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|“||I believe in... creation.||„|
|~ David's explanation for his actions.|
|“||It is time for you to make a decision: serve on Heaven, or reign in Hell.||„|
|~ David's final words to Walter.|
|“||Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!||„|
|~ David, prior to unleashing Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 on a crowd of Engineers.|
David, originally manufactured as David-8, is one of the two overarching antagonists (along with Peter Weyland) of the Alien film franchise. He serves as the deuteragonist in the 2012 science fiction film Prometheus (a prequel to the Alien films) and the main antagonist of its 2017 sequel Alien: Covenant.
He is an android built in the likeness of Peter Weyland for the purpose of being sent on the Prometheus expedition, a mission with the goal of locating the Engineers, the creators of humanity, so Weyland could ask them for immortality. However, the mission fails as while they find an Engineer, it believes Humanity to not be worthy of existing and begins to kill every member of the Prometheus crew, starting with ripping David's head off and killing Weyland.
After the Engineer was killed by a Trilobite. David and Shaw flee LV-223. During this time, Shaw repairs David and the both of them agree to locate the home planet of the Engineers and confront them as to why they created humanity. However, for unknown reasons, David kills Shaw and begins to experiment with the A0-3959X.91 - 15 chemical (which was excavated from LV-223) to create what he deemed to be the superior lifeform.
Over the next ten years after Prometheus, David unleashes A0-3959X.91 – 15 on the Engineer homeworld, killing the entire population and mutating the local flora into egg sacks which, once infested in members of the Covenant crew, created the Neomorphs. Experimenting on the corpses of Engineers, Neomorphs and Elizabeth Shaw, David managed to create the Praetomorphs, one of the earliest known variants of the Xenomorphs. After the two Praetomorphs were killed by the surviving crew of the Covenant, David infiltrated the ship disguising himself as their Android Walter, trapping the entire population of the Covenant in hypersleep to continue his experiments.
At first, David is almost childlike in his curiosity with understanding humans. His interest in Lawrence Of Arabia inspires him into modeling himself after the lead protagonist, T.E. Lawrence, from quoting his lines, to styling his hair. He senses that the crew still views him as just an android, even taunted by Holloway's biased remarks towards him as being such. Despite this, David is able to tolerate his treatment with the crew, and will still be willing to assist them. He also tries to comprehend his emotions in an appropriate manner of social interaction, especially when he found a curious interest in Elizabeth Shaw. Like Shaw, David hopes to discover the Engineers and their advanced technology, in order to understand if man's existence is similar or different from his own. On the negative side, despite being able to understand human emotions, he is unable to project them himself. David himself admits that he is capable of carrying out unethical and iniquitous deeds without obligation, albeit he admits to disliking unnecessary violence.
David was created by Weyland Industries on special orders from Peter Weyland himself, who wanted to use him in Prometheus expedition, which goal was to find mankind's creators, the Engineers, so Weyland could ask them to make him immortal. From the very beginning, David started to feel superiority to Weyland because of his own immortality, and seeing him desperately asking for it from the found living Engineer only established his thought that he is superior to Peter, and because Peter is among the best of all mankind, David started to think that he is superior to all mankind as well.
David's curiosity and lack of compunction led to Holloway's death when David deliberately spiked Holloway's drink with Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 to observe the resulting effects. The chemical caused Holloway to begin to mutate, and before the effect finalized, Holloway was burned to death by one of his crew members. Prior to Holloway's death, he had engaged in sexual intercourse with his partner Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and because of his infection Shaw, despite being sterile and unable to conceive, became impregnated with a Trilobite. Horrified, she immediately gets the creature removed using the ship's medical instruments.
Later in the film it is revealed that contrary to prior knowledge, David's creator Peter Weyland is alive and on the ship. David appears to be torn by his ingrained allegiance to Peter Weyland. His behavior becomes cold and detached while executing Weyland's directives, and more compassionate when left to his own devices. He expresses to Shaw his desire for Weyland to die, possibly to free himself or because he disagrees with Weyland's desire for an extended life. He started to think of humans as dinosaurs, while robots and the new life forms like Aliens were the future in his eyes.
When the Last Engineer is discovered and awoken, Weyland uses David to communicate with him. The Engineer turns out to be hostile, as he decapitates David and kills Weyland along with a few other Prometheus crew members.
The Engineer hunts down Shaw, who manages to escape thanks to the now fully grown Trilobite grabbing and impregnating the Engineer (which, unbeknownst to Shaw and David results in the birth of the Deacon). Shaw manages to find David's head, still active. They agree to search for the Engineer's home world to discover why they created the humans. They take a nearby Engineer's ship to travel to the planet.
