Does the Prometheus Blu-ray resolve the film’s mysteries?

Feature Ryan Lambie 11 Oct 2012 - 07:44

Prometheus left lots of us with questions earlier this year, but does the Blu-ray answer them as the advertising suggests? We find out…

“Questions will be answered,” the trailers promise for the Prometheus Blu-ray, out in the UK this week. And given that so many people came out of cinemas earlier this year either arguing, debating or just plain moaning about Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe, it’s interesting that the minds behind its marketing would address audiences so directly.

“Yes,” the adverts seem to say. “We know you were perplexed and maybe even a bit annoyed by our movie. But don’t worry, the home release will give you some of the answers you’ve been looking for.”

So is the disc effectively a Prometheus: Version 1.5, a patch update that gives us a greater sense of closure, or are the film’s mysteries (and possible inconsistencies) still broadly intact? We dug into the Blu-ray to see whether we could find the answers to the following questions…

What was Prometheus like when it was still an Alien prequel?

As you may know by now, Prometheus wasn’t always Prometheus, but a prequel to Alien. Written by Jon Spaihts, the original drafts of the scripts still contained the spine of the story as we know it – a group of explorers follow a star map to a distant planet, where they discover evidence of the Engineers’ society (yes, the Engineers were in there right from the beginning), and worse, alien eggs and the facehuggers within.

The Blu-ray’s content is refreshingly open about the gradual mutation that took place as the drafts wore on. Spaihts and several producers talk about the various names they went through as their ideas changed – at one point, the movie could have been called, variously, Alien: Engineers, Alien: Origins, Alien: Genesis, Alien: Tomb Of The Gods or even LV-426 (back when that stormy planetoid was still the venue for the film’s horrors). 

Gradually, the involvement of the facehuggers, chestbursters and aliens gradually dwindled into the background, and the story of the Engineers and their creation of human life took its place. Intimate horror – which would have seen Holloway give birth to a chestburster while making love to an early version of Elizabeth Shaw’s character in a scene Spaihts dubbed ‘The Sexburster’ – gave way to grand themes and big Chariots Of The Gods ideas.

After a brief flirtation with the name Paradise, Ridley Scott picked the title Prometheus instead. Damon Lindelof was brought in relatively late to write subsequent drafts of the script (Spaihts doesn’t hide his disappointment about this), and gradually, the movie as we now know it took shape.

Why did Milburn try to tickle the alien snake creature?

One of the more contentious – and scorned – sequences in Prometheus comes in the second act, where are brave adventurers have already breached the tomb-like Engineer lair on LV-223. After a storm cuts their investigations short, the characters Fifield and Milburn become lost in the warren-like network of tunnels, and are forced to stay the night as the wind howls outside. 

While exploring, they stumble upon the canister chamber seen earlier in the movie, where they encounter a creature the film’s effects designers have dubbed the Hammerpede – a pale creature that’s midway between a traditional facehugger and a king cobra. The xeno-biologist Milburn – who you might think would be seasoned enough to be wary of this sort of thing – seems positively attracted by the beast, and when he practically tickles it, is unsurprisingly attacked and killed.

Milburn’s childlike curiosity was actually given a bit of grounding in an earlier, deleted scene which can be found on the disc’s extras. Here, he’s shown gathering up a relatively small, primitive worm-like creature, and excitedly jabbering about it being his first encounter with such an advanced alien lifeform. The scene would have at least made his subsequent snake tickling a little less surprising, but it was unfortunately snipped out for pacing purposes.

Even Damon Lindelof admits, in his commentary track, “He’s acting like a complete and total moron.” Spaihts, who also weighs in with his comments, also gives a clue as to why Milburn seems so fearless in this scene – it all goes back to an earlier draft of the script, where the explorers’ suits were described as heavily armoured and presumably alien proof. Here, Milburn would have picked up a form of facehugger that looked like a centipede. 

“He had a lot more faith in his suit in my version,” Spaihts explains, “though he didn’t reckon on the acid…”

Why was Holloway so unpleasant? 

Although Prometheus has more than its fair share of antagonists and people of uncertain agendas, one of the least sympathetic characters is surely Elizabeth Shaw’s boyfriend, Holloway. After Shaw and her compatriots discover groundbreaking evidence of a dead civilization on LV-223, Holloway unaccountably descends into booze-soaked gloom.

