What is Going On in 'Prometheus'? A Universe of Questions, Answers and Theories

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus
Michael Fassbender in Prometheus
Photo: 20th Century Fox

"I love him who willeth the creating of something beyond himself and thus perisheth."

Friedrich Nietzsche in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None"

UPDATE: I have edited the age of Peter Weyland on Page 4 as a result of incorrect information I had previously.

I can't say I have Ridley Scott's Prometheus figured out. Not in the least. But I do have my own theories and I thought I'd offer up some exploratory thoughts in an attempt to figure out if what Scott and screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof brought to life actually carries weight or if they had no real clue what they were doing and instead left the audience to do all the heavy lifting. Not that I mind doing the work, clearly, but I like to know I'm doing it for a reason.

Over the next six pages I've broken the conversation down into six parts exploring the opening sequence, the Engineers, Peter Weyland, David, the black goo and finally my overall theory. Inside this are quotes from Nietzsche and the Bible, thoughts on Darwinism vs. Creationism, concept art from the film and a pair of exclusive pictures of the sacrificial Engineer from the beginning of the film.

It's a lot to go through, I know, but I didn't want to leave anything out and hopefully you'll have plenty more to add.


Darwin Shaw in Prometheus
Darwin Shaw in Prometheus
Photo: 20th Century Fox

The film begins on an unnamed planet. Some have resigned to calling it Earth, but in fact it doesn't really matter. When asked specifically Scott said, "No, it doesn't have to be [Earth]. That could be anywhere. That could be a planet anywhere. All he's doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself."

In this opening sequence we're watching what I would describe as the carrying out of an age-old ritual, a destined being, honored with bringing life to a new planet.

Concept art from Prometheus: The Art of the Film
Concept art from "Prometheus: The Art of the Film"

As evidenced by some recently revealed scans from the forthcoming book "Prometheus: The Art of the Film," the opening sequence originally included not one, but two of the so-called "Engineers". Above we see what is referred to as the Elder Engineer performing what looks like a blessing on the younger one before he does his duty in drinking the black liquid (a liquid I don't believe to be the same as the goo we see later in the film) that would eventually cause him to disintegrate, thus beginning the terraforming process.

Concept art from Prometheus: The Art of the Film
Concept art from "Prometheus: The Art of the Film"

This second piece of concept art shows the cup being given to the younger Engineer, an offering and/or religious confirmation ahead of the ritualistic fulfillment of his duties.

Scott spoke of the scene saying, "[T]he guy at the beginning is simply donating himself -- no stranger than the Aztecs or Incas would choose some poor bugger, at the beginning saying, 'Right, you're it, in the year you get all the girls you want, all the food you want, blah blah, and at the end of the year we're going to take your heart, take it out, squeeze it, and we're going to get jolly good crops and good weather next year.' It's no more than that, he's into a form of donation, except his DNA is so powerful, each molecule is like a time-bomb."

Interestingly enough, it sounds like Scott filmed more of the opening sequence than we see in the final film. Darwin Shaw, who plays one of the Engineers seen later in Prometheus, commented on Twitter saying, "You'll have to wait for the Directors cut for the full opening scene!"

Scott cut Prometheus down from two hours and 27 minutes to two hours and four minutes, which does mean there may be upwards of 23 minutes of deleted scenes. He has already said there won't be an extended cut, but extended scenes will be made available on the Blu-ray.

  • sharath


    Brad, your thoughts on the above dissection of the film please?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I really like his interpretation of the black goo and never even realized the day Shaw has the Caesarean it is actually Christmas day, but I believe he's right on that. I think it was December 23, 2093 when they landed there. Also wasn't familiar with the Bible passage he quotes:

      'And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.'

      Thanks for sharing!

      • o

        So did the alien hatch from the engineer on the 3rd day?

      • thomaskr

        That whole "birth on day of christmas" thing is really hard to swallow unless you consider it to be merely a coincidence!

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          I'm not sure what you mean by "hard to swallow". It's true, the day they land on the planet is December 23, two days later the "birth" happens, December 25.

          • M

            Considering that Dec. 25th is merely the prescribed date in which the Roman empire chose to unify pagan traditions with a celebration of Christ's birth, it's of little consequence to try and provoke a conection between this film's religious context and actual events.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't think a film filled with religious elements would happen to have such a major event in the narrative take place on Christmas Day by coincidence.

          • M

            i.e. Christ was not born on December 25th.

          • M

            So maybe the implication was that since Christ is the Savior of the world, the Alien will be the destroyer of the world.

        • Adam Greco


          I would like to thank you for your insight and your perception.Your site has attracted many thinkers such as myself and your venue has served as a watering hole for those like myself who either were disappointed in the movie or liked it very much but still walked away with many unanswered questions.Ridley Scott has given us many hours of masterful movie making such as Kingdom of Heaven,Blade Runner and the Sci-Fi effort which changed the whole genre...Alien.He gave us the characters such as Ripley,Decker and Bailian.So how do you explain Prometheus? I would like to introduce my own theme from Prometheus which I don't beleive has been discussed yet.I call it the "Humiliation of Man." There are several instances where mankind,as represented by the mission specilaists and crew of Prometheus, are harmed,humbled and humiliated by the Engineers and others including the humans.The first such example is the look of doubt on the face of our suicidal benefactor just before he drinks the DNA in the Garden of Eden and creating the "Dawn of Man".(Kubrick)Did the Engineer have foresight into what he was creating or was he just considering the weight of his sacrifice? We will never know.Then there was the poisoning of Charley who represented youth, love and passion for the advancement of an old man's futile immortality. The act was carried out by an android who seemed to enjoy using Charley as an amateur experiment in hideous mutation.The there is the further contempt of David for Elizabeth who indirectly arranges her conception and harvesting of a monster.Then in the stasis room of the Engineers, the promonent trophy of achievement
          on the wall is the Zenomorph....not a homo sapien! The final act of contempt again man tool place when David was speaking to the Lone Surviving Engineer.I would give a million dollars to know what David said to the creator of the creaters of the android.This is such an epic milestone in the history of the universe and we are left to guess what was said.The response of the Engineer is to quickly destroy the humans as fast as he can and with extreme prejudice.After the slaughter we are left with a god fearing scientist(Shaw)and a arrogant murderous android...an act often repeated in the history of man...the best and the worst manage to survive defying any sense of justice.David told Charely that "One must destroy in order to create." This is a very true statement when you stop to consider that 98% of every life form on earth that ever existed is now extinct.Perhaps we humans fare better in the sequel.Regards.

      • Adam Greco

        Are there any female Engineers? How do they reproduce? Or are the Engineers androgenous?

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          An interesting question and we have absolutely no idea.

          • rxse7en

            Just came back from my second viewing. This time around, I noticed that the engineer at the end is different than the sacrificial one in the beginning. The first one was smooth-skinned over his entire body. The one at the end has the biomechanical/exoskeleton skin of the xenomorph. It was NOT wearing a pressure suit. This leads me to think that:
            1. The engineers evolved to have the exoskeleton, or…
            2. they were genetically manipulated to have the exoskeleton, or…
            3. they are two separate types of engineers.

            Any thoughts?

        • rxse7en

          My theory is that the engineers are highly advanced, dna-based androids. There are no females and they were all created by the Creators (we see their oblong ship leave in the beginning)

          • Amy Brown

            Suppose the engineers AND humans who share the same DNA were made by a higher being - Shaw gives a big clue when she and David discuss their trip to the Engineer's home. Shaw makes a supposition that the Engineers and Humans share the same DNA but that does not mean the Engineers created the humans. If the aliens are the ones controlling the Engineers, then are they a weapon made by the same Entity that created the Engineers and humans? Are they supposed to keep the Engineers in line and the idea again fits in that the Engineers represent the fallen angels - there were not any female fallen angels - who procreated with the female humans and created a super race - the result was that the fallen angels were sent to hell for eternity. Perhaps the Engineers/angels are being guarded by the weapons (aliens)made by the same Entity that created all the life forms in the movie. Perhaps the Engineer killed the humans for bothering him and for causing their destruction in the first place...total anger. The aliens are just bio-weapons but capable of thinking and of controlling whoever they are programmed to control.

          • shawnster

            Why do think the space jockey engineer was not wearing a pressure suit? When they enter the "bridge" there are 3 pressure suits hanging at the entrance. 3 suits for 4 cryosleep pods? Seems like one is missing, the one being worn by the living space jockey engineer. The helmet was already loaded into the navigation chair. Unless you assume those 3 were guards, but why would they die standing up?

          • OFLOW

            Lifted this from another website but I tend to agree. I think the engineer at the end was wearing a suit though, hes just wearing a biotechnology suit that sorta merges with his body. I think their whole ship is biotech. (Like I said in my other post I think the engineers are actually sort of like Chaos SpaceMarines from Warhammer 40k)


            To give some historical/mythological background that may shed some light, Ridley stated the SJ culture was based on Persian Myths. This would be Sumerian/Akkadian/Hindu. This is all taken from the Atra Hasis.

            Creators - "G"ods- Annunaki - Dragon Humanoids (Naga, Dragon Kings,)

            Helpers - "g"ods - Igigi - Engineers. (Android like living beings....BIomechanical humanoid. Key features- Pale skin and large black eyes. Also known as watchers, Grigori, and Archons) (in many summerian texts they are actually referred to as "Pilots". Pretty much the Annunaki Air Force.)

            When the Annunaki began terraforming the earth, they had the Igigi do the work for them. After a few thousand years the Igigi revolted and went on strike. The Annunaki then decided to create humans to do the work for them.

            They sacrificed one of the rebel Igigi named Geshtu to use his blood and dna to make human beings, by mixing it with elements native to the earth.

            (In the movie, this can be explained by the the different oval spaceship at the beginning representing the spaceship of the Annunaki)

            (It can also be explained by the concept art that leaked from the official book this week)

            (According to wikipedia it also says this about the Igigi: "Though sometimes synonymous with the term "Annunaki," in one myth the Igigi were the younger gods who were servants of the Annunaki, until they rebelled and were replaced by the creation of humans." This is reflectled exactly in the concept art below!)

            Even though the humans were created and did the work, 1/3 of the Igigi still werent satisfied and sought revenge for Geshtu, so they rebelled again against the Annunaki Lords and began breeding/mixing with the human females creating Nephelim. This is what sparked the Prime Lord Enlil to flood the earth. Some humans were saved by Enki, the Lord responsible for the sacrifice of Geshtu and the creation of humans. Enlil and the rest of the annunaki decide to return home and let the humans develop on their own. Enki and his family stay behind. The Igigi are forced to leave earth as well. The remaining rebel Igigi are imprisoned on a planet on the way back to the homeworld and it is said as punishment and as a mark they are altered into a demonic appearance, no longer retaining the Angelic appearance.

            Enki and his crew are probably the ones leaving the maps for humans to find, along with the ones helping humans advance throughout time.

            The sacrfice engineer is Geshtu

            The lone engineer is most likely Marduk or a servant/worshipper of Marduk.

            The xeno is Mushussu, a creature Marduk fashioned and used as his pet.

            The "Engineers" we see are trying to destroy Earth are of the Igigi rebels who view earth as their own. They have always despised humans because the Annunaki saw us as more in their likeness than them. IT's possible that the Igigi have long since destroyed or taken over the annunaki and the homeworld, and Earth was like going to claim the prize or spoils.

            They mustve used the Xeno's to win this war and through its perfection it has began to destroy and infect the Igigi who manufacture and transport it, creating more Mushussu.

            the xeno in Alien is most likely an older pilot igigi birthed Mushussu egg crossed with human or a future Annunaki birthed one which would explain the size difference in hosts.

            It is mentioned in several lesser stories that Marduk created the Mushussu out of using the essence of the Gods' (Annunaki) he killed as a symbol of his conquering and being able to control them... ie the mural.

    • Owen

      That is a fantastic theory, and in fact Damon Lindelof linked it on Twitter, saying "I love the way you think."


      • Winchester

        Yeah, I have to say that that theory above is pretty intriguing and certainly somewhat provocative if it was what Scott and Co were thinking.

        Though Brad's theory is great as well. They both are and that's what's even better. They can co-exist.

      • Nigel

        Yes I agree and have often been fasinated by the whole Nephlim part of the bible. Which is basicaly the offspring od the soms of god (engineers) and the daughters of men.
        The New American Bible commentary draws a parallel to the Epistle of Jude and the statements set forth in Genesis, suggesting that the Epistle refers implicitly to the paternity of nephilim as heavenly beings who came to earth and had sexual intercourse with women.[11] The footnotes of the Jerusalem Bible suggest that the Biblical author intended the nephilim to be an "anecdote of a superhuman race".[12] Genesis 6:4 implies that the nephilim have inhabited the earth in at least two different time periods—in antediluvian times "and afterward." If the nephilim were supernatural beings themselves, or at least the progeny of supernatural beings, there is a theory that the "giants of Canaan" in Numbers 13:33 were the direct descendants of the antediluvian nephilim, or were fathered by the same supernatural parents.

        But to me that accounted for men like Samson???

    • Julian

      Holloway did NOT impregnate Shaw with the 'Deacon'. That psuedo-xenomorph erupted from the chest of the Engineer at the end of the movie. Shaw gave birth to a 'Trilobite', something akin to a gigantic facehugger.

      • Matt

        Do you think maybe the reason the Engineer was the only one in a deep sleep was because he new he had the xenomorph ready to hatch?? Then, after he was killed by the "trilobite" it hatched anyways??

    • Julian

      Also, the goo didn't melt Fifield's helmet, the acid from the Hammerpede worm did. He was exposed to the goo when he fell face first into it after the acid had melted open his face guard.

      As for the xenomorph mural on the wall, yes you would be correct in your inference that the Engineers had forehand knowledge of them, if not reverence for them. What usually goes unnoticed in that same mural are the traditional sized facehuggers latching on to humanoid faces on the bottom left and right sides, copied directly from older Giger artwork.

      To me, a personal theory is that the Engineers simply created us so they could use us as hosts to create xenomorphs. There's lots of theories out there, and mine could easily be wrong as it doesn't explain why the Engineers would even leave clues as to how to find them, but it does eerily relate to the idea that 'to create something (xenomorph) you must first destroy (humanoid)'.

      • Ryan

        I'm in total agreement with you. "Engineers simply created us so they could use us as hosts to create xenomorphs."

        • Nigel

          I don't see how the Xenomorphs are 'perfect beings' unless you think a perfect being as something that would destroy any living being on any planet including engineers.

        • manoj

          If that theory holds true, then again one question arises is why those engineers wanted to create xenomorphs? what will they achive by creating xenomorphs? Those xenomorphs as seen in the movie doesn't seems like any advanced evolution of human species either. for every cause there must be reason. isn'it?
          But i believe there might be some other theory behind it.

      • Owen

        I was thinking the same thing. After all, in Alien Ash describes the Xenomorph as a "perfect organism." I thought that perhaps the Engineers have been going around, creating life on various planets, experimenting in an effort to create the perfect being. Then when they finally (by accident or design) created a Xenomorph and realized it's perfection, they set out to purge all other life forms and convert/replace them with "perfect" Xenomorphs. So in this case, the Xenomorph/facehugger mural is a monument to their perfection. This also goes right along with Brad's notion that the Engineers weren't coming to Earth to destroy humanity, but to "improve" it.

      • Rod

        I tend to disagree with the theory that we were engineered for the purpose of hosting xenos. If you think about it, the "Engineer" race is highly advanced and most likely masters of genetics (hence their own physical perfection and perhaps the living block fluid that seems to mutate creatures with different end results). The Xeno life cycle is terribly inefficient in that a Queen Xeno must be hatched (after some unfortunate creature is impregnated). The queen lays eggs containing facehuggers who must then stalk a host and then impregnate that one. Then Xenos are spawned from the victims. Those Xenos grow in their short lifespan and subdue victims for impregnation or food.

        The Engineers I would imagined would have designed a "pet" with a far less complicated lifecycle because the Xenos cycle simply doesnt make sense. Its cool to watch but wildly impractical. If anything I would speculate that the Engineers happened upon the Xeno variation from experimenting with the black ooze on various subjects. Being intelligent and rational beings the probably marveled at the infinite variations the ooze seemed to produce (in the movie we see the worms, Fifield, Shaw, Holloway, all of whom/which experienced different effects as a result of exposure). Perhaps they were fascinated by the Xeno variation's odd life cycle, savagery and singleminded approach to survival/propagation. Who knows just a theory.

        I believe in the beginning the engineers seeded the cosmos with life where there was little/none. When we see Earth "seeded" (I am convinced its Earth its placement in the film and signifcance of the scene. Besides the soundtrack music during that sequences is titled "Earth") at the start of the film it is but another experiment much in the same way we stock a body of water with an differnt fish species to learn whether or not it will thrive to prevent its extinction or to simply help that particular ecosystem. The Engineers returned periodically to check their "project" as evidenced by the similar pictograms around the world from different cultures and time periods with no contact with one another. Perhaps at one point the Engineers considered this a failed project or there was a regime change that declared it to be immoral or a future danger and thus a perfect bio lab for their newest version of the black ooze. Has to be different because the dark liquid the engineer drank at the begining didnt do all the horrific stuff the later version did. It deconstructed his cells/DNA it didnt rapidly mutate him like Fifield or Holloway.

        I wonder if there arent two factions of Engineers. Thats an awfully terrible weapon to design just to use on some inferior species which at that point posed no threat whatsoever to them. Just a theory.

        • Rod

          Please disregard the "Earth" track correlation and planet theory. The correct track at the begining of the film is "Life".

        • http://www.xbox.com Mac

          I like the thread posted.

          There had to be separate factions of Engineers. What beings would not lust for ultimate Power in the Universe. The facility was for bio-weapons and something went definitely AMUCK.

          I bet the Engineer dudes were probably manufacturing XENOMORPHS to Fight "Predator" species on other worlds. intergalactic wars over resources and control.

          I hope Scott Franchises this story until we can't take it anymore.

        • OFLOW

          I lifted this from another website as well. dont have the link for this one or the authors' name sorry, but its not mine so i'm not taking credit but I really like this idea.

          I found an article on the web and couldnt find it again so I was reading a ton of stuff about the film last night and pretty much found a bunch of theories that I'm satisfied with.

          I also disagree with the idea that the engineers created humans to host xenos. Doesnt really make sense. The xenos are bio weapons, just like they said in the movie.

          Heres why:


          The mural shows the facehuggers and the original xeno so they already exist. The mural has two main themes:

          1. The lifecycle of the xeno and how its revered as a perfect lifeform by the engineers and;

          2. The engineer with the xeno at his side like a pet/subserviant. The green crystal on the altar is the original strain of dna from the xenos.

          With all due-respect, the "Deacon" is NOT a "proto-xeno". The "proto-xeno" was the one we saw in Alien, Aliens, Alien3 & Alien:R. It was an ancient prototype of the "deacon" found on a force-landed derelict juggernaut bomber that had been there for many many years. Original xeno = old bio-weapon. Deacon xeno = the latest bio-weapon (well at least 2,000 years old).

          The "container" on the altar in front of the "ancient/proto-xeno" mural is the original 1 million plus year-old bio-weapon. The container is not an ampule, but a green gem/stone/rock/amber/fossil much like the DNA extraction method in Jurassic Park 1 (in my opinion). An altar exists because it is the SOURCE DNA code for their current "deacon" bio-weapon. All the urns in that room contain the same exact life-form along with catalystic/mutanogenic "black goo" (primordial slime).

          Remember, you have the ampule containers which inside contain a "yolk", the 4 (possibly 8, double stacked in the taller ones) "inner ampules" with break-off necks surrounded in a by the "egg-white"....the "black goo". These "urns" are "synthetics eggs"

          A much more controlled system of launching the bio-weapon (using pourous/breakable-when-impacted "urns") then their fore-fathers did playing with the actual "ancient xeno eggs".

          There are images in that mural that show the "ancient" egg/face-hugger/xeno life-cycle....therefore it cannot be the "deacon". If there were images of the body-hugger, then I'd be 100% on board.

          ...and that mural being a door? I disagree. All doors get opened by David whether desired or not.....LOL. And when he says this is just a tomb, he is correct. It is the tomb of their greatest accomplishment. The urns are ceremoniously surrounding the head like eggs used to be stored. The head in the middle isn't just any engineer's head. It is the face of the "bio-weapon" creator millions of years past. In all, this room is left a mystery in much the same way as the space-jockey was left a mystery in Alien. These questions will be answered in the sequel, I'm sure.


          I've basically come to the conclusion that this movie is basically a combination of HP Lovecraft's 'At the Mouth of Madness', 'Atra-Hasis' and 'Paradise Lost'.

          The above explanation of the synthetic xeno eggs combined with my other post about the story of Atra-Hasis pretty much close up most of the holes in the story for me lol.

        • klaas

          a weapon out of a weapon, maybe humankind was made to evolve to "aliens" (also mean all the other muta-stuff) to create a whole planet full of em, a whole planet full of weapons. or maybe they got bored in us because of no further evolution-potential, so they were like "letz remix em".

      • CB

        "it doesn't explain why the Engineers would even leave clues as to how to find them"

        This is also a problem the author's theory has... If the aliens were coming to earth to help evolution along through judicious application of black goo (which has other problems, but let's focus on this one), then why was the only evidence of their being here a map back to this particular moon?

        My thought on the subject was that the Engineers created life on various worlds for reasons, but were afraid that life might eventually become dangerous to them. So, the Engineers made this location as a kind of trap for when that life gained interstellar capability and decided to track down their makers. Their arrival on the moon triggers a goo-pocalypse both for the expedition and the planet they came from.

        The problem with that is it doesn't explain why the aliens were intent on going to earth with a full payload of goo 2000 years ago. Also, it doesn't account for the fact that the only reason anything bad happened to the human expedition was because they were either complete idiots or an android jerk. Same with waking the Engineer so he could try to resume the mission.

        This is what I find frustrating about this movie. It's not the mystery and lack of answers. I love open-ended movies like that. It's that every time I (or someone else like the author here) comes up with a neat theory to explain something, it's contradicted by something else.

        I feel like someone who just watched the first season of Lost and is saying "Wow, the explanation that makes sense of all this must be MIND BLOWING!" But then I start to feel like the reason it doesn't make sense is because there is no explanation. It's just a bunch of stuff that's thematically connected, but not logically.

        • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer


          "every time I (or someone else like the author here) comes up with a neat theory to explain something, it's contradicted by something else."

          And that's exactly why there are petitions to keep Lindelof far away from the sequel.

          "I feel like someone who just watched the first season of Lost and is saying "Wow, the explanation that makes sense of all this must be MIND BLOWING!" But then I start to feel like the reason it doesn't make sense is because there is no explanation"



    • http://www.xbox.com Mac

      Snooki would make a Horrible android. Some Rich Guy would have insisted on Planet Earth to Clone her consciousness. The Engineers were coming to earth to Evolve our species. First by landing their first Galactic (Biological Payload) at the Jersey Shore. Killing off the weak, and making some type of Super-Human for assist in a factional war over resources and power.

      Humans were to be improved-genetically for strength and to possibly to assist in some type of Galactic War.
      Perhaps, their kind was dwindling in numbers.

      Perhaps to create Super-humans to fight other species that posed at threat to them.

    • Mrs Kurt

      Is Shaw human? Why is she unable to have children? I've only seen the film once, but I thought she stated that she was sterile (ie. it wasn't him, it was her). Begs the question: is she human - also explaining David's obsession wiht her (she's in his petrie dish).

      Think about that biblical quote - this was 'visited upon her'. There has always been debate about whether Mary had further children. If she didn't - was it she or Joseph who was sterile? Was Mary's dna involved, or was she simply the host? So - was Shaw simply a host?

      If Shaw is not a host, then the goo has altered her via the sperm, presumably, transforming her from infertile to fertile. In that case, have all those changes been completed or will she be altered further? Is she evolving? If she is, if she has been 'evolved' to permit impregnation, then she must be human.

    • Isquinanamook

      I don't know if it was already said in the comments... anyway, actually on http://thebioscopist.com/2012/06/20/the-linguistics-of-prometheus-what-david-says-to-the-engineer/the words David says to the engineer are translated. It is Proto-Indo-European and means: "This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life."

      • RickMeister

        Thanks, I wondered what David said to the Engineer that got his head ripped off.

  • http://kaisaccofilm.tumblr.com/ Kai Sacco

    Awesome piece.

  • MKing

    Great article Brad. I would also like to point out that even though Vickers awakened from cryo-sleep, so did ash from the original Alien. She could be hiding the fact that she is an android or she does not know that she is. Maybe when she was made, Weyland had mind warped her into thinking that she was a real human being and that he was her father. But it's hard to believe that she never cut herself and saw the milky substance running out of her. There was also that scene when she held David, who is a android that is very strong, against a wall with her arms. I doubt that Shaw could do that.

    Anyway great article Brad and I'm looking forward to my second viewing of the film so I could see if I understand it a little better.

    • Rod

      If Janek went to her quaters to bone her (after her invitation) and couldnt tell she was an android, thats one hell of a facsimile. No pocket poon on earth can replace the real deal.

  • Criterion10

    Very good article, Brad. Despite all of the film's flaws, I still really feel that there is something special about it. IMHO, it's a different type of summer blockbuster, one that relies on ideas and a very original story.

    Some theories I had (spoilers obviously):

    I always thought that the opening sequence was supposed to take place on Earth, but as Scott claims, that is irrelevant so I'll avoid that for now. But, I still feel the significance of it is that the self-sacrifice of the Engineer is allowing him to give life to another species, as evidenced by the DNA falling into the waterfall. This still leaves the question, however, of the black goo.

    I always thought that the black goo at the beginning was the same as the black goo that David gave Holloway and the one surrounding those worm-like creatures in the cave. This further asks the question as to why it would affect the Engineer and the humans differently, something I haven't figured out yet. This is something that would probably further evidence your theory that the two black goos are not the same.

    The "Paradise Lost" connection you make is very interesting as if I'm not mistaken, the film was originally going to be called Paradise until Scott found that this title was too forthcoming and making the film's themes, etc. too clear.

    Just a few thoughts I had. I'll definitely post anything else when I (hopefully) see the film for a second time. The more I think about this movie, the more I like it, even with all of its flaws.

