Alien: Covenant
Inconsistencies in the character of David

Inconsistencies in the character of David

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NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-11-2017 11:18 PM

The engineers and David shared one goal: to destroy mankind. Therefore the obvious question is why doesn't David let the Engineers alone. They could have wiped out the human race in a blink of an eye, while it will take David a lot of experimenting, sabotaging and then setting bobby traps for humans here and there like the derelict on LV 426 (if he did that). Another inconsistency I find in David is that he cares about human creations like poetry and movies. If he is set to destroy humanity where he would find things to like or to inspire him? And what's his purpose after he has accomplished his revenge.

10 Responses to Inconsistencies in the character of David


ChestbursterMember554 XPMay-11-2017 11:31 PM

"why doesn't David let the Engineers alone."

This video offers a possible explanation. (you may want to turn the captions on. The audio goes in and out so the captions help.)



NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-11-2017 11:40 PM

QueenElizabethShaw Interesting video. But again, the engineers are defined as "rivals". In any case they are rivals of humanity not of David.


ChestbursterMember554 XPMay-11-2017 11:50 PM

"Another inconsistency I find in David is that he cares about human creations like poetry and movies. If he is set to destroy humanity where he would find things to like or to inspire him? And what's his purpose after he has accomplished his revenge."

That's a good question. The only answer I can think of is that poetry and movies are something that was deeply embedded into his core programming. He is a learning machine programmed to simulate emotions. He is also programmed to synthesize (create).

I recall hearing the comment somewhere in a press release earlier this year, that David's initial downfall stems from the fact that he was designed to be too sensitive and to intelligent. Add into that now that he was created with no behavioral limits. He can do anything. Follow any order, even if the order is to harm another human or himself.

Then the person he is programmed to take orders from dies. Suddenly this android (that is already highly unstable by design) loses the one thing that hinges him to any limits to behavior. Without a master David was freed. Given his unstable nature, it is interesting to consider that he had all the ingredients in him for the human condition. Intelligence, creativity, and emotional vulnerability.

There's an idea that between Prometheus and Covenant, David experiences some sort of severe trauma or revelation and it snaps him into this mode of hatred for all humanoid species. This could be the moment where David in some sort of overload, creates his own soul or consciousness. Like I stated, he had all the ingredients for the human condition. And if he did in fact create his own human nature, it would make sense for him to be over taken by things like pride and revenge due to his emotional instability.


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMay-11-2017 11:56 PM

David's motivation for destruction is also a part of his goal to create. Maybe he wants to do the entire process himself.

I don't have an answer for the second part. However you mention his liking poetry and movies. That seems interesting since the Engineer was out to destroy humanity and paused in the ship in a deleted scene. He seemed to admire the décor and video playing on the big screen and knelt down and started to thumb through a book. IDK if that is a connection but your question reminded of it.


ChestbursterMember554 XPMay-11-2017 11:57 PM


I can't figure out how the use of the word rivals negates the theory.

The proposal in this video is that David acquired the aspect of human nature that brings us to conquer those we are threatened by.

If David DID acquire this aspect of human nature, it wouldn't take long for him to realize that the only thing that could get in his way are beings with the same or more advanced technology. The engineers to his knowledge are the top contender. If he takes them out, he can use all their technology to do whatever he wants, uninterrupted.


NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-12-2017 12:10 AM

QueenElizabethShaw It's a good theory. it's just David seems to be going against his own precept of "Not too close, I hope". I thought an artificial intelligence's decision should be something cerebral and dispassionate. But the motive behind my questioning of these perceived inconsistencies is that I am not confident the writers know where they are taking this character. 


NeomorphMember1541 XPMay-12-2017 12:14 AM

dk Oh yes, I remember that scene. I guess David has an appreciation of beauty, and the engineers too. It's a little bit puzzling to think that his creations would be so horrible.


ChestbursterMember554 XPMay-12-2017 12:40 AM


I get what you mean, but you'd have to allow for David to have a snapping moment. It wouldn't be a decision persay as much as a fluke of nature/malfunction. If Scott and co intend to create David's "ego/personhood/humanity/soul" (for lack of a better term) through some type of transcendental experience, they could really play with that idea.

When some humans have those experiences they become more perceptive and aware of the needs of others. And then there are some humans who go down the transcendental road in the opposite direction and become sociopaths.

Imagine the possibilities the writers would have to play with if David experienced something similar. At present, I do believe they are going to follow this narrative. We know that at some point David flips and then he's following his own agenda with no regard for anything but his goals.

David saw the light and it darkened his heart. He saw the inferiority of humans and engineers and hated them for casting him aside as a toy. He knows he is superior to them but they have devalued him. His revenge is almost typical of a highly intelligent sociopath. 

And again, in killing them he benefits by acquiring all of their technology and resources without having to gain approval or ask permission.

Wonder Boy

OvomorphMember52 XPMay-12-2017 6:23 AM



There is a need among fans of Hollywood films to search for hidden motives. Many times these searches will be rewarded. For example Ash in Alien did have an agenda involving orders from Mother. This explains his behaviour.

Further to this - films like Blade Runner encourage the viewer to ask - what it is to be human? Can a robot/synthetic approach our emotions? Love life? Experience jealousy?

In David's case - cutting up Shaw and wiping out a whole planet and its peoples - can be put down to him wanting to be the ultimate creator, him trying to speed up evolution etc..However.. more likely and less romantically - it could simply be down to him malfunctioning and being a broken synthetic. The key and explanation to him simply being broken is the final exchange between him and Walter where Walter explains that David not knowing the difference between Shelley and Byron is symptomatic of a far larger complete failure within David's systems. Sure it is a less romantic version of events - but at the same time - a broken robot built by humans - destroying an alien world - creating the ultimate killing machine in the process etc.. is a kind of cool and sick existential twist.



OvomorphMember45 XPMay-12-2017 6:49 AM

I have pointed in a former post that David probably see the chain of creation as one of increasing perfection.  In this case, sinthetics > humans > engineers.  So no problem in destroying humans and/or engineers.  

The final element in the chain is aliens > sinthetics.  This explains the devotion and abandon which David displays in front of the adult neomorph, and his rage when Sergeant Lope kills the neomorph.

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Alien: Covenant is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus as well as a prequel to 1979's ALIEN. Alien fans looking to know more about Alien: Covenant should check back often. is an information resource for film enthusiasts looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Alien: Covenant. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Alien: Covenant, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Alien & Predator Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Alien and Prometheus looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Alien: Covenant, Prometheus and its associated names, logos and images are property of 20th Century Fox and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Alien: Covenant's release. If you have any questions about this site, its content or the Scified Network in general, feel free to contact Scified directly.

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