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"I just wanted to say hey before I jet out. I'm feeling kind of queasy."
"Oh, you're not feeling good?"
"I'm just burning up."
Jacob Branson and Tennessee Faris (from The Last Supper)

Jacob "Jake" Branson[1] was the captain of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation colony ship USCSS Covenant and the husband of chief terraformist Katherine Daniels. Branson was in command for the Covenant's voyage to Origae-6; however, when the Covenant was damaged one year into its journey by a stellar ignition, his hypersleep pod malfunctioned, and he was trapped inside and incinerated.

Biography[]

Meeting Katherine Daniels[]

Prior to 2103,[5] Jacob Branson met Katherine Daniels and began a relationship with her. During the course of their dalliance, Branson and Daniels attended a costume ball celebrating the fashions of the mid-twenty-first century[6] and embarked on a Pacific river cruise paid for by their employers, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. When Branson proposed marriage to Daniels, she accepted.[7]

Preparing for launch[]

As of 2103,[5] Branson had been picked by Weyland-Yutani for the captaincy of the colony ship USCSS Covenant, which was slated to transport two thousand colonists to the planet Origae-6[7] in the distant Sector 87.[5] By now his wife, Daniels was chosen as the chief terraformist; she managed to pass the requisite tests more easily than her husband, however. Shortly before the Covenant was due to launch, Branson and Daniels led Weyland-Yutani representatives Indri Mithun and Lykke Kajsa on an inspection of the ship.[7]

Shortly after, Daniels was called to[7] one of the Covenant's terraforming bays[8] to deal with a saboteur. She was able to defuse the incident with the help of the expedition's security team and all were awarded cosmetic promotions and bonuses. Branson was somewhat annoyed at this, believing that additional shipments of equipment would have been a more suitable reward. Extra security measures were implemented in the Covenant from then on; Branson was mandated to repeatedly and frequently interview everyone on board to ensure their compliance, including Daniels.[7]

Later, the cult that had sent the saboteur, the Earthsavers, attempted to fulfil their goal of halting the Covenant launch by ramming the ship with a loaded cargo shuttle. On Daniels' urging, Branson tried to convince ship's computer Mother to prep one of the landers to intercept the incoming craft; while he was unsuccessful in doing so, pilot Tennessee Faris was able to manually fire the lander at the rogue shuttle and foil the attack.[7]

Shortly before entering cryosleep, Branson spoke with his second mate Chris Oram and the ship's pilot Tennessee about the beauty of space. Branson then informed them that he would be going into cryosleep early, citing a growing fever. Faris remarked that he thought they would share one last drink before they all went into cryosleep, asking Branson who would lead the crew in their toast. Branson then directed them to ask his wife Daniels to give the speech instead, patting Faris on the back and asking him to make sure the crew would behave. Branson then bid good night to the crew, seeing his wife wink at him.[4]

A captain's end[]

"GET IT OPEN!"
Katherine Daniels seeing her husband's pod engulfed in smoke (from Alien: Covenant)

One year into the Covenant's journey, a neutrino storm damaged the ship and the crew were awakened to deal with the emergency. As security officers Ankor and Cole attempted to open Branson's unresponsive pod, the pod malfunctioned and caught fire, incinerating Branson alive. The captain's body was removed from the scene, and later jettisoned into space.[1]

Personality and traits[]

"You sleep with that comm unit more than you do with me."
Branson ribbing Daniels on her work ethic (from Alien: Covenant - Origins)

Jacob Branson was often cheerful and optimistic, possessing a smile that through the course of his life had charmed engineers, professors, politicians, and Weyland-Yutani executives; when Branson proposed to Daniels, that same smile propelled her to say yes.[7] Moreover, he was eloquent and reasonable and even Chris Oram, who sometimes disagreed with the captain, conceded his respect for Branson.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Jake Branson first appeared in The Last Supper, a short film released on YouTube to promote Alien: Covenant. In the short[4]—and the film itself—Branson was portrayed by James Franco.[1] In early drafts of the film's script, Branson was known as Adam Jacobson.[9] Furthermore, Branson's last name is consistently misspelled as Brandon in the prequel novel Alien: Covenant - Origins.[7]

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Jack Paglen, Michael Green, John Logan, Dante Harper (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien: Covenant (2017), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray].
  2. Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual
  3. Branson's actor's (James Franco) height is 5ft 10 ½ (179.1 cm), which reflects Branson's height.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Last Supper
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Alien: The Roleplaying Game
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alien: Covenant novelization
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Alien: Covenant - Origins
  8. While the bay in question is merely labelled as "the main cargo bay" in Alien: Covenant - Origins, Alien: Covenant: The Official Collector's Edition states that the Covenant is in fact outfitted with four terraforming bays.
  9. Paradise Lost script (August 19, 2015 draft) by John Logan
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