Sunday, 10 June 2012

Filling the blanks: tying PROMETHEUS to ALIEN

Ridley Scott's new movie Prometheus has won a fair amount of critical acclaim (though a more mixed general reception) and an impressive opening week's worth of money, but it's also left a lot of people pondering over the precise relationship between the movie and Alien, to which it acts as a sort-of prequel. Through careful research (i.e. googling interviews) the following clarifications can be made:

NOTE: MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR PROMETHEUS, ALIEN AND ALIENS.


An Engineer ship crash-landing on the surface of LV-223 in 2093.

Time and Date
Prometheus opens in 2089 with the discovery of a cave painting in Scotland which points the way to the Engineer base. The ship arrives at this location in the final week of 2093, with the final moments of the film taking place on New Year's Day, 2094.

No date is given in Alien for the action, save that it happens in the 22nd Century (due to the presence of a crew uniform patch that says, 'Flag of the United Americas 2104 to present'). In Aliens Carter Burke orders the colonists to investigate the crashed Engineer ship on 12 June '79. Assuming Aliens happens in 2179, then Alien takes place 57 years earlier, in 2122 (and this was later confirmed in featurettes in the Alien Legacy boxed set). From a computer display at the start of Alien, the movie starts on 3 June.

Thus, Prometheus concludes 28 years, 5 months and 2 days before the start of Alien.

The planet LV-426 orbits, along with several of its moons, in 2122.

Location
The planetary body that Prometheus flies to is called LV-223. The planetoid that the Nostromo crew land on in Alien (and is later colonised by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation prior to the events of Aliens) is called LV-426, informally known as 'Acheron'. The different designations seemingly confirm that these are different planetoids.

Both planetoids are depicted as moons circling larger gas giants. LV-426 is one of at least four moons orbiting a red-hued gas giant. LV-223 is one of two moons orbiting a blue-coloured gas giant. Given that we physically see four moons in Alien (three moons and the gas giant are seen in LV-426's sky) and a comprehensive 3D starmap in Prometheus only shows two, the conclusion is that these are different gas giants (otherwise the gas giant changes colour and acquires two additional moons in thirty years, which seems implausible).

In Alien, LV-426 is identified as being located in the Zeta II Reticuli star system. Zeta Reticuli is a real star system located 39.16 light-years from Earth in the constellation Reticulum, consisting of two stars in a binary orbit. However, the two stars are extremely far apart (dozens of times the distance between the Sun and Pluto), meaning that each star could hold an extensive solar system of its own without gravitationally interfering with the other.

LV-223, along with its mother planet and another moon, as shown on the Prometheus's scanners in 2093.

In Prometheus, the destination star system is not identified. A distance of 327,000,000,000,000 km is given, which translates as 34.56 light-years. Given that Zeta Reticuli's distance has been estimated with a strong degree of accuracy (the error margin is only 0.1 light-years), this would seem to confirm that LV-422 is not only a different planetoid to the one in Alien and Aliens, but is located in a totally different star system altogether. Some fans have postulated that LV-422 is located at Gliese 86, a star just under 35 light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus. This is especially popular as an extrasolar gas giant was discovered circling Gliese 86 in 2000. Gliese 86 and Zeta Reticuli are located in the same general neighbourhood, only being separated from one another by 10 light-years.

This splendid theorising has been torpedoed by Ridley Scott saying straight-out that Prometheus takes place in the Zeta Reticuli II star system as well, however.

Thus, the two planetoids in Prometheus and Alien - LV-223 and LV-426 - are different planetoids but they are located in the same star system. Based on the evidence above, I'd still suggest they are orbiting different gas giants.

The USS Sulaco approaching LV-426 in 2179.

Engineer bases and ships
According to Prometheus, the Engineers built an extensive military installation on LV-223 more than two thousand years ago. This installation consists of approximately five large domed buildings, each huge in size. At least two of the buildings had large, horseshoe-shaped spacecraft located adjacent to them. The installation appeared to be a base for the creation of a biological weapon of mass destruction, apparently for use against Earth. This facility was overrun and its population almost completely wiped out by unknown forces (but likely a bioweapon they lost control of) approximately 2,000 years before the events of Alien.

In Alien and Aliens, an Engineer starship of similar design to those seen in Prometheus is found on the surface of LV-426. Initial assumptions were that it had crashed, but more recent interviews (at the 18-minute mark) have suggested it landed or was parked deliberately there. According to Ridley Scott, this ship originated at the LV-223 facility and was on its way somewhere else (presumably not Earth) with its cargo of facehuggers when its cargo got out of control. The pilot landed on LV-426 and was killed, within a couple of hundred years of the destruction of the LV-223 facility (so between 1,800 and 2,200 years before the events of Alien). The fact that the facehugger eggs could survive and remain viable for that time period is impressive.

A mural in the Engineer base on LV-223, suggesting that the xenomorphs were extant more than 2,000 years ago.

The bioweapons and the xenomorph
On LV-223 a black liquid stored in vase-like containers serves as a destructive bioweapon. It can animate corpses, turning them into monstrous killers, and transform little worms into large, snake-like monsters. Rather more bizarrely, it can convert human sperm into a parasite-like creature that, when given a female human body to gestate in, transforms into a squid-like creature which can grow to colossal (some might indeed say, totally fricking preposterous) size and then impregnate another type of creature into another host, a creature which more closely resembles the traditional xenomorphs.

On LV-426, the cargo of the crashed Engineer ship consisted of eggs which, when hatched, produced parasitic 'facehuggers'. These creatures would attach themselves to a human or animal host and place an embryo in their chest. After a period of gestation (typically several hours, or several days for a queen creature capable of laying further eggs en masse) this 'chestburster' erupts through the host's ribcage and grows to large size within a matter of hours. This creature is the traditional xenomorph. Unlike the black goo things on LV-223, the xenomorph's life cycle appears fairly stable and predictable.

Note that, based on both the information provided by Scott in interviews and the mural in the LV-223 facility depicting the traditional xenomorph, the traditional xeno appears to have already been in existence for some time when the base on LV-223 was wiped out. This would then seem to contradict the popular (and perhaps obvious) theory that the black goo stuff in Prometheus is some type of prototype that would lead to the familiar xeno in future films (though the appearance of a proto-xeno in the final seconds of Prometheus would seem to suggest that this was the direction things were heading in).

Based on all of this I would argue that the standard xenomorph was already in existence and the Prometheus bioweapon was an attempt to replicate it. Given the inefficency of the Prometheus creatures, with a confusing and bizarre life-cycle, it can be concluded that the Prometheus bioweapon was a miserable failure. Perhaps all of their 'normal' xenomorph eggs had been put on the LV-426 ship and they were forced to develop a secondary weapon when their main one was put beyond their reach (which seems extremely unlikely, but there doesn't seem to be too many other conclusions that can be reached)?


Conclusion (speculation)
The Engineers are an intelligent alien race who may have had a hand in the appearance of life on Earth. If not, they certainly visited our stone age ancestors around 35,000 years ago. 2,000 years ago a group of Engineers, possibly military in origin, established a base on LV-223, a moon in the Zeta II Reticuli system, 39 light-years from Earth. They created a bioweapon, apparently taking inspiration from an already-existing alien lifeform known as the xenomorph. They apparently decided to wipe out life on Earth for reasons unknown (possibly ranging from fear that their creations were getting out of control to one of their emissaries being nailed to a cross - this latter idea is extremely idiotic, so hopefully that's not the direction they are going in).

A ship took of from the LV-223 base carrying a cargo hold full of xenomorph eggs. The pilot ended up getting infected. He made an emergency landing on LV-426, a moon circling a neighbouring gas giant in the same system, but was killed. He activated a warning beacon telling his fellows to stay away. They respected that and did not go after him. Instead, they decided to use their own bioweapon (perhaps thinking they could control it better than the xenos themselves, or perhaps they had put all of their xeno eggs on the ship and lost them in the crash) against Earth, but it got out of control and wiped out most of the facility. The last surviving Engineer managed to seal himself in stasis in a ship away from the threat of the bioweapon but ended up oversleeping by 2,000 years, until he was awoken by the crew of the Prometheus and was then infected by the bioweapon and killed.

There are still plot holes you can drive a power loader through in this scenario, but this does seem to be a fairly likely chain of events given the information we have so far.

150 comments:

Patrick said...

Cheers for that, Adam! =)

Wastrel said...

Dear lord. It's like a battle raging between the intellectual forces of the internet, trying desparately to salvage something, and Ridley Scott, who is either ineptly or intentionally trying to torpedo every excuse that people can think up. Seriously, is this some sort of Joaquin-Phoenix-esque thing where Scott PRETENDS to be oblivious while actually taking his statements from The Big Book of How to Screw Up A Mythology And Annoy Your Fans On Purpose?


I'm now frightened about what he's going to do to Blade Runner II.

Maybe there should be some law - if you don't write in a world for twenty years, you're banned from ever revisiting it? It hardly ever goes well.

Anonymous said...

Good effort, but useless. No offense Adam, but since Lindelof is involved, I can't help thinking "internet nerds trying to cover up bad storytelling and selling plotholes as "leaving things to viewers imagination" when I read all these forums and theories about Prometheus.

When I saw they pulled the "science person with a cross" card I was thinking "Oh god now They will all end up in a church after find a cork"...

Andrew Leonard said...

That was awesome. Thanks, man.
I just got back from it and I really really liked it.

Paul Weimer said...

Well reasoned, Adam!

abordoli said...

Adam, I've been checking all of your research and I'm absolutely amazed that you have pieced this altogether into such an easy to read and digest bundle. My migraine as a staff member at www.prometheus-movie.com is slipping away. Thank-you for giving me back my sanity. ; )

Anonymous said...

Right on! That clears up a few things for me. Primarily, I didn't want to assume the xenomorph at the end of Prometheus was the Queen who laid all the eggs in the Alien movie's "crashed" ship, but I was led in that direction. Now on to Prometheus II when we watch Shaw deal a devastating blow to the Engineer's homeworld after she discovers her God is a lie. Unless they are already dead. Dun-dun-daaa!

abordoli said...

Can you please post this as a new thread at www.prometheus-movie.com? If not, can I reproduce it there giving you full credit?

Anonymous said...

yI would have to agree. Also, something I theorized. The engineers did indeed have a hand in creating humans. The engineer in the beginning of the film is actually on Earth when his people strand him there. Why they do this, who knows. He then drinks the black liquid and imediately begins to disintigrate and his DNA is then spread through the river he falls in. This is intigrated into Earth's life and ecosystem and through evolution, man is born with this DNA, which explains Human and Engineer DNA is proven to be the same.
The question is then: why does the black liquid the Engineer drinks kill him immediatley whereas when Charlie drinks it, it takes several hours to affect him (if we assume it is the same black liquid on both occasains, which we have no reason not to)?
Simple. We see the liquid actually fusing with the early Engineer's DNA as he falls apart and his DNA is spread around and man is born. The liquid has been present inside man's DNA since the beginning. Man is still vulnerable though because after thousands of years it's been severely diluted.

The other question: did the Engineer's try to replicate Xenomorphs or did they directly create them. I would choose the latter theory. They were genetic "engineers" who created man (whether that was inadvertantly or not, I'm not sure)but it would make sense that they would strive to create a creature as perfect as the Xenomorph, which would explain why they made murals of the creature; they were proud of their accomplishments. Also, as far as people saying the Xenomorph we see at the end of Prometheus being a proto-Xeno because of it's less familiar appearence, we know this isn't true because of the mural and also because the Alien's appearence changes with the species of its host. It looked different when it came from the dog host in Alien 3 and from the Predator host in AVP.
I haven't got all the kinks worked out on that one but the movie does leave a lot up to interpretation.

Tim Hourigan said...

I think that if you ask Ridley Scott a question, and the truthful answer would give away a plot point, (esp of a planned sequel) then he will give a confusing and misleading answer that will fool most people. I am amused at how he did it.

Alien Fan said...

Nice Breakdown...thanks!

beags said...

There are deleted scenes from Alien's original script saying that the crew of the Nostromo also discovered 'Metallic Urns' aboard the Derelict...

Also an interesting script leaked online suggested that only one egg was aboard the Derelict when it originally set off for it's destination unknown, placed there as an act of sabotage. From that one egg a face-hugger, subsequent chest-burster (from the 'space jockey'), and Queen Xeno was born. She then laid the eggs that John Hurt's character discovers.

Doogie Talons said...

I'm not a religous person but in revalations jesus appearance is described as.

Rev 01:12
(14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.

Ha ha perhaps the emissary idea is not so daft.

Anonymous said...

Do take in mind that it is logical that there might had been a wide spread infection in LV-223 prompting the evacuation of whomever was left alive in the spaceship that landed in LV-426. The eggs found in LV-426 were laid there by a Xenomorph queen that sprouted from the chest of the pilot as we can see in Alien the 8th passenger. So the engineers found in LV-426 were merely trying to leave LV-223 but somehow produced this Xenomorph. It is a bit puzzling since the rest of the engineers in LV-223 died with their heads bursting or bodys bursting but with no Xenomorph or creature coming out of their bodies. Might it be possible that the viral infection that was killing them took more of the form of a Xenomorph on the LV-426 ship??

Xenophile said...

