In Alien: Covenant (2017) we see a flashback of David arriving at the Engineer's homeworld.

  Alien Covenant   Alien Covenant

This seems to be a special event for the people living in this particular city, as thousands of them gather to look at the ship, cheering its arrival.

  Alien Covenant

In the previous movie Prometheus (2012) we learned that the Engineers are a technologically advanced race who has been capable of interstellar travel for thousands of years. So why was the return of a ship such a big deal?

One theory I have heard is that these people aren't actually Engineers, but merely another race that was created by the Engineers. And they cheer because they believe their gods have returned. This would also explain their more "primitve" look.

My Question:

  • If these people are indeed Engineers, who have been space travelers for thousands of years, why are they so excited to see one of their ships?

1 Answer 1


There's no explanation given in the film. That said, when astronauts from earth arrive home there is often fan fare of the same sort. Especially in the early days of the space program, you would see astronauts coming home and a big production being made.

In addition to this, this particular Engineer ship and 'crew' hasn't been seen for millennia. We can probably infer that all communication stopped between the particular Engineers on the world of Prometheus and the ones on the planet in Covenant. So when a ship from the world of Prometheus arrives it would be a very big deal.

  • 1
    The first moon landing was a big deal, with people all over the world watching live, but what about the e.g. 6th moon landing? If moon landings had been going on for thousands of years, would people still treat it like a big event? - Did these people actually know it was the "Prometheus" ship? I assume David didn't bother announcing his arrival (even though he does speak their language). That giant "scorpion tail" might have been an automated response, because if there were Engineers in there, shouldn't they have been safe from David's black goo attack?
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 5, 2017 at 19:35
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    If they created us humans then they must have developed interstellar travel a long time ago. - There have been only 6 manned moon landings, so it's pretty rare, but if there were a 7th, would that make people cheer in the streets? Even if something doesn't happen often, people seem to lose interest after a while. Sure it would make the news and trend on Twitter, but people celebrating the 7th moon landing in the streets?
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 6, 2017 at 8:34
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    David announcing his arrival could have invited questions: "Where have you guys been? ... What happened? ... Why don't we detect your life signs?..." But if he played dead and pretended the ship is on autopilot they might have let it land out of curiosity.
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 6, 2017 at 8:39
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    @Oliver_C - Every launch, every mission, every return from a mission in the NASA program has been an event. People go there to watch the launches (I remember watching the Challenger launch, live, on network TV, which pre-empted the daytime programming) and there was always some kind of fanfare when the shuttle or Apollo missions returned to earth. Jul 6, 2017 at 16:38
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    20 years ago I stayed up until 2am just so I could see the space shuttle fly by, but no other member of the house was interested enough to do the same. - The people in the movie come out in masses, and they aren't simply curious about the ship, they cheer/celebrate. - The ship is returning from an outpost where bio-weapons were developed or stored, why celebrate that? And if they don't know where the ship is coming from, what are they celebrating?
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 6, 2017 at 21:14

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