‘Prometheus’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:09 am,

Prometheus Movie Spoilers Prometheus Spoilers Discussion

While our readers are already talking about this movie in the comments section of our Prometheus review, this is the place where you can discuss Prometheus spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for folks who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, we would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. 

We’ve set up a poll below where you can rate Prometheus for yourself. Other than that, feel free to discuss the film and all its surprises! Still wondering about how – exactly - Prometheus connects to Alien? Read our Prometheus – Alien Connection Explained’ Article!

For further discussion of the film’s connections from the Screen Rant team check out our Prometheus episode of the SR Underground podcast.


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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Prometheus is Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language. Now playing in theaters.

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  1. I’ve read through a number (though not nearly all) of the explanations here, and I think the one I walked away with is a bit different. The engineers were into creating new life. I think the engineers were wanting to evolve the creatures from the Alien movies as a life form with superior survival abilities than their own. I don’t think they wanted a bio weapon at all, I think they wanted to build a successor race, based in part on their own DNA, because they thought they could. This moon was to be the origin point not for humans, but for Aliens, the ultimate life form, and that’s why it was so important. The Alien relief sculpture on the wall was depicting their goal. I think to accomplish this they needed to do some massive bio engineering, and that involved going to Earth and having the Engineer from the opening scene consume that concoction and then start an evolutionary process on Earth that would take millions of years to produce us humans. When engineers consume the black goo, they just get torn apart, but they knew if the goo and their DNA coexisted for long enough (on Earth) we would evolve a tolerance to contain the goo and incubate Aliens. Perhaps they came and checked in every now and then to see if we our organism was ready for cross breading, and we were getting closer, but there was still enough variation in our code that some folks just turn into the zombie thing like that one doc did. Once we came to the moon, and Shaw incubated the giant squid monster, it absorbed enough of her DNA that it could then produce something much closer to the Alien once it found a host to nest its baby in (the Engineer pilot).

    The Engineers never made humanity as an end game, we were a stepping stone, a part of the evolutionary process they were engineering. David, having learned of their plot by studying their ship, became aligned with them. David maybe loves his father, but is in general not impressed with humanity, and sees the Engineers as a higher calling. He tests the incubation with Shaw and the other doc to see if the cross breeding would work. When he woke the Engineer pilot up, he told him that humanity was ready for the cross-breeding to build Aliens, and that the rest of the Engineer’s crew was dead. The Engineer pilot is briefly impressed that their bio-engineering efforts have created products that could find their way to him and speak his tongue, and then he rips off David’s head just to see what he’s made of. He’s also angry about his dead crew and starting to panic that his ultimate mission will fail. He then dispatches the other creatures (the crew) and preps the ship to go to Earth. There it will deliver its cargo, and ensure that Earth would be transformed into the Alien homeworld.

    • In addition to your theory, the geologist who was turned into a monster had red hair. I know i have heard that people with red hair are somehow related to neanderthals, so he may have DNA that is not as evolved as, say, the main girl who has the squid-baby (im terrible with names i cant remember either of theirs). This probably was completely unintended but i feel like it fits in well with your theory.

      • “related to neanderthals, so he may have DNA that is not as evolved”

        To correct a slight misunderstanding of evolution, all living creatures on planet Earth are equally evolved. Even the “lowliest” insect, or a blade of grass, or a fish in the sea, they are all as equally evolved as humans.

        Evolution is not a simple forward progression. The human being was not “more evolved” than a neanderthal when they shared the planet; we were both equally evolved from a common ancestor. Similarly every creature has evolved to suit their particular environment through a process of competition and natural selection. One creature might be more complex, another might be stronger, another might enjoy photosynthesis, but they’re all equally evolved.

        • Not quite. Some creatures cease evolving in the classical sense when evolutionary pressure is reduced below the need threshold. Changes will still occur in the DNA but they may not cause a species split for generations, perhaps even thousands of years.

          Many sharks exhibit this and I suspect the coelacanth does too. Modern sharks are said to have evolved 150mya in fact.

          In any case, this does not make Prometheus any better.

            • Sure, all organisms are probably the end result of an equally LONG process of evolution, in terms of years, but not in terms of the resulting change in morphology. Byy “more evolved”, we usually mean organisms that have gone through more different clades, more lineages of greater morphologic change, anatomical change, niche change, and have developed greater complexity. More natural selection, more mutation, more generations. There’s nothing unscientific about that although there is a lot that is subject to debate.

              There IS a coterie of biologists who refuse to take that stance, insisting almost militantly that a single-celled bacteria which hasn’t changed MUCH in a billion years is just as evolved as a squid or a human. Whatever, that’s being a bit silly, don’t you think?

          • You’re confusing evolution and speciation.

        • Evolved? Have you heard of irreducible complexity? Many know there is no such thing as evolution

          • Yes we have heard of it. Michael Behe (who proposed IC) admitted under oath that it is a faith position.

            Evolution is a scientific Theory; irreducible complexity is no more than a failed hypothesis.

            “The illusion of one’s own knowledge is far more dangerous than the knowledge of one’s own ignorance.”

          • Wow, seriously?

            Lemme guess, another fox watching conservatard who worships the God Of Profit.

      • True enough. It bears watching a second time, and just to surrender to it a little. Plotting inconsistencies notwithstanding, it is a remarkable piece of work.

    • I think your comment is brilliant.

      I watched this film (yesterday 14/10/2012) i was a massive sceptic due to the amount of reviews i had read and i didn’t want to pay the 10 quid price tag at the pictures.

      I to believe that the big people were checking in on use from time to time but then stopped. for some reason? then the human race evolved to the point of ships and space faring etc etc, (very cool ship too) , the character david was very well played.

      the bits i liked:
      davids emotions that he hides from the crew
      his understanding of the big people and what the black goo was , and yes his curiosity of what the black stuff did, but was that a hidden agenda did he really no what was going to happen? was he told to find out by weyland industries?

      my theory is we were a stepping stone for another plane of existence they where indeed trying to create , maybe some kind of weapon as that ship was filled with the black goo. , yes most probably it turned on them and they were not able to complete their mission so the remaining crew placed themselves into Cryostasis until they were woken up or found by there own crew.
      it was a drastic turn of events when i was expecting them big people to be sort of friendly but they are hostile.

      there are many questions in regarding to why they want these monsters , are they at war with another race ? and was that their weapon ? is the second ship that left the planet with david on it and the girl , is that the planet the alien movie will follow from?,

      the problem was the weyland industries new about the aliens , and knew they needed someone to be impregnated with a embryo and frozen for the trip home (the original robot went mental conflicting orders), so this film won’t make sense until another one is created to indicate how the company in the original films new about the aliens we all know and love today.

      very exciting

    • Very interesting.

      It’s a total shame Lindelof was even involved. Considering what a complete flop LOST was and its disastrous, painful lack of dialog it’s obvious that he’d highly limit the film. It was customary in LOST for characters not to talk to one another. If there was a problem, they’d just say “it doesn’t matter” and this is reflected in Prometheus and also in Cowboys and Aliens. The same lacking dialog. He doesn’t feel it’s necessary for characters to talk, better just to end the scene and leave audience squabbling for their own answers. Alien was a total package. No ambiguity whatsoever and was closed off perfectly.

