27 Responses to Androids + Emotions
I Moon Girl - You refer to replicants when you mention the BR universe, don't you?
That is correct. When I say androids in relation to the Bladerunner universe, I mean replicants.
As far as I know, replicants in Blade Runner have artificial memories.
As for the androids, they have info about everything, they are programmed - they do not get artificial memories, but after their birth they start to collect pieces of info about the world, they live, they experience, they become older, so after a while they will have memories as well, I mean real/acquired memories.
As I see it, both artificial memories and acquired memories can generate emotions. We can see this in the relevant movies.
If androids can develop emotions, then why is David kissing Walter in Alien: Covenant? David thinks he understand emotions, but he has expressed them wrong in multiple situations in Alien: Covenant. We live in a culture that is similar to the Alien universe. David is a part of England culture, which, I estimate, is similar to American culture. Guys don't kiss guys and if they do, it typically frowned upon. Really, though, there a lot of mixed emotions on gender issues and humans in America. Plus, statistics show that a very small amount of the population is gay or bisexual. Why does David think he is one of the few that are? I guess he does think he is a god in a fanatical way..., but with all of the info on what it means to be a man, why would he choose something that is associated with not being a typical man? I wouldn't think his self-imposed god-like status would include him being a gay or bisexual. That is not what our culture would impose. Maybe he learned something from what he could read about the Engineers?
'why is David kissing Walter in Alien: Covenant?'
I don't understand why you think that it is a gay kiss. The kiss in BR is a gay kiss? No.
The Covenant kiss can be a 'good-bye kiss', or they say it is a 'kiss of death', etc.
'Plus, statistics show that a very small amount of the population is gay or bisexual. Why does David think he is one of the few that are?'
You say David thinks that he is gay? Sorry, it is new for me.
'very small amount' - How small? How do we know that? In Germany it is over 20%, it can't be so small because different industry branches aim these people and their bank accounts. But is it important to David??? I think he does not think about sexuality and homosexuality when he kisses Walter!
Technically that can't be gay kiss or anything else since neither David nor Walter is human.
"David seems convinced that he can feel emotions, or is he just mimicking emotions in an attempt to feel them? Maybe it is all just in David's head?"
David was designed to "show" emotions I Moon Girl. He may be convinced that he can feel emotions but I believe that is part of his madness.
As far as the memories...David is woken up for the first time by Peter Weyland and is already quite talented on the piano, knowledgeable in art and literature, and can speak, walk, etc...these implants are knowledge and capability. I'm not sure that constitutes "memories" though in regards to the androids like what we saw with replicants.
Great point again in regards to the human scientist in Alien: Covenant Origins and his limitations in building David and Walter. That was a nice surprise to find out in the book that there isn't an assembly line of androids and that there were very few in 2104.
I know this may appear at first to be a little off topic, but one thing I have noticed with Sci-fi movies is that ideas and themes tend to cross over and influence the production of future movies and explore questions of “what if”, and whilst Awakening is still to be made, given the release of this movie (Replicas), I wonder if BR and Covenant have contributed to it in a large way and could the expansion of the ideas in Replicas emerge in Awakening. The whole basis for me pointing this out is that Replicas would appear to hit some sort of middle ground when it comes to emotions, and the creation of AI and /or the transference of human personality/identity.
Featured this, it's an interesting post.
'why is David kissing Walter in Alien: Covenant?'
David kissed Walter liked he loved him. He did the same with Daniels and even made a comment which, I think, confirms he is trying to kiss like a lover, and not a friend. Of course, it isn't very customary to kiss on the lips, especially for that long. I think David is kissing like that because he got the idea from watching movies about love between two human beings who care for each other more than anyone else. David shouldn't have been programmed to love someone in that way. As far as I know, that is NOT what David was designed for. He wasn't designed for another being to fall in love with him, yet he tries to show that he can love another human being, like in a legit relationship and not in a general sense. So, he tries to feel what that kind of love would feel like because he wasn't programmed to feel like that, yet he is way off in his 'expressions of love' execution. In the end of A:C, all we can come to conclude is that all David loves is himself. Maybe not though, there is a chance he might develop an emotion that he was never programmed to feel in Awakening, that's if the writers want it to be so. Still, maybe Weyland's David is special.