    • Criterion10

      Also, forgot to talk about Meredith. I personally feel that she is a human, but the purpose of her character was almost to ask, "What does it mean to be human?", a similar theme explored in Blade Runner. One thing I noticed here was the way Meredith really looked like an android, especially in the make up she wore, giving her face a real, pale look. This is something that I feel was deliberately done. However, if she was an android, why would she be so worried about death in the end? She shouldn't fear death, nor should she have any emotions. This, to me, is evidence that contradicts the theory that she may be an android.

      • M

        I just had to say a few things with others who are appreciating this film as much as I. First, I would like to thank the author of this article as he has articulated much of what I was thinking although could not readily surmize into words.

        Secondly, Criterion10, as I reviewed some of these comments I stopped on yours, mainly because I would like to aurgue that: 1. It may be possible, considering the obvious biblical similarities writer's of Prometheus used from the books of Genesis and Revelations, that the "Engineers" at the beginning of the movie were in fact Good angels, serving their master with self sacrifice in order to produce life, and as time passed, many of these angels became lost to the ways of obedience, thus falling from grace and slipping into a dark, evil, albeit demonic form of existence, creating horrible weapons. Or that, the time of the judgement was nigh, and as in Revelations, pestilence and strange creatures were to be unleashed upon the earth. This story arc may have been a partial explanation, but the necessary tie in with the Alien (perfect creature) caused a deviation of the "Paradise Lost" tribute, to a more "Alien" centric theme.

        And finally, I believe Meredith was an android, but one built not only with pure synthesised emotion, but such pure emotion that it has caused her to be above all insanely prideful, seeking the effection of her creator "father" Weylan, and fear of death.

        • M

          And I would like to add that this may just be me, but Weyland could possibly be some depiction of the "Anti-Christ" and his image of which was given a voice and allowed to speak is Weyland's android.

          And also, it was interesting to see that for all of mankind's technological accomplishment and it's implied wealth of knowledge and achievement, did not attribute to the least amount of respect from the "Engineer" save one brief second where David speaks it's own language, and eerily gains a sense of respect or adoration from the engineer right before it's black heart overcame him and caused him to rip David's head off and kill Weyland with it. This movie gives so much to it's audience. I appreciate it as an innovative, open-ended experience where the viewer can explore so much.

        • M

          Oh, and just like Eve, Meredith fell into sinful pride. So, Weyland created them male and female. The overall theme to me is the creator and the created, because, ultimately we created the Aliens. But, having seen this masterpiece, I feel it has diminished the Alien movies into mere sub-plots. Prometheus is just one hell of an awesome movie. I suppose it wouldn't have been such an event had it not tied into the Alien movies with Weyland corp and the space jockey. The whole 30+year Alien universe project is fantastic entertainment.

          • M

            Ok, I've changed my mind.. I think Vikkers was human. David 8 is the top of the line android at the time of Promethius, and his mannerisms are unmistakably androidal in nature. Vikkers is self promoting heir to Weyland.

          • noci

            David 8 came from the production line. Maybe Vikkers is a prototype that Weyland created and tuned for him personally with more feelings and character. Actually Ridley Scott did that already in Blade Runner with the Lady in the Tower, that was also different from the other Cyborgs, cause Harrison Ford could not find out about her being a Cyborg with his standard procedures.

            And then I have to say, that I am wasted enough time now reading all your comments and the theories. Cause I finally think that the story is not that well thought out, and you are discussing it like a real scientificial factum, which is obviously not is. Sorry for my thoughts, but this is what I am thinking all the time.

            But thank you for entertaining me for the last two hours in addition to a half-decent movie. ;-)

    • Ryan

      I think that the reason we never see Holloway disintegrate like the Engineer did at the beginning is because the amount that the two took was significantly different. We still don't know how it would have affected Holloway because he was killed off too early. He looked like he was getting the same symptoms as the Engineer did just much more slowly. The black goo is like a virus right? It essentially takes a persons DNA breaks it apart and creates a new DNA strand. I think since Holloway ingested only a fraction of what the Engineer did, it slowly infected his DNA going to each individual strand throughout his body before it would have consumed him entirely. This would explain how it could have gotten into his sperm and impregnated Shaw.

      • Rod

        Im thinking the Engineers tailor the version they used to seed Earth. That version was used millions of years in our past. Time passes a mindsets/regimes/cultures change. They continue to explore the abilities of they ooze until they happen upon the wildly unpredictable form we see later in the movie. Makes good sense why they chose to store it on a remote world rather than their own as Janek wisely pointed out.

      • Amy Brown

        If there were an Entity that created the Engineers, and the Engineers either created humans OR the Entity created both, it would tie in with this and if you consider that Vickers was able to pick David up and then used her hand to dismiss him with a gesture that surely said she was superior to him and much stronger. When has there ever been a female or male stronger than an android? That was one clue plus Vickers jealously watched David and called Weyland "father" also confirms her origins. She is very cold and quite controlling - something you would not expect from a human. Ex: would the captain be able to burn someone to death just because he suspected they were contagious? How does Vickers know of the dangers unless she had been pre-advised? And we never saw the scene with the captain and Vickers - we don't know what happened. Ridley says there might have been another android - this clue makes it certain that Vickers is the other one.

        • Stefan

          Amy, I'm not saying that you are wrong about Vickers but here are a few thoughts.
          It may be possible that Vickers could pick up David (I don't remember her picking him up) because his android body may weigh as much as an adult male. Also, Shaw was lowering the body from the crashed ship to take David with her to the other Engineer ship. She was using a harness to lower the body but it didn't seem unusually heavy, compared to an adult male.

          As for burning Holloway, that could be contributed to a fear of sickness or death. After she emerged from the cryo-chamber, she started doing push ups right away. She may be hoping that her father will die soon so she can take over the Corporation. Holloway was contaminated by an unknown virus/bacteria/etc. and she didn't want it on board the ship since that is her only safe haven.

          These thoughts are just thoughts.

  • Susan

    Just out curiosity, why is "extremely spiritual" equate with perfection?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I had a variation of that sentence before, but in essence I am getting at the moralistic code of behavior and good nature. Additionally, if they are angels of God (or whatever creator you determine it to be) their spirituality would be from the life force of the universe, which, to me, would equate to perfection.

      • Susan

        I guess I'm not following you. Why do moral codes based on spirituality equate perfection? Additionally, as the movie goes to show that "creators" be they man or machine, aren't perfect, why would you think a god would be so?

        Not angry, just curious of your line of thought. It's a wonderfully written piece and that religious element of it doesn't entirely click in my head.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Moral codes based on moral codes, the eternal good, actual perfection, not questionable. I am assuming a fact and I am doing so not in religious or spiritual terms. However, based on that assumption whatever their spiritual and/or moral code would be could also be considered perfect -- in this example.

          I am saying they come from THE creator of the universe and I am assuming the life force used to create these worlds is of the purest source.

          Where it goes haywire is down the line and when left to its own devices, which is how I reach my conclusion in that they are returning to Earth, not to destroy it, but to help weed out the "weak".

          It sounds like you are assuming I am basing this on some specific religious belief, which I'm not. In the world of the film it is beyond one specific belief and about them potentially getting closer to the actual source, which is where they are crossing the line (the Prometheus effect). Humans aren't meant to get that close to their maker and as a result will be "punished".

          That said, I have no idea if what I just wrote makes any sense. :)

          • Susan

            No, it largely makes sense. I suppose I'm not sure why pure equals good.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              So are we arguing semantics? Pure is pure, untainted and unaffected by the rigors of life and survival. We are born innately good, but life changes us, sometimes for the worse and I am assuming throughout time that change has gone from the pure source of its beginnings to what could very easily be looked at as the ugly face of humanity as we now know it.

          • Susan

            I speak more of the god/God of the story. I'm unsure if you're saying said being/force/etc is innately a good being, and if so, why?

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              It's an assumption. I guess I don't like to think of a theoretical creator of all things as bad. I like to think everything started from something good. I say this as someone who isn't really religious and is very much a pessimist, but I would like to think that at some point in our existence we started from something good and pure and it is our own fault things got so messed up due to greed, search for power, jealousy, envy, negative influence, etc.

          • Susan

            Fair enough. I wouldn't, personally, view the film's idea of a higher being as one that's also good in nature.

  • Jonathan

    so i've seen the movie twice, and i wrote a review/thinkpiece as a result of it. Mine tends to stick with the christian parallels and themes, though i did cover a lot more. I'd post it here, but that's 2300 words long, and i didn't fell that would do any good. You can read the full post here, but here are a couple of the more important paragraphs. Obviously, there are spoilers.

    Let's begin with the opening scene, a wonderful panorama and many beautiful scenes of a fairly empty planet, containing only water, rocks, and vegetation. A shadow appears, and soon we see a flying saucer that has deposited one of its own on the planet. He watches it leave and takes a drink of . . . something. It's a dark and thick liquid that attacks his cells, corrupting them, destroying them, and he falls apart as he tumbles over a waterfall. As he crumbles and fades away though, the remains of his body begin to change, and soon the first cells of life on that planet come into being, and begin to multiply.

    This scene, for the most part, is unlike anything else that occurs in the film. It's there both as a startling introduction, something to get you immediately interested in the movie, as well as a visual explanation of how the engineer's process works. It also brings up one of the most important motifs that will be demonstrated again and again, that of sacrifice. In order for the engineers to create life, one of them must give his life and die. Life is needed to create life (the scientific principle of the Law of Biogenesis).

    Sacrifice appears several more times in the movie. When Holloway becomes infected, instead of allowing Elisabeth to take him onboard and try to save his life while putting everyone else at risk (something which didn't work out for the crew in the original Alien), he begs Vickers to burn him, ending his life to save the others. Of course, the other major sacrifice in the film is that in the film's conclusion. Realizing that the Engineers plan is not to visit earth but to destroy it, Elisabeth begs Janek to stop the alien. Janek, along with Chance and Ravel, ram the Prometheus into the alien ship, giving up their lives to save the billions of people on planet earth.

    To me, this brings up one of many parallels with Christianity, and the film uses many symbols of Christianity either in the forefront (like the Cross Shaw wears) or in the background. Of course, the main parallel is that according to Christianity, God created man. In the film, the Engineers are the ones that created man. However, as is asked in the movie, who created them? That the answer is not given is not a problem. It seems to me that Scott is suggesting that God did in fact create the universe, or at least a god, and that we are just farther removed from him than we think. I don't necessarily agree with him if that's the case, but it is still essentially what the movie presents.

    Another parallel that to me seems obvious is the idea of sacrifice. According to the Bible, when Jesus died, he “gave up the ghost” willingly (John 19:30). Jesus' sacrifice, taking on the sin of the world and dying as punishment for that sin so that mankind could get to heaven, saving them from hell, is the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifice of Janek and the two co-pilots is, I think, portrayed in the same light. They died, but because of their death, the whole human race can live, no longer in danger of being destroyed.

    • Amy Brown

      Ridley Scott has stated the movie has religious tones and with that, I wonder why the fallen angels in Genesis 6 - also in Stichin's Annunaki tablets have not been tied to the engineers. Could it be that the evil engineers (yes, who can say what is evil since it is from one's perspective) represent order, secret rituals, an understanding of their own identity that others do not see,
      in short what they believe and act upon is their role as superior beings and with their actions and secrecy they create a role in controlling and developing the world? The engineers represent perfection, yet still they relish their differences from humanity and possibly do more harm than good in spite of their unity of spirit while the humans have less organization and understanding as a group but certainly more goodness and therefore bring hopes for a positive future. One represents all that is wrong with our world today and perhaps the reason things are wrong has to do with the beginning - the lost path has not yet been found although most humans continue to seek - in spite of chem trails, and being dumbed down by the government. Or could one represent the capitalists who destroy and fail to offer hope to those on bottom while the other group is seeking answers that will fulfill the entire human race if achieved and possibly bring about an understanding of life in order to end the negative energy that rules the world.

    • Matt G

      I find your comment in the last paragraph about the parallel of Janek's sacrifice and Jesus' to be very intriguing. It also got me thinking, when you mentioned the two co-pilots, of further parallels in the Biblical imagery: Jesus was crucified along with two other criminals, one on either side of him, just as the two co-pilots were on either side of Janek at the end. Furthermore, in the last moments, Janek's urging of "hands up" puts everyone's body into a position reminiscent of indeed having their hands outstretched on a cross.

      Not sure if you were getting at all of that yourself or not, but either way, your initial comparison sparked the further extrapolation/parallel, or at the very least further backs up your point. Thanks!

    • Amy Brown

      Everything you have written is quite wonderful except how do you know the Engineers made humans? We only saw the engineer drinking the drink and then falling into the water - disintegrating and pictures of DNA with colored and black DNA disbursed throughout that scene. First does the color of the DNA have a meaning? What if the Engineer's DNA was meant for another purpose - it was not clearly stated in the picture and I have not read any conclusions about this. People are all assuming the Engineers made humans but it is not clear and with Shaw's comments, it makes me feel certain that the Engineers were not the makers of humans. And since we know that the Romans/Catholics distorted the Christian religion for their own selfish purposes, and that the information in the Vatican basement has never been made available to the public, we really don't know the true story of Jesus. We know the Old Testament is probably very reliable but the New Testament might have been changed to benefit the early leaders. After all, if society always thought their Creator was from a different place and did not believe only the first Catholic leaders had direct access to God, then people would not have fallen for that garbage that created the economic system we are living in today - one that falsely and certainly unChristianly puts one group at the bottom and one at the top and the ones on the bottom are always left wanting and always abused. I do not think this is what Jesus had in mind at all. Yet the early church took many books out and only put a few in - more control and more lies. No wonder people do not believe in religion any more The beginning was very distorted and only now are we realizing the truth. Perhaps the fallen angels spread their negative (black) DNA through the already created humans and therefore the traits of aggressiveness and selfishness - and God allowed free will to see what we would do. The void place where the Engineer made his sacrifice might not have been an empty world but it was a private area so the Engineer would not be disturbed. The idea of sacrifice is not applicable to me since the real truth is not Death and the End but a cycle that is part of nature - from one form to another just as at the beginning of the film we see a man who turns into a bird and flies away.

  • Murat-Y

    First of all, wonderful article and great theories with deep thinking. Thanks a lot Brad.

    I'd like to start with just a short comment about the movie and how I rate it. (7/10).
    In general, unfortunately the movie didn't shake my ground as I was anticipating for months (this is a very general feeling I guess). I can not forgive huge flaws (the biggest one for me is; how come anyone does not chase Shaw after she escapes quarantine and where is everybody while she is performing her self-surgery. Nobody even cares to ask what happened to her...). I'm afraid this is Lindelof style as he did just as in "Lost". He is like saying "Hey, I'm telling (implying) a huge story here, so just forget about the f*king tiny details". So, this is his (and of course Scott's ) game, so let's forget about the tiny(!) details and chase the big answers.

    In general, I mostly agree Brad's thinking. I've just an alternative in my mind regarding opening scene and the "Engineer". I felt that, actually he is not with the others. He might be a an exile or under a punishment. He might be actually taking some sort of revenge (giving life to a planet) from the ones who leftbthem there. He might be the "Prometheus" of the movie, who steals not fire this time but "life" from "Gods".
    The later visits might be just the patrol visits of other Engineers to see if something really important is going on here. And, at the end they might want to interfere (destroy or evolve) , but could not beacuse of what they lost control of it.

    I'd like to hear your comments if you see some value in to this alternative thinking.

    • Rod

      This is the first forum with mostly intelligent insights and speculation attempting to fill the gaping plotholes in this less than great movie (It could have been a sci-fi epic).

      Murat Y

      I tend to agree with your line of thinking but I veer off a little ways. I do love your idea of the young engineer staling life not fire from the gods. Brilliant theory!

      My theory is that the world the engineers seed in the opening sequence is indeed Earth (our DNA sequence is the same at some point this happens Earth or otherwise). In the deleted scene pics (a pity) we see two elder engineers accompany the young sacrificial engineer to the falls. They are dressed diffenrently seemingly in a religious manner (in the concept pics of this scene we see the "elder" perform some rite or ritual prior to handing the young engineer the living liquid substance). To me the seeding of a planet is sacred event not taken lightly perhaps even a religious event (who's to say that despite their own advanced technology that they dont believe in a higher being superior to them). The young engineer positions himself at the edge and proceeds with the ritual. I feel it is a ritual for the reasons above and the fact that even millions of years in out past these beings had already mastered fasther than light travel and genetics and were playing with godhood. They could have populated worlds by many different means using technology but instead they opted for this ritual that requires the sacrfice of one of their own. Beings who had no religion would likely seed a world without the loss of a perfect example of their race. It would only be logical vice the emotional or religous significance of seeding with a flesh and blood sacrfice.

      Having said that. This would have happened eons of in our past. During the time that has elapsed since its very possible that a culture shift occurred in the engineer society. The seeding of worlds may have changed or stopped entirely. The new generation of engineers may be warlike or have more more focus on technolgy (hence the biomechanical look of their current pressure suits) They may have looked at the works of their elders and felt the seedings were a mistake or sacrilege (a chaing in religious views or abandoning religion altogether and scrilege against their superior race). Then again maybe these new bozos worship differently altogether. The headroom in the movie contained an effigy of then and the altar behind the head a relief sculpture of the xeno (not the silly one at the end that was misnamed "proto" xeno. They already had them developed). Perhaps they revered the xenos for whatever reason and were attempting to perfect the newest version of the "creation" ooze seen at the beginning of the film to do their own "seeding" developing newer, deadlier versions of their horrific creation.

      To summarize, I believe both ancient and current engineer cultures were religious ones who worshipped differently. The ancients belived in a superior being(s). The modern engineers belive in themselves and a beast whose ferocity and instinct to destroy anything unlike it fascinates them. Feel free to disect this or comment.

      • MURAT-Y

        Hi Rod,

        Thanks for your comments and great contrubition to my alternative thinking. It really adds quite depth and dimensions to it.

      • Patiwat

        Unfortunately, the life-nurturing "ancient engineers" and the destructive "modern engineers" are separated not by a gulf of eons, but a millenia or two.

        You'll recall that the ancient human cultures worshiped giant beings and drew starmaps to LV-223. The engineers didn't seed Earth and then say goodbye - they came back and helped humanity along its cultural development over a period of millennia. Heck, they even gave us Proto Indo-European (alternatively, they learned it from us). The engineers truly were Promethians, sharing not only life but knowledge with mankind, and doing it over a long sustained period.

        The last altruistic engineer visit dates roughly back to the date of the last starmap inscription. Which is less than 2,000 years ago. Your theory requires that the altruistic engineers turned into destructive bad guys who want to xenocide humanity or extirpate Earth within the less than 2,000 years.

        Sorry, but such dramatic cultural shifts occurring in such a short time-span seems quite improbably.

        • Stefan

          Another thought along these lines...

          It could be that the Engineers had at least two different classes; religious and warrior. The warrior class may be responsible for flying the ships and protecting the religious class, who decide which planets get "engineered", give the young humans a bump every few thousand years, etc.

          When David spoke to the pilot engineer, the engineer may have been spooked that the young humans came to them. It may be that humans evolved faster than expected and possibly posed a threat to the engineers, or their work, since they now have interstellar travel.

        • Rod

          One look at the relatively short history of mankind by comparison to the engineers reveals that violent culture shifts are not all that uncommon. Be in that engineers and humans are in essence the same creature we are not very different. The behavior of but the ancient and modern engineer are a pointed reminder of that.

          If you will recall the movie scene, Dr. Shaw finds that human and engineer DNA is a match. What do you think the likelyhood is of two species who are basically physically identical but separated by lightyears and never having contact until later on in one or the others history having the EXACT SAME DNA. Developed in two differnet planetary systems or galaxys but yet the same. That is highly "improbable" nigh IMPOSSIBLE.

          Yes in the movie they did create us. It only stands to reason that they would come to check up on their "children" from time to time. Perhaps we did sometimg to piss them off in the later visits that makes them or a faction believe that the time had come to end the experiment or start a new one.

          Spaiths or the other writer himself let slip in an interview, that the engineer in the opening sequence was on Earth. Why waste the opening scene on such a significant sequence when they could have just shown the engineers meeting with some ancient culture or other?

      • Otaqueen

        I hadn't realized how much I was missing out on by trying to have discussions about the film with friends on Facebook. I mean, they're friends, so I respect them, but even friends will play the "I hated it so shut up lah-lah-lah" gambit sometimes. It's such a pleasure to read the comments here.

  • William

    I'm with Criterion in regards to Meredith's fear/extreme emotion to impending death of the ship falling; I don't see a reason for her to "act" human to conceal her being an android at that moment and making others comfortable. I believe she was human.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      And I wouldn't really argue with you against that. I guess my biggest reason for thinking she is an android is that the only reason I would really believe she was human would be if there was more of an android vs. human response between her and David, which I didn't really see.

      The only time she really acts human is at the end and then what does she do? Runs in a straight line and unlike Elizabeth, is crushed. The human survived this incident and in my mind, the android with artificial thoughts of what it means to be human, perhaps engineered with survival instincts, is crushed.

      • Matt

        Also, If she knew she was an android, why would she take the time to get in a suit before she was ejected from the ship? That could have cost her precious moments and would have been unnecessary if she were an android.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Never said she knew.

          I could however, argue that perhaps she was programmed to act like a human in all instances. After all, David put on a helmet and you'd probably have questioned why had it not been addressed in the film.

      • Patrick

        Well, "God does not build in straight lines." Could the scene tie back to this; she ran in a straight line because she was not built by God, but by man?

      • http://talkingteevee.wordpress.com/ Bennie

        She has sex with the Captain, which of course she could possibly do even as an android, but to me that scene where she invites him back to her room to get laid was an argument that she's human under the cold exterior she shows everyone.

    • Ryan

      That IMHO was probably the worst part of the movie. That scene looked magnificent but cmon. Just run to the side! I get that it was there to make it dramatic and everything but really? If she were an android I think she would have figured that out.

      • rxse7en

        I just watched it again. The ship was too wide and too close to even bother running to the side.Vickers was directly under it, Shaw was on the outside.

  • Giles

    I watched the movie last night and I'm still scratching my head at some of the things I saw, but a lot of your theories work for me considering what I took away from the film.

    Also, I noticed something when David makes his way into the room in which the remaining Engineer is. When he sets off the hologram of the solar systems, the Earth hologram shows up and David looks at it and it always shows Africa, which might hint at the current theory that all humanity originated there. So we are almost given the notion that even though the place the Sacrificial Engineer is isn't necessarily Earth, the Sacrificial Engineer that did go to Earth was left in what we now know as Africa. I found that to be fairly interesting.

    • Stefan

      Giles, it may be that Africa is shown since it is a large continent and very distinctive in shape, Eurasia is less obvious on a small globe. It is also possible to think that since they have visited humans several times through our history, the globe might show the latest location visited. And if Ridley used the US or UK, then people from other countries may feel offended that they weren't picked.

      That's my small wrench in the works.

  • Jonathan

    just thought i'd link Laremy's The 15 big ideas in Prometheus to this.


  • Jonathan Schultz

    Flaying "saucers" are actually in the Bible and have been written about by many many theologians. They can be found in the Book of Ezekiel. Happy searching.

    Pro 25:2 - 2
    2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

  • Winchester

    Very well written theory Brad. I like several elements of it.

    I'm really starting to like Prometheus more and more as I start to see the different views and opinions on it and I think it's a bit a shame it doesn't function on a surface sci-fi thriller level to probably result in a good box office run, because it's surface flaws are greater.

    Anyway, some of my thoughts are as follows (and I'll try to keep them in some sort of order.

    The Prologue - I realise that I AM probably being too simplistic here but I tend to want to believe that it is Earth that we see (not only because the landscape is not dissimilar to the landscape that we then cut to Shaw and Holloway exploring) though I also accept Scott's own opinion that it could be or it could be just a representation of 'what' they do. But I don't think they themselves terraform the ENTIRE world. I think they seed the human biological life (because plant life already existed in the establishing shots) after they choose a world that they know can support human life.

    But that those Engineers sacrifice themselves to become that life via the consumption of the black liquid. They do it willingly and voluntarily I think and it's possibly like the Atzec notion that what they are doing is (as Brad says) a pure, unselfish, eternal act of giving their life FOR life.

    I think the Biblical undertones are fully intentional now by the way.

    Then I think they do come back every once in a while to either seed another region of a planet (or to check on the progress of the race they have created).

    I still don't have a lot of theories on the Black Goo itself (apart from trying to block 'The X-Files' out of my mind with regards to it - though maybe I shouldn't) because I don't think we end up knowing enough about what it truly can do, or does in different circumstances but obviously it appears able to bring biological life where none could exist before (even in Shaw's womb).

    But certainly the Christmas setting of the film is I doubt an accident, nor the then later impossible birth of the thing that is created from Holloway and Shaw. Plus there are two people who explicitly say 'In the Year of our Lord' (Weyland in the TED video and Shaw at the end) and the film takes place at the dawn of a new year.

    As to Weyland, I think in Prometheus he is deceptively important to the film. The thing I like about the other theory linked to above is that Weyland represents everything that you could argue has gone wrong with the human race in his attempts to outwit and pervert nature. He represents (and I think Laramey alluded to this in the podcast) a total perversion of the natural order. Or an attempt to pervert it. He's a King. But he ain't dying for anyone. There's nothing 'good' about what he wants to do, he wants life for utterly selfish reasons. Whereas the Engineer sacrifices himself for the act of creation, Weyland creates plastic people and wants to live forever for no other reason than he thinks he can. He's completely selfISH - the complete opposite of the act suggested by the Engineer at the start of the film.

    So I kinda like the idea that the reason the Engineer in the ship goes off on one is because he is faced with what to him and to the Engineer's intentions would be an abomination and a pathetic old man. Yeah, get MAD!! Get very MAD!!