      Stay away Lindelof, you ruin everything.

    • you realize before the director’s cut, blade runner was considered a pile… right? kingdom of heaven was another one of ridley’s that was trash before the director’s cut. i liked prometheus a lot, but really looking forward to the extra 30 minutes or so.

      finally, although that is a great line from blade runner, it is not the sole reason blade runner is such an amazing classic.

      • Blade Runner was given a C+ by Noir film critics and in particular, they focused on the *voice over* while Sci-Fi/Noir critics were miffed at the happy Sierra flyover ending, since that contradicted the whole premise of the movie … meaning that the Earth was still beautiful and the only problems were grimy, smog filled cities like Los Angeles, an observation which is kinda commonsense to anyone who’s been to California or even the Delaware River delta during the past four decades.

        On the flip side, fans always loved the movie and then really loved it, when both the voice over and Sierra misty ending were removed later in the Director’s Cut. But since I was around back in the 80s, I recall fans completely disagreeing with the critics on the film except for the ending, which was always a sore spot till the DC.

        “although that is a great line from blade runner, it is not the sole reason blade runner is such an amazing classic”

        The point was that BL was not a heavy dialogue film. It was about the cityscape vis-a-vis urban desolation, loneliness, personal identity, and what it means to be a human. And it’s also a love story w/ zero pretensions and cheese. Thus, without any dialogue, it’s a great art noir film. And then, Roy Batty’s soliloquy gives everyone something to ponder over. I’ve heard of Batty’s speech, right after the film (since I was a kid back then) from other adults and a number of them were choked up. That’s drama and movie making for you. If it were my first time, hearing that on the screen (w/o the prior spoilers), I probably would have cried as well.

        • so you defending blade runner when it came out and bombed but we shouldn’t be defending prometheus because we liked it? mainly because blade runner had one line of dialogue that was outstanding where you don’t feel prometheus had any? that’s the gist i’m getting anyway.

          also, i’m pretty sure blade runner had just as much dialogue as prometheus overall.

          • BL only bombed in the box office and unlike Prometheus, there were BL fans from the very beginning, many of whom don’t like Prometheus today. The true, common BL complaint, from the 1st month in ’82, was the Sierra Nevada flyover at the end. Ok, easy to forgive & forget one big *coda scene* flaw in an otherwise, fine film. I don’t imagine that if this blog were around in ’82, that there would be 7-8 pages of people bickering about the Sierras vis-a-vis LA downtown in the 21st century. That argument would have been settled within a page or two.

            The gist is that unlike BL, Promtheus had little of what I’d said above …

            `the cityscape vis-a-vis urban desolation, loneliness, personal identity, and what it means to be a human. And it’s also a love story w/ zero pretensions and cheese. Thus, without any dialogue, it’s a great art noir film.`

            Now, without the above, and then, add in the poor dialogue, hokey situations (petting an Alien Mamba in the goo, etc, etc), poor characterizations, excluding the ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ wannabe ‘bot, you get a B-slasher/horror type of genre movie.

            BL, in contrast, was a great art noir film and while being rather taciturn, it did have moving dialogue, highlighted with Batty’s closure, whereas little, which was stated in Prometheus, was moving or interesting in any way.

            Perhaps adding another 30 mins to a Director’s Cut may change my mind (like adding in Weyland’s TED talk) but for some reason, I doubt it. I liked the original Blade Runner (saw it 3 years after release, on VCR), and when they cut the ending in the DR, I loved it.

            • “BL only bombed in the box office”

              but prometheus didn’t bomb and it is only in the box office, how can you even compare quality like this? plus, the two sci-fi movies are completely different, so of course they can’t be compared in similar ways.

              the rest just seems like vague generalizations. i loved br since i was kid and loved prometheus. so did my father and he enjoyed br upon release. most the people on this forum seem to be the same person and in the other prometheus thread, they are still debating about certain aspects of the film, not whether or not they liked it.

              overall i think the fact the movie A) was a financial success coupled with B) the fact it is still inspiring healthy debate shows that it’s not the failure people who didn’t like it wish it had been. it’s simply not true based on the numbers. critics liked it, audiences liked it and any money it makes now is gravy.

              i can understand and appreciate that some people didn’t like it, that’s fine. especially since most seem to base their dislike on the characters. however, i think a lot of us really enjoyed the film for it’s subject, symbols and themes. i didn’t find myself necessarily connecting with the characters, but i did like David and the other aspects listed above. i also thought the lawrence of arabia part was interesting since Weyland quotes that same line in his TED talk. the son becomes like the father?

              • “i think a lot of us really enjoyed the film for it’s subject, symbols and themes. i didn’t find myself necessarily connecting with the characters, but i did like David and the other aspects listed above. i also thought the lawrence of arabia part was interesting since Weyland quotes that same line in his TED talk. the son becomes like the father?”

                And what you’ve stated above is more of what I wanted to see. Weyland felt like a throw in, at the end. I wanted to see the father-son relationship and then, the son growing out of his dad’s aegis, as well as themes and symbols, whether or not they related to the Atlantis fable, Zoroastrian creation myths, etc. The problem is that now, the Director’s Cut has to fill in a lot of gaps to make the film, a composite masterpiece of the coming century and its developments. For now, it seems half-baked and not really finished.

                • that’s fair. hopefully the director’s cut will offer up some of the missing pieces. i find it is unfortunate that it seems so often Ridley’s films fall short in the theater and then shine so brightly when released for home viewing.

                  • Only they’re not Ridley’s films; they’re the studio’s films. Ol’ man “Riddler” is only the director after all – and while a good director can make or break film, so can a screenplay; or a producer.

                    When I saw Blade Runner and Alien – I was little more than a kid and we vaunted the actors; who cared who the bloody director was? Alien’s cast was largely unknowns; It was Weaver’s first motion picture.

                    It was my generation that started to appreciate how important directors were; and it may be in future that we start to appreciate the role of writers. God help us if we start to look for “Executive Producers” though.

                    A large number of people are anticipating a director’s cut – longer and better; not realising perhaps that the DC of Alien is actually SHORTER; I suspect BR is too but I have not checked.

                    All that glitters is not gold; and for all that Prometheus glitters, evidence of something more special lurking beneath is scant.

                    Prometheus is already a long film; like Avatar – I fail to see how a longer version would be better.

                    Aliens (Cameron) was only cut down to size for commercial considerations – a shorter film allows more showings – and that means more profit for everyone. The DR was actually Cameron’s original vision (he also wrote the screenplay) but the extra 17 mins meant an entire showing was lost – per day, per screen, per theatre; and that’s lot of money!

                    Studios seem to have relaxed this rule now as we have far more multiplexes (so the effect is buffered).

                    But is Prometheus a success? It’s been less well received than Alien or Aliens so far critically but the marketing has been superlative – accounting for the box office.

                    Why are we discussing it so much? Perhaps because it’s polarised opinion – which is interesting; but let’s not forget that the Internet didn’t exist when Alien or Blade Runner were release and that context means everything.