Believe it or not, Holloway was even more unpleasant in an earlier cut of the film, where originally shot scenes showed him pouring scorn on Shaw’s excitement at their discoveries. Holloway, it seems, was hoping to make contact with living engineers, and when he doesn’t, he finds his frustration impossible to hide.  In pick-up shots filmed later on, a further argument between Holloway and Shaw is replaced with a toned-down sequence where Holloway's less bullish. 

It’s not entirely clear why Holloway was written as such a reckless, petulant character, but we do now know that elements of this were in even the earliest drafts. Back when Prometheus was still an Alien prequel, Holloway would have been attacked by a facehugger after blithely taking off his space helmet in the Engineers’ lair – something the character still does in the finished film.

Why does David infect Holloway?

Untrustworthy robot space butler David’s motivations are easy to guess, but never made absolutely clear. We see David bring back a canister from the Engineers’ place, and aboard the Prometheus, open it up. He takes a droplet of black mutagen from within, and quietly slips it into Holloway’s drink.

Was David acting out of his own personal curiosity in doing this, or was he doing the bidding of his master, Peter Weyland? In the Blu-ray commentary, Lindelof makes it plain: it was the latter.

“Weyland has told him, whatever you find, I want you to find a solution to my problem. There’s only one way to find out what the goo does, and that’s to put it in a rat. And to David, that’s what the rest of the crew are.”

David, then, really is Peter Weyland’s pawn, and his mission is to find a way to give his aging master eternal life – and just as in Alien, the lives of the humans around him are expendable. 

And while Fassbender’s brilliantly frosty performance may give David’s actions some ambiguity right until the end, it seems that the android isn’t quite as double-dealing as some have suggested. In the sequence where David speaks to the Engineer, prompting a brief scuffle in which the android’s head is ripped off, and Peter Weyland is killed, some have speculated that David may have said something that triggered the being’s rampage.

According to Damon Lindelof, David really did say what he claims to have said – “This man wants you to give him eternal life” – and not something antagonistic. The Engineer, Lindelof says, is simply taken aback at having been woken from his slumber by what to him are a group of chattering chimps.

There was originally a much longer version of this scene, in which the Engineer, David and Weyland have a longer chat about eternal life and gods. Scott cut out this and a later fight scene with an axe-wielding Shaw, because he thought it diminished the Engineer’s mysterious, god-like ambience.

Why was Guy Pearce cast?

Peter Weyland is over a hundred years old during the events of Prometheus, so why cast a 40-something actor like Guy Pearce to play him? Was it really just so he could do that TED talk viral ad released in the run-up to the movie? There were suggestions and guesses that Pearce would have had also appeared in flashback as a younger man, and this is borne out in Damon Lindelof’s commentary.

In the script, David would have held an impromptu conference with his master, who of course is in hypersleep somewhere on the ship. David would have appeared on a beach with Weyland, who imagines himself as still being 40 years old in what is essentially a dream. This scene would have come before David infected Holloway, and would have made it clearer what David was up to.

For reasons best known to Ridley Scott, this sequence was never even shot.

Why did Peter Weyland keep his presence on the ship a secret?

Having this as a final-act revelation didn’t appear, it seems, until relatively late in the editing process. Among the deleted scenes, there’s a moment where David, on discovering the slumbering Engineer deep within the bowels of the planet, radios back to the Prometheus and says to Vickers, “It’s time to wake the old man up.”  This would have made it clearer to the audience that Weyland was stowing away on his own ship a little earlier in the film, and provided a few more clues about the nature of David’s furtive little mission – even though Shaw and the rest of the crew still had no idea of what he was up to.

Although it’s hardly an earth-shattering plot twist, Old Man Weyland’s secrecy does, on reflection, make a weird sort of sense. If he’s on a mission to find the secret of eternal life, and willing to sacrifice the lives of about a dozen scientists and researchers to do it, he probably wouldn’t want to advertise the fact to the various board members at Weyland Yutani.

What was with the alien flute?

For us, this incidental mystery is the most frustrating of all. Why do the Engineers, a race advanced enough to have mastered interstellar travel and unlocked the secret of life itself, have ships activated by the power of tin flute? Is it some sort of allusion to their culture inspiring ours, given that the flute is reckoned to be one of the earliest forms of instrument? Was the flute one of the Engineers’ gifts to us, along with life and language?

Sadly, we combed all three hours and 40 minutes of the disc’s making-of documentary in vain, and Ridley Scott says not a word about it in his commentary track. Jon Spaihts does mention it briefly, saying, “I’m not sure I’m sold on the whistle or the silly putty eggs”. The eggs, of course, are a reference to the fleshy buttons on the Engineer ship’s control console. 

