Why Alien Covenant Repeated One Of The Series’ Most Controversial Decisions


Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant repeated one of the Alien series’ most controversial decision by killing a beloved main character in between movies.

Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant repeated one of the Alien series’ most controversial decisions: killing off a major character in between movies. Overall, the Alien series has become muddled by too many different directors taking it on, including Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. With each successive movie in the series, each director wanted to add their own spin, sometimes to the detriment of the series as a whole. However, Scott should have known better than to repeat the mistakes of the past when he was making Alien: Covenant.

The series began with Scott’s masterful Alien, a movie that contrasted the vast loneliness of space with the claustrophobic environment of the ship Nostromo into a horror movie set against a science fiction background. From there, Aliens (also known as Alien 2) was written and directed by James Cameron, who turned the franchise into more of an action movie. Then came Alien 3. Unfortunately, Alien 3 was a bit of a rushed project that faced many problems during shooting. It was David Fincher’s directorial debut and is often seen as the worst movie in the franchise. Alien 3 is also where the franchise makes its most controversial decision.

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Related: Every Alien Franchise Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

Alien 3 is a bleak film from start to finish. It begins with Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) spacecraft crash landing on a barren prison planet. In the ship are the survivors from Cameron’s Aliens, Ripley, Newt (the 12-year-old girl), Bishop (the android), and Hicks (the last surviving soldier). Ripley is the only survivor, and audiences hate that the film starts this way. Newt, Hicks, and even Bishop are all beloved characters from the previous movie, and to kill them off so easily turned out to be a controversial mistake. Given how audiences reacted to this killing off of characters, it’s surprising that Ridley Scott does the same things in Alien: Covenant by killing Elizabeth Shaw.

Alien Covenant’s Repeated Mistake

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Alien: Covenant is a direct sequel to Prometheus. Both are prequel films to the original Alien, and both follow the same general plotline of a crew aboard a ship discovering an alien lifeform that proves to be more deadly than they thought. In Alien: Covenant, Catherine Waterson plays Daniels, the strong, Ripley-like female lead. But what about Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus? Where did she go?

In Prometheus, Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace, is the strong, female lead and the only survivor (besides David, played by Michael Fassbender) at the end of the film. It makes sense for her to feature in a sequel, just as Weaver portrayed Ripley in four different films. However, when Shaw’s ship arrives at the planet where they discover David has been living, there’s no sign of Shaw. It turns out she’s been killed by David to be dissected and studied. It’s not a very heroic death and one that’s similar to the deaths of Hicks and Newt.

With Alien 3, it was a matter of convenience to kill off most of the main characters from the previous film so that new filmmakers could introduce their own characters. Nevertheless, with Alien: Covenant, Scott does the same thing but with a character that was a part of a film that he made himself. It’s a shame that Rapace didn’t get a chance to reprise her character, although Waterson does a fine job as the female lead. Still, why can’t we have two strong, female characters in the same film?

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Updated: November 8, 2020 — 2:25 am

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