Alien Covenant trailer

In the 1980s, computers and A.I. were still a fairly new technology, and thus, weren’t to be trusted. This distrust manifested in various movies, but many forget that 1979’s Alien was one of the first.

The A.I. in Alien — Nostromo’s feminine-voiced computer known as “Mother,” spelled MUTHUR — wasn’t necessarily malicious per se, but it was a cold, impersonal machine that put the needs of the mission over the crew. And for the first time since the first Alien movie, MUTHUR will be making a return in Alien: Covenant. The newest trailer features it extensively, and may hint at some of the darker intentions with which we were introduced to MUTHUR dearest.

As much as the ’70s and ’80s distrusted computers, we perhaps place too much trust in them today.

The new Alien Covenant trailer highlights this, with Katherine Waterson‘s Daniels interacting innocently with the Siri-like MUTHUR, asking her for a day count, conversing with her about rations and calling on the computer to aid her taunts in a game of poker. But things soon take a turn for worse, as the crew deals with alien attack and MUTHUR goes silent. She only speaks again in a scene rife with foreboding, as Daniels is chased by the Xenomorph only to find it waiting in the wings above her.

And for those who are wondering, no, MUTHUR is not voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who played Ripley in the original Alien and its sequels. IMDB lists Lorelei King as the voice for the all-knowing MUTHUR.

In the 1979 Alien, MUTHUR was the all-knowing computer that helped pilot Nostromo and woke the crew from their stasis at the beginning of the film. However, Ripley eventually discovers that MUTHUR was aware of a secret mission to sacrifice the crew for a sample of deadly aliens all along, in a plot hatched by crewmember and android Ash (Ian Holm).

It’s to be seen whether MUTHUR has similarly hidden, malicious depths in Alien: Covenant, though her apparent silence throughout the attack hints at something like that. And MUTHUR had been hidden from marketing for Alien: Covenant up until this trailer, making me believe that this is foreshadowing for some kind of third act reveal. It’s also notable that MUTHUR hasn’t appeared in another Alien film since the first one.

Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien: Covenant also stars Michael Fassbender Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby.

Alien: Covenant hits theaters May 19, 2017.

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