                    • “All that glitters is not gold; and for all that Prometheus glitters, evidence of something more special lurking beneath is scant”

                      That’s my expectation; I’m not holding my breathe for a renaissance, as a result of a re-mix.

                      “But is Prometheus a success? It’s been less well received than Alien or Aliens so far critically but the marketing has been superlative – accounting for the box office.”

                      I don’t really worry about the box office. Many action summer films can earn $200M+, nowadays, with enough marketing. ‘Batman Forever’ was the start of the 1st series’ decline. It earned ~$336M worldwide, because the brand name/momentum established by the earlier Michael Keaton films. No one talks about it being a DC comic classic, esp after Christian Bale’s incarnation as the caped crusader.

                      Blade Runner, on the other hand, was too slow to be a summer action film, so it was pretty much heralded as a failure, starting week two, because it needed to be Humphrey Bogart sleeper drama, which it clearly wasn’t. Thus, box office draw isn’t everything.

  2. For those, who believe that the box office receipts says it all …

    3rd Pirates of Carib ~$963M worldwide
    4th Indiana Jones ~$786M worldwide
    DaVinci Code ~$758M worldwide
    Hancock ~$624M worldwide
    2nd Hangover ~$581M worldwide
    Armageddon ~$553M worldwide
    Troy ~$473M worldwide
    Home Alone 2 ~$358M worldwide

    I will say that without a shadow of doubt, the above films will not be considered *classic* or even “underground/cult” classic, at any point in the future. And that’s not even in the mid-level $100-$200M club, which has just as much mediocrity, if not more.

    • This is a very salient post – and for me, it admirably demonstrates the rift between brilliant movies and brilliant marketing.

      I noted on the official Prometheus forum that Alien made something over 8x its production and marketing costs by the time the Director’s Cut DVD was released – so it will have made even more now.

      I got seriously flamed for that – and it was at this point that I was told that I should have seen the film before criticizing it.

      Quite bizarre since I already had seen it; and probably before the two posters accusing me otherwise.

      The trouble I have with all of this is one of profit margins. I’ve been self-employed (in marketing and other areas) and the one thing remains; businesses do not exist to be altruistic. Studios are in business to make money.

      It’s that simple.

      The fact that Prometheus had its budget slashed by more than a 1/3 from Scott’s estimate should admirably demonstrate that.

      We can never know if Prometheus would have been better if it had cost $250M; we will probably never see the original script (and although these things do have a habit of leaking on occasion, I’d be amazed if Fox doesn’t destroy every copy in existence and have the original writer under strict legal gags.)

      I think we’re seeing something of what I’m going to call the Marshall Effect (it probably has a better name, but I can’t recall it.) This is what happens when a director does amazing things on a tight budget but a great script (Alien, Blade Runner) – and in Neil Marshall’s case, (Dog Soldiers and the Descent).

      And then give them a massive budget and they smeg it up. In Marshall’s case it was Doomsday.

      Audiences are supposed to be fickle – but I doubt that most of us are.

      The confidence shown by Prometheus apologists seems to me a case of Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Most appear to be young, keen cinema goers who caught movies like Alien/Aliens/Blade Runner on the small screen.

      Old folk like me have been around long enough to be jaded by superb special effects; and look for the underlying story.

      There will, of course, be exceptions.

      One of the strengths of the first two Alien films is that despite being set in the future, they remained believable. Even now, a viewer can relate to the simple, industrial/military technology and hardware – because it looks like an extension of what we have.

      Blade Runner, similarly, had many elements that just looked like the real world did (and to some extent, still does). We can relate to these things and when we do that, we are prepared to suspend disbelief.

      Prometheus breaks from this from beginning to end.

      I know the apologists are going to come out and flame me about how wrong I am… but there’s evidence for this. Too much attention has been placed on futuristic devices (because we go all “chimpy” over them) and too little on the actual way people behave.

      Fool’s gold glitters in the sunlight too.

      • Because of the risk of being characterized as too dumb, too smart, too shallow, too deep, too snobby, and having split personalities, I’ll stand behind RL and Marc and just say: +1.

  3. “Blade Runner, similarly, had many elements that just looked like the real world did (and to some extent, still does). We can relate to these things and when we do that, we are prepared to suspend disbelief.”

    Blade Runner was also a human drama, where the futuristic special effects (clearly top of the line for 1982), wasn’t the key note speaker for the movie. If it were, the movie would simply be cannon folder for a vision of a dystopia.

    Instead, it’s more like an earlier Kai-wai Wong’s ’2046′, where the urban landscape (mixed-in with futuristic flash forwards), weaves a staging ground for the characters to experience their internal sorrows and needs for a better life w/o excess melodrama. Blade Runner, for me, was a precursor to this type of movie.

    And as I’d stated to jimmy, BL’s only first version issue was the happy Sierra ending. There really wasn’t much for Scott to do, to make a better Director’s Cut, than a handful of edits.

  4. It’s a pity that this film had such big fanboy expectations to fill. Alien and mostly for me aliens were plain brilliant. I must say I lean towards James Cameron’s sequel, he seemed less inclined to worry about mythology and got straight to kicking alien ass.

    I say let prometheus stand in its own and then judge it. Great visual effects and a tense, engaging plot. The characters seem to have been given the most flak, but they fulfilled their roles quite well given that the visual landscape and aliens were the main attraction. David though was excellent. So I really liked this installment and think it will go down as a classic. There was plenty of tie ins and explanations to the other films, I’m not sure what more people were looking to get. We know how the alien from the first film now comes to be and who the space cowboys were. Is a sequel even necessary? I don’t think so, and if there is one it needs not have any link to the original alien films as that’s been dealt with. So if there is one the the almost certainly will move on to genesis of mankind and the space cowboys, something I’m not terribly interested in but some may be. been dealt with. So if there is one it would almost certainly will move on to genesis of mankind and the space cowboys, something I’m not terribly interested in but some may be.

  5. I say let prometheus stand in its own and then judge it. Great visual effects and a tense, engaging plot. The characters seem to have been given the most flak, but they fulfilled their roles quite well given that the visual landscape and aliens were the main attraction. David though was excellent. So I really liked this installment and think it will go down as a classic. There was plenty of tie ins and explanations to the other films, I’m not sure what more people were looking to get. We know how the alien from the first film now comes to be and who the space cowboys were. Is a sequel even necessary? I don’t think so, and if there is one it needs not have any link to the original alien films as that’s been dealt with. So if there is one the the almost certainly will move on to genesis of mankind and the space cowboys, something I’m not terribly interested in but some may be. been dealt with. So if there is one it would almost certainly will move on to genesis of mankind and the space cowboys, something I’m not terribly interested in but some may be.

    • What “more people” wanted was a compelling story that makes sense. What “less people” wanted, it seems, was what we watched.