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, we brought the subject up with Dr Anil Biltoo, the language consultant who both created the Engineers’ lingo and also appears in the film as a teacher hologram in a fetching white hat. Did he suggest the idea of the alien ship being powered by a flute?

“That wasn't in the script,” Dr Biltoo said, “and I have to say, I was quite shocked when I saw how they used that.”

The plot thickens. So if the ship wasn’t flute powered in the script, how did it work?

“There were some voice-activated sequences where Fassbender's moving around the pyramid and he reads glyphs,” Dr Biltoo explained. “He reads a writing system that seems to make sense to him. Now, in the script, he utters a sequence of words, and nothing happens. So he repositions the intonation, and something happens. The consoles light up on the craft, because they're speech activated. In the original script, they are not activated by flute.”

Dr Biltoo made it quite clear, therefore, that the flute didn’t spring from Lindelof’s mind, and Spaihts' bemusement on the commentary track certainly indicates that he didn’t suggest it, either. Although we have no firm evidence, the Prometheus Blu-ray does provide a few clues that Ridley Scott himself may have introduced the flute. 

In one of the snippets of supplementary footage on the extras disc, we see Scott walk around a large storage room with his filmmakers, choosing various bits and pieces to dress the sets. There are tables absolutely covered in random objects, ranging from Thermos flasks and Christmas decorations to mugs and executive stress toys.

As the camera follows him around, Scott selects certain objects quite rapidly, suggesting that one character might idly play with this item in one scene, and those items over there might look quite nice on a shelf in Vickers’ private quarters.

Given that Scott frequently made snap creative decisions throughout the film’s making, could it be possible that Scott saw the tin whistle in this storage room (along with Janek’s accordion, perhaps), and said, “You know what? This could be the ignition key for the spaceship.”

Right now, it’s the best theory we have. 

The unanswered questions 

Inevitably, there are plenty of mysteries left intact even after viewing the seven-or-so hours of content on the Prometheus Blu-ray. On the weird 3D recording that plays out in the corridors of the LV-223 lair, why do we see one of the Engineers going towards the room full of jars and goo instead of away from it? What was that green crystal seen lurking behind the big space head sculpture? Was it some sort of off-switch that would have shut the goo down had the Engineer activated it in time? Why did the facehugger-type creature that emerged from Shaw grow to the size of an elephant?

There are plenty of other unanswered questions, too, which we won’t list here. Some of these may possibly be resolved in the sequel, if it happens, while others may remain forever a mystery. Not that there’s anything wrong with mysteries, of course – Alien was filled with them, ranging from the origins of the derelict spacecraft to the nature of the creature itself. Some of these mysteries have been addressed in subsequent movies, so it’s perhaps good that, although it’s far from a perfect movie, Prometheus introduces a few new mysteries of its own – including, of course, the origins of that tin flute idea…

Prometheus is out now on Blu-ray 3D Collector’s Edition, Blu-ray and DVD.

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On the Blu ray extra - The Peter Weyland Files are four written diary entires by the man himself - these include the references to Blade Runner already mentioned and explicit statements that make it clear Weyland Corp knows about LV426 as the original source of the alien and that David is programmed with contingency plans to exploit whatever is found on LV223 - thats two of the most fundmanental questions answered.

It's simple really... because Damon Lindelof is a pretentious douchebag. It irritated the hell out of me he had his little award predominantly displayed behind him in the making of featurette.

Surely the 'questions will be answered' tagline has nothing to do with solving the inconsistencies generated by Prometheus, but in fact is just the original marketing position on the film which was that this movie was supposed to answer questions about where the Aliens came from.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the only 'question' I had about Prometheus that the blu-ray could've answered is: 'was the entire theatrical cut actually a gag reel?' As it turns out the answer is no, I can rest in peace knowing that Ridley Scott is just tin-flute-insane.

But the whole goo thing was showing how the creation of the aliens came to be. More answers will come in subsequent movies.

I think people are baffled because they didn't actually see a facehugger or a classic alien and the whole goo and mutation of whoever it came into contact with (showing the origins of the alien) just went straight over most people's heads.

Ugh... Not since Spider-Man 3 has a film promised so much and delivered so little.
And the more I hear about Spaihts original draft, the more annoyed I get about what we ended up getting...

Could someone please tell me how I can access the alternative start and ending on the standard blu ray. I love Prometheus but getting tired of the prerelease super hype..and finding there is f**k all on the disc. Please advise..