So far, of anything I've read on the net, this appears to be the most well thought out. And so I will pose a question to you, the answer of which everyone seems to take for granted:
When was it established that the engineers had decided to attack Earth?
When David watches the holographic planetarium light show?
This was not the interpreation I got. I thought----
* Engineers are at this installation for some reason ( we don't really know what they're doing, and I don't think the capt. earned that revalation that this was a research facility----all we know is there was a ton of vases there)
* Something goes wrong/heads start exploding, and a hasty evacuation is initiated (the holographic engineer is running for the door but doesn't make it; when his head is animated, it explodes; there are bodies with their HEAD exploded in the structure)
* A few engineers hastily set their GPS for Earth and get in hypersleep, but the ship doesn't take off ( this malfunction is also why they do not all survive the hypersleep; why he sleeps indefinitely [to be awoken on arrival])
Where is it stated or made obvious that they were developing weapons with the intent to harm Earth or Earthlings?
*

Anonymous said...

That's for this timeline analysis. It really helps to understand the connection between the 2 movies.

Anonymous said...

the conclusion makes a sense. possible, they didn't put all the eggs on the ship, but destroyed all remaining eggs after catastrophe.

Pdwight said...

Why did the engineer drink the black liquid (commit suicide)in the opening scenes of the movie ?

Chris Costa said...

I think maybe he sacrificed himself in order to create humans. And I am not quite sure they wanted to kill humans, per se. In Prometheus, David said that sometimes you have to destroy to create. So, while humans could have been a failed experiment, they might have already been experimenting with the xenomorph and realized that to create it they would have to be 'impregnated' and thus die giving birth to it. So maybe they created humans in order to then infect our planet (well, namelly, infect us) and use as hosts for the final product--the xenomorph. This would also allow them to create it without killing themselves. They might have tried several or many times to create an engineer-like creature to use as hosts (something close to them) and got it right with humans; and since they did get it right, they were going to come back and then use us as hosts to create the xenomorph.

Also, I think Charlie took a while to die while the engineer in the beginning died instantly because he only had one drop versus drinking a whole 'batch' (although I do also like the theory that we have a slight immunity built up to the genetic-destroying goo as we were created through its use).

I think it can also be argued that perhaps Shaw is the space jockey from Alien. Yes, we assume that it is an engineer, with its ribcage having burst; but that is only a suit that has been broken through. We have no idea who is in that suit driving that spaceship. So it is possible that the ship Shaw takes off in has the eggs (maybe one of the creatures that burst through one of the engineers made it to one of the other ships on LV-223, or maybe they got it right on that ship/dome, or maybe it has yet to come or be explained in another prequel/Prometheus sequel--episode 2? lol).

However, I would still like to know why Fifield became super-zombie.


Thoughts...?

Exusiai said...

This is a rather great article, however it doesn't explain one rather large thing. There was a complex under the Derelict ship on LV 426. Complete with a stasis field over the eggs. This complex appears to be a storage facility for holding the eggs. All of these theories I've read ignore that one small fact.

Phil Monks said...

My take on the mural was that it was the proto-xeno, not the Xenomorph itself. But anyway, cool article, just a shame that the fans need to fill all the holes in themselves.

Siderite said...

Amazing analysis! Too bad you are not writing the script for the next movie in the series.

My theory is that the Engineers are actually Players. They have this cosmic bet on how much they can create and destroy on any given day. Some of them use nanotech to disintegrate their DNA and recombine it with existing lifeforms, some of them use it to create self organizing goo, others try to engineer the perfect biological killing machine.

As in any competitive game, they cheat, sabotage, get violent and make stupid mistakes. Proof of my theory is that when the big dude from Prometheus woke up, he immediately got angry when seeing humans, realizing how much he had missed in the game and how his original plan to destroy puny humans and replace them with lovely goo was thwarted.

Some of their creations are not oblivious of the existence of the Engineers and try to emulate them. They try to get better at competitive games, say... hunting. Now I also linked Predators, to the dismay of all! I win the game! Ha haa ha! Ha! Haaa ha!

Adam Whitehead said...

@abordoli: If you want to repost it there with a credit and a link, that would be cool. I've visited the sitea a few times, some good discussion going on there.

"This is a rather great article, however it doesn't explain one rather large thing. There was a complex under the Derelict ship on LV 426. Complete with a stasis field over the eggs. This complex appears to be a storage facility for holding the eggs. All of these theories I've read ignore that one small fact."

I think that even if this was the original intention when ALIEN was filmed, countless statements by both Ridley Scott and James Cameron in the years since have confirmed that the Space Jockey, the 'cavern' and the eggs were all inside the Engineer ship, not in a cavern underneath it. This is somewhat unconvincing, but it's an official, canon retcon of the situation.

Lowell said...

Great analysis, Adam. Just finished reading a VERY convincing analysis of the film as a Biblical allegory:

http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html

Don't know if I buy it, but it's a very convincing hypothesis.

Dave Mowers said...

The opening sequence of the movie is not earth, it is LV-223. The Prometheus myth is about a "GOD" who steals technology from the Gods(Zeus) and gives it to man the metaphor is that David becomes Prometheus. The engineer in the beginning seeds LV-223 with the life altering black substance putting life on LV-223 without his species knowledge and that is why they are running from xenomorphs on the holographic projection and what sabotages their efforts. They assumed the planet was lifeless so there is no risk because life did not reside their when they surveyed the site. The ship seen in the opening sequence is a survey ship.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that the original planetoid, LV-426, is in fact the home world of the xenomorph and that LV-223 is just a convenient close-by planetoid for the engineers' genetic R&D base.

Nicolas Palmer said...

I really appreciated this article. Great reasoning on all the different elements in the film and the Alien and Aliens as well. My take is that the xenomorph is a genetically modified organism. It was possibly an insectoid creature that the Engineers found impressive and used in their bioweapon experimentation.
The queen could be the result of a successful harvest of humans/other host organisms - Queens appear whenever the xenomorph is able to thrive -put simply - and function as accelerators to production. (In one of the deleted scenes from Alien, Ripley torches Skeritt's body along with what looks like an egg on a wall suggesting that they can make eggs on their own.)
Everything we see in this film is likely just variations and prototypes - various ways of propagating/executing xenomorph weaponry. Part of the basis for my reasoning for this is that Ridley made them seem very clumsy and impractical- how could these metal vases really work as weapons, exactly? Was the Engineer going to poison the water on Earth? Even then those squid FHuggers were quite ponderous and (in my opinion- easily terminated from a safe distance). If they survived to this stage, the host being is then a fair target for termination - like I said quite ponderous.

kevsblog said...

Nicely summarized, brain-tickler. After hearing about Ridley Scott's oversights regarding scale of the engineers, I think we can safely assume he has played "fast and loose" with the canonical elements in these films. We've seen this before in sci-fi, continuity is quickly thrown out the window in interest of pacing, scares, thrills etc...
So I think it's moot (sorry) to burn cycles trying to figure out why Fifield became a super zombie - Ridley just needed to quickly reduce the head count in the film to get us focused on it's key players as desperate survivors.
Another example is the xenomorphs origin being inconsistent. I'm guessing the mural was deemed too subtle of a tie-in to the other alien films. One can't blame Ridley for wanting to distance himself from what an embarrassment that franchise became. Obviously in response to the studio/backers demanding a more blatant tie-in he tacked-on that little birth scene at the end.
I'm not trolling here, just adding my 2 bit theories on the inconsistencies you've all so thoughtfully brought to bear.
Also, what was the significance of the girl playing violin? Is that supposed to be Theron's character as a young girl? Hmmmmm

Halftrak said...

As I walked out of the theater, I figured Earth was meant to be a testing ground for whatever horrors were developed on LV223. Humans were essentially created as sacrificial lambs to gauge the efficiency of various creatures developed by the Engineers. Hence why there was no compassion or interest in communication from the Engineer in stasis. He was essentially waking up to his version of having lowly cows and chickens blathering at him. The black goo is the hardest thing to wrap my mind around, however. Is there a single type that serves as a biological wildcard upon contact? Or are there multiple variations? Seems like both, a contagion version and the evolutionary wildcard version, are used as plot devices... The traditional xenomorph is also a difficult component to ponder about. All that said, Im ecstatic at the direction Scott took to flush out the Alien universe and mythos. Was getting so sick of the now formulaic structure of the franchise.

Anonymous said...

There are still many other loopholes in the movie. Why does the old man choose to invest in this project to extend his life? Surely by that time bio-engineering will be amazing and he could have his body restored for a few pennies compared to the Promotheus project?
Also why do the Engineers visit earth 35000 years ago and show a map that points to a planet that is not their homeplanet but will be a military base 33000 years later? (the site was erected 2000 years ago).

Michael Plant said...

As others have said, this a great, thought-provoking post (albeit one I'd soon Scott had rendered unnecessary by creating a plausible story).

Most of my thoughts have been covered here but one big hole (for me at least) remains. Namely that the two guys who get left overnight when the storm hits get some throat-loving action from the worms/vipers/whatever you'd like to call them.

Are they not facehuggers? They certainly look very similar to the worm that rams itself down the engineers throat. Should that not mean that there are a couple of chest-bursters charging around the complex too?

Also, the whole 'meh' reaction to Shaw's removal of a GIANT SQUID THINGY from her stomach/womb is frankly ridiculous. If my worst enemy had that happen to them I'd still at least double-take (even if I was an android I'd have thought).

Oh and going back to those first two guys who get left overnight: as if they'd go to touch and play with the bizarre alien snake things - that goes against human kinds evolution and by that point they were spooked anyway and would have been running miles in the other direction.

That's about it, thanks Ridley (I think...)

Anonymous said...

What if those metallic-looking vases are the first alien eggs - just before complete transformation? They seemed to ooze that black goo as a result of a chemical change in the air presumably upon opening the door. Perhaps overtime, the four chambers inside dissolve into the more practical form of the facehugger and the ooze builds up around it as a biological incubation material. This could also explain LV-426. The pilot left LV-433 and initiated this next phase of the vases and became a victim to one of them due to improper handling and force-landed himself on LV-426.

Anonymous said...

It seems the trilobite in promethius is very large to accommodate a larger host....aka engineer who is very strong. While in Alien the face hugged is smaller to accommodate a human sized host. So by design the bio weapon/parasite is specific to the host. The engineers seem to be much like we are today with regards to genetic engineering.
This could be viewed as a threat and a need to eradicate a rival species, even if the species is something the engineers developed for their purposes. As humans we have made things that later we eradicate for example super bugs, viruses, bacteria, invasive species. Humans were on their way to compete in the universe and the engineers chose to take them out and possibly ant other rival species including other engineer like clans. The engineers were terra formers as well, just like the humans became in the Aliens movie. Through terraforming or genetic experiments like Alien Ressurection, no species good develop or cross-breeding to develop a super race. It seems reasonable based on all the different creatures on board the facility in Promethius that the engineers collected DNA SAMPLES from many species creating new ones including some that we're uncontrollabe. Not much different than creating a new strand of Eboli that you don't have a vaccine for. Genetics and terraforming are the new frontiers as well as the new arms race. As evident in these films as a collective whole. All players are expendable to promote the cause, the discovery, the Knowledge, in the race to becoming God-like or gods.

Wastrel said...

I've not seen the film, and I know this doesn't explain everything, but:

...what if, instead of the goo being an attempt to copy the xenomorph, the xenomorph is the result of the goo?

That is, maybe the goo just makes Things into Bad Things, with the specific Bad Thing depending on the host. Xenomorphs could be the Bad Thing that results from engineers, while the evil baby is the human form, and the snake is produced from a different lifeform?

Just as good at explaining the mural (both a perfection of, and the destruction of, space jockey life), and the final xeno, and the eggs on the ship (pilot got infected with goo).

Doesn't explain super-zombie, and doesn't explain the initial suicide.

Also falls apart if space jockeys and humans have the same dna... but then the entire suspension of disbelieve falls apart if you accept that, so it just has to be ignored.

...ok, no, there's no way to salvage it.

occubus said...

this is a nice attempt but leaves out a bunch of stuff. most glaring is the temple and the artifact that David examines. i am pretty sure the intent of that scene is to establish the fact that the engineers were like Prometheus the titan, playing with fire when they created mankind...but that the xenos came *first* and they were NOT responsible for their creation. this is important and i believe the concept of the tomb is crucial.

so RS is mirroring the "virgin" birth of christ as hybrid (obvious christmas reference) and i believe ultimately dealing with the problem of a religious idea of the "DEVIL"...as in why would GOD create a DEVIL? perhaps what the film is trying to actually say is that it is the fault of all the humans aboard the Prometheus who end up inadvertently creating the human-like xenomorph that comes from the "Deacon" that we see in the original Alien. In that context, the Engineers are NOT gods but just as Weyland created androids (and subsequently thought himself a god), the Engineers are for all their advance technology "playing with fire" and dealing with something that they do not fully understand. Why else would they send warnings or succumb to their botched manipulations?

So be prepared in the sequel to see this come up again. The essential point being "who created the engineers?". Was the very purpose of the Engineer to use the DNA of the "Artifact" in a positive way? Did a GOD (or gods) create the Engineer for this purpose? Finally, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Engineer that Weyland meets is in fact a kind of Lucifer fallen angel...and they were trying to be like their creator when the experiment went wrong. That particular Engineer may be jealous or hate the humans for that reason and that is why the Engineer attacked them. (like the way the Devil is supposed to hate mankind) So when the Deacon finally appears, it is (a) "god" birthing (a) devil quite literally. Just my take on things...