  6. Why doesn’t anybody talk about the cave paintings? Who did them, the engineers or humans? If it was the humans then they MUST have had some kind of interaction with the engineers, to know about where they came from. Why would they know about a planet, that they were building biological weapons, on instead of their “home” planet? BTW, the paintings show several planets so how did they decide to go to this specific one? These aren’t questions that add to the mystery. They’re questions that that are pointing to the HUGE holes in the plot. Everybody wants to talk about the things that happened once they got there but the whole setup is absurd! How can you even begin to discuss the rest of the movie when the WHOLE reason for them going doesn’t make ANY sense? If the paintings were done by the engineers (and it was an invitation) WHY weren’t they done on the sides of mountains, for everyone to see? Why are they hidden inside of caves where it’s likely that no one will ever find them? I guess that I have to assume that humans did them because the engineers were so advanced that they certainly could have come up with something better than scribbles in caves. They’re capable of building spaceships and giant heads on other planets IN PLAIN SIGHT but earth gets crummy little cave paintings that are all secret and mysterious? COME ON! So are we to understand that an engineer bothered to communicate with some cavemen and told him to paint a picture of him pointing to some planets for some reason? He flew around earth and found different cavemen that he could “talk” to (which would have been like talking to a monkey) and had them do secret paintings of him pointing to planets. Why not just give them a photograph? These guys must have invented photography at that point. Hell, they had holograms so why didn’t the couple find holograms in the caves? It’s also safe to say that the paintings weren’t very specific so how do they manage to find the exact spot, on the planet, where all of this alien stuff is? They find it 2 minutes after breaking through the clouds? I suppose if you can accept the whole cave painting setup them you can accept the rest of this STUPID movie.

    • The paintings were done by early humans, of engineers who visited earth several times in pre-history. People make drawings of all kinds for all sorts of reasons, mainly ritual/religious. The idea that “they want us to find them” was simply a justification for that one scientist’s curiosity. The people found only one habitable moon in that system, so they went there. And they found the base right away on that moon so as to propel the plot properly forward obviously!

  7. Saw it last night. I have to admit to being quite disappointed. The effects were great (especially the high volume subsonics), but the film throughout demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of either scientific or business thought or processes, and David knew way too much from the getgo.
    No scientist would EVER remove their helmet in an alien atmosphere, no matter how “breathable”, for fear of diseases for which there is no resistance. The comment that “we’ll trick the nervous system into believing that its still alive” on a 2000 year old head was beyond suspension of disbelief, and if life had been seeded on earth to evolve on its own, there would be no possibility of a total DNA match between the engineers and humans. The fact that we both have DNA is sufficient to establish the connection.
    I assume that one of the things lost with the budget cuts was any chance of consulting with a scientifically literate proofreader.

    • Nice point that Mike – but I don’t think that a proofreader would have helped. I tend to think this is 100% down to the enormous hubris demonstrated by Lindelof. I mean the guy claims that he enjoys polarising opinion and writes vague INTO the script.

      I’m going apply Occam’s Razor here and using that, it seems far more likely that he’s just plain incompetent and enormously overpaid. People with these in common are the type who were (and still are in many cases) running the International banking system and look how that turned out!

      It’s called Duning-Kruger syndrome, if you care to look it up.

      Worryingly, some idiot let him loose on the 2nd “Star Trek: TOS” movie reboot.

      If he performs with Star Trek as he did on Cowboys & Aliens and Prometheus, this controversy is going to look like a mild disagreement over how much sugar is needed to sweeten tea.

    • Interesting question. There’s almost no such thing as an absolute DNA match. Even a single sample run twice by the same person might not be exactly the same both times. In common parlance, in the courtroom and even in the genetics lab, a “match” means you have identified that two samples come from either the same person, two individuals of the same family, same tribe, same species, same phylum…whatever the hypothesized connection is in that situation!

      In the movie, a match means the scientists are satisfied that the two samples are close enough to support their prior hypothesis that we came from them! Nothing more. And that could be possible genetically even though they have weird noses. In our species, there are many variations, the DNA are said to be 99% similar considering all bases. Yet, when we compare individuals for genetic relatedness, we talk about 50% similarity for brothers, etc. considering only how much genetic variation (alleles) there are between genes that are allowed to differ between humans and ignoring the genes that all humans have by necessity, which is most of them.

      • Match or no match, it would be an astonishing thing to discover that life on other planets uses DNA to store and transmit genetic information.

        It’s clear the authors/screenwriters didn’t place a very high value on scientific validity in their worldbuilding, in the way that, say, Star Trek TOS or 2001: A Space Odyssey did in the 1960s.

        I think this factoid (our DNA matches!) should be understood as quite a simple plot device, meant to convey and cement the fact (which the expedition could not have known) that these engineers are something like parents to the human species.

        Somebody perhaps made the call that most moviegoers are scientifically illiterate–they won’t know how to unpack the concept of a DNA match (a trope firmly established in crime shows) to realise its absurdity in the context of encountering life on other planets.

        It’s a shame–I mean, there’s a reason they call it sci-fi, after all. Attention to scientific detail is one of the qualities of great sci-fi. In Prometheus, the narrative choices of the filmmakers (to dumb down the plot) probably reflect a marketing perspective: most people just won’t understand or care about the subtleties. Personally I think it’s a false economy.

  8. A long time ago a guy who ran a comic book shop I went to explained to me his theory on how some writers did things to spite/swerve fans. He said that when fan boys wrote into the companies trying to debunk a story or figure it out beforehand, it made the writers change things up just to either prove the fans wrong or try to make their work look unpredictable. Lindlof and a lot of the Hollywood writers who clearly are heavily influenced by comics and the sci-fi genre that are working right now seem to follow that same pattern.

    As for this movie, as much heat as Ridley is getting he clearly is not a screen-writer and some other people from the studio read the script and thought it was okay. And judging by many of the films released these days that really should not be a shock to anyone since things of much lower quality get made on a regular basis.

  9. Just seen Prometheus in the cinema, wasnt shown in 3D which was a shame. I really enjoyed it. Alot of people seem very critical of it and I dont see why. The effects where fantastic. I loved the fact that we got to see the giant Aliens (engineers) sitting in their pilots chair which I always thought looked like a telescope in the original Alien films :-)
    I hope their is a sequel to this film and we get to see the Engineers homeworld.
    I would also like to see how the Predators tie into the story. The Engineers created us and the Predators taught us. Did the Engineers create the predators?? Have the 2 Species meet before?? A 1 on 1 fight between an Engineer and Predator would be cool :-)
    So I really enjoyed this film, I gave it 5 stars,, bring on the sequel :-)
    Also,, I dont know why but when I hear Weyland (The Company) being mentioned in all the Franchise movies, It puts a smile on my face :-)

  10. Loved this flick; looking forward to the DVD. It’s the embodiment of “thought-provoking.” My only problem with it is this “Lost” guy. In all his writing he just makes it up as he goes along and purposely gets more and more mystifying, but there’s no payoff. No Grand Plan, no secret flow-chart explaining all the connections and no finale carefully created in advance that wraps it all up. Same as a soap opera; the idea is to just keep it going for as long as possible. If it has to end, then the last episode just limply fizzles out to nobody’s satisfaction. Even the actors look embarassed. Nerds beware: Don’t count on an edifying conclusion to all this, unless Ridley Scott gets a new writer.