    As to Vickers - I think that may be something we just never know. In one sense if Weyland sees himself as a God (and humans as Gods - let's also not forget he 'builds better worlds' as well, he is an Engineer himself in some ways) and he's made himself an Adam (in David) then why wouldn't he make an Eve (in Meredith?). But if she is an android is she older or younger? Who came first? She clearly exhibits more emotional range and feeling and human intelligence than David can, so that would surely suggest a more advanced version of an Android would it not? She shows jealousy of David in their scene together in the corridor (at least, to me it is) because David is closer to their 'Father' (why does she call Weyland that when David does not IF they were both his creation - does she even know what she is then? Is this an allusion to 'Blade Runner' and Sean Young? I think the Vickers waters are muddy in this regard but at this point her being an android would not surprise me, though I'm inclined not to think so just now.

    I like the idea that the Engineers do not necessarily have the intention of eradicating Earth and that they just missed their last 'inspection' call on Earth to see how it was progressing but the question becomes can we believe David? What is his motivation? He intentionally exposed Holloway to the goo. Does Shaw realise this (I think she does when David confirms that it was not atmosphere exposure that infected him but she can't bring it up yet). I don't know.

    I realise I've rambled now and not addressed everything I wanted to but I think I better stop and try and regroup my thoughts. Apologies for said ramble.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      See how hard it is to stop talking about this movie?!?!? My first draft of this piece was around 3,400 words, it ended over 4,800. Thanks for contributing!

      • Winchester

        I know, but you know what I'm still wondering?

        Is this us 'choosing' to believe the film really has these hidden meanings and they are by the design of Scott and Lidelof..........or are we desperately searching to impose meaning on it because we need to feel it has something more?

        Or more directly - are they yanking our chain or not? I still can't come to a final opinion but I'm inclined to think THEY know what they are doing, they just have fogged it up on purpose to try and ensure a sequel.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          I think it's all in there. The question, however, is whether or not they actually all tie together. Which I'm not entirely convinced they do, but that could also be as a result of a script that has the characters doing some pretty stupid things.

  • beautifulm


  • http://Thisfilmison.com Matt

    I'm coming around to the significance of the links to Christianity thanks to all of your blogs. Thanks Brad for starting this awesome debate. Suddenly the fact that Janek was playing the traditional hymn 'O Come All Ye Faithful' on his accordian seems more and more relevant!

    I share a lot of the same theories, but my interest is still rooted in the ending and the speculation surrounding Shaw's future. I too, have written a hearty piece over at Thisfilmison.com, if you care to indulge. Or just skip to the end and see what i think happens to Shaw. Do feel free to let me know what you think! :)


    • mekaylah

      i like your theory on the sequel. that would help tie up a lot for the alien(s) franchise, but, dammit, i want her to make it to the engineers home planet. i want this one to be answered. on another note, does david try to read someone's dreams and his "access denied"? i need to see the movie again, but, wasn't it meredith? in the case that it was, would this not be more fodder for her being a cyborg as well? loving the discussion. hopefully i can see the movie again and have more discussion. it has sent me on a major nerd safari since i saw it last week.

      • melchar

        David does not get denied access to anyone's dreams - however he apparently has a message back to Earth he wants an answer from and [he checks twice] - there is no reply both times.

  • beautifulm

    Nice analysis Brad. If Meredith was an android would she be worried about Holloway coming on the ship. Would she want sex?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I think those are the ambiguities that make it so interesting. For me at least. Would she want sex or is she wired to make humans comfortable?

      • Winchester

        I don't think she ever states she is NOT an android. She just seems silenced by the directness of the question. Which does kinda make me wonder if she's having sex with him for her own reasons.

        • beautifulm

          No she doesn't state that she's not, but it seems that she displays more human emotions than David. Another example is when she gets angry with David, would an android get that upset? Then again we didn't see her get sick with the rest of the crew after they were awaken. Did David wake her up or did she somehow know to wake up?

          • Winchester

            You could theorise that as the woman running the mission her cryo chamber was programmed to activate on the signal that the ship gives David when it tells him they have arrived. So she can decide on the next course of action.

            And that's a good point about seeming to be more robust right after waking.

            But then, if she's an android why is she even in stasis in the first place? And if she is an android why does she need David to tell her what Weyland tells David about 'trying harder'? She could just link to his stasis unit and speak 'directly' to him.

            Unless, as I wondered - she doesn't know she's an android.

        • http://www.gethill.com Matt

          Won't let me reply to your other point, which is what I want to. Ash was in stasis in the first Alien film. I took this as being like David saying he put a helmet on to make humans feel more comfortable.

      • http://talkingteevee.wordpress.com/ Bennie

        My take is that she's Weyland's human daughter, but that she feels he always wanted a son, and perhaps he neglected his family in favor of his other obessions-- business, artificial life, the search for our makers, etc. David would be a physical representation of all her internal father issues and so she'd naturally be hostile to him and jealous of his connection with her father. So when the Captain suggests she's an android, she agrees to sex to "prove" that she's human and thus better than David?

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          I agree, if she is human, everything you said makes total sense. I guess one reason why I argue for her being an android is because if they were going to show the difference in human vs. android they wouldn't have made her quite so cold. I think it's an interesting character either way, which is why I love the question as to whether she is or isn't.

          • http://talkingteevee.wordpress.com/ Bennie

            I think they made her human character cold to juxtapose with android David being relatively warm. I agree though it's interesting to ponder :)

      • http://www.gethill.com Matt

        There's a bit where the two co-pilots are discussing a bet, and one says to the other, "Use the money to get a lap dance from Vickers." Seems an odd thing to say, if she is a moneyed woman waiting to take over the company from her trillionaire father

      • mekaylah

        i'm on to this idea of her being an AI. looking at it from a female point of view, she may be more "sensitive" like a real female. so, she is wired to make people feel comfortable. she is the only one that comes out of the sleep unaffected and doing pushups. she pushes david around (female rage anyone?), and she "has sex" with the captain. now, as far as the sex goes, who's to say she is not a legit fem bot? i mean, hell, we have "real girls" that seem to do the trick for a lot of people now. she could totally be programmed for that. also, the part where she is bowing before weyalnd and is all rubbing up on his hand, kinda made me uncomfortable. i don't know many ladies that are "that" close to their dads. i'm thinking she was a private stock AI for weyland. there is not mention of a wife. i think she was the ultimate "real girl" for him, and for whatever reason, got down graded to "daughter". back to the sensitivity thing, being an AI and they can read people and mimic there emotions, maybe the female AI are just that bit more sensitive due to their "programming", like most females. i think my overly-caffeinated stream of thought is over now. hope it made sense. i'm not sure it does. ha!

  • gary james

    This has become so much more than merely exploring a movie,its more like cloud bursting ,there's something in it for everyone if you let your mind take you there. By hook or by crook i may have got Lindelof all wrong and he and his co-writer could have actually created a masterpiece here though i still maintain the 3rd act is a complete mess.The director does have time to correct it with a recut though.

  • Akd1287

    This article was well written and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not sure if this is been mentioned in the comments but in the original "Alien", Ash does refer to the Xenomorph as the perfect being. I believe that, combined with the information provided in your article does suggest that they were coming back to earth to "evolve" the human race rather than destroy.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, and I thought of addressing that, but I wasn't sure how to interpret it in terms of this film. I was going to take a Darwinian evolutionary approach to the creation of the perfect creature, but that would then contradict my interpretation of the Engineers as perfect so I left it alone.

      Glad you brought it up here, however, as maybe someone will have some thoughts on it.

  • the colleague

    Excellently written and thought provoking piece. Thanks, Brad.
    This is really long, so I’ll break it up into two posts.

    If memory serves me correctly, David also says to Shaw at one point “All children want to murder their parents”, or something along those lines (I’ve only seen the movie once, so I may be paraphrasing). I took it to mean both consciously and subconsciously. It may be just me imagining things where there are none, but I think it could work as one of the themes of the movie.

    Vickers despises her father and wants him dead; had Shaw not taken that thing out of her, it would have killed her; Prometheus and a part of its crew ram into the Derelict ship trying to kill the Engineer, one of the fathers of the human race; when the Engineer is attacking Shaw, just before the Deacon grabs him, Shaw yells at the top of her lungs “Die!”; and, of course, the proto-Alien coming out of and effectively killing the Engineer.

    Hypothesis time…
    Engineers go around many worlds, starting new life and new species. They leave clues as to where they are so that one day, when their children are developed enough they may look for them at LV-223. Let’s now run with the “children want to murder their parents” thing. Suppose some of these new species that the Engineers have created end up equaling or surpassing them technologically and, instead of coming in peace, end up attacking the Engineers (mural with the Xenomorph could be a reminder of one such encounter.) The Engineers end up surviving, but fearing same thing may happen again. So what do they do? They go back to our planet to finish us off. Except… there are a lot more of us than there are of them. Sure, they’ve got technology on their hands, but our strength is in numbers. So instead of going all Independence Day on our asses and risk more of their own casualties, they set a deadly trap for us (black goo) in the very same place we are supposed to go and find them. Things don’t go exactly according to plan, and they end up dead. All except one.

  • the colleague

    Now we come to David.
    From David’s conversations with Charlie it is evident he doesn’t like humans; in fact, he probably detests them, but masks it well. He spends his days preparing for the mission by reading all kinds of ancient texts, history books and whatnot. We don’t know how, but we know he knows the language of the Engineers. Perhaps while he was learning it, he somehow found out about their plans to end us, which suits him just fine. So when he finds the black goo, he decides to test it on Charlie. If it ends up killing him, great; if not, no harm no foul. He also gets a lucky break when Shaw ends up pregnant. David sees it’s not natural, it’s dangerous, and potentially lethal. Maybe that’s why he wants to put her back into hypersleep, so that when they inevitably go back to Earth, her offspring can kick-start the end of man.
    But what about other crew members? He takes them to the Engineer, wakes him up, and tells him something. What if he said that these here people are from planet Earth and are here to kill him, thinking Engineer will attack first? The one thing he doesn’t count on, however, is the fact that to the Engineer he is one of these people, he looks the same. So what does the Engineer do? Rips his head out and kills the rest.

    Eventually, Shaw with a little help from the Deacon kills the Engineer, and now David is again stranded with another human. Except, Shaw wants to leave. So David, probably out of fear of being left alone for who knows how long, tells her there are more ships, so she would have to take him along because he is the only one who can fly them. And of they go on, as I believe Kevin mentioned in the podcast, a “scientific revenge.”

    A few little things more…
    - I like it how we’re witnessing the evolution of the Xenomorph throughout the whole movie without realizing it and how it relies so much on coincidences, as do many things in life
    - interesting how Shaw, when confronted with the reality of her Makers, chooses to embrace her faith even more. When she puts the cross around her neck, it’s almost as if she's saying “these things may be my Makers, but they are not my God. My God would never do this to me.” Plus, the whole “In the Year of Lord, our God“ thing during her transmission.
    - on the “here’s to the mud in your eye” toast: wiki.answers says “It comes from the Gospel of John 9:6-7. This is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind...by putting mud, made from spittle and dust, in his eyes and telling him to go wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.
    It became common in WW1 trenches, as mud was everywhere, and in everything, including the drinks.“ Plus, it's a nice bit of foreshadowing Charlie's problems with „mud“ in his eyes.

    Phew, that was a lot.

  • SP1234

    Something I just noticed:
    Watching the viral video of Guy, he says almost the exact same thing Charlize says near the beginning before the presentation. This could be interpreted as clues for their unknown relationship.

  • SP1234

    What I mean, Charlize says, "For those I hired personally, it's nice to see you again. For those who do not, my name is Meredith Vickers..." Similar pattern to how Guy introduced himself at the end of the video.

  • Jonathan Schultz

    They may have used CE and BCE in the tablet presentation but weyland and Elizabeth both say Anno Domini in very important parts in and out of the film.

    The entire film is a battle against the Bible. Even the statement from David, "doesn't everyon e want their parents dead?" is a comment directly from the mouth of Satan!

    Why is his name "David". "A King Dies... " Nietzsche, Hitler, and many before them are Antichrists. They assault the Christian faith and want to see its demise because they hate God they follow the say lies the Satan gave them in the Garden, the choice to be "Like" God.

    1 Jhn 2:18 - 18
    18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

    They even went so far as to mimic the "washing of the feet". Jesus, the second part of the triune God-head washed the diciples feet, before the Passover meal. We see in the movie the David washing the "creator's" feet. Flipping the role.

    These are spiritual truths I can't dive into much here but you may want to look at the occurances of 666 in the film as well. And the meaning of "triangles" in the symbols employed here. But all must be looked through the context of Genesis 6!

    This was Weyland's goal and it is the goal of many humans deceived the devil including Ray Kurzweil. Those who want to eat of the Tree of Life but can't find their way in.

  • Brandon Hodge

    I have a theory regarding the eggs found on the derelict spacecraft in "Alien", now granted that was LV-426, not 223 but perhaps that Xenomorph we saw hatch from the engineer at the end was a queen, it's reasonable to assume she laid her eggs on the ship and they just waited for someone to come along or maybe that black goo evolved into the eggs, i have'nt figured that out yet, this kind of film takes time to work out, when i saw the Matrix Revolutions, it took a little while for me to figure out the end but once i did it made sense

  • SP1234

    Maybe Shaw heads to LV-426 in the sequel, that could be a good possibility, but it is still in the open regarding the early-Xenomorph.

  • Dr. Zachary Smith

    Wrong mythology. This is not a Christian film; it's a film based on Greek mythology. The Gods were divided about humankind. Prometheus liked them; the Olympians were fearful, which is why Prometheus was punished for bringing fire.

    There's no reason to believe that the Engineers are all of one mind.

    • Jonathan

      Prometheus is a "Type". His Type coincides with Lucifer the "Light Bearer".

      You must study Theosophy and the origins of masonry if you want to look at this closer. Or just skip the junk and look at Genesis chapter 6.

      I did not say it was a Christian film. It most certainly was an Anti-Christian film. Just because the mythos of Prometheus is the title does not make it the over-arching context. The film is meant to be applied to man-kind today. Why else would they make Peter Weyland speak at a future T.E.D. Talk?!

      Besides the mythos of the Greeks were derived from the fallen angels and the "nephilim", the giants of old. Something you might not agree with but this IS what the Bible teaches and the return of them are what Christ alludes to when he says, ""As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man (Luke 17:26-27)."

      This is much bigger than just one movie.

      • Jonathan

        Which is also why Darren Aronofsky is making a movie entitled "Noah".

        He is a Kabbalist, along with Madonna. They both preach the return of these beings, or the appearing of them, Them spilling over into our dimmension.

        Like I said, this is much bigger than a movie.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I honestly don't see how the word "wrong" applies to this discussion.

  • Winchester

    I watched Alien the other night as well and noticed that Ash describes LV-426 as being 'almost primordial' in nature.

    I half started to wonder if it was another site for a weapons dump or whether it was actually a planet they were intending to start life from.

    Although if it was just another site, is it coincidence that in both Prometheus and Alien the planets are part of a system around a larger ringed planet? I dunno, I just noticed that LV-426 is in a similar looking system to LV-223.

  • Brady

    A theory I came up with was, what if these Engineers were only a sub-group of people who defected to another planet to carry out their experiments on this possible weapon of mass destruction? In the same sense that there are humans that do bad things toward others, and create weapons to harm others, what if something went spiritually wrong with these Engineers as well?

    The story of "Prometheus" goes, that the Titan stole fire from the gods, and gave it to the humans. This sparked progress, but it also gave them the ability to wage war. This was what the gods didn't want. They didn't want humans to be able to destroy themselves, and thusly punished Prometheus for his foolishness.

    What if the Engineers stole the ability to create life, from THEIR God? They drifted from the perfect goodness as children of "God" and desired something selfish. Perhaps, in some sense, they are no better than Weyland? Their "fire" turned against them.

    It may explain why the cave drawings continued to show visits from the Engineers, even after the proposed day the Engineers [on LV-223] were supposed to "deliver" those black vials to Earth. The Engineers who created us, continued to visit us, perhaps unknowing of the weapon their fellow man was creating on a distant planet.

    Also, it's curious that you didn't mention the Green Crystal in the pedestal in front of the mural of the Xenomorph. What was its purpose? And why was it tilted and inactive? Why would this lead Charlie to say "This is just another tomb..." THAT, I believe, is what sent him into his alcoholic slump when they re-boarded the ship. But still, what was he thinking about?

    Green seemed to be a recurring color, too. In the cockpit, the glowing orb, and the vibrating waves that they used to communicate with the ship, were also green. Maybe it's nothing, but it's certainly not kryptonite, haha.

    I'm curious to hear the commentary on the Blu-Ray

    • M

      I believe that was the vial that broke and caused the engineers to perish.

  • Dr. Zachary Smith

    One more thing: Prometheus was punished not just for fire, but because he knew the name of the human (demi-god, probably--often thought to be Hercules) who would overthrow Zeus, and he refused to give that name up.

    One of the way's Prometheus's name can be translated is as "foresight." Another, of course, is "fire thief."

    • Brady

      In some instances of the story, Prometheus forms humans from clay, and Hercules also saves him from the torment of his liver being eaten out by the Eagle (Zeus's symbol) for eternity.

  • formal

    Maybe you people should read the sumerian/babylonian creation myth. the chief god/engineer sacrifices one of the lesser engineers because of threachery in front of the others(watching from a disk in the sky maybe?) creating man...

    ... I will establish a savage, ‘man’ shall be his name.
    truly, savage-man I will create.
    He shall be charged with the service of the gods
    That they might be at ease!...

    ... "Let but one of their brothers be handed over;
    He alone shall perish that mankind may be fashioned.
    Let the great gods be here in Assembly,
    Let the guilty be handed over that they may endure."...

    ... "Who was it that contrived the uprising,
    And made Tiamat rebel, and joined battle?
    Let him be handed over who contrived the uprising.
    His guilt I will make him bear. You shall dwell in peace!"
    The Igigi, the great gods, replied to him,
    To Lugaldimmerankia, counselor of the gods, their lord:
    "It was Kingu who contrived the uprising,
    And made Tiamat rebel, and joined battle." (30)

    They bound him, holding him before Ea.
    They imposed on him his punishment and severed his blood vessels.
    Out of his blood they fashioned mankind....

    • M

      excellent insight.. this corresponds with the "Paradise Lost" theme as well

  • oldskool138

    Bret I like your reviews but this movie was garbage. Some of the philosophical points/questions it raises are interesting but nothing new to science fiction.

    There's a host of stupid/inexplicable things that happen in this movie that ruin it. Taking your helmets off on an alien planet that may or may not have some kind of airborne virus in it that you can't detect or human's sweat, hair or body heat reacting badly with the environment. David storing the jar he stole in the medical bay in full view of anyone who just happened by. No reaction to the 5 or so crew members getting slaughtered in the loading bay by the zombie geologist. No clear or enforced quarantine procedures (when they took their helmets off in cave, they should not have been allowed back on the ship). An alien squid baby is loose on the ship and Shaw doesn't tell anyone and David doesn't follow up on his little experiment. Two characters don't have enough sense to run laterally to avoid a crashing spaceship. Two characters (one with things making maps of the place in real-time) get lost in the caves despite being in contact with another character looking at the map on the ship. etc etc.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      My name is Brad and this article isn't discussing any of the issues you bring up, not sure why you didn't post these comments on my review where they more appropriately belong.

      • Winchester

        I think the Jar was stored in Weyland's private medical room so I don't think it was in sight of anyone passing by.

    • Khaira

      You are absolutely right my friend but those are BIG loopholes scriptwise ...this article is more on finding meaning in the philosophical questions , some of the ambiguous scenes in the movie raise.....

      The logical problems with the movie still remain and i do agree these need to be discussed in a review thread....

      The removal of helmet ,lack of quarantine procedures and continuity issues are bad writing and worse editing which do make this movie look like an amateurish attempt in places ....

      However, one cannot deny some of the other issues it raises which is what this article is all about....

  • papadodgio

    Great theory! This is what makes this film so great. Not many movies have you still thinking about them days later and coming up with new theories discuss.

  • kyle coley

    This made me understand Prometheus a whole lot better. My question is who created God?

  • Aaron Leiby

    Good stuff! I want to believe this was all intentional, but I suppose we'll never know.

    The sheer level of violence in the Engineer's response continues to baffle me, however. Certainly, David must have said something to trigger it, but without pre-existing beliefs to fuel the aggression, I find it hard to rectify with all else we've seen of them (e.g. level of technology). This to me was the strongest evidence of wanting to destroy all humans.

    Also - running away from a rolling wheel and no one thinks to change direction until after they're on the ground and suddenly all it takes to get out of the path is rolling a couple feet?!!!! Come on!

  • cradleman

    something else i think bears discussing is whether or not the fact that Prometheus makes you think and brings up all these questions makes it a good movie. I've heard from various critics that just because the film makes you think and ponder doesn't make it a good movie. The idea that a film should be enjoyable without the ideas and questions it asks is understandable and it makes sense, but to try and judge Prometheus without acknowledging both the affect it has on you and the ability of the film to make you ponder the meaning of life is to do it an injustice. Those ideas and questions are as much a part of the film as the actors or the sets. You wouldn't attempt to critique a film while ignoring the acting, or how the film is composed, so why would you critique a film like Prometheus without including in your analysis all the many things it causes you to consider? That it inspired articles like the one Brad posted makes it a good movie, occasional plot holes aside.

  • Gabriel

    Well it makes sense that the Xenomorph at the end of the film wouldn't look like the Xenopmorphs in the Alien universe. They aren't going to be born looking completely like their Xenomorph brethren. Most newborns (not just humans) don't look like their own species until months after birth.

  • KamScotland

    I think the Xenomorph sculpture seen on the wall of the Engineer's temple is an actual one in (super) hibernation.

    It could be a male waiting patiently for a new Queen to hatch and mate with it.

    This creature, and its brothers, probably killed all the Engineers on board.

  • http://www.twitter.com/fumikechu MIke

    I don't think Vickers is an android. If she is, she's more advanced than David. She displays true emotion (and fear) at her end that even the most advanced android, David, isn't capable yet.

  • http://www.xombiedirge.tumblr.com XombieDIRGE

    There are some great, valid points in this article and comments, which I am in complete agreement with. It is this kind of speculation that makes Prometheus so enjoyable and fascinating. When I initially exited the cinema I definitely missed all the religious markers, but I did have the distinct feeling that there was a creationism, chicken or the egg type question being posed. I've given the film a great deal of thought since and my ideas run extremely close to those expressed here, but I do have a few significant difference.

    Firstly, with regard to the engineers returning to earth and overseeing the planets progress, yes I agree completely, hence the cave markings. However, we are told that the severed head engineer is carbon dated to roughly 2000yrs ago, which leads me to think that something significant happened on Earth at that time. The engineers then decided they needed to rush to earth to do something, possibly destroy us, and then they all but one died. I think however, that it's not Jesus's resurrection which is happening, but that of his crucifixion.

    If Jesus were the son of god, then it stands to reason that he was also an Engineer of some kind. I would suggest that they were coming to try and avert the sacrifice or simply destroy us for it. It does seem that throughout the film religion is an obsolete idea in human society now and science is worshipped instead. With the exception of Shaw who still believes in something beyond what science can explain. She carries a crucifix, but more importantly there's a scene where she prays. Now at the point she does this she has actually met her makers (the engineers) and yet she believes in something more beyond to prey to. I think humans having faith in something beyond their understanding is the important message here. She is the only survivor after all so possible a higher power could arguably be guiding her, but that is pure speculation on my part for now.

    What happened to cause the outbreak or infection to the engineers remains unclear, however they all seemed to be chest busted. In fact in the engineer's stasis chamber the 3 pods containing dead jockey's have chestbuster holes coming out of them, go check they are there. So let's assume then that they all became infected. One may have even managed to actually get off world before being chest busted in space and then subsequently crash landed on LV-426. Hence the Jockey in Alien who has evidence of something busting outward from within their body.

    Another jockey managed to get into stasis quick enough and was in fact able to halt the process and lived. When he is awoken he realises he may only have moments and so frantically attempts to get off world and maybe destroy Earth as per the plan 2000yrs previously.

    Upon waking however, he is confronted by David and humans. Seeing David he's seems disgusted and offended by his very existence, he is artificial after all and was therefore possibly not part of their grand design. Instead, David exists and this is why he so violently rips him in two. What David says to the engineer is unknown so anything is pure speculation for now, let's just discount it entirely. You don't actually need it anyway, which is why it isn't translated.

    When the engineer confronts Shaw he is attacked by the aborted squid whatever. However, I don't think he is impregnated. He struggles with the monster and they face off, but the squid is simply shown to fall on top of him and the engineer dies. A strong case, given that the stasis pods have bust holes, can be made then that the squid sensed the Xeno inside and, like in Alien 3, did not kill the engineer, but instead also died. I believe the Xeno which emerges is a pure Xenomorph, hence it's larger size as it originating from a pure being and may even perhaps have been a queen. Speculation maybe, but perhaps none the less.

    Ultimately though, who knows. As with Lost it's the speculation which adds to the enjoyment of the mythology so that's no bad thing in my eyes. I want more I can tell you that much

    • Buddy

      The squid is impregnated the engineer since it puts some tentacles to the engineer's mouth. And after it falls, the back shot of the squid reminded me a lot of facehuggers.
      My theories is that's the xenomorphs that started it all.

  • Seiko

    I honestly think Meredith Vickers is human, but we get a "I don't know" simply on purpose, because David almost seems more human (and certainly capable of worse things-torturing people with alien goo is worse than letting them be killed in a storm or abandoned while on a wacky trip in my opinion) than her.

    I honestly don't believe the containers were infected, but where probably intended to be destructive. Even if not to kill everyone, because we obviously see this does not happen in the very far future of Alien 1-4.

    I can see the engineers wanting to kill us though. I also think the Xenomorphs could've come out roughly in any kind of dark, blackish color with acid blood no matter where the black goo was planted. I still think of the possibilities and still want to see an Alien movie on Earth, where it be Alien 5 or Prometheus 2 or even 3. Their could be hundreds of different kinds; flying ones, huge ones from elephants, who knows. Other aliens even, which say it was a true ending (Alien 5) to the series, would pretty much sum up the entire series.

    In regards to the movie's main character, this may be something nobody thought much of, but she, in fact, makes David, Weyland, Vickers, and anyone else look sane. After all that's happened, she still refuses to not continue to look for answers. More die, and being the last surviving human, she still wishes to continue the journey. Are those all looking for answers doomed to die before they find them, or will someone, one day, find the answers?