Kage said...

Very cool.

The problem I have with all of this is the mural of the "xenomorph".

It looks like the one that came out of the engineer, but is still not a "true" xenomorph.

plus then engineer's enviro suite. Looks an aweful like like a xenomorph body.

I think eihter the engineer's worship and try to copy the xenomorph. which would prove your theroy that they failed.

or they can create these things and for some reason make them look like their enviro suites? I don't know.

good read though. I love all the questions.

Anonymous said...

Could it be possible that the engineers in Prometheus were a radical rouge faction hell bent on destruction? They are a highly advanced race but seemed very barbaric and violent. Were they a minority? I say this because if the main objective was to destroy earth and its inhabitants then wouldn’t they have just got another crew to finish the mission? Personally I believe there is a benevolent side to the engineers.

The engineers in the movie had the mural in their installation which looks almost identical to the alien we all know and love. Is that there ultimate bio weapon and were we humans created to be harvested to create it? In terms of the ship that crashed on LV-426, was it supposed to drop its cargo off on earth to provide the engineers with a potential 7 billion Xenomorphs? They may not have been on course to destroy us as we know it but rather to use us as a resource to create their weapons.

Anonymous said...

Also why do the Engineers visit earth 35000 years ago and show a map that points to a planet that is not their homeplanet but will be a military base 33000 years later?

This.

But not just one visit, multiple visits, multiple civilizations, over the course of tens of thousands of years, pointing to LV-223? Why? This is well before the deaths of the Engineers in the base, set at about 2000 years before Prometheus lands there.

The theme of creation, disappointment in the creation, attempted destruction of the creation, and then acceptance of the creation's flaws is very biblical as well as Greek (including the story of Prometheus). Yahweh withholds knowledge from man, man steals it anyway, god banishes humans and expresses disappointment in his mistake, later tries to destroy them.

Also recurring theme is the notion that gods as creators are themselves imperfect and make mistakes: Zeus, Prometheus, Yahweh, they all make mistakes and admit it. And they're capricious, vindictive, and violent. Just like the Engineers appear to be in this movie.

We can't accept the idea of one psychotic Engineer. I don't think that works. RS is quoted as saying about Prometheus: “The cast find an establishment which is not what they expected it to be, it’s a civilization but what we find in it is very uncivilised behaviour”.

And another idea is "god man man in his own image" which works with Engineers making man in their image. In fact humans created the gods, themselves. Same genes.

David is apparently the only creation that isn't disappointed in his gods/creators. He lives with them and accepts their strength and weaknesses, he doesn't engage in deification of them either. And he's immune to the Engineer's bioweapons/aliens.

So perhaps earth humans end up creating a superior life form in the long run, and this is their true redemption.

It's pretty clear RS has extremely negative views of religion "biggest source of evil is of course religion". So perhaps the gods/Engineers are flawed, and they created flawed earth humans too, who then maybe turned out to do something right which was to create artificial life instead of assuming their own genes were a good basis for creating life.

Deepshark said...

Hello !

Thanks for this excellent precis, I did enjoy it very much. In agreement with respondents so far, in that there are (naturally) perhaps massive plot mysteries - good, and worth thinking about. To add to the discussion, there is a very good question we need to ask, perhaps :

Who are the Engineers fighting, and why does deployment of the Xenomorph (a terror bio-weapon if ever there was one) as well as a own-development one ? This is an important question (and I discount the theory of violent interactions with Predators immediately).

Several thoughts come to mind - the great enemy without is clearly highly dangerous (obviously), and more - it is also clearly highly resistant to damage, and practically immortal. It may also be very large - as the Engineer dwarfs a human, so too must the greater enemy dwarf the Engineers in turn. This is logical - the Xenomorphic weapons are, by extension, small - A facehugger is smaller than a human, and considerably smaller than an Engineer - therefore to the larger outer enemy (I have been hesitating with the term 'Outer God' but Charles Stross puts his case well for a Lovecraftian apocalypse - but lets move on), a xenomorp may be no more annoying - but perhaps as serious as an Anophales mosquito, and perhaps also in turn as serious as malaria....which immediately makes us wonder - how much more vicious can these being possibly be ? Must be something else, and as Jedi Master Qui Gon was wont to quip 'There is always a bigger fish' - but how much bigger?

Other thoughts - while it is now clear that an Engineer seeded the earth in the beginning of the Pleistocene (maybe?), several other aspects become worth thinking about. Clearly the Engineers are very good at what they do - to the point of encoding a star map into the descendant genetic memories of men, long after their demise. And, too, the residual self image of the engineer is expressed as a human being.

This concept is not new though - the Preservers of David Niven are the best recent example, and driven in turn by Biblical stories of the Nephilim, as well as other, massive humanoid Deities - a lovely pice of the puzzle.

Other good points - in practically all human cultures, disease, and even more particularly divine retribution by disease, is a common theme even until the present day (standard superstitions abound with regard to HIV/AIDS and Ebola, even among educated westerners).

The films delve into all of these with great depth - and getting people to think about these things is actually laudable - so thumbs up for that. And for getting our imaginations working, this is also laudable.

My best, looking forward to thoughts in reply.

Lognar said...

Great article Adam. It got my brain working overtime after seeing the movie earlier today.

To add some extra thoughts to the pot, and I might have missed this in the comments...if the Engineers are going to destroy humanity because we killed their emissary (Jesus) does anyone think that how the xenomorph-esque being on the wall in the face room being posed like a crucified Jesus is significant? Along with this is Charlie's words of something like "just another tomb."

Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

After just watching the movie for the second time and i wonder maybe the human race was created by the engineers as a host race to breed the xeno's. The aim? Creating an army of some sort? maybe, though i believe the humans were created to be 'used' rather than simply just the product of an exploratory experiment.

Think about it, why would a superior race create an inferior race that isn't so dissimilar, that could potentially threaten their existence?

From what we know from Prometheus it seems that for the traditional 'facehugger' to be produced a human 'female' subject is needed to carry the embryo. Both male engineer and human are internally destroyed when exposed to the black substance.

Just a thought :)

Anonymous said...

Somebody's gonna make millions by authoring a book titled "Prometheus and Aliens for Idiots"

So much material!

Anonymous said...

What if the engineer that drinks the black goo at the start of the movie is on plant LV-223 not earth. Maybe he is a rouge engineer and decides to drink the black goo to stop the other engineers from building weapons of mass destruction. He drinks the weapon falls into the water and infects the water supply causing a chain reaction that creates the aliens and kills the engineers off.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Just throwing this into the mix - were all the Engineers 'male' by any chance?...

Adam Whitehead said...

LV-426 is presumably not the alien homeworld (nice idea if it was, though) as they'd have been found all over the planet, not just in the crash ship's cargo hole in the original movie.

Anonymous said...

good points but I dont think the mural looks like the Xenomorph from Alien and Aliens...it actually to me still looks like the 'Deacon' we see in the end of Prometheus, judging from its physical characterisitics in the hands and mouth area

Anonymous said...

Variation on all of the above: the xenomorphs predate the Engineers and created the Engineers (hence the idol-like image of the xenomorph seen in the bowels of the LV-223 installation). The Engineers are droids or somesuch. The creation of humans was a rogue project by the Engineers, annoying the xenomorphs who then programmed the Engineers to exterminate the humans. The clash on LV-223 between xenomorphs and Engineers is the product of a conflict over the creation of humans. Shaw will discover this on the xenomorphs' home planet, where she will be genetically appropriated as a replacement for the errant Engineers. Prometheus 3 will feature Shaws promulgating more Shaws on some other god-forsaken rock.

Anonymous said...

Great article. I tend to think that the opening of the movie was Earth and that we were witnessing creation of Man on Earth.

I agree that the Engineers created the human race as lab rats since they needed a suitable host for the Xenomorphs to gestate referencing Alien Resurrection, the military were trying to create the perfect host to obtain a Queen so it appears the traditional xenomorph we know is somewhat predicated on just the right host....Human.. and the Engineers knew this.

I liked the movie and can't stop thinking about it.

Thanks,

DaliFerret said...

Alternatively, why not just think that the Engineers are riddled with factions: religions, political parties, cults or just disagreements over strategy. Some Engineers are keen on xenomorph technology. They have invested careers in it. Other Engineers prefer motile black goo; the ultimate weapon system. Some Engineers, having created humans, or guided/f*cked up human evolution, regard humans as potentially useful and versatile cannon fodder. Others just see the inhabitants of Earth as annoying vermin infesting useful real estate and choose to specify a cargo of pesticide. Arguments about pest control strategies get out of hand amongst bored, and hyped personnel in a military base and the brown stuff hits the fan.

Jimmy said...

After reading these comments and doing some research on what the original Prometheus entailed I (among many others) have formulated my own theory which I present to everybody. Prometheus had many versions but a common thread was that Prometheus was a god that created man or gave man sacred knowledge against the rest of the gods wishes and was punished for his actions. Applied to the movie, I believe that the Engineer in the opening sequence WAS Prometheus. This seems glaring in my opinion seeing how the "Prometheus Engineer" was alone and the title PROMETHEUS followed directly after the scene. The engineers created the xenos as biological weapons, perhaps even in a civil war against other Engineers, and may have created humans as the hosts or test subjects for their weapons. The "Prometheus Engineer" traveled to Earth and either created humans in fear of his own species destroying itself and wanting their genes to live on or traveled to Earth to warn these human test subjects out of pity or a feeling of equality and gave them information about where they came from so that they could one day do something about it. Either way there was only one Engineer that told the many cultures of the earth over many years the same story and gave them all the star map so that one day they could travel there and confront their makers. The "Prometheus Engineer" was found out by the rest of the Engineers and was punished for his actions- making him drink the black goo. This would explain why the Engineer at the end of the movie was not happy to see humans- there weren't suppose to know about their purpose or weren't suppose to even exist in the first place. And this would explain why the Engineer cargo ship was heading back to Earth for the destruction of humans by xenos- either to put them to their ultimate purpose our destroy them because they weren't suppose to exist in the first place.

Things obviously went wrong on LV-223 a long time ago. Either through mishandling of their own creations or perhaps by sabotage by an unclarified source.

As far as the giant squid like face hugger, I would merely suggest that the xeno that bursts from the Engineers chest is a juvenile queen alien. Large face hugger, large xeno and large output of more xenos. This makes sense to me as I was never clear myself about the ultimate source of queen xenos. And my thoughts as far as from an Engineer stand point- why make one xeno at a time? Engineer one queen and the rest takes care of itself. Anyway thats my thoughts for now, feedback welcome.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought that the space jokey's placement of man on earth was so they could use it as a testing ground for their bio-weapons?

Perhaps man was just another experiment like the xenomorph.

Anonymous said...

Just occurred to me that perhaps the surviving space jockey was the one at the start of the film who became infected and thus turning on his own people by unleashing said weapon in the temple/lab where he hid in the stasis chamber until everyone perished but for some reason did not awake for 2000 years.

As for the others who were with him, he could have waited until they were in stasis and killed them or sabotaged their stasis pods.

If it were an accident and something was unleashed on the jockey's, then wouldn't they have left a distress beacon like in alien preventing anyone else from making the same mistake? Even if the jockey's were in trouble, would they have not called for help?

And going by the start of the film when a jockey is seen consuming the metallic liquid, that they might have been testing it on themselves and some of the scientists used it on their own people?

We see two different effects of the virus on humans, on Holloway we see him transforming into something resembling a jockey, as you see in the opening sequence the jockey's DNA changing after ingesting the metallic liquid.
Second we see the liquid transform Fifield into some kind of unstoppable mutant zombie. So we know the liquid has effects on both the living and dead.

Jebus said...

Red Letter Media asks all the questions we have: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1YuvUQFJ0

QFrench said...

Damn... After reading all that, i wanted to say Humans were like white mice for Engeeners, but i've been beaten by the last post.

My theories :

1) Engeeners brought life to earth (or at last are responsible of the explosion of life during Cambrian) when one of them sacrificed to melt his DNA to earth proto-life or maybe even to bring life on Earth.

2) Doing that, Engeeners brought their DNA but... Xenos DNA to, via the black goo he ingested to sacrifice himself.

3) Human where designed to be closely similar to engeeners and be used as receptacle for Xenos breeding. Like we used generations of mices to test medical advances, etc.

4)Humans had to be very prooch of Engeeners to be sure if Xenos could replicate via/infest humans, they could be used against other Xenos too.

3) Humans grow, bearing both the Engeeners and Xenos DNA. Humans are violent, predators, etc.

5) Engeeners are at war. Against...

"Several thoughts come to mind - the great enemy without is clearly highly dangerous (obviously), and more - it is also clearly highly resistant to damage, and practically immortal. It may also be very large - as the Engineer dwarfs a human, so too must the greater enemy dwarf the Engineers in turn."

--> Engeeners's Creator ?

6) Engeeners want to destroy humans. maybe because they understood they hold Xenos DNA in them. Or because it made them partilcularily violent, while Engeeners DNA made them particularily clever. A futur problematic child...

