Rob's Prometheus FAQ

By Rob Bricken in Movies, TR Classics
Monday, June 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm


What the fuck.

Take a deep breath.

So why did the Engineers create us, leave us an invitation to meet them, and then kick our asses?

Good question.




I don't really have an answer for that.

GODDAMMIT. Well, why does the black goo turn one Engineer into The Source of All Life, and turns everybody else into assholes or monster incubators?

Another good question, and one I kind of have an answer for. When watching the movie, it felt like there were no rules whatsoever for what the black goop did, and it was pretty irritating to me. But afterwards I did some research, and some people smarter than me are saying it's some kind of biotool/weapon depending on how are around it. When the happy go-lucky Engineer in the prologue drinks it, he dies and starts the creation of life. When we evil terrible humans get near it, it gets all Alien-y.

Okay, but even if that's true, it's all over the place. It accelerates the evolution of the worms, but turns Scientist Boyfriend and Weirdly Aggressive Scientist into some zombies of some kind. When ingested, it causes tentacles of the eyeballs, but when transmitted sexually it creates a squid baby. And then if that squid baby happens to get a hold of an Engineer, then it turns into a Xenomorph?

Seems to be.

That seems like a really bizarre and random set of occurrences to get to an Alien.

Kinda, yeah.

But aren't the Engineers are obviously well aware of the Xenomorphs, right?

Yes, because of the mural with the Xenomorph on it.

How the hell would they even discover the circumstances to make a Xenomorph in the first place?

No idea.

And hey, isn't the Prometheus planet different from the planet on Alien?

Definitely. Both director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof have said constantly and consistently that Prometheus does not feature the Alien planet.

So you're telling me that a human ate some black goop, had sex, and the resulting Squid Baby facehugged -- er, facefucked an Engineer on two totally separate planets?

Apparently so, yes. I have a theory that the black goop always ends up in a Xenomorph at some point, although there is nothing in either Prometheus or Alien to support this, and the constant mutation of the Xenomorphs seems to contradict it.

Are their any totally insane, mind-blowing theories about what Prometheus might be all about?

I'm glad you asked. The most popular one happens to be right here, which explains a lot of things -- including why the Engineers started hating us.

And why's that?

Because we killed Jesus.



What. The fuck.

The theory goes that Engineers are all about sacrificing themselves for life/a.k.a. the greater good. So they create life on places, and if the result ends up noble they become friends or something, and if they end up selfish and shitty like humans do they send the black goop to start killing everybody with Aliens.

But -

As I mentioned earlier, the black goop supposedly reacts to the intent of whoever's nearby; when the person is good, like the Engineer, the black goop kills them and turns them into Life Juice. If they're bad, like humans, it turns into Xenomorphs and kills them.

Well, I can see why you'd want to have a jillion kazillion bottles of that just hanging around loose in your spaceship.

Yeah. So the theory goes an Engineer created life on Earth, and visited primitive people for a while to give them all the star maps so that humanity could eventually visit them. And then they abandon us and leave, because that's what gods do, I guess, when people get close to inventing camcorders.

What does this have to do with Jesus?

In the movie, Noomi says the Engineers died 2000 years ago, and if you accept the idea that the black goop responds to feelings, something must have upset the Engineers 2,000 years ago. The theory continues that this event, and the event that made the Engineers start wanting to beat us to death with Michael Fassbender is one and the same -- the Engineers took a look on Earth circa 0 A.D. and saw all the fighting and sent a representative to tell everybody to chill out.

And then humanity crucified him, and the Engineers freaked the fuck out, triggering Goopocalypse.


That's fucking insane.

It is. But what's more insane is that Space Jesus was actually part of the Prometheus script at one point before Ridley Scott took it out.

HOLY SHIT. No pun intended.

Madness, my friend. Madness.

Okay, I see two problems with this: 1) Jesus was never referred to a giant bald pale blue dude.

True, although might explain why everybody thinks a Middle Eastern Jew born in the first century was white.

2) If Ridley took it out, then this theory shouldn't matter, right?

Except that he didn't replace it with anything. As the movie stands, we have no idea why the Engineers started hating us or got themselves killed 2,000 years ago. This is the only answer I've heard suggested -- and it works out remarkable well with the author's theory on the black goop. Basically, there's a weird, Space Jesus-sized hole in the plot, and once you learn that potential answer, it's hard to see an alternative, because the movie's only answer is random insanity.


. I can't even say if this theory makes the movie better or worse, but I do know it's completely bonkers.

Okay, let's try to move on.


Assuming this isn't some intergalactic version of Punk'd, why do the Engineers invite us to their fucking Weapons Factory planet instead of some place that wasn't full of deadly bioweapons in fragile, awkwardly placed jars?

