Alien: Covenant is set to be released May 12 in the United Kingdom and May 19 in the United States. The film was directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Login and Dante Harper. It is a direct sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus which is the second instalment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth overall. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and Demián Bichir.
Now that we’ve got the bare facts out of the way let me say a little bit about the plot of the movie. Its set in 2104 and follows the crew of the colony shop Covenant as they travel to a remote planet on the other side of the galaxy. They believe that this place will be a veritable Eden but instead they find a planet filled with danger and inhabited by David (the artificial life-form from the first movie) as well as some monstrous alien creatures who are determined to hunt and kill all of the colonists. Now I think that this movie based on everything I’ve seen and heard will blend together elements of the new and old movies well enough but personally I think the Alien movies are never better than when they follow the pattern of a rogue alien (read one solitary alien) or maybe just two who are contained within a finite environment like a ship for example. This is good because it ramps up the tension and makes the threat more viable. But with an entire planet to hide in the tension is somewhat removed although I guess you have to adjust that again and consider that that planet is probably overrun by the alien threat.
Now before we talk about the new movie in any more detail we should discuss its place in the established chronology of the franchise because while it might be a new movie it’s set up as a prequel and explores events before the original Ripley movies.
- Predator (1987 film) – takes place in the 80’s
- Predator 2 (1990 film) – takes place shortly after.
- Predators (2010 film) – takes place in modern time.
- Alien vs Predator (2004 film) – takes place in modern time.
- Alien vs Predator Requiem (2007 film) – takes place after the first AVP.
- Prometheus (2012 film) – takes place from 2089-2093.
- Alien: Covenant (2017 film ) – takes place in 2104.
- Alien (1979 film) – takes place in 2122.
- Aliens (1986 film) – takes place in 2179.
- Alien 3 (1992 film) – takes place in 2179, after Aliens 2.
- Alien: Resurrection (1997 film) – takes place in 2379.
Now not everyone will agree with the inclusion of the Predator movies on this list but for better or worse they’re part of the same universe and are connected to the rest of the movies.
This movie is supposed to reset things in the franchise, change things up and inject acidic green life blood into a franchise which had been going since 1979. The movie is set to rewrite some of the history and canon established by the previous movies, and while I’m not entirely behind movies doing this because it’s usually only necessary if they screwed up somewhere this certainly gives us a fresh start.
Now this movie is a direct sequel to Prometheus which was set in the same universe as the Alien Franchise but was not intended to be directly related. Much the same way 10 Cloverfield lane was a successor Cloverfield. In fact the direct quote about Prometheus was that this movie had “strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak” but not connecting it any further allowed them to explore new ideas, whether or not you think they were good is up to you. Prometheus had an overall positive critical reception but received flack for unresolved or predictable plot points. Now again whether or not you liked the movie it did do something different and that should be applauded. But even though Prometheus was meant to jumpstart and rejuvenate the franchise they clearly felt that it was merely a step in the right direction to linking the past and present movies because the sequel we are discussing re-adopted the Alien part of the title for this addition.
First Published on: The Student Advertiser (Pages 38-39)