If you don't like our take, Scott's current view paints a less-connected version of the events that, frankly, creates more questions than concrete answers - once again blurring the lines between the two properties and possibly setting up the current storyline for a sequel (more on that later). It's important to keep in mind that while Scott is the director of Prometheus, if you ask writer Damon Lindelof (who was responsible for a significant re-write on the film), you might get a different answer.
Essentially, Scott asserts that the same developments could occur independent of the Prometheus storyline:
Scott: For all intents and purposes this is very loosely a prequel, very, and then you say “But how did that ship evolve into the first Alien?” Then I would say “Actually he’s one of the group that had gone off and his cargo had gotten out of control,” because he was heading somewhere else and it got out of control and actually he had died in the process and that would be the story there. That ship happened to be a brother to the ship that you see that comes out of the ground at the end. They are roughly of the same period give or take a couple hundred years, right?
Other than that, there’s no real link except it explains I think who may have had these capabilities, which are dreadful weapons way beyond anything we could possibly conceive, bacteriological drums of shit that you can drop on a planet and the planet… Do you know anything about bacteria? If you take a teaspoon and drop it in the biggest reservoir in London, which also scares the shit out of me, and amazes me that there are not huge guards around it… That’s the way to do it. You don’t do 9/11, you just get a teaspoon of bacteria, drop it in, and eight days later the water is clean and then suddenly on the eighth day the water goes dense and cloudy, but by then it’s been sent to every home and several million people have drunk it, you’ve got bubonic. It’s that simple.
That’s how scary it is, so these evolutions of these guys who have watched developing DNA, it’s like “How can DNA change that quickly, sitting in front of me on a table…” That’s because your mind doesn’t allow you to accept that that may be feasible, that’s the deal. In the same way that we have been here three billion years, we know we’ve been… The Gulf of Mexico they believe is a huge asteroid. That was an impact zone, you know that? Yeah, for that big a thing to actually hit our globe, it would have had to adjust the spin, the axis. That probably created the first massive cataclysmic thing which took away all of the dinosaurs, so that after that you’re left with water, that’s why the Grand Canyon was a sea and it is now a dry valley.
At the end of the film, we see Shaw and David successfully escape LV-223 in another Engineer ship (which David learned to pilot) and head off in the direction of the Engineer home planet - since Shaw is still seeking answers to the questions of creation: namely who created the Engineers and why did the Engineers create human kind?
While he remained tight-lipped on certain subjects, Scott was willing to entertain some questions about the future of the Prometheus storyline such as: "How far have you thought? Or have you talked to Damon about where the possibility of a sequel will go? Have you already opened those doors in terms of you already know where these answers are and it’s just a matter of making it or are you sort of like 'We will think about that a little bit assuming the movie is a hit. Let’s talk later.'"
Scott: It’s a bit of each. You do a bit of each and I’ve opened the doors. I know where it’s going. I know that to keep him alive is essential and to keep her alive is essential and to go where they came from, not where I came from, is essential. That’s a pretty open door and then rather than going to that, I don’t see landing in a place that looks like paradise, that’s not how it’s going to be. There is a plan, yeah.
Anyone who is entranced with the Prometheus story, regardless of its connections to Alien, will also be happy to know that the director is planning to be directly involved - should a sequel get off the ground.
Scott: I develop everything. I do. I learned that a long time ago. It’s never going to land on your desk, you have to come up with what you want to do with the story and I think sometimes it can take two or three years.
While it's tempting to dissect all of the overlapping story beats between Prometheus and Alien or speculate on where the narrative might go - remember, at the heart of the Prometheus story (which grapples with enormous ideas about the horrors and wonders of creation) is a much bigger question worth debating, namely: "Why are we here?"
Like any quality piece of entertainment, a lot of this is subjective and there are multiple ways of interpreting the connections between Prometheus and Alien, so feel to (respectfully) share your interpretation with fellow moviegoers in the comment section below.
For further discussion of the film's connections from the Screen Rant team check out our Prometheus episode of the SR Underground podcast.
Prometheus is out in the UK and hits US theaters on June 8, 2012. Be sure to read our official Prometheus review.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Prometheus as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Prometheus is Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language. Now playing in theaters.