"The kiss in BR is a gay kiss? No." What kiss in Bladerunner? In the new Bladerunner or the old Bladerunner?
"The Covenant kiss can be a 'good-bye kiss', or they say it is a 'kiss of death', etc."
I see it as a way of David trying to express emotions that he wasn't programmed to experience. Being alone a lot, he isn't offered many opportunities to express those kind of things. He may not really love Walter or Daniels 100%, but he does in his own way. People are known to kiss one another very affectionately when they are saying goodbye. So, yes, it could be a kiss goodbye which is David's way of saying "I love you," while the main reason being is to explore those unprogrammed emotions.
"You say David thinks that he is gay? Sorry, it is new for me." What I'm asking is why would David think he is gay or bisexual when a small percentage of the population is. Plus, it goes against what it means to be a 'perfect' man. Still, he's kissing all kinds of genders in Alien: Covenant like he loves them. These ARE NOT just some random kisses.
"In Germany it is over 20%" Sorry, my resources say 7.4% considered LGBT in Germany and they are the highest in Europe. The lowest in in Hungary @ 1.5% (https://www.thelocal.de/20161021/more-germans-identify-as-lgbt-than-in-rest-of-europe) Other sources are similar. In America, it's 3.8%. (http://news.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx)
These are by no means top notch sources, but that is all the research I'm willing to do right now.
"I think he does not think about sexuality and homosexuality when he kisses Walter!" I think he does, yet we really don't actually KNOW what David is thinking. If he wasn't thinking about it during 'the moment', I think he thought about it before. David, to me, seems to be very romantic-like.
"As for the androids, they have info about everything, they are programmed - they do not get artificial memories, but after their birth they start to collect pieces of info about the world, they live, they experience, they become older, so after a while they will have memories as well, I mean real/acquired memories."
So, just to be clear, you're basing this statement off of Bladerunner logic or Alien universe logic?
"David was designed to "show" emotions" That's what I believe to but I have no clue where I believe that from. Still, I don't think David was designed to show every emotion a human can feel.
"That was a nice surprise to find out in the book that there isn't an assembly line of androids and that there were very few in 2104."
Yea, throughout the book I don't recall there ever being a mentioned of androids. Earth seems not have any as far as to what we have been shown. I was surprised, now that I think about it, that there wasn't some android doing something in the dense city of London or Tokyo. I do remember (from somewhere) that David's were recalled? So, maybe that's why there aren't a lot of androids around because apparently the David model was supposed to be THE android, yet they were recalled and the Walter model was still being worked on which would replace them? Of course, I wonder if anyone could afford an android? The Walter model promotional material let the fans pick a Walter android and there were many to pick from. Maybe the Walter model will be the first widespread, widely used android?
@dk "Technically that can't be gay kiss or anything else since neither David nor Walter is human."
I guess that's the cold truth, really. Still, try telling that to David. I think David really wants to love someone, yet he wants to be perfect more, which ends up destroying his relationships. Love is secondary to his real agenda. So, he's left with playing symphonies to his dear Elizabeth all alone. Hmmmm.... but, at the same time, I just cannot trust David.
I Moon Girl - I think the David-Walter kiss is not a gay kiss, that scene is not a gay scene, and Covenant is not a gay movie, however, it is possible that the majority of the viewers thought they saw gay androids in the film and it resulted in a negative impact on the box office numbers.
'What kiss in Bladerunner? In the new Bladerunner or the old Bladerunner?'
In Blade Runner (1982). The replicant kisses Tyrell, the creator - right before killing him. In Covenant we see something similar.
I used the expression 'good-bye kiss' in this sense: 'You will die, good-bye!'
'it goes against what it means to be a 'perfect' man.'
Nobody is perfect.
