There has been a lot of debate regarding the connection between Prometheus and Alien. Some people think it’s enough that Ridley Scott’s latest film takes place in the universe established by his original (and fantastic) film way back in 1979, while others feel that Prometheus should have been a more proper prequel that gives answers to some of the unanswered questions from the original film (read our review).
The purpose of this article is not to debate the merits (or faults) of Prometheus, or to suggest that answers about The Engineers be answered – rather it is to present five very small changes that could have been made to the movie (and would not change the storyline at all) – that would have made it dovetail perfectly with the original film.
Needless to say, there will be plenty of spoilers for not only Prometheus, but Alien as well.
In the original film, the crew of the mining ship Nostromo was awakened by the computer (called “Mother”) when they passed within range of a planet with a moon designated LV-426. It was on this moon that the crew discovered the crashed alien (not “Alien”) ship. This ship is where they found a petrified version of what is called an “Engineer” in Prometheus (and up until now, “the space jockey” in Alien) – a gigantic, semi-humanoid alien in a circular room seated in a large, central command chair. It was in a large chamber within this ship that hundreds of Xenomorph “eggs” were found.
Following the previous point, at the end of Prometheus the Engineers’ massive C-shaped starship is damaged by the Prometheus via a kamikaze attack. The alien ship crashes back down to the surface of LV-223 and falls over on its side, ending up in apparently the same position as the similar ship in the original film – yet this is not the same ship. It would make for a more satisfying connection for fans of the original film if this were in fact the same ship that was found 30 years later by the crew of the Nostromo on LV-426. As this latest film stands, another alien ship must have also crashed, albeit on LV-426. Why not just make this ship the one found in the original film?
At the end of Prometheus, the only surviving Engineer is attacked by a gigantic Xenomorph in squid-like form. After a mighty battle, the Engineer is beaten, and infected by, the facehugger-like creature. Shortly thereafter we see a variation of the familiar Alien from the original films emerge from the Engineer’s chest. That’s fine, but it’s a missed opportunity for connection. Had the previous two items been applied to this latest film – the Engineer could have been shown waking from being unconscious and walking back to the starmap room to attempt to finish what he started earlier, even with a damaged ship.
Continuing the previous point, the Engineer, now in the same seat on the same ship from the original film – could have lowered his helmet, strapped in with the ribcage-looking gear to prepare to launch the ship again – and the Xenomorph could burst from his chest at that moment, leaving the Engineer strapped into the seat, helmet on – just exactly as he would be found 30 years later by the crew of the Nostromo.
Finally, the last scene aboard the ship (or the last scene of the entire film) could have shown the freshly-born Xenomorph (presumably, a Queen) entering the vast chamber we saw in Alien where the character played by John Hurt came across the hundreds of eggs, saw one open and was attacked by the facehugger. Again, this would have been another satisfying connection to the original film for fans without really changing anything in the existing Prometheus plot.
Considering the similarities between Prometheus and Star Trek 5 (think about it), it would have been awesome to have someone utter the line: “What does God need with a starship?” (One of the best movie lines, EVER).
OK, I’m kidding about that last thing.
So there you have it: five minor tweaks to Prometheus that could have probably averted tons of heated arguments and debate online – and vitriol spewed at co-writer Damon Lindelof on Twitter.