Alien: Covenant 

An Open Letter To The Weyland-Yutani Corporation

Michael Fassbender plays both the android Walter and his older-model synthetic counterpart, David.

Michael Fassbender plays both the android Walter and his older-model synthetic counterpart, David.

Dear Sir/Madam/Sexless Artificial Intelligence,

I am writing today to bring your attention to matters of deep concern. Having reviewed records concerning the loss of the spacecraft Nostromo, along with her crew and cargo (Alien, 1979); the warship Sulacco and her contingent of space marines, along with the terraforming colony on planet LV-426 (Aliens, 1986); the population of the penal colony on Fiorina 161 (Alien 3, 1992); the military research spacecraft Auriga (Alien: Resurrection, 1997); the exploration vessel Prometheus (2012); and now the colony ship Covenant, I believe I have identified major problems with your astronaut training program.

I don't have to tell you that these men and women risk life and limb every time they set foot in a Weyland-Yutani space ship to venture far beyond communication with Earth. More importantly, they are entrusted with corporate equipment and assets worth billions of space dollars. In the case of the synthetic androids known as David (Michael Fassbender) and Walter (also Michael Fassbender), they literally are assets and equipment worth billions of space dollars. And yet, your astronauts continually act in the least professional and, dare I say, stupid manner possible.

Consider the case of Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup), first mate of the Covenant. By all indications, he is — was — completely unprepared to assume command of a colony ship bearing 2,000 passengers in suspended animation and tens of thousands embryos intended to build a thriving human population on the faraway planet of Origae-6. Granted, it's entirely possible that the Covenant's original captain, Jake Branson (James Franco), was a competent leader, but since he was consumed by fire while still in his hypersleep pod, we'll never know for sure.

click to enlarge film_aliencovenant.jpg

Acting Captain Oram's first act is to deny the crew permission to hold a funeral for their incinerated former leader, which is a major blow to morale. Then, with breathtaking recklessness, he insists on diverting the ship full of sleeping innocents to investigate the source of a mysterious broadcast that may or may not be a John Denver song.

Once at the new planet, the acting captain and his away team completely disregard all reasonable precautions against contamination by possibly harmful biological agents. These astronauts are equipped with spacesuits — why not use them? Two members of the security team (Nathanial Dean and Demián Bichir) stop to smell the spores and are promptly infected by alien organisms. After blatantly violating quarantine procedures and allowing an unknown but clearly hungry alien life form on board the landing ship, pilot Maggie Faris (Amy Seimetz) destroys the vehicle with the negligent discharge of a weapon next to the ship's fuel tanks.

Trapped on the planet with an unknown number of extremely hostile alien life forms, terraforming expert Daniels (Katherine Waterston) is forced to enlist the help of the android David, who has been stranded on the planet for more than 10 years after escaping the destruction of the Prometheus in a stolen alien spacecraft. While Daniels does seem to be the most competent member of the crew, the fact that David lives in a deserted city surrounded by tens of thousands of unburied alien corpses should have set off alarm bells in her mind.

(Expect a separate letter on the shortcomings of your androids' ethical programming and their alarming tendency toward megalomaniacal insanity at a later date.)

Without even touching on Covenant's chief pilot Tennessee (Danny McBride) and his repeated, senseless endangerment of 2,000 sleeping passengers, I think you can see a clear pattern of incompetence emerging here. Weyland-Yutani needs to start recruiting smarter astronauts. We all agree that alien xenomorphs look really cool, but given past experience, you should train your employees to stay as far away from them as possible.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Citizen

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Alien: Covenant
Rated NR · 2017
Official Site: AlienCovenant.com
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollet, Callie Hernandez and Nathaniel Dean

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