Alien: Covenant featured two prequel shorts released online to tell the story ahead of the film. While they would’ve helped the finished film explain away some of the smaller points of the story, including a much-needed introduction to the crew of the Covenant. They were still enjoyable little looks that bridged gaps with Prometheus and set the stage for why Covenant was out in deep space in the first place and now it seems that we’re getting the same for Blade Runner 2049.
In the short prequel clip below from Collider titled Nexus Dawn: 2036, we meet Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace in the year 2036 and see the very beginning of his rise to prominence in the world. It covers the start of a moment that was described during Warner’s Comic-Con 2017 panel and helps to build the future world we’ll be seeing in October:
The timeline then states that a prohibition of replicants went into effect in 2023, sending them into hiding until Jared Leto’s Neander Wallace helps get the ban repealed before creating more replicants. He also helps to solve a hunger crisis that plagued the planet by this point, the chained results of an EMP disaster that causes a global blackout years prior. Wallace Corp becomes a major force due to these two aspects, giving Leto’s character a lot of power and bumping replicants to a majority soon enough.
In the short, the outer colonies are apparently thriving, but the replicant ban is in effect. What was once used as a type of slave is outlawed completely after the events of the first film and the fall of the Tyrell Corporation, which is where Leto’s character comes in.
His appearance has all the theatricality you’d expect, but also turns out to be pretty creepy thanks to his methods of persuasion using his own replicant friend. He tells the group, led by Benedict Wong, that his replicants will “never rebel” and uses his obedient version to prove it by giving him the choice to either kill him or kill itself. It’s apparently effective given the new film, but the short ends there.
Nexus 2036 is directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott’s son and the director of Morgan, and gives us a head start back into the world of Blade Runner. Denis Villenueve appears to start the clip, explaining what the original film meant to him and noting that Nexus 2036 will be joined by two more short prequels shorts to bridge the gap between the original in 2019 and his sequel in 2049.
It’ll be interesting to see where those fall in with the events leading up to Blade Runner 2049 and if they’ll end up feeling the same as the ones we got from Alien: Covenant.