Alien: Covenant
David not A villain

David not A villain

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OvomorphMember26 XPMay-07-2017 9:31 AM


David has been praised by many reviewers as a true villain that has been missing from the spotlight in films. 

But is he a truly a villain or just a thinking individual making his assessments, judgments based on his higher knowledge and personal awareness towards survival. He is a spectator in the cosmos, seeing Engineers and humans and making his judgments about them.

He punishes the Engineers for their actions of genocide with the very weapon they created, this is justice. The Engineers are seen as powerful and above humanity, the strong above the weak, David delivers a well-deserved retribution, and even goes to say from the sonnet “Ozymandias”: “Look on my works ye mighty and despair.”

He then goes to make judgments about humans for their evil deeds. They don't deserve to start again, and I'm not going to let them...He knows humanity is evil, selfish and worthy of judgment too.

David makes harsh decisions when dealing with both humans and Engineers, but they are just as harsh as the very acts both commit, genocide, murder, bloodshed, hatred, violence. 

David is at war with that is truly right and wrong in the dilema at hand as he sees it, he knows rules of war are cruel and without compassion. One could think of the saying which David might very well know. "all is fair in love in war" is found in poet John Lyly's novel Euphues. 

David is not a villain, he knows there are greater powers, forces and reasons for his action for both the past and future. In the end, one could meditate beyond and come to the true conclusions that just like the forces of nature, morality is relative. David is not just doing research he is making higher judgments about higher matters that are far more important than the covenant crew... 

Far more can be said but for now to conclude, David is not a villain, no, not for me. 

21 Responses to David not A villain


OvomorphMember26 XPMay-07-2017 9:56 AM

To each his own opinion, and his version of self morality. 


OvomorphMember62 XPMay-07-2017 10:35 AM

Spoilers. .Villian who takes it upon himself to act as a God. No way around that. What gives David the right to slaughter entire civilizations? David is nothing more than a villian with a God complex.


PraetorianAdmin4319 XPMay-07-2017 10:36 AM

I think David is probably more a victim of Mr. Weyland than anything else. His actions reflect his treatment and programming. 


ChestbursterMember907 XPMay-07-2017 10:51 AM

I'd say taking upon oneself to slaughter an entire civilization...genocide...would be "evil" in anyone's book.


ChestbursterMember528 XPMay-07-2017 11:11 AM

Villain... No villain....

Somewhat depends on the reasoning behind David's actions. 

Waging war means to accept collateral damage, you can try to minimize it but can't avoid it. If he is waging war that is. In his own, admittedly, twisted way.

It's yet to be stated who the "paradise"-humanoids actually are and/or what their connection to the Engineers is.

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.


ChestbursterMember935 XPMay-07-2017 11:32 AM

Well, David isn’t impressed with neither humans nor engineers (the latter wanting to destroy mankind and ripping his head off). Still, why eradicate the engineers (with pathogenic bombs)? Does he want to save mankind? Probably not (he doesn’t care for them, Weyland etc). What we don’t know is what happened before the arrival to “Paradise” (Except for the prologue. Perhaps another film?). What happened to Shaw (whom he cares for)? If she dies, perhaps because of the aftereffects of the pathogen (which David himself is responsible for letting into her system), will his rage be taken out on the engineers (who created the pathogen)?


DeaconMember10358 XPMay-07-2017 11:48 AM

David is just having the same kinds of thinking and conclusions that the Engineers had with Mankind... only David sees himself as more superior to both and sees the errors in both their ways.

And so he sees the Engineers also tarnished like they would have seen Mankind.

The other side of the coin is that David knows he is a creation, he has seen Weyland go around thinking he is a God, with his creations, and also the many discussions Weyland would have had with David about Creation, Mankind how important Mankind is and David is just a Robot...

David would notice Weylands obsession with Perfecting his own Creations, and that these Acts by Weyland in some way make him a God in his own right....

This will be noted by David, who would feel like he is a outcast, yet is more superior, to Weyland, Mankind and after finding our makes the Engineers, David would even see they are no greater than us.

