WHY DO PREQUELS ANSWER QUESTIONS NO ONE ASKED? A LOOK AT ALIEN: COVENANT

SPOILER WARNING!!!! I DROP ONE HUGE ALIEN:COVENANT SPOILER IN THIS ARTICLE AND A FEW MINOR ONE, SO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE, GO SEE IT AND THEN COME BACK AND READ THIS… OR IF YOU JUST DON’T GIVE A FUCK GO RIGHT AHEAD AND READ IT.

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So I managed to go out and see Alien: Covenant over the weekend. Any of you who follow the site know that Alien: Covenant was one of my most anticipated films of the summer. I have a complex relationship with this franchise. Some of the films I love, some of them I loathe. But I think one of the greatest strengths of this universe, is it’s ability to spark debate among it’s fans. There are people who will defend Alien 3 to their dying breath despite its many controversial creative choices. Personally, I love Prometheus. I know that’s not a popular opinion, but I like sci-fi that tries to tackle the big questions in life. Even if the movie ultimately fails in the attempt. My point is that we all have our favorite Alien film or films and we love them regardless of what anyone else thinks.

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I’ll warn you right off the bat; if you get frustrated watching people do really fucking stupid shit for the sake of moving the plot forward, this movie is going to drive you out of your goddamn mind. The crew of The Covenant could be some of the dumbest fucking people to ever grace the screen of a sci-fi film and I think that’s a pretty high bar. They make the crew of the Prometheus look like a bunch of Jack Reachers. “Hmm, we have a meticulously planned mission, years in the making, with thousands of lives on the line, you know what? Fuck it. Let’s forget about all that and investigate this creepy as fuck signal coming from a planet we’ve never heard of before, even though we’ve searched this sector for habitable planets many, many times and this is the first we’ve seen of this seemingly perfect world. That is awfully peculiar, but hell we’re explorers! Sure we’ve had a few casualties already, but if you’re gonna roll the dice anywhere, it should be in space.” I must have been shaking my head in sheer disbelief at the idiocy of these characters for the first 30 minutes of the movie.

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I did ultimately enjoy Alien: Covenant. If you’re a fan of the franchise at all, I think it’s worth seeing. You may hate it, but you should eventually see it. Once again Michael Fassbender is incredible in dual roles as very different (or ARE they?) Synthetics, David and Walter (Not a spoiler at all if you saw Prometheus: David is a real prick.). Danny McBride is the Yaphet Kotto of the movie, which is fucking awesome. I’m a huge fan of McBride and you’d assume he’d be comic relief/cannon fodder here, which isn’t really the case. Even though I had my problems with it, I came out if the theater having had a good time.

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Which brings me to the point of this article. My main gripe with the movie is one we see way too often in prequel films: explaining things that DON’T FUCKING NEED TO BE EXPLAINED! Perfect example, The Force from Star Wars. We don’t need a bunch of bullshit about fucking Midichlorians or whatever that allows people to commune with The Force. It’s The Force, that’s all the explanation we need. While we’re on this topic, you know what was on my mind while I was watching X-Men: Shitpocalypes? “Man, I just GOTTA know how Charles Xavier loses his hair.” Actually, that’s not true, I didn’t think that. NOBODY fucking thought that! Who. Fucking. Cares? (Ironically, I very, very much cared when they DIDN’T make Lex Luthor bald in Batman V Superman: Dawn of… WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T THEY JUST CALL IT World’s Finest? I don’t know why they’re different, but they are. Xavier with hair = OK, Lex Luthor with hair = Not OK)

 
Which brings me to the cardinal sin of Alien: Covenant: They definitively explain the origins of the Xenomorphs. When Prometheus was announced, one of the things I was most excited about was finding out more about The Space Jockey. I always felt like fans tended to forget that there was this whole other Alien species out there that the series never touched on enough. Of course, The Space Jockey ended up being one of The Engineers. For the most part the Engineers worked for me. If you hated them, I totally get it. Look at this fucking guy, ripping heads off. Not cool.

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On the other hand, the one thing I absolutely did NOT want an answer to was the origin of the Xenomorphs. Ultimately the story that was set up in Prometheus led to Alien: Covenant and Alien: Covenant definitively gives that answer. I don’t hate the explaination in and of itself, I just hate that there’s an explanation at all. Nothing these writers come up with can compare to what we cook up in our own imaginations. The thing that kind of sucks is, when you give a definitive explanation to a pop cultural mystery, it ends the fan debate. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had hanging out with my friends was sitting around debating things like “Where did the Xenomorph come from?”

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I understand why Hollywood does this shit, it’s marketing. But certain mysteries in pop culture should be sacrosanct. Like the origin of The Joker. You can tease, you can hint, but you can NEVER tell us who he really is (a rule Marvel should have stuck to with Wolverine). Unfortunately I have a feeling DC is being tempted to play this particular wild card and that would be a colossal mistake. I guess my point is, everyone loves a mystery and some of the great mysteries of pop culture should remain unanswered.
Thanks for reading everyone!
-Paul

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