7) On Earth, Engeeners regularily gave Humans a direct map to their own death... Why ? Maybe just by security. "If ever Human kind grow to acquier space travel, they will be brought to their own end by Xenos.

I long to have your returns on this.

feenix219 said...

If the Engineers have 100% identical DNA to humans, woudln't it make sense that whatever creature is gestating inside a human OR engineer would look quite similar? IE, the original xenomorph? That explains how it predates things (for them to have the mural) and is consistant with the big xeno coming out of the engineer, and the regular xeno's birthed by normal, smaller humans.

It seems like the goo just causes normal life to turn into something face-huggerish that can produce a form of xeno, and that the size and forms vary on what is infected by the goo. We have no idea what would have happened to zombie-guy or the infected archaologist if they hadn't been killed first.

Fish tracker said...

Hello RIDLEY??????Fans calling Ridley!!!\

Please answer some of this before we go out of our collective minds. Just pick a damb story, (any number of the above theories will do) make it consistent, creative and put us out of our misery!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The engineers can't be droids otherwise they could not be host. Just as David could not be a host no matter how human he is. So the Engineers are living beings of an intelligent and advanced race.

The mural still interest me. If you look closely over the head of the deacon looking xenomorph, there appears to be a head piece, mantle much like that of a queen, possibly implying that a queen already existed and had been idolized by the Engineers.

It seems plausible that the Engineers, xenon, and humans have a common creator, god, ancestry, or at least common genetic material that is comparable otherwise there would be miscarried and no offspring.

Many have suggested there are factions of Engineers but maybe the factions are a duality between Xenos and Engineers. Humans could have been made without intention or made by something without perfect knowledge of creation. Which over time and human development now presents a species seeking answers.

Humans are looking for those answers and their creator has left clues to enlightenment. But as any search for truth finds, there is resistance.

It seems very apparent that this resistance could have wiped out mankind at any stage, so something or someone is fighting for the humans. That is who we should be seeking. Instead what we found in Promethius is the resistance that wants to eradicate the human creation. Shaw and David left for the homeland of the engineers but maybe they will find the true creators the allies of the humans.

Something else ponder. Humans advanced quickly in many respects and developed technology advancements abnormally fast, advancements similar to the engineers. Genetics engineering, terraforming, space travel, stasis pods, etc. Considering we are much longer than the engineers in our evolutionary development we have similar technologies comparable to there's. Maybe we were given advancement by them.

It seems David and Weyland enterprise no more than they let on in their understanding of the events taking place. Ridley Scott likes to show how the created revisit the creator asking the question why was I created,
By whom, how can I live longer, what is my purpose.

If there is another movie or two. Those questions will be answered or sought out.

ruidude said...

Great article, probably the best i've read on this theme. I'd like to add someting that i don't think as been debated... what happened to the two engineers that did make it into the sealed room, just before the 3rd one dropped on his knees and was decapitated? So, they were infected and their head was gonna blow right? so what if they went in that room to prevent contagion, and once there they drank the goo that causes them to desintegrate? that would explain why no other bodies or remains were found except for the decapitated head! also, something i'm not sure about is the correct timeline of the engineers holograpchic recordings... which happened first, the discussion on the ship's bridge and posterior accident that causes evacuation, or was the accident first and those were the ones who managed to get into the ship but didn't make it leave? is this timeline relevant to why they were targetting earth?

Jimmy said...

After reading these comments and doing some research on what the original Prometheus entailed I (among many others) have formulated my own theory which I present to everybody. Prometheus had many versions but a common thread was that Prometheus was a god that created man or gave man sacred knowledge against the rest of the gods wishes and was punished for his actions. Applied to the movie, I believe that the Engineer in the opening sequence WAS Prometheus. This seems glaring in my opinion seeing how the "Prometheus Engineer" was alone and the title PROMETHEUS followed directly after the scene. The engineers created the xenos as biological weapons, perhaps even in a civil war against other Engineers, and may have created humans as the hosts or test subjects for their weapons. The "Prometheus Engineer" traveled to Earth and either created humans in fear of his own species destroying itself and wanting their genes to live on or traveled to Earth to warn these human test subjects out of pity or a feeling of equality and gave them information about where they came from so that they could one day do something about it. Either way there was only one Engineer that told the many cultures of the earth over many years the same story and gave them all the star map so that one day they could travel there and confront their makers. The "Prometheus Engineer" was found out by the rest of the Engineers and was punished for his actions- making him drink the black goo. This would explain why the Engineer at the end of the movie was not happy to see humans- there weren't suppose to know about their purpose or weren't suppose to even exist in the first place. And this would explain why the Engineer cargo ship was heading back to Earth for the destruction of humans by xenos- either to put them to their ultimate purpose our destroy them because they weren't suppose to exist in the first place.

Things obviously went wrong on LV-223 a long time ago. Either through mishandling of their own creations or perhaps by sabotage by an unclarified source.

As far as the giant squid like face hugger, I would merely suggest that the xeno that bursts from the Engineers chest is a juvenile queen alien. Large face hugger, large xeno and large output of more xenos. This makes sense to me as I was never clear myself about the ultimate source of queen xenos. And my thoughts as far as from an Engineer stand point- why make one xeno at a time? Engineer one queen and the rest takes care of itself. Anyway thats my thoughts for now, feedback welcome.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to think that the Engineers were creating just to destroy. Why would any race choose to sacrifice their own life just to have that sacrifice demeened by destroying what was created?
I feel as though that the Engineers created life all over the cosmos, they find planets that can sustain certain types of lives and than one will sacrifice their life in order to create a planet of life, the guy we see drink goo and die and fall into river created humans on earth, than others would come through out time and give knowledge to our ancestors and hence we have those multi maps of the stars in many times and areas of the world. Why would they visit earth so many times in so many eras just to kill us all after educating us?

we have no idea what was going on in LV223, we only have speculations on what occured 1000s of years after the last Engineer died.
The black goo in the main chamber could be all forms of potential life yet when mixed it creates unknown beings. Maybe the goo went bad and spoiled hence getting all icky and worm like

There are still many questions after watching the movie and I hope P2 comes out to answer those.
Why did the surviving Engineer get all violent after affectionly touching David? Did he understand what was being said or did David mess up and declare war instead and thats why E went killer. Why was there a mural of a xeno? why did the murals change and what were they changing into? What killed all the other Engineers and if there were signs of something bursting out of them where is the thing that bursted out? It would have to have died somewhere on that planet or escaped, possibly in the direlect we see in Alien (?)
Why would the Es visit earth, create life on earth, and than give us maps on how to find them if they were only planning on using us as hosts?

Red Wolf said...

OK, love the time lines; can't argue any of it. HOWEVER,

** If the E's wanted to begin life on Earth, they were certainly in no hurry. That lone E's DNA goes into the waterfall/river -- and voila! humans walk the planet some, what, 50 million years later? Now THAT'S patience!

** And let's remember that the Nostromo in Alien was SENT TO BRING BACK A XENO. Which means someone KNEW about the xeno(s) when the Nostromo left Earth (that "someone" was Weyland Industries!). Which means they knew the xeno(s) were on LV-426, where the "warning beacon" was coming from.

** It's puzzling, however, that in Aliens, the boss at W.I. says that terraformers had been living on LV-426 for years and never reported any xenos (until Burke sends them LOOKING for them, that is).

** So what can we garner from this? Well, W.I. obviously received xeno info from Prometheus/David/LV-223, whether intentional or via Shaw's ostensibly recorded warning at the end of the movie.

** Speaking of info, David seemed to know waaaaaaaaay too much about everything; almost seemed like he knew all there was to know about everything on LV-223...

I make these comments in the hope they get us brainstorming Alien lovers to put the pieces together.

More later (undoubtedly).


R_W

zammus said...

what happened to milburn? if i recall correctly, he was impregnated by the snake thing, but we never see the results of that

Fish tracker said...

I agree with R_W on this one. David knew a heck of a lot more than he let on. He knew the E language. He knew how to set off the holo deck ship logs, he could read it on the walls but never said what was happening ( which is stupid at its highest degree because what the hell else would they have been expecting of him)and yes I think they knew about the xeno prior to mission and had David on for a reason, watch the viral TED on you tube. He was unclouded by moral delusion , something that was said by the bot in ALIEN. BTW, there was black goo dripping up from the egg in ALIEN, I saw it last night. Also someone somewhere said there was a script floating around that had the egg can asters in ALIEN too! I was watching some edited scenes from alien last night and saw one where the captain of nostromo get stuck to the wall in the alien goo and is seeded with chest burster like in aliens, so very interesting. Cameron built upon an idea/ concept already figured out. Sooo RIDLEY probably long knew about the goo cans, and their significance. I highly recommend you all watch alien again after seeing promethuius. Very interesting. FT

QFrench said...

"they find planets that can sustain certain types of lives and than one will sacrifice their life in order to create a planet of life"

On that, everybody agree, and RIDLEY Scott himself confirmed that in one interiew. Engeeners seeded several planets with their own DNA.

"others would come through out time and give knowledge to our ancestors and hence we have those multi maps of the stars in many times and areas of the world. Why would they visit earth so many times in so many eras just to kill us all after educating us? "

You forgot they give human a map... That leads to death ! It's a trap.

That is why i estimate this map is a security. As said before, they don't want humans to escape earth. If they reach space travel science, they go to the moon infested with aliens and die.

So Earth is our cage.

We, humans, make loads of tests on mices. We food them, teach them how to find labyrinths exits, give them nice places to life and reproduce, reproduce and reproduce again to test our DNA modifications, test our medicine new stuff, and maybe weapons.

They just do the same with us. What affects us will affect them, as our DNA are very similar... So human is a very good test subject.

Anonymous said...

Two concepts I seem to have an issue with:

1) If the seeding of the earth was supposed to be done by the sacrifice of the engineer at the beginning of Prometheus, was there some expectation that humans (i.e. homo sapiens) would evolve eventually? When they say the DNA is "the same", do they mean the base pairs or that the genome is identical (the overlay that Shaw creates/shows)? If one has an understanding of evolution, they would know that the evolution of our species was not a foregone conclusion. We might (most likely would NOT have) not have evolved just by dumping some A, C, T and Gs into a waterfall. Or is it that the stuff that was dumped was actually the human genome (the only way I see us ever ending up evolving from something so close). Also if we are identical in genome to the Engineers, why is there so much difference in appearance? The difference between us and a chimp is not very much sequence-wise.

2) The timing of this sacrifice. If this was supposed to give rise to "life", then the landscape that is presented where the engineer drinks the goo is totally wrong. That does not reflect what the primordial soup and atmosphere at the time would have looked like. If anything the planet looked like life had been thriving there for millenia. Then again, maybe it can ignore that fact under the guise of science fiction. Just saying, IF this is supposed to line up with scientific facts...

I enjoyed the article and the comments are insightful too. I also tend to think the Xenos were a race that existed at the same time as the engineers and that the latter tried to reverse engineer their DNA via a substance with mutagenic properties, perhaps to combat them (dunno how) for their (and maybe even Earth's own) good.

Burk said...

Great. I needed this really. As a hard-core alien nerd I was very troubled of course but this makes me feel alot better about it. Thank you.

bluejedi said...

Any ideas as to the green crystal that is in the metal urn room? I think it’s important for some reason, and the large head, and why the art on the ceiling? Xeno's have a particular penchant for the fine arts? Surely kryptonite isn’t involved! No wonder they are so hardcore.

I like that they seem to prefer fluids, jelly buttons and strange goo on the symbols David opens the door with. They are a race clearly comfortable and experienced with various textures and substances including their suits/breathing apparatus that seem organic and tapir/elephant based in design.

Love the navigation system start-up with the flute, was expecting an Oompa-Loompa too run out. But just added to the basic concept, they are so past our way of doing things that trying to understand their actions is like a pet cat trying to figure us out. But unlike the cat, we want to understand.

Worth noting re the weapons theory's is isn’t that what we do, make weapons and fight, not sure that’s what they do. Humans are so crap like that, and we presume that’s what it’s all about.
But on that note they had to evolve from something too and presumably they would have had to earn their right to get where they are. So some distant memory of their struggle and some tech to that note are inevitable I’m sure.

I’m running with the idea they are telepathic, and that’s why there is limited dialog, for all we know the mumbling while the holographic image is playing for David may simply be there navigation system advising them of the journey time.
Also explained the momentary interest in David when the engineer is awoken but the immediate dislike for the old dude whose mind we are to believe is full of the desire to live on regardless of the consequences. And I don’t think the irony is lost on the engineer when he used David’s head to kill him. Though given that the engineer had some knowledge of the goo, leaving organic life forms lying about does seem slightly irresponsible, especially when they could be alive. Suggesting to me that whatever happened on LV-223 and whatever would have happened should he have managed to actually leave is less important than reaching the end destination, Earth! There is nothing to suggest the engineer has any idea of how long he had been asleep. So his reaction when he wakes up and gets out the pod seems peaceful to me. Until he reads the mind of those around him and sees how they behave.