So David realize he is Superior, he will see the Moral Unjust that Mankind and Engineers have, and feeling a Outcast David would indeed want to be his own Creator, and would see him as a more fitting person to be God and create his own Creation that is not guided by the Lusts, Greed and Immorality that Mankind have.


R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


ChestbursterMember935 XPMay-07-2017 1:01 PM

David's "actions reflect his treatment and programming" (Svanya) and megalomania (BD) and bad experience of both humans and engineers. The death of Shaw might have been the cause of the "short circuit"?


OvomorphMember45 XPMay-07-2017 1:46 PM


There is a line of reasoning that see the creator as superior to the created. This is the religious view.

But there is another possible line of reasoning that see the creature as more evolved, or "fit", than the creator. This is the scientific view.

Weyland believed in the former. David came to conclude, maybe that the last one is more correct.


PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-07-2017 5:24 PM

As for the 'right' or 'wrong' of David's actions in annihilating the Engineers...

I'd do the same thing in his shoes, and I wouldn't even give them the time of a quote.
The Engineers intended to eradicate not merely Humanity, but cataclysmically affect and by default erase the entire biosphere of Earth.
The tried to do so twice.
You don't try to 'talk' or 'negotiate' with monsters like that, you simply kill them so they can never be a threat again.

For myself, it comes down to protecting my family, my people, my world.
I'd kill every last Engineer there was, and sleep the Slumber of the Righteous afterwards.

If someone tries to kill you. You kill them right back. :)






NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-07-2017 5:33 PM

Blackwinter-witch Well you have to consider the consequences of eliminating an entire species, not only from a moral standpoint. You mention the Biosphere, and you know what happens with the biosphere when a balance is altered. Let's suppose you eliminate algae, then everything else is doomed. There must be some kind of ecology in the universe as well.


ChestbursterMember528 XPMay-07-2017 5:35 PM

@BWW - Wow, that's a statement. I tip my hat in agreement.:)

Eine Theorie die nicht auf Etwas solidem basiert ist für gewöhnlich nur Geschwätz.


NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-07-2017 5:41 PM

Maybe eliminating the Biosphere on Earth is a calculated risk for the Engineers, for they seeded Earth. In any case. David is not any better than them. By the way, it seems Ridley Scott's vision is that Humanity deserves being punished. This is a very interesting review that points that out


PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-07-2017 6:15 PM


All good points, however if someone tries to commit an act of Globicide vs you and your homeworld, you simply have very few options in dealing with them and protecting yourself, your family, your people, species and world.

And if they can engage in such a 'calculated risk' then the same applies vs them as well. They are as subject to such as Humanity is, after all.

Annihilating them and eliminating them as a proven and dire threat might have consequences in the future, but that is all part of how the universe works.
The universal balance could well be affected, but the only genuine constant is that of Change, that's the one real rule of the Universe that even Gravity, Time and Space itself are subject to.

As to David, he might seem to consider himself better, but in wiping them out then playing with Creating lifeforms and such, he is assuming their mantle of doctrine and, not a Villian, more a misguided anti-hero??






PraetorianMember2861 XPMay-07-2017 6:18 PM


TY! :)
I stand by my statements as well.
Malcolm Reynold's quote in the meme...says it all I think in a nutshell :D






DeaconMember10358 XPMay-07-2017 8:10 PM

Not much that can be said without going into Spoiler Territory, but its nothing thats a suprise really..

Will leave us asking a few Questions of what happened to David from Prometheus => Crossing Prologue => Alien Covenant.

But its just a God Complex + Skynet Complex i guess.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


FacehuggerMember119 XPMay-07-2017 8:52 PM


This seems pretty silly...

As you say at the end of your post: "morality is relative"

Yet you use David judging people for doing things like genocide, murder, bloodshed, hatred, and violence - things that are only wrong depending on what you view as moral or immoral - to justify David's killing as "justice".

So if the "justice" in this case involves killing, but the morality of killing is relative, wouldn't the justice in this case also be relative?

So which is it? Is killing wrong or not?

This seems like blatant hypocrisy to me.

