The following story contains possible spoilers for Alien: Covenant. Proceed with caution.
It's no secret that the Alien franchise has fallen on hard times. The first two entries in the series are undeniable classics, with each silver screen appearance of the Xenomorphs somewhat diminishing their ability to terrify. With Alien: Covenant, director Ridley Scott evidently seeks to correct the series' course after the lackluster Prometheus, and bring the franchise back to its horror roots. However, we've just learned some new information about Katherine Waterston's character that connects her to the original Alien more than we would have ever assumed.
A new report from The Playlist seems to indicate that Katherine Waterston's role in Alien: Covenant will be much more important than we had previously thought. It seems the rumors point to Waterston's character being the mother of the series' original heroine Ellen Ripley -- an iconic character in her own right, portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.
At this point we cannot confirm whether or not these rumors are true. We're far from surprised that Katherine Waterston will headline Alien: Covenant as its main character; pretty much all of the films in the Alien mythos have relied on strong female leads. However, we wouldn't have guessed that her character would share close blood relations with the franchise's original heroine.
To be completely honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Sure, having Katherine Waterston portray the original Ms. Ripley brings Covenant closer to its roots, but it also changes the way we will ultimately view the original films. Giving Ellen Ripley's mother a history with the Xenomorphs will make her adventures in the franchise feel far less like she's a random woman fighting for survival under terrible circumstances, and more like someone seemingly trapped by fate to repeat the adventures of her mother.
Of course, given how little we know about Alien: Covenant, it remains entirely plausible that Ridley Scott could bring these connections together in a cohesive manner. If he manages to pull it off, we could see the Alien franchise return to its former, terrifying glory. After all, in space no one can hear you scream.
We will bring you more information concerning these rumors as it becomes available to us. Alien: Covenant is currently slated to hit theaters on August 4, 2017.