Personally prefer the idea that the goo is a generic DNA enhancer, possibly even a base for some forms of medicine/Vaccine, with a form of it able to start life. That Xeno's are alive and well somewhere in the verse, and have been for a long time and despite various attempts to sort them out have become an epidemic. I like to think that the engineers were on their way to earth to stop us getting eaten by Xeno's myself, not that they wanted to use/undo us. I find that a bit too much, us a threat to the engineers, not likely. We are literally a watered down version of them.
More likely is the Xeno’s are becoming a threat to them and they are looking madly for a way to control them. Possibly with our help, Yeh they could be that desperate. Could LV-223 be research base intended for us to participate in? Let’s face it Xeno’s are bad ass killing machines, a nightmare for all free and sentient beings. What’s to say we aren’t the weapon?

Guess I just like the idea that the engineers were fallible too, and they simply cocked up on LV-223 trying to do something, and it just went from bad to worse. Leaving nothing but questions and disappointment for the crew of Prometheus. And some that watched the film.
Weirdly, the part that bugs me the most it the start, was that earth? Was he a consenting sacrifice or elected one? Was he a form of scientist maybe? But I got the feeling we were being given a theory on the origins of life either way, why the engineer did it! We may never know.

So come on Mr Scott, pray tell, prey tell. What’s your modus operandi?

Oh and good job chap, good job!

Anonymous said...

The whole Engineers created humans to purposefully use as hosts for xenos argument seems flawed. Presumably they would want an effective weapon system as soon as possible. So why seed a planet with life that would need to evolve from single celled organisms to eventually become humans when that process would take thousands of years? That doesn't seem too efficient or practical for a space faring race. Especially since they would have presumably mastered cloning in "Engineering 101"-a way faster way to produce hosts en masse if that was the intent.

Dashape80 said...

If only Scott (and the screen writer for the "hopeful" upcoming sequel - whoever it will be) would read all the discussion in this thread . . . they might actually be able to pull it off and fill in the holes. I just wish filmmakers (in general) would take into consideration the dedication of their fan base and not underestimate the viewer's intelligence (or ability to analyze a film to the smallest detail).

David Knowles said...

Pdwight said...
Why did the engineer drink the black liquid (commit suicide)in the opening scenes of the movie ?

I think that the easiest question, to take life or intelligence from the gods and give it to man or planet earth.

A secondary reason from calling the film prometheus.

David Knowles said...

""David knew a heck of a lot more than he let on. He knew the E language.""

It was implied by the archaeologist that she told David that the alien language was the root/base language of all the languages that has ever been spoken on earth or at least she made a connection between some languages and told David to learn them. Which is why we saw him teaching himself new languages using the ship library, it was him learning these languages that allowed him to communicate with the aliens.


Her theory turned out to be true, it means that the Predator language must also be based on the engineer language, as we were told in the alien vs predator film that they were involve with our development as well and founded the first civilisations on Earth.

Hopefully the sequel was answer how the Predators, the Engineers and Humans all fit together.

Using xenomorphs to destroy us humans seem like over kill to me, especially when they planned on doing it 2000 years ago,

David Knowles said...

"""It seems very apparent that this resistance could have wiped out mankind at any stage, so something or someone is fighting for the humans""" The predators perhaps, after all we do make good prey to hunt.

An we know they created a civilisation on Earth that involved Humans. An they always made saw the aliens under Antarctica never got out of control.
I also like the fact this make us look at the predators completely differently as well.

But that does not explain the unique vessel we saw at the beginning of the film, which was either Predator or Engineer

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought:

If the Xenomorph originally evolved on whatever planet somewhere out in space, and the Engineers were simply trying to replicate it and reproduce their version as a biological weapon, then one must wonder about the origins of the Xenomorph and its evolution.

The tougher the place, the tougher the creatures are that live there, so it's reasonable to assume that Planet Xeno is one nasty fucking place. And, in a balanced ecosystem, there are always checks and balances that keep things leveled. The reason that the Xenomorphs tear shit up wherever they are is because they're an introduced species, with no natural predators. They're Fire Ants run amok.

So that makes me wonder...what kept the Xenomorph population in check on Planet Xeno? Maybe the Xenos are just the rabbits of that planet, breeding like crazy and using their sheer numbers to survive. But if that's the case, what are that planets Wolves? What hunts Xenomorphs?

Yikes.

Diego Pedro said...

Loved the post, loved the movie; I'd like to share something I thought of by watching the movie and looking at images of the engineer's mural in the movie... maybe the xeno's where a totally different specie (being the original xeno's NOT hose we know and love, but those like the one in the mural ant the one we saw at the end, and they maked a deal with the engineers giving them weapons that ended up to be... their own parasitic life cicle? You know, like those birds that put their own eggs on another smaller birds nest... How creepy would that be? Engineers would be a very malevolent specie, but then xeno's would be just diabolical... (the xeno we are use to is the xeno specie but with the genetic mutations derived from being born from human bodies)

Anonymous said...

I read an analysis of Prometheus based on ancient Middle Eastern mythology. (Sorry, but can't remember the link) It said that in several ancient mythologies humans were created by a race of aliens. These aliens were split into two groups - those that saw great potential in humanity and wanted to help them and those that saw humanity as a threat and wanted to wipe them out. These two factions fought each other violently over the fate of humanity.
Apparently, statements made by the writers and crew of this film suggest that they were very much aware of this mythology.

Anonymous said...

Love the Alien movies, but Prometheus was an absolute bust. Characters were shallow and not near enough action.

B5historyman said...

Hello Adam,
My name is Terry Jones, I was a contributor to the Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual and Aliens magazine. I compiled a full Alien chronology for Lee to refer to. I have written a few other bits for Star Trek magazine and did consulting work for them. I contributed my timeline material to the Official Star Trek chronology. I am also the compiler and author of the official Babylon 5 chronology too. Any questions you have about the history of Alien I am your man. You can find me on Facebook under my real name and Twitter under b5historyman

abordoli said...

@abordoli: If you want to repost it there with a credit and a link, that would be cool. I've visited the sitea a few times, some good discussion going on there.

Thanks Adam! Will do.

P.S. I love the comments here. Well, most of them.

abordoli said...

Your article has been posted (with credits) and stickied here:
http://www.prometheus-movie.com/community/forums/topic/8330

David Condon said...

Really enjoyed the movie..Seen it in 3D too my 1st 3d movie..so it was brilliant. I left with many questions though, but thankfully most were answered here. SO thank you for that. But I have one remaining..... Who created the HOLIGRAMS..?>?> like where did they come from.?? somebody would of had to of made them,,but whom..>??>? any ideas people..? my girlfriend said they ate Ready Brek...haha women..huh

Fish tracker said...

I am starting to lean to factions as plot development. They never showed what the E were running from, so it could have been other E's or xenos. It wound be neat if he brought predators into it. Perhaps xeno are meant to keep the predators at bay, but the predators seem to have mastered the aliens quiet well in AVP. So perhaps two or more E Factions are warring and use xeno's as weapons/ defense against. I don't know. too many questions. I think SCOTT made a boo boo on this one. The LOST writer probably thought he had many seasons to flush out a point. (\\\ sarc off)\\\\.

Jeff said...

Your post is amazing and perfect. I applaud you for putting so much effort and research into it.

This is off-topic but Prometheus and The X-Files have a lot in common.

For example:

-The relationship between Mulder and Scully vs. Holloway and Shaw: Atheist vs. Religious
-Scully vs. Shaw; their faith vs. science
-BLACK OIL
-Scully and Shaw both getting pregnant by aliens (even though they are sterile)

Just some food for the thought.

Kudos to you for making such a developed post! :D

L'homme blanc said...

Did the final Engineer just want to GTF off that infected planet and back to his home planet?
Did David lie? He proved himself to be untrustworthy. Why not lie?

Brian Glenn said...

Twilight Zone (2nd edition): a great episode where aliens return to Earth and mock our lack of progress. Mankind responds with UN peace treaties overnight to show the visitors we deserve to live. Alien leader laughs and says "there has been a misunderstand. We are a race of warriors. you were seeded to provide us the means of winning wars" and with that the aliens proceed to wipe-out the humans. THIS IS WHAT THE ENGINEERS WERE ATTEMPTING TO DO. probly after they saw the beginning of Christianity on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Tons of interesting discussion here, but I would add one other concept. The mural on the wall may represent the designation for the type of xenomorph present/life cycle for that particular room. It took a while to find good stills, but the mural looks a lot more like the trilobyte facehugger in its fully mature state as it is preparing to impregnate the engineer than it does the female xeno.

The canisters may represent a "travel state" for the weapon. In certain climate it retains it's solid state, in others it begins to dissolve. In the absence of any other life forms, it modifies the organisms within (plasmid DNA introduction) to create the specific facehugger and associated pod we are used to seeing. Dissolving in the "big head" room however, with various worms present in the ground (it was no accident they showed the earth worm burrowing into the dirt) it lead to creation of "similar but more wormlike" hammerpedes that also have facehugger like behavior.

Just some other thoughts to ponder

Briton said...

Frankly my brain is hurting and I gave up reading all the various scenarios being banded around here. Good stuff though!
Maybe this has been covered BUT I have difficulty understanding how this "seeding" actually happened.
Given that the seeding occurred on earth some time prior to 35000 years in the past, do not forget that man (homo sapiens) or at least his predecessors were already clambering about Africa for at least 3 million years.
Modern man evolved 200 000 years ago and (I assume ) would have had identical DNA to ourselves today.
That the Engineers DNA is identical to ours means that somehow and miraculously the DNA dispersed at least 35000 years ago (possibly much longer) would have to have "created" homo sapiens without any involvement from "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis) and all our other ancestors. NOT VERY LIKELY. OK , I know it's SF but I do believe in the "Out of Africa" theory - our ancestors being several million years old.
PLUS, the engineers were clearly advanced and so why all the drama of the opening shot somehow showing the seeding of early earth. Not particularly plausible either given that that DNA somehow became US and with no variance whatsoever. Even Neanderthals had differences with ourselves in their DNA makeup.
I suppose if one were to accept Von Danikens hypothesis as to our origins then we did come from the stars but (again , I think) our entire being descended to earth according to him, not a bit of (identical) DNA that somehow becomes incorporated into H sapiens sapiens. I don't buy his theories by the way but it is interesting nonetheless.
BUT, a great movie with I think more questions than answers as this thread has shown.
THERE HAD BETTER BE AT LEAST ONE MORE IN THE SERIES.

Marie -- I am everybody said...

Why are we assuming that the installation was military in nature? Or that the containers were some kind of bio-weapon. One previous commentator noted this. We only have the word of the Captain that the containers were weapons. It is possible that the LV-223 was a research or extraction facility. Perhaps, the Engineers were "harvesting" the Aliens in some way to create their bio-stuff.

Perhaps, an accident happened at the facility and the "Space Jockey" in Alien was trying to get back home to bring back assistance to contain the accident. He did not make it and landed on LV-426 to prevent further infections/destruction and sent out the warning. If the Engineers were so nefarious, why bother with a warning?

And do we really know that the Engineers were heading back to Earth to unleash some kind of bio-weapon? Why would they? We seem, throughout our history,to be quite good at destroying ourselves. There is no evidence that the Engineer was even heading for Earth.

While the awakened Engineer was violent, he could have been disoriented and desperately wanting to warn others about the disaster at the facility and the unleashing of the Alien. And who knows what David told him? Perhaps David told the Engineer something to make him believe that Weyland et al. were threats.

jimnophobia said...

I've read a lot of interesting hypotheses here and I thought of adding a totally new dimension to the discussions...

My biggest hypothesis is... wait for it... that Predators are the real "Gods"... they created the Engineers!

The reason why i think so is because:

1. The space ship that leaves the first Engineer to sacrifice on Earth looks like the Predator ship which was shown in the 'Alien vs. Predators' movie. It is not akin to the U-ships that Engineers are shown to use.

2. Harking back to AvP, the Predators designed the pyramid with chambers to make humans gestate the Aliens. (To eventually fight the Xenomorphs and prove themselves). Also, some of the scenes suggest humans (and perhaps Engineers) to be "inferior" or worker/slave-like to the Predators.

My hunch is that, after seeing the humans/engineers being used as lab-rats to create aliens, some of the Engineers revolted against the "tyranny" of the Predators. They set off to the LV223 to develop bio-weapons to destroy Earth so that they could stop the Predators from continuing their rituals on Earth and/or eventually kill them.

Does this make sense to anyone else? Could this theory be developed further?

Anonymous said...

Lets make it easy.
Engineers created Man in order to use them as hosts to create Xenomorphs. Engineers design the black oil to infect Earth. After something goes wrong, they all die except for 1. Then Prometheus happens. Another Engineer Pilot goes to LV-223 after all communication has stopped to check up on his boys. He lands after the events in Prometheus to find a planet inhabited with the Xeno/humanoid/Engineer Queens's Eggs. He is attacked by a superior FaceHugger and is infected. After waking up after gestation, like Kane, he decides to get the F outta there and hops in his space ship to head for home. As he is flying the Alien inside him (a queen) is starting to come out. He emergency crash lands on LV-426. The queen then grows and plants eggs all around the ship until the crew of the Nostromo comes and finds them.

It is pretty much the story of Alien but instead with Engineers. Simple enough?

Anonymous said...