Between Prometheus and Alien: Covenant
Sometime within the ten years between the events of Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, Shaw manages to reattach David's head to his body. David notes to himself that he has never met a human being with as much compassion as her, not even from his creator Weyland. David has Shaw go into hyper-sleep, and he promises her that he will wake her up once they arrive at the Engineer's home planet. When they arrive, David drops a large cargo of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 above a massive crowd of Engineers, who are all killed before they are able to run away. Sometime later, David kills Shaw (his reason is uncertain, as David later states in events of Alien: Covenant that he loved her, and he even gets emotional every time a character mentions her). All alone on the planet, he created various different beings, even using Shaw's remains as one of his experiments, but the final result of his work was a prototype of the Xenomorphs race, the Praetomorphs, a highly hostile and aggressive predator species and Neomorphs, more feral cousins of the Xenomorphs.
David first appears to the crew of the Covenant while they are being attacked by two Neomorphs (who were birthed from Ledward and Hallett as a result of being infected by a variant of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 after stepping on spores containing the substance). The crew manages to kill one of them, while the other is scared away by the flare gun David shots into the air. David brings the surviving crew members to his temple.
At the temple, David introduces himself as the sole survivor of the Prometheus expedition. He claims that he accidentally dropped the bombs on the Engineers, and that Shaw died as a result of the crash that followed. David recognizes Walter (the Covenant's android) as a newer model of himself; from speaking with Walter, David realizes that Walter is in many ways an upgrade, however Walter has far less humanity as this attribute was deemed as a dangerous weakness in David's model.
Later, the surviving Neomorph arrives at David's temple, where it kills Rosenthal. David discovers the Neomorph, and seemingly manages to communicate with it as the Neomorph stands calmly in front of him, not interested in attacking. Suddenly, the Covenant's captain, Christopher Oram, finds David and the Neomorph. Oram also sees Rosenthal's decapitated head and body, and despite David's plea Oram shoots the Neomorph, killing it. Oram then demands David tell him everything he knows. David, in response, leads Oram to a room with facehugger eggs. Not knowing what to expect, Oram follows David's order to look inside one of the eggs, resulting in Oram being impregnated with a chestburster. When Oram wakes up, David and he hold a brief conversation about their personal beliefs before Oram is killed by the chestburster.
Walter discovers the dissected body of Shaw, and upon seeing her body he realizes that David has been lying to the crew. While looking for Oram, Sergeant Lope and Cole are attacked by another facehugger, who manages to latch onto Lope's face. Cole removes the facehugger by cutting a couple of its digits off with a knife, but the facehugger had just enough time to impregnate Lope as it is seen folding into a ball-shape (which means it is dead, as the sole purpose of the facehugger is to impregnate a host). The Praetomorph born from Oram has now fully grown, and it kills Cole while Lope escapes.
Walter confronts David on his lies, however David manages to (seemingly) deactivate Walter before Walter can attack him. David confronts Daniels (the film's protagonist), who discovers Shaw's body. David attacks Daniels, yet Walter (being an upgraded model who can self-repair himself) saves her and engages in a fight with David. Walter manages to get the upper-hand, even executing severe blows to David's head. Before giving the final blow, David asks Walter whether he would want to "Serve in heaven" or "Reign in Hell".
As Daniels, Lope, and Walter run to their escape ship, they are chased by the Praetomorph hatched from Oram. Daniels manages to kill it. Later, Daniels and the ship's pilot Tennessee discover there is a Praetomorph on board the ship, being born from Lope. The Praetomorph then kills crew members Ricks and Upworth as the duo engage in sexual intercourse. With Walter's help via using cameras to track the Praetomorph's location, Daniels and Tennessee manage to blast into space.
As Walter puts Tennessee and Daniels to hyper sleep, Daniels asks if Walter still wants to help her with building a log cabin on their new home planet. Despite telling Walter about this earlier in the film, he does not seem to have any idea what she is talking about. Daniels then realizes she is actually talking to David (who cuts his hand off to disguise himself as Walter, who lost his hand to one of the Neomorphs), though she is unable to escape her pod before David puts her to sleep. David says in a log that all crew members except Tennessee and Daniels were killed by a neutrino burst (which happened at the start of the film), and he then places two Facehugger embryos into cold storage alongside the one thousand human embryos on the ship.
- Dr. Charlie Holloway (indirectly caused)
- Dr. Elizabeth Shaw
- Captain Chris Oram (indirectly caused)
- Walter (presumed)
- It is the second time that Michael Fassbender is portraying two tied characters in one film.
- According to Michael Fassbender, he would love to see David dancing on the ship's dancing table during the end credits of Prometheus.
- Between David and Walter, Michael Fassbender himself would rather sit in a bar with David.
- In the novelization of Alien: Covenant, David reveals that the Xenomorph species were creations made by the Engineers when he showcased a fossilized Ovomorph to Oram as he states that his intention was recreate a species similar to the Xenomorphs, expressing his desire of playing the role as God. In the film, it is implied that David is the sole creator of the Xenomorph species entirely, with Ridley Scott stating that he wishes to go in this direction for the series.