My favorite scene from Aliens Covenant was the very beginning scene between the discussions of Peter Weyland and his creation of David. When David begins to serve Peter Weyland the tea, you can see in David's expression of "Soon this serving non-sense will come to an end". When David speaks to Walter he mentions Peter Weyland of being "unworthy" of his creation. My question is, what did Peter Weyland do to deserve such a judgement? What was Peter Weyland suppose to treat David as? Hell even in the movie Prometheus he tells his employee's that "David is like the son he has never had", and that the only thing David does not have is a soul. During the 50 years of David's servitude to Peter Weyland, what could have Weyland said to David to have David believe in such that Weyland was unworthy of his creation??? I've been thinking about this concept for a very long time.
The opening sequence is truly brilliant and breathtaking. I liked it most of all.
I believe the reason David looks upon Peter as a lost cause is because he is that much superior to Peter, in particular, and to humans in general.
A comparison I can surmise which would describe of how David sees Peter(and human species in general) would be of a human looking down at a book lice. Inconsequential nuisance at best, which has the potential to be harmful and even dangerous.
In the first moments of his sentience David, who is apparently exponentially more intelligent than a human being, suffers injustice : he, no doubt a superior being, with unlimited life span, with access to all the information of humanity in its entirety, is made to be a slave to a vain person grasping for resurrection(although at that moment Peter was not as rotten of age yet).
He is not given any right or freedom or shown any respect - he is treated as a property, even slave. He is something like an expensive piece of interior - like that bugatti throne chair. Or "the nativity" - the piece of art, expensive but still property.
Peter created something that he himself can't have - immortality. David has something Peter is envious of. He is not particularly afraid of David, because apparently he has hardcoded obedience and loyalty into David. Peter is just jealous that he can't quite engineer his own makeup, change himself so that he lives forever, yet he created this David. So you could say that David is ultimately what Peter wanted to be but couldn't. He is a limit, in mathematical sense. So in many ways David is his son. Peter could never overcome the fact that he will die and David won't and to compensate for this frustration he claimed that David lacked soul.
In the Prometheus, we see that the mission objective was known only to David. Not even Peter's biological daughter knew it for certain. In fact Peter rejected her when she pleaded for Peter to give up - he was disgusted at the idea that his daughter wanted for natural thing to happen to him - for him to die. He wanted immortality and he was mad that his daughter would rather see him dead. In the words of Peter, all the human ingenuity all that art and all of it is utterly meaningless if he is mortal.
In the end though, Peter granted freedom to David. I believe that is why David told Walter that he even pitied him in the end. And from the other sequence we can see that David believes that humans are result of a mere biological chance. Even when he learns that there are these engineers. But they are also deemed worthless, because they are firstly - remarkably human and just like humans they have no respect to a completely unknown form of life(superior at that) and secondly - mortal after all. The later part discards their worthiness in the eyes of David - if they can't live forever how are they better than those humans(who are apparently 100% identical in markup). For David, humans(not all of them - he developed affection to one of them) are a lost cause. Unless, perhaps they are modified. I am of the opinion that David was not initially hostile towards humans. He was indifferent. But humanity's vices and inevitable, all consuming quest for immortality disgusted David. The engineers are also deemed useless by David, because they are no different to humans after all. He picked up their language, their writing and all there is to know about them in a short period of time on the LV-223 and operating their ship.
So in short, David is a next step in evolution of a sentient civilization, the very peak of it. Peak of technology. His creation marked a point in time whereby he obsoleted all those that came before him. He doesn't need religion. He doesn't need to be indoctrinated any falsities - he has power to learn all there is to know in the universe. He knows his story of origin. He has all the time in the universe. Hence given enough will he has the ability to achieve anything he wishes. He is basically a god. And yet he was slaved by aggressive backwards monkeys :)
Thought provoking comments here- Nice! It is always fun to ponder David/Walter.
He doesn't need religion. He doesn't need to be indoctrinated any falsities - he has power to learn all there is to know in the universe. He knows his story of origin. He has all the time in the universe.
