Before I go deep into the mythology of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, website Movieviral has uncovered an image in the film’s end credits that leads to yet another viral website and video. You can click to link above to read all about it or just go directly to said viral site whatis101112.com.
Now onto the show!
For every well-crafted, yet comical (in a good way) negative review (as well as a handful of memes and mock graphics), there’s an equally well-written positive one. The juxtapose between the love and hatred for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is so extraordinarily polarizing, and yet even most naysayers end up giving it a mixed to positive score. So what’s the problem? Last night my buddy coined the term “Lindelofing”, or for lack of a better term, introducing thought-provoking, high-concept ideas without ever explaining them. “What’s the sound of one hand clapping,” Damon Lindelof may ask. Thus, his scripts lack enough clarity and precision that it’s hard to use the word “brilliant” alongside “Damon”.
But one thing that has me continually writing about the film (when I previously swore I was done. Shame on me.), is this astounding blog, a site that carries an in depth article that proves without a shadow of a doubt that the ideas behind Prometheus are in fact high concept and unique, while also shrouded in the obvious religious motifs. Technically speaking, it’s both brilliant and completely moronic. The best of both worlds!
The biggest idea missed by, I want to say nearly EVERYONE, is the actual timing of Prometheus, which leads to the answer as to WHY the engineers want us dead. Read on to explore!
Is Elizabeth Shaw the Virgin Mary?
“The ‘Caesarean’ scene is central to the film’s themes of creation, sacrifice, and giving life. Shaw has discovered she’s pregnant with something non-human and sets the autodoc to slice it out of her. She lies there screaming, a gaping wound in her stomach, while her tentacled alien child thrashes and squeals in the clamp above her and OH HEY IT’S THE LIFEGIVER WITH HER ABDOMEN TORN OPEN.
And she doesn’t kill it. And she calls the procedure a ‘caesarean’ instead of an ‘abortion’.
Here’s where the Christian allegories really come through. The day of this strange birth just happens to be Christmas Day. And this is a ‘virgin birth’ of sorts, although a dark and twisted one, because Shaw couldn’t possibly be pregnant. And Shaw’s the crucifix-wearing Christian of the crew. We may well ask, echoing Yeats: what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards LV-223 to be born?
Consider the scene where David tells Shaw that she’s pregnant, and tell me that’s not a riff on the Annunciation. The calm, graciously angelic android delivering the news, the pious mother who insists she can’t possibly be pregnant, the wry declaration that it’s no ordinary child… yeah, we’ve seen this before.”
Cavalorn also answers the major question: Why do the Engineers want to kill us? This portion of the dissertation explores the idea that the Engineers sent Jesus (the alien) down to save us and we in turn killed him.
“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.”
But this is all just the tip of the iceberg. If you click on over to Cavalorn you can read about the Engineers, the Engineers’ Gods, the Elders, and presumably what that black ooze is. To say Damon Lindelof is a bad writer is one thing, but to say he’s lacking ideas and originality is another. Prometheus, while shrouded in religious motifs, breaks new ground by implementing critical thinking into an other words generic sci-fi adventure.
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