...Actually it is pretty clear that most issues people have with the film aren't his fault, most of the story was already in place in the prior drafts, all changes he made were by Ridley Scotts request and were done relatively late in the process (so it's not as if he had much time to fine tune them) and then alot of the smaller details that would have helped the film got cut out in the final cut.
Whatever faults Lindelof had, he was ultimately just a hired hand, any problems with Prometheus should be laid squarely at the feet of Ridley Scott!

I have to say I watched it last night, with the alternative ending (pointless)...and i just thought at the end of the film, what a waste of two hours

I agree, but the standpoint of this article implies the marketing of the DVD is aimed at those who still had questions after watching Prometheus which I don't think is the case.

I doubt they give a toss whether the movie was successful in answering anything as long as they continue to make money from the franchise.

I have just now got my hands on a copy of the blu ray. However, I really don't care about un-answered questions.

At what point did audiences have to start being spoon fed everything? Why are we no longer happy with a little bit of mystery?

Firstly, I feel I did not need anything answered from Alien. I did not need to know what the Space Jockey was OR where it came from. I just liked not knowing, letting my own brain and imagination fill in the gaps.

Secondly, this film DOES answer questions. If you found they were not answered, then you are clearly not very bright.

All this film is meant to show is where the Space Jockey fits into the Alien world. It is not a prequel, its a spin off technically. We do not need to know every little detail. We can watch the film, enjoy it, and fill in the gaps ourselves.

I fee sorry that the studio has had to put 'Questions will be answered' on the cover due to the stupidity of it's audience.

No, the whole 'goo' thing was NOT meant to show how Aliens came to be!? The very first scene shows us that the 'goo' is how WE came to be. The Space Jockey sacrificed himself to start life on Earth. The Space Jockey 'DNA' got into the water, and so began life.

The Space Jockeys never had an Alien to begin with. It was a complete accident created due to Holloway being infected by David, sleeping with Shaw, impregnating her with the first ever 'face hugger', then the face hugger implanting the alien in the Space Jockey.

Why do people think this film was EVER about the Alien. It never was meant to be.

The Aliens had already existed by the time Prometheus happened. There was already a carrier full of eggs on LV-426. Prometheus just showed how the goo can evolve into the perfect organism, which is the Alien. If you notice, they also come across an 'alien mural'. The problem is, Scott kinda went his own way as production progressed, which negated elements initially deemed canon.

Of course the SJ's had the seen 'the alien' before the humans arrived - they had a carving of it on the wall of their space-ship...

It's bad story telling. Simple as that. There were so many draft changes that the original intent was lost (which is a fact, if you read previous script versions). Now tell me, why does the black goo do different things each time? How did the engineer in the beginning know how to use it for its specific purpose, yet create random effects throughout the rest of the movie?

And the facehuggers were not created by David's little experiment... they can also be seen attaching themselves to engineers' faces in the bottom left and right of the very same mural.

Sorry, but if you need to dig thru extras and fork out another £20 to have the film make sense, it only shows what a mess the original was. It's an admittance of failure. Either stay mysterious or front up in the film.

Any film which needs an explanatory guide is a failure.

Do they answer the question about why Lindelof has the mentality of a 16 year old pseudo-intellectual who thinks that if he chucks bits in vaguely related to religion, it will make everything deep and stuff, rather than making things look like a load of pretentious meaningless codswallop?

Weird coincidence then, what with Lost being a load of old bluff with no explanations and lots of religious overtones.

More answers may come, but I doubt it, just layers of mystery which people will tire of.

Mystery is fine, as long as it's explainable with logical thought (unless it's the film of a dadaist).

Saying 'just because' isn't really very good in a standard narrative film, it leaves holes if there's no logic to it.

It's not the mystery in Prometheus which annoyed me so, as much as the things that happened that made no sense at all.

I can accept not knowing things, I can't accept nonsensical leaps in logic and things crowbarred in for the sake of it.

Really? That's odd. Donnie Darko and Bladerunner were both films that audiences left theaters thinking.. "Huh!? But...if he... what if...huh!?". However both are now cult classics.

Stop moaning and move on.

On the back of my 3d blu ray disc is a small blurb with questions will be answered followed by discover the secrets behind the movies development. I assume then that the marketing is a clever ploy to make consumers believe there are answers about the movie when in fact there are none. I also fail to understand what discussion and mystery there is about Prometheus. I can understand people being disapointed but there really is no more depth behind the movie than what was presented. To me it was a film about a failed space expedition, nothing more

then why was there a mural of an Alien on the wall behind the giant head DOUCHE BAG? If there wasn't an Alien prior to your chain of events?

