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...
Nice essay, Dave... thanks for posting. Lots of good stuff there.
This was not the clearest movie, but I'll try to answer with my thoughts.
1. It wasn't the same ship from Alien, just the same race of aliens and same style of ship.
2. Remember that she was "3 months pregnant" after a few hours. Those things grow fast.
3. There is a lot of debate about why they wanted to destroy us. Hopefully they will elaborate in a sequel.
4. I think it's a reference to the Prometheus myth where he sacrificed himself to create life / help human creation.
5. I assumed it was just another style of ship from the Engineers.
6. I think the bridge was in the middle of the ship. The pup detected a "life form," but couldn't get through the door. It was close enough to the bridge to detect it.
I could be totally wrong with all of my assumptions. I really enjoyed the movie and i really hope they make more. I wish they would do this with Star Wars. Make a standalone story in the same universe.
Oh, and I think Byron's right on this. The long hallway was from the temple thing, but the ship wasn't the entire structure. So there's a long hallway which leads to the bridge of the ship. Meanwhile, the PUP (after the door was opened) continued to map out the two wings of the ship. Something like that.
Or, they just screwed up.
For more discussion of these questions and others, check out Andrea Schwalm's great post on GeekMom today: http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/06/prometheus-review