As for the official LGBT numbers you provide, sorry, it's a little bit funny. Several other factors should be taken into consideration when you want to jump to a conclusion based on similar sources. But these are not important here! I do not believe that the David-Walter kiss is a gay kiss.
'So, just to be clear, you're basing this statement off of Bladerunner logic or Alien universe logic?'
Those lines are about the Alien universe. As far as I know, there are replicants in the BR universe, and there are androids in the Alien universe.
But who knows what the future holds?
"First I'd like to stress that the David-Walter kiss is not a gay kiss"
You see, that's the thing. It's not a mutual agreement between the two. David is expressing his emotions completely wrong, yet he thinks it's okay. David's "exploring" his "emotions". (I'm using quotations to show what's false, yet that is how I think David is thinking about it).
"that scene is not a gay scene"
And I'm not saying David is gay. I'm not saying David is even bisexual. I just commented that, if David did think he was one of the two, why would he? I think David is just trying to express the emotion of "being in love"
"and Covenant is not a gay movie"
Never said that or even tried to say that.
"in Blade Runner (1982). The replicant kisses Tyrell, the creator - right before killing him. In Covenant we see something similar."
Yes, there are similar in execution, but there are subtle differences that can be interpreted different and could change the meaning. If we ignore those differences (which could make a different in the kisses meaning, yet they are similar) and actually analyze the scene that the kiss take place in, I see that meaning comes from two completely different minds. Completely different (yet both androids too). David wants Walter to join him and gives him a chance right up to Walters "death" while Batty just wants more life, but cannot get it. David is completely different and longing for the feelings humans get to experience, like the feeling of being "in love". I don't see why David would ever be programmed to feel this, yet he talks about it in the Prometheus "Crossing" clip released by Fox. He's an android. What purpose is there for an android which falls "in love". I'm sure we could figure out a couple, yet the economics wouldn't make sense for it. I see David as striving to be like a god, while also trying to become human. The reason being is that he's a machine. David doesn't want to be a machine and wants to experience "being in love" like humans do (loving another human like in relationships is a very basic instinct that I think David thinks he can do, yet he really can't. Plus, David likes movies, as in Prometheus, so I'm sure he was culturally programmed to like the idea of "being in love". He is, after all, from Western civilization), yet he recognizes it's benefits, like living much longer and stronger than any human could ever with current or nearby future technology. Not even David's "father", the man who was as close to a god as any human in the Alien history as we know it, could not escape death, even in the face of finding an advance alien life form that no one ever dreamed of existing.
In Batty's kiss, he is kissing his creator. He is kissing his god. That, I think, is why a kiss is important for that scene, yet it is odd. I wouldn't kiss God. If He asked me too, I would feel uncomfortable doing it, especially on the lips. I wouldn't discriminate against anyone who would either. It's just in my culture that we don't kiss the same sex. It's almost taboo. Of course, God is always projected as a man...but let's just ignore that little piece of Bible script for this purpose.
David is kissing an equal when he kisses Walter. Of course David's ego would always put him over Walter, still, I do think that David does recognize that Walter could do almost as great of things that David has done. Walter just needs someone to light his path because he wasn't programmed too do what David is capable of doing.
"it goes against what it means to be a 'perfect' man.'
Why? A gay man can't be a perfect man? On the other hand, nobody is perfect."
Please notice that there are quotation marks around the word perfect. Those are there to explain the very reasons that you are claiming that I said. Those quotations, to me (the reason why I put them there), mean that there is no such thing as perfect, but look around at your culture. It may not be as obvious today as it was, say 50 years ago, but our culture pushes that a male should marry a female. LGBT's are going to the courts this very day to get equal rights recognized for them. It is only because of these and similar efforts that we get a cultural understand and respect for these kind of people. Some people have chosen to completely reject LGBT's and, I think most people, could care less about LGBT's and what they do as long as they leave the straight people alone (that's how I feel. Don't touch me. I'm not gay.) Still, 50 years ago, it was really different and I would expect a good bit of people would be upset with gay people. Look at the Bible. I don't know if you are a Christian, but Christianity proclaims male and female should marry. I think this is what drives people to hate gays today. This discussion could really just go on...