I don't know why people think that the decapitated engineer should be running away from the black goo, i mean we don't know what he was running from in the first place the black goo room might of been really secure. As for the goo itself, yes it does have a bad side to it but we did see the engineers using it for science and creation at the start of the film so i imagine they had good idea of what it was capable of and how to use it The black goo room might of been ok place to hide. Well not for humans of course.

I think the "answered questions" merely refers to the origin of humanity WITHIN the film, and the characters' questions about who inpsired the cave paintings; I don't think it means the stuff we didn't find out when watching the film at the cinema.
The discussion and mystery that remains is why they started, and then apparently planned to end, their "human experiment"; also, who are they? where do they come from? what happened to them? is the goo purely a bio-weapon? This may not sound very inspiring or mysterious to some viewers, but in the context of the film those are the mysteries.

... the fact that there was a mural with a figure looking a lot like our dear xenomorph contradicts your point.

The Engineers were playing gods (sorry) and then backfired. Perhaps they were in the process of moving their biological weapons out of there and one their ships crashed in nearby LV-426? Or perhaps somewhere along the way an Alien queen was created/mutated and she laid the eggs the Nostromo crew finds? I'm just guessing of course, but it certainly it's fun

I agree with this entirely. The inability of some people to accept some ambiguity in their sci fi these days is breathtaking. We might never find out the answers to your points, even in the sequels, and that's fine. Audiences were able to accept Alien in 1979 without crying about what the "thing in the seat" was, and why it was carrying the eggs, and where it came from etc. It's just a bit of intrigue. The goo is an alien technology, and the characters have piece together events from a long time ago via a holographic video. I'd rather have the doubt than someone pick up, say, a PC compatible alien disc explaining all the motives and history.
There are the critics who are rightly annoyed by some of the poor characterisation and plot turns, and then there are the critics who really are just morons.

Absolutely. I'd forgotten about Donnie Darko, that explains almost nothing at all, but it's still brilliant. I didn't wet the bed over the lack of exposition in that film. I wet the bed because I'm too lazy to get up.

Are all the events in 2001 explicable with logical thought?

It's alien goo. They should have included the instruciton sheet with the Bluray, and also had a character read it out during the film. Maybe it has something to do with dose? Maybe all goo is not the same? Maybe it is altered with age or exposure? Maybe it is bioactive and mutates? Maybe it reacts differently with different genetic material? None of those points trouble me any more than mysteries in Alien or 2001.


Well, a version of it, perhaps.

Ok, so in Looper when Jeff Daniels says 'This time travel stuff will fry your brain', basically saying 'look, it doesn't make complete sense, just go with it', surely that is a film that leaves loop holes in it? But it doesnt matter. It's just an enjoyable film.

I think I am just sick of every film these days being picked apart until there is nothing left to enjoy about it.

Prometheus isn't perfect but it is 1000% better than Spiderman 3. I came out of Prometheus thinking good film, a couple of fantastic horror scenes but with a few minor unanswered questions but nothing to ruin the film. With Spiderman 3 I came out of the cinema and said to the friend I went with "Is that the worst film you have ever seen?" yes was the answer for both of us.

Really? If you're picking apart a film THAT much, i honestly believe you should stop watching all films. Otherwise you will just not enjoy them.

The amount of classic films that have loop holes and gaps... they are just things to entertain us.

I am in total agreement with Bunter.

What has happened in the last 33 yrs that audiences now no longer except a film at face value? Can we not just ENJOY a film anymore without the need to dissect it to bits? What is with this modern day internet phenomenon of never being satisfied and wanting more answers!?

It's a sci-fi film. If we are going to question this black 'goo' and how it effects different species etc, we may as well question how the hell they can travel in cryostasis for yrs without aging and how the space ship fly's.

Having questions in films and leaving things for the audience to decide for themselves is part of the process of film making.

Who knows. Who knows if that was something that creating them. Who knows if they created that. Who knows if it even was an Alien.

What I do know is, unlike you, I can at least have a discussion without having to offend someone.

In Alien, you got enough information to gather that the Space Jockey was a dead member of a superior alien race, clearly some sort of pilot or navigator - and that is all the information we as an audience need for the purposes of the films story - any more information than that is irrelevant - that's not what Alien is about.

The creature in Alien is mysterious, and we only get glimpses of
it, but we see enough to gradually piece together it's horrifying life

In Prometheus, we are not given anything like enough information to guess at what the black goo is, or what it does. It may as well be magic pixie dust that does what is required to move the 'plot' forward. There is no logic to it whatsoever, and hence - no dramatic tension because we never know what is at stake.

