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Alien Prequel - Prometheus - Page 74

post #2191 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

Scott did something right, since this thread is still going strong!
Thanks (partly) to those "haters" who just couldn't let it go. biggrin.gif
post #2192 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

Scott did something right, since this thread is still going strong!
Not just this thread, it has now spread over to other thread as well. Talk about strong impression! eek.gif Wow!
post #2193 of 2359
Saw it last night for the first time. Not the deepest sci-fi flick I've ever seen, but liked it. Within the context of the storyline, however, some "answers" are provided, but new questions also raised. I'm sure I'll watch again, despite not having very high replay value.
post #2194 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Saw it last night for the first time. Not the deepest sci-fi flick I've ever seen, but liked it. Within the context of the storyline, however, some "answers" are provided, but new questions also raised. I'm sure I'll watch again, despite not having very high replay value.
That is pretty much the way the most of us feel....
It could COULD have been so much better (with better writing and editing wink.gif ).
post #2195 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

It could COULD have been so much better (with better writing and editing wink.gif ).
Which movie wouldn't benefit from better x y z? tongue.gif
post #2196 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcruiser View Post

Which movie wouldn't benefit from better x y z? tongue.gif
Good point.wink.gif
post #2197 of 2359
The Second Coming of Space Jesus
http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/585579.html
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Second Coming of Space Jesus
It’s been a while since my original Prometheus piece made the rounds. Now that some additional material has come to light, I think it’s time to revisit the whole question of ‘Space Jesus’ and what it may potentially mean for the future of the story.



Firstly, let’s recap. The Space Jesus theory, in a nutshell, is this: part of the backstory of Prometheus is that Jesus was an emissary of the Engineers, and that our crucifying him was what turned them against us.

Please note that this is backstory. It isn’t upfront or explicit, and it wasn’t meant to be. That’s not Ridley Scott’s style. Consider the issue of whether or not Deckard from Blade Runner is a replicant. Perhaps you remember the discussions that raged over this topic. Even Ridley Scott outright saying ‘yes, Deckard is a replicant’ didn’t end them; nor, apparently, did the discovery of the original ending. (If you think my musings on Prometheus were insane, then go and check out this wonderful Blade Runner theory from Gavin Rothery. Minds may be blown, I warn you.)

Now, I’ve seen several objections to the Space Jesus theory in various places across the Internet. While there’s always room for debate, some of these objections seem to be based on a misreading of Ridley Scott’s comments coupled with a lack of awareness of what other people involved in the project have said. I’m talking about objections like ‘But Ridley SCRAPPED the Space Jesus idea! He SAID so!’

No, he didn’t. What he did was to give a surprisingly lengthy description of the backstory we’re discussing here, while adding that the original scripted reference was ‘too on the nose’. The key word here is scripted. Ridley Scott didn’t want Space Jesus to be upfront, he wanted the idea to be conveyed with subtlety.

This is as good as confirmed in the following interview excerpt with Damon Lindelof:
“… there were drafts that were more explicitly spelled out. I think Ridley's instinct kept being to pull back, and I would say to him, 'Ridley, I'm still eating **** a year after Lost is over for all the things we didn’t directly spell out - are you sure you want to do this?' And he said, 'I would rather have people fighting about it and not know, then spell it out, that's just more interesting to me.' Maybe that's why he sought me out in the first place. I know it's horribly obnoxious to say you need to see the movie a couple of times in order to truly appreciate it, but I do feel like it was designed that way, and there are little things that seem like a throwaway on first viewing. For example, when they do the carbon-dating on the dead engineer and realise he has been dead for 2000 years, then you wonder about when, 2000 years ago, the Engineers decided to wipe us out. What happened 2000 years ago? Is there any correlation between what happened on the earth 2000 years ago and this decision that was already in motion? Could a sequel start in that time period and contextualise what we did to piss these beings off? I think it's a very interesting question to leave dangling. Is it a loose end?”

We’re now in the position of being able to compare some of those earlier drafts with what we got in the final movie and see first-hand what Damon Lindelof says was ‘more explicitly spelled out’. An original Jon Spaihts draft of Alien: Engineers was posted on Prometheus-Movie.com; soon after, a draft of Paradise by Damon Lindelof was posted on Collider. Both gentlemen have been kind enough to confirm these scripts as genuine. It’s worth noting that Damon Lindelof’s draft isn’t final. The ship is still called the Magellan, so it may be several drafts before the final one for all I know.

The Jon Spaihts script is indeed full of explicit references. He has Holloway make the following observation:

'But I guess we know why they never came back to us. Something killed them off - back around the time of Christ. Maybe He was one of them! A great teacher, sent from Heaven? Jesus. The last Engineer.'

If that wasn’t enough, the following exchange takes place during the presentation:

WATTS
By the pattern, they should’ve come to Earth seventeen centuries ago. And again six centuries ago. But no sign. After twelve thousand years...they stopped coming.
BRICK
Why?
HOLLOWAY
Exactly. Why?
JANEK
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Janek’s words here cleverly describe not only the forsaken condition of humankind no longer visited by the Engineers, but hint at the very event that led them to abandon us.

The Sacrifice Engineer at the film’s beginning is also described as ‘standing cruciform’.

