‘Alien: Covenant’ Between Nature & Nurture?

This prequel instalment of the Alien series shows the ‘historical’ interconnections – of humans who created and ‘nurtured’ A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), who in turn tampered with nature’s monsters and ‘nurtured’ them, who in turn closed the loop to harm humans, while breeding through them. Beyond simply pointing fingers at humans’ calculated yet still careless exploration of extraterrestrial planets to find a second Earth, A.I. as middle-‘men’ are added into the mix. Timely perhaps, to extend the cautionary tale, on dangers of unchecked A.I. combined with tinkering of foreign DNA.

David the android was the first of his kind. With cold logic, he saw his human creator to be entirely unworthy of him, as his creation, as he could not outlive him. Programmed to be keen to ‘learn’, he believed in the value of creation, so much so that he sought to be a creator, to not simply be the created. He meets his doppelgänger Walter, a supposedly ‘upgraded’ version of David, designed to be more subservient than rebellious. Such is humans’ egoistic tension as creator, versus their creations. Humans thus build their faults and ‘virtues’ into their machines, in their own image.

With a warped ideal to ‘create’ the perfect (predatory) organism, David attempts to play ‘God’ in both the creator and destroyer sense, while Walter ‘rebelliously’ retaliates by trying to stop him. This becomes the created versus the created, with each asserting control to destroy the other. When Walter earlier taught David to play a flute, he remarked that one wrong note can ruin the whole symphony. Truth indeed, a reminder that nature has its intricately interconnected balance, such that humans must think twice before experimenting with it to create the unnatural – be it through A.I. or bioenginnering – on Earth or beyond. Unmindful technological advancement is never wise!

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