It used to be simple: Humans found an alien in space, and unless they were Sigourney Weaver, they became alien chow. No more. There’s a new prologue for the forthcoming “Alien: Covenant” — its second so far, after its prior, which shows the exciting act of one spaceship crew going to sleep while a second one replaced them. (It features James Franco, as if he didn’t have enough to do already.) That there needed to be two suggests that in trying to deepen the mythology of a previously straight-forward franchise, director Ridley Scott et al. may have turned something basic into an imploding mishmash of too much stuff.
Titled “The Crossing,” the new, 2 ½-minute video is meant to answer at least one of the countless unanswered questions from 2012’s sorta-prequel “Prometheus,” namely: Whatever happened to David the android (Michael Fassbender) and human survivor Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace)? (“Why couldn’t the filmmakers just settle for a world in which humans happened upon nasty aliens on a far-away planet and keep it at that?” will presumably be answered in the fourth of six threatened “Covenant” sequels.)
The answer: After meeting the titanic, cryptically belligerent Engineer, who tore David’s still sentient head from his body, Elizabeth escaped with David’s scattered parts in tow, a la C-3PO in “The Empire Strikes Back.” She pieced him back together, made off with an alien spaceship, then went into hyper-sleep as David sailed them to the planet where humanity was potentially created — a digital Ancient Rome-style metropolis that looks like it was copied-and-pasted from Scott’s “Gladiator.”
“Covenant” hasn’t screened for critics yet, but given the fact that it requires two separate prologues containing footage that probably won’t end up in the final cut makes the whole affair seem a touch unwieldy. This suggests that the finished product may try to do too much at once. “Covenant” wants to be a sequel to the endlessly ambitious “Prometheus” on top of being a simple aliens-eat-humans romp for the series’ fans — two things that might not go well together. But as is the case with all coverage of movies that haven’t even come out yet, we guess we’ll find out when we actually see it!
Till then, watch the new prologue below: