Whilst Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof would have us believe that Prometheus merely takes place within the same universe as the Alien series, and that its actually a whole different story in and of itself, it really isn’t.
Whilst ostensibly a story about a group of humans given the opportunity to “meet their maker”, the “Engineers”, who gave life to humans, its really about telling the origin story of the xenomorph we’re so familiar with.
Having said that, they did a great job working in the story, and solving a long-time mystery of the 1979 Alien in answering who the space jockey is, and what they were.
The year is 2089, and archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a common “map” of a cluster of stars in several unconnected ancient cultures. Believing it to be an invitation for humans to be reconciled with their creators, Elizabeth convinces Peter Weyland, CEO of Weyland Corporation to fund a spaceship Prometheus to seek them out.
A crew is formed, including an android played to perfection by Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron as (spoiler-alert) Peter Weyland’s driven daughter, and Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from previous (or future) expeditions, nothing ends well.
Horror fans expecting lots of gore and alien kills will be largely disappointed, as this time round, Scott opts for a more expansive, sci-fi approach, making the film more thought-provoking than nail-biting, although there’s still one immediately iconic scene that will make you squirm in your seat.
In bringing in LOST showrunner Damon Lindelof to rewrite the screenplay of Prometheus, Ridley Scott knowingly added more buzz to a production already ablaze with expectations. We don’t really know all of his inputs and the exact influence over the script, but his remit was to create an original film that sits within the same universe as Alien, and I feel that he has largely succeeded in doing so. And if there were to be a sequel, it will be a film that would move much further away from the original Alien, instead of converging toward it. Yet it gave us enough to answer some of the questions raised in Alien.
- Who was the space jockey?
- What happened to it?
- Does Charlize Theron look hot in a space suit? (YES)
So, all in all, I like the answers given, and would look forward to a Prometheus 2.
A big part of the never-ending debate regarding Damon Lindelof’s work is that he never likes to give anything away. Even as showrunner of LOST, each episode often springs up more questions than it does answer questions. And so it is with Prometheus. There are still a lot of questions, especially with regards to the engineers.
While he doesn’t give straight forward answers, we can sometimes find clues as to where Damon is leaning in his head.
For example, this line of dialogue between David the android and archaelogist Charlie Holloway:
David: Why do you think your people made me?
Charlie Holloway: We made ya ’cause we could.
David: Can you imagine how disappointing it would be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?
And I respect films that don’t give away everything, but instead give us something to mull over.
Some people call it a cop-out. I call it Life.