"Secondly, this film DOES answer questions. If you found they were not answered, then you are clearly not very bright."

I can't stand this argument, so I'll turn it back on you - if you found Prometheus a satisfying narrative, then you're a mug.

Well said - can all those people who say that Prometheus is 'thought-provoking' and 'tackles big themes' or that it 'at least tried to ask big questions' tell me what on Earth they're talking about? What is the POINT of the film? What does it actually SAY about ANYTHING AT ALL?

As far as sci-fi concepts go, the notion of an alien intelligence creating or manipulating mankind is about as dated and cliched a trope as flying saucers. I fail to see anything more than sixth-form pseudery in Prometheus, but it appears that throwing in a scattering of mythological/religious symbols and having characters spouting laughably simplistic ponderings on 'who created us?' is enough to convince dummies that they are watching something grand and profound.

For my money, Prometheus is deeply, deeply pretentious. It's an exceptionally DUMB film that thinks it's an intelligent one - which in my book is a far greater crime than being a dumb film that knows what it is. It fails utterly as science fiction, it fails utterly as a monster movie.

Well at least I am a happy and satisfied mug who enjoyed the film.

Who cares about the goo and where it came from. The fact is, the Space Jockeys have, it and use it to create life, and end it. It's all we need to know. The goo is to Prometheus what the Space Jockey was to Alien. It is meant to make you think and use your own brain and think what ever you like. We don't need a definitive answer.

Maybe if you're really lucky they will make a prequel to Prometheus so they can explain to you what the goo is and where it came from.

well said sir :)

of course it won't.. the movie feels way too inconsistent for Lindelof knowing the answers to the questions he's asking.. and the questions mainly consisting of "wouldn't it be cool if X?".. never mind asking _why_ X when the answer is bound to be "I don't know but wouldn't it be cool?".. prepare yourself for a Lost resolution, if any.


What are you talking about? The black goo is BY FAR the single most important element in the plot - there's a WORLD of difference compared to the Space Jockey in the original, which was a bit of background detail/set decoration and largely irrelevant to the actual STORY of Alien (a monster kills people on a spaceship).

It is literally impossible to draw any kind of conclusion as to what the black goo is, because it behaves in a totally random way. It's the lazy crutch of a terrible writer.

The only deleted scene that would solve a lot of the narrative/logic issues with Prometheus would be a scene early on where it is revealed that something went wrong with the cryo pods, giving all the crew brain damage.

That would explain why they all act like emotionally unstable, idiot children.

Prometheus was a huge letdown, and not just on an Alien prequel level, but on the level of making a coherent, semi-intelligent sci-fi film. The film Prometheus is what happens when people who THINK that they are highly intelligent or talented get in way over their heads when they try to create something of actual substance or value (imagine Rush Limbaugh trying to create his own Constitution of the United States, or Paris Hilton trying to create an android, and you'll get what I mean). This film was a terrible mistake, first and foremost because it squandered any chance of being deep or meaningful by not giving the answers to any questions that it purposefully asked. It's fine if you want to make an enjoyable movie that doesn't give any answers (as in the excellent Cloverfield), but at least give us a really great monster movie to make up for it (as in the original Alien!) All they had to do was actually make a true Alien prequel, give it depth by layering it with subconscious religious/sexual references, delve a bit into into the origin of the Engineers and their motives and finish it off with great creature design; that way most of us would have been happy. Instead, the creators of this film decide not to please ANYONE by making everything ambiguos and arbitrary, and not even really tie-in meaningfully to the Alien universe. THAT IS NOT DEPTH. Furthermore, don't ever, EVER think that you are going to satisfy any film fan these days with a frickin' land squid. Let me repeat that, A FRICKIN' LAND SQUID. A land squid does not compare in any way, shape or form to the beauty and perfection of the predatory xenomorph. The smartest move that Ridley could have made was just stay away from the already perfect creation of Alien and leave his legacy untainted. George Lucas also found this out the hard way.

If I wanted to pick apart Looper on the basis of plot holes, I could. But Looper - unlike Prometheus, provided an entertaining ride, had believable character motivations, character arcs, and more importantly actually had something to say, so I was prepared to overlook a few relatively minor narrative problems to enjoy the film.

In Prometheus, the script problems are so glaring they overwhelm everything else in the film - it's a complete wreck and I don't understand how anyone can defend it on anything but a cosmetic level.

