Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Will the origins of Xenomorphs be finally revealed in Alien: Covenant?

Fans of the Alien movie franchise will get to rejoice next week with the return of the classic Xenomorph and Facehuggers in Alien: Covenant. Although they were much anticipated during release of the preceding movie, Prometheus (2012), neither were actually featured to the disappointment of fans who were instead treated to a number of new alien monstrosities. This time there is no mistaking return the Xenomorph is it distinctly featured in movie trailers and other promotional materials.

Alien: Covenant is the sixth movie in this billion dollar sci-fi franchise and second in a series of planned prequels. Beginning 38 years ago in 1979 with Alien, acclaimed director Ridley Scott returns to the helm once again and promises to bring back the cinematic terror of sci-fi horror that was invented by the original masterpiece. Although Alien: Covenant is intended to be R-rated with barrels of claret (fake blood) flowing, Scott will also be further exploring the universe that inhibits his films through the search for mankind's progenitors (in Prometheus) and now the origins of the Xenomorphs (in Covenant, hopefully!).

Before joining the crew of the Covenant on their journey, let us briefly recap of the previous five movies according to timeline of the Alien universe: 

Ridley Scott returned to direct this first prequel movie to the saga in 2012 after a 3 decade hiatus from the original Alien in 1979. Prometheus begins in 2089 with the discovery of star map amongst ancient hieroglyphs on Earth. This sets off an expedition team four years later aboard the starship Prometheus to a mysterious planet LV-223 in search of mankind's origins. Needless to say their discovery of the "Engineers", a giant humanoid race, was far from amicable resulting in destruction of the Prometheus and most of her crew. With more questions than answers, the survivors Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and synthetic android David  (Michael Fassbender),  depart LV-223 on an alien spacecraft journeying to the "Engineers" homeworld, setting up the scene for Alien: Covenant.

Check out this official prologue video linking these two prequel movies:

10 years after the doomed Prometheus expedition, its surviving crew Elizabeth Shaw and the synthetic David continue their journey to discover our origins. Watch The Crossing, an official prologue short for #AlienCovenantMY in cinemas 10 May, with special sneaks 9 May
Posted by 20th Century Fox on Friday, 28 April 2017

P.S.: No Xenomorphs.

Official Synopsis:
Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world -- whose sole inhabitant is the "synthetic" David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

Alien: Covenant takes place 10 years after the events of Prometheus. As a colony ship on a mission to spread mankind across the galaxy, crew of the Covenant comprise couples: Captain Jacob (James Franco) and his wife, Daniels, head of terraforming operations (Katherine Waterston); second-in-command Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) and his biologist wife Karine (Carmen Ejogo); boisterous pilots Tennessee (Danny McBride) and Faris (Amy Seimetz); head of security Sergeant Lope (Demián Bichir) and his second-in-command and husband Sergeant Hallett (Nathaniel Dean). Plus one Weyland-Yutani synthetic, Walter (Michael Fassbender again), a more advanced version of David upgraded by AMD technology(!) to better serve real humans. Indeed reserve your very own Walter at and check out the video on YouTube.

Bridge crew of the Covenant. Choose your likely survivors?
As can be seen from the trailers, the mission pretty much goes to hell shortly after planetfall and becomes a full-on gore-fest with the Covenant's crew being eliminated by the classic Facehugger and Xenomorph as well as a new creature dubbed the Neomorph. Following in the footsteps of strong female leads, we can almost expect Katherine Waterston's Daniels to resist being alien-kill for most of the movie. But don't count on her returning for the sequel as Noomi Rapace's Shaw is clearly not returning for this movie unlike Ripley in the original Alien Quadrilogy.

Will director Ridley Scott finally reveal origins of the Xenomorphs?
Whilst Prometheus delved into mankind's origins from outer space, this time director Ridley Scott aims to finally address origins of the Xenomorph. Make what you will of Scott's cryptic statement: “It came to me that no one had asked the question, who made this and why. You could say monsters from outer space, gods from outer space, engineers from outer space invented it. They didn’t. Alien: Covenant's going to flip that around.” Speculation is rife across geek channels on what this actually means. Just search Google and YouTube for numerous fan theories.

Alien: The mother of sci-fi horror movies was unleashed in 1979 hot on the heels of Star Wars frenzy. Set around 30 to 60 years after the first prequel movie, Prometheus, this story revolves around crew of the commercial starship Nostromo who, on the way back to Earth, responds to a mysterious transmission from planet LV-426. During investigation planetside, one of the crew is impregnated with an alien creature and gives birth to the first Xenomorph seen in cinemas to terrify movie audiences for years to come. Most of the crew die save Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver in the role which defines much of her future career.

Director Ridley Scott said he always thought of Alien as a B-movie, but really well done, with a basic subtext of seven people locked in the old dark house and who’s going to die first and who’s going to survive. Pretty much the same subtext carries over in the sequels although the specific environments change and Xenomorphs evolve to keep each movie fresh.

This Time It's War! So goes the tag-line for the first sequel movie Aliens helmed by award-winning director James Cameron in 1986. Taking place 57 years later in the Alien timeline, Ellen Ripley returns of LV-426 with a team of bad@$$ marines to investigate loss of communications with the colony. Battles ensue between the marines and hordes of Xenomorphs, climaxing with a showdown between Ripley and an Alien Queen. No cookies for guessing who walks away as the victor!