So something went terribly wrong on LV-223 some 2000 years prior and whatever their mission was unable to be carried out.
Why didnt any engineers from their home planet, over some 2000 years of not hearing anything from LV-223, come check on them to see what was going on?
This leads me to two possible conclusions- (a) the engineers sent out a warning to their home planet explaining something went wrong and stay away, or (b) that this was a seperate faction of engineers and their home planet has no idea what they are up to.
I tend to believe option b is the most plausible, thoughts?

on a seperate note, when we see the hologram of the engineers running into the room with all the urns and one gets his head chopped off, what happened to the rest of them? I presume they left at a later time. I also think the green crystal artifact in the room holds alot of answer yet to be told...

Shags Chamberlain said...

Please everybody, just accept that it doesn't make sense! Ridley needs time with his complex concepts. Give him 25 years and a few directors cuts and it'll all come together...

Anonymous said...

Wow, after reading the post at 19 June 2012 18:31:00 GMT, I could actually go back and watch the film again, and probably enjoy it a lot more. Nice stream of logic, and very simple. Hate to admit it, but I just need a stronger Alien tie-in, and that storyline would do that for me.

Also liked the earlier post theorizing LV-223 is the planet seen at the beginning of the film, and the coupling of the Engineer DNA and (unknown to be) existing DNA on the planet in that opening scene accidentally creates the alien lifeforms that led to their downfall.

Another possibility that I pondered...what if that opening scene is a foreshadowing type of thing, and highlights how the engineers WOULD contaminate Earth if they (had) got the chance?

Anonymous said...

The pictures in the cave dwellings on Earth; how could this star system, 35 lights years away be seen?

Mark C said...

Just saw the movie the other day and found this awesome breakdown - great work Adam.

Couple of thoughts/questions that may have been thrown into the ring already:

* The Engineers all look the same suggesting they are clones. in other words they are not so much Engineers as Engineered. Who 'made' them?

* Do these clones exist to spread the goo/ create life on uninhabited planets for the purpose of being used as hosts of a bio-weapon the clones are developing?

* If suitable host life-forms evolve on said 'seeded' planets, they could choose to drop a few eggs and let xenomorphic 'nature' take it's course. Why don't they? Why choose to leave descriptions of the star system where LV-223 is located? Could it be that they only desire technologically advanced life forms to make the journey?

Ach... there are so many more.

My biggest gripe with the film is my lack of interest in most of the characters - Fassbender and Rapace were convincing but the rest had too many cheap/ unbelievable moments/reactions to events. Charlie's dive into a bottle and desire to get hammered seemed bizzare, ridiculous, even.

Sorry, not to structured or coherent on reading back, but hey... fits with the subject matter!

Mark C

Adam Whitehead said...

"The pictures in the cave dwellings on Earth; how could this star system, 35 lights years away be seen?"

Zeta Reticuli is easily visible from Earth (though only from the southern hemisphere). How the cave map points the way to the star is unclear, though, as it doesn't fit the pattern of the constellation of Reticulum.

Anonymous said...

Excellent input from great fans.
My 2 cents:
"don't all children want to grow up and kill their parents?"
When an individual or species looses faith in God, they degenerate into aimless creatures of folly, seeking power and control to fill the void. There is no telling where our true origins began, but there have been species before us and before the Engineers and before the Xenos, and so on. I think the directors take on this, is that there are two ways to think about why we are here and what paths we ultimately take: the benevolent path is to nurture your progeny and they in turn support you, and cooperation reigns in the edict to go forth and prosper. The other is the malevolent path which involves destruction of the generation before you, or even other species, and the competition over space and resources, or the hijacking of entire species like a virus spreading throughout the universe. The latter is obviously the various forms o the Xenos that we have seen. The former is the human race. The Engineers are a mysterious race, perhaps somewhere in between these two paths.. Very interesting. Perhaps they are clones taken from us, by another intelligent species, bread into humanoid beings in the zeta reticulii system as experimentation and hybridization with the Xenos. It then makes sense that when they saw their human ancestors their instinct was to destroy us after uncovering the truth about themselves, the child kills its mother..

Anonymous said...

the movie was terrific, they created man and were punished for it . Probably by [their gods] the xeno's, who else do you create murals of . fixating on tiny details and semantics is foolish, most everything can be refuted and they have admitted to purposely leaving things open ended. that was their point, there are no easy answers to the hard questions.

Angel Rivera said...

graphic acording to this theory

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151047521041763&set=a.10150210947521763.344081.512846762&type=3&theater

Fish tracker said...

The Xenos are no Gods, they are ( and always have been, primitively intelligent, and driven by two rules.
Rule #1 Kill everything.
Rule #2 Propagate.
They only don't kill if it interferes with rule #2.
They are not creators in anyway shape or form-except for themselves. . I am all for Ridleys idea of " leave some mystery for the watcher" but there is far too much here. Been reading tons of forums lately and same theme emerges everywhere-???????.

Eoghan harron said...

The comments people are making about the predators are totally irrelevant. Aliens and predators have no connection as far as the actual alien storyline goes. It's just a comic book spin off that got made into a shit movie.

In regards to the green crystal comments, to me that looked like a xenomorph's head, at least part of it . Perhaps with its body contained in some kind of device that is harvesting it's genetics? Perhaps that room was a science lab where the engineers were artificially creating the chemical makeup of the creation of the facehuggers.

The possibilities are endless. I hope there was really a lot of thinking involved in this part of the tale of the alien myth and we are yet to see the conclusion. One can only hope!

Fish tracker said...

this is a great link. This guy may on to something with allot of his ideas, I enjoyed. I may not agree with everything, but he had some good points and theories.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISZkLZjcw8E&feature=related

Fish tracker said...

This guy had some great theories. Well worth watching (keep your finger on the pause button)
cheers


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISZkLZjcw8E&feature=related

Anonymous said...

This film has too many problems in general... I liked it only for the action, once you analise it carefully it's full of crap :(
Some problems I haven't seen mentioned (sorry if I missed something):
David goes DeeDee on everyone several times pulling all kinds of weird buttons and no one finds it strange. And luckily all it ever does is holograms and cutesy stuff, it would be more realistic if that had locked them in the corridor or something. Also why would one have a surveillance record (I supposed that's the role of the hologram) player in the middle of a random corridor with no protection whatsoever? why would they play exactly the last moments of those guys? What the hell was the gooey stuff on the buttons David goes "ohh!" about?
The falling ship scene is another ridiculous thing, it just keeps going and going like a wheel, so balanced, until it kills weylands daughter. What're the odds? and why oh why did shaw and vickers keep running along it's path? it's just ridiculous.
Everything in this movie seems convenient,every event, crisis or not seems to beat incredible odds. Also after a crisis there's immediatly another crisis to keep our interest, no story or explanations in the middle.
I was seriously disappointed by the movie.

mrakhoover said...

If the engineers had created life on Earth 3.8 billion years ago, then our DNA would not still match or if it did then all life on Earth would match the Engineers (which it doesn't). It is also an unfeasibly long time for the Engineers civilisation to exist unchanged.

It is more likely that the Engineers added their DNA to life that already existed on Earth but not combining with it, thereby starting the genus Homo 2.5 million years ago. But this is still an unfeasibly long time for a civilisation to exist.

Now, as far as I remember from the film, it is Elizabeth and her partner who came up with the hypothesis that the Engineers are our creators based on, as Elizabeth says; "what I chose to believe" or faith, wishful thinking, rather than evidence.

Therefore I think a more realistic reason our DNA matches is that Elizabeth got it the wrong way round. The Engineers are not our Creators but the genetically altered descendants of humans that were abducted from Earth at various times over the last 35,000 years or so. This is why the cave paintings point to the stars, because that is where they were being taken.

They were abducted by aliens we have not yet met. Possibly the Xenomorph depicted in the mural.

In this hypothesis the Xeno in the mural would be a sophisticated and highly intelligent race (the Xeno from Alien and Aliens would be an abomination of this race created by accident or by design). Why they abducted the humans we can only speculate at this stage.

I think the sacrificial Engineer at the beginning was not on Earth, this could even be a flash forward, maybe the Xenomorph home planet?

Anonymous said...

Agree with above theory..
I like to think that humans are the unique creatures coveted by an advanced species we haven't seen, perhaps for experimentation which led to the "engineer" with identical human DNA, and experimentation which also led to the Xenos. It may be that the chamber room with both Xenos mural and big engineer head is a trophy room.. But I can't quite figure out timing of the crescent ship's arrival on the planet, the construction of the beehive earth structure on top of the ship, and the stockpiling of the biological weapon.. Mysteries I hope will be answered in a sequel, or better yet, by the fans who would make vastly better screenwriters!

jsharbour said...

Here are my thoughts while watching the film which no one has really addressed yet after reading all the comments.

1. First of all, the Engineer civilization is engaged in a great Civil War of Ideals. A) Religious worship of life, creation, perfection, and spreading "perfect life" throughout the universe. B) Science-minded Engineers who oppose the religious crazies and are attempting to STOP THEM from spreading their crazy life-goo everywhere.

2. The black goo has nothing to do with xenomorphs! The black goo is not even a bio weapon. It is a bio-DNA ENHANCER. The goo is not about xenos, it affects every lifeform it touches and tries to IMPROVE that life. The worms in the soil become snakes. Halloway's sperm/Shaw's egg, was not about birthing a xeno, it was an effect of the goo, improving the sperm/egg cells in their early forms. Essentially, the fetus inside Shaw did not have time to become human, it developed quickly from the earliest evolutionary fetus.

3. Why then did it impregnate an Engineer and birth a xeno? Because, the xenos are the epitome of evolution. The Engineers created a mural of "evolution perfected" showing a xeno. That shrine was a holy place. The squid creature had the goo in its DNA. The Engineer was the last survivor of the "science" Engineers who wanted to stop the spread of life, and saw humans as the product of a gross experiment. Worse, he knew the humans had the goo in them.

4. The Engineers do not serve the xenos, and they are not androids. They are flesh and blood but their DNA is perfect from a human sense. Remember the Engineer in the opening scene who sacrificed himself. He was wearing a robe, carrying the goo in ceremonial fashion. Drinking the goo was ceremonial, the way he opened the container and drank. It was a religious experience to give himself to a new world to improve it's lifeforms (here is the "Prometheus" scene). That is what the Engineers do--bring all life up to perfection. It just so happens that Xenos are the epitome of evolution. That is the ultimate religion, embracing what "God" created--life--and taking it to the ultimate level. This conflicts, of course, with science, technology, which humans represent. Remember this was addressed Ridley's first Alien film--the android said the xenos were perfection, as I recall.

5. The Engineer attacked the humans upon waking because they were monsters of bio engineering by the religious fanatic frings of his race, which he opposed and was at war with (whether the war continues, who knows?). The humans were like walking weapons of mass destruction, like innocent children holding live grenades.

jsharbour said...

(cont'd)

6. Why the star charts? It was DNA knowledge passed on by the "Priest Engineer" who sacrificed himself to raise the life on Earth. That knowledge was inherent in the human genome in the earliest humans. Presumably, it faded after thousands of generations leaving only the murals. This doesn't necessarily mean it was intentional. The early humans may simply have retained some memory from their "father" or perhaps it was intentional. What purpose is there to return to LV-223? That is the "homeworld" of the religious sect, the storehouse of the goo they created with intentions to spread it across the galaxy.

7. Due to the way the "Priest Engineers" treat the goo, I speculate that LV-223 is the homeworld of the goo. It doesn't make sense to me that the Priest Engineers would go to all the trouble to create the extensive complexes and horseshoe starships unless those were R&D centers (i.e. the corridors, etc, for breeding xenos). I think Captain Janek was right about that, it was an R&D complex, but NOT intended as a bio-weapon, but for religious purposes.

8. In summary: I believe the xenos result from the goo, not the other way around. The xenos are the epitome of evolution, perfectly adaptable. The goo brought them to life, probably by mistake. The Engineers revere the xenos as the height of nature, but still fear it. Some crazy religious fringe began worshipping the xenos and made it their purpose to spread the God-goo. The rest of their civilization tried to stop them. Hence, a civil war.

Kraeg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kraeg said...

Some brilliant ideas on this page so far, to which i'd like to add my own.

The common theme through films within Scott’s universe is the father/son relationship of creating life.

The film suggests that as life becomes more and more advanced, it feels the drive to create a subordinate race.

On earth Replicants were created by humans. Humans were created by engineers. On some other race's world, the engineers were created. These engineers may have been created as seed beings that assisted in terraforming new worlds as in the beginning of Prometheus. The deleted scene containing the older looking being suggests to me a creator and it’s creation. Or the Engineers may have just been slaves constantly carrying out the bidding of their masters.

Ash and Bishop both showed incredible curiosity for the biology of the xenomorphs suggesting Replicants may have one day attempted to create their own sub race.

At some point, the created species ends up resenting their 'father/creator' in the same way that Roy Batty resented Tyrell. When he couldn't provide the answers he needed, Batty destroyed Tyrell. Supported by comments in the film about wanting to kill our own father, and that once the kings time is done he should move on, it stands to reason that this is always the ultimate result of creating a sub race.

Once the engineers became aware of this with their own masters several thousand years ago, they perhaps decided to put an end to humans to save their own lives. The xenomorphs were another biological sub race designed by the engineers to destroy either a) their masters, b) humans, c) both… continued next post

The engineers' architecture denotes biologically grown materials rather than constructed materials, and due to the design by HR Giger, share common look/feel with the xenomorph suggesting that they were grown as tools. Somewhere along the way, the xenomorph tools came in contact with the DNA enhancing material (black goo) and achieved a formal biology, turning them into more of an species than a tool.

