Last week, director Ridley Scott let it slip that the sequel to Prometheus was now going to be called Alien: Covenant. 20th Century Fox made that official Monday morning with a new logo and, most curiously, a very confusing plot synopsis.

Here’s the synopsis:

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with ALIEN: COVENANT, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with PROMETHEUS — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

A few points here. First, considering the wide range of reactions to the first film, they’re being very confident already referring to this as the second chapter of the Alien prequel trilogy. But we can handle that, especially if this film and a follow up help answers some of the lingering questions from Prometheus. Changing the name to Alien should help too.

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Second, where’s Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace? She survived the end of Prometheus along with Michael Fassbender’s David but she’s not mentioned here at all. Rumors over the past few years had suggested she’d be back, with Rapace herself even saying that, but David being called “the sole inhabitant” of this new world has some dark implications. Did Shaw die on the trip? Was she killed by aliens once they arrived at their destination? Is her appearance a surprise? Or has she just not signed her contract yet?

Third, who are these new people aboard the Covenant? Will they have links to the Weyland Corporation from Prometheus (which later becomes Weyland Yutani in the Alien series) and will they encounter the Engineers from the original film?

Here’s the title treatment for the new movie, which is scheduled to open October 6, 2017.


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.