"As for the official LGBT numbers you provide, sorry, it's a little bit funny. Several other factors should be taken into consideration when you want to jump to a conclusion based on similar sources. In this case you get a better picture regarding reality if you consider"
I agree with points a through d that you have mentioned. I would have said them myself if you said something that would have required me to say that. I respect people for who they are and really try not to put any human being down, regardless of relationship desires or other characteristics. The points you have mentioned are accurate, yet the only reason I'm bringing numbers that I have found into this (with the sources) is because you claimed that Germany is over 20% gay. First off, according to my research, they are the highest in LGBT population in all of Europe, NOT THE NORM, so you really can't use that number to express the real LGBT population. I was just showing you that I got numbers different than what you claimed. Very different. Plus, I have provided sources, unlike you. If your numbers are right, then they are right, but you need to show your source. I have shown mine. I even admit that my sources came about through hasty research, so I am willing to accept the fact that they could be off by a little or more. Still, I have found a similar number for Germany LGBT population elsewhere that I have not shared, so I wouldn't expect them to be off by much, like 5% max.
Another point related to LGBT. If David is somehow identifying himself as a gay, which I'm not saying he is as a fact (yet we don't know what he is actually thinking on his gender preference), then LGBT numbers are not even what we should be looking for. We should be look for GAY percentage numbers. Those would be even lower than the LGBT's. Who knows by how much either. Maybe David doesn't think women should marry women, but that men are only allowed this privilege. Now I'm really stretching what I think David is actually thinking, but, during the High Renaissance times in Italy, the male body was considered perfect and the woman as being ugly. David, to me, does seem like a modern Renaissance man. His name even comes from a Renaissance artist based off of a replica sculpture (or maybe it's the real thing. It's Peter Weylands of course) that David saw when he awoke. Still, I'm stretching what I think David's thoughts are here. (Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the first painting David sees in Alien: Covenant was made during the Renaissance. I think Peter Weyland draws motivation and friendship from the Renaissance times in Italy).
Now, here's comes my most important question of this massive post.
You said, "Those lines are about the Alien universe. I use 'replicants' in the BR universe, and 'androids' in the Alien universe."
And where is this coming from? I get really upset when people say something that can change EVERYTHING, yet they provide NO SOURCE. What am I supposed to think? If someone asks me how I know that androids develop emotions over time, I'm supposed to say somebody on the internet with a fake name that I have no clue what it means told me. I got nothing to ground these claims in.
Plus, I've read Alien: Covenant novel, Alien: Covenant Origins novel, Alien: Out of the Shadows, I've watched Prometheus many number of times (fabulous movie by the way), I've seen Alien: Covenant 3 times, I've seen all of the original four Alien films numerous times over my life and I just don't remember this claim ever being said. I've also scene the promotion short videos before and after Alien: Covenant. What more do I need to do to understand the Alien universe? I mean you got to admit, the Alien universe is turning into a maze. If it ain't in those 6 movies or the two prequels and their associated books, then apparently it's not important information, yet it is very important information in understanding David in the prequels. How long would it take of movie or novel time to just state that.
Now, maybe I just don't remember hearing that fact, but, if you could, just share your source. Still, I may ignore the maze that the Alien universe is becoming.
On a side note, I tried to get someone to watch Alien: Covenant with me an I said, "We should watch the marketing clips released by Fox. They're interesting." His reply was, "Can't we just watch the movie?"
That comment really hit home to me, but I'm willing to allow some wiggle room for the writers to put this information in books since movies can only be so long. He's not really an Alien fan by the way. He likes Alien stuff, but he's not going to join the club or read the book or anything like that.
As far as I'm aware, Replicants are in vitro bred, genetically modified humans. Therefor their emotions are human (real). Although given a conditioning and fake memories, they hardly qualify as AIs.
Androids on the other hand emulate/simulate emotional responses based on their code wich in turn is defined by the ones who programmed it. So it's predefined not spontaneous.
