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There's a lot we don't know about Ridley Scott's new Alien: Covenant. In fact, now we know even less because the director just killed one interesting theory. During a recent roundtable discussion at SXSW, Ridley Scott was asked if there was any familial connection between the character played by Katherine Waterston and Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley from the original Alien series. If you were looking forward to such a link you're about to be disappointed. Scott says there isn't one.
No. That was probably way back when. 'Should she be the daughter of Ripley?' I said 'no.' She's herself.
Of course, what Ridley Scott does say here, as captured by Movieweb, does seem to imply that maybe there was a conversation at some point during the creation of the idea that maybe Katherine Waterston's character, only known as Daniels, would be related to Ripley. Scott says the question was asked "back when." It's possible that details of this conversation may have been what led to the rumor in the first place.
It's a little understandable where a rumor like that would come from. We know so little about Katherine Waterston's Daniels that fans looking to figure things out only have so much to go on. In this case what they have is that both characters are strong women with short brown hair. It's clearly a superficial similarity only. At the same time, if Daniels and Ripley were related, we'd expect the superficial similarity to be there too.
Of course, Ridley Scott would appear to be getting his timeline confused here when discussing that Daniels is not Ripley's daughter. As far as we know, Alien: Covenant takes place before the events of Alien, which, would make Daniels the mother if any such relationship did exist. That was the original rumor as we understood it anyway. We're assuming Scott misspoke, though we suppose it's possible there are details we don't know about that could mean he did not. Cue all new rumors.
Alien: Covenant follows a group of human colonists who travel to a remote planet planning to start a new life. This setup means that all of the colonists are couples, leading to a much larger cast of characters than we're used to seeing in Alien movies. Of course, that just means that there are more victims for the hostile inhabitants of the planet to brutally murder.
Alien Covenant will arrive in theaters May 19.