With Alien: Covenant set to reach cinemas worldwide in just a couple of weeks, this year's Alien Day was arguably a lot more exciting than in previous years. Not only did 20th Century Fox use the annual event to revisit the likes of the original Alien and 2012's Prometheus, it also took the opportunity to promote the eagerly-anticipated sci-fi sequel too, unveiling the Alien: Covenant's opening prologue.
The clip shows what Noomi Rapace's character, Elizabeth Shaw, and the android, David, played by Michael Fassbender, got up to after the events of their Prometheus expedition. That was a journey of discovery – in the hope of finding "humanity's creators" which resulted in the pair becoming the only two survivors from their ship thanks to a "deadly alien pathogen".
"After we made contact with the Engineers," David can be heard saying over the footage of vast space, "the Prometheus was destroyed. All hands were lost, but I escaped with Elizabeth in one of their ships. I was badly injured on our mission. She put me back together.
"I'd never experienced such compassion. Certainly not from Mr Weyland [David's manufacturer], or from any human.
"We were able to activate their ship, and set course for their homeworld. We were finally going to meet our creators," he continues, as the footage shows him sending Elisabeth to sleep in a cryo-chamber. "And then I was alone again. I learned of their ways and awaited our arrival."
The prologue then takes an ominous turn when David (and an unconscious Elizabeth) seemingly arrive on the Engineers' planet and the former lowers their ship to the ground, opens a vast hatch filled with floating pods and states: "Look on my works ye mighty and despair." Something tells us this android does not come in peace.
Interestingly, his line is lifted from Percy Bysshe Shelley's 1818 sonnet Ozymandias. The poem's central theme is "contrasting the inevitable decline of all leaders and of the empires they build with their pretensions to greatness". Basically, the Engineers need to watch their backs when it comes to David.
As part of Alien Day – which falls on 26 April in reference to LV-426, the moon where xenomorphs are discovered in the original 1979 film – Alien: Covenant cast members Demian Bichir, Jussie Smollett, Danny McBride and Katherine Waterston also took part in a live Q&A, streamed from Fox Studios in Los Angeles. During the interview, which was streamed across all Alien social media channels, Waterston explained what it was like to work with director Ridley Scott.
"[It was] so lame," the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star joked. "No, he's awesome! He's just so awesome to be around and he has the gift of eternal youth; he's got so much energy. It's kind of disturbing, it makes me wonder whether he's actually a robot.
"I think, also, a lot of people, when they get to that level, other people put them on a pedestal and they put themselves there and it can be kind of intimidating to work with them but he's kept that spirit of a young film-maker. He's scrappy."
Also starring Carmen Ejogo, James Franco and Michael Fassbender, Alien: Covenant centres on the coupled-up crew of a colony spacecraft, who travel to an uncharted planet in the hope that thousands of people back on Earth can eventually migrate there. Soon after they arrive they discover the land is dark and dangerous and the "sole" inhabitant is android David. But of course, it doesn't take them long to find out that there's also some scary-looking extraterrestrials lurking about to terrorise them too.
Alien: Covenant will be released in the UK and the US on 12 May 2017.