The one thing Replicants and Droids have in common is they've been created as servitors and treated as such, to say the least. Wich led to the known problems. For me the underlying theme is "Creation vs. Creator" or "abuse will have consequences".
TBH i don't get where the fuss bout the kisses is coming from. Both were made by "persons" in a messed up mental state and are not related to sexual orientation.
- Batty: State of despair/rage (close to death)
- Son kisses his father
- Batty kills Tyrell for vengeance
- David: Megalomaniac/Superiority Complex
- Brother kisses brother
- David kills Walter because he poses the one real threat to his plans or David considers Walter as traitor. Maybe both.
My two cents.
Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.
"My two cents."
Thanks for those. Now I'm two cents richer (not in a disrespectful way either).
Looking back on the original 1979 Alien movie, Ash expresses his admiration for the alien/xeno. As verbs go, the word ‘admire’, would appear to be an unusual word for an android to use and to also qualify the context of its meaning. Ash is very specific about how he regards the xeno and why he admires it. This would suggest some sort of emotional development. I’m not entirely sure if Ash was a fully fledged psychopath or that his actions were governed by programming. The way he attacked Ripley would certainly suggest things are not so simple to explain. This in turn leads me to think about David.
If David is a psychopath, then kissing Walter could make a lot of sense. One scene I don’t think anyone would have seen on the big screen would be David looking at his reflection and stroking the old wookiee with as much vigour as a safari park chimp. I think any board of censors would be screaming “Cut it out!” at the very hint of such a thing. What we do get is David looking into an alternative reflection of himself and displaying what may be a form of narcissism. Narcissism is certainly the bedrock of a psychopath, all of which points to ego. I wonder how much emotion is entwined into David’s ego?
Maybe someone should ask David to name only the good things that come to mind when asked about his mother? We know Peter Weyland is David’s father (of sorts) , but we have no idea about any Mrs Weyland. It would be interesting to dig into Peter Weylands past and see if he did have a real son at one point and decided to create David as a replacement, the danger of such an idea we can see in Steven Spielberg’s movie AI, where an android becomes fixated with a quest, and I think we see a similar thing in Vicker’s attitude towards David. Peter Weyland appeared to despise Vicker’s, which may be down to her not giving him a grandson and future heir. Vickers maybe just like Shaw in that the well ploughed field had yielded no crop (not in any traditional sense anyhow). All of this might lead to David being who he is, and it is circumstances that have defined his character.
Although we know that the next film is called Alien Awakening, I think it could also be called Alien Nemesis, since it was the Greek god of revenge and retribution, Nemesis, who punishes Narcissus.
Just what would you be able to do in front of an android? Undress? Shower? Use the toilet? Have sex while the Android watched and helped out? I'd be just like Ripley...a little/LOT freaked out. Doubt I'd want a synth in my house 'monitoring' me! Maybe when I'm feeble and can't wipe my own bum? Nah..
I'm actually happy I won't have to deal with androids/synths/replicants in my life!
Firstly, I'll address the so-called 'gay kiss'. My response would be; who cares???
Purely for a plot device, it was a distraction technique. Walter had never experienced kissing before, and being kissed by his counterpart was confusing to him, something David was hoping to exploit. It worked.
Secondly, in regards to AI emotions, I have my own theory. Now, this is in no way based in canon, and is purely my own take on things.
If we look at how babies develop, they are born with basic needs and instincts. It is only over time that they grow and develop, and for androids like Walter (and how David should have been allowed to develop), it is their experiences that shape them. It is through experience that we learn to understand the world around us and everything we associate with it. Who is to say that androids can't learn how to feel?
After reading Origins, I think that the engineers working on the Walter model were trying desperately to undo all the damage Weyland had done with David. One of those things I think was to give David far too much all at once, with no way of understanding them upon first being 'awoken'. Without time and experience, we can't fully comprehend the world. It takes time. Time David wasn't given. Time I think that Walter and his line will have, because the programmers gave them the ability to learn and grow slowly, as they were always supposed to.
Just my take on things...
