5 Simple Changes That Would Make ‘Prometheus’ Better (For Fans Of ‘Alien’)

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

Alien and Prometheus 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.

Change LV-223 to LV-426

LV-426 from the film 'Alien' 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.

Make the Engineer's ship that crashes the same ship that appears in 'Alien.'

Engineers' ship from 'Alien' 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?

Have the infected Engineer make it back to the starmap room.

Giant alien chair from the first Alien movie 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.

Have the chest-bursting Alien born from the Engineer in the command seat.

Space Jockey (aka Engineer) from original Alien movie 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.

Show a final scene of the Xenomorph entering the large room where the hundreds of eggs were discovered in 'Alien.'

Xenomorph eggs on the alien starship from 'Alien' 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.

Finally, add a missing line of dialog

The Nostromo approaches LV-426 in 'Alien' (1979) 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.
TAGS: alien, prometheus

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  1. What i don’t get is why he chose this cast. It is one of the worst thought out casts you could get and the story line was incredibly confusing at the end. I don’t get how someone could make an average movie and then put a horrible cast behind it, but things happen. It was just way too cliche. I mean if a giant ship is about to fall on you don’t run with it, obviously you aren’t going to be fast enough. She should have run to the side so she didn’t get squashed.

    • Horrible cast? ROTFLMAO! You can definitely say the movie was not great but it was not the cast’s fault.

    • I see this written a lot here , Shaw and Vickers running in a straight line , I’ll have to watch it again but I’m sure I did see them change direction , fairly early on when they were running…

  2. Prometheus would have been better, albeit still flawed, but much better, if Ridley hadn’t edited it down to a 2 hour running time (*though I suspect that decision may not entirely have been his alone) – the deleted scenes included on the Blu-Ray disc should have all been left in the film as they fill in many of the blanks in the narrative and make the film much more complete, such as it is, and slightly less nonsensical.

    How anyone associated with the production thought the final theatrical cut of the movie was satisfactory is an even bigger mystery than where the engineers come from :)

    Also, having read the original script by John Spaihts (“Alien: Engineers”), it seems the film *was* originally supposed to be a direct prequel to ALIEN; the planet they visit was LV-426, the ship crashing at the end was the same one from ALIEN, etc. If what I’ve read online is correct, 20th Century Fox requested that the film be more ambiguous and not a direct prequel to ALIEN as the hoped to being a new franchise. They then hired Damon Lindelof (since he is the writer from the show ‘LOST’, it makes perfect sense as to why the final film is an unmitigated disaster) to re-write the Spaihts script. Looks as though all he did was remove anything that was a direct link to ALIEN while retaining the ship crashing, etc and adding in an expanded role for Weyland and thus making for a very confused, sort of semi-prequel about an old man’s quest for eternal life (*in the original Spaihts script, Weyland is only a hologram and is not secretly aboard the Prometheus ship).

    It’s worth watching the making of documentary just for the ‘what could have been’ factor alone, not to mention the explanations provided for certain things that were purposely made to be more ambiguous in the final film. For example, the geologist who returned to the ship after he was infected was originally supposed to show up looking like he was about 2/3 of the way to mutating into a xenomorph and the accompanying deleted scene shows this. But no, Ridley decided having the geologist show up looking like a sort of mutated human/xenomorph would make the purpose and effect of the black liquid “too obvious” and thus we were given the more generic zombie version of the geologist instead.

    *Sigh*

    It could have been such a great film. Still great to look at, as the visuals are fantastic, but the decision to make it into a convoluted and intentional mystery instead of a powerful sci-fi film was (imho) ultimately a major mistake.

    • TOTALLY AGREE MAN!!!
      Well put! :)

      I haven’t looked into the details on rebooting this franchise, so excuse if I’m wrong, but I bet they wrote the Prometheus the way they did in order to extend the story for a trilogy. They definitely should do it, albeit just to redeem themselves for the catastrophe that is Prometheus. ;)

      That being said, I’ve seen it way too many times for how good it is, but I’m a complete sucker for the alien films, I couldn’t help it!