    Anyway, I suspect the worst for the sequels and this one is all we get for years to come, regardless. But visually, it’s close to perfection. Every frame is crowded with reference points, symbols and clues. An excellent tribute to “2001″, which I didn’t understand until I read the Arthur C. Clarke book, and then it all made sense. No books for this one, though; we’re on our own. The concept is a big step up from that Von Donicker guy, and in fact relies on Frazier and Campbell quite a bit. RS seems to be using the Anunnaki legend and a LOT of Christianity, but he’s not honor-bound to adhere strictly to them. He can use all religions and mythologies and mix them together as he pleases, just like Jodorowsky.

    A big problem some people had was the irrational behavior of the crew, but I bet it was only RS’s sense of humor to reference those 1950′s sci-fi flix (“The atmosphere is just like Earth’s! We won’t need these helmets!”) and the teen slasher flix where the victims always get separated from the group and do dumb things resulting in their horrible demise. Anyway, sci-fi always has a simple explantion for everything: Maybe the Engineers had left mind-control devices there to influence the humans into risky behavior. See what I mean?

    At any rate, “Prometheus” is fun to think about and enjoyable to try to interpret. But I think we’re really free to theorize all we want; there will be no satisfying conclusion to all this.

  11. Ok, we’re now nearing the one month mark, post-release.

    After letting it settle in, I’m dubbing this movie somewhere in the category of the 4th Indiana Jones movie, a handful of titillating moments (and speculation on matters of once again, Alien influence on prior human development), but not so much in terms of an epic tale or even a great prequel (sequel in Indy’s case) but commercially successful due to ramped up marketing. Yes, Indy 4 made more money than ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ but no one and I mean no one, will say it was better than Raiders. And I predict, just as Indy 4 was quickly forgotten a few moons later, so will ‘Prometheus’, as it’ll be in one of those never-ending cable shlock Sci-Fi horror re-play queues, which people will watch when bored alongside ‘Leviathan’, ‘Virus’, or ‘The Thing’ prequel.

    And just like in Indy 4, aside from seeing the Indy that we all loved since grade school, Shia LaBeouf was a pathetic characterization of a tough guy-greaser (even lamer than Henry Winkler’s wannabe tough guy persona of “The Fonzo”) and Karen Allen really wasn’t all that charming, as a catty companion, for the final round. In fact, rekindling that (twice) failed prior relationship could have made Indy 4, a chick flick for aging Indiana Jones fans. Likewise, aside of David, Prometheus also suffered from poor characterizations.

    My prediction is that come October, this thread (and others like it) will have been completely forgotten, as most of us would have moved on to a newer Sci-Fi movie.

  12. Probably already been said, but it appears the Engineers were Darwin at work, inserting their DNA into an ecosystem. And when it was time for a jump or restart of evolution, their “black goo” was introduced (with the engineers as the “pollenators”?). Maybe the equivalent of humans developing meds to improve life, survival of the fittest. But with the black goo being the stock upon which many soups could be made, you getvery different results. So goo+worms+human = super strong caveman looking guy, goo + human = don’t know thanks to flamethrower, and (goo+human+sex) + engineer = something on the way to xenomorph. But what they all have in common is having an extremely strong survival of the fittest species instinct, which means kill/subvert lesser species such as humans.

  13. My main gripe about this movie was halfway through when we had to have a pretty major plot point/premise explained to us in ten seconds by Stringer Bell. “I’m afraid this planet was being used by the Engineers as a Biological weapons facility. They deliberately created the xenomorphs and the plan backfired because life finds a way…”

    Ah, OK, that makes absolute sense, I was starting to pick up on that, thanks and it’s quite interesting. Too bad you couldn’t have SHOWN us that explanation with two minutes of flashback, since that’s what movies are good at…SHOWING us things! I guess it’s only a $150M movie and you ran out of money…? I didn’t like the holograms or the 3d CGI floating space-map wingdings either…that Avatar stuff looks cheesy and tacked-on for cheap in post-production. I would have preferred everything was on paper or engraved on stone tablets frankly. The exact specifics of biology in this universe (endo- and exo-) I didn’t have a problem with.

  14. Perhaps David was attempting to create life thru Elizabeth & Charlie much in the same way that humans created him…

  15. Perhaps what the NOSTROMO found was Shaw inside an Engineer spacesuit after she crashed the Engineer ship she took, not knowing it had a cargo of mutagens?

    • “With Ridley himself at the helm of bringing back the Alien franchise I thought it was in safe hands. What could go wrong? A lot, it turned out.”

      The entire Prometheus exercise was pointless. After letting it settle in, I ask myself this ‘Why does Dr Shaw even want to waste more time, finding the original Engineers? I mean … who cares at this point in time?!’ I was so t*cked off at “Prometheus I” that I could care less for a “Prometheus II: Liz’s Lifelong Questions About Our Creators”

      It’s like this, in Indiana Jones IV, Marion and Indy get a chance to re-kindle their old flame. I’m asking myself … ‘folks, you both blew it twice, 1st before Raiders at the Univ of Chicago when you were both young adults and 2nd, between the time of Raiders and Temple of Doom. I don’t mean to break it to you all, but a real loving relationship has to work in the 1st or 2nd incarnation. You can’t wait till your Medicare/Social Security years to find a meaningful relationship, so that you don’t find yourself alone in the nursing home.

  16. Prometheus ties in all of Fox’s franchises into one coherent universe.

    Not just the origins of Alien, but also Predator, and AvP as well.

    This may be a difficult concept for a lot of die hard Ridley Scott Fans to understand, but I do feel Ms. Vickers said it quite beautifully in Prometheus.

    “If you had come up with the money yourself we would be following YOUR AGENDA, but you didn’t, and that makes you an employee. Cheers ! ”

    Cheers. Ridley Scott. Cheers.

    Ridley Scott has done just as much damage to the Alien franchise as he has done stuff to create it. His inability to willingly share his story and play with others, has crippled the growth of the Alien franchise, and I hold him personally responsible for the lousy sequel to “Aliens” called Alien 3, and for inadvertently creating that mutant child called Alien Resurrection.

    Instead of embracing the Predator franchise and working to build a bridge between the two franchises with AvP, Ridley Scott has done as much as he can do to discredit other directors, many of whom considered him a mentor. This has hurt the reputations of all three franchises in the process, caused much confusion amongst fans, and is responsible for making some of the worst movies in history.

    Fortunately, Fox owns the Alien, Predator, and AvP franchises, and somebody with more common sense then Ridley saw it smart to use Prometheus to tie all three franchises together.

    When your willing to look at Prometheus as the origin story for Alien, Predator, and AvP a lot of things begin to make sense, and major questions are answered..

    Question # 1 – In Prometheus, Shaw finds drawings of a cave that points to LV-223 being the origin of humanity. She states that the drawings are the same as others she has seen all around the world, yet none of the human cultures ever had contact with one another. It is never mentioned how all of these various human cultures all were able to point to the same planet.

    Origins for AvP – In Alien vs Predator 1 it is mentioned that an archeological dig team funded by Bishop Weyland, goes to Antarctica and discovers a pyramid. The writings in the pyramid are of all known cultures and later in the movie it is stated that the Predators taught Humanity.

    Answer : The Predators informed Humans of LV-223.

