On completing my audiobook of Alien: Resurrection, it became even more apparent that perhaps instead of Alien: Covenant paying homage to Alien: Resurrection by repeating its themes. They were both based on the same inspirational texts, particularly in this scene where the breath is symbolic of new life.
“The Ripley twitched helplessly in her sleep, making soft sounds of protest and pain. The warrior breathed on her face, giving her air and warmth. Nurturing she who had nurtured them all. The Queen approved.” – Thoughts of the Clone Warrior pg.204 Alien: Resurrection Novelisation
“She paused, listening, sensing. Something was happening. Not a dream. Something real. Ripley lay still in the arms of the beast. The light was minimal, but that did not hamper her. She breathed quietly, absorbing the breath of the creature.” – Ripley 8, pg.206 Alien: Resurrection Novelisation
“Breathe on the nostrils of a horse and he’ll be yours for life—if he doesn’t trample you first. Once your presence, your audacious proximity, is accepted, the beginnings of mutual comprehension ensue. But you have to get close. You have to earn its trust. It’s a universal accommodation.” He leaned forward to blow a third time into the creature’s face.” – David, Alien: Covenant Novelisation
“The ox and the ass adored Him. Then was fulfilled that which was said by the prophet, saying: The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (Isaiah, 1:3).”
The ox and the donkey breathed on the baby Jesus their warm breath, symbolic of supporting the new life he represents. Just like the breath of life God gave to his creation, David the creator gave the Neomorph, Ripley 8 the creator of the Clone Warrior.
The Ox, symbolic of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld and agriculture; much like David in Alien: Covenant, with his fields of wheat in his personal created Hell.
The donkey, sacred to Osiris’s brother Seth, the god of chaos. These two creatures appearing in the nativity scene shows that former pagans recognised Jesus as the new son of God, putting their old religions aside.
It’s interesting to note that nowhere in the Bible nativity is the Donkey or Ox mentioned, in fact, the earliest depiction of the nativity is from the 4th century. Engraved on a Sarcophagus.
The Ox was representative of the Jewish people weighed down by the Law, and ass representing the pagan peoples, carrying the sin of idolatry. The arrival of Christ intended to free them from their burdens.