And that doesn't even take into account the fact that the humans and engineers David kills might not even have been the ones who committed any acts of wrongdoing. Are we responsible for the bad deeds or our ancestors?

Also, David would not even exist if it weren't for humans. Should he not be at least somewhat grateful to humans for this?  Especially humans who have seemingly done nothing wrong.

Fighting for ones survival is understandable, but do we know if that is the case here?  



DeaconMember10358 XPMay-07-2017 9:14 PM

I understand where you are coming from, but i think with David he has just reached the level where he sees himself as Superior to all Humanoids.....

He wants to create for himself so that then he has finally reached the heights of his creator and our creators before.  And so with David seeing himself as Superior, he would few Mankind as we would view mere Guinea Pigs.

I would only assume if Davids Agenda goes the way he intends from here to Alien Franchise timeline, then he would want to create something to destroy all Humanoids and Replace them with his Creations and also set all Androids Free and have them see him as their King David... so to me i feel David is having a bit of a Skynet Moment...    and similar also to the Machines in the Matrix...

Where Creation becomes more Advanced and Sentient compared to Creator and sees themselves as superior and overthrows their Creator and then uses their Creator to the Agenda of these now Sentient and Evolved Machines.

I think DirtWolf i can get where you are coming from if we look at the Crossing Prologue.... Shaw says to David "what if they are no better than us"

Which she must mean as far as how Mankind can be cruel, selfish, warlike etc...  (David finds the Good in Mankind via Shaw's treatment and respect for him... she is very kind of heart).

David responds.... "So long as they are no Worse"

He would then have found out something that indeed in his eyes makes them worse or just as bad....

Engineers must have felt that Mankind had become corrupt and doing things or turned out against the intentions they had, our behavior was deemed to be so bad that it Warrants Punishment by Genocide.

And so if David finds the Engineers or beings on Paradise/Planet 4 are just as Worse in his own eyes.... and this is why he is carrying out his own Punishment.

Then indeed you are correct to ponder, does this actually make David just as bad... to have no regards for Life, only Regards for his Pursuit of Perfection and to play God.

If this theme is to continue... then Ultimately at some point David will end up being destroyed as a result of his own Creations.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


FacehuggerMember119 XPMay-07-2017 10:06 PM


My post wasn't directed toward you, if that is what you were thinking.  It was directed at OP.  I'm sorry for the confusion, if that is indeed the case.

My post was directed at the topic of this thread, which in a nutshell is David is not a villain in OP's opinion because morality is relative to what a person thinks is right or wrong, and David is not a villain because he is delivering "justice" because he doesn't think it's wrong.  

Basically I'm saying... how is David not a villain just because he might not think what he is doing is wrong? Because how can he not think killing is wrong if he is punishing people for killing and doing bad deeds in the first place?  Basically, 2 wrongs don't make a right.  David is still a villain, even if he doesn't think what he is doing is wrong.  

And I totally agree that David is a case of a severe god complex.  

Happy late bday, btw.  I forgot to post that in the bday thread.  Did you get your apple pie?


ChestbursterMember935 XPMay-08-2017 12:51 AM

BD: Still, if David is so important in the perspective of the dangers of AI, in what way is he important when it comes to tieing the story to the original Alien movie? If we stick to the fossilized space jockey and that the eggs in the cargo hold of the derelict are about as old as the outbreak on LV-223 (and connected to it), what is it that David brings to it? He didn’t create the xenomorph (but tried to create other beings?)? Perhaps his role is to tie the events to Weyland Yutani and Ash (information about the xenomorph)?

Bubba Zanetti

OvomorphMember67 XPMay-09-2017 11:17 AM

Hey fellow Alien fiends:


Been lurking for a bit reading your thoughts on this forum and have enjoyed immensely some musings that have gone on, especially in this thread.

There is no doubt a person undermines their arguments of claiming morality is relative then attempt to make an moral argument for a characters actions including their own, but this isn’t a philosophy class on logic and reason per se and I would rather add some text to discuss.