    Question # 2 – In Prometheus it is mentioned that LV-223 was possibly a weapons depot for the Engineers, and that they were experimenting to make various forms of bio weapons, but they lost control of the facility and died. Why did the Engineers need Bio Weapons, who were they fighting ?

    Origins of Predator – In Alien vs Predator 2, we observe the skull / helmet of a Engineer in the trophy collection of a Predator ship, thus linking that Engineers and Predators have had violent contact with each other in the past.

    We also know because of AvP, that Predators have used Humans to breed Aliens for combat practice. Ironically, it appears that is what the Engineers designed us for in the first place.

    For the Predators, Earth was used as a training ground, to breed Aliens, so the Predators can hone there skills.

    Answer : The Predators are the ancient race that the Engineers have been fighting against. Both races are space faring, militant, and have been all over galaxy, meaning the Predators have fought them on numerous planets. Earth was a secret training ground for the Predators, while LV-223 was a secret training ground for the Engineers.

    As I mentioned above, if your willing to open your eyes to both the AvP and Predator lore, then everything makes sense.

    • gratulations, you formed the mess of the 3 franchises into something coherent! the best explanation I`ve read so far in this discussion.
      unfortunately it doesn`t make Prometheus a better movie but at least I can appreciate it now within this universe…somehow ;)

  17. Wow! I thought this thread was dead.

    There’s a problem with your thesis Jordan (intriguing as it is): Prometheus is a stand-alone movie.

    There MAY be (in fact, on Box Office almost certainly will be) a follow on and there may not.

    The simple fact is this: Prometheus does not stand alone. It poses many questions (some of which are so dumb a child would discard them as unworthy of inclusion) and answers none of them adequately.

    This is Lindelhof’s writing style – lazy and incomprehensible.

    It’s quite possible that it serves a purpose in that all this discussion/debate/apologia that follows has a memetic or viral affect.

    We can see this worked for series such as LOST: but over time people realise they were conned; and long term what you have is the screenwriting version of a Ponzi scheme.

    Only this one is legal.

  18. I’ve read screenrant’s various analyses of Prometheus and found them all wanting. You can postulate anything you want to try and make sense of the plot but none of these alternatives seem plausible or remotely reasonable. For Ridley to say this is a “loose” prequel seems disingenuous to say the least. The movie exploits so many similarities from the original Alien, like the space ship that seems to fall in exactly the same position as the one in the original, the hieroglyphic of the original xenomorph on the wall, and facehugger like creatures. But it denies us even the simplest direct connections to the original. It answers no questions. It neither explains, nor elaborates on any aspect of the original. In fact it appears to deliberately confuse any connection.

    Instead Prometheus presents a disjointed and unbelievable story with virtually no character development. This is one of Scott’s great failings. He is a brilliant visuaiist but considers humans as merely vehicles to get from one breathtaking scene to the next. As a result you care more about the android than any other character in the movie and their behavior is incomprehensible. Would anyone recruit the spike-haired Mad Max reject on a stressful, dangerous, yearlong space journey? No one except a director who thinks this iconoclast might be cool instead of obvious and overdone. This crack team of scientists and space professionals agree, without testing anything, to simply take off their helmets and breathe the planet’s atmosphere. Duh! They run around the alien site in complete disarray and without any sense of safety or organization. Two of them decide to go back alone and get lost and die. Good planning. Who was in charge of this party? the answer is no one! Let’s let one of those lost guys who looks like a monster back onto the ship. Great security!

    There was so much stupidity and arrogance in this movie and in the making of it. I think Ridley Scott is a brilliant director but like so many director’s given complete control over a film the result is often muddled and disappointing. Most great directors are not great writers. Directors need good, strong writers and should respect them. Writers with opinions that must be respected. Directors who are good story tellers understand that. Ridley does not. He did not have that kind of control over the original. The writer from Lost also bears much responsibility for the film’s failures.

    Mostly I loved Alien and I love Ridley. And I was so excited when I heard he was doing another Alien. And I was so disappointed at the end of Prometheus.

  19. I caught Prometheus on a flight the other day — not the movie you want to see on a low-res 8″ seatback screen, but oh well.

    There’s amazing craft (acting, sets, effects) on display in this film, which highlights by contrast the disappointingly uneven and implausible story. Who would believe that humans would travel far into space to land at a site that’s plainly biologically active, and what do they do? They crack their helmets to sample the local air, they get slime on their clothes, they pet the local critters, they operate on an alien corpse without so much as a Kleenex over their mouths.

    What are we meant to believe about the basic competence of these people? I mean, somebody spent a lot of money (in this world and in the movie’s fictional universe) to put them on that moon. It struck me that perhaps their scoff-at-danger posture is meant to convey their essential hubris: did they believe that their technology would protect them?

  20. This is the first time I´m participating in a movie comments forum, but I HAD to say this out loud: WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP OF A PLOT!!! I´m disappointed, no, I´m disgusted at the way such a fascinating idea – that of mankind being “made” and going to find its makers in the stars – and such wonderful shooting and effects and grandiose views characteristic of R. Scott – being criminally wasted by a lousy, mediocre writer…this plot has more holes in it than a spaceship after a meteor shower! I got the feeling that it was all a farce contrived just to somehow show the “alien” in the ending…corny, corny, corny!!! Like another poster mentioned, the scientists act like 1st graders, do stupid stuff and behave like they´re anything BUT scientists…the protocols they follow are nonsensical to say the least. I´m about to give up on science fiction, it seems the genre movies are NEVER written with ANY concern for science…it´s damn right frustating. The scientists just chance to “find” the engineer ship upon landing, because “God does not build in straight lines”…b*******, there are hundreds of natural geometric phenomena…the scientist OPENS HIS HELMET IN AN ALIEN ATMOSPHERE just for…kicks??? Then they go about exploring the alien ship WITHOUT LOOKING WHERE THEY STEP…and overlooking lifeforms because, uh, it´s dark inside…c´mon…then later, the “evil robot” conducts a very scientific experiment, “hey, let me make the lead scientist drink some of the black goo and see what happens”…pure science, sure…and the two scientists who are trapped inside the alien ship behave like they´re in a bar…then there´s the captain who on a hunch guesses it´s all a military experiment of the engineers…or the scientist who operates on herself while running away from the evil corporate guys…Jesus, these characters make less sense than the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland…I, and most of the people posting here, and you who are reading this, could have written a far better plot without even trying…WHO WROTE THIS CRAP? WHO HIRED THIS MORON TO WRITE THIS…PLOT??? WHO TOLD HIM HE IS A STORY WRITER??? The only bright side to it is I downloaded a pirate copy, so I didn´t spend any money to suffer through this junk…again, with this craplot, what a TRAGIC waste of actors, money, special effects, wonderful directing and time…but it DOES make me understand why the “engineers” wanted to destroy our race so badly: They were afraid we would one day turn out plots like this!

    • I’ve waited months to re-post on this topic matter; thank you Leonardo for your outrage.

      Part of what I waited for, was to see how this film would settle over time. There are those who believe, that this farce of a story, would grow in significance over time.