  • Seiko

    Something else noteable-Doesn't the armor the Engineers wear bare resemblance to the Aliens? Why is this?

    My theory; what if these parasistic like creatures can not only come out in the form of somebody, but even something within their close sorroundings? This would certainly provide a good explanation as to how an Alien, cloned with a Ripley Clone, could have a baby, do this, and how Alien Ressurection happens (which, by the way, is way better than the awful Alien 3, AVP2, and better than AVP too).

  • Tom

    Hello, neat theories on the movie/characters!

    Another interesting biblibal idea, that sort of goes along with the idea of the creator destroying the earth comes from the 'great flood' story, quoted here from some christian website:

    "1) Why did God send the flood? God sent the flood because of the fallen angels that left heaven and came to earth to have children with the daughters of Adam and Eve. The offspring of this union were the Nephilim or giants (Genesis 6:1-4 and Jude v6). This was an attempt by Satan to pollute the blood line of Adam and Eve which is the same blood line that Jesus Christ came from (Luke 3:23-38). You can find more information on this in our Days of Noah study.

    Genesis 6:1-4
    V1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
    V2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
    V3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
    V4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

    Jude 1:6
    V6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

    Maybe the 'dark angels' send the goo to earth to impregnate the women of earth, eventually creating xenomorphs who flood the planet and destroy mankind, just a parallel to the flood of water story... Maybe?

  • tombeet

    "So why were they coming to Earth?"

    => I think this entirely depends on what perspective one would take. The Engineer's point of view is certainly to evolve human kind, "for greater good". In human perspective it is to destroy our mankind. And I'm pretty sure David has a different take on this matter too.

    => so I think the main point here which point of view you choose to accept it.

  • redwaresix

    The analysis presented offers some good theories and answers to the questions that linger. Like most movie reviews I've read on Prometheus, I think you hit the nail on the head with regards to the theme and overarching questions posed by the movie. I have my own judgements and counter-reviews to offer.

    Firstly, the end of your review is largely anthropocentric, putting too much emphasis on the human race within the universal view of The Engineers. If you observe the holograph star map scene, there were many planets in the star map, but it just so happens that Ridley Scott led us (by way of David) to focus on Earth (of-course we are humans, he must keep us hooked) as the most important one which contains life seeded by The Engineers. I believe it's misleading to think humans are important here. Humans are uninvited 3rd party observers, crashing a moment of reckoning and epiphany for the space-faring Engineers. Humans are no equals, and not of much importance except to answer essential questions The Engineers pose. The reactive Idris Elba also erred in placing self-importance to humans in thinking that LV223 is a WMD outpost and that the out evolved Engineers are essentially hostile (the outpost seems more of a fringe science laboratory gone wrong.) In the scene involving the last surviving Engineer, there were three agendas and contending perspectives that were trying to dictate the terms of the opening discussion with the enlightened and morally neutral Engineers: 1) the admiring/delusional "Man-God" Weyland (backed by his armed security) who viewed The Engineers as benevolent but possibly dangerous, the created ambiguous Android (a creation of a creation), and the cautious and skeptical spiritualist scientist who lost her faith in the quest to find answers through inquiry and expedition and now viewed the Engineers as currently "hating us".

    I think The Engineers are just what the movie suggests, a conceptually spiritual and nature-investigating race who once asked the same questions that the Prometheus/LV223 crew are asking "what is the origin and meaning of life?" Something went wrong and The Engineers have backtracked on once important and self-serving questions, now considered meaningless. The large Wizard of OZ head in the canister room suggests that "humans already possess what they have been seeking all along." A dying Weyland whispers "there's nothing" and David replies "I know sir, enjoy the journey." In the end, there's nothing special about life, as there aren't any special answers to the movie Prometheus, but the endless urge to ponder on its mystery is the trap everyone's falling into that highlights R. Scott's genius.

    Did anyone catch the wings on the 'crucified' meta-xenomorph murial? Look closely. Perhaps this suggests that these fallen angel xenomorphs are objects (or perhaps products?) of scientific reverence or spiritual worship? The xenomorph murial embodies the driving spirit 'possessing' The Engineers; although close to perfection, the Engineers possess a large characteristic flaw that humans also have, they are nature-meddling knowledge-seekers. Eventually, by way of an outpost disaster, they gained the final universal lesson and reached their evolutionary apex: stop asking and stop terra-medling and 'enjoy the ride.'

    Two expressions of the Engineers said it all:
    (1) The prologue Engineer in a moment of doubt before drinking a self-destroying black ooze
    (2) The LV223 last surviving Engineer having a pitying look on David before doing a 180 and angrily ripping his head out of his body. This is followed by a scene where the Engineer gets on his ship with determination and focus.

  • tombeet

    choose to believe, I mean

  • MajorFilmFan

    I admite Prometheus on two levels: the visual level, and on the level that it's a film that dares to ask bold, and at times controversial questions. NO ONE can ever fully understand this film. Never. However, that's the beauty of it.

    I do beleive that the Engineers are somewhat gods, but I feel the closest thing to a God here is Peter Weyland.

    I DO Beleive Vickers is an android. And, on David... I'm still pondering that one

  • Harry

    My theory on why the Engineers were returning to Earth:
    I'm going on the assumption that what they were working on was in fact a biological weapon. So, dispite the fact that they "seeded" worlds with life, there is some menace to these Engineers. So, they've developed a weapon, the Xenomorphs, which as we know, must gestate in a living host. The Engineers have developed the weapon to the point that they were ready to test it on planetary scale, and Earth had been chosed as the "test population". Why? Maybe we'll never know, or maybe it's in line with what Holloway said to David, "because we can."

  • Mike

    I'll go ahead and say it now - this is and will remain the coolest "after viewing" read I will ever see. It made me even more excited than I already was about going back to see it again his week. Excellent mind you have, Brad.

  • John Rose

    Hey Brad I really liked your review, it brought up some interesting questions within my mind, and then I realized two things:

    - When David spoke to the Engineer, perhaps he was not translating what Weyland had asked of him, but maybe what Shaw had instead asked. In the movie you see David and Shaw interacting closely together, Shaw constantly thanking David, David using Shaw for his own experiment with the black goo, and finally David and Shaw being the only two members of the crew surviving together. I think Shaw treated David as if he was human, and he gravitated toward her because of that. It would make sense that he would ignore the orders of Weyland and instead ask the questions Shaw presented, as many of her questions would also be shard by David.

    - And that Vickers and David may have wanted what the other had; David having a closer relationship to Weyland and Vickers actually being a human being. Throughout the movie, for some reason Weyland, tends to only acknowledge David, starting with when he first introduces David in the briefing to the crew discussing only David, then when Vickers actually kissed the hand of Weyland but was shown no love (but instead a tightened fist), and finally Vickers does not share the Weyland name hinting (in my mind) the she is not seen as worthy. David on the other hand sort of tensed up, every time Holloway poked at the fact that he wasn't human, and then David actually uses Holloway as his test subject, almost like a sort of revenge. Also there was a point when Holloway hinted at there being other models of David being created, something like: "I heard they're making you all alike," and David then responding with a sarcastic answer like: "I Hope not too close," hinting at David wanting individuality.

    • http://Thisfilmison.com Matt

      David wouldn't be able to 'gravitate' as you describe. It's interesting to think about how much he acts according to his own 'free will', but he was created and programmed by Weyland to carry out his hill while Weyland was out of action. If you like, David is a synthetic extension of Weyland himself, and would never be able to act outside of complete concordance with Weylands pursuits. Until Weyland dies that is, then he is freed from those restrictions.

  • http://www.arterialdeluxe.com Jaffman

    "We also see how it affects Fifield (Sean Harris) whose helmet is covered and it eventually melts onto his face, turning him into an aggressive monster!"

    This is wrong the black goo deos NOT affect Fifleild, he is affected by the blood of the worm when he cuts it and it's blood (acid like in nature) hits his helmet and melts to his face. thats what I seen when I watch the film. I love what most of your observation say about the film.

    I fell that David whispered that we (they al) where here to meet our maker, and the Engineer obliged!

  • Chris Leyton

    Nice read, however I think you've got the date of the Sumerians wrong in the list above. In the high res screenshot it looks closer to 3590 BCE, which would be a closer fit to when the Sumerians thrived then the year 8590 BCE you've got in the list.

    Just a small note for ya, I could be wrong but I don't think the Sumerians were even around during that period.

    For what it's worth I think the Sumerian culture is very important to the overall Prometheus mythology - there's clues all over the place, such as some text on projectprometheus.com:

    "Weyland Investors who dialed **WEYLAND heard a reference to Eridu, an ancient city highly relevant to the Prometheus Project."

    Eridu -> Enki -> Enki and the Making on Man -> ME (fundamental to the Sumerian understanding of the relationship between humanity and the gods)...

  • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

    Going with your angel theory, what if the Engineers dealing with the black-goo were fallen angels? What if they were a separate sect, hellbent on mankinds destruction? What if what they were running from were other Engineers chasing them down? This would mean that Shaw and David, going to their homeworld will find a heaven-like paradise.

    What doesn't make sense in this theory, or any theory, is why the Engineers left a map to that planet. A trap would fail since humans wouldn't return home infected, and its much easier for the Engineers to bring the goo to earth. If it was not a trap, why lead them to danger?

  • RobHowell

    What if the ALIENS are a natural species Thats how i've always hoped they woudl tie into this universe and that the Jockeys use there DNA to create the goo? thats why the jockeys in the original alien had so many eggs they were experimenting with them. That would explain all the holes and similarities between all the movies. and why the goo give simular atributes to its creations. it would also explain the preknowledge that the jockeys had of the aliens (I.E. the all sculpture) let me know what you think ...

  • http://www.xombiedirge.tumblr.com XombieDIRGE

    Reading all the theories and ideas on here, there appears to be many reoccur

    ring parallels between creator and creation and vice versa.
    The possibility then therefore exists that in the same way that humans mistakenly took the cave paintings to be an invitation instead of that of a warning, then so too might the Engineers have mistaken their own prophecy, the Mural, of a divine perfect creation, and instead they ended up creating a perfect killing machine which is ultimately their own undoing.

  • Trevor M.

    I have read your synopsis(?) of Prometheus and I admit you've put an great deal of work and thought into it. However I can't get passed the feeling that you, and all the others that have done a similar thing, are thinking far too deaply about it and is doing so are giving the writers too much credit.

    Firstly let me state that none of the themes explored in Prmoetheus are in anyway new for science fiction. Life on Earth being created by a "god-like" race of beings is pretty standard science fiction trope.

    Secondly I think Prometheus was writen and filmed with a sequal in mind and the questions are due to be answered in that sequal. This is plain lazy writing!

    Thirdly, most questions arise due to people trying to tie what we see happening in Prometheus to the Alien films; however, if we ignore completely the Alien quadrilogy and consider Prometheus as a stand alone film (that happens to be set in the same "future" as the Alian quadrilogy) a lot of the questions disappear and it becomes a very well filmed, but fairly standard science fiction film. Albeit one that has be designed to have a sequal.

    • https://mayerlsc.wordpress.com/ clb

      I agree except that I see few of the questions that Brad takes up really arising from the Alien quad. aside from the xenomorph features.

  • http://rogandesign.carbonmade.com Joe

    These engineers seem very controlling and structured.

    Why would they engineer Humans to have our obvious free will and the powerful hunger for knowledge that humans have. It seems like they would have anticipated our actions. They also don't seem like creatures that would just create us for the hell of it.

    I think their boss is GOD. One single entity. Who created the engineers and everything else in the universe. And once God bought us his son. These beloved engineers got upset with him and decided to go kill all the humans, out of jealousy. Jesus took their jobs of overseeing humanity.

    Is it possible in the movie cannon only!!! that the resurrection was a Xenomorph busting out of Jesus?

    And are the engineers big fans of Jethro Tull... Killer flute solo.

  • http://www.larrynocella.com Larry Nocella

    Superb article and analysis. I'm trying to win people over to my theory or dismiss it, and it's this: a human exists solely to make xenomorphs.

    The engineers are working for the xenos. You seed a planet with humans, then you can make a bunch of xenos. Xenos need humans (or other biological things) to reproduce.

    Just a thought. Again, superb article, Mr. Brevet.

    • http://rogandesign.carbonmade.com Joe

      But why? Why create the xenomorph? The engineers are set out to eradicate the entire universe with these animals? Why go all that way to make humans to do so. Like SHAW said "they changed their mind". They clearly regret making humanity, OR they are vengeful and jealous of Humans.

      The xenomorphs are just a result of the bio weapon i think.

      Or are the engineers in league with the Predators. Honestly. It seems like the predators are more advanced and stronger... So maybe they are running the show and controlling the engineers. And we all know that the Predators bred Xeno's for the hunt.

  • http://www.deanfromaustralia.com banisters_mind

    Fantastic piece Brad - one which I have favorited for future reference.

    There has been discussion about Jesus, the crucifixion and ressurection in the comments as a theoretical possibility for why the Engineers want to destroy human kind.

    But I wonder...what if Jesus didn't rise after the crucifixion?

  • https://mayerlsc.wordpress.com/ clb

    I think you are correct that if the Engineers visited Earth repeatedly after the ship on LV-223 was supposed to have gone there, then they did not wish to destroy humanity or start humanity over. But this could be a continuity error, not a plot device. When I re-watch the movie, I'll check for the 2000 year ago reference, but that could have been approximate only.

    Are the Engineers really Nietzschean supermen? The Engineers are really smart but not smart enough to keep their goo under control. They get wiped out by some rogue Xenomorph in their own facility (the pile of dead Engineer bodies that our hapless geologist & biologist find). They are not that superior to mankind; it's mankind that wakens one from cryo-sleep. If anything, humans have become too much like their creators; they even create a new kind of life (David) that the Engineer's seem to lack. If they had a bunch of robots at their facility, they might still be alive.

    The real puzzles are 1) why the Engineer was in hibernation and 2) why he is so violent on waking. For #1, we may assume that either he was unaware of the accident at the facility that killed the other Engineers -- if he could leave now, he could have left before -- and was put into cryo-sleep expecting to launch normally or he knew about the accident and did not launch before because he did not want to risk spreading the rogue Xenomorphs off-moon. He was going to await a rescue mission but once the humans show up that cat's out of the bag, however, and so escaping is the better course of action.

    For #2, the humans are Prometheus stand-ins; they are there to steal the Engineer's life-creating fire (goo boxes). If the plan was to go to Earth 2000 years ago, then he knows what humans are and has to wonder how they happened to get there. Realizing he was in cryo-sleep for 2000 years, he kills them so he can escape and presumably see what's up. Maybe he intends to start the experiment over again, but we can't be sure that he knows what the goo will do if reintroduced to living forms. And even if he does believe they will dissolve or turn into raving Xenomorphs, humans are space-faring, so destroying Earth might not be sufficient.

    Off-spring are the threat to their careless creators (look what the Alien franchise hath wrought after Aliens). The creation of humans, David sets out to experiment on his own creators. He brings the goo canister aboard; he infects Charlie. He wants to keep Elizabeth's parasite alive (she is sterile so it's more like a chest-buster than a fetus). David has no soul and no remorse or empathy. He is created entirely in Weyland's image. Weyland wants immortality for himself. David is his son because presumably he too can live forever, unlike merely human Meredith. By contrast, the Engineers have sacrificed their own selves to create life. Not only do humans want to steal life from the Engineers, Weyland is stealing it for selfish reasons. Maybe this is what so enrages the Engineer. The reckless arrogance of those who wake him.

    If the Engineer was unaware of the accident, he might not realize the peril that he is putting Earth in by going off with the goo in stow. Elizabeth is as murderous as David or the Engineer, as Brad points out when she screams "Die". She will save humankind from the Engineer at whatever cost but is she really saving anyone?

    Another theme is the futility of knowledge. David asks Charlie why humans created robots. Because they could. As David suggests, why should Charlie expect more from the Engineers? This was an odd conversation; Charlie came off as smug, self-centered jerk. And maybe he is, as much as Weyland or our money-grubbing unfriendly geologist. Charlie can't appreciate the magnitude of the discovery he has made; he mopes drunkenly. In search of the meaning of life, they discover a mindless, uncontrollable bio-goo, and maybe that's all they deserve.

    In many ways, Prometheus echoes Lem's epistemological pessimism (although here ontology is at stake), but in a less satisfying way. In "His Master's Voice," "Solaris," and "Eden" humans and aliens fail to communicate in ways that bring about understanding. What makes us human and extraterrestrials alien is that we can never understand each other. But I think Prometheus is more muddled than mysterious. One has to cast aside too much of the main-story to have the film make metaphoric sense.

    Separately, the most prominent cultural reference to David is David v. Goliath, but here Goliath defeats David, no?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      "The Engineers are really smart but not smart enough to keep their goo under control."

      One thing about this... we don't know how things got out of control.

      • Winchester


        One of the themes you allude to is that often in science fiction it's generally a warning that we could be so smart that we create the very thing the destroys us.

        So too, could the Engineers. IF their intentions were that of destruction, they could have overstepped their own boundaries and created something that killed them.

  • http://thebioscopist.wordpress.com the bioscopist

    Hi everyone, I've managed to get into contact with the linguist who created the alien dialogue, which David speaks. He says he'll be sending me the translation sometime in the next couple of days. Will update Brad when it happens.

    Also a point of note, did anyone notice that the communication message for the planet included a video of a girl playing the violin? Then it shows up again on Vickers escape pod room...are we to assume that vickers is that girl, or that this is a reference to blade runners implanted memories concept - implying that vickers is an android?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Well, that is a little exciting... Would love to dissect that.

  • Woodchurch

    First off, I've enjoyed reading your treatise tremendously.

    Now, to toss in my two cents. To me, the Xenomorph sculpture is extremely reminiscent of one of Giger's Baphomet paintings (appears second and third in a Google image search of "Giger Baphomet). Visualize the Xeno's torso as the Baphomet's face and go from there.

    Aleister Crowley's thoughts on the Baphomet's symbology may be of interest (he describes it as an androgynous symbol of life, light and liberty).

    And for everyone reading this, no, I am not a Satanist.

  • http://www.xombiedirge.tumblr.com XombieDIRGE

    I'm torn on the Victers android debate, but it's a fascinating and intriguing idea.

    One thing, with regard to Vickers coldly denying entry back onto the ship at one point. Ripley does the exact same thing in Alien when you crew return from the crashed derelict ship on LV 426.

    This tends to make me think that it's a human reaction as a commanding officer of the ship, rather than and AI's response.

  • melchar

    In Prometheus the story is told in the Alien, Aliens, Predator vs Aliens; universe. The Weyland Corp is the corporation from AvP; brought into Prometheus. Human advances in science & terraforming are attributed to the AvP; flick.

    However, rather than go the -humans are the cause for everything bad-; that happened to the Progenitors [tall bald dudes], I'm going with the Hunters [Predators] being the ones who took down their creators. In the most gloriously beautiful scene in the movie [IMO] the star scapes and coordinates for multiple planets are shown, not just Earth. The Progenitors have been spending epochs seeding life on worlds they have been terraforming. The world the Prometheus travels to is such a world that looks in the process of being terraformed and that was being used as a waypoint between the Progenitors homeworld and the worlds being worked on.

    So, around 3,000 years ago some -other- race [my bet the Hunters] mounted an attack on the Progenitors. This put the Progenitors on a war footing and either they began to weaponize the creation goo, or they harvested it from a primordial world that made the goo more able to change what it came into contact with. It would solve some of the unresolved questions from Prometheus, but I would still have expected some surviving visual records. Just a glimpse of what was chasing the fleeing guys would have [likely told us too much ^_^]">

  • http://eyenocynema.blip.tv CYNEMA

    Much of what you write here is, in my opinion correct. But there are things you did not mention, that I believe are also deliberately left vague.
    1 - That the Engineer at the film's opening, is drastically different than the one encountered on LV223. Could these be the Angels of HOPE, and the others the Angels of DARKNESS?

    2 - I say this because you also mention thinking the fluid in the film's opening is not the same as the black goo. I agree 100%but I think you maybe need to consider this from the perpective of the film's title, and the Myth of PROMETHEUS.

    Who in the film is trying to steal fire from the Gods?
    We have Us, the humans. Weyland seeks to STEAL this substance from our creators. But also DAVID, who seeks to steal our gifts, as you correctly noted.
    So, shouldn't it also follow suit that the DARK ANGELS have also stolen fire from their God?

    The DARK ANGELS, tried to steal the fluid we see at the beginning of the film, which contains the ability to create life. And you can figure, that they have tried to create a synthetic version - which also follows suit with humans stealing the ability to create life, albeit synthetically (androids).

    This brings me to the BLACK GOO.

    3. The black goo is NOT the same fluid we see the ANGEL who creates life drink. It is the synthetic replica the Engineers are trying to develop and steal from the Gods.
    And they are testing it on us.
    Their punishment is this infernal beast - an organism which can procreate with virtually anything exponentially, whose creative process is destruction itself. Thats what so interesting about the ALIEN, it's creation IS destruction, and it is because of this that they worship it.
    This is why the mural is there. They respect it. Its like a Black mass.

    The inclusion of this mural, which you are correct to relate to the alien at the end, who is dependent on humans to have been seen...
    That's evidence that what the Dark Angels/Engineers have been doing, most likely, is using us as guinea pigs to develop this fluid they have been trying to steal from the Gods.

    Again, the Alien is their punishment.

  • http://eyenocynema.blip.tv CYNEMA

    I also wanted to suggest that in PARADISE LOST, some of the angels become jealous, because they believe God loves us more than them.

  • lavandrix

    Since they had murals and sculptures of the Xenos within the tomb we can correlate that with how we revere our own God(s). We make grand murals depicting acts in legendary fables and in addition, great works of art. We have also been led to believe God made humans in His image, so that we may in-fact look like Him in a way as well. On the flip-side, the Engineers may have worshiped the Xenos because maybe they were their own Gods or creators. Since the "creation" did not match the creators, the Engineers tried in every way to become just like them. Maybe its was their own way of trying to figure out their own true origins as a species. This idea also supports Weyland's theme of trying to become like a god through immortality or manipulation of life to suit one's needs. This explanation helps support the unfinished project theory as suggested, and explains nicely why our DNA matched 100%. They wanted to use humans as a bridge to something greater, to complete god-like perfection.

  • BJ

    Thank you for the breakdown. I agree the film is the most interesting of the year and it has many merits. If anyone is to blame for its faults, I'd say that would fall on the shoulders of the writers. They developed a great character in David, who is played by one of our finest actors, Michael Fassbender, but it seems they glossed over some of the minor characters to such an extent that they were unbelievable. The geologist and the biologist. Those two dudes. They are the brightest minds in their fields chosen for the most coveted scientific expedition in the history of man? Really? They were completely unbelievable and their dialogue was terrible. They really pulled me out of the picture every time they were on screen. Scott should have forced the writers to do a polish and at least make these guys sort of believable. You can have a sense of humor and be smart. These guys were idiots. And Charlize wasn't given as much to do as she should have. She's a great actress and I wanted to see more of her. Noomi Rapace was adequate, but doesn't have presence. Charlize would have been better in that role. The other actors were fine, as they should be. All in all, it's a herculean effort that should have been a masterpiece, but for the shoddy dialogue and character development. For what it's worth, it seemed to me that the substance the engineer took at the beginning of the film had what appeared to be multicolored granules in it; it wasn't just black goo.

    • VJ

      I agree with everything you just said...I thought Noomi was slightly disapointing, I liked her in her other movies.

  • BJ

    Sorry, Brad...I should have posted my comment to your review instead of this great piece. BTW, both are very well written.

  • D’Artagnan

    Great article Brad! Made me want to see the film again.

    I have a theory of why the Engineers want to destroy humans that might actually be the opposite of yours. I'm thinking of the jealous Gods.

    Prometheus was punished for helping the humans; for elevating them and bringing them closer to the Gods.

    The Engineer at the end of the film wakes up to find humans have achieved things that are reserved to Gods, like flight or space travel, but also, most importantly, the ability to engineer other beings themselves.

    So, the first thing he destroys (at least he tries) is the creation (David). Then he sets to destroy humanity, whom he finds has become a threat.

    • M

      I agree but for the fact that they created that evil black goo in the first place suggests they are just plain evil, like lucifer and his fallen angels.

      Maybe the goo was created to attack God and his angels.. for an ultimate battle, and that maybe the battle will take place on earth, as the bible declares.

      Aside from the wild speculation and taking liberties with the holy scriptures, I just want to remind people that this is merely a movie, and the true matters of our souls should not be taken lightly. Science has not disproven the existence of a true God, nor has it disproven the claims in the Christian Bible. Science has actually strengthened the claims of creationism, the worldwide flood, and the existence of Jesus. So, God bless you all.

  • VI

    Reading a lot of the comments so many damn theories can be created, but one comment that really stuck out to me was "all children want to kill their parents". There he talks about how the engineers might travel from place to place creating life everywhere and that they leave signs that they were there. What instantly clicked was that Charlie and Shaw traveled to many places following the signs left by the engineers and thus letting you know that they were present, but in turn it could be a sign from them that they created that part of evolution. The last sign from them was in a cave with lots of bison and men running, they were the cause of the time period where men could evolve from the next. Like what was said above, they come back to earth ever so often to see how things are happening or they just steer the course of the next point in life. If something isn't exactly working for them, they would take care of it and leave a sign that a mess was cleaned up, almost like a clean salt, a dawn of new stories. I want to believe that this makes sense, hopefully it does, but literally cannot stop thinking about this film. Maybe in a way the ships with all of the Alien is just another way for them to evolve life again, almost like if they took away what we have become so used to and actually fought for our life instead of create robots to do all the work for us or slow down our aging process then things would be appreciated. So. much. to. think about.

  • termon

    I agree with you, Vickers is a robot, that's why the medical table in her room is designed for men: Wayland ordered it for himself.

    • Wayne in NYC

      Very good point termon! The table was specifically designed only for a man, in spite of it being in her room. I was curious about the name of the planet and its possible link to something Biblical, since there are obviously so many correlations. LV could be Leviticus and 223 a reference to chapter 22, verse 3 which follows:
      "Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD."

      That theme certainly fits well into the movie's plot.

