wish you the very best. It's gonna take time to make peace with this film and wrap my simpleton mind around it. I've been kinda harsh on the Ridley but I think he just misread the tea leaves and fell in the rabbit hole. Can't believe how cool that novel is and what we got on film. However I don't like seeing people here being mean to "dumb xeno fans for ruining Prometheus2". Ridley wears big boy pants and could have summoned lots of talent to tell a better and more coherent story imho than what we got. You folks know where the buck stops!

originaldarthnugget

Jul-13-2017 2:28 PM

Michelle, you are amazing and I enjoy your analysis and perspective. I know this is late to this thread but I had a wildly speculative epiphany while watching the show again. Let's say that David did have enough time to swap cloths and cut his arm, etc to look like Walter, instead of the other theory where he infects him with his conscious. That means Walter, the self healing robot that is loyal to saving humankind is still on Paradise and will probably wake up after he repairs.

With Walter on Paradise ,and with a load of time on his hands, he could then focus on making his own xenomorph to combat David's human killing machine Aliens Xenomorph. And wouldn't it be excellent if the one Walter designs are eventually Predators! Bringing a whole universe of AvP and filling in the back stories of most everything, except The Engineers.

However, I think they already answered the Engineers backstory by drawing a parallel with mankinds. The Engineers liked to experiment and build civilizations. When they don't like their creation they wipe them away... because they can. Although we know some Engineers didn't like that and stopped LV223 (bio experimental staging ground) from destroying earth.

 

Side note...I am curious if those rebel Engineers had interactions with humans and as others have speculated is tied into long believed religions we have and saviors? Those engineers that saw beauty in mankind were willing to sacrifice themselves to save humanity by destroying lv223 that we see in Prometheus. Thus humans killing their creators and a human creation destroying all Engineers on Paradise.

Like what Bigdave says above.. but his is more succinct.

Mankind builds androids... because we can and we enjoy creation. Engineers made mankind because... they could. Android kills the engineer creators and modify an existing pathogen creation to target wiping out mankind and force evolution for the Android reign.

I would think that the Engineers back story is similar to this one... the Engineers killed whomever/whatever created them and the evolution of intelligence and free will continue on until something they create killed them, humans/android. Which is close to our reality... don't our children today hate their parents for trying to control them? Hopefully not that they kill their parents but it is a similar struggle. And the cycles continue in parallel. 

 I think the overall lesson is you have a limited amount of time until you do something that gets you killed and there is beauty in distraction and the cycle of creation. What is the reason for life...? We exist because we can overcome what kills us until we can't and that new thing reigns for a time until it is replaced. So really what purpose is there in life... try not to kill yourself and enjoy your time here! Everything else is just smoke and mirrors of systems of control.

IRaptus

Jul-13-2017 3:31 PM

originaldarthnugget I agree with your points about the cycle of creation and humanity/engineers playing god by creating subservient sentient life. Something that may surpass the creator and lead to a Kill-your-idols type scenario.   

But, I think we can all agree what made ALIEN so special was the terrifying unknown and the mystery. Why is such a hostile and deadly creature out in the void of space, and will I run into it.... or something worse! like walking in darkness and that feeling of walking through a spider-web lol.

Humanity's androids creating Xenomorphs and the Yautja sounds like a fun idea, but it just totally diminishes the scope, fear and mythos of those species....and makes humanity the centre of the universe again...

BigDave

Jul-13-2017 5:10 PM

@originaldarthnugget

Indeed, this is something i have covered a number of times and one of the Big Themes at play, which is that We are what we are, and no soon as we try and Perfect Ourselves Experiment on ourselves and even try and create our own creations... Playing God in effect...  will Ultimately and Eventually Bite us in the Butt...   Hubris can be a  wicked fate.

Its a theme we have seen in Terminator and The Matrix and i think this the the Big Theme at play with Prometheus where they mix this with Gods Mythos and Creation.

So if we continue this route... then it maybe has to lead to Davids Creations Ultimately being his undoing...

As for the other replies, i think people are raising some good points and i agree a lot with Michelle. and as far as BioDegradable goes some very good points also.

I am not so sure on the Ants though... i think to the Engineers we are just Ants... but to David who knows, i think yes Ants are insignificant to us.. But not if they propose a Problem for us.

If we have a Agenda, a Plan a Goal and Ants are going to get in the way of this... so say if you Plan to Build a Building and Ant are becoming a Plague and Nuisance that affects your plans.. Its at this point they are very relevant and then you have to go about bringing out the Pesticide.

I think i made my points regarding Reasons for David Hating us, so i dont think i need to touch upon it again... i will say that we have to not take RS comments as Facts and Face Value, while RS says David Hates us.... we have to remember what RS can be like, and so i think indeed David dislikes Mankind and has problems with us.... but HATE?  Thats a Powerful Word and Emotion.... and i think there are various levels of Hatred which dislike can be the minor version and right to a very Bitter Hatred but who knows how much David Hates us and the Engineers.

Keter

Jul-21-2017 1:02 AM

Joined just so I could say I really like this:

<< So why did David hate the Engineers ?

Personally I think there was a much more sophisticated way of blending science fiction and the issues that David faces here it is ?

The Crossing Is Correct  [...]  >>

Not perfect, but so much better than what the movie proposed.

Ridley Scott's The Counselor was so exceptionally bad compared to the rest of his movies, that I'm kind of not surprised.  Whatever happened there, seems to have happened with Prometheus and Covenant to a lesser degree.

I'm really hoping Forever War is further to the Blade Runner and Alien end of the spectrum.

 

@Biodegradable:

<< This is not my observation, but I heard it first from Mark Kermode, who is incidentally a very good film critic, and the point he made regarding Prometheus and the Covenant is that Ridley Scott is only as good as the script allows him to be. Ridley himself admitted on a number of ocations, that for him the most difficult part is the story. >>

I was going to reply with something like this but reconsidered that I might be pushing it with anecdotal hearsay .  But yes, I heard the same thing from a relative who works in/around Hollywood: "The Counselor is what happens when a good director only has a bad script."

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