      But no, cueing off Leonardo’s posting, this film was a piece of garbage and it gets worse, over time.

      Thus, I now firmly believe that no Director’s Cut nor New Edition will improve this film. It’s fundamentally flawed at the core and it wastes some rather fine ideas, as to *species* engineering as well as the development of Weyland enterprises over the century. It gives us little to ponder and hate to say it, I could now care less for what happens to Liz and Dave, as they gallop across the stars. Hopefully, they’ll fall into a black hole, but then again, that would then be a re-make of another bad movie so let’s just drop the sequel.

      • haha I too hope they fall into that black hole and may their DNA get ripped apart so nobody will ever know they even existed ;)

        • “I too hope they fall into that black hole and may their DNA get ripped apart so nobody will ever know they even existed”

          Matt No 3, oh no, you’ve just given ‘em an idea for a next movie, “Prometheus II: Wormhole Singularity & Genomics Engineering”

          This will be a Faux Star Trek of the Worst Kind.

  21. This review comes rather late, as it’s been nearly four moths since I’ve last seen Prometheus(three times in total). But, I still feel the same about Prometheus as I did when I last saw it: A truly wonderful film from one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. I was glad it was different from the other big action flicks of the summer. This film was a thinking man’s science-fiction film. It had it’s faults, but what movie doesn’t. I had wanted more of the crew to live, the film could have been longer, and perhaps more of an explanation about the Engineer’s reason to eradicate Earth. But, I digress. At any rate, I’m glad this film distanced itself from Alien. As much as I enjoy Alien, I’d put Prometheus way ahead of it. Alien is not much more than a popcorn monster flick. I’d have to put Prometheus in the same league as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Noomi Rapace was awesome(and beautiful)as Dr. Shaw. Most of the rest of the cast was very good, although, at times it seemed that Charlize Theron’s character Vickers was boring and out of place. Speaking of Charlize Theron, I feel that any woman could have played her role. To be honest, Cate Blanchett would have been perfect for this role. Anyhow, this was a great film that I can’t wait for a sequel to!

  22. I just watched it last night, I am a huge fan of the first two/three films but we all know they kept depleting in quality so I was sceptical but this is Ridley Scott doing what he does best!! I tried not to have too many high hopes going in and I must say I was relieved at how much I enjoyed it.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense built at the beginning, it sucks you in straight away, then the first alien sighting exeeded my expectations (and made me glad I wasn’t eating) and seeing the engineers recordings and star-maps was exciting. But then the plot-holes started to get wider and threatened to swallow the film totally. It would have been so much better if they had narrowed the scope down so you got to know the characters more, so we understood what Davids motives were other than ‘to see what happened because he’s curious’, and I really wanted to get to know Dr Vickers better, she was totally underutilised as well as her relationship with the Captain. I agree, the writing let it down.

    It was really the 3 main performances, design and cinematography that held it together until the end…then the ‘Mother-beast squid-alien face-hugger’ payoff was the most satisfying ending of a film I’ve seen in ages. It kinda made all the b.s worth-while and I could forgive the rest of the stupidity (like, as people said, Dr Vickers running in a straight line away from the ship, especially after seeing Dr Shaw roll so easily out of its path even though she was on the ground *shake head*, and the Captains happy-go-lucky attitude to crashing Prometheus into the Engineers ship “Need me to sacrifice my life to save earth? OK! Yeah!” that bit seemed way too close to the writing style of Aliens and the marines gung-ho attitude, didn’t seem to fit and took me out of the film -I could go on but I’d only be repeating what others have said here).

    I’m looking forward to any follow up films, especially if they carry on exploring the Engineers motives further but I’m not going to expect too much, I’m suspecting most peoples imaginations exceed what comes out eventually after it’s been picked apart by the studios anyway. I reckon I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the set-pieces again.

    On a side note, for me the writing of this franchise is best when done in comic form (mainly the 1988 Dark Horse sequels) there’s so much more freedom to explore all the frankly disturbing and dark areas of this world.

    • Ang, you’ve given Prometheus the most fair review. And a personalized one at that.

      The problem is that the highlights you’ve indicated, is another compounding reason why the movie’s so tough to settle down with, long term. Ultimately, the Engineers, the final Xenomorph, etc, only added to the frustration that the film was poorly written and executed. It’s like displaying a Tiramisu on the dessert pantry, but then, delivering a stale donut in its place during a meal.

      • That’s a great analogy RL, yes!

        I did think half-way through the film, ‘I’m going to have to turn my brain off to be able to enjoy this’ having a few shots helped too.

  23. Does Vickers explicitly know that her father, Weyland, is on board?

    I’m guessing she must since the surgical bed was programmed for cardiac-type operations and NOT programmed for surgical procedures for females (When Shaw asks it for a c-section). Even if the bed was unisex in its purpose it would seem unlikely that it specialized in cardiac operations for a woman in her very early 40′s at the oldest.

    Still, I can’t remember if she explicitly knew or if David revealed it to her. As prepared as she is, I doubt she would overlook a medical auto-doctor that was lacking the ability to perform female-specific surgeries but was in her lifeboat.

    Any help pointing me to a scene where we know she knows “father” is on board would be appreciated.

    • Steve – i think the scene you are referring to is when Vickers asks David “What did he say ?” that gave away that she knew Weyland was onboard all along.
      and the special suite was not for Vickers but was for her Father and thus the male type surgical pod.

  24. Some have suggested this movie requires a second viewing. It’s been about four months since I ridiculed it’s screenplay but when a friend invited me to watch his newly purchased blue-ray on his 3-D tv I decided to give it another try.

    First of all, the 3-D effects didn’t make or break the film at all, which has been my argument ever since the technology came out – a good story doesn’t need a gimmick. I let my friend take in the film without any input from me but he was soon sighing early on, complaining that the set-up relied on most every cliche in the book when it comes to this genre. The goofball crew members setting themselves up early on as non-thinking fodder for the alien to come. The writer’s Screenwriting 101 ploys to set up memorable lines: the Christmas tree just so the anthropologist could say he doesn’t want to wait because it’s Christmas and he wants to open his presents; the captain claiming the squeezebox once belonged to Stephen Stills just so he could tie in the notion that sometimes you have to love the one you’re with. It’s possible the captain’s life experience drew him to CSN but I probably wouldn’t have smirked so much if rather he had been singing to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and not having to play with such an obvious prop as the proverbial squeezebox. The reaction of the scientists and crew members upon being led to a preserved life form is just so understated, but then soon followed by two professionals overcome with fear. They just earlier exhibited condescending dismissal of the anthropologists’ theory and now they want to run away upon making the biggest discovery in the history of mankind?!!! The anthropologist goes back to the ship and wallows in alcohol even though they’ve proved the existence of life outside of earth?!!! Then the tip off of yet another incubation with the earnest but oh so tired signal of impending coitus involving a known barren vessel. The biologist and geologist warning each other not to touch the corpses but instantly reaching out to an unknown species that clearly exhibits warning behavior that any first year biology student would recognize. Vickers running straight out of the Herschel Walker playbook (north/south only). And on and on, all of which are cringe-worthy. My friend couldn’t have uttered more sighs if he were watching seal pups being clubbed to death.