      One thing that hasn't been discussed is the difference between the spacecraft at the beginning of the movie, which was leaving the creature later referred to as "The Engineer" to start the seeding process, and the horseshoe shaped spacecraft which rises in its attempt to head back to earth. Even though it wasn't eventually included in the final cut of the movie, I found the concept art image of the "Elder Engineer" supposedly blessing (or cursing) the one on Earth (if indeed it is Earth) before taking off in the SAUCER SHAPED DISK, leaving him to do his duty, to be very intriguing. Why the difference in the ship design unless they were from two different species, such as the original "Creators" and those referred to in the movie as the Engineers. Perhaps the Engineers aren't the benevolent beings we are trying to make them out to be, but were simply being used as the guinea pigs to plant the seeds at the behest of the actual "Creators". Which ones visited us in the meantime, as depicted in the cave sketchings? Due to the shape of the disks always being the circular variety, it would seem it was the Elders. So the Elders were pointing the way for us to eventually end up at LV 223. Did the Elders create the Xenomorph creatures to bring their rebellious Engineers under control when they rebelled against them? Was that what was chasing them before they went into statis? Was that the reason that the Elders wanted US to find that planet, so that if we became that advanced, we would meet the same demise? It would be so awesome if the authors and makers of the movie could get involved in this discussion, because the only answers to our questions exist in their imaginations. We can only speculate and try to guess.

      • Jack in Cali

        Thank GOD, I finally found another person who brought up the ship in the opening scene!!! I saw discussions on IMDB and elsewhere, and it seemed that no one else was addressing the elephant in the room! I saw that right off the bat and wondered, is this why the opening-scene Engineer drinks the black liquid? He drank it because of another species was arriving? And I say "arriving", because to me, it does not look very convincing, either way, whether it is arriving or departing. It hovers over the falls, starts to rise and tips to one side, and after that point, when the Engineer drinks the black liquid, we no longer see the ship. No one else has brought this up, which greatly surprises me. This gives a plausible reason why he drinks it: a response to an arriving species that is not his own. Or, better yet, it is a departing species that left their own seeding behind, and the Engineer volunteers to drink the black liquid in order to restart the process all over again, thus negating what the departing (?) ship dropped off as seeds. PLEASE, someone else chime in on the second-ship theory!

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Everyone saw it and the obvious assumption is it is the ship that dropped him off. As I mentioned, the original opening sequence had two Engineers, the one that wasn't sacrificing himself would leave the planet in the ship.

        • Winchester

          You do see the ship vertically disappear into the clouds behind the Engineer either as he drinks or as he is about to drink, implying this is just the ship that has carried him here and then leaves.

          Granted I didn't see it disappear into the clouds until the second time I saw the film though, but to me the ship definitely departs.

  • Alex L.

    Don't want to get too far into this because I could probably write for days but I want to acknowledge the idea of the engineers not being malevolent. To me, they seemed unbelievably majestic and harmless. Especially in the opening scene and in the hologram projections. They seemed peaceful in a way.

    • k h

      Might that just be intentional to show how our human biases are projected onto others? Who cares how they looked -- how did they ACT?

  • Kev


    BCE & CE are a scientific timescale to reconcile disparate archaeological written evidence. It fixes a concrete 'Zero' moment against which all this evidence can be standardized and reconciled. Theological and religionist anti-intellectuals insist upon it being Before the Christian Era & Christian Era with the '0' moment backtracking from now to December 31st, -'0' year BCE, 23:59:59 GMT/January 1st, 0 year CE, 00:00:01 GMT, standardized. Of course the standard in the academic and scientific communities is to call it Before Common Era & Common Era. BC, Before Christ, & AD, Anno Domini, is a Roman Catholic Church construct without a 'Zero' year or moment. So it reconciles the RCC records as year 1 BC and year 1 AD. This introduces a 2-year '+' or '-' error that is useless for scientific or academic work, as you can see. Under this system it is impossible to reconcile disparate source materials in a coherent or competent timeline. Mainly this was necessitated because of dentrochronology or tree ring dating. If you're reconciling different tree species from differing locations around the globe to giant sequoias or bristlecone pines [3,000 - 6,000+ year lifespans] benchmarks you MUST have a consistent standardized convention inclusive of a 'Zero' year. The work simply cannot be done without it.

    For all my work I use BCE/CE. I'm an intellectual snob about this subject and I fully accept the charge. I NEVER accept the claims of anyone using BC/AD in historical timeline, academic, or scientific work. If they do they get dismissed completely by me. I will not reference, cite or converse with them. It's a complete waste of my time and intellect. I only mark as credible scholars, scientists and historians who use BCE/CE. Needless to say, I do not consider the claims of the RCC to be credible or competent in this regard. My sincerest apologies to those who are offended by this statement.

  • Kev

    Sorry an error: 'dendrochronology' is correct not dentrochronology.

  • k h

    I think your analysis stumbles horribly just a few paragraphs in when you claim that The engineers could be angels and are therefore "acting on God's behalf." In Paradise Lost, the "dark angels" that Scott refers to are *fallen* angels. The leader of the fallen angels is Satan. Satan and the fallen angels DO NOT work on God's behalf, so so your analogy is exactly opposite to the literary reference.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      That's fine, it was all just a string of ideas and I was merely using his reference to them as angels to stoke the possibility that's what they were, fallen or otherwise. I look at the film as an amalgam of ambiguous ideas tied into their own mythology. I don't necessarily believe any one specific thing is explicitly tied to its inspiration as much as it all served merely as inspiration.

      I understand what you're saying though, I should have been more clear in that sense.

  • Scott

    Just curious, Brad, is there a record for number of comments at RoS for a particular thread? This has been my go-to movie site for awhile now, after AICN started going downhill, and I've never seen this many posts for a thread here.

    I have to admit, Prometheus has started a massive conversation considering, in my point of view, it crumpled the landing with a sequel-begging cop-out where the conclusion should have been. More lazy than intriguing. Many interesting allusions, but a story that simply doesn't seem to know what the story even is.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, my Inception interpretation article dwarfs this one, but this is in the top ten of most comments on the site. I just wish more films offered this type of discussion.

  • Doc Holiday

    Very interesting read. My thought was the black goo is what the Engineer at the first drank. Charlie just had a much smaller dose which is why it took longer to affect him. He also seemed to be disintegrating like the Engineer did when Charlize toasted him. Overall I think the writers were more lazy than creative and just telling the audience it can be whatever they want it to be is fine to some degree but not if you don't give more pieces to the puzzle. I don't know if the writers themselves had it all pieced together or made it up as they went along. It's fun to read interpretations like this one but I still think it's a little lazy as far as storytelling goes, and the obvious "lets keep it open for a sequel" was very disappointing.

  • Garrett the Mad

    You are reading way too much into what was a terrible fucking movie.

  • nemesis_star

    math error? if it's 2093 CE and the engineers died 2k years ago, that brings us to 93 CE, not 93 BCE as stated above...



    Nice site, I enjoy all of the speculation and theories. I think the film is purposefully left ambiguous to spark discussions like this and the writers themselves probably intentionally left it open-ended on purpose and possible dont have any real answers themselves.

    Just from the interviews I read with Scott and the other writers, I personally think the goo is a biological weapon and this is my theory why.

    The movie is allegorically based on Milton's Paradise Lost. The engineers are the fallen angels. They are benevolent to a fault to the point where they are pretty much evil. I I dont know if you follow the Warhammer 40K sci-fi universe, but I see them sort of like the Chaos Space Marines from that universe:

    Their civilization is so advanced that they have developed to a point where their science and religion have intertwined. They seeded human life thru the universe which they know will take millions of years to develop but it will develop in their own image. In this way they were basically making sure the human species lives on. They probably kept tabs on all the planets they seeded and when the time was right incorporated them into their civilization.

    In the process of developing their 'biogenetic religion' they created the goo which basically is the perfect life form. (On multiple occasions in the Alien franchise the xenos have been called the perfect life form and the goo itself can both create and destroy life) They are basically like 40k Chaos Cultists/Cthulu worshippers, which might explain the shrine and mural to the Xenos they have built in the ship cargo hold. I dont think the goo only makes the 'Alien' type aliens I think it probably is a random genetic mutagen that eventually develops into the 'Alien xeno. The randomness would help it overcome all types of lifeforms not just humanoids.

    It could also explain the beginning scene where the engineer sacrifices himself, since you have to destroy life to create it. (and it makes even more sense if you factor in that originally the scene before it was cut had another elder engineer that presented the sacrifice with the drink it was basically a ritual that they used to seed a planet with the human primordial soup DNA and would probably be considered an honor in a religion like that to be the chosen sacrifice, just like the guys chosen by the Mayans to get sacrificed for the good of the people)

    I have two theories as to why the engineers would want to use the goo as a weapon on the earth. The first one is mine, I basically think that having created the perfect lifeform, the engineers basically felt all their other previous projects were failures and wanted to basically sacrifice all the other experiments to their new cthuloid goo god. In the hologram on the bridge of the ship there were other planets besides earth that they were going to bomb with the goo too.

    The second theory I get from the interview with Scott:

    You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?

    RS: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.

    This theory would fall in line with the other plot devices in the movie. The engineers basically were constantly visiting earth periodically which would explain all the cave paintings. All of the societies over the ages kept failing in the engineers eyes (the Fall of Man from Paradise Lost)and they eventually sent down an emissary to try and get humans on earth back on the 'right path'. This emissary was Jesus and they killed him. Seeing this as the last straw, the engineers decided to wipe out the earth with the goo bio weapon.

    The flaw in the plan is the goo gets loose on the ship destined for earth and wipes out the crew so the mission never happens. You have to factor in that the engineer's civilization is probably millions of years old and also spans millions of planets so one mission failing might be easily overlooked.(Just like in the warhammer 40k universe the human Imperium is so huge and often seperated by so much spatial distance that there are planets that basically havent directly communicated with each other for thousands of years but they are still part of the overall 'civilization')

    The carbon dating of the space jockey head placed his death approx 2000 years ago which would basically put the ships departure time around the time after Jesus was crucified.

    All of this is just conjecture but thats my thoughts on the subject. I also think that its also possible that there could be two sects of the engineers. The 'bad angels' that worship the goo and a 'good sect' that might want to help humanity. This could possibly be explained in Prometheus 2 and would basically fall in line with the theme in Paradise Lost of the Angelic Wars.

    I dont really understand a lot of the other Jesus allegories like why they landed on Christmas and why Shaw had an alien tentacle monster baby born on Christmas day. If any one has any ideas I would love to read it.

    • OFLOW

      oh yeah another theory about the black goo is that is could be a biological weapon based on the DNA of the xenos from Alien. The xenos could be a naturally occurring creatures that the engineers have already encountered in their travels and viewed as the perfect creature so they grew to worship them after incorporating their perection into their biogenetic religion. (which could explain the actual mural of the real xeno and the face huggers)

      They created the black goo based on their dna which could explain why the creatures formed from the goo in Prometheus arent the xenos per se but have their traits. It could also be how the xenos are on the ship in LV426 in Alien, since the it could be like the Engineers got roaches/ebola and it wiped out their society lol and the xenos in Alien are just a patch of the naturally occurring ones.

      I still like Cynema's theory the best.

      Another thing I dont see many people mention is that its possible the black goo reacts differently with the sex of the infected human. Maybe an infected female produces a the xeno spawner/giant facehugger/tentacle monster an actual female xeno that produces the 'real' xenos?

      • RobHowell

        Thats exactly what i've been saying to everyone i think and HOPE the ALIENS from alien are a natural species it would be very ease to then tie in all the movies sadly even the AVP's better hard to believe the preds could just steal the aliens from the jocks, it also makes it tie into the traits like you said and all the happenings on LV-426
        I know ridly said that the sequels of Prometheus would only get further away from the aliens we love but i truly think we and all Aliens fans should push for SOMEONE to make a movie to tie them together making the Aliens a natural species that the Jocks worship and use for experiments the Predators hunt and the Humans Fear.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_little/ Steve Little

    Captain Janek was playing a Christmas carol on Stephen Still's accordion; Ridley Scott could have chosen any Christmas carol but selected "O Come, All Ye Faithful." Several elements of that carol connect with ideas in this discussion:

    * Shaw's invitation premise: "O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem"
    - Bethlehem is traditional birthplace of Jesus
    * Shaw's barrenness: "Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb"
    * Origin of life: "Begotten, not created"
    * Visitor from 'above': "Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!"
    * Incarnation of God (or Engineers?): "Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing!"

    Full lyrics of "O Come, All Ye Faithful"

    O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant! O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold him Born the King of Angels!

    Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

    God of God, Light of Light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb; Very God, Begotten, not created!

    Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above! Glory to God In the highest!

    Yea, Lord, we greet thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given! Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing!

    • Kev

      NICE. Thanks for your post. This is kind of thing that interests me most. Ridley never is frivolous with his referents. They always serve a narratival purpose. You helped me unlock another piece of the puzzle.

  • Green Goo

    I see alot mentioned about black goo, and not much about the green goo David finds on the first door he opens. Remember he traces the hand patterns. He puts the green goo between his fingers and it glows with life. Maybe this is what creates life and the black creates death through the birth of the xenos.

    In the first scene where the sacrifice drinks black goo with worms (look familiar?) falls into the water and disintegrates and we see DNA sequences and cells are shown where the blackness takes over and runs through the DNA...

    Also the sacrifice looks shocked about the worms as if he wasn't expecting them. Has he been tricked?

    Instead of this being the creation of humans couldn't this be the creation of the Xenos? And this is the same planet they are on now.

    Much pains is taken to show the two worlds which look identical.

    As for the Xenos, the facial expression on the engineer in the last scene where he is being impregnated by a facehugger was one of resigned knowing like he has seen it all before.
    We all know that there are many forms of xenos look at the temple carvings. So where have they all gone... many engineers with busted chests could equate to many xenos. Where have they all gone? And the other ships? Are there more engineers alive? Who knows what might be lurking on them.

  • Kev

    Good catch. But let's proceed carefully here. Carbon dating is notoriously imprecise. It is always coupled with ruleout comparative analysis of dendrochronology. No trees that I saw on LV-223. All kinds of variables must be taken into account as well. The Engineers' biochemical makeup could be very different affecting the relative amounts of carbon isotopes and decay chain cycle of Carbon 14. Shaw is quite careful in stating '2,000 years, give or take.' Still, a 186 year variation is quite large a margin of error; So, well done.

  • http://talkingteevee.wordpress.com/ Bennie

    One big unanswered question is-- what happened to all the Engineers on the ship? The holographic recording and the bodies suggested they're being chased down by something scary and lethal... but only the Engineers are captured on the hologram. That leads me to think that perhaps the Predators attacked them, since they would have avoided being recorded?

    • melchar

      Yes, this so very much! As there were the holographs of running Engineers being chased by -nothing- I thought of the Predator camo outfits. If the Engineers created life on many worlds [since many worlds were shown on the gorgeous starscape map], it follows that the Predators got offworld first and hunted down their creators as big time sport. Then they capture a xenomorph and take it to Earth [when Earthlings prove to be dull sport] and do their hunt rituals on Earth until stopped in 2004.
      And of course the company sponsoring the frozen dig? Weyland Corp.

  • Kev

    There's been some talk about the date of the Birth of Our Lord on Christmas, December 25th, 1 AD. Quite right this is totally arbitrary and not absolute in way. But let's look at why the Council of Nicea and Emporor Constantine set that date when Christianity was declared the State religion of the Roman Empire in 313 CE; give or take, because the actual declaration is most uncertain and series of events very complex. This was done to abolish the popular pagan Festival of Saturnalia. The populace loved this Hibermal Solstice celebration. Which culminated in a baccanal/orgy and lighting of the opulently paper-ornament festooned pine tree in conflagration just before sunrise on -- you can guess it -- December 25 because after 4 days of convivality beginning on calendar solstice day to appease Saturn and beseach his withdrawl of destruction of the day and return of lengthening days leading to burgeoning fucndity spring rebirth. Get the theme?

    For 17 centuries, 18 by 2093 CE our cultural identification with the day has been durable and it is this that Scott is referencing; not the actual date of Jesus' birth because it is impossible to know this. No one in the 1st century CE or more likely 1st centruy BCE, 4-7 BCE, recorded their births, nor were there any institutional methods for records maintenance. The Gospel of Luke is just plainly wrong about this. While census of persons might have been kept regionally for taxation purposes, no birth records were taken or kept at all.

    Does this help?

  • Kev

    Please note. The Festival of Saturnalia was NOT successfully abolished! We now, and appearantly will in 2093 CE, contunue to light our Satuanalia festooned pine trees in celebration of the Birth of Out Lord. I think Ridley is highlighting this reality of human being. Don't you think?

  • Jason M

    I am amazed that this unimportant, pseudo-scientific, quasi-religious film has generated this much work.

    Sometimes vague is just vague. Bad writing is just bad writing. To twist yourself into a bowl of spaghetti trying to fill in the gaps like this...

    • OFLOW

      I'm amazed that someone that doesn't like the movie would even be on a site like this trolling. What does it say about you if you find it so unimportant but still feel the need to comment?

    • Kev

      I think it's very interesting that people who post as you do, don't know the referent background info Ridley used in making his film, don't understand it isn't a standard fare narritival formulaic film, and so, pronounce it bad.

      And people who do know the referent background info and want to talk about it are denigrated by people like you as wasting our time.

      I spend very little time on this. But what little time I do spend is profitable and pleasurable. I thank Brad Brevet for sharing this conversation. You're oh so very wise, Jason. Stop $h!++ing on the space. Thanks for sharing your uninformed disdain.

  • Dagwood121

    like you my biggest problem is the queen on what i think is a door with a green jewel that people stare at but do not get close to? But I think the engineers are very religious the shrine with the large head... the opening sequence.... where you have religion you have disagreement about religion where you have disagreement about religion you have war. I believe you have at least 2 factions of Engineers with stark difference about the morality of creating life. to that the ship at the beginning of alien wasn't heading to earth but part of their war or wars. The last engineer was a zealot... the Holocaust line was to infer those engineers piled up died for their religion which was to proliferate life... life which was offensive on site to the zealot.... i thought this movie was more like Blade Runner than Alien in that you have entities fighting their way to their creator in search of answers and more life?.... i cannot wait to see where Shaw is going it is not Paradise

    They are just like us we are just like them
    in the last 3000 years have we become more like minded on religion and the nature of our existence add 10 thousand more

  • Mo

    One of these multitude of theories will prove to be correct in time. How many of you were either disappointed or elated in the finale of LOST when we come to find out they were in purgatory? I think to really understand what is going on in this film you have to look into the mind of the story's orgin.....the mind of David L. It's as much his brain child as it is Ridley's. Ridley and David L saw very much eye to eye with the development of the script. Ambiguity here is deliberate. You need to ask yourselves, do you want movies to spoon feed you everything, or do you want your brain to do the work?

    I find it funny that a movie so bitterly scorned has created so much discussion and debate. Ridley and David are smiling right now, for this is what they intended to happen. This movie was phenomenal in every way and much better than any standard 3 star boom boom summer so-called blockbuster. For me it's 5 stars. For me it was breathtaking. And I can see it had a similar effect on all of you here. After all, "are you not entertained?!"

  • Greg

    What if the Engineers were running from the last Engineer? Maybe he touched the black goo (an apple from eden type of thing), went mad and attacked his own. He kills the lot and puts himself in the pod.

    I don't think what David said to the Engineer means anything cause if the Engineer was manipulated by David, why would he tear David apart?

  • Dwayne

    Meredith Vickers is not an android. Here's why:

    - Her behaviour is far different to that of David8. If she was indeed an android, why would Weyland waste time building an android that's less advanced than her? She is capable of more emotions too.

    - She confronts David at one point in the film and she says, "So help me God, I will find the cord that makes you run and I will cut it." She was playing on the fact he's an android. I highly doubt one android would say that to another android.

    - An android would have no sex drive. When Janek proposes sex, Vickers eventually says, "My room. 10 minutes." It's obvious what happens next. I highly doubt she would call him to say, "Listen, I'm an android. Don't tell anyone."

    - She wouldn't have wasted time putting on a spacesuit and helmet if she didn't need it. Do you think an android would do that if they had less than a minute to evacuate the ship?

    - Why would an android be doing pushups? And would an android sweat?

    - And the final clue that she's not an android: Ridley explicitly said he's not interested in rehashing the android twist from Alien. That's why he revealed David to be an android from the start.

    There you go.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      "Her behaviour is far different to that of David8. If she was indeed an android, why would Weyland waste time building an android that's less advanced than her? She is capable of more emotions too."

      I think you contradict your entire theory with your opening reasons. The answer to all of this is... she's a newer model. David is the eighth version, she could be the first or second generation of a new model, after David.

      "She confronts David at one point in the film and she says, "So help me God, I will find the cord that makes you run and I will cut it." She was playing on the fact he's an android. I highly doubt one android would say that to another android."

      She may be programmed not to acknowledge the fact she too is an android. Perhaps androids after David's model were engineered this way.

      "An android would have no sex drive. When Janek proposes sex, Vickers eventually says, "My room. 10 minutes." It's obvious what happens next. I highly doubt she would call him to say, "Listen, I'm an android. Don't tell anyone.""

      There's no proof she has a sex drive, just that she has sex.

      "Why would an android be doing pushups? And would an android sweat"

      To make humans more comfortable, for the same reason David wore a helmet.

      "And the final clue that she's not an android: Ridley explicitly said he's not interested in rehashing the android twist from Alien. That's why he revealed David to be an android from the start."

      He didn't rehash it, which is why we are having this conversation. If he rehashed it then we would already know if she was or wasn't. In fact, it's a complete opposite twist, he revealed David and kept Meredith in the shadows.

      There you go.

      • Dagwood121

        Dr. Tyrell's Niece never knew she was a Replicant

        • Philip

          She suspected: Tyrell "She's beginning to suspect" -
          Deckard: "Suspect? How can it not know what it is?".

  • Carycomic

    It's my guess that the Engineer, in the prologue of the film, represented a member of some religious caste. While the hostile Engineer, awakened from cryostasis on LV-223, represents the commanding officer of a military caste.

  • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

    Everyone talking about different Engineers seem to forget one thing that the "good" Engineers who visited earth are the ones that left the maps to the "bad" Engineers weapons planet, which doesn't make sense.

    • Kev

      I don't think there are 'good' or 'bad' engineers. I think the intentional ambiguity forces a very deep human reaction to fit the data into 'good' or 'bad' contexts. Which is very interesting to me.

      The Sacrificial Engineer is very like the Judaic Pesach Seder Paschal Lamb. The Paschal Lamb had to be the most pure, beautiful, clean of the lambs to be a pleasing sacrifice to G-d. As the story goes the 12th and last Curse upon Pharaoh would be the sending out of the Angel of Death to take the first born of Egypt or Israel unless the blood of the Paschal Lamb is painted upon each home's door posts & lintel.

      So think back to the prologue scene. The Sacrificial Engineer knows his fate. He also knows it is a great honor. He must do this to accomplish his task. He is the prefect sacrifice to remake this planet in the Engineer's image. To reform the existing matrix in favor of the new matrix. That's what the Bio-Former sample is -- an elixir of life that require the erasure of any pre-existing life in favor of the new life to come, death/rebirth -- but to work it must have a organism to work upon and spread the new matrix. Mixing the remains of the Sacrificial Engineer's body at the river's waterfall edge enhances the effect by efficient diffusion. Did you notice before his leg collapses himm into the falls he had alredy begun to disintegrate into the atmosphere? He cerebrum and cerebellum were being taken by the winds.

      He looks a bit longingly up at his ship before he casts off his robe. His friends must leave him. He must let them go. It isn't safe for them. He must do this alone. This is his appointed task. He is the Paschal sacrifice. The good and pleasing lamb to satisfy G-d. It's quite elegaic and beautiful. If you can read the code.

      Much later, eons later the race of engineers -- maybe a new iteration -- begins to check regularly on the progress of their work begun long ago. They wouldn't leave clues to their home worlds. They'd leave clues to a duck blind to protect themselves from their creations. Security is prudent. If they can get to the duck blind they could do harm as well. It's a test or puzzle for their progeny to solve.

      An aptitude test if you will.

      I think the installation engineers got caught in their own trap while setting the catch. They too were willing and good sacrifices for their race to maintain security of their home worlds.

      Shaw passes the test. She retains her faith in spite of overwhelming evidence to abandon it. David is learning what faith is and how Pinocchio might become human ...

      Brad, what do you think?

      • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

        Engineers that so easily play with the lives of humans aren't worth meeting, although your explanation technically works it renders the whole 'search' irrelevant. And if all the engineers knew about the trap planet, why would they just leave their brothers there to rot...or not rot, as it were.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          I felt the fact the search was irrelevant was actually the whole point of the movie.

          • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

            In terms of the search, "Prometheus" was irrelevant, since the true search actually begins with Shaw and David as the movie ends. Like others have pointed out, the answers, the search results, are unfortunately saved for a sequel.

          • Dagwood121

            The search is not irrelevant but you may not like what you find…..or better yet the Carl Sagan view when we meet the Alien/higher being/engineer they will be looking for God as well. Some engineers believe to create life is to be close to God some believe to do so is to insult God

    • Dagwood121

      The maps directed them to that system not to that moon they went there because it could “sustain life” we have the impression Shaw is going across the galaxy but It could be just on the other side of the Gas Giant

  • geiger

    Brilliant write-up. I don't know if this has been mentioned by anyone else but did anyone else pick up on the scene with Fifield and Millburn in the cave when Millburn is talking to the worm that is about to shred him- this happens at the same time that Meredith and Janek are getting it on back at the ship. The dialogue that is written is hilarious when heard as commentary over Meredith and Janek's encounter. This can't be a coincidence.

    • Kev

      I did notice that. I appreciate Ridley Scott's dark humor very much. Very much indeed.

  • JB

    I spent a lot of time wondering why the engineer killed everyone so abruptly. This article helped me think it through. I couldn't help but think about the Tower of Babel and how God punished man for trying to build a "ladder" to heaven. I don't think David said anything sinister, but did what anyone would do when addressing a new being, he introduced himself. He told the engineer he was an android and that his "brilliant" creator was the old man before him. This was a form of blasphemy to the engineer who, while initially impressed by David's ability to speak to him, became angry and destroyed the abomination (David) and killed its creator (Weyland). This would be in keeping with biblical ties.

