***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS***
By now, hopefully you had a chance to read my scathing review of PROMETHEUS that I posted yesterday. While I thought it was a beautiful film, I think I was pretty clear in my extreme disappointment of the overall experience. Well after doing some research, I decided this is actually one of the best movies EVER made! Okay, not really- but I did find some very fascinating research that could have made this quite a story- perhaps even a great story.
If you have seen the movie, you know one of the major criticisms is why did the Engineers turn on mankind? If they created us, why are they planning on our destruction? A fan called Cavalorn, posted an amazing theory on his site (http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html) that helps bridge the gap on the original DNA of the Prometheus story. This is an excerpt:
From the Engineers’ perspective, so long as humans retained that notion of self-sacrifice as central, we weren’t entirely beyond redemption. But we went and screwed it all up, and the film hints at when, if not why: the Engineers at the base died two thousand years ago. That suggests that the event that turned them against us and led to the huge piles of dead Engineers lying about was one and the same event. We did something very, very bad, and somehow the consequences of that dreadful act accompanied the Engineers back to LV-223 and massacred them.
If you have uneasy suspicions about what ‘a bad thing approximately 2,000 years ago’ might be, then let me reassure you that you are right. An astonishing excerpt from the Movies.com interview with Ridley Scott:
Movies.com: We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Let’s send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it.” Guess what? They crucified him.
Yeah. The reason the Engineers don’t like us any more is that they made us a Space Jesus, and we broke him. Reader, that’s not me pulling wild ideas out of my arse. That’s RIDLEY SCOTT.
What a mind blowing idea. Jesus was an alien, attempting to ‘save’ the creation but is crucified instead. There is no denying all the creation/sacrifice/God/Christian symbolism in the movie. For instance, in the temple room, there is this distinct alien relief prominently displayed. This was confusing since the ‘alien’ that we know and love had yet to manifest to the viewer yet. But perhaps this was a symbol from the engineers, that their ultimate weapon was going to take revenge on mankind for their fallen brethren. Jesus’s crucifixion will bring the crucifixion of our existence at the hands (or claws) of the aliens.
Cavalorn goes on to explain what was up with the ‘black goo’- another confusing plot point for most. It seemed to infect some, transform others, cause birth, and death. Was it bad story telling or was there more. He writes:
The black slime reacts to the nature and intent of the being that wields it, and the humans in the film didn’t even know that they WERE wielding it. That’s why it remained completely inert in David’s presence, and why he needed a human proxy in order to use the stuff to create anything. The black goo could read no emotion or intent from him, because he was an android.
Shaw’s comment when the urn chamber is entered – ‘we’ve changed the atmosphere in the room’ – is deceptively informative. The psychic atmosphere has changed, because humans – tainted, Space Jesus-killing humans – are present. The slime begins to engender new life, drawing not from a self-sacrificing Engineer but from human hunger for knowledge, for more life, for more everything. Little wonder, then, that it takes serpent-like form. The symbolism of a corrupting serpent, turning men into beasts, is pretty unmistakeable.
A goo that reflects the sin nature of man? It’s like a magnifying glass for what was inside. Sounds preposterous but is a fascinating theory.
With all this said, it makes more sense why the newly awoken space jockey at the end started ripping off heads and killing the human crew immediately. Humans had caused the destruction of the Engineer’s race when they lost control of the doomsday weapon meant for Earth- the alien.
Slap a beard on this guy above and you got your self ‘Space Jesus’- at least an albino one. I know this is about the most absurd thing thing you have ever read. Believe me, this is about the most absurd thing I have ever written. If Ridley Scott attempted this screenplay, it probably would have bombed at a galactic level- or it could have been the greatest story ever told. Even as a person of faith, I wouldn’t have found offense with this ‘revisionist’ historical take on the person of Jesus. It just comes down to how much science do you want in your fiction? I prefer bold original stories, not the predictable and safe one we got in Prometheus. Cavalorn’s theory might not have ultimately made a better movie but it certainly would have been the most talked about movie in decades and probably in the decades to come. Personally, I think Ridley Scott could have used a controversial movie like this potential could have been. At 74, he is too old to play it safe.
While I didn’t appreciate Prometheus, I could recognize the elements of real genius at a DNA level. A bigger story was there but will have to stay buried in the tomb- perhaps to be resurrected by another some day… Your thoughts???