The third official movie released in 1992 simply named Alien3 takes place shortly after the events in Aliens on the penal colony Fiorina "Fury" 161 where Ripley crash-lands. Whilst adapting to harsh conditions of the planet, Ripley soon discovers presence of a Xenomorph as prisoners are massacred one by one. Even worst she finds herself impregnated with an Alien Queen and in the end chooses to sacrific herself over allowing corporate suits from Weyland-Yutani to harvest the Xenomorph as a weapon.

Almost like superhero comic books, no good protagonist remains dead for long and Ripley is resurrected 200 years later on the United Space Military starship Auriga as part of an experiment to control Xenomorphs. As expected, that plan goes sour way fast as Xenomorphs escape and overrun the starship. Ripley then teams up with a band of mercenaries to escape the Auriga.

If you have not yet seen these movies, consider saving yourself 10 hours by watching this 5 minute summary before watching Alien: Covenant:

To celebrate the franchise, Alien Day took place last week on 26 April (as numbers of LV-426 by month & year) with a special 1-hour event broadcast live online from Fox Studios in Los Angeles. The event featured interviews with cast members of Alien: Covenant, live art drawings, and peaks into the upcoming movie including the aforementioned Prologue. Watch the entire event below as well as behind-the-scenes with Adam Savage:

Special event for Alien Day 2017.

Adam Savage visits the film set of Alien: Covenant.

Some additional filming trivia: Exterior scenes on Alien: Covenant were shot in Milford Sound, New Zealand, one of the wettest places on our planet. This combination of rain and sheer rocky mountains shrouded in mist provided the otherworldly setting for the movie amidst being one of the top tourist attractions in the world. Here's comparison of the scene from the movie with a scenic photo by our Outpost Commander at Fiordland National Park:

Screen-cap from the trailer as crew of the Covenant discover a wheat field.

View of Fiordland valley along Te Anau - Milford Sound Highway on a clear day.
Compare those mountain ranges!

Just before heading into the cinemas, it would be worth your while to watch this 2nd Prologue introducing the main crew of the Covenant and setting up the scene for the new movie.

Also note Ridley Scott is already developing 2 more prequels with working title of the next one being Alien: Awakening. Perhaps we can expect this movie in a couple of years to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of Alien in 2019.

Typically the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) will be providing intel on where to find movie stuffs locally. Thanks to the nice people at 20th Century Fox Malaysia, we have 8 pairs of Movie Premiere invites to Alien: Covenant for our readers as well as Movie Premiums.

Alien: Covenant Movie Premiere
Monday 8 May, 8.45pm
@ MBO Starling Mall
(Damansara Utama)

UPDATE 8 May: Movie Premiere Contest CLOSED.

Follow our newly launch Instagram channel Outpost MY for chance to win more Movie Premiums during the opening week of Alien: Covenant.

Up for grabs Alien: Covenant t-shirts, notebooks, bottle opener & cup.

Just follow these instructions below for a chance to win a pair of Movie Premiere Invites, an exclusive Alien Day mini-poster (above), face towel and a Movie Premium:

1. Like our Facebook Page, Outpost Productions, and this article post.
2. Share this Blog post on Facebook and/or Twitter (set your post privacy to Public)
3. Submit your personal details and answer 3 questions plus write creative caption in the online form below.

Make sure your entries reach us by Friday 5 May, 11.59pm and stay tuned to our Facebook Page for announcement of winners.

Terms and Conditions for Movie Premiere contest (CLOSED):
  • Participation only for residents in Malaysia able to attend the Movie Premiere.
  • Only 1 entry per person. Multiple entries after the first entry will be automatically rejected.
  • Selection of winners will be based on answering all 3 questions correctly and our selection of the most creative captions.
  • Winners will announced on our Facebook Page anytime after Saturday 6 March, 12pm. It is the winners' own responsibility to lookout for the announcement and respond accordingly to the redemption instructions given.
  • Giveaways items to be collected in person at the Movie Premiere in MBO Starling on Monday 8 May between 8.00pm to 8.30pm. Winnings are forfeit if not collecting by 8.30pm.
  • We reserve the right to revise these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.
Alien: Covenant Twitter Contest
17-18 May 2017

Please give thanks to the folks from 20th Century Fox Malaysia as we have one final round of giveaways for you Alien fans. Follow us on Twitter at OutpostMY and retweet our contest post with caption on your rating of the movie out of 10 with a few keyword hashtags on why and ending with #OutpostGiveaway, e.g. 8/10 #Xenomorph #horror #gory #plottwist #MichaelFassbender #NewZealand #OutpostGiveaway. Contest closes Thursday 18 May, 11.59pm (Malaysian time).

Win this tshirt and mini-poster from our Twitter contest.
Terms and Conditions for Twitter contest:
  • Participation only for residents in Malaysia.
  • To participate, Follow OutpostHolonet @OutpostMY on Twitter.
  • Retweet the Contest Tweet (link above).
  • In retweet add Comment with your rating of Alien Covenant our of 10, e.g. 9/10, and keyword hashtags on why, e.g. #Xenomorph #horror #gory #plottwist #MichaelFassbender
  • End comments with hashtag #OutpostGiveaway
  • All entries to be posted by Thursday 18 May, 11.59pm.
  • Only 1 entry per person. Multiple entries after the first entry will be automatically rejected.
  • Selected winner will be contacted by direct message on 19 May.
  • Prize to be collected from Outpost stall at Sunway Pyramid, Blue Concourse on 20-21 May 2017 between 10am to 10pm.
  • We reserve the right to revise these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.

Disclaimer: Alien and other trademarks are copyright 20th Century Fox, referenced here for fan service engagements without intent to infringe.

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