    Yes, the eye candy is impressive but I guess one has to appreciate the opportunity to do the work of the screenwriter and fill in the blanks and conjure up all sorts of defensible interpretations of what he was attempting to project. It’s hard for me to relate to those who can compare this film to Alien or worse yet 2001: A Space Odyssey. The craft involved with creating such early sci-fi classics is so much more singular than the regurgitated and dumbed-down films produced lately that one has to continually remind oneself to seek out those that still practice it.

    • –It’s possible the captain’s life experience drew him to CSN

      This is hardly likely as most of CSN’s fans are from the Woodstock generation, 130+ years before Prometheus. Their fanbase has dwindled since GenX had come of age and isn’t in this sort of timeless classics fixture like George Gershwin, Glen Miller (of the Big Bands), Beatles, etc. I’d be very surprised if anyone in 2090 cared for Steven Stills, aside from perhaps Peter Weyland himself, a centenarian, who may reminisce about his parents’ favorite songs.

      • Ah, but you miss the point: the screenwriter does not care about logistics but rather makes a point of trying to connect with a largely white audience that has memories, possibly vague, of that particular song and BINGO – you get to use the once classic line defining the period of free love.

        Obviously you didn’t attend the same screenwriting class as Lindelof.

        • –Obviously you didn’t attend the same screenwriting class as Lindelof

          Jeff, I’d like to say that I’m proud to have never taken Lindelof’s screenwriting seminar.

          • Good grief – please tell me that Lindelof isn’t teaching people too. I think outside of the Hollywood glitterati (who seem to love him) he must be one of the most disliked (certainly, overrated) screenwriters in history.

            Prometheus constantly reminds me (as an indy screenwriter and formerly professional science writer) how much effort has to be put into storytelling: largely because I don’t have a $130,000,000 budget to work on – or the marketing.

            If what I write makes it to the screen, it’ll be the quality of my storytelling (plus the director’s skill in making that work) that will determine how it is received.

            And it matters to me. I’ve got friends who say every line is gold – but I know different. I need to be told when the line is tired, cliched or trite. I need to know that I’m just doing “X-Y-Z” again; that the homages are deliberate.

            But most of all – the plot has to make sense. Not afterwards; not in the light of some backstory that is never outlined. Not formulated by apologists later on.

            On the screen. Right there and then. My first feature as screenwriter will be digitally available at no cost (and sold on DVD) but even then I give a hoot that people who watch it are entertained. I’m not going to vainly promote it here – if it’s any good (or bad) you’ll hear about it in due time.

            Honestly, I don’t think Lindelhof does. He just takes the money and runs and we, as moviegoers, pay the price.

            Bernie Madoff went to prison for a crime that’s not that different. The difference is, he wasn’t incompetent.

            • Marc, I couldn’t have said it better unless I was a writer which you happen to be. There have been some great teleplay writers (e.g., Rod Serling, Paddy Chayefsky) and then there are writers that somehow get the green light, collect the big checks, and manage to churn out padded material so a story line can be extended ad nauseum (e.g., Lindelof and his Lost series). I’ve always told friends that the most important cog of a great film is the writer; the big star is down the list several notches and even a great director is beholden to the material from which he’s creating. Without a great source material it doesn’t matter how much you dress up the pig. For those that love the movie and anoint it as a “great” film that stands with the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I am reminded of many current fans of sport or entertainment that feel compelled to anoint some athlete or performer as the “greatest” ever. They either lack the experience to have a proper perspective or are just too easily impressed. Now that borders on sounding like a snob but so be it. When fans light up the Youtube boards with the highest praise upon hearing some angelic child singer or homely opera wannabe and then lash out at someone trying to suggest perspective, one has to grit his teeth and accept the fact that the anonymity of boards grants an unwarranted equivalence to all those who comment – it doesn’t matter if you’ve carefully studied all the great opera singers of the past. I’m not trying to hurt anyone and I don’t think I am because we’re all anonymous but I have to laugh when people equate Prometheus with 2001. I don’t quibble with the big picture attempt by Prometheus – that’s why I went into the theater with such high hopes. But too many people are satisfied with or just plain ignorant of the sloppy, lazy, and derivative writing that describes the journey on the way to Prometheus’ promised big payoff at the end. Truly great movies have masterful content in almost every aspect of filmmaking. You can’t claim greatness for a film that has so many cliches and potholes.

              For example, we all know (or at least we should) one of the greatest match cuts in film history is Kubrick’s where his ape throws up his new-found weapon into the air and then cuts to a bone-shaped futuristic space station that docks to the score of Strauss. Can you name one great audacious cinematic moment in Prometheus that combines sight and sound so memorably? In 2001, audiences were left to puzzle the meaning of the obelisk, the light show, the astronaut coming face to face with an older version of himself, and the star baby – all of these filmed so as to produce a sense of wonder for the characters in the film and the audience. There is no proper seriousness or sense of wonder exhibited by the “scientists” of Prometheus upon making the greatest discovery in the history of man. Must CNN be present to enhance a moment in history even then? Remember how the two astronauts behaved and handled crisis in 2001 – there was no amateurish buffoonery. I would say the way the characters are written is symptomatic of our society in general today where science is devalued and frat boy behavior is the norm. Vickers is in charge of a “trillion-dollar” mission and she hand picks these professionals?!!!

              If you’re happy just admiring the eye candy, that’s fine. But hold off with the accolades of “greatness” and go out and study some truly great examples of thoughtful writing combined with a director that aims to make a singular statement with his film rather than just another chapter in a monetarily valuable franchise.

              (I’ll keep the “harrumph” to myself.)

  25. I think the engineers endgame is to take over the earth. They seem to be meticulous planners that dabble in mutations and are ready to implement a plan that could take thousands of years.

    Maybe the engineers did not create humans at all but instead humans created the engineers. What I mean, is that the engineers are certainly more advanced than humans from a technology point of view, but maybe they needed human DNA to transform themselves to closely resemble humans so that our ancestors would accept them on their early scouting missions to earth. Through a series of visits to earth through the millennia, they were borrowing human genetic code to graft onto their own. This might explain the cave paintings. When asked why he wears a space suit, David responds that humans can more easily accept him if he looks and acts like them – perhaps a clue as to why the engineers look like us, act like us and even have the same DNA – so that our ancestors naively welcome them to our planet.

    They are a conquering alien life form that needs/wants the earth for whatever reason. They intended to make their move 2000 years ago, but a mishap on LV-223 messed up their plans. I think the opening scene was on LV-223 where the engineers screwed up with their biological weapon and accidently infected themselves. Maybe the initial engineer that fell into the river was sabotaged, maybe the experiment went wrong, maybe he didn’t want to wipe out a whole planet so he took it upon himself to stop the takeover plans. Whatever happened, he dumped his organic matter into the river, the cells started to replicate and creatures emerged from the water to wreak havoc on the engineer installation. Their plan was to dump the grey goop onto earth, essentially causing all living things to turn into creatures of destruction and thereby wiping the face of earth clean of living animals. ‘If you want to create, sometimes you must first destroy’ was quoted by David.