"It's a sci-fi film. If we are going to question this black 'goo' and how
it effects different species etc, we may as well question how the hell
they can travel in cryostasis for yrs without aging and how the space
ship fly's."

Um, because cryostasis and interstellar space travel are easily imaginable, theoretically sound technologies. We understand the RULES of them.

The black goo has no consistent rules or logic - as I say, it may as well be called magic pixie dust. It's bad, lazy writing plain and simple.

Quite. If you're going to 'explore' themes of evolution and the meaning of life, you should probably have some kind of idea what statement you are trying to make.

What was the summing up of Prometheus' grand themes?

"I have faith because I'm a human, and you don't because you're a robot".


As a matter of fact, the beauty of the original Alien was in its simplicity and stark, lonely emptiness, which is in direct contrast to the loud, overblown and mostly shallow films of today. I've always felt that the pacing, scenery and character motivations in Alien hinted at an underlying notion that we are actually all alone and that there is no God or heaven, which would be the most frightening thing of all when you think about it. This reality could be all that we have, so when a dangerous life form shows up to kill you and hasten your exit from this world, there's more at stake because there is nothing, or nowhere else to go to. Perhaps what could have been so unsettling about the petrified Space Jockey in Alien was that it was on some level an allegory for God; an ancient, supremely-powerful and advanced being that was nevertheless killed by the brutal self-centered advancement and craving for power of his own creations.

I watched for the first time the other day and honestly enjoyed the film, I had already been made aware it wasnt a direct prequel, i loved the Alien films but didnt see the problem with this movie the only thing that I found funny was the way the Captain could only run away from the falling spaceship in a straight line.

I think they should clear up how you can play pool with identical metallic balls

Lost gave explanations, if you paid attention (whether or not you thought they were good answers is something else entirely) What didn't they explain? We found out what the smoke monster was, why they were brought to the Island, who Jacob was, who the Others were, what happened to the Dharma Initiative, what the Island was, what the numbers were...

Thats excellent logic and pretty much explains that bit of marketing, well done sir

One of those films that just doesn't make a lick of sense, but is absolutely beautiful to look at. Hard to endure as a narrative, but certainly easy to watch as an aesthetic experience. People working themselves up in a lather about inconsistencies and illogical actions are just wasting time. There's nothing worth talking about in terms of plot.

You're so correct! Prometheus is what happens when people who THINK that they are highly intelligent or talented get in way over their heads when they try to create something of actual substance or value (imagine Barack Obama trying to create a private sector job, or Barack Obama trying to speak without a TelePrompTer, and you'll get what I mean).

Try that on for size ;-)

if they made it into an actual prequel it would have been gold
instead they ruined it with this garbage

Even in the picture above some are different colors just like real pool...

that's a poor analogy considering the last 32 consecutive months of private sector job growth under obama.

I'm sorry but this is absolute poppycock. When they first enter the 'container room. Holloway walks up to a huge wall mural which clearly has an Alien (Xenomorph as we know it) as the centrepiece, obvious facehuggers down the side, and some argue (inc. me), a suggestion of a Queen overshadowing the clearly defined alien.If you do not believe me go and watch the scene again, but there are also stills of this scene scattered across a thousand blogs already!

Yes again! If i'd only read one post down i could've saved myself some typing.


Play nice. No need to call anyone a DOUCHE BAG here. :o)

The only way I can reconcile the flute, is that it's to show that the Engineers used to be Creators, creating life (such as at the beginning of the film), art (the mural we see above the Head in the temple, above and to its right - the right hemisphere of the brain is argued to be the creative hemisphere - further to this we get a glimpse of above-and-left of the Head where we see a rapidly dissolving mural that depicts something almost rigid, structural or logical) and by extension, music. They also clearly had a thing for ritual.

Since that time, however, the Creators 'fell', for whatever reason, their art decayed, their ships were stripped down to the bare essentials (from the giant disc at the start to the 'donut' at the end), and they adapted themselves (going from robes and bare to skin, to that armour-skin stuff) and changed (depending on your point of view) from creating life to destroying it.

Some relics of that Creative age remain in their practices, such as the shrine/altar behind the Head with the green crystal and Xeno wall carving (art, ritual, plus its being behind the Head could be a representation of Id), and the flute as a relic of that previous era.

No idea about the egg buttons though.

Why bother trying to explain any of it? It was a terrible movie. It was expected to be a prequel to Alien but instead becomes a horribly re-imagined reboot of the Alien Universe. Not to mention the story was already done in AVP. Crew find clues to hidden alien artifact, crew arrives and messes with it, crew gets punished for messing with it. The end. This movie is a fail. It is neither Alien lore or something new and clever.