    I don't think Meredith is an android. She suffers from trying to impress her father who never saw it. She is jealous of David who receives more praise/notoriety from her father. I don't believe she is doing pushups to be more "acceptable" to humans since there are no witnesses to this behavior. She is pushing herself, perfecting herself. She really shouldn't be an advanced model, because that would make her superior to the androids from the later Alien films who should be superior to the models of this film because they are created later.

    As far as David's ability to speak their language, he explains that. He broke down all languages to the basic parts in order to be able to read the writings in the tunnels and would thus be able to speak to them when the time comes. It is reasonable that their language would be the root of all earthly languages if they led to our creation.

    I want a sequel!

  • Jeremy

    The way I interpreted the movie was pretty different. That prologue scene looked like the guy was doing something destructive - And that the ship was leaving because they guy was doing something toxic to the planet. Never thought it was earth - but the planet they eventually landed on. I thought they'd come back to harvest it and it got the better of them - which those creepy aliens are wont to do. It was supported later by the realization that they were putting the 'eggs' on a ship and sending them to earth when things went so awry. However, why the star maps point to that planet instead of their home planet I still don't understand. And why they wanted to destroy humanity was something of a question mark - I like the space Jesus theory I've been reading online. But it sure looks like there is a sequel headed our way that might help settle some of these questions. I would also say having the alien extracted from her belly on Christmas day is a bit hokey - since the alien is no Jesus and Christmas isn't actually Jesus's birthday.

  • M

    Many of these posts have inspired my theory.

    The opening scenes shows "good angels" seeding a planet, maybe earth.
    Then the fallen angels led by the Prometheus type engineer, who is hybernating, seen coordinating an attack on earth from the engineer's replayed video, created the modified black goo to infect the humans and create aliens to later use in an attack on the "good angels" whom they were banished by, or from whom they stole the black goo from.

  • M

    I think the reason the "bad angels" engineers rebelled was because they no longer believed in obeying their creator's instructions to sacrifice themselves to seed planets. So, they stole the goo, modified it and were planning on wiping out the humans with it. Maybe creating the aliens to either facilitate the extermination process or be used as a weapon against the "good" engineers.

    The engineer's religion no longer made sense to them.

  • http://krypt3ia.wordpress.com Krypt3ia

    Ok, so after seeing the film twice, once after seeing all the chatter online about the theories, I had a good long think and here's my take on the story line.

    1) The Engineers are only one "faction" of beings at work: There is ancillary documentation on the weylandindustries.com site from Dr. Shaw that has one drawing in particular that got me thinking. The image is of the"Saucer" ship leaving and a group of human hands reaching out as if saying "don't go!" If you go through all of the other images and data in there, you can see that the engineers were in fact on earth and mentoring humans until they all vanished. The one image ties into the other images found by Holloway and Shaw that have the engineer pointing at a star system, this is where they went, but I think those images were not an invite, it was "This is where we are headed"

    This would be akin to children asking where are you going, and you saying "here"

    2) LV-223 is NOT their home world. As David says, and in the end of the film you see, Shaw and 8 leave for the home world to get answers. LV-223 is akin to WOLF-359 I think in a way, perhaps where the battle would ensue against the "Dark" engineers. I get the impression that LV-223 is a launch point for a universal assault on all of the engineered planets. Why? because these guys think that they are the purest form of life and creating one in their image (sorta) with the same DNA is a blasphemy. Some of what you actually point out with the deleted scenes lends credence to this theory as well, as it seems that all of this is a sacred religious act (seeding the planet)

    3) The difference of the ships and the imagery within got me thinking as well. The LV-223 ships all were kind of born out to be ships of war. Unlike the saucer ship seen at the beginning (my theory) but it seems that perhaps the "religious" factional debate here holds sway when you see the Xenomorph bas relief in the "temple" where they find the head and the canisters that leak goo. It is mentioned by Holloway that this was a "temple of death" I think, and in fact the Xenomorph sculpture also had an alter in front of it.

    4) The "goo" that had been stockpiled and was leaking in the temple was engineered to create a form of xenomorph. Everything it touched pretty much became destructive and in the case of the worms and Shaw's fetus, the code that it was writing was for the "alien" we all know in one shape or another. Destructive killing machines which seemed to be being worshiped in the temple on LV-223. This leads me to believe that it was a bio-weapon as such, but one created by the dark engineer cult to destroy all that which the light engineers had seeded throughout the universe.

    Oh and a key point for me was the fact that on the top of the pyramid as the storm hit it and the explorers were fleeing the scene, sat a skull. Not an image of the engineers, but a skull. This was a house of death. There are some other imagery things too with regard to the space suits of the engineers on 223, they are dark and reminiscent of the Xenomorphs.


    In the end, so many story lines and allusions have been made or hinted at in this film it's impossible to really say what the deal is. Unless of course Riddley and the writers decide to talk. It seems though with the release of the tidbits you have been posting, more of the religious angle is being seen. Perhaps the deleted scenes will help us all out with some breadcrumbs.

    Are all the engineers dead?

    If not, does the battle still go on?

    So, what about LV-426? Was that another base or did they crash land there after leaving LV-223?

    One wonders. Maybe we will see in the next installment, if there is one.

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      Your theory and most others don't explain why good OR bad engineers would direct humans to the dangerous LV-223.

      • Dagwood121

        The maps directed them to that system not that moon

        • http://Krypt3ia.wordpress.com Krypt3ia

          True, they decided to go there because it was close to earth like. Still, that does not deny the idea that the drawings were not an invite, just a "that's where we're going"

  • http://Krypt3ia.wordpress.com Krypt3ia


  • Kev

    The mythology Ridley is crafting is actually more interesting and complex. In 'Alien' 1979 Ridley has UCSCC 'Nostomo' commercial towing vehicle stop its FTL flight mid-way on its return-to-earth course by the company at 'Zeta Reticuli' to investigate a 'distress' signal coming from a gas giant primary's moon orbiting star Zeta Reticuli I which in 'Aliens' we discover Weyland-Yutani Corp has designated LV-426. Ripley discovers the signal isn't a distress call at all -- it's a warning very like Shaw's last log entry that future earth exbiditions 'attempt no landing on LV-223.'

    Now here's where it gets really interesting. In 'Prometheus' Shaw and Holloway's archaeological/anthrogological research turns up disparate yet consistent farwell picto-pecto-graphic or petroglyphic illustractions all showing a star map with star Zeta Reticuli II prominent; LV-223 is a moon orbiting a gas giant primary orbiting this star identified by Weyland Corp's terraforming colonization business model as a viable terraforming candidate.

    What we're exposed to is repetition, reversal and difference. Project Genesis is a secret Weyland program to build upon its acquisition of NASA Kepler Program to identify from a pangalactic exoplanet survey mission a source world of the progentitors of earth life and human beings. Project Prometheus is Weyland's public support of Shaw and Holloway's work to fulfill the object of secret Project Genesis.

    Where did Ridley draw from for all of this? From the Betty and Barney Hill UFO Abduction incident in 1961. Download Project Prometheus Shaw Archives here: http://www.projectprometheus.com/genesis/

    Go to Shaw 04. This is Betty Hill's star map she draws under hypnosis. An astronomer Fish renormalized Hill's drawing that Ridley uses for Shaw's star map. For more than 30 years we've been going to Hill's alien worlds! See Hill/Fish star map here: http://www.armaghplanet.com/blog/betty-hills-ufo-star-map-the-truth.html


    Now on to your more intersting reference of Wolf-359. Did you know the writers of ST:TNG were drawing upon older SF mythology by Stevens and Stefano? I like your thinking about the 'Borg in the season 4 opener and the 9th movie 'First Contact'. Like you, I believe LV-223 is a duck blind. The engineers would never leave themselves open to possible attack upon their homeworlds. They'd pick a neutral duck blind for conflict or first contact, leaving the actual home secure. Like Kubrick and Clarke's great '2001' was built from Clarke's 'The Sentinel,' Ridley is building from these mythological roots too.

    ST:TNG uses an old episode of 'The Outer Limits' by Leslie Stevens and Joseph Stefano, second season, first aired November 7th, 1964. The episode is titled 'Wolf 359.' It resonates powerfully with this thread and discussion. Ridely knows his SF mythology! Here it is on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/155118#x-0,vepisode,1,0

    LV-426 was the crash site of a failed Engineer mission. Objective unknown. Destination unknown. Cause of crash unknown. What we do know is that someone in the Engineer's language composed and set on automatic repeating broadcast beacon a warning to not land on LV-426. And possibly the cause of the crash was a chestburster killing the pilot. There are thoudands of eggs in the holds of the ship. Something laid those eggs. So perhaps the pilot is killed by a chestburster male. There's only two Engineers on board. The other Engineer sets the warning beacon and then is attacked by Xenomorph I and impregnated. The chestburster from it is a female that lays all those eggs then the two Xenomorphs die leaving all those eggs to wait for new hosts to arrive ...

    So Ridley has been truthful. The 'Alien' franchise is a stand-alone series of movies with their own mythology. 'Prometheus' is a stand-alone new series of films about the Engineers. I like it.

  • Ellen

    So, i have been reading through all of these posts, and one thing dawned on me.

    Nobody has revisited the fact that Ridley Scott referred to the Engineers as being Gardeners.

    What if they are the drone creations of a greater society, similar to that of ants. Made to do a job. Did nobody notice or wonder why the Engineer at the end didn't wake up from stasus and react with a 'What the hell happened here?/Where is everyone?''. Instead, he jumped straight into his space-jockey seat, and continued on with the master plan, to go to wherever he was intending to go, and doing whatever he intended to do. To me, that doesn't seem like the behaviour of anyone operating with emotion. Rather, he is solely operating with purpose, as if he was pre-programmed to do what he had to do, when he woke up.

    Tying this back in to the gardener principal, whos to say that the evolution of the human race wasn't to create a self-sufficient 'crop'. When the sacrificial Engineer created life, he did so using his own DNA, therefore allowing the end result - us - to be similar in our physiology.

    If they are already aware of the xenomorph prior to it being revealed to us at the end of the film, who is to say that the xenomorph hasn't been created in the image of the Engineers creator, and the Engineers themselves aren't just a means to an end?

    The fact that they are coming back every now and then, visiting different locations, making sure the population of the planet is spreading over the continents to me tells me that they are making sure we populate, not evolve. Maybe they are just readying the crop, allowing the xeno-fluid to be dropped off, so the entire world population can give way to the xenos, and be the cattle/crop that allows it to thrive. Its not like they turned up and provided us with obvious technology - that would be how evolution would be moved forward.

    I think the next question would be for me, what purpose do the xenomorphs have in this bigger picture?

    I think the sub-plot of Android/Human is just a reflection of the Engineer/Creator as well. If we take a religious stance on this as well, from bottom up:

    The androids revere humans as their creators, and do their bidding
    The humans revere 'God (Engineers)' as their creators, and supposedly do their bidding.
    The Engineers revere a Pseudo-Xeno as seen in the 'temple' and do their bidding.
    The Creator sends its 'black goo' to wherever it may be going, resulting in the Xeno, via the Engineers, to the Humans.

    The only link that hasn't been accounted for is the android population.

    Maybe thats why the final engineer was so angry. Maybe David wasn't accounted for in the master plan, and maybe the plan may be doomed to failure as a result, as the xeno cant pro-create using androids (obviously), leaving androids at the ultimate top of the newly-created food chain.

    Taking the spiritual side, and the guessing out of this, you know what other society this sounds like to me?


    They are intergalactic Ants!

    I know this is all a heap of bumbled thoughts, but in my head it makes a lot more sense.

  • RobHowell

    A big question for me is WHY if the jocks were going to come kill us didnt the jockey simply get into that suit and fly towards earth instead he went into hyper sleep and liks stated above knew what went on and where every one was so if they were trying to kill us why not just set the ship to go to earth with the threat that killed them?

    • Ellen

      Did he know where everyone was though? Or was he just doing his job at all costs?

      Maybe they decided that earth wasn't ready yet - they had the report back from the audit engineers, saying there weren't enough people, or there wasn't a large enough goo-to-people ratio. Maybe there was no way for the xeno-virus to become plague-like, and they had to wait for humans to interact on a global basis, so they could deposit it in certain places, and our transit-patterns, or again as Ridley Scott said, our infrastructure (water supply), did the rest.

      Referring back to my idea of Ant socities, read this and apply it to the general story:

      Even take into consideration the general structure of the buildings on LV-223, they are similar to ant-hills.

      I know its an out-of-the ballpark crazy idea, but whilst the religious tie-ins are poetic, they are pretty insane as well, considering Ridley Scott is an Atheist.

    • OFLOW

      I was under the impression that the engineers on the bridge were the remaining survivors after the ship got infested. They basically put themselves in stasis to hide.

  • Page Mackinley

    A simply incredible piece.

    I am hoping the work and dating trackback Brad put into this is at least less than, or equal too, that undertaken by Lindelof and Scott et al.

    By that I mean, I would hate to imagine their dates were off, specifically re:

    "It stands to assume the Engineers were expecting to return to Earth some time around 93 CE (Prometheus lands on LV-223 in 2093, Engineers died 2,000 years ago), which is to potentially assume mankind stopped evolving at the hands of the Engineers around that time.

    Unfortunately for those that believe the Engineers were coming to destroy mankind, the above screen capture shows evidence the Engineers actually did return to Earth in 620 CE and 680 CE."

  • JJ

    Did anyone mention or notice that David calls Vikkers "Mother" when she wakes from hypersleep?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, I noticed that but didn't know what to make of it. Any theories?

      • melchar

        David does not call her 'mother', he calls her 'mum'. Mum is an informal term that British servants use when referring to the lady of the house. Since David has been watching a LOT of 'Lawrence of Arabia' and picked up various affectations from the film, the term makes sense.

  • Mark Poulsen

    An really interesting theory. The only thing I disagree about is the "god's messengers" part. I also have some theories myself.

    They were doing some kind of ritual in the beginning right. A ritual that people have done "similar" in history. Now, I don't think they are gods messengers. I think they are like us. They believe in something bigger than themselves and they have taught us some of the same rituals on their journeys to earth. They are really forward in technology than us, but they have existed a lot longer, so we are only at "building androids" state. Later on we could evolve as much as them and create another race? But, we have begun to doubt the existence of a god, so perhaps they were meant to punish us then. I still think that they were trying to evolve us.

    I'm Christian myself, so it's not something like, that I don't believe, but the whole "gods messengers" thing seems unlikely to me. Every creature with a higher intelligence are looking for something to look up to and it's like a recycle.

    That xenomorph on the wall could also be what they wanted to achieve. Now xenomorphs are the "perfect creature" and I think they wanted to achieve that state with us. That black goo mutates people as we can see with Fifield and it was beginning to mutate Charlie. Fifield becomes really hostile and he can take a lot of damage before he dies. Kinda like the xenomorphs later on. The xenomorph at the end could also just be a prototype of what it would become later on. Each generation must then grow stronger and stronger until they reach the state that we know as the xenomorphs. (just like that octopus thing. It reminds me A LOT of a facehugger and it's like a prototype of what it would become later on). But then how could they know of xenomorphs before? (wall carving). Were they trying to reproduce or something?

    For some reason David infects Charlie and that's kinda a creepy.
    Does he have emotions in any kinda way? Or is from orders that he should be infected? Perhaps the engineers could have hacked or done something that could have corrupt Charlie, because it really looked like David was trying to help them produce the xenomorph (in a way). Weyland wanted eternal life, but I don't think he would give orders to something like that. Why should he? He shouldn't know anything about them.

    It's kinda a mess with my theories, but please bring some good arguments against them, so that I can find out if something about them is true.
    A lot of good and interesting reading you've got there, and I'm going to show it to one of my friends, who's exactly as pleased about this movie as I am.

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      The idea that xenomorphs are "perfect creatures" was not only explored in Aliens (Weyland sent Paul Reiser to get one) but also Alien 3 (Weyland sent a team to get the queen in Ripley) and fully realized in Alien Resurrection. Perfect creatures meaning "perfect weapons", and thats something the engineers with their technology didn't even need. So that storyline doesn't make sense.

      "how could they know of xenomorphs before? (wall carving)." Something else that doesn't make sense.

      Why would the engineers leave maps to a dangerous system, doesn't make sense. And if they were planning to destroy earth 2000 years ago, why would they visit earth two times since then, again leaving maps to a dangerous system even after engineers died there?

      Nothing makes sense, and I think this is a result of a proper screenplay being completely reworked by Lindelof who is known for bringing his special brand of nonsense to Lost.

    • melchar

      In the movie, it's shown that David is acting on Weyland's orders. Weyland is an old coot and wants immortality. He thinks the aliens will give it to him. At the point where David infects Charlie, he has not yet discovered the surviving Engineer pilot. So infecting Charlie would give results and maybe 'alienize' Charlie [who has treated David like cr@p].

      IMO David also inferred that Charlie & Elizabeth would have sex. David has been watching Elizabeth's dreams for 2 years as she sleeps & the implication is that he understand she is full of loss about her father - and longs for children [because she is sterile]. It looks like David wants to give her a child - and if it is an mostly alien child then it's a win-win situation. Very creepy, but with good intentions. After all, Elizabeth is the only person who has been at all nice to David.

      • Mark Poulsen

        I just think there is more to David than meets the eye. He is definitely very creepy. And so well made. Looking forward to Blu-Ray release and a possible sequel.

  • atcram

    I think there are really 2 factions the engineers that wanted to recreate us by using the black goo shown at the beggining of the movie and the ones who thinks that the zenomorphs are better than us, this are the ones who are at the shrine. Their plan was to mix the black goo they created in the shrine with the other ones when they arrived earth but they were discovered and one them was captured and put it in the stasis chamber. the ones that were running in the holograph (that by the way is like a security camera someone was watching and david just pressed the button play) where fighting with the others they had their armors because they didnt want to get infected yet one of them was already infected my guess is that this one was experimenting with human dna and xenomorph that is why he had our own dna. well thats for now, what do you think?

  • atcram

    one thing to note is that the ones who get infected with the black goo are not looking to reproduce like the hammerpede or fifield they only want to destroy so im guessing they are nor able to reproduce on their own. what happened with charlie and shaw its a fortuite coincidence that allowed this new type of creature to reproduce.its the final creature a mix between xenomorph and engineer.
    The other thing is that this engineer has a large lifespan 2000 years sleep only if you are in cryogenesis and weyland somehow knew so he wanted that, and what i think peter said to the engineer was that he wanted to be human, so when he realizes that peter is an android he destroy him. peter was obsessed with shaws dreams.

    • melchar

      It's not 'somehow' he knew. His father found that tech.

      Remember that Weyland Corporation is the same Weyland Corp from 'Alien vs Predator' - where [Charles Bishop] Weyland & his sponsored group goes to check out the frozen Arctic base that has functional cold sleep technology. So [Peter] Weyland knows about the tech - which is in his private hands and has bootstrapped the Earth into space travel. This is even mentioned in about 2 sentences in the beginning of Prometheus.

  • Kev

    I thought this group would benefit from a fresh article in Cinefex magazine. For those who may not know of it, I've been reading it for more than 30 years since its debut #1 Issue 1st Quarterly Winter 1980 Star Trek: The Motion Picture cover story. It's an excellenct resource. Here's the pic files for the cover story article on the VFX and design of 'Prometheus' in the #130 Issue Third Quarter 2012 .

    • Mo

      Please send me the images from the Cinefex site. It looked very interesting and I didn't get a chance to read it.

    • Mo

      This Cinefex article was enlightening. Gave insights into some questions posted throughout this forum. I would conclude them to be true based on the fact that the special effects guys were quoted in the article. Here are some of the more interesting reveals from the article:

      Regarding the Engineer map room....
      "The holographic map of the engineers control room contained a map of the entire universe. The Big Bang was at the center, and contained galaxies and nebulae as points of light. The Engineers studied starts by dragging speheres of data into the central area, and then expanded them until they held a planet in their hand."

      Regarding the dead Engineer's preserved head.....
      "The crew's intervention stimulates a dormant infection that deforms the severed head in a bizzare mutation."

      Regarding the Engineer in statis....
      "The living Engineer is revived after eons of suspended animation. He has disdain for Weyland's quest for immortality and contemptuous of the humans his forebears had spawned. The Engineer sets out to rectify the matter by returning to Earch on a mission of mass destruction."

      Regarding Shaw's baby alien.....
      "Shaw's adult creature baby, now grown up and dubbed, the "trilobite", was a mass of fleshy tentacles spanning approximately 18 feet. It was a humungoud octopoid facehugger."

      Alien Reveal....
      "After the Engineer succumbs to the trilobite, another lifeform - a hybrid spawned from a combination of human, trilobite and Engineer DNA bursts out of his corpse. The filmakers named the newborn entity the 'deacon' and designed the creature to suggest an evolutionary step toward the adult form of Giger's Alien."

  • Luis Mendoza

    I think this person knows even less than me.... I t's sad that you browse the internet looking for answers and you find an article titled "What is going on in Prometheus" and you find more questions but no answers, *sigh* time to keep looking....

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Care to enlighten us with what you do "know"? Weird statement to make without bringing anything to the conversation.

  • Mohamed

    Seems like its not only the Bible/Christianity which have inspired. When David says: "In order to create you must destroy." This echoes Hinduism and the Hindu god Shiva.

    • Kev

      Yes. Ridley was not Christocentric at all. Good point.

  • Kev

    Sorry to report the CineFex article got taken down. I have the article page images if anyone is interested. It's a good article.

  • Mo

    Practically all writings...novels, theories, mythology or otherwise, created by Western Civilization in the last 1000+ years is influenced by Judeau-Christianism. It is impossible to separate the two thematically. It's practically a part of who we are, regardless of whether we believe the mythology or not. We can read these themes into any piece of Western writing if we chose to, because we have been ingrained with it. I could draw parallels between Christian mythology and Spongebob if I try hard enough. Just because I take the time to do so only proves that these themes are prevalent in our culture, not that the writer intends Spongebob to be a Christ Figure or that the cartoon has any deeper meaning. Some of you are really reaching on the theological meaning of this movie.

    That being said, Damon L is a master manipulator, and some of this is obviously intentional. He may know exactly where he wants to the story to go, or maybe subconciously he wrote the script because these themes were ingrained in him from childhood. Either way, it doesn't change the fact that, although a flawed script, we are still talking about the meaning 20+ days after it's international release.

  • Mo

    The general consensus from folks that saw this film is polarizing. They either loved it or hated it.
    In my humble opinion, it is simple-minded people that hated it. (i.e. ppl that wanted to see aliens vs predator, or more facehuggers/chesterbursters, or wanted a more boom boom summer blockbuster, ala transformers)

    "In 1968, New York film critic Andrew Sarris called Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey a complete disaster. “It is much too abstract to make its abstract points.” A film that is now considered a masterpiece was initially dismissed by critics as being intellectually obscure and inordinately long. The same can be said for Scott’s own 1982 future-noir classic, Blade Runner, which left audiences and critics polarized by its complexity."

    Years from now, I wonder what will be said about this movie.

    Prometheus was 5 stars for me. I absolutely loved it. It is one of the most striking, imaginative, and MISUNDERSTOOD films in recent memory.

  • Kev

    If you'd like to read the CineFex article email me at k_mequet@hotmail.com

  • Wayne in NYC

    Are we possibly overlooking the significance in the name? PROMETHEUS... Prometheus was the Titan of Greek mythology who formed man from clay, and also who gave him fire. In his anger for Prometheus sharing the gift of fire with man, Zeus sentenced him to be bound to a rock and tortured daily by an eagle, which represented Zeus, by the eagle eating out his liver each day. Due to his immortality, it grew back each night thereby continuing his torture and punishment until he was finally freed by Hercules.

    If the "other" engineer, who we did not see in the final cut of the movie, was representative of Zeus, possibly telling the engineer NOT to do it, but he went ahead and did it anyway, perhaps they are being punished for their impunity, for creating us and repeatedly visiting us, passing along fire and knowledge. Maybe Prometheus is more significant than just the name of the movie, or of the project. (Sidenote: It's also the famous gold statue that overlooks Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.)

    • Tyrus

      I agree. What is the point of naming the movie Prometheus, unless the beginning scene represents this. I'm not convinced by the two shitty photoshopped concept art pics that all of the engineers knew he was populating the planet. You would think there would be a big ritual/party/event of some kind to see him off. I choose to believe that he stole the goo. Before I read all this stuff, I had the impression, by his gestures, by no one else being there, the expression he made toward the ship....etc. I had the feeling all along that it was a rogue act.

  • BokehBurgher

    I think people make the wrong assumption about the ending of Vickers. Why would Scott choose not to show her graphic death? Up until this point in the movie everyone who dies has been shown doing so in spectacular detail. We will see more of Vickers in my opinion.

    In terms of "why" the Engineer attacks the humans. I am not sure its due to some overarching theme but rather - for some specific reason that we will learn in a future episode. The holograms show the Engineers running from something. But what? We are allowed to assume it was some monster born of the black goo. Could it have been humans?? Think about it. What would have stopped the engineers from taking select human specimens from Earth and carrying them around like pets, the way us humans allow chimpanzees to come into our homes. Only, what happens when the chimp goes bad? He rips the face off of his host. Add black goo into the mix and it could be much worse. The Engineers bring humans with them back to LV-223. The humans somehow get into the black goo turning them into monsters that attack and begin killing their hosts. The Engineer eludes the humans, going into stasis. Several hundreds, or thousands of years later, he comes out of stasis. What is the first thing he is presented with? humans! What happens next is unavoidable.

    Curious to hear your thoughts on my crazy theories....

    • melchar

      As for the 'who are the Engineers running from', IMO it is the Predators in their camo suits [functional invisibility explaining why the pursuers were not shown]. After all - this is the same world as 'Alien vs Predators'. The Weyland Corporation funded that Arctic expedition, led by Charles Biship Weyland. Peter Weyland is the one in cold storage for most of Prometheus.

