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How to End the Alien Franchise

NOTE: This post will heavily spoil Alien: Covenant. Like, all of it.

SECOND NOTE: For canonical purposes, Alien v Predator will not be counted, because it ruins everything.

So, it’s looking that finally, after the proper send-off that was Alien3, and then the horrendous send-off that was Alien: Resurrection, that the Alien franchise may finally be coming to an end soon. Along with the release of Alien: Covenant, director Ridley Scott has said that Neill Blompkamp’s proposed fifth Alien film is effectively dead and that he is making one more film to fully connect the Alien quadrilogy with the Prometheus trilogy.

But how could this be? With roughly 20 years separating Alien: Covenant and Alien, there are so many ways that it could go, and so many plot threads that need to be tied up in a 2 hour movie that also needs to get Alien back in the good graces of audiences (and more importantly, us at, because we are the most important). So I want to pitch an idea for the final Alien film, but first we need to figure out what needs to be done.

Plot requirements:

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation needs to know about the specimen that David has created (the Xenomorphs) and start sending out people to look for it.

Thematic requirements:

The movie needs to bridge the primary theme of the Prometheus trilogy, the nature between creator and creation and the succession of the latter on the former, and the theme of the Alien quadrilogy, which is survival and the dissonance between order and life.

Tone requirements:

For god’s sake, it needs to be scary again. Not only scary in some parts like Covenant, or action-packed like Aliens, but it needs to be truly scary. Prometheus is more heady and plot-driven, much like Alien: Resurrection. Covenant is a mix of horror and action, like Alien3 or Aliens. To finish off the franchise we need to go back to what made it work and what made Alien so great. By reversing the tone of the original series, the Prometheus trilogy has a great chance to bring the entire franchise back full circle if it does it right.

So here’s my pitch for the movie to fix everything.


With the Covenant still en route to Origae-6, David (posing as Walter), intercepts a transmission from Weyland-Yutani asking for any knowledge about the Prometheus, as they have received the records from Covenant about their landing on LV-426, as the record, mentioned by Captain Oram in Covenant, has made it to Earth and the response transmission has made it back. David records a response transmission as Walter, stating that he came into contact with a perfect specimen on the planet, but the humans had to be evacuated due to concerns of harming the ecosystem of these specimens and that research will be required to learn more about these “feats of nature.” Cut to Earth at Weyland-Yutani, where two years past, with the Covenant a year away from Origae-6, the transmission is cross-referenced with the data backup of Walter, and it is found that the person in charge of the Covenant is not Walter, but David.

First act:

Five years into the proposed colonization of Origae-6, a ship lands piloted by the backup data of Walter acting as Mother, with another android on the ship, who also has the same face: an android named Michael. Closer to the Terminator than any of the previous androids we have seen; with no emotion and no compassion, Michael is entirely concerned with exterminating David. Michael lands on Origae-6 and finds that David has kept the colonists in cryo-sleep on this planet so he can continue his Xenomorph expeditions using the bodies of the colonists as test subjects. David tries to appeal to Michael’s humanity but fails, and as the two fight, Walter’s system in the computer begins to malfunction. The two dueling androids come to a stop once David releases a deformed and mutated Xenomorph which goes after Michael. In the fight, all three androids and the Xenomorph are aboard this ship when Walter’s consciousness goes offline and it is revealed that the mission was to retrieve David and the Xenomorph for research and damage control. David and Michael both go offline and the entire ship goes into cryo-sleep, effectively freezing the Xenomorph in its place.

Second act:

The ship eventually makes it back to Earth, and to quote Anakin Skywalker, “this is where the fun begins.” As Weyland-Yutani attempts to hold the androids and the failed Xenomorph in place, carnage happens, and we get a movie very similar to the first Alien, a bottle film that takes place in this Weyland facility with David attempting to free the Xenomorph and Michael/Walter attempting to stop him. So you’ve got three Michael Fassbenders, one of whom is only a voice, a Xenomorph, and a bunch of young happy people who think they’re making a difference by working for Weyland-Yutani who find out just how expendable they really are when they’re quarantined in the facility with this monster.

Third act:

The Xenomorph has killed most of the humans and has dismembered Michael, but Walter gets one of the human characters to set up David for a trap where Walter’s consciousness is plugged into David, so the two android programs are trying to take over one body (Michael Fassbender gets to act like crazy in this scene, I’m talking Oscar-level acting). Walter wins, and forces the Xenomorph into a rocket that blasts off with him inside it. As they’re in space, Walter finds out that Weyland-Yutani has sent out ten unsuspecting ships to undergo simple cargo jobs, but are actually supposed to touch down on LV-426 without their knowledge. Walter, for the sake of the greater good, destroys all but one of these ships, as the tenth is auto-piloted away from him and is out of his reach. That ship is the Nostromo, piloted by Captain Dallas, and containing warrant officer Ellen Ripley.


We go back to Origae-6, where the pods start to open now that David cannot keep them shut. The environment is revealed to be inhabitable for the Xenomorphs, but the humans can adapt to the atmosphere, which explains the monstrous deformed Xenomorph from earlier. Daniels and Tennessee from Covenant wake up, terrified, and slowly become relieved to find no trace of David anywhere on the planet. Their colony mission can begin.

So why do I think this works? One, it can be really scary, which is what a good Alien film needs to be. Bringing in the design of a failed Xenomorph could be very interesting, its failures as a creature creating a real threat for the characters instead of some magical beast that can kill anything. And it tonally works with the series, as the Prometheus films have been a rather dour one all the way through, so having this ending that seems like the end of mankind is great, especially when we know that the Nostromo will have Ripley to make sure the Xenomorph never returns to Earth. As well, having the Covenant mission successful brings hope into the franchise after the reveal in Alien: Resurrection that Earth is a decimated wasteland. While they’re horror movies, the Alien franchise has never been one for complete bleakness in its ending. The beast is killed, and usually one person is alive. So having a bit of hope in the colony on Origae-6 is good, and it means that the work done in Prometheus and Covenant wasn’t completely worthless, which it seems it might be. Adding in the themes of disobedience through Walter betraying Weyland-Yutani in this pitch connects it to the four Alien films, as well as his attempted destruction of David’s creation going back to the themes of Prometheus, killing the creation before the creation has a chance to supersede you, like David did with the Engineers. Will this pitch ever be made or will Scott’s final film have anything similar to this? Probably not, but in a perfect world where one lone guy on the internet gets to end one of the most influential sci-fi franchises of all time, this is how I would do it.

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