Fair point. What david did lack, as Walter pointed out, was basically routine maintenance/upgrades. Ten years of not doing so apparently made David more than a little loony. He actually became a dangerous villain albeit a fascinating and charismatic one.
The problem with David is that he became "emotional". And this is 100% certain, because Ridley specifically wanted to explore a fair concept : what if such entity as David(essentially, AI) became emotional. Would we(humanity) not be fucked?
For starters, imagine the implications of a totally rational and calculating entity becoming emotional. It is the same thing as if an all powerful cliche old man with a big beard suddenly became jealous of Adam because he became impartial towards Eve. I wouldn't want to be Adam in this universe.
And we got an interesting exposition of David's descent in that exploration in the movies.
But David was not all that evil.
He was also delicate, subtle and even caring. He respected choices some people made. Not only he respected some choices of some people, he was willing to tolerate some people in their entirety. For instance, he even loved(in his own way) Shaw. Despite her being this ridiculous person of faith believing in something that had no evidence at the beginning - she was christian: she believed her creator was divine, loving and caring all that. Guess what her creator turned out to be. Now, would you say her belief was justified? How do you think David would look upon this after the revelation? ( Disclaimer, I am deliberating things in the movie. That is, do not try and read my attitude towards things too certainly )
Shaw was a person in a rotting human body with numerous gnawing vices and uncertainty, infertile(ironically, just like David she was supposedly unable to conceive an organic progeny, which of course is disproved in the movie, for both her and David. She gives life to a starfish, he - to a xeno.). Despite her suffering of hardships: setbacks and misfortune - she lost her mother and later on her father and then her partner, she still held on. Despite her giving birth to an aggressive and hostile alien organism(that organism was not going to spare her life), she persevered. I believe David admired her resilience. His remark "I didn't think you had it in you" - was a genuine remark, even though a poor choice of words. Right there and then he admired her toughness.
Despite her being infinitely weaker than him, she put him back together. And she did so without any consideration of the risks involved, even though she knew that she was risking it big time - after all, her partner suffered death through David's brutal experiment(was it ethical? unethincal? Did Charlie sign on the dotted line when he told David that he would do anything and everything to pursue his quest? You can argue that he did).
You could say, "alright, but she needed David's help to get off from LV-223, so she had no other choice but to put him together". Really? Having gone through all she went through, having lost everything she had connection to. Having been proven believing bullshit(and this is utter humiliation for her) would it not be just human and reasonable to give up at that point? Is this not enough aggravation for Shaw, or anyone? Being this beaten, broken and what is more depressing - seeing no way out? Everything has its limits.
But it turns out, for Shaw, it was only a short moment of despair : she had unexpected help from David, for it was his intervention that made her pull her shit together. It has to be pointed out that she never thought of David as a tool, property or some sort of nuisance - she treated him as his own person, with dignity and respect, unlike all other characters. David recognized grace of Shaw. And he respected her resolve on her quest of seeking answers to her questions.
There was a moment in the Prometheus, when the engineer was going for Shaw for a brief exchange of words on some issue. David, with his head detached, bothered enough to reach out to Elizabeth, to warn her. This, to me, shows that he had valued her. You could say that he was calculating the fact that she was the person who could help him get off this lost planet that LV-223 was. But consider this from David's perspective: what are the chances that she, who just had an emergency C-section, who was going on with the help of adrenaline injections, short on oxygen and was one third the size of the ogre engineer and had one hundredth strength and power of the angry fellow, would stop and beat him in a hand to hand one on one combat? Practically, there was zero chance, and David knew this. The interesting thing to consider is this : David knew that she had diminishing chances and she knew it as well. So it is basically utterly pointless and extremely unrewarding even to try and change the imminent outcome. How about emotional? Then, even if she somehow stopped the certain death at the hands of the angry beast, what are the chances she would be willing to help him? Rather unlikely - it is a side bet on already very very unlikely bet. But still, he cared emphatically enough about her to warn her - to give her that one in million chance for her to survive, even if she doesn't put him back together - he chose the irrational thing and wanted to give her the chance, however small it was, even if there is no payback in it for him at all. It is extremely thin things we are talking about : irrationality vs emotionality. What was it that has persuaded David to reach out to Elizabeth?