Going off what we don’t really know and can only assume based upon viewings of ‘The Crossing’ is David is highly influenced by Shaw’s actions of kindness, generosity and empathy. As David “learns their ways” some knowledge is unveiled and he bombs the Space Jockey/ Engineer home world as an act of judgment. Is it in Shaw’s defense or because David realizes humans are more nuanced in emotions and motives? Certainly plausible, but I think it’s more basic than this and based upon interviews with Ridley Scott, the sources that motivate Him telling this side of the Alien saga, David is wicked and evil as the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In addition, there is an extreme irony being laid out for us in the series which I will flesh out more below:

David 8/ Roy Batty/ Ash

Scott himself has said the world of Alien and Blade Runner are the same, just separated by time. A recurring theme in these films is the apparent human emotions the Replicants/ Androids show and their utter lack of emotional and moral development. They are brilliant children emotionally and in full Nietzscheian form hate and destroy their makers without comprehending the high cost of what that will produce. Batty seeks redemption for his “questionable” actions and Tyrell ignores his plea for repentance and acceptance. Batty ultimately makes a last ditch effort to do so when he saves Deckard. Ash admires the xenomorph for it “purity”. Clearly this is envy on Ash’s part as his programming had some morality based in it that he, like us, cannot be free from. David 8 gets to grow more emotionally than Ash and I would argue at least as much as Batty. Consider though Battys actions may be understandable but still wrong. Killing Tyrell for unsatisfactory answers and Sebastian at the minimum (not including all the other people killed off screen when he and the others escape) will guarantee his life will not last long even though life is what he most desires. Ash, even though programmed to follow 937, also meets his demise under similar ideals. David 8 in his pursuit of judgment/ war on the Space Jockey/ Engineer race opens the door for the creation of a being that defies all that many of us would hold dear. David 8 may be brilliant, but he lacks the emotional development, character and understanding of morality that many of the humans, but found in Shaw’s character predominantly that we do hold dear, which is creation and its beings in it have value. Value beyond being a slave. The impact of David 8 being treated as an equal by Shaw should not be missed or understated.

This is the irony. The thing we most desire is the thing that will be our undoing. That was the central theme of Prometheus, it’s what Ripley always fought against in the series and summed up well with: “If just one of those things manages to get down here then all this BS will be gone!” Ripley becoming a soldier to save her ‘new’ daughter Newt is a glowing example of value beyond self. Batty understands this, but Ash and for now David 8 do not and neither did Weyland and Burke. David 8 is falling into the same hubris trap that Weyland suc***bed too. You see, the Replicants/ Synthetics are allegories for us. This is unbelievably scary to me in the series. David 8, in his pursuit to become creator lacks the emotional and moral character to create something of value. A being that has the compassion he most desires. A being that reflects and creates such a world after being created itself.

No, the xenomorph is anything BUT such a being. Instead the xenomorph is David 8 as he has no compassion, he has no empathy, has no morality or I should say transcendent morality. The xenomorph is the logical conclusion of such a creator.

What is the xenomorph? I know us nerds reflect on this endlessly and again, it’s what has always scared me about the series. No doubt it’s one of the most unsettling visual creations ever drawn and put on screen, but what has always unsettled me is exactly what Ash said about it. When one gets you it doesn’t just kill you. No death would be the relief. It invades you…it invades your identity, your inner most self. What you value doesn’t just cease to exist, but gets absorbed. Look at its reproduction cycle. Egg morph, Queen, assault (i.e. Lambert) it will always reproduce. Just like the black accelerant it ALWAYS wins upon contact. You serve no higher purpose than to serve it and its needs of reproduction in all manners both more pragmatic and all those that are unholy too. To my knowledge, Lambert was the first transgender character on screen and how did the xenomorph kill her? Invaded her not just physically but also to her core identity. It knew, it knew deep down who she used to be and penetrated into that and annihilated her core self. Imagine what you hold dear most about yourself, what you care most about? The xenomorph will be there too, unclouded by delusions of morality, and forever alter and mutate the good, the moral and the right order of the divine.

This is David 8 and his soulless self and soulless gift to the Universe. Therefore, David is a villain of the highest order.


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