      I really like your idea about Meredith. She should have just as much chance of having survived the big rolly-ship squish as Elizabeth. Then she would be on a planet with at least two alien chestbursters spawn: the one from Millburn the idiot biologist - and the one from Elizabeth that glommed the Engineer and emerged at the film's very end. ... Maybe they could be friends. ^_^

      • atcram

        Question... why meredith cirugy pod is only for men? did i miss something and the pod was made for weyland? i got he impression thar meredith didn't know his father was on the ship.

        • melchar

          The male-specific medical was not meant for Meredith. It was meant for super-cargo Peter Weyland - as was the entire lifeboat IMO. She just got to use the space until they woke her father up.

      • BokehBurgher

        good point re avp. I sat that one out but the connection makes sense. My feeling on this issue with the Engineer wanting to eradicate the humans is that it's got to be something unlikely. I say this because for Scott to create another "traditional" chariots of the gods take on our origins would be a shame. Here this director is given this wonderful playground, go and make something imaginative happen, Scott! Don't just rehash decades old theories that put mankind in a diminutive role subservient to Gods! Give us power Ridley Scott!! I lol at myself....

  • Patiwat

    I think its irrelevant to try to figure out what's going on in the heads of the Engineers. The film is called "Prometheus" - it's the story of Prometheus/mankind, rather than Zeus/the engineers.

    To understand this you have to go recall the original mythologies of Prometheus. In Hesiod's treatment of the Prometheus story, Zeus was a wise and just god and Prometheus' theft of fire caused Zeus to punish mankind (by creating women, but that's another long story). Typical Christian/Catholic/Shaw worldview.

    In Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound," Zeus is a cruel and oppressive tyrant, and Prometheus is the hero who reveals fire and technology to mankind. This is more of a "modern" worldview.

    So within the span of a few hundred years from Hesiod to Aeschylus (700 to 500 BC), we had a shift in Greek thinking about the role of technology in human society, and about man's relationship to the divine. This parallels the shift in thinking in Western societies since the Industrial Revolution about the role of technology.

    It's clear from the TED speach that Weyland's ego causes him to see himself as Aeschylus' Prometheus. He is a Modern Prometheus who has created (robotic) life in our own image (and recall that Shelley's "Frankenstein" was subtitled "The Modern Prometheus"). And he was on the cusp of seizing immortality from the Engineer. But Shaw sees Weyland as Hesiod's Prometheus, a wicked man whose theft from the gods will hurt humanity.

    So was Zeus really a good god or a bad god? Was the final Engineer going to punish humanity or going to... do something else? Who knows... They're gods! To paraphrase the Book of Job, where we when he laid down the foundation of like on Earth? Just as we know too little to judge God, we know too little about the Engineers to judge them at this point in time. The engineers are the Kubrickian monoliths of the movie. Nevertheless, in a separate post, I'll argue that the Engineers were flawed gods who created flawed mankind in their own image, just as a flawed mankind created flawed androids in their own image.

    But it's really quite irrelevant... The visual focus of the film might be on the Engineers, but not the thematic focus; the thematic focus is on the humans and their choices and motivations. The Engineers are ambiguous black boxes created to show this fundamental clash in perspectives between those who think that Prometheus/technology as savior of mankind and those who think that they will destroy mankind.

    • BokehBurgher

      see my post just above for some wild "jump the shark" type possibilities....

  • Mo

    I've been seeing a lot of posts pop up making reference to Predators. I have to say, I really think Ridley and Co. completely ignored those AVP spin-offs. I do not think any mythology occurring in the AVP movies (i.e., Predators farming Aliens for "the hunt") has any bearing on Prometheus. Ridley himself has disdain for the AVP movies.

    • BokehBurgher

      you answered my question. so basically, anything anyone is speculating on that requires some connection to the spinoffs, can be disregarded. that makes sense to me. why the hell would Ridley Scott create these works of art only to screw everything up by relying on B grade movies as background... thanks for the share. I agree...

  • Scott Wilson

    According to this website:

    The line that David speaks to the Engineer (which is from a longer sequence that didn’t make the final edit) is as follows:

    /ida hmanəm aɪ kja namṛtuh zdɛ:taha/…/ghʷɪvah-pjorn-ɪttham sas da:tṛ kredah/

    A serviceable translation into English is:

    ‘This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life’.


    I found this website because of that one, so I'm surprised that it wasn't included in the comments.

    • Otaqueen

      Yup, me too, Scott. That's how I got here, via the linguistics article. So interesting, huh?

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      ‘This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life’.

      That the engineer reacted with such gorilla rage makes them *beneath* humanity, not to mention that even physically speaking his attacks were so inefficient.

      • Scott Wilson

        According to the article, this is one line that was selected from a dialogue that occurred between David and the Engineer during the shooting of the film, so you are interpreting his reaction based on a decision that was made in the editing process. That's just the first level of the rabbit hole. It goes a lot deeper than that. It doesn't make the Engineer anything because they are all fictional characters for one layer below that. It's just a movie, and if you're looking for characters that do things that make sense then you're watching the wrong movie. There are many examples of things that make no sense in that movie from a character standpoint, and also from a plot standpoint, and that is one of the reasons people are talking about it, which is another level of the rabbit hole. And it goes way below that level, some of which the filmmakers themselves might not be aware of. See the Law of Contradiction to understand why many people are babbling on about this.

    • OFLOW

      nice find. Thats pretty much what I figured he said. IN the presence of Weyland he would have basically said what he was instructed to say. The thing we are missing is what was said in the actual conversation that was edited out. Thats a big piece of the puzzle.

      The engineer was obviously very angry though as he pretty much set to destroying them with his bare hands and also stalked Shaw when she escaped in the initial attack. He didnt hesitate he attacked them immediately with the intent to kill them.

      The engineers are 'giant' but human just like space marines in warhammer 40k I see a lot of similarities there still.

  • Tom C

    I think it boils down to how much of a gameplan Scott actually has at this point. There are definitely overarching, thought-provoking issues weaved throughout. Yes, there was a longer conversation between David and the Engineer, and yup, they are fictional characters. Of course they are, but let's hope that Scott has a somewhat thought out narrative structure that will ultimately make sense.
    Im sure, like lost, some threads will disappear, but I hope there is a satisfying convergence of concepts and story.
    I am a huge fan of the alien franchise, and like many, including Scott, found the origin of the derelict on LV-426 to be very compelling. What I would probably object to is what happened with lost. I.e., in the first season, most theorists thought the island was limbo/purgatory, which most people weren't very happy with, bc it was so obvious. The producers swore up and down, repeatedly in interviews, that "there would be a scientific explanation". Well, after 2 seasons, I started to think they had no gameplan and they were making it up as they went, so I stopped watching. I started again in the final season to see where the rabbit hole went but I didn't have "faith". Well, it was friggin purgatory, as I suspected. They managed to technically not contradict their original assurances by having them alive on and leave the island, so the island wasn't purgatory, but the money shot conclusion revolved around that being the case. Point being, I don't like being jerked around for ratings.
    In regard to Prometheus, I hope Scott is taking a more active role in reigning in Damon L, who would happily plot-tease us with no conclusion ("there's nothing"). Obviously, this trilogy can make sense, look at all the awesome theories above. And I'm sure Damon is trolling these ideas to "write" the rest.
    I believe Scott is 74, this movie has serious nods to classics like 2001, and I hope he is more interested in his legacy rather than purely focussed on $.
    It hurts to be invested in a narrative and not feel satisfied in ultimately understanding it, I get that the "trick is not minding that it hurts", but if your going to the effort to write a story, it's worth a coherent conclusion. You're audience deserves that. Some unanswered questions at the end of a movie can enhance the experience and give it legs, but in my opinion, the core narrative must piece together.
    Scott has two more movies the make this happen, my fingers are crossed. I am not willing to state assuredly that "that I'm watching the wrong movie" if I hope it will ultimately make basic sense.

    • Otaqueen

      Hi Tom,

      I wonder if you have seen "108 Answers to 'Lost''s Supposedly Unanswered Questions" at Cracked (http://bit.ly/LHnxxO). I'm sure Lindelof won't ever officially sanction any of the many fan theories out there, but he comes close to it for this guy. If you haven't read it and are a "Lost" fan, I recommend it.

      Lately I've also started to wonder if years of stupid movies from Hollywood that pander to our most unintellectual impulses have made us unfit for this sort of "heavy lifting." Art SHOULD make us wonder and leave unanswered questions, don't you think? As a friend of mine put it, Answering everything leads to "Phantom Menace."

      • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

        "Answering everything leads to "Phantom Menace."

        No, trying to please everyone leads to 'Phantom Menace', and 'Prometheus'.

        'Throughout the story, characters act without discernible motivation (David at one point deliberately infects one of the scientists with alien goop without the man’s knowledge, with no clear explanation why). They behave in such stupid and illogical ways you wonder how they qualified for the job of traveling to an uncharted world on a voyage funded by the biggest corporation on Earth in the first place.

        Of all the available geologists, the best guy they could get was an emotionally unstable headcase with scalp tattoos and a glassy stare who practically has “I Am Totally Going to Lose It and Then Be Horribly Killed” written on his forehead from the moment you first see him? And I think it would occur to most of us that when you’re exploring an ancient alien ruin, in which you’ve already found a pile of horribly mutilated bodies, and a freaky snake-like alien critter pops its head out of a pool of green slime and hisses at you menacingly, reaching out to touch it is probably not the smartest idea. ' More here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2012/06/10/prometheus-pandering-to-anti-science/

    • OFLOW

      @Tom C.

      I also feel this way. Being that it was written by the 'Lost' guys that story seemed like it was just being made up as it went and they really didnt have any answers they were just making open-ended situations on purpose. I have a feeling thats what they did with this movie too, and a lot of the plot devices/realism was kinda dumbed down for mass marketing which kinda sucks.

      The thing that attracted me the most to both Alien and Bladerunner was that it was 'realistic' sci fi. A lot of realism kinda got thrown out the window in Prometheus for heavy-handed plot devices. (Taking off helmets in an alien environment with biohazards present, Shaw running around broad-jumping with staples in here stomach etc)

      Hopefully Prometheus 2 doesnt turn into an AVP type movie.

    • Dagwood121

      I’m as obsessed with this movie as any I can remember and it requires faith, faith that the story can tie it’s self-up. It definitely needs more whether it is a sequel or something else intended that never happens. I do believe however this movie is Ridley Scott’s vision not the guy from lost. He story boarded scenes daily and spent a long time editing the film himself it is said the editor has more control over the outcome of a movie then the writer. I have never seen lost but I like to ask people familiar with it if they would have felt differently about this movie if Damon L. had not been involved?

  • Tom C

    Hi otaqueen,
    I haven't seen the "lost unanswered" book but I'll def check it out. I suspect that there will still be omissions but I'll defer my judgement :)
    I totally agree that good movies can leave some unanswered questions(eg, basic instinct), stressing the word "some". If everything is left hanging, I personally don't find that satisfying, but that's me. That being said, I think there's a lot of great complex nuanced movies where everything is answered satisfactorily (eg, memento).
    Hollywood is cursed with the derivative plot requirements (good guys win, big confrontation at the end), mainly for pleasing everyone and more money. Ironically, in this case too (lost and Prometheus) the vagueness also leads to everyone finding something to connect to, also a $ maker. it's a balance I guess.

    • Otaqueen

      Hi Tom!

      It's actually just a (looong) article on Cracked.com. Call me crazy, but I think dollar for dollar, it's some of the most enjoyable stuff I read on the web. Of course, unless you count advertisements, it's also free, so that that for what it's worth.

      As far as vagueness leading to everyone finding something with which to connect (leading to big box office), I'm not sure I can agree. Based on the many...let's face it, pissy...comments of my friends on FB, the unanswered questions did not in any way delight them, and seems to have led many to dismiss the film out of hand, possibly because it makes you feel dumb.

      Admittedly, there are some places in the film where I questioned the choices of the filmmakers, but I also cherish the fact that there's some room for us as moviegoers to think. In the end, I guess I'm the kind of person who doesn't feel something has to be "true" so long as it feels right. And the theories espoused here do that for me. I love this process of unpacking.

      • Otaqueen

        *take that for what
        *makes them feel

  • Tom C

    You know, I think you're right. I think more money prob results from a boilerplate generic plot. Ppl either love or hate this movie. I've been obsessed with reading all the theories above so that's my vote I guess.

  • Mo

    Watching Prometheus for now a third time I've come to the realization that it's pacing, direction, and editing (ambiguity, et all) are just as Ridley intended.

    Scenes seem to jump from one to the next without clear explanation. This is the "Ridley way" of film making. He expects the audience to be smart enough to know what happened in between the scenes shown on the screen. Alien was edited in the same fashion. For example: Kane gets an "organism" attached to his face and the very next scene, they're in the airlock asking to get in. The very next scene after they get in, they are cutting Kane's helmet off. Now, lets draw comparisons between Fifeld's character and Parker; both complainers and both in it for just the money. Fifeld could care less about Shaw's "engineers". His head is not in the game because he does not have a vested interested. So his character is a dumb idiot because, well, Fifield is another Parker. Abrasive, not smart, says whatever is on his mind, and blue collar.

    The movie is good folks. I wouldn't be watching it 3 times if it didn't grab me.

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      'Fifield is another Parker'

      Did you see Alien? Parker was a worker on a random salvage ship. Fifield was on a trillion dollar mission, the most important in the history of humanity. Raise your standards.

      "The crew selection procedure took the form of a raffle at an asshole convention. Because the screen writer and director chose to make the expedition improperly funded, staffed, planned and conducted, there are a lot of expendable crew members that die horrible deaths, invaluable scientific data was lost, a unique first contact scenario was was irreparably wasted and a one-of-a-kind interstellar spacecraft was destroyed."

      More here: "http://digitaldigging.net/prometheus-an-archaeological-perspective/"

      • Mo


        I've seen Alien at least 10 times. It's one of my favorites.

        Weyland is a multimillionaire megalomaniac who's only interest is the fountain of youth. I don't think the rich guy here spent a ton of thought on what caliber of scientists were on board his ship. The Weyland/Weyland-Yutani corp has a long history of having "expendable" employees. Just goes to show if you're filthy rich, you can do whatever you want.

        Having said all that, at the end of the day, it is just a movie. Characters in movies don't always perform as you expect them to.

        Here are some negative reviews posted on various sites online regarding 1979's Alien. Sound familiar?

        "It is depressing to watch an expensive, crafty movie that never soars beyond its cold desire to score the big bucks."

        "An empty-headed horror movie with nothing to recommend it beyond the disco-inspired art direction and some handsome, if gimmicky, cinematography."

        "This movie can never be made into a decent film, it will always be pathatic and nothing but fake gore, annoying script and stupid scares...awful in every way."

        "Leaving the arena of philosophy there are other details I have left unscathed that need to be addressed when discussing Alien. When Kane is attacked by the parasite it melts through his thick visor wall but leaves his face uninjured. When the monster kills Dallas it just is crouching there with it's arms outstretched, in fact never in the movie did I see the monster in the fluid motions of an attack. And finally, although I'm sure I could find more errors, there is the issue of the self-destructing spaceship. Why am I supposed to believe that a spaceship would just conveniently have a self-destruct mechanism, of all the vehicles man has forged thus far from the space shuttle to aircraft carriers how many of them do you know to have mechanisms designed to readily blow them to kingdom come."

        "This is not a sci-fi movie, to make this clear. Setting, Lightning and Effects are cool, but the horror elements are cheap and if you complain about the crew behavior in Prometheus, you shouldn't watch Alien."

        The last point I want to make here is that if I try hard enough, I can find flaws in some of the best 5-star, Oscar Award winning films. I say again, it is just a movie folks. But for me, entertaining as hell.

        • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

          Your quotes are from critics...about a movie so head of its time, it took years to appreciate its greatness.

          My quote is from an archeologist...about a movie so lacking that is destined to become Ridleys "Phantom Menace". There are online petitions demanding Lindelof be cast off from touching the screenplay of the sequel. You may accept mediocrity in something that have could have achieved greatness, but we don't.

          5 Simple Changes That Would Make ‘Prometheus’ Better: http://screenrant.com/prometheus-changes-alien-vic-178488/

          • Winchester

            Those 'suggestions' however presuppose that Scott and Lindelof have (or had) the intention of making 'Prometheus' dovetail perfectly with 'Alien' which at this point I'm not 100% convinced is their intention.

            Therefore these may well be entirely irrelevant points to Scott and Co.

            They also exhibit the kind of limited thinking that 'fans' often exhibit when not presented with what 'they' want via their sense of entitlement as fans. The problem with these suggestions is that they do nothing to expand the universe the Alien story is set within. It's more a case of crossing T's and dotting I's, assuming any story must have to do with the first film when I don't think 'Prometheus' needs to go there.

        • Otaqueen

          I appreciate the quotes, Mo. It reminds me of how, lo those many years ago, "Star Wars" opened, and the critic at the San Francisco Chronicle (was it Mick LaSalle?) reviewed the film very negatively.

          Without commenting upon the artistic merit of either the first "SW" or the original "Alien" (which I saw at a drive-thru with my dad in San Mateo, heh), I do think that critics were out of touch with the films' intended audiences in both cases. Some critics today preface their reviews with a sniffing "while it will no doubt please certain segments of the population...", but I don't think the patronizing tone is any better.

  • Tom C

    I think that Shelley's Prometheus is most related to ridleys intent. It's David's creation that enraged the engineer. But could he tell that David was an android by his simple comment, or was it the audacity to ask for more life?

    • OFLOW

      I cant wait to watch the edited scenes it will probably make the movie a lot better.

      I think the engineers' biogenetic religion is so centered around the concept of the circle of life (destroying life to create it, i.e. you live to die) that David asking the engineer for immortality was like blasphemy, doubly so coming from an imitation human which is why he tore him to shreads then punched Weyland in the face lol.

      • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

        In your other post you said "Enki and his crew are probably the ones leaving the maps for humans to find, along with the ones helping humans"

        Those maps are the crux of any theory, and like the other theories, it doesn't make sense here either. Enki is supposedly good, he would not direct humanity to a dangerous system.

  • Tom


    The "Alien" is the "primary" species,
    the "supermen" are a "servant" species,
    the "supermen" weren't spreading their species,
    they were preparing for the spread of the dominant species, the "Alien" species.
    It is human hubris that causes us to kook at the "supermen" as the dominant species as is the statement of God creating us in his own image. Whose image was on the wall in the superman spacecraft?
    Shaw will be in for a major shock on arriving at the supermen home planet. A faith shattering surprise!

    • Tom

      It is human hubris that causes us to LOOK at the "supermen" as the dominant species as is the statement of God creating us in his own image. Whose image was on the wall in the superman spacecraft?

  • Philip


    Hi Mr. Brevet. Great coverage of the movie. Haven't watched it yet but plan to. (please don't bash me XD) Friends told me all about it and the above link was from a friend who felt he explained the film fairly well. What's your (and others feel free) opinion. Probably because of his breakdown, I don't think I can agree with your argument of a God "who wouldn't want to destroy us". Seems to me, if God is love, then he wouldn't want to destroy us; isn't God supposed to be a forgiving God? Be that as it may, I liked your other points about the film.

    I guess we'll all just have to wait for the sequel to see if there is any more resolution to Prometheus.



    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, we discussed that link in the first comment above.

  • Dominic

    If I am remembering the sequence when David is looking at the replay of the engineers going into hibernation. You see Earth and then lines come out of Earth to all these other planets. It made me think Earth was going to be some kind of starting/jumping off point for whatever they planned on doing with the black goo. They intended to go to Earth and use the goo on us but were prevented from doing so.

    • melchar

      IMO the lines leaving Earth that then show other star systems is the Engineer's list of planets they have visited in the past [or that are up for their next visit in the queue]. Multiple worlds that they are meddling with.

  • Dominic

    I also think the engineers are afraid of us because we are full of pathogens. The scanner showed them to be pathogen free. David was asked to say who we are and that we have been looking for them. David probably started to say we are from this planet called Earth located in this area of space...

    Engineer: OH CRAP... Kill them all... kill them quick...

  • http://antarcticainsideme.wordpress.com/ Chase P

    I have the same stance - I have talked about this movie for hours on end with any/everyone I know (who wants to talk/listen, anyway) .

    Because I have so many ideas and thoughts, and no room/time to put them all down, I will simply suggest one or two things.

    First, I agree and love your theory that the black goo was not made simply to destroy. And to further procure this idea, I have this: everyone seems confused or upset about the black goo having so many different (hostile, as you stated) affects on the different species in the film. But here's what I think. Whether it's a weapon or not doesn't quite matter - it's the fact that the black goo is where we came from that shows it's true potential. The main question here is this: if an advanced species such as humans were formed from it, then what else can it do? Non-hostile evolution. Which, in turn, sort of answers it's own question - something so powerful and destructive MUST have some seriously powerful creative potential too, correct? I think so.

    Second, you touched on the door sculpture of the Xenomorph. Here's my theory, and evidence to back it up:
    At the end of Prometheus, the Engineer is CLEARLY fighting his hardest to stay away from the giant white squid creature. Most people probably thought nothing of it, thinking 'okay, he's trying to survive'. While that is a part of it, I immediately saw it a little further and different than I think most viewers did - they _most_likely_ already experimented with the black goo and found out what something (similar) to the Xenomorph is or was, and obviously that's a hard question to answer seeing that the only way the Xeno came about in the end of Prometheus was because of Shaw and Holloway's intercourse, and the creatures natural birth afterward - however, that doesn't mean a similar form of birth hadn't been tested by the Engineers already. Too far out, you may say? Well, just look at their starmap. Look at their technology, look at their spacesuits, look at the black goo itself - it's highly advanced. It's an organic evolving substance; big stuff there. It's very simple to me - they obviously know at least SOME of the affects the goo will have. I think they've seen or made a Xeno before.

    Lastly (and I'm done in here, I could just sit and go on) I think it's extremely interesting that the Engineers came back to Earth several times in different places. And I think you're right about the intent there - they obviously must be interested in us for one reason or another. But because they came back tells me that either
    A) they are plotting a way to destroy us,
    B) are trying to keep us in-line as you said,
    C) want to make US find THEM, as Shaw states early in the film. I have no idea why they'd want us to find them, though, because of all the things that seem to point to them wanting to destroy us. And, I LOVE your question on David - why/how does he KNOW that they want to destroy us? And to expand upon David's idea of "Destruction a form of creation" I want to with the idea that maybe, like a forest fire, the human race needed a small 'sweep' or purge if you will, or maybe a little evolutionary help, to advance or progress ourselves, so we don't destroy ourselves. And maybe the only means of that is the black goo, or 'forest fire' for our race, killing many off, but helping us to learn and restart and take something away from it and smartening our next moves in history.

    That's my idea of it, anyway. If that's wrong, then I side with the original idea brought up in the movie - that they just wanted to destroy us. Which is a pretty valid opinion anyway because of all the evidence in the movie, i.e.: the green line to Earth on the Engineers' starmap, the black canisters being stowed in massive amounts, and the Engineer getting mad and tearing the hell out of the humans and David when they first awake it. (I know David says something to them, but I think that he's mad because humans are an abomination and were never meant to happen, meaning the first Engineer who destroyed himself, thus creating us, was never meant to create us. But that's a whole other theory I have, and I'm not going into it)...

    In any case, amazing article here Mr. Brevet, I was completely enthused and interested reading it. Well written, awesome ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://antarcticainsideme.wordpress.com/ Chase P

    Also, I'd love to hear any feedback you have/had on any ideas I brought up, Brad. And again, awesome read, thanks for your time!


    Author: TheMovieGoer
    "In your other post you said "Enki and his crew are probably the ones leaving the maps for humans to find, along with the ones helping humans

    Those maps are the crux of any theory, and like the other theories, it doesn't make sense here either. Enki is supposedly good, he would not direct humanity to a dangerous system."


    Like I said I didnt write that post I quoted and i probably would have worded it differently. But in actually it makes perfect sense but depends on how you look at the cave paintings.

    Maybe they were a warning from Enki? 'DONT GO HERE'
    And Holloway and Shaw mistook the warnings for an invitation?

    It really depends on how you interpret the paintings. Since we never see the entire cave paintings (hieroglyphics usually tell a story) we cant really say. Its all conjecture anyway.

    But I personally find this version a lot more plausible than most of them, especially since Scott said himself he based the jockeys on that mythos and other things coincedences like the Nephilim actually being in the Bible in Genesis. (They were the race of giants that Goliath was a part of, and the engineers are all huge like giants.)

  • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

    "Maybe they were a warning from Enki? 'DONT GO HERE'
    And Holloway and Shaw mistook the warnings for an invitation?"

    Rather convenient mistake, and such a stupid one for a god. No, its more likely what happened was the intent, and the intent just doesn't fit any theory or make any sense. That's what happens when an original a screenplay (Spaihts) is mutilated by a newcomer (Lindelof).

    • OFLOW

      lol the Enki didnt make the mistake Shaw & Holloway did.

      It wasnt a 'stupid mistake by a god' it was a stupid mistake by the scientists. The cave paintings probably werent drawn by Enki himself literally, they were drawn by the primitive people of the time interpreting him.

      Shaw & Holloway mistook the warnings in the cave painting as an invitation. She even says it in the movie:

      "We were wrong! We shouldnt have come here!"

      Cant spell it out any clearer than that.

      This story combined with the synthetic eggs theory pretty much fills in all the holes in the story for me, if you dont like it thats fine you dont have to. Like I said its all conjecture anyway.

      But the more I think about it the more it makes sense. And in relation to the mural, this mythos could possibly also clear up another point made in the mural.

      The figure in the mural being subserviant to the engineer may not be a xeno it could actually be a representation of an Annunaki the original race the engineers rebelled against. In the Sumerian mythos they were reptilian/dragonkin. (The figure the engineer in the mural is subjegating is kinda scaley looking and looks to have horns/a beak)

      The mural could represent how the engineers used their perfect bioweapon the xenos to subjugate their former masters. The altar is a head of the engineer that discovered the bioweapon. The green crystal is the original DNA sample enclosed in resin that they use to make the synthetic eggs. (like the Jurrassic Park DNA sample in the resin)

      The xeno technology has progressed overtime. The engineers probably used to actually use the real xeno eggs, but over time figured out how to create them synthetically which would definitely be more efficient. The containers all over the hold are synthetic xeno eggs, they are placed around the room just like the real xeno eggs were.

