So I've just gotten back from seeing Prometheus. Ridley Scott is still the man! Loved the movie.
Questions! Lots of them! I tried to pay close attention, so maybe I missed some stuff, so please chime in here if you've got some answers or theories. And these are in no particular order:
1. Big plot hole, of course -- the Engineer wasn't sitting in the chair when he 'sploded. Is this Ridley's way of disassociating Prometheus from the Alien franchise? If not, that's a big glaring mistake. (Although I'm now reading the Art of Prometheus book and the intro by Scott that states "the script became a standalone story, one which 'shares DNA' with Alien, but is not a direct prequel, and is not set on LV-426." -- Whatever.)
2. Big slimy octopus at end -- where did it come from? I'm assuming it's Dr. Shaw's surgically removed critter, but the surgery scene indicated it was killed during decontamination. Did David create a new one with another crew member?
3. What was the whole point of specifying "we came from them" with the DNA matching and such? Didn't add anything to the movie if they're just wanting to kill us off... seems to be something missing from the movie that should have explained why that was so important.
4. The intro scene -- what was the point of showing an Engineer-race guy getting eaten up by the bug and then falling into the ocean? Okay, it creates new life... does that mean the Engineer-race sacrifice themselves on planets to start up life? That scene really was confusing. Is it the start of life on Earth, like how we got their DNA?
5. And the big round ship at the beginning -- my read was that that was a completely different race -- like they'd either dropped off an Engineer-race guy to populate the planet OR given the Engineer-race guy the bugs and told him to drink it... either way, a very confusing intro scene that wasn't cleared up by movie's end.
6. I think I found an inconsistency -- in the movie the one single PUP is pinging because it's detected something moving at the end of that long hallway. David goes there, opens the door and finds the map room and hibernation pods. Later when David is taking Weylan and crew to see the lone Engineer, the HUD display shows them in the center of the ship, not out in the long arm. Makes sense to put the bridge maybe in the center of the ship, but earlier in the movie it's placed near one of the curved ends of the horse-shoe shaped ship. Maybe I'm wrong.
And now some cool observations -- some of these are quite obvious and maybe some of them are just happen-stance and not intentional:
1. The basketball scene -- nod to Ripley's skills in Aliens 4?
2. I suspected Weylan was on the ship, but when I heard the surgical center say it was configured for males only, that nailed it. Nice little hint planted there, though.
3. Loved the nod to Hicks in Aliens screaming "We are leaving!" -- the captain screamed the same thing in this movie in the scene where Halloway's infection kicked in and they needed to get him back to the Prometheus.
4. The look of the hallways on the Prometheus are a great match for Nostromo -- the octagonal look of doors and walls was very nicely done.
5.Does anyone know if the ATVs with tracks on them were designed by the Howe & Howe brothers? Looks like their stuff.
6. ... more to come...
Another question -- David early in the film's exploration of the pyramid gets some goo on his fingers that he finds interesting and some bit of attention is paid to it with a visual special effect... what was the point? That scene didn't go anywhere in my opinion...
Doesn't David rub the gooey stuff in those carvings in the rock to make the doors open and lights turn on?
I thought maybe he was looking at the goo to see where they had touched things. But ... yeah, I kind of had the same thought you did there.
And BTW... a closing quote in the Art of Prometheus book has Scott saying "I'm thinking about what the hell I might do for a Prometheus 2..." -- maybe some of my questions will be answered later.
1. I'm going to have to watch the whole Alien canon over again to see what fits in where. I was actually seeing references to 2001 and Planet of the Apes in the early scenes.
2. Yes, it was her baby. You didn't think a mere decontamination could kill it, did you?
3. The point was to give Shaw's character the motivation to go find them.
4. Looked like a religious ceremony to me. Other than that, I have no idea.
And re: your observation #2 -- that still made no sense. Why would you have a machine that could only operate on one sex?
My plot hole problems:
Why didn't Charlie do anything when he noticed the parasite in his eye? Why didn't anyone seem surprised that Shaw was half-naked, covered in blood, and stapled across the middle? Why did they open the Prometheus door when they thought there was something horrible on the other side (red-headed tattooed guy)? The only answer seems to be, because it's a movie.
Also, I'm waiting for someone more obsessive than I to find all the Lawrence of Arabia quotes. I'm sure there were more than the obvious one. You'd think I'd know, having seen that film a dozen times at least, but there's actually not a lot of talking in it!
Found this online - very interesting explanation of the movie's main themes.
Some new stuff I've heard or figured out or read since posting my questions:
1. Yes, the big octopus was Dr. Shaw's -- the med unit was in the escape pod and it grew in size (FAST) and stayed locked in that room until Dr. Shaw released it on the Engineer.
2. I've got a review of the Art of Prometheus book for GeekDad on Monday, but just wanted to let you all know this book answers a LOT of questions I had. The opening scene was supposed to originally be a ceremony between a sacrificial Engineer-race dude and a priest who gave him the drink... he sacrificed himself to provide the DNA for Earth that was dispersed in the water.
3. Ridley Scott does say he wants to do Prometheus 2, and there are a few hints in the text about things that didn't make it into this movie about the Engineer race but could show up in part 2.
4. I remember wondering about the significance of the worms the footprint stirred up, and now I understand the black goo basically fast-forwards the genetic development of anything it touches -- so the worms grew into those arm-breaker things and the guy who fell face first into it started growing a big head and mutating. The goo and the eye-bugs are two different things in the movie.
5. This isn't LV-426. Forget that there are so many similarities and it SHOULD be LV-426.. but it's not. We just have two derelict ships that happen to have crashed carrying eggs. Pure coincidence :)
6. I think David finding the gooey stuff informs him this is a control panel. Or it could be the control panel is some sort of goo-controlled panel. Still unsure about this.
7. As for the machine that can only operate on one sex -- I just figured there were 6 for women and 6 for men. This one couldn't do a Caesarian and I imagine a female version can't do a prostate exam :)
I was happily surprised by a copy of this book in the mail today. I look forward to reading it!
Great post here. Thanks! Really helped sort things out in my head after seeing the movie last night. I'd definitely like to see it again to catch the things I may have missed the first time.
One thought I had after thinking about it is that perhaps the crashed "Engineer's" ship found on LV-426 was the second one that Dr. Shaw and David left on.
That would be a good tie in for a "part two". I need to re-watch Alien to clear some cobwebs. lol I do remember that Nostromo was redirected by a distress beacon that ultimately led them to LV-426. Just a thought.
Oh.. one more funny question is... How does someone with more money than God have such nasty bunion ridden feet? lol
#1: My question about the octopus thing — clearly related to the face-hugger of Alien (but much bigger, and resulting in a much bigger chestburster) is how it manages to get so big. What is it feeding on? Is there no conservation of mass here? I mean, there's not really anything else in that med pod for it to eat, right?
#4: The guy who fell face first into it didn't start growing a big head — it melted his helmet onto his face and he was clawing at it. And then he shows up later outside the Prometheus, folded in half. Okay, that part I didn't quite understand — what had he become and what was going on with him?