Once the awakened Engineer became aware that he had humans addressing him, his first desire was to kill before being killed. Weyland asked of him the same question that Roy Batty asked of Tyrell, namely - more life. It is possible that this question on other worlds was the actual precursor to open rebellion so the Engineers' response was to kill these beings, thus stopping the revolution before it even began.

We don’t know for certain, but the map suggests the Engineers were planning to return to earth. It may have been to kill them, or at the time it may have been another planned ‘dose’ of the DNA enhancer. They have been keeping tabs on us that may have been previous attempts to destroy us, or attempts to help us along. Being a slave race themselves, it is likely that they chose to raise humans as self governed rather than slaves.

There is so much more along this line to explore, and it doesn't begin to close all of the plot holes witnessed in Prometheus, nor does it excuse the blatant stupidity of some of it's characters. But it does help flesh out Scotts father/creator themes and possibly clear up the very complex relationships between the species we've encountered so far.

And in a nod to the first Alien, we are shown a completely different species in the first scene of Prometheus, their massive spaceship, and their less perfect physical appearance, only to have them disappear completely from the rest of the movie, the way Ridley Scott did with the engineer/space jockey in Alien.

Thank you for reading if you made it this far.

Fish tracker said...

Nice theories. I heard Scott say a few times in interviews how he thinks how much better people imaginations were compared to what the movies could provide. He was onto something. For example, in Alien, we saw little of the alien, kept our imagination flowing. The suspense was awesome. But in prometheus, there was too much "imagination" and too many hOles in the story.

mrakhoover said...

The behaviour of the 'scientists' bugged me too, here's a possible explanation/excuse.

According to the Weyland Industries website, by the time of Prometheus' expedition, there are literally tens of millions of humans on planets around the galaxy, thousands of light-years away from Earth. Not remote scientific research stations but huge manufacturing, mining and refining colonies, tourist destinations etc. Faster than light travel has been around for decades at this point in time.

So, the reason the crew were more like the crew of a coastal fishing boat in Alaska circa 2012 rather than the professional crew of an Apollo moon mission is because they were only travelling to a nearby (39 light years) star system and this kind of thing was routine. Add to this the fact (Weyland website again) that simple life had already been discovered on numerous other planets then we can see why the 'scientists' were so cavalier.

Regarding the petting of the alien snake. One excuse for his behaviour is that he was a biologist/naturalist. Upon seeing the snake he thought 'now this is something I can relate to' perhaps snakes, reptiles were his specialist subject? Also think of real-life naturalist like the late and great Steve Erwin, this is exactly what he would have done.

Remember also that he was wearing a state-of-the-art space suit. Puncture resistant, stab proof (more than likely), impact resistant face mask, self contained atmosphere etc. Only natural to assume that, in his prior experience, that no mere snake could hurt him.

Ok so I'm making excuses and in my opinion this info should be in the film not just on the Weyland Industries website.

Paul Rigby said...

Very god theoretical explanation... If the script had offered this conclusion I'd have been happy, instead I am left with a 2 hour long muddled mess of a movie.

mrakhoover said...

Cheers.

Imagine the recruitment process;

Scientist: What's the purpose of the mission?
Weyland: We'll tell you later.
Scientist: Where will the expedition go?
Weyland: We'll tell you later.
Scientist: How long will it take?
Weyland: Later.
Scientist: Who are the crew?
Weyland: Later.
Scientist: Is it going to be hazardous?
Weyland: Ditto
Scientist: Ok, dude sign me up.

Obviously you're not going to get top notch scientists, but gung-ho risk takers. Once you get the idea out of your head that this is a professional NASA style mission then the characters actions make more sense.

mrakhoover said...

Like a magician uses misdirection to make a trick work, Ridley is doing the same, so that when he reveals 'The Truth' it will be a surprise. Those that were drawn away by the misdirection wont see it coming. This is deliberate. There are certain things that Ridley wants us to believe and theorise about to keep us from seeing the truth until he reveals it. But at the same time, he has put clues in there for those who "try harder" to work it out beforehand.

Those who believe the Engineers created us are in for a surprise.
Those who believe the Xenomorph is a bio weapon are in for a surprise.
Those who believe the Engineers want to destroy us are in for a surprise.

These are all too obvious and, like the characters in Prometheus, Ridley wants us to jump to the wrong conclusions. If you want to solve the mystery, you need to stop believing the above three concepts.

Believing any of the above is a bit like watching Blade Runner and coming to the conclusion that it was about a burnt out cop who reluctantly accepts one more mission. Then after a bit of detective work, a few scrapes and an exciting chase sequence, realises that robots can have feelings too and then lives happily ever after with Rachael.

Blade Runner goes a lot deeper than that. Ridley has said in the past that Blade Runner could be set in the same universe as Alien. I believe Ridley is planning on connecting the two or at least exploring the same core principle.

Essentially, in Blade Runner, the replicants are a threat because they have no soul or conscience. As a result, after about 5 years they become psychotic. The solution was not to program a 'soul' in to them but to give them a short lifespan and ban them from Earth. In the same way that Weyland wants more life from his creator, so did the replicant Roy Batty. It is only when Roy discovers that even his creator cannot help and he is on the verge of death, does he ultimately begin to appreciate his life and experiences and feels compassion and empathy towards Deckard. The meaning of this is repeated in Prometheus when Weyland tells David that he cannot appreciate his immortality because he has no soul. But Weyland is soulless too (eg. the way he treats his daughter etc) because he doesn't appreciate his mortality. Believing as he does, that the Engineers can grant him longer life.

Make no mistake, Ridley is aware of the legacy that is Alien and Blade Runner. The Prometheus series, after having thirty years to think it through, is going to be worthy of that legacy and will continue the themes of mortality, the soul and artificial intelligence and it's associated dangers. And the key difference between evolved lifeforms and 'created' lifeforms.

"The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else." (Eliezer Yudkowsky)

For more information; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

Fish tracker said...

He better have some answers. ( Scott)

jsharbour said...

I like your thesis, mrakhoover. It is true that there is the familiar theme in both films regarding androids going insane. Why is that so consistent if not important to Ridley Scott? You might be on to something. However, it's the director's job to tie up loose ends by the end of a film. When a director leaves all the loose ends 'loose' for a sequel, there's always the chance a sequel will not happen and then his film is fubar. (an apt acronym for this film in particular!)

Anonymous said...

Awesome explanation of the happenings. Thank you very much.

Jari Lager said...

My opinion is that the black goo helps to protect the capsules from any enemy attack as contact will turn every living being into an aggressive warrior species on auto pilot fighting any introduders. The real DNA of the Xenos is inside the capsules which David subtracted and supplied to Holloway. This would also explaiin later the birth of the Xeno like creature coming out of the Engineer's body, after succumbing in a fight to Shaw's born creation. Shaw's first ceeature is one of several and there are possibly various ways of reproduction with more then one birth in between before metamorphosing into a perfect killer Xeno.

Anonymous said...

@ Adam Whitehead

Good overall presentation.

But if we're in the speculative mood:

You say that the mural on LV-223 suggest that the Xenomorphs were already in existance at that time. It makes sense. And if we accept that the Juggernaut crash-landed on LV-426 took off from LV-223, than we can clearly deduce that what SJs had on LV-223 was kind of a major bio-engineering base. What I don't agree with is when you say that they tried to duplicate the xenomorph and totally failed on LV-223. If the mural was there that means the xenomorpf WAS successfully engineered. They didn't need to try and duplicate it and fail in doing so! If the Juggernaut crashed on LV-426 originated from the base on LV-223 with xenomorph eggs intended for some other world, maybe the base on LV-223 carried out further experiments and those maybe went wrong.

iseeyoupenguin said...

OK heres what happened:

"God" creates 'engineers'and humans

engineers evolve quickly; discover genetic engineering, spaceflight etc.

engineers discover evolutionary ooze perhaps synthesized from xenomorphs, set-up factory on LV-223

engineers discover earth c:aprx 2000 years ago

engineers decide to use testing site for xeno-derived bio weapon

"God" punishes engineers kiling all on LV-223

humans evolve and discover space travel etc etc

dun!

Anonymous said...

Simply put...the last big face hugger is going to lay the seed that will be the first true Alien creature we're familiar with. The film simply explains how through different DNA the alien came to be, simple!
The engineers toy with DNA and life thus creating and destroying it at will for no apparent reason we humans can comprehend, hence the skirmish at the end when the poor synthetic human had his head ripped off showing the nature of these engineers. I enjoyed and felt it was explained well enough to support the proceeding Alien films, please no more dribble...Scott did a great job and I look forward to the next installment!! over an out!

Anonymous said...

So I read that this Prometheus film is really silly. Reading this post and the comments confirms that.

I don't like directors and writers taking the audience for fools and thinking they can just leave blank holes in plot and logic, seeing that it is "science fiction afterall". There needs to be some coherency and logic to it, otherwise it is not credible at all.

I also read that Scott is a total tool, and that the writers had to remind him of the concept of gravity when they were exchanging ideas for the script.

'Nuff said...

P.S. Wastrel's idea about banning people from revisiting and violating good stuff they made 20 years ago is excellent. Too bad that Ridley Scott is trying to be the new George Lucas...

Fish tracker said...

>>>P.S. Wastrel's idea about banning people from revisiting and violating good stuff they made 20 years ago is excellent. Too bad that Ridley Scott is trying to be the new George Lucas... <<<

agree, but this movie was so easy to make awesome how could he *f* it up so bad? So many great directors that could have made the best movie in years...set the genre back 20 years with this crap.

Fish tracker said...

Just watched the newest predator movie (Brody).... Sure looked like a engineers skull in the predator camp....just saying.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that the ship flown by Elizabeth Shaw and David crashed on the nearby LV-426 due to human, android or mechanical failure and Shaw was in fact somehow infected with an Alien queen embryo?

In this case the Delerict Spaceship from Alien would in fact be David and Elizabeth's ship and the Space Jockey would in fact be Shaw herself, in the exoskeletal suit. The queen would subsequently have laid the eggs in the cargo hold of the Derelict Spacecraft. Alternatively, the eggs could already have been there and the chestburster wasn't necessarily a queen.

Anonymous said...

nope - the ship on LV-426 has been there for centuries.

Interesting is the musical theme: the Engineers use sound tonalities to control their ship, that is, abstract communication. Humans use sound tonalities to communicate feelings, quite often through music. Perhaps we will see Shaw communicating with Engineers or other supreme been via music (like in E.T.)

Anonymous said...

The Engineers failed twice at controlling those Xeno's, but Ripley was a one woman Xeno killing machine! Go Humans!!!!

WOZZ said...

Could it be that the ship flown by Elizabeth Shaw and David crashed on the nearby LV-426 due to human, android or mechanical failure and Shaw was in fact somehow infected with an Alien queen embryo?

The first thing I thought of after Shaw's auto-termination was - 'what if it was twins?'

I appreciate the centuries old ship bit, but it's an interesting muse....


gnuffy said...

didnt read all the comments but your how do you explain in your last theory, that there was a map on in the cave which let them to the engineers?

little steve 42 said...

I don’t know if this was brought up in the comments but on Google it said that there was no date given but on the first alien the date comes across the computer in the being and it said 2037 and in Prometheus it is given as 2093 to me that seems to be a huge factual error for a movie that started it all 50 years after they fought alien

Adam Whitehead said...

ALIEN takes place in 2122 (as backdated from the date of 2179 given in ALIENS). There is no computer screen in ALIEN that says it takes place in 2037.

Axis Antelum Mundi said...

Just a question:
The sacrificial Engineer brings life on Earth. It took MILLIONS of year for humans to evolve from mono-cellular organism to human beings (remember the millions years of the dinosaurs supremacy?)
During all this times, the super-intelligent race of the Engineers did NOT evolve at all? Same biotech (black goo), same body shape? They were not able to fashion better weapons? (even WE are able to destroy all life without the need of uncontrollable predators)
And they did REMEMBER what their old ancestors did on earth millions of years before? Really?

Is this just me or there is something very odd here?

Bertie Wiseman said...

All your questions and theories miss one great big problem, why would the visiting engineers point to a small rocky moon orbiting a ringed planet that takes two years to get too, which has installation full of DNA Raping morphing black Goo!!!

I think it was a warning miss interprated by shaw and DR Hollaway, lost through generations or maybe covered up my Mr Wayland eager to meet the creators of man.

Its clear there are two different races of engineer or maybe it was just a suite we were witnessing when he got out the stasis chamber but I doubt it.


Basicly Dr Shaw got it right they did engineer us but got the wrong idea about the paintings it was a warning that death will come from above. Where to look for it if we ever managed space travel if you can manage space travel you most certianly have the abiltiy to protect yourself in a hostile enviroment. Space is pretty hostile last time I read up about it.


It doesnt matter what the droid said to the Engineer when he was woken up, he was going to go ape shit anyway, Dr shaw went mental at him to get answers. think it was obviouse by this point with all the jars and david filling last second details about the enginers they were there to screw the earth over.

only thing that confuses me now is why did Dr shaw get the idea they changed there minds?

pretty obviouse that said in the film everything when to pot?

films is a mess rushed is my honest opinion but i stilled enjoyed it.

