Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who Are the Alien Engineers of Ridley Scott's Prometheus? (A Theory)

Warning: Spoilers Below

I know there are a lot of critics of Ridley Scott's film, Prometheus, the pseudo-prequel to the movie Alien. I would argue that it's not a prequel, but rather a film set in the same imaginative universe. While the main action of the film is happening, Sigourney Weaver's character, Ripley, might be a young girl, or maybe her mother and father are on their first date, it's not clear to me (though I'm sure there are some Alien nerds out there with the quick answer to that).

ridley scottBut I'm not writing this to critique the connection of Prometheus to the classics, Alien and Aliens, nor am I here to critique the campy scene between the naive biologist and the alien cobra of death, the scene viewed by most as the biggest gaff. All of that doesn't matter to me. I grew up in the 90s, a time so full of action movie cheese that I probably became desensitized. Talk to 90s-heads like me and you'll find out that we're some of the most forgiving fans of stinky cinematic Gouda as long as the concept is sound. Give me the ancient aliens and the intergalactic conspiracy, and I'll happily watch a Hollywood moron disguised as a scientist for ten minutes as he gets himself killed. If anything, during that filler scene I can use my brain to consider the size of the conspiracy taking place. Ancient alien engineers for God (gods?) sake! We're the descendants of star men!? So cool.

So put the plot holes and bad acting behind you, and think bigger. Speculate, ruminate, and theorize who exactly these giant humanoids are. That's what left me giving Prometheus an 8/10 on my IMDB account. These concepts filled me with wonder, and my 90s movie-going self would much rather soak in these far out ideas in Hollywood fashion than through the mind that lies underneath Giorgio Tsoukalos' crazy hair.

So here's my theory. Let me know what you think:

In the first scene we see an alien clad in a robe not unlike the kind that Zen monks or Jesuit priests wear. He's obviously spiritual in some shape or form. Either that or he's performing a ceremony. I prefer to think the former, that they all wear robes like these and sit for hours upon end out in nature. He then proceeds to drink a cup of the poisonous engineered sludge that spawns the weaponized alien lifeforms (the kind that eventually evolve into Ripley's nemeses). He dies and the DNA is released into the planet that he's on, as a ship flies off into the distance.

My theory is that this alien straggler stayed behind on his own accord. He was not forced to. I believe he is not on earth in this scene, and that this is not the scene where the ancient aliens spawn mankind long ago. I believe he stayed behind in protest, to release the weaponized alien DNA onto the planet where the weapons are stored, in an attempt to weaponize that planet and sabotage the alien humanoids' plan to wipe us out (along with our AIs) with that giant cache they have stored there.


First let me explain my theory as to why they want to wipe out us meek humans. The answer has to do with Michael Fassbender's character: the AI on board the ship. The aliens must have checked up on us sometime recently and saw that we were trending toward a roboticized society. I believe that they also lived through that trend, and barely survived some sort of cataclysmic Judgement Day, a war with their machines, and they barely made it out alive. They want to wipe us out to prevent another war with a new race of machines.

Just look at their spaceship and their technology. It almost seems to be made of rock, and they start it up with flute music. Very earthy, very Avatar-ish if you ask me. I think that after their war with their machines they decided to only use technology for space travel and survival, to scale back on their use of machines, and most importantly, to not give machines their own minds ever again.

So when the ancient alien wakes up and tears off Fassbender's head, he's not just grumpy after a hundred year super-nap. In fact, he detects with his advanced alien perception that Fassbender is an AI, a representation of the biggest threat to his race (and the organic universe?) that he knows. All of those canisters were loaded on that ship to take us all out, AIs included.

But the ship couldn't take off. The engineers were killed by the alien weapons before they could launch. But how did an alien cobra evolved from the sludge so quickly?

To answer that question, I believe that this weapons station was setup as a precaution thousands of years ago when man first started organizing himself in a powerful way (maybe during ancient Egypt?). They would then monitor us and only use the weapons if they really had to (after all, they are spiritual folks who have been through their own holocaust and have no intention of causing another one for their young cousins if they don't have to). But when they saw our computers getting smarter, rapidly evolving toward self-awareness, they knew they had no choice.

It was a controversial decision, however. Not all of the alien giants agreed. One of them, in fact, thousands of years ago, protested the idea of wiping us out no matter what inventions we came up with. And that is why he stayed behind and committed suicide with a shot of black goo. He spawned this weapon-cache planet with the very weapon they were storing there, so that if anyone were ever to come back to ship the canisters off, there would be a good likelihood that the planet would be full of killer aliens to prevent them from doing so. After all, we learned that the weapons are quickly-evolving aliens, so a few thousand years would be plenty of time to turn from particles in the bottom of a river to death cobras.

That's my schpiel. Sorry I nerded out there, but I really like this version of the story even if it's not what they choose to tell in the sequel.

To recap: these hippy alien engineer giants in the movie Prometheus didn't want to kill us but they saw us taking a path (the advancement of AI) that might put their civilization in danger, the same path they once took long ago, one out of balance with the Gaia mind, so they decided hardheartedly to take us out, only to be stopped by a sacrificial revolutionary/visionary thousands of years before they were to attack. Whew. Let me know what you think about this idea. I'm waiting for the sequel and strongly considering some alternate reality fan fiction if this isn't the story that Ridley Scott chooses to tell.

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1 comment:

  1. Do you have any theories as to how Ridley Scott will continue the story of Prometheus in the sequel?


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