      My take on the story is that this was the first planet where human life interacted with the “black goo” that created the alien life.
      Something like this:
      Black goo into the geologist, had sex with main chick, she then gives birth to first facehugger, which inseminates the engineer, which in turn creates the first “alien”.
      At the end of Prometheus, the android says there are more ships and so him and main chick head off to find one to go to alien world.
      For the next film (or hopefully 2) to bring all this together, I think it would(or should) go something like this:
      Main chick and robot find ship, head to engineer’s planet, they figure out what they’re doing – at this point there’s 2 possible twists – either the engineers shoot them down onto moon from original alien movie; LV-426, or they get to the engineers planet and bring with them the first alien from Prometheus (stowed away, unseen, of course) and it infects and destroys the engineers planet. Some ships try to get away and one of them is the ship that crashes on LV-426.
      **SIDE NOTE**
      Maybe they didn’t follow through with our destruction because the virus was too dangerous so the quarantined it on a planet, which is why that engineer sacrifices himself in the beginning of Prometheus, to ensure no living tissue would reach the “pods”. Although it would have made a lot more sense for them to just destroy it…

      This second choice would be best (IMHO) because it gives us a chance to see what the engineers are like, which would be super great. It would also work well to bridge between the 2 trilogies, example: the alien in the starmap chair from the first Alien film was much larger than the engineers in Prometheus, so maybe Prometheus engineers were actually children? subspecies? larger females? maybe like an ant hill, with many different types of engineers for certain tasks? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!!
      So the second film would be all about them destroying the engineers, with only a few ships making it out and final scene would be it crashing on LV-426.
      The third film would be great to really fill in the gaps and delve into the Alien universe. They could reveal why they created us, why they want to kill us, why they made such a malicious virus, why they didn’t follow through with our destruction, why that engineer in the beginning of Prometheus sacrificed himself, etc. etc. etc… SO MANY QUESTIONS!
      Anyway, sorry to ramble on, your ideas gave me ideas and i had to get them out. :)

      • Hello Osej – the reason the Engineer sacrifices himself at the beginning of Prometheus?

        Well here goes. This is the answer. In the beginning scenes of Prometheus that is EARTH, millions of years before any complex life has originated. The Engineer drinks the black goo to sacrifice himself to create life on the planet. So when he falls apart in the waterfall his genes are ripped apart by the black goo and they mix with the water to craft new life on Earth.

        When Shaw many millions of years later visits LV223 and finds an engineers head she realises that they share the same DNA as humans. So your answer is in that movie already.

    • Totally agree with that. The one thing that was more frustrating is the Vickers death scene. I would have loved it if Vickers had survived and Shaw had been crushed, the movie played like a poor slasher film – You could tell that Shaw was going to survive from the start. Now imagine if Vickers had survived and she had to climb into that ship in the climax with the Engineer and giant trilobite waiting for her. It would’ve been more thrilling as her character was more interesting and I believe more invested and obviously Theron is a great actress too.

      • If Vickers and Shaw had both survived. It would have been interesting in a sequel watching them potentially working at cross-purposes.

        I also think there’s a semi-religious bent here that could be explored. Why, after creating life on Earth, did the Engineers want to destroy it? From the commentary by Ridley Scott and others, it seems likely that someone engineered the Engineers. This may also explain the massive saucer-shaped ship so unlike the Engineer’s ships, that appears in the opening scene where the Engineer sacrifices himself to seed Earth with life – it was the Progenitor’s (for lack of a better word) ship.

        Now, why destroy that which they were apparently directed to create? There might be a religious loss of faith issue here, or jealousy like Satan and the fallen Angels were supposedly jealous of humans receiving God’s love and attentions. They may have become jealous of humanity in some way. That might explain a few things plot wise. Anyway, its just my pet plot line.

        Whatever happens, Vickers’ survival pod had a two year lifespan, so someone from Earth had to be capable of coming along within that time frame to pick her up. That may allow for an easy “in” to introduce more human characters/victims.

        Bob

  3. I totally agree, would have been so clean… I thought most of this immediately after I saw the film…I wonder if what you describe was the original plan…but then for some reason the storyline was purposefully altered? Maybe because now they can make some more films…more $$$. The storyline at this point is following the “new girl” to the home world of the Engineers…

  4. My thoughts after seeing Prometheus were that it wasn’t the same planet, ship or engineer but the start of a greater war between the engineers and aliens. The beheaded synthetic tells the lone human survivor there are other ships on the planet & presumably the engineers’ civilization still exists elsewhere, this planet being just a weapons lab outpost.

