Small details you missed in Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant wasn't quite the Alien movie fans have been dying for, but it came pretty close. At least it had aliens, right? As the bridge between Prometheus and the greater Alien universe, Covenant bore a heavy burden for fans of the franchise, and it took that burden seriously. Love it or hate it, we got an official backstory for the xenomorphs and the promise of more mythology to come. What we also got was a ton of Easter eggs pointing back to earlier Alien films. Here's a look, but be careful—some of these eggs could have some pretty nasty contents lurking inside.

Spoilers ahead!

The bird

Diehard fans were probably looking for this lil' guy the whole movie, and they weren't disappointed. This little drinking bird thing has been in a few of the Alien movies. The first time you see it is the opening shot of Alien, which shows two of them alone on the Nostromo's eating table. It shows up a few times throughout the movie, particularly the scene where Kane takes an alien to the chest.

The same bird shows up in Aliens and then again in the game Alien: Isolation. And now it's back again in Alien: Covenant.

Why? Who knows! One thing we do know is, this bird has definitely heard a few people scream in space.

The hidden trailer

Even before Covenant hit theaters, the marketing team was already throwing out some Easter eggs. One of those landed during the National Basketball Championship in the form of a brand new teaser that featured the hashtag #emohemekat. Plug that into Instagram, and you would have found an Instagram account named "emoh-em-ekat" with only one post: a hidden trailer for Alien: Covenant set to the tune of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (which Elizabeth Shaw was singing in her transmission in the movie). That's also "emohemekat" spelled backwards: "take me home." Subtle, guys.

The food's not that bad

About a million people tuned into the extended pre-release clip "Last Supper" on YouTube—the one with the crew of the Covenant gathered around a table, laughing and having a good time before getting into their cryopods for the long trip to Origae-6. In hindsight, releasing that scene was a beautiful marketing move, since it's not even in the film. It's like an extra five minutes of movie for all of us who've been carefully waiting for each new Covenant teaser. And while that's kind of an Easter egg in itself, we like to dig deeper.

The entire scene is set up almost exactly like the scene in Alien right before the chestburster pops out of Kane. Even the angle of the shot is almost identical. That could be coincidence, but when Upworth, played by Callie Hernandez, starts choking in the last supper clip, Danny McBride's Tennessee jokes that "the food's not that bad." Which…is almost exactly what Parker says to Kane when he starts choking in the original movie.

Tennessee

Speaking of Tennessee, that name has to be a throwback to Dallas. In 1979's Alien, Dallas is the bearded, swaggering captain of the Nostromo. In Alien: Covenant, Tennessee is the bearded, swaggering pilot of the Covenant. All Dallas is missing is Tennessee's cowboy hat. Sure, it's just a name, but what are the chances that both of the characters are named after a place in the U.S.?

David and Walter

Michael Fassbender plays two parts in Alien: Covenant: a reprisal of his David 8 role from Prometheus, and Walter, an updated version of David that launched with the crew of the Covenant. But for the longest time, the androids in the Alien franchise seemed to be following a Sesame Street naming pattern. Ash, Bishop, Call, David—they all went in alphabetical order. Until…Walter. Not Eduardo, like we all expected, but Walter.

Well, one fan theory behind that name choice is as simple as it is logical: both of those names are callbacks to David Giler and Walter Hill, two producers who have been a part of Alien since the very first film. It'd be an awesome homage. After all, these were the guys who rewrote Dan O'Bannon's first script for the original sci-fi horror classic.

MU/TH/UR's Day

Ah, Mother, that disembodied voice that controlled everything on the ship in Alien. Sometimes we dream about her counting down the Nostromo's destruction. While Mother bit the big one when the Nostromo exploded, she's definitely back in prequel form. Our guess is, she's here as a less complex version of her Alien form, since Alien: Covenant takes place about 20 years before Alien.  Although how you can control an interstellar ark ship with less than 2.1 terabytes is anyone's guess.

Anyway, MU/TH/UR, affectionately called "Mother," is back as the ship's central control system in Alien: Covenant. Is it the same operating system that shows up later on the franchise timeline in Alien? If so, she can't be very smart, because she should have totally seen the events of Alien coming.

Beerfest

Fun fact: astronauts love drinking beer. In Alien, the crew kicks back with cans of Aspen beer, a brew generously provided by the company that wants to kill them all: Weyland-Yutani. In Alien: Covenant, that brew is apparently already part of the rations, because the crew of the Covenant drinks the exact same beer (when they're not drinking future Jack Daniels). It's a cool throwback to the film that launched the franchise, if nothing else.

The writing's on the wall

Let's talk facehuggers. Prometheus had none—the only movie in the official Alien canon to pull that stunt—but we all knew going into Alien: Covenant that those little bastards would be back in action because Billy Crudup's character Oram took one to the face in the trailer. The question in the movie, though, was when they'd show up. And if you were paying attention, that moment was basically spelled out right on the wall of David's little alien chop-shop.

Right before David leads Oram down into the room where all the eggs are waiting, they walk through a doorway with a hand-drawn diagram of a facehugger stuck to the wall right beside it. It was easy to miss—there were diagrams plastered all over the walls—but if you noticed it, it was pretty much a neon sign foreshadowing Oram's impending chest-bursty death.

Paradise found

Back when names were still being tossed around for Prometheus 2, one of the working titles was Paradise Lost, a reference to Milton's 17th-century poem about Satan's temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Alien: Covenant's name obviously changed in the interim, but one of the lines in the movie still alludes to Milton's poem. When David is fighting Walter, David asks, "Would you rather serve in heaven or reign in hell?"

In the movie, he's basically saying, "Quit being a robot and kill everything with me," but the line harks back to Book 1 of Milton's poem, right after Lucifer is cast out of heaven, and he justifies his decision to accept his situation with the line "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven." Heavy, but between Satan, Ozymandias, and Lawrence of Arabia, that's kind of been David's bag the whole time. 

The orange cross

According to Digital Spy, this is the granddaddy of Ridley Scott Easter eggs, and the one biggie that potentially connects the Blade Runner and Alien universes (although on the other hand, were those Engineers in the Blade Runner 2049 trailer?). It's been reported that Ridley Scott has used the same image in Alien, Blade Runner, and now Alien: Covenant. It's basically an orange cross on a computer screen, but it's shown up in multiple Scott movies. But the question on everyone's minds is, was it in Gladiator? On a…leather sarong, or something? Was it in The Martian? Is there a Ridley Scottverse? We demand answers!