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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 the main antagonist of the 2017 sci-fi horror, Alien: Covenant and prequel films of Alien film series. Having responsible for using Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 to create his batch of Xenomorphs (and possibly the entire Xenomorphs race if not merely recreating Engineers' experiment that led to their own Xenomorphs' creation), David is the overall true main antagonist of the series. David was portrayed by Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender, who also portrayed Magneto in the last X-Men movies and Lord Macbeth in 2015 version of Macbeth. Aside from Burke, he can also be considered the protagonist of prequel series of Aliens as it centered on him as he creates Xenomorphs. 

Background

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 cause Peter is the best of all mankind, David started to think that he is superior to all mankind as well.

Personality

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 deeds without obligation, albeit he admits to disliking unnecessary violence. David's curiosity and lack of compunction led to Holloway's death in which he spiked his drink with Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 to observe the resulting effects.

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. Events he encountered with Elizabeth Shaw and her crews did not help him think otherwise either. So when he was restored after the serious damage from the Engineer by Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (revealed to have died prior to events of Covenant), he arrived on the Engineers' planet, the so-called Paradise, and destroyed all of them, and when it was done, he started his mad experiments on the virus founded by Prometheus mission. He created various different beings, even using Shaw's remains as one of his experiments, but the final result of his work was prototype of Xenomorphs race, Protomorphs, a highly hostile and aggressive predator species which would evolve to become the infamous antagonist creatures of the franchise overall that mankind would encounter in years to come, and Neomorphs, more feral cousins of Xenomorph race.

By the events of Alien: Covenant, David had become dangerously ambitious, his curiosity in the creation of life evolving from a fascination to an all-out obsession. Prior to what he was like several years ago, David seemed to have gained his own sense of individuality and the ability to possess genuine human emotion, as he openly expressed his love for Shaw in the presence of the less emotive Walter. However, ironically despite gaining a greater sense of humanity (or at least what he believes to be), David has become dispassionate with the human species, considering them inferior, and planned to sacrifice the crew of the Covenant just like Shaw, for the purpose of his research.

Trivia

  • It is the second time Michael Fassbender is portraying two tied characters in one movie.
  • 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.
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