  5. The Space Jockeys and Engineers are neither the same size or shape. That’s another discrepancy that should have been in this list.

    • The script and Scott say the SJ is an engineer

  6. The changes listed here are to make Prometheus a direct prequel to Alien, which it sin’t. Lv 223 is the research facility with lots of ships, emphasised by the end where they go of for the engineers home planet. Prometheus has been written as the start of a trilogy and undoubtedly the ship found in Alien will be shown at some point in this trilogy

  7. Did anyone notice the diffenence in the skin textures of the engineer from the beginning of the movie to the engineer at the end. The engineer at the end from the neck down resemble the xenomorph body. It was almost like biological armor. the sacrificial engineer had none, just the diaper he wore and regualr skin

  8. It would be very dumb to change the planet. That’s what makes us wonder about the story. People are so one track minded and want it to connect. A good movie doesn’t spoon feed. It makes you think like this one did.

  9. Making the planet and ship the same from Alien? This ISN’T Alien. This is Prometheus. This is a different story. Connected, absolutely, but different. Who’s to say ANY of this is connected to Alien at all? Isn’t it awesome that we get to delve deeper into a universe that has so much untapped potential? Why limit that universe to the same story? And to all that complain about having no answers and it being confusing, why are you complaining? This is the first of a series (and if it’s not, it’s because of how much it is and could be bashed). The answers will come in due time ladies and gentleman. Let the Ridley Scott tell a story. And let him finish before you start making accusations against it.

    • There is so much frustration with this movie, the blunders, the idiocracy that went on with it. The deleted scenes. The lack of information, All of the questions that were supposed to be answered in this film alone, only to have none answered, but then more questions asked and now, wait for another film without any of the the original writers. Ridley Scott didnt write this film, but he directed it, and he doesnt like to be questioned. Should I just read the chariots of fire, watch Dune, 2001 space odessey, read about space aliens influencing mankind and religions to get an understanding of what the hell Scott was trying to put on film

    • Thank you, Ethan. This is exactly it. Scott stated from the beginning that this is in no way a prequel to Alien.

      And for goodness sake people, this movie and Alien were made 33 years apart. There’s more than enough room for some retcons in what the Engineers and the Space Jockeys look like.

    • “Who’s to say ANY of this is connected to Alien at all?”

      I think the Spaihts script answered that question. As X said above, Prometheus was absolutely and unequivocally an Alien prequel which answered the questions of the Space Jockey and his ship, until the studio decided well into the pre-production process that it wasn’t. In Jon Spaihts script, Holloway was originally hit with a face-hugger, and was not infected by David at all. I understand the desire to embrace this film as something new and different, however so much of it points to the same. New plot in the same universe? OK, but then why risk confusing people with the very, very familiar LV-223 and why have the Engineer’s ship crash in the same position as the Space Jockey’s on LV-426? Had this flick was intended to be its own entity right from the beginning, it wouldn’t have even shared those similarities. No, this is a case of a total Hollywood fail and no amount of fan-logic is going to wipe away the fact that for a moment, we finally had the true story of who the Space Jockey was, and why he was there, before the studio decided that money was more important than the fans and destroyed not only the prequel we had all been waiting for, but ostensibly made it so that no proper prequel will ever be produced (since the story would have to be too similar to Prometheus in order to work.)

  10. I understand where you guys are coming from but its too soon to make the connection (with Alien) because thre is no connection. The ship, the zmorph and the moon are not the ones leading to Alien. I think Ridley has already planned that since he officially anounced there are two more sequals where, I feel these connections will be made.

  11. A couple of things to remember.

    First, the huge head in the alien complex is quite probably the Engineer’s god. In other words, someone engineered the Engineers. The original space jockey could quite reasonably be a subspecies of our new Engineer, or perhaps the Engineer’s creator. There are many ways this plot line could go.