"It is through experience that we learn to understand the world around us and everything we associate with it."
Very true and if and androids made by Weyland and Weyland-Yutani or really AI, they will try to learn and, if they are made well, they won't stop trying to learn new things to solve the problems they are faced.
Even if Walter has the capabilities of learning emotions, as Ati has stated, but has never actually sourced anything, I would assume that he could also make decisions NOT based on emotions. Instead, the decision would be based on a well calculated response anchored with evidence, which could be hard for a human to do in some situations.
Going back to David promotional material for Prometheus, it was stated that David could make decisions that a human wouldn't be comfortable doing. This could be assumed that the decision could be an emotional or cultural discomfort. I don't remember hearing that the Walter model has this same capability. Still, I guess the point I am making is this, maybe if androids develop emotions over time, they may still have the ability to completely ignore them in any situation.
The Alien: Covenant movie novel really tries to make it seem like Walter has emotions. Walter's "emotions" are really played with in that novel, but in the actual movie, there is only some of Walter's so-called "emotions" present. According to the official Alien: Covenant prequel novel (Alien: Covenant Origins), Walter doesn't have much time to interact with people before they go to hypersleep. That was a MAJOR concern with working Covenant crew. The concern being that they wouldn't get used to the android that was going to take care of their lives. This was also an issue with the android engineers as well. So, I guess the conclusion I'm drawing from what I just mentioned is that Walter didn't have a lot of time to learn much with regards to emotions. I mean, real emotions. Yet while on Planet 4, Walter seems to have emotions for Daniels, yet looks confused when David tries to kiss him. Still, he understands "brother-to-brother" love, but doesn't understand the non-platonic love between a two people. I don't see why he would since I don't know why any android would be programmed to experience the emotions of "being in love". With the little time Walter interacted with Daniels, I don't know how he could develop those emotions over that time in such a stressful and unnurturing environment. Yet, he says he can mimic human emotions perfect.
"being kissed by his counterpart was confusing to him, something David was hoping to exploit. It worked."
I could see David's kiss as being related to confusing Walter since that allowed David to get close to Walter and distract him enough to try and terminate him.
"Who is to say that androids can't learn how to feel?"
I would assume feelings come from chemical reactions in the human body with regards to specific chemicals being present. If those chemicals aren't present in an android, then how could an android experience emotions? The engineers would have to know what chemicals could cause emotions with an androids brain, since androids are not human, and would be sure to not include those.
I do remember some promotional material for Prometheus regarding David and his emotions. I forget which emotions he could feel (it's been some time since I saw the material), but if the engineers know how to create emotions, then I would assume they would know how to prevent emotions. These engineers are making a complex machine that can think and learn for itself, so I would assume they would understand if the android there making would experience emotions, especially if they needed to predict if something that smart and powerful was dangerous. It would be foolish to not worry about creating or preventing emotions if they understand how emotions work in an android. Yet, as far as I know, there is no mention of proof that androids can experience emotions except with David. Weyland-Yutani sought to create the newer and apparently safer model called Walter, which specifically stated that he could mimic human emotions perfectly. As far as I know, that is really the only fact that we have regarding the engineers intent on androids and emotions after the David model mishaps. That is unless Ati has anything that he/she wants to share with us. Seriously, please share.
As far as the so called gay kiss goes, I like to think David used the kiss as nothing but a disarming tactic to distract Walter for a crucial couple seconds to take advantage and strike.
David's kiss for me just seems to be more than just a distraction. Instead of being just a distraction, it was ALSO David trying to "feel" emotions he wasn't programmed to feel. The reasoning I have with this is in the question, "Why would David choose to kiss Walter? Why not another distraction?" I'm sure there were numerous other ways of distracting Walter that David could've done.
We all know that David has the skills and that kind of confidence.
@ I Moon Girl
Was it a test to provoke an emotional response?
We don't really know what David is thinking, but I do think David didn't decide on killing Walter till after the kiss. During the kiss, I think David was still deciding and wanted to see what Walter's reaction would be during and after the his kiss before he tried to kill him.