Wlcina said...

1) The space jockey drinking DNA transformer (black goo) was on Earth, and gave initial boost to start life on earth, a Man was born, and this can explain 100% DNA comparison (however, not whole DNA string is compared, only some important parts)

2) I believe he drinked that transformer for purpose, and as we can see ship taking off from Earth, I also believe that this "Prometheus" jockey was part of group they wanted to create life on Earth.

3) The same group was visiting Earth multiple times and gave the information about the base on LV 233 in pictures (star maps). Why ? - I think they knew, that man race will visit the base in future, when they will find the clues, and it will be technically possible (spaceship, hypersleep etc)

4) Main question is - why they wanted man to visit LV 233?
- one of answer is - there were at least 2 factions of jockeys
creators - which were creating intelligent life
destroyers - the one which wants to rule universe

I also believe, that the LV 233 station was station of creators, (thats why they wanted to be visited by humans after humans get evolved, and developed star travel)
(They may also put seed on other planets, and gave clues to find them also on them)

However, they were attacked by destroyers, which used another (modified) DNA transformer2, the creators were killed (piles of dead bodies) by creatures created with this DNA transformer2. The destroyer also infected, or modified all DNA transformer2 to create hostile creatures. Creatures later on died (by age ;-) ). One of destroyers (there could be just this one) programs ship to earth to erase human kind with DNA Transformer2, but somethink bad happens and he stays in hypersleep.


(I think there were 2 kind of, because the one which "Prometheus" drunk at start of movie has totally different effect. Lets say DNA transformer for the good one, and DNA transformer2 - for modified (creates hostile creatures))

5) When humans awake the destroyer, he knew that creators experiment goes successful and he started to eradicate humans asap :D, also he was planing to get to Earth and use DNA transformer2 to eradicate humans completely


Derelict on LV 426 story

thats just my opinion

It could be a creator, which was infected by hostile creature (during the sleep etc / he didnt knew it), probable fleeed (dunno the word ;-) ) from LV 233, he recognized (after the pain or whatever symptoms) that something bad happened to him, started to transmite warning signal and landing on LV 426, from his body alien queen emerges and lays eggs which were found by Nostromo crew. Queen later on died from hunger or age ;-D, (nothing to eat on LV 426 right ? :D)

The differences between alien species - could be explained that they are based on hosts (as the alien in alien3 (dog/cow) was different from standard - human born aliens

Anonymous said...

In one of the deleted scenes of Prometheus, Fifield and Milburn find a "skin", reminding of the original Alien lifecycle. Thoughts on that one?

Fish tracker said...

Still a shitty movie. Scott was way off base.

HeftyJo said...

Well, I saw it for the first time on Blueray last night. Artistry was excellent, visuals awesome, acting was enthusiastic, storyline ham-handed and dim-witted; and welcome to your average post-modern movie of the 21st century -- superhero movies and all. With that said, I like it.

The million to 1 contrast ratio on my tv helped pick up details that I'm certain some people may have noticed. I see people saying the engineer in the beginning is drinking black goo in the beginning but he's not. The white engineer at the beginning of the movie drinks a goo that is in fact not black and it fizzes like a soda almost. When David the droid had the little drop of black goo on his fingertip there were little flecks of light inside the black goo. That would suggest the goo irradiates some type of energy as little microscope robots tumble and twirl about. Same thing happened when David squeezed the green goo from the control panel between his fingertips and it sparkled with energy. That green goo was probably designed to power the interface and communicate to the door when it needed to open.

If I were to theorize I would say that the it was just the black goo that was the dangerous stuff. And I believe that the black goo is being harvested from the royal jelly of the queen of the zenomorphs. This is what gives everything that touches it the aggression, acid blood, preponderance to turn back into an alien through subsequent exposures. The black goo is like the 'O de Alien' of the sticky Alien goo that pours out of their mouths.

So, it seems the engineers are the "gods of goo" apparently. I think of it more like nanotech of some kind. They apparently can do it to themselves somehow even because the engineers on LV-223 appeared to have their suites actually adhering to their skin. And the fact that their technology actually is powered off it suggested they thought they had this stuff well in hand. But, like in Alien Ressurection the scientists there thought they could contain the Aliens but they had other plans it would seem.

In a way this is a story more about the fears of "grey goo" nanotech bots taking over everything and destroying the world. If you look at the movie more like the horror sci-fi that it is then you should be sitting down expecting more like Jason v. Freddy Krueger than 2001: A Space Odyssey. I guess the black goo is the new "alien" we get with the rebooted Alien genre. All I can say is this is great for writers because they can make the black goo do practically anything they want it to do.

Anonymous said...

that actually clears up alot and provides a good base for a sequel script.. it would answer some of lindelofs royal screw ups of the original story.. he ruined the prequel! dude you should make a draft and send it to hollywood! along with 10 000 or so signatures.

and for the people who say that it is leaning in a religious way taking about jesus on a cross its not unplausible.. even the idea of angels as servants of god who have whtie robes and puffy wings is more of a allegorical fallacy. we dont know wha tthe divine or servant sof god who are involved in creation truly looklike.. whose to say these engineers with thier advanced knowledge arnt a form of the servants that are meant to set balance through thier science? whose to say?

Anonymous said...

Great read Adam.

I was wondering what you think about Ridley Scott's original idea for Xeno reproduction. The one we see in the directors cut of Alien where Brett is transformed into an egg to repeat the cycle. If Ridley does not buy into the Queen idea then the events that filled the hold with eggs on the derelict on lv-426 went down in a totally different way. I think the eggs on the lv-426 derelict were the crew of the ship metemorphed by Xenos.
Has Ridley ever mentioned that he now goes with the Alien Queen scenario instead of his original idea?

Tim

Anonymous said...

Thanks. That made the most sense. Now I still wonder if the first scene in Prometheus, when the engineer drank his goo.. was he creating mankind on earth? I think so.

And how are they going to make the sequels to Prometheus since they created all these issues that needed a lengthy answer from a fan? I somewhat doubt they will use your theorizes and make it work. They will probably continue plot holes and brains will explode.

It was supposed to be a single prequel but Hollywood greed wins. And the a-hole that came up with that idea jumped ship, so ... f--k.

Anonymous said...

How do we know that the creators were leaving for Earth to kill humanity and not to pick up some humans?

Anonymous said...

Late to the party, but here's something I thought that nobody has commented on...

When the Engineer awakens, he curiously studies the exchange between Shaw and the others. He then proceeds to kill everyone but Shaw. Almost as if he sympathized with her. Or wondered what her side of the story was.

When he catches up to her later (btw, how did he make the run from the crashed ship to the shuttle without a helmet/suit?) he's not necessarily about to kill her. He pushes her against the wall angrily. Something a human might do if they just wanted answers. He could have easily offed her with his chest punch that he did to Ford (the actress from GoT).

One thing I thought would be cool would be that the "pups" in Prometheus could be reengineered into the protective laser shield thing that covers the eggs in Alien. But that's a blue (I think?) laser and the pups have a red laser.

Anonymous said...

OP :- Based on all of this I would argue that the standard xenomorph was already in existence and the Prometheus bioweapon was an attempt to replicate it.

this theory has some holes, I have just watched the film again then found this thread... how can the engineers create the black goo to replace the xenomorphs when the black goo appeared in the first scene to kick start human life on earth, if this was the case then the black goo must have been created millions of years prior to LV-223 therfor the black goo came before the xenomorphs, which leads me onto another subject... if the engineers appeared on earth millions of years ago why are the engineers ships very simuular to the ships on LV-223 and LV-426? surely their technoligy and design would have vestly improved.

Tanja I said...

I just watched the movie for the first time. It made a strong impression on me,but the problem with it is that the authors made too many ambiguous scenes. A lot is left to our imagination. The very beginning of the movie is puzzling. The shape of the spacecraft is very different than of the one we saw later in the movie. So, I thought that it was a spaceship of a different species than the Engineers and that he decided to kill himself by drinking the dark liquid and thus completely destroy his DNA and any possible evidence of his species being ever to Earth. It would be much easier for archaeologists to have found a body, not just compare drawings in caves belonging to various human cultures,and then comparing them to celestial objects and finding a map to travel to the source of human life on a distant planet in a God forsaken part of the universe. So, most probably, the Engineers created humans in their own image, but they left no physical evidence of their existence, other than folk stories, myths and legends. Most probably, they created all life on Earth in their genetic experiments,since humans and apes have such minimal genetic differences,and since all animal species on the planet have the same origin. When humans reached the point when they got the ability to research DNA, human DNA is simply human DNA, not the one of a Space Jockey. This is only the beginning of the story, but actually bears the most important question: were we a creation of God? Or was God created by humans? Is there any space left for religion in this increasingly technological world? All questions nicely put, but they are lacking any answers since we are bombarded throughout the film with unnecessary CGI elements. To tell you the truth, I am looking forward to watching the sequel and trying to get some answers.

Anonymous said...

Well said, except that the lv426 crash was caused by an engineer that was possibly infected on lv223, not while in-flight.

Panic stricken engineer on lv223 closed the door on his comrades.

Was the mural drawn by the engineers or Xenos? Reminiscent of the mural of God painting by Michelangelo. If not then the
Engineers were the slaves of the Xenos and sent to Earth to squash the rebellion being the birth of Christianity.



Mark said...

What if the engineers are at war with the predator species .... The facility is to find a way to defeat the Alien species/weapon?

Anonymous said...

Feeling well behind the times here but just have to say, great article to the OP - you've really done your homework!

Lovin' all the ideas. I really like films that get you thinking and imagining what could be/have been. maybe just a tad too much of that here though, unless the sequel(s)? help tie up the loose ends.

I like to think that the Engineers are at war with a greater foe and are developing the Aliens as a bio weapon. Or like others have said too, maybe the Aliens are hegemonising across the Galaxy and the E's are trying to find a way to stop them?

Can't wait for P2

Ash A said...

Excellent article and equally great comments too.

I enjoyed this movie despite it trying a little too desperately to marry subtlety and intrigue with blockbuster elements; the result being a slight anticlimax in the course of the film itself but utter fascination at the possibilities and concepts it left open. Here are a few of the interesting thoughts I have having read both the article and comments of other posters that raise questions for me:

1) Is the Engineer at the beginning of the planet actually on Earth? Of course it was a climate and planet that we are familiar with visually, but based off a few comments by Ridley Scott as well as his overarching ethos of trying to point in one direction only to later find it was a red herring.
2) Irrespective of the answer to the above, I am not utterly convinced that the process of molecular dissolution by the Engineer necessarily created the human race. As others mentioned, there are a few questions to consider regarding this such as the lack of perceived biological or technological evolution in the Engineer race during the millions of years of human development since then. Also, supposing the move WAS a gambit to create an intelligent species "in their own image", did they really factor in the zillions of possibilities and routes that evolution and climates etc could have taken to such unerring accuracy that they KNEW humanoid life would result? Of course this can all be dismissed through suppositional answers.
3) All those star maps - drawings done by those civilisations on instruction or supervision of the Engineers, indicating consistent if sporadic interaction between the two species, begging the question why would they stop suddenly? Why not interact with us now or during our formative technological years when we are at a peak in intellectual capacity? Again this may be washed away as "They are testing humans worthiness" etc. But they've made/instructed those star maps in the hope that it would be a message or warning (seems up for debate again) for the human race - so no need to be secretive.
4) If the Engineers wanted the human race dead, they needn't go to the lengths of creating a convoluted plan such as using the xenomorphs as they have obviously the technology and resources to make it happen quite easily. So this invites a further issue of..
5) They either DON'T want us dead but a rogue faction/race within the species do; Or they DO want us dead now as they have since that time considered us unworthy. Really though? They have monitored and observed tens of thousands, if not millions of years of human development and decided within a couple of thousand years only that we were not worth it? Either way, why so eager to kill us? Of course they may fear our 'growing threat' perhaps, but then they could wipe us out as easily as mentioned in the point above. We obviously know that at least ONE Engineer wants us gone, but the 'why' needs to be answered very, very well in the sequel or risk mediocrity.
6) Why would the Engineer kill the humans so quickly when, as a supposedly supremely intelligent being after all, he would have been astonished that these creatures have made it (surely even an aggressor would think of interrogation or something before recklessly attacking?) Seems bizarre to me.
7) The crew largely seemed oblivious to the purpose or details of the mission despite such a ridiculously important matter at hand. Some of the crew themselves seem awfully ill-suited to such a venture. You could argue that parallels can be drawn with the raucous crew on the Nostromo in Alien, though that was a freight ship and this is a scientific expedition of monumental magnitude.

There are several other interesting questions and issues to consider! Having said all of the above, let me reiterate that I really enjoyed the movie and the questions raised leave me hoping that the answers will be worthy of the questions raised by the fans on platforms like this.

Looking forward to the sequel!

Anonymous said...

You know that it's just a movie, and that there's no reality behind it to be discovered, right?

Kraeg said...

Way to hide behind an Anonymous name. If you don't realize that discussion boards like this are a creative exercise of trying to make things make sense, consider yourself informed.

If you did realize it, but commented anyway, it makes you either an idiot, or a troll.

Your call.