Alien: Covenant
The hightech stuff in Prometheus and Covenant...

The hightech stuff in Prometheus and Covenant...

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OvomorphMember29 XPJun-18-2017 7:57 AM

One thing that "bothered" me right when I watched Prometheus (and later Covenant) for the first time ever, was the fancy hightech stuff, the hologram projectors, the touchscreens and everything.

It feels very weird compared to the tech seen in all 4 Alien movies. Obviously this is due to the fact that Prometheus and Covenant are modern movies, whereas the older Alien movies are actually "old" and show the actual computer tech available at the times the movies were made.

But to me, this is no excuse. Alien: Isolation perfectly managed to recreate the retro-tech and was basicly the first movie in form of a game. (with a different story of course) And A:I is a damn videogame. (a damn good one tho)

So why did Ridley Scott decide to make everything so fancy and new? Why did he ignore the feel and vibe of his own movie?

Another thing are the weapons. In Prometheus, the security dudes use some weird blue pistols, that don't do much against Fifield nor the Engineer. Originally, Scott wanted to have Pulse Rifles, or atleast some version of the classic Pulse Rifles. 

Then in Covenant we see AUG-A3s and M4 carbines, which should be considered damn old at the time Covenant takes place.

Again, why no Pulse Rifles?

My solution to this "mystery" is that the Prometheus and the Covenant are both highend and hightech vessels directly developed and constructed by Weyland, one for exploration, one for exploration+colonisation. 

The Nostromo on the other hand is just a cargo ship, probably even outdated, or maybe just the standard ship one would encounter at the time. I dunno remember anymore who said it, but he said something along the lines of: "Alien is about a bunch of truckers in space."

Is this the reason for the differences in tech and equipment? But if so, why would a brand new ship like the Covenant be equipped with outdated weaponry? Ok, weapon is weapon. When Captain Oram shot the Neomorph, his weapon was totally suitable for that job. Fair enough.

But shouldn't Weyland (or whoever was in charge after Peter died on LV-223) be a perfectionist of some sort? Just look at David.

But I don't wanna lose myself in "weapon talk" here.

Just curious about what other people here thought about the tech shown in Prometheus and Covenant. Maybe I did not look carefully enough, but to me it seems that barely anyone else noticed this. Sorry for the long post.

12 Responses to The hightech stuff in Prometheus and Covenant...


FacehuggerMember457 XPJun-18-2017 8:16 AM

The Nostromo is a workhorse. It features clunky rugged technology because that's what works cost-effectively. Having said that, it's wedded to 1970s ideas of what computers in the future might be like.

Burke, Carter J.

OvomorphMember46 XPJun-18-2017 8:33 AM

I remember Ridley saying on one of the making of's of Alien, that at the time he imagined waver thin screens on the nostromo, which of course weren't available in '78. But that's what he wanted.

one could explain the difference in the tech on the Prometheus and the Covenant compared to the tech an the nostromo with the differences between a tug boat or a fishing boat and a luxury cruise liner. Whatever is suitable for the intended purpose.

I'm really an ok guy.


OvomorphMember59 XPJun-18-2017 8:38 AM

I noticed the difference... :-) but I was ok with the "fancy hightech stuff", actually I liked it. But anyways at some point I can agree with you. There's no continuity between the movies in the tech stuffs. So you are right in this topic.

But on the other hand... Maybe I'm alone with this opinion, some ppl will blame on me, but when I rewatched the Alien movies... well, I smiled a lot because of its tech. I accepted it, bec it's a 1979 movie, but I'm sure, I would be very very surprised, if I 'll meet this kind of tech in a 2017 movie. 

But ás I told you before, I agree with you, maybe they could have find some better solution for this problem. 


Barf The Mog

FacehuggerMember146 XPJun-18-2017 9:21 AM

The Nostromo is a blue collar space rig, and the tech is fine compared to the newer films. The MUTHUR computer room, on the Nostromo, is a work of art. 

You don't waste money on an elite ship when the crew is expendable, even if their fate is unbeknownst to them. 

Based off of aesthetics, I prefer the tech of the Nostromo. 


FacehuggerMember210 XPJun-18-2017 9:56 AM

Yeah, the chunky, retro, used-up look of the original movie was great.

It's nice to see what they can do these days of course.  One thing that I found out of place in Prometheus is that the Prometheus ship wasn't realistic/practical at all.  Let me explain.  This is one of the first long-distance missions, costing over 1 trillion.  The ship is unrealistically spacious and luxurious.  A mission like that would be pretty cramped just because you'd have to bring everything with you.  You'd never see a grand piano on a vessel like that.

Here's an aesthetic that I really like.  Check it out.  Imagine this gritty look made with modern tech/methods (this had a casual tie-in to blade runner):

Movie Trailer: Soldier 1998


OvomorphMember29 XPJun-18-2017 10:13 AM

@Ripleys_Ghost Yeah, I have heard about this movie before and how it is set in the same universe that Blade Runner is set in.

I have also read that the soldier Todd had some training with M41A Pulse Rifles and Smartguns...


ChestbursterMember511 XPJun-18-2017 10:59 AM

The difference between the Nostromo and Prometheus is the same as the difference between a 40 year old filthy oil rig and a modern luxury yacht.

The tube monitors are the only thing that really dates Alien (and Blade Runner) for me. Flat screens were not available at the time, but Stanley Kubrick managed to do flat screens in 2001 A Space Odyssey using rear projection.


FacehuggerMember210 XPJun-18-2017 11:20 AM

Think that it was Sir Ridley that stated that the Nostromo is probably already 50 to 60 years old as shown in the first film.  So, it's actually older than the Prometheus, by his reckoning.  Having been repaired, upgraded, welded over the decades.

"Speaking of the Nostromo’s technology, Ridley Scott said in 1979 that “the machine that they’re on could in fact be 60 years old and just added to over the decades. The metal-work on it could be 50 years old.”


OvomorphMember29 XPJun-18-2017 11:40 AM

@Ripleys Ghost That is indeed new to me. I was aware that the Nostromo wasn't one ship of the younger kind, but 60 years... that is quite old. To think about it: barely anyone drives around in a 60 years old car or truck.


OvomorphMember29 XPJun-18-2017 11:48 AM

@Kethol Nah, it is not only the monitors. The whole interior of the ship is different. Of course, because they are two totally different models.

But the Nostromo always reminded me of some oil rig or anything similar. Lots of metal, tons of steel bars and stuff.

The Prometheus looked like Steve Jobs was the designer behind it. Same for the Covenant.

Also, have you seen any holograms in the Nostromo? Or recreational areas with huge TVs, stereos or even a library?

It's not only about the tube monitors.


ChestbursterMember511 XPJun-18-2017 12:35 PM

Why would you have modern high tech gear or entertainment electronics on a portable refinery that is 50-60 years old. It was meant for people to work, then get back in the freezers to bring the load back. The Nostromo was a working class, blue collar vessel. Ridley's "truckers in space" comparison was right on the nose.

The Prometheus was basically a high tech exploration yacht owned by a multi-gizillionaire. Actually, there was even a high tech yacht inside that high tech yacht!


Nathan Adler

FacehuggerMember178 XPJun-19-2017 12:40 AM

@Benni_RoR: You’re right in a fashion about Steve Jobs since the David/ Walter series might have designed the Prometheus/ Covenant respectively;)

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