No idea. It might have been closer than their home planet or something, but there's nothing in the movie to indicate that.

Why did the Engineers have a zillion-kajabillion jars of goop when like a single sip effectively creates life, but also has the potential to kill the bejeezus out of everyone the minute someone with a bad attitude pops by?

They're like Space Hoarders, I guess.

Assuming that the Engineers knew that humanity had the potential to turn out to be assholes, why would they invite humans to come to the planet that is filled to the fucking brim with Shit That Turns Into Aliens When Assholes Are Nearby?

They're optimists, I guess? No, presumably they hadn't planned on humanity coming up to see them before they had a chance to slime Earth Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award-style, but the accident happened before they could send a ship. And when the living Engineer woke up and saw humans, he was pretty surprised -- albeit not so surprised he couldn't kill everybody and finally start sending his goop-filled ship to Earth.

What was the deal with David, a.k.a. Robot Fassbender? Was he evil or crazy or what?

I personally feel that everything David does can be explained by him 1) following Weyland's direct orders and 2) Weyland being kind of an idiot. For instance, I can totally see Weyland telling David to give a drop of the black goo to somebody just to see what it did.

What does this have to do with the legend of Prometheus?

Well, some of the legends say that Prometheus made humanity, and all of the legends say he stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity, for which the god punished him by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle tear out and eat his liver everyday.


So in Prometheus, an Engineer sacrifices himself to create life on Earth and other planets, a la Prometheus. And then a lot of people have stomach problems.



That's it?

Yeah, kind of. I personally think Prometheus is much more known for the fire myth, except I can't think of anything in the movie that metaphorically stands for fire other than the black goop, which the Engineers don't really give to us as much as it just attacks us.

Isn't there a big deal in the movie about looking for gods?

In the movie, yes, but Prometheus was a Titan, so he was also a god, just a nice one. About the only thing you can say about the gods from the Prometheus myth is that most gods are assholes, and that also seems to be the case with the Engineers.

But what about the danger of looking for our gods?

Well, there's definitely a danger in the movie, because when we finally meet a god, he beats us to death with Michael Fassbender's head. But in the myth, humans don't mess with the gods at all. We get free fire, and Prometheus takes the fall. It works out swell for us.


Okay, look. What Prometheus the movie seems to forget is that there's a world of difference between a god that is the reason for everything and some blue dudes who make humans. For example, say I order a packet of Sea Monkeys and create them. Then say these Sea Monkeys gain sentience and start worshipping me as a god, because I created them, right?


Well, if they ask me why they were created -- a question humanity has been pondering about itself since the dawn of time -- I'd tell them "Because I ordered a packet of shit off the internet." That's not a deep, spiritually satisfying answer, because I'm not a god. I'm just the dude who created them.

Likewise, the Engineers are the people who created us, but they're not gods -- they're just assholes like us. They're just as crazy and stupid as humans are, as evidenced by their incredibly lack of foresight regarding their Goops of Mass Destruction and their rather severe attitude reversal regarding humans. Even if Noomi and Pals had managed to talk to them and get some answers, there's no way they'd give us any kind of satisfying answer to our place in the universe and reason for being. They're just middle-men.

So back to my original question: Is this an Alien prequel or not?

Okay. Remember how in Alien, they see the dead Space Jockey?


Well, in Prometheus, there are many dead Space Jockeys. Remember the cockpit/gun-looking thing?


There's one of those in Prometheus. Remember how the dead Space Jockey with the burst chest was in the cockpit/gun thingie?


doesn't have that. The Engineer whose chest bursts dies without his Jockey helmet on in Prometheus' escape ship.

So it's not a prequel.

But remember the crashed spaceship the Nostromo crew finds? Prometheus has one of those. And don't forget Prometheus has Xenomorphs and Alien has Xenomorphs, which seem unlikely to have developed independently of each other.

So it is a prequel?

has rows of eggs; Prometheus has the exact same thing except they're vases.

What the fuck?

Basically, Prometheus sets up about 75% of Alien and then just stops. Meaning somewhere else in the Prometheus/Alien universe, something almost exactly the same as the events of Prometheus went down in order to bring about the circumstances that lead to Alien.


There is also the possibility that Ridley Scott is an asshole.

Anything you want to add before I go bludgeon myself into unconsciousness?

Yes! Prometheus is more or less the same story as Alien -- same sequence of events, for the most part -- except it's all bright and shiny and really trippy. Alien is a horror movie that happens to be set in space, while Prometheus is a crazy, more sci-fi retelling of Alien that often confuses vagueness and plot holes for portentousness. I can't say it's not worth seeing -- it's visually stunning and again, that surgery scene is incredible -- but it's not nearly as deep or as thoughtful as it wants to be.


And that Biologist was the stupidest fucker ever.

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