You must be the only person in the universe that thinks Lost explained itself. Most believe we got stiffed with no answers and a lame ending that he repeatedly said he wouldn't do ie. pergatory.

The engineers are war with another alien race or in civil war. The alien xenomorths are being used by one or both sides and the engineers have experimented with their own genetic structure to fight back using the alien DNA. Our planets was initially seeded as a benevolent long term plan to extend their species. Clues were left behind by monitoring parties over the ages so that when we had the capability we could seek out our makers. Unfortunately due to the war the welcome planet we were sent to has become a military base and they are using the star maps that show the location of seeded planets to send black goo ships that will turns into usable soldiers to aid in the war effort as we are an expenable sub species. We arrive to find that this plan has gone wrong as the xenomorths got out/ were released and killed most of the installation. With no food source they die out/ go into stasis until awoken by us. Engineer tries to complete mission, we stop him. Fake Ripley and half a robot go off in search of answers.
Plot in a nutshell :)

I missed at the cinima and have struggled to avoid reading about the film but did get a general negitive vibe off people about the film, watched it at weekend and enjoyed it. What it did lack from the first two alien films was the feeling that the characters were there doing their jobs for real, it lacked the realistic feel of the other movies. Another problem was that it was filling in A to B when we all know points B to C .

Wow, I never consciously picked up on this but i couldn't agree more, you sir are one brilliant dude.

What if there is no god or heaven? you don't see me screaming and gibbering in fear at missing out on some promised paradise or afterlife that does not exist.

The true horror of the Alien is; that it is an entity that is so unlike us in it's thoughts and motives, and it wants to end your life in the most painful, horrific and terrifying way possible. Worse yet is you will never see it coming, you won't know when and you won't know were, until the exact moment of your death.

The original Alien film did actually have people asking those questions, but the sequals didn't elude to some sort of revalation of the Alien's or Engineer's origins. Prometheous, however did the various Q&A panels that Ridley Scott and co attended for the films promotion were full of fans asking questions about the 'origins'. Many of the questions were answered cryptically "You will just have to watch the film". Then the film does nothing of the sortl, thus I think audience members have every right to ask a collective "what the f@#K?"

Oh. My. God. Seriously. You have to listen to the commentary to find out character motivations? Like we're supposed to now know that David put the black goo in Holloway's drink because Damon Lindelof said Weyland told him to? Why not just write it into the effing script??? Lazy, lazy, LAZY writing, and then a lame, lame, LAME attempt at covering up afterwards.

It wasn't "purgatory" in the sense that most people think of purgatory, i.e. somewhere that spirits get trapped in-between. The idea was that these people all had screwed up lives and they all had problems with relationships etc. When they were on the island, the people they met there were the most important people in their lives, they forged relationships that mattered to them. The island happened, all of it. The only "purgatory" scenes were the sideways timeline in the final season. Everything else happened "for real". The sideways timeline was "purgatory" in the sense that it was a waiting place for them. They even said that some lived longer, some died sooner. Basically they were just waiting for the people who meant the most to them to all arrive so that they could go on together. If the idea that heaven is that its made up of the people that matter the most to you in life, then it gives the entire series a beautiful ending, something to say that the connections you make in life matter. It was NOT purgatory. The answers were all there. You just might have had to read outside of the couch and tube to fill in the gaps. It was a show that got people to think and research and piece it together. I understand wanting to know what they intended, but they answered the questions that they had as show creators. They could never have answered everyone's questions.

Maybe the alien Muriel you see in the head room is the creator

I agree with you and add that people today lack, for the most part, the intellect and patience to let their imaginations wonder. Stated another way, people like eye candy heavy on sugar (explosions...Biehn). That is why a majority can't comprehend beyond a 6th to 8th grade level.

Oh? We do do we? Ok then, please explain to me the basic principles of cryostasis and interstellar travel. Because as far as I was aware, we can't even make it to Mars yet without sending a radio controlled car instead of a human, and then just keeping our fingers crossed it doesnt break when it lands.

I am not expecting you to answer these questions the same as I do not want or need to know what the black goo is.

I have filled in the holes myself about what it is and does. That is all i need to know.

The only issue I can see with this film and then the complaints, is the fact they the producers of the film went down the route of 'All your questions will be answered', which back fired.

I feel if they kept their mouths shut, no one would complain.

Also, their is a sequel coming. So maybe they wanted to keep people guessing.

It's spelled 'Murinal'.

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