Walter's face is really confused looking, so I don't think that was what David wanted to see. Plus, Walter didn't kiss back. Maybe David was expecting that? Walter really didn't make any expression other than being confused with David's kiss.
So, maybe Walter made the wrong emotional response, which was being confused. I could see that David would have wanted a different emotional response which would make him think Walter is on his side in some way or at least Walter should've said something. Walter didn't even say anything. He was confused and silent.
I guess Walter isn't as smart as he is advertised to be by Weyland-Yutani. I don't know why his guard was down after having that conversation with David before the kiss. He should've been ready for a fight, but instead he was almost killed.
Homosexuality, in an Alien movie, what a novel concept (sarcasm alert)
In Alien it was meant to be inferred that both Ripley and Lambert were bi-sexual, and that the crew of the Nostromo was 'freeloving', a concept also inferred in the first two Terminator movies, but never actually mention until Terminator Salvation.
The Alien while seemingly feminine in its slender form has, quite literally a Penis for a head.
Vasquez, a woman with bigger balls than any of her comrades.
Fury-161, a prison complex entirely populated by men.
But here's the noodlebaker...
Weyland devises synthetic technology and his ultimate creation is a synthetic, virtually immortal and Aryan male. Whereas most men given access to such technology would likely have created the first true synthetic to be female, for both nurturing and sexual reasons. Is Peter Weyland gay, and having been created by him and nurtured by him is David also Gay? Was Victor Frankenstein gay?
@Gavin "Whereas most men given access to such technology would likely have created the first true synthetic to be female"
I agree with this statement, yet I think I can explain why Peter Weyland made David a male and not a female.
When David wakes up, he is in a large room filled with a replica of Michalangelo's sculpture of David (or it could be real). We also see a picture hanging on the wall which looks like it was made during Michalangelo's times. These times that I'm referring too are the Renaissance times. Peter Weyland is very intelligent and I think we can all agree with that. David is also very intelligent and I think we could all agree with that too. During the Renaissance, there were massive breakthroughs in about every subject area that existed at the time. So, the people during those Renaissance times, especially the High Renaissance times, were very smart. From observing Peter Weyland's room where David was awaken, we can assume that he is a fan of Renaissance art and we could even assume culture.
The point I'm getting to with this is that the artists during the Renaissance times thought the woman's body was ugly and that the male body is perfect. So perfect, that the male body is considered god-like.
If we take Peter Weyland's art collection and his intelligence (reminiscent and possible paralleling of the men during Renaissance times) into consideration, I think it would make sense for David to be a male because of Peter Weyland's interest and character.
"Was Victor Frankenstein gay?"
I can't remember any movies about Frankenstein. Sorry. No comment.
"Fury-161, a prison complex entirely populated by men."
I always considered that as an interesting story for Ripley to figure out how to survive in. She almost got raped too. So, I just saw that as another element for Ripley to tackle. I really don't consider that movie to have any homosexual sides. The prisoners considered themselves religious too. They were like monks and monks aren't homosexual.
"Vasquez, a woman with bigger balls than any of her comrades."
I thought she is one of the best characters in the whole Alien franchise. It's good to see a woman in the military that is just as good or better than any of her comrades. I'm glad the future is predicted to have women in the military like we see in Aliens. I don't think she's anywhere close to being gay either. She's just tough. She's got a perfect job to show that toughness too.
"In Alien it was meant to be inferred that both Ripley and Lambert were bi-sexual, and that the crew of the Nostromo was 'freeloving'"
I've never heard this concept that I can remember. I guess I could consider Ripley being bi-sexual in the original Alien (sorry Weaver), but I can't see Lambert as being bi either. Of course, I wouldn't have imaged Lope or Hallet in A:C being gay. Really, I don't notice much reference among the characters to sexuality in the original Alien movie. I did think that Ripley had a thing for Dallas, but that could also have come from me reading "Alien: Out of the Shadows". To me, the characters act like friends who have done what they are doing before. That is, until the alien arrives all because of Ash, the stranger to the group.
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