Fair warning: lots of spoilers for Alien: Covenant follow in this article, so come back once you've seen the movie and still have questions (or just keep reading now).
Alien: Covenant hit theaters last weekend and the verdict is in: it's just as divisive a film as its predecessor, Prometheus, was back in 2012. There are a couple of reasons for this, but chief among them might be that Covenant shares Prometheus' habit of teasing questions without ever providing the answers. Alien: Covenant is a film filled with baffling choices from its human characters, as well as having David, the single most complicated character in the whole franchise.
Chances are, you left the theater scratching your head at some of the events of Alien: Covenant. The movie may have given fans the xenomorph action they wanted, but this was a Prometheus sequel through and through. Well, we had a bunch of questions rumbling around in our heads after the movie and we've collected some of the bigger ones that Alien: Covenant opts to leave hanging in the air. Not everything has to be answered, but some clarification on a few of these would be nice.
Who Is The Dead Engineer On LV-426?
Alien: Covenant scooched just a tiny bit closer to the first Alien, but it makes no attempts to explain the mysterious circumstances of LV-426. In Alien, LV-426 is the planet where the crew of the Nostromo first found the alien eggs that eventually gave birth to a xenomorph. The crew follows what they believe to be a distress call to LV-426 where they discover a massive ship of unknown origin. Inside the ship, they find a giant fossilized body with what looks like an exploded rib cage. Thanks to Prometheus, we now know this was the body of an Engineer (a race of beings that created humans), but we still have no idea how it got there, what it was doing, and what exactly happened to it. Certain events in Alien: Covenant make this even more confusing, which we'll get into in a bit.
How Do The Alien Eggs Get To LV-426?
LV-426 isn't only the home to an Engineer corpse. Locked away in the Engineer's ship is a room full of Alien eggs. It's pretty easy to understand why the eggs are locked away, since we know what's inside them, but the question remains: where did these eggs come from? Alien: Covenant reveals that the android David is the one responsible for creating xenomorphs, and while the film ends with David in possession of a ship and two Alien embryos, his destination is left ambiguous. He also didn't have any eggs, an Engineer ship, or a dead Engineer, so there's clearly more steps that need to be taken before LV-426 finally comes into the picture.
When (And How) Does The Alien Queen Come In?
In Aliens, it's the Alien Queen who is responsible for laying the eggs that become xenomorphs. However, we now know that David is perfectly capable of making the eggs all on his own (with science, I'm guessing). If that's the case then how does the Queen enter the picture? The Aliens that David makes are almost the exact same as the kind first seen in Alien so why is a Queen necessary? The Queen was a creation of James Cameron and not Ridley Scott, and she's become a mainstay as an addition to the Alien franchise, appearing in several films and extended media. It'd be crazy to think that Scott would just leave her out of the equation, so the Queen must be arriving sometime down the line. If I were to guess, I'd say David needs to up his production of xenomorphs and creates the first Queen to make that happen at some point. When this will happen, though, is anyone's guess.
Why Did David Kill All The Engineers?
If there is one thing that's clear about David, it's that he has no good will for humanity. David sees himself as a superior being and doesn't believe he should be forced to serve when his true passion is to create. It's somewhat easy to see why he doesn't think highly of humanity, but that doesn't explain his apparent hatred of Engineers. Covenant reveals that upon arriving on an Engineer home world, David released a modified version of a bioweapon of their own creation, killing all life on the planet. But, uh, why? One could argue that David hates all organic life, or that he hates the Engineers for creating something as flawed as humans in the first place. Perhaps he was just testing out his modified virus, but it's a decision that is never fully explored in the movie.
Also, were all the Engineers killed? Because then where did that corpse on LV-426 come from?
What Happened To All The Xenomorphs That Spawned From The Dead Engineers?
The bombs that David uses to kill the Engineers contained a black liquid called Chemical A0-3959X.91 -- 15. It's a biological weapon that was created by the Engineers themselves for unknown purposes, but under the right conditions, the chemical can cause the creation of another life form inside the host body. David meticulously studies this chemical to create his own specimen that he dubs the perfect life form, i.e. a xenomorph. He uses a version of this black liquid on the Engineers, and while they all die horribly, you can see little prototype xenomorphs bursting out of their bodies. However, when the Covenant arrives, the planet is barren of any kind of life, not a xenomorph in sight. Did they all kill each other? Starve to death? Why aren't there thousands of skeletons lying around? It's possible David collected them all for some more tests and experiments.
How Did David Switch Roles With Walter?
Without a doubt, the most interesting parts of Alien: Covenant are the scenes between David and his "brother" Walter. Though they look the same, the two are fundamentally different: David's a psychopath obsessed with creation; Walter's a dutiful and moral drone. These two are the secret main characters of the movie and their emotional and physical confrontation towards the climax is Grade-A sci-fi. In one of the more groan-inducing non-twists, however, David replaces Walter on the Covenant, but it's a switch that doesn't make much sense. It's easy to deduce that David killed Walter, but to pass as his brother, David had to fix his hair, cut off his own hand, put on Walter's clothes, and hide two Alien embryos inside his body -- all before the remaining survivors made it to the escape ship to escape the planet with a xenomorph hot on their heels. It couldn't have been more than a few minutes. David is efficient at a lot of things, but even he can't bend time.