    Second, I’m rather happy that the moon in Prometheus was not LV-426. It would have truly made little sense. The Prometheus appears to be off somewhere, somewhere so secret that no one aboard knows where they’re going. However, in Alien the Nostromo was clearly cruising along a known interstellar shipping lane bringing cargo back to Earth. This implies that ships had gone that way many times before, and yet none of them had ever heard the signal from LV-426? Never? Ever? It also clearly implies that there must be a settlement of some form at the other end of the shipping lane where the Nostromo picked up her cargo, which also indicates that many ships must have passed right past LV-426. Also, in Aliens we see that LV-426 was being terraformed, yet no one ever detected all of the Engineer’s ships? The limited terraforming that was being done? Not to mention the fact that LV-426 looked nothing like the LV-223 we see in Prometheus, with its snow capped mountains in the distance. Nope, too many additional plot holes to fill if the moon in Prometheus was made into LV-426.

    Am I completely satisfied with Prometheus, the movie? No, and frankly Ridley Scott could have tightened things up plot-wise a lot better. But, as it is is stands on its own rather nicely, and leaves the door open for a nice sequel which will hopefully answer more questions. I only wonder where they’ll find the de rigeur red shirt human sacrifices that movies of this type need. Another Earth survey vessel? A second Prometheus secretly trailing the first? Vickers’ escape pod could last for two years, so someone had to be coming within two years, or else what was the point?

    Hopefully, Ridley Scott will answer all.

  12. Hi everyone.

    My group and I aredoing a project over the Alien movies and focusing on the character Ripley. We have created this forum to gather information about peoples personal opinions of the character and the movie. If anyone could please help us out and give us some of your time it would greatly be appreciated.

    Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/a/umail.iu.edu/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEZUU3dMcGNza2I5V0VIN0VCN0NlblE6MQ#gid=0

  13. Really? You would want to see a movie that directly sets up one of the greatest movies of all time? That’s real fun.

  14. RBunch of cliches, nonsense and some political correct interracial lovin and you got a movie that will make the jews proud.

  15. Hold on.

    These 5 points basically boil down to 1 point… which is that for some reason you desperately seem to want this ship to be the same one from Alien… I’m not entirely sure why this would be necessary at all, as it is we have the concept that the ship discovered in Alien had crashed because the pilot was killed in the John Hurt method, presumably before this film was even set (presumably around the same time that the facility on LV 223 was distroyed. If you ask me despite this films many “faults” this is actually quite a neat continual back story, and leaves many questions about what actually happened on LV223 many years ago un-answered. I say GOOD!, this is not a Disney franchise after all, we are not all 9 years old, I think we can cope with having some loose ends.

  16. There was a Xenomorph painted on the cave walls so the end of prometheus was not the origin of Xenomorphs

  17. What i dont get is if Prometheus describes how the xenomorphs where created by the eingineer chest burster how the hell have the predators been farming the aliens?

    • Probably because those abortion-of-movies called Alien vs. Presator don’t exist in this continuity, they are non-canon.

  18. These 5 points would make no sense in he context of the Alien timeline, in the original alien they discovered a engineer/space jockey that had been there for hundreds maybe thousands of years, long enough for it to become fossilized.

    Prometheus is set in 2091 and Alien is set in 2122 so if the engineer ship that crashed in prometheus had been written so that it was the same ship in alien it would have messed the time line up in a major way and contradicted the original movie.

    This is probably why jon spaihts script had to be reworked to make sense.

    You could just as easily imagine that a ship escaped the outbreak which killed all the engineers as depicted in prometheus and crashed on LV-426 which is in the same system, makes much more sense don’t you think?

  19. All your 5 points are equal just depict how hollow your brain is inside your head. If Scott would’ve done that, what story would have told the promethesu 2 , eh ? You are nothing but a guy whose mind is as simple as a soup baloon, isn’t it ?

  20. No need to resort to personal insults and attacks. If you need to do that to prove your point, then you have made no point at all.

  21. The changes you’re proposing are basically how it pans out in John Spaiht’s original script.

  22. Yes, absolutely they should have dodged to the side instead of running under the ship. That was frustrating and took me out of the narrative.

    No on the suggestions for connectivity. Your viewer is over 12, and they can work things out for themselves.

    However, the astronaut on the podium was obviously envisioned much differently by Giger – much more part of the actual ship. They turned that extended-sternum-to-front-of-face into part of a cover for a humanoid – a much more bland proposition. I felt bored when I saw that.