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– by Mark Cook

Titan Books were generous to give LRM The Art and Making of Alien Covenant, by Simon Ward. The book begins with a Foreword from Ridley Scott where he speaks concerning the purpose of the book:

“In the pages that follow, is the work of great designers, technicians and artists all working in coordination to produce a beautiful vision of this future. The story explores the evolving universe of the Alien, this elaborating into questions and morality of creating life forms” (Foreword).

If the Alien franchise is something that you are a fan of, then this book is for you.  Coming off the release of Alien Covenant, the book begins with a look back to the original movies where Scott states that he, “…always thought of Alien way back when as kind of a B-movie, really well done” (9).  It’s interesting to see the lack of expectations he initially had.  The book then goes on to connect the past, and present movies as well as what it took to truly resurrect the franchise, and make it successful.

The Art and Making of Alien Covenant is then broken down into a focus on The Covenant, The Expedition, and a Return to the Covenant:

Photo Courtesy of Titan Books.

The Covenant

Characters — This section focuses primarily on the characters of the movie before shifting to some of the major settings.  What is great about this section is that it gives a brief synopsis of each character, as well as providing some interviews with each of the characters.  While these sections are interesting and easy to follow, they do not give any major plot points away, which makes this a great accessory to the movie rather than something that spoils the main points. I will say, the focus on each character in the book does help with further development of the characters.  I feel at times there are so many different aspects of the movie to take in at once that it is easy to overlook some of the more subtle connections.

Photo Courtesy of Titan Books.

Settings — The major settings of the movie also take the spotlight in the book.  The 22nd-Century Mayflower, the Nursery, The Bridge, are just a few of the areas highlighted.  Each page of the book has amazing pictures either from the film itself, or the set.  Some pages even include not only early drawings of some of the set-pieces, but original blueprints, which depict the massive scale some of the designs were.

The Expedition

Chronological Plot Points — The end of The Covenant section and beginning of The Expedition go through some of the main plot points of the movie.  What is the best part is that the cast and crew are interviewed about each of the sections covered.  It is always interesting to see how the characters feel about the scenes they shoot.  I don’t think viewers often think about how difficult some shots may be to make, how many takes they have to do, or even if they liked filming the scene or not.

Photo Courtesy of Titan Books.

Return to the Covenant

This end of the previous section, and beginning of this section, shifts the focus to David (his room, lab, drawings, etc.),  leading to…the Xenomorph of course!  What is great about this part is description, and art, for the Xenomorph’s final kill, which is described as, “It’s got a bit of Psycho to it — Psycho meets Alien,” (185), which is hailed by many as some of Ridley’s best work.

Photo Courtesy of Titan Books.

The other outsanding part of the finale of the book is when many of the actors describe their actually first encounter with seeing the Alien costume, and how terrifying it truly was. Danny McBride (Tennessee) stated:

“It wasn’t like you’re running from a tennis ball. It was scary. You’re in the scene, and it’s all dark, you see the door open up, and it’s just like, ‘Oh s**t, there he is. Here he comes.’ Yeah, it was pretty awesome” (188).

I can’t imagine being on set, and actually seeing one of the costumes.  It’d be amazing, and completely terrifying at the same time!

Once again, if you are a big-time Alien fan, then this is definitely for you.  The detailed, colorful pictures, and cast/crew interviews are well worth the price.  The Art and Making of Alien Covenant can be found at the Titan Books website here for $39.95.

Source: Titan Books: The Art and Making of Alien Covenant