IT’S BEEN CONFIRMED IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL FASSBENDER THAT DAVID TOOK SHAW’S LIFE.here’s the article, but i’ll quote the most relevant parts:
“We did shoot a prologue to the film with Shaw, and we pick up where we left Shaw and David. They’re in one of the Engineers’ ships, trying to find the origin of the Engineers, and their home planet. We could sense that the time that’s passed has caused things to become a little bit fractious between the two of them. You get the impression that Shaw is wary of David, and I think he just wears on her nerves. He’s like this lovesick stalker in space, which is an interesting concept. But Shaw does have sympathy for him, and she does put him back together. Once David’s put back together, we quickly realize he’s a danger to her and to the Engineers, and that he’s become obsessed with the idea of creation. Peter Weyland was David’s creator, and Weyland was then obsessed with the idea of finding his own creator. That’s struck a chord with David, and I think he sees himself as a creator. He wants to give birth to something, and he starts to explore that desire. He killed her, essentially, to prevent her from leaving him […] David, I think, finds these strong female characters attractive, and he’s really an old romantic. So he’s a little bit confused. He does have a scene with Daniels where he tries to simulate sex. He’s got a strange sexuality. He’s in a very confused state, because he feels these human characteristics— jealousy, vanity, pride— but he also has these sexual desires, which he obviously can’t act out, but wants to.”
he killed her to prevent her from leaving him. not only did david love shaw, he felt such strong emotion toward her that it developed into obsession. for shaw, saving david was only a necessity. she needed him to help pilot the ship. but she could see how lovesick he was becoming, and it made her cautious of him.
furthermore, according to this interview, david was trying to simulate sex with daniels during the scene where he assaults her. he throws her onto the table, gets on top of her, and tries to force intimacy by putting her hand against his cheek and then kissing her. this is actually very similar to something in Alien (1979) that ridley scott detailed in his own interview. the scene in alien during which ash shoves a rolled-up magazine into ripley’s mouth is, according to ridley scott, a “sort of rape”. he wasn’t trying to kill her, or even stop her, but was sexually assaulting her. in scott’s words, “if you create [an android] as perfect as that, it will have, almost of necessity, a form of emotional life. you don’t only have a physical and mental mechanism, but a machine that is capable at any moment of uncontrollable emotional reactions and which will take certain decisions by itself. this perfect machine starts to have feelings when faced with the behavior of humans. it starts to be interested in the women and to have desires that cannot be expressed. behind the assault is an attempt to solve these tensions.”
this description of ash combined with the knowledge of david’s sexual assault on daniels leads me to believe it’s very likely that david also carried out a similar type of assault on shaw. david has sexual desires and tensions that he has no way of properly expressing. i believe he attempted to advance on shaw with these desires. this interview describes their time in space together as filled with friction, and the novel mentions some kind of quarrel between them. we don’t know whether it was before or after he wiped out the engineers, but something happened and, in order to make sure she would never leave him, david took her life.
on the engineers’ world, david drew countless sketches of his genetic ambitions, all featuring the likeness of shaw. he kept her body well-preserved and used it in his experimentation. he built a shrine to her. he sheds tears over the loss of her, but he couldn’t bear for her to leave him of her own volition. in the above-linked interview, michael fassbender even says “I’ve treated [David] like a serial killer really. He’s afraid of things leaving him, so he incubates them. Like a Jeffrey Dahmer-type character, David doesn’t want things he loves to leave him, so he kills them and keeps them in caskets or preserved one way or the other.“ david would rather have shaw dead than face any rejection from her. he was a lovesick stalker in space.
Special clip ADVENT in Digital HD Alien: Covenanttells us something about David/Shaw
In this clip David as voice over said:
I washed this world clean as a gift to her (Shaw) We could have built a new. But she refused. What choice did I have? She was the perfect specimen. I tried so desperately to make her more than human. Evolved. But without her cooperation, I had to salvage for parts to begin work on my masterpiece. You wouldn’t believe the secrets I’ve unlocked. There was so much potential on this world.
In Ridley’s commentary there’s also some info about David/Shaw:
(At Shaw’s grave) He tells us what happened, and his feelings for her, though he’s actually tearful in the sense that he had this kind of love for her. He talks about her quite fondly here.
A.I.s don’t love their mistress or master. They respect them but they don’t…Technically they don’t have emotions. Problem is he had emotions. Emotion can lead to bad behavior.
(After David played that tune for Shaw) Confusingly but understandably, the monster had fallen in love with the woman. So this is real. He said, “This is an ode to my dear Elizabeth. Cause he knows he is about to leave.
“He talks of her great fondly here. Here we go: ‘I loved her, of course. Just as you love Daniels’ and he says ‘that’s impossible’. A.I don’t love their mistress or master, they respect them but technically they don’t have emotions. But he had emotions, that was a problem, emotion is a problem, emotion can lead to bad behavior”
“Confusingly but understandably, the monster had fallen in love with the woman. All right? So, this is real. He said this is an ode to my dear Elizabeth, ‘cause he knows he’s about to leave. He thinks. ‘Farewell Elizabeth’ (…) David was the prototype, was the art form, the A.I., the very first art form, ‘cause making an A.I is an art form, whereas this A.I has emotions, you don’t want an A.I with emotions, because if he does he’s gonna get angry, you really are in trouble”.
Fassbender talking to Fassbender. Fassbender seducing Fassbender. Fassbender kissing Fassbender . Fassbender fighting Fassbender. Excellent performances by Fassbender and Fassbender. 10/10 would watch again. Hopefully in the third film, they’ll add another Fassbender. The more the merrier, amirite ?