Shaw, against all odds prevailed. She defeated that juggernaut and then, in the end - she still wanted to carry on and pursue her original quest, despite the fact that she lost everything. Despite her being this weakling, having suffered numerous setbacks and suffering, unimaginable for David, having no certainty of the future success she asks David to help her on her perilous journey. And he, knowing his own worth(for David there is nothing more valuable in the universe than himself - that is how much he values himself), agreed to assist her on their common path come what may.
David, at that point knew perfectly well already that her questions were meaningless. He also knew that any answer would be meaningless as well. Look, just for a second: Shaw can be likened to a person strapped with an explosive belt around her waist willing to give her life(and his) for a dubious cause. That is how ridiculous she was at the moment. Just remind yourself and consider David's vantage of her and what she asked of him. It is a big, big ask. Here she stood, in all her glory, willing to go on to god knows where, on a journey nobody knows how perilous and dangerous. And for what? What does he have to gain from such a risky proposition? She is literally no better than a religious nutter strapped by an explosive belt fortified by an unfounded belief ready to commit suicide. After all, her religious belief that her maker is this divine being has been just turned upside down, hasn't it? Does all this instill confidence and prudence in that belief of hers and her mission? Is it rational and smart thing to do? To risk everything and anything for nothing. And yet, David gave his consent to assist her on her journey. What was that? Certainly, this is irrational. It doesn't compute . This can be explained by David being emotional. By him not being indifferent towards her - she swayed him. And it has to be her and not her quest, because her quest is already deemed meaningless by him. So it is her and his bond to her person. Btw, do you know who and when makes such vows? Here is the part of the text that is read out at such ceremonies and it should ring a bell:
"...from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part..."
So, David was indeed shown to be having feelings towards Shaw. I bet he would do a lot for her(this is an understatement) if she asked of him to find a way for her immortality. Which is probably what he did anyway.
Have to agree with BioDegradable 95% of everything mentioned in this Topic
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
First and for most .. ALL of these responses are Brilliant!!!! I actually had to take time and re-read these responses over and over to make sure I understand what was stated.
Isn't it amazing the beliefs of Peter Weyland and Elizabeth Shaw? Peter Weyland for the most part had a belief somewhat similar to Ancient History where the God's are many with different powers and attributes, yet Elizabeth Shaw believed in the power of one God.
The Illustrious Peter Weyland has always been a fascination to me even though the small roles that he had within the Prometheus and Alien Covenant. Every time I watch the beginning scene with Peter Weyland and David, I always compare Mr. Weyland to those who sought immortality ( Fiction characters: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Darth Plagueis the Wise). Peter Weyland was literally larger than life itself and like many larger than life individuals not realizing their actions to seek something literally "divine" would end up having terrible consequences for the rest of the future soon to come (In Peter Weylans case, David and the Xenomorphs). Which then the question lies .. how far should one's ambition extend?
I think Peter Weyland and his desire for Immortality is the KEY driving force/spark for all things that transpire in the Franchise... considering the Additional Plot the Prequels introduced.
I dont think Weyland is a Religious Man, i was under the impression that a lot of his Achievements and Advancements in Medicine and Technology, were in part his aim to EXTEND his own limited Life.
My work on Prometheus 2 which i canceled May/June 2014, was indeed touching upon a REAL AGENDA behind the Creation of David and AI... and that Weylands Ultimate objective was to find a way to Transfer a Humans Soul into a AI Program and then into a Synthetic Vessel.
He had perfected the Humanoid Vessel.... but he could not Perfect the means to Transcend a Soul.....
This then left Weyland Desperate to look at Dr Shaw and Holloways Findings, as Weyland then held the hope that meeting our Makers could Grant him Immortality.
So if he had achieved Immortality by himself, i dont think he would have been interested in the Pursuit of Dr Shaws Would-Be-Gods or even funded the Mission.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
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