So I saw Prometheus a couple weeks ago & I’m still thinking about it. I think the last movie I felt that way about was Donnie Darko. So anyway, I figure it’s been long enough to talk about it without worrying about spoilers. So those abound in this. I’ll put some videos below to some more informed, entertaining, & in depth analysis than mine. I will say I went into the movie intentionally not having read anything more than “prequel to Alien” nor seen any trailers. & also I haven’t seen the Alien movies in a long time & I’m not going to bother to look up things to see if my memory on certain points are right or wrong.
So the opening scene that they never go back to of the guy killing himself, I assume that’s a seed of life thing & that’s what I assumed when I saw it. There’s a quote from Ridley Scott saying something about it not necessarily being on Earth, which is super interesting. My memory of Alien mythology is that the ship they find is the first time humans have encountered alien life. So what does that insinuate? It insinuates that if The Engineers are still around, they intentionally are avoiding humanity. It also insinuates that they were on a mission to destroy life on all of the seeded planets. Or rather, that the folks on the planet LV223 were on a mission to destroy all life. Because it would be presumable that humanity would have encountered some other races in space otherwise. Which means in general they were successful on that mission.
There’s debate over whether or not Charlize Theron is an android or not. The more I think about it, the more I think that she is. The biggest reason to think that is Ridley Scott saying, “There might be two androids.” But it makes sense to go with the undercover robot in cryo-sleep like they had in Alien & it kind of makes what seems like uneven acting on Theron’s part become something intentional. Is she falling out of character when she decides to have sex with the dude after the android accusation? Is she falling out of character when she almost cries when lighting the dude on fire? Or are those two things a robot trying to look more like a human? I think Theron is a good actress & that Scott is a good director, so I’m siding with her being an android.
I seem to remember the alien on the spaceship in Alien being about 60 feet tall & in this one The Engineers seem to be 7 feet tall at most. Which is a gaping plot hole if the ship in Alien is piloted by the same race as in Prometheus. But given that life starts by an Engineer going to a planet & killing himself by drinking the black goo, I’d say it makes sense that the alien in the first movie is the same species, but from a different environment that allowed them to evolve to that state. Or perhaps the larger alien race are the real Engineers & the seven footers are a derivative race just like the one on earth. The more I think about it, the more I think that I like the idea that the seven footers are a rival to humanity that decided to destroy all the seeds of the engineers.
The black goo of course is interesting. I mean, we all assume it’s a bio weapon because that’s what one of the characters seems to say. But the opening scene suggests that’s not necessarily so since it is how life begins. So I have to wonder, is it the same black goo in the opening scene as later in the movie? If the goo is both a weapon & the source of life, how does it decide which one it is going to be? Does it have to do with the emotional response of the organism taking in the black goo? Fear creates weapons & serenity creates life? Who knows?
There’s a nearly infinite amount of Christian imagery in here. I don’t even want to get into that mess really. People are going all Space Jesus about it & I really hope that’s not where things are headed for the franchise (it’s my understanding it was written planning to be a series of movies). To be honest the mythology that individual Engineers (perhaps rogue ones) spark life on planets is interesting. There’s no need to bring in the Space Jesus thing. I mean if you just say “Space Jesus” out loud it makes you feel dumb. But I will mention something here that is a suburban teen on acid inspired Space Jesus theory of my own fairly unrelated to this movie (& you have to be willing to go along with the idea that Jesus is the Son of God & the Bible is more or less conceptually if not factually true). So why did God have the Jews as his chosen people? He chose the Jews because they were the least of all nations. He empowers the weak & the stupid to confound the strong & the wise. So why would God choose his only Son to broker the salvation of the universe on a backwards planet like earth at a crazy time like 2000 years ago? Same reason. To prove his ways are so far beyond our ways. So for me that’s one of the reasons that life on other planets wouldn’t do anything to disprove Christianity.
It also had a whole lot of stuff about life issues. End of life issues with the old man wanting to live forever & the obvious abortion issue with the alien baby thing & then the thing with the android stating his life couldn’t truly begin until his creator died (which I think might be a reference to H. R. Giger, because I remember their being a thing when his mother died that he said he wouldn’t need to keep his art as tame as he had been previously). I’m not quite sure what it was trying to say. I feel like with the old man it was saying your meaning of life is what you do where you are & that it is not external or a quest to be completed. With the alien baby I guess it was saying that we can’t actually destroy life or that babies are monsters & I have no idea which. With the android I guess it was about being responsible in your duties to your loved ones with a hope of escape? I don’t know, this whole set of it I guess is supposed to be some weird starting point & I suppose I’d have to look more into the life histories of the creative persons involved with the projects to figure out what they were trying to tell me & to be honest, that feels like a lot of work.
So yeah, in the end I like it, I must or I wouldn’t still be thinking about it & trying to solve what seem like flaws to me. It was visually stunning & had great mood. Here’s some stuff from other folks: