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In Alien: Covenant an alien creature is trapped inside a crane during one of the final scenes where the ship tries to fly away from the planet.

At some point, something unclear happens (the camera shakes a lot during this scene) and the alien dies. I understand it has something to do with the crane, but I am not sure what. If it's simply crushed by the crane, why doesn't this happen sooner?

What exactly happens at this moment and how is this explained?

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You're correct, the Xenomorph is simply crushed by the crane. The reason Daniels didn't do this earlier is either because she was too close to it and didn't want to be harmed by its acid blood, or the ship was shaking around so much that she was struggling to use the controls.

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