      The ship that crashed on LV426 could actually be a much older vessel than the one on LV223 from back in the days when the engineers still used the eggs. And just like the engineers on LV223 that ship on LV426 had an accident wwhich resulted in their cargo killing the crew, leaving a bunch of eggs for the nostromo crew to find.

      This would explain the different types of xenos. Knowing that the ship on LV223 is only 2000 years old, the synthetic egg/deacon xeno would be a more advanced model than the original egg-based xeno in the ship on LV426 which is much older than 2000 years old. But the original egg based xeno was still a bioweapon just older technology with a less efficient delivery system.

      • Mo


        Well thought out and plausible explaining LV_223 with LV_426. Even if not true, certainly an interesting theory! This is why I love the movie.....causes us to analyze and think.

      • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

        "It wasnt a 'stupid mistake by a god' it was a stupid mistake by the scientists."

        If your theory is valid, it was absolutely a stupid mistake by a god, and certainly not a stupid mistake by the scientists. It's so stupid that it shouldn't even need to be explained, but if you don't want children to go somewhere, you don't give them a map to that exact place LOL. The obvious reason is because any adult (let alone a god) would be wise enough to think the children could misinterpret the "warning" (what warning, exactly?)

        Also, that an advance race of 'gods' that solved the mysteries of traveling the universe would need or use a giant insect as a weapon, let alone worship it, is kinda stupid for other reasons.

        5 Simple Changes That Would Make ‘Prometheus’ Better: http://screenrant.com/prometheus-changes-alien-vic-178488/


    And its also possible that the fragment in the green resin is a piece of Annunaki that the engineers experimented on and created the xenos based on their creators' DNA, like the Sumerian myth says.

    It is mentioned in several lesser stories that Marduk (likeness in the giant stone head in the mural room)created the Mushussu (xenos) using the essence of the Gods' (Annunaki) he killed as a symbol of his conquering and being able to control them… ie the mural:

    The figure with its hands between its legs doesnt really look like a xeno. It has some oof its traits but the head/face appear different.

    So the engineers rebelled against their creators and killed them with the xenos which are a perversion they made from their creators' essence.

    Only problem is the xenos probably got out of control and wiped out the engineers too.

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      "Only problem is the xenos probably got out of control and wiped out the engineers too."

      That's another stupid mistake humans would do (and did, in Alien Resurrection). That, and leaving maps that aren't really maps, inefficiently and illogically raging against a machine and swiping at him like a gorilla, none of it makes sense within the context of their age, experience, and knowledge.

      • OFLOW

        wasnt illogical for him to destroy david if he already hated humans. hes the equivalent of a 9ft marine

        • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

          "hes the equivalent of a 9ft marine"

          Well that makes sense, I thought he was a god-like advanced life-form which would mean acting like an angry marine or a raging gorilla is more ludicrous lindelof.

          • Patiwat

            I really don't understand the hating for Lindelof. Is it so ludicrous to expect that life-forms that are so advanced that they can create other life-forms would also be violent and irrational?

            Look at humanity in Prometheus: we can terraform planets, literally creating life on barren worlds, and have built androids in our image whose capabilities go way beyond us. We are gods.

            Yet we don't do for noble reasons but simply because "because we can." We spent a trillion dollars not for scientific advancement but to extend the life of a single man. We treat the lives of fellow humans as if they were disposable, and when worse comes to worse we send in space marines and a nuke to clean things up.

            If David was capable of displaying emotion, he would have been horrified that his creators were so craven.

            And the real horror of Prometheus is that humanities gods are no better than us.

            So are you really surprised that the Engineers are violent 9 ft marines?

          • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer


            "And the real horror of Prometheus is that humanities gods are no better than us."

            That's not horror, it's *boring*. And should be proven inaccurate in the sequel , making Prometheus (again) an irrelevant mess. Let's hope Lindelof is removed as per petitions, so he can't mess up the sequel like he did with Lost.

          • OFLOW

            blah blah blah if you dont like the movie why are you here trolling?

  • Mo

    With all this debate regarding the Lindelof script I was wondering if anyone came across the original, unaltered, Spathis script? I'm curious to see what he (Lindelof) striped out of it.

  • PhillyG4212

    Primarily good art seeks to draw out thought and discussion.
    Seeing as this is the umpteenth site I have been on regarding Prometheus I would say that this piece has achieved that at the very least, regardless of opinion (even if it is just the simplistic 'It is shit' ((translation - the ideas are too big for me to work out on my own))).

    The entire premise of the movie, to me, relates to the very possibility that there are no true answers 'out there' as we would hope. The very nature of our being will always be ambigous, were we 'created' or did we just 'happen to be' (as such). Such answers are likely to be right in our faces as the other end of the universe.

    I could go on and on regarding the supposed plot holes in this work of FICTION, I think some people could do with reminding. Instead I think the opening scene is enough. It doesn't matter whether it is earth, the focus should be on how the 'engineers' work, but this is typical of human arrogance, that it must always be 'about us' when we are just a small piece of the puzzle.

    I for one thoroughly enjoyed the movie and look forward to finding out one way or the other when my time comes.

    Without further ado I would like to posit one school of thought I have yet to see touched upon. Let us say for the moment that it definitely wasn't earth. Let us say that the 'Engineers' have done this many times already. Why, where and when are the other 'experiments.' I for one think that is a question worth exploring, even if only for the self-centred view of our own origins, no?

  • Scott Wilson

    I saw the film again last night and I had a question in order to verify that I heard this correctly. When the holographic Peter Weyland did his little speech for the crew when they arrived at the planet, did he say, "and now Prometheus is back." ?

  • Racer X

    Vickers PICKED the crew for the mission to LV 223. She wanted the mission to FAIL in order for her father to die so she could take full control over his company. “Don't all children want to kill their parents"?

    • melchar

      I very much agree with this opinion. It explains the buckets of stupidity most of the support staff exhibits. It's almost a certainty that Weyland only hired Shaw & Holloway - and the only competant folk Vickers hired are the Captain & nav crew. Everyone else is specifically hired to fail - with the hope of dragging down Shaw/Holloway.

  • tigana


    I have an interesting idea of who is worshiped in the temple AKA The Ampule Chamber. Since the black goo urns are on the bottom floor, human/engineer head in the middle and crucified Alien on the top, I figured based on iconographic perspective that the temple must be the worship of Aliens.

    Since we have our God's (Engineers') DNA, Engineers have their God's DNA, Engineers might be trying to reverse engineer the Gods from DNA of themselves via humans as the hosts! Since Alien (their God) is tied up in crucified position in the mural it seems Engineers might have wanted not only to create their Gods but control them as well.

  • tigana


    My theory also explains Engineer's reaction to David. He's intriqued but ultimately repulsed by the idea that humans dared to make the immortal God (android David) before Engineers made it themselves (Aliens from Engineers' DNA). All comes up to the theory that Engineers are not Gods, but Aliens are and Engineers worship them (as evident in the temple).

  • Mo

    Here's a great article bringing together all the influences for Prometheus... click here

  • tigana


    Does anyone have any Prometheus TV specials, sya HBO and E! Behind the scenes? I've compiled 2 DVD set filled with promos that won't be released on blu-ray...

    SKY MOVIES: 35MM (5:00)
    TRAILERS (9:31)
    EPK B-ROLL (4:45)
    NOOMI RAPACE (2:34)


    IDRIS ELBA (1:24)

    RIDLEY SCOTT (2:40)
    JON SPAIHTS (3:04)
    CREATION (3:19)
    ORIGINS (1:41)
    THE SHIP (2:17)
    IMAX (1:15)
    T4: MOVIE SPECIAL (22:10)

    • melchar

      Dang, I would spend more to buy a multi-DVD with -all- the specials and extras, when it's released commercially. Sighs. I really WISH this would be offered as an option.

  • Mo

    Another great article here: http://whatculture.com/film/prometheus-6-answers-to-the-key-questions.php/1

    Summary of more interesting observations/theories:

    Regarding the fate of the engineers on the ship...
    "The calamitous outbreak resulted in several Engineers being impregnated and having Alien-style chest-bursters emerge from them- this is evidenced by the mound of dead Engineers that Fifield and Milburn find with holes in their heads and abdomens. We can picture that what we have is total chaos. In the carnage, I suspect that several Engineers tried to escape by going into cryogenic stasis. In the map-room we can see several cryo-pods: the inhabitant of one of them was not infected (the living Engineer that is awakened by David later). However, the other Engineers that tried to escape in this way were infected – we see this because, if you look carefully at the cryo-pods that are shown in the map-room, three of the four are damaged and show holes around their chest sections. This is down to newly born xenomorphs (not the same as the pure form of the revered xenomporh since these ones are derived from the black liquid)"

    Regarding the engineer that was found on LV_426 in Alien....
    "One Engineer did make it out from series of tumultuous events that transpired on LV-223. The Engineer who had intervened to save humankind managed to suit and up and escape via another ship – but he was already infected/ impregnated. Midway through his flight (probably to the Engineer homeworld to explain that events had just taken a massive turn for the worse) he ran into difficulties. He landed his ship on the moon LV-426 (a moon apparently in the same star system as LV-223) and a xenomorph ripped it’s way from his abdomen."

    Regarding the organic eggs found on the floor of the ship in Alien....
    "If Ridley considers that the events of James Cameron’s 1986 sequel to Alien –Aliens – are canonical, then only queen category xenomorphs can lay eggs. That means that the xenomorph that emerged from this Engineer was a queen. It laid its eggs- which managed to survive 2000 years of solitude- and died. 2000 years later the ship was found by the Nostromo."

    • Winchester

      I did not notice that about the other pods in observation 1. I've just preordered the Blu-ray so will look for that when I get it later in the year.

      I also find observation 3 interesting, since I don't think we've seen a 'baby' Queen Xenomorph before, just a mature one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/JuanSitoh JuanSitoh

        Well..u can see a baby queen at the end of Alien 3 bursting out of Riple's chest.

  • Mo

    "In Greek mythology, the original “torch-bearer” was Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire from the gods in order to give it to humanity. By bringing fire to mankind, Prometheus has therefore enabled humans to partake in “all things divine” and even allowed them to aspire to become gods themselves. The act of “carrying the torch” is symbolic of man’s awareness of his own “divine spark” and represents his aspiration to become “one of the gods”. "


  • James

    What if the "engineers" on planet LV-223 were the "fallen angels" and were going against the rest of their kind to destroy humans?

  • chj915

    I am really interested in what David spoke to the Engineer which raged the giant human-formed Engineer to killing him.
    And like you wrote, I agree that we don't know if the Engineers are to destroy mankind, it is all one-side of thinking from us, as we haven't heard any words (human understandable) from the Engineer. Well, it could be, but why? Are those Engineers really the creators, what do they want from doing so? Or maybe just like the story in other Alien-type movies that we human beings are the creation from outer space and our existence is nothing but the experiment material to some tests?

    I can't wait to see the next movie of Prometheus, hoping it will bring some good answers to the questions like the ones we are discussing here.

  • Aitor González

    First, sorry for my English.

    I will try to explain my hipothesis about black goo 1 / black goo 2 and canisters. Yes, I think there's two kinds of black goo and, the canisters are just not canisters, are warheads.

    If you look at the disposition of the canisters inside the Engineer's spaceship, the canisters are in a separated area of the rest of the ship hermetically closed I supose, and the canisters are not vertical, just put on a pile to prevent accidental droping.

    Assuming that are not canisters, just warheads, when David disasembles it, inside there are four or five "glass" bootles with green liquid and black drops, separated from the black goo.

    Black goo it's a DNA mutagen, every life form that has contact with it mutates into a better killing machine preserving his own respective features, like the cobra-like worms.

    The black drops inside the glass bootles inside the canisters are DNA recombiner, mutating the life forms into xenomorf-like forms, as Holloway, who is mutating but it's not violent.

    You must ask what's about the "son" of Elizabeth Shawn. Well, she was impregnated by Holloway and then, she remains unconsciencious a indeterminate amount of time. David knows about her relationship with Holloway, and we don't know about the intentions of David, if he is a good or bad guy. He could inject some black goo inside Elizabeth's son to generate the ultimate xenomorph-killing machine, resulting in the giant squid facehugger, and had inherited some kind of reproduction capabilities from human/Engineer DNA when it impregnates the Engineer with black goo and black drops with xenomorph DNA (like the original facehuggers), resulting on the first Alien Xenomorph that resembles a small Alien Queen (if you look close, it has a mouth inside his/her mouth, not a tongue with teeth, like the adult Alien Queen from Aliens), resulting on the complete xenomorph reproduction, as mother who birth eggs, eggs that contains facehuggers, and facehuggers who impregnates victims with black goo, black drops and base xenomorph DNA who generates a new xenomorph.

    Explained that, what is inconsistent with the plot of Engineers designing weapons to extinguis the human race (Who will kill an entire specie turning it into a ultimate killing machine), let me explain something. The tale about Engineers wanting to kill human race it's only said by David. But I don't believe in David. If you pay attention to the first scene of the movie, you would see a circular spaceship, a complete circular and giant spaceship, not a half-eaten Donut like spaceship. This suggest me something. The Engineers doesn't want to kill human race. They want to kill other Engineers faction, turning they'r creation against them, against the ones who created us. May be the "map of the stars" on the caves are just not an invitation, but an advice. If you look to the man who fingers the constellation with one hand with people praising him, if you look the other hand, he makes a stop, or be careful sign. And if you pay atention to the Engineers, the first Engineer of the film looks calm on the moment of his own sacrifice, like some kind of priest, the true image of peace, and a pacific race. But the LV. 233 survivor Engineer, the last Engineer and all of his comrades looks really violent, conflictive and extremist, mixing and praising some religious, military and technologic knowledge (as seen on the first canister room, with murals, giant head and the canisters itself). The first Engineers on film and the lasts are so different, they had the same problem as us.

    • http://www.TheMovieGoer.com TheMovieGoer

      "May be the "map of the stars" on the caves are just not an invitation, but an advice. If you look to the man who fingers the constellation with one hand with people praising him, if you look the other hand, he makes a stop, or be careful sign. "

      That would mean the good engineers are "dumb", for leaving such a dangerously ambiguous message. Why not, for example, instead of pointing to the bad planet with a "warning hand", just point to the good planet? Or point in the other direction? Also, that would mean the bad engineers were around for 35,000 years. And, did nothing harmful for 33,000 years.

      Your theory does explain the movie, admirably, but it also shows the movie (and its alien engineers) is kinda dumb.

  • tigana

    It's great news extras are being confirmed. I'm still amazed I've put together 2 DVDs (with 3rd one in the making) with TV specials & Promos that won't be released on this extensive set. Will be a great supplement though.

    DVDs I mention can be found here:


  • tnl101

    Sorry for my english, but i have to leave a comment after watching the movie yesterday and reading the many comments on this page. Do you really think, that the idea of this movie is so epic and deep in mind as some of you describe?

    First of all, Scott said that the movie is an (against former plans) own storyline! So the xenomorph in the end of the movie is not the birth of the original Alien but a new sort of Alien, accidently grown and now ready to fight against mankind for another 3 movies! (a new alien for a new story).

    That explains the knowledge of the original xenomorphs who where discovered by the engineers on another planet and fascinates them. And then they just tried to breed them synthetically. Thats why no eggs, just containers. Maybe on the other ships they breed other lifeforms with their goo.

    Every ship of the engineers is a birth-station, so they have different signs and pictures on the wall, such like babyphotos on hospitalwalls on earth. Oh look, it's a xenomorph. But they loose control, nothing more!

    Remember: In Alien:R mankind tried the same. Breed xenomorphs, fail, desaster!! Nothing more!

    It's simple and Scott is also fascinated by the many theories (he never thought of before) like me.

    Greetz from Germany

    • tnl101

      i think the message of the movie is a critic to mankind. we also play god, genmanipulate lifeforms, breed new races on animals and maybe it can go wrong in the future. the engineers played god and it went wrong.

      the plot of the movie is just a future "Jurassic Park". Instead of the dino-egg it is a green-stone with dna-information.

      No mythology. Just the projected mythology of the mankind.


  • Cusoon

    What did David said?

    Did you discussed that David didnt tell what was written on the wall/ entrance to the "monument-Room" and that he may knew about the Mission of the engineers? Perhaps he Said something about that to the survivor?

    Any thoughts?

  • alberto

    Hi, I watched the movie yesterday and was not thrilled. Essentially, I feel, it lacks a thrilling story line and interior intelligibility. A movie should not require extensive research to be understandable to the reasonably educated viewer, I feel. I share many of the feelings of confusion raised by other commentators. Hence, I do not consider it a good movie at all. However, it still responds to humanity's desire to KNOW, and that is what keeps us going to the box office, or turning to religions or other human types of imagination, for answers. I do not feel there will be answers for a long time to come, maybe never. But the desire to find them may keep our human 'spirit' alive for as long as our sun, or other suns, may shine on us.

  • isquinanamook

    I don't know if it was already said in the comments... anyway, actually on The Bioscopist the words David says to the engineer are translated. It is Proto-Indo-European and means: "This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life."
    So David actually says what he was told to say by his master. Maybe the engineer thought that the humans seem to be very ungrateful if "more" is the only thing they came to ask for when they came the long way to him. But if there is really a longer conversation on the uncut-DVD then maybe the reaction will make more sense.

  • Mo

    Good article about the future of film: http://whatculture.com/film/10-predictions-for-the-future-of-cinema.php/7

    "We only need to look at the success of films like ‘Inception’, ‘Prometheus’ (steady…) and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ to see this. They may not appeal to everyone, but they don’t talk down to an audience like ‘Battleship’ or ‘Transformers’ do. They may be flawed, but they throw out big, brave ideas."

  • Lee Wilson

    I'd prefer.

    Xenos are the top species, who cannot procreate anymore so...

    they created a two step process to procreate thru other species.

    One: Us, two an improved us "engineers" they use the larger more evolved "us" to create them via facehugger type means. The engineers see the xenos, who in this case are actually very intelligent, as their gods and understand the process and see it as an honor to do.So process might be like this:

    Find suitable planet
    Sacrificial evolved human drinks goo to eventually make a planet of us.
    Engineers return with "goo" to turn us into them, while at the same time creating hosts for the true masters.. the Xenos. Xeons are such an old race they lost the ability to reproduce like we can. They needed to create a properly intelligent life form of adequate shape and size to base their offspring on. That, I think would have been a much more interesting order.

  • Mo


    Trailer states that the engineers created the aliens.

  • http://www.trendsient.com Jacob Greer

    My friend and I have been discussing Prometheus theory, here's my concept:

    "I think the combination of a modified zoo hypothesis (Earth being bio & terraformed for later alien colonization) and one of the theoretical explanations of the fermi paradox (we don't see aliens because they are trying to hide from colonizing or dangerous species). If that's the case, the blue dots in the interactive map David was playing with would indicate other planets they've colonized as a safety barrier. If that's the case, somewhere in the center of the dome is their "earth" (and surrounding colonies). They may want to create a barrier by creating forming the environment in which the alien weapon can thrive (food, climate) so that when someone breaks their protective dome they're still insulated by a threatening species. It's similar to the kardashev scale type III (a species capable of galactic engineering)."

    "At that point, the reason for visiting us to remind us of their military outpost is a precaution. If an alien species finds us and is capable of continuing the breach of their dome, they'd be pointed to the weapons themselves."

    "Secondarily that also explains the awkward design of the spaceship: a flute to activate stuff and a control panel made of hieroglyphics would normally be complicated CAPTCHAs (similar to websites with word scrambles to login) that would make visiting ETI have to figure all of that out. But David was able to put together these things from studying the formation of all Earth's languages and somehow found the ship's recorder really quickly. It's safe to assume none of the brilliant scientists would have figured that out in enough time to breach the ship's cockpit before becoming alien hosts."

    "Also explains why the military outpost's planet looked fairly uninhabited except for a few lines (landing strip) and the entrance. Basically the planet looks unoccupied and there's a mousetrap sitting on it."

  • AEG

    They were coming to destroy the human race before they were killed by the weapon of their making. I say this because IMO when on their other trips to earth humans were still in their infancy if you go by the dates given. I think on their last trip they saw what we had become; Greed, Destruction, Death, War and they did not like it so they chose extinction rather then trying to help any more.

  • Lu

    This might seem a little odd but and I'm not 100% sure if what i discovered is fact however, i believe Scott gave you all the clues to what happened to the engineers that left them running for their lives in the recording. As the hologram that was activated by David began to run, there was something that caught my attention. after it starts up and you hear the power up sequence there was another sound that followed. it bothered me because after watching the movie several times i knew i heard it before. finally i realized where i heard it. the "protoform," xenomorph. is it possible that the engineers made a mistake resulting it the creation of one of those xenomorphs in the past and it got loose? im not sure but that's a theory that should be looked into.

  • Sebastien

    Hi. Great reading. Just want to share one thought I had while reading your last page about the Xenomorph Sculpture.

    What do we sculpt and put into a dark room ? Idols, representations of God.
    In some sense, these "perfect creatures" that the engineers are did consider the Xenomorph as some sort of superior (or at least equal) being.
    One difference though with the typical god in a church : engineers did know how to create these Xenomorphs.

    If we can imagine that the one in the sculpture came from an Engineer's transformation, it is more likely to be from a human being.
    According to this, the "bombing" event would not be to destroy mankind,
    but to create the Xenomorphs from them.

    Some kind of quests of the perfect being that may be very close to what we can find in Dune (F. Herbert), known as the Kwizach aderach.

    Is this life seeding on the planets and human race breeding purposed to be the base for Xenomorphs ?
    This said, this would bring another question/paradox : how could the engineers struggle for breeding Xenomorphs while it is maybe the only creature that can kill them...

  • Tony

    The Engineers are biorobots and probably we are also. The real "species" is the ugly creature we see in Alien who was inside the Engineer suit. Funny how the octopus defended his "mother". Maybe thats love and the true hand of the real God of the universe, the good force, the purpose of the cross to simbolise that... So in fact what we call the creator is an horrible creature with their own agenda (food?, reproduction?, amusement?). Moral of the story: we shouldn't want to live forever, we shouldn't kill in the name of each local "God" because we simply don't know all the facts and agendas...and be careful with David, the ultimate machine that will help us kill the Aliens but in the end will kill us.

  • rugay

    Many thanks for the input here guys, lotta food for thoughts. All I can add for now is that Prometheus left a similar deep impression on me like Matrix (one) did more than 10 Years ago (and even by having no grasp about the various esoteric/occult implications that time) - I just sensed some deep hidden truth that might be connected to our collective unconscious.Same here. What I personally find interesting is the shape of the engineers chosen: To me they look like a mixture of (marble) greek statues and depictions of hindu-gods (two cultures that also mark a certain undeniable influence on the western "indogermanic" Civilsations). And so from my POV they ARE the Titans of Greek Mythology challenging the Gods - as we as their "offspring" would become titan-like too, challenging them in turn. From their size and appearance, they match the description of ancient/religious texts - not to forget the story of the discovery of the remains of giant humanoids that is continiously ridiculed and oppressed by the Mainstream. IT's not about the proof they existed in this context - I just say Ridley Scott did his homework researching various creation myths and contemporary scientific and non-scientific considerations on that topic. (Unlike Roland Emmerich who only claimed to have intensively researched- for to sell his ridiculous "2012" Bullshit ). Someone (Oflow?) mentioned H.P.Lovecraft as a reference. Well, isn't it strange that the actual father of modern Weird Tales/ cosmic Sci-Fi Mythologies never found his way into an appropriate A-Movie production ? There is a director (forgot his name) whose favorite project is "At the Mountains of Madness" one of Lovecrafts most impressive and advanced tales. Unfortunately the project has been postponed (again)...
    Despite all nitpickers who deny that H.P. had a real occult source for his writings I'm convinced he had - no matter if some old manuscripts or through his dreaming....while today it seems there is a movement or an agenda to bring this whole creation myths and the (ancient) alien factor connected with into public attention. For what ?
    Sign of the Times ? Zeitgeist ? The next evolutionary step of Mankind ?

    As Prometheus is so obviously just a first fragment of the whole story we will have to wait until 2014 to fully embrace what Ridley Scott has brought us here so far.
    Hope it will not end like Matrix II & III which became a Action-Overkill-Blockbuster burying all this interesting thoughts, implications and reflections about what is really going on there...

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  • Djordje

    Hi Brad,
    I was really enjoying reading these theories, but for me reading it, couldn’t lose the thought for explanation about the engineers like in the movie ``The Day The Earth Stood Still`` with Keanu Reeves. So ``Klaatu`` explains why they need to ``save the Earth``. For me engineers simply represent death (life) squad, they work for several civilizations, they brought life to Earth, they supervised it over the centuries, but when man started destroying Earth with technology, war …etc, they got order to wipe out mankind and give Earth second chance.
    Only their fault ``as will be ours- someday`` is that their bio weapon turn against them. But sole survivor somehow stayed alive and when woke up, was eager to complete the mission (wipe out) as ordered. This may give some explanation for motives…

    Any comments?

  • John Mahar

    Is there any explanation why the engineer in homeostasis lived 2000 yrs beyond when his ship mates perished? Seems like the goo would have sensed him in the hyperbaric chamber and infiltrated it or he would have decomposed to dust. There was no evidence of cryogenic involvement. Are they immortal? Do they not age? These items was never addressed. Any thoughts?

  • Phil Geddes

    David describes their Hypersleep chambers as being "...sure to impress...".

    If the Prometheus' party are capable of preserving themselves for their journey to LV-223 then something that was sure to impress is going to be capable of sustaining the Engineer.

    The preserved state of the Engineer would have to not register with the Goo or it would defeat its own purpose (their Hypersleep chambers). After all the Engineers built them.

    Also, the Engineer has evidence of a life support system (a la The Matrix) when it is getting out of its chamber.

  • Michael David

    I think that Vickers is an Android. If you watch the TED clip of Peter Weyland talking -- it is 2023 and he talks about creating androids that we cannot tell apart from peter, mary, or paul (also watch David's clip) It is now 2093. That is 70 years of technology and Weyland Corps massive wealth in all forms of AI and technology. He could have programmed her to think she was human (like Deckard from Bladerunner) His coldness to Vickers tells me that she is a synthetic and not worthy of taking over anything.