By Lindelof’s draft, the explicit verbal suggestions of a Space Jesus backstory have (at Ridley Scott’s instigation, one supposes) been reduced to far more symbolic hints. Instead of outright speculation about Jesus, we have additions such as Janek’s Christmas tree:

Now, Janek plucks a small ORNAMENT from a plastic box – BABY JESUS IN THE MANGER. Gently hangs it from a branch, taps it with his finger, softly says --
JANEK (CONT’D)
Happy Birthday, you little bastard.

Janek also – endearingly, in my book – exclaims ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph’ when he first sees the alien juggernaut.

When we reach the dead Engineers, we no longer hear Holloway speculate openly about Jesus. Instead, there is only this:

HOLLOWAY
How long’s it been dead?
Shaw looks at the DIGITAL READOUT. Frowns --
SHAW
Two thousand years. Give or take.
A moment for that to settle in. The implication. Shaw looks up at Holloway and asks the only question worth asking --
SHAW (CONT’D)
What... is this place?

‘The implication’? Reader, your guess is as good as mine.

We haven’t seen the last of Baby Jesus in this draft. There’s a later scene with Holloway that warrants attention:

Holloway.
Sitting alone with an empty bottle of CHAMPAGNE. He’s drunk.
Turns to the CHRISTMAS TREE beside him. Glares at the ORNAMENT of BABY JESUS --
HOLLOWAY
When you grow up?
(a sympathetic whisper)
They’re gonna kill you.

Now, it seems pretty obvious to me that what Damon Lindelof was trying to do here was to convey key ideas to the audience as subtly as possible, getting us to think about the Jesus story and allowing our imagination’s spark to jump the gap between those familiar images and the dead Engineers from two thousand years ago. But even these references, delicate as they are compared to Jon Spaihts’ overt ‘what if’ dialogue, must have been too blatant for Ridley Scott.

Damon Lindelof says that Scott’s instinct ‘kept being to pull back’, suggesting that the Space Jesus implications were repeatedly refined away into greater and greater subtlety. This is certainly borne out when we compare the Spaihts script with the Lindelof one, and then compare that in turn with what we got on the screen. Indeed, by some accounts, the viewer’s only hope of gleaning any idea of the Space Jesus backstory at all was to read a lengthy insane rant that some dude put up on his Livejournal, and what the **** was up with that.

In the interview with Damon Lindelof cited above, he suggests that a sequel to Prometheus might begin with a sequence set 2000 years ago. This would, presumably, depict the crucifixion of Jesus-the-Emissary and the Engineers’ fury. I now wonder if we’ll ever see such a thing. For my part, I would love to.

But until and unless we do get a sequel that puts all this stuff upfront, Space Jesus is – and can only be – one of many feasible backstories. Like Deckard’s is-he-isn’t-he status, no amount of digging into the movie’s thematic DNA or production history can answer this question definitively. If we don’t know, it’s because Ridley Scott doesn’t want us to know. He wants us to fight over it. Damon Lindelof quotes him as saying: ‘I would rather have people fighting about it and not know then spell it out, that's just more interesting to me.’

In conclusion, I want to speak in Mr Lindelof’s defence. The man has copped a ridiculous amount of flak over Prometheus, and I don’t believe it was deserved. Ridley Scott quite clearly instructed him to winnow away some of the movie’s big ideas into a more subtle form, in order to create just the sort of open-ended stimulus of furious debate that the film has become since release. Yes, there are other issues with the movie than just the open-endedness; but the slating that Lindelof has received has been ugly and over-the-top, given that he did exactly what he was brought on board to do and – in my book – did it exceptionally well. Unlike LOST, which (so far as I am aware) did not have a clear outcome in mind from day one, Prometheus began with a clear backstory and was deliberately filtered through layer after layer of rewrites in order to create something much more textured, in which ideas are implied rather than stated outright. It’s not as easy as it looks.
post #2198 of 2359

Good read. Most of us probably figured as much.

post #2199 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Good read. Most of us probably figured as much.
Yeah, but just like Deckard NOT being a replicant, the naysayers will continue....
post #2200 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Yeah, but just like Deckard NOT being a replicant, the naysayers will continue....
Just curious, what did my posting of the Farside say to you in that other thread?
post #2201 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Yeah, but just like Deckard NOT being a replicant, the naysayers will continue....
At least one of them will laugh at you.
"You really do make me laugh. LIke, really. I'm laughing. Born of simple disbelief, but still laughter."
post #2202 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Just curious, what did my posting of the Farside say to you in that other thread?
dog = me
dog owner = wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcruiser View Post

At least one of them will laugh at you.
"You really do make me laugh. LIke, really. I'm laughing. Born of simple disbelief, but still laughter."
I don't let the opinions of others influence me too much.
Because, in my heart, I know I am always right.tongue.gif
post #2203 of 2359
Originally Posted by oink View Post

dog = me
dog owner = wife

Good one biggrin.gif

 

But in the context of that thread, I'm asking who's the dog and who's the dog owner? Apparently someone found that offensive enough to ban me from that thread. confused.gif

post #2204 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 View Post

One thing in the film I haven't seen brought up yet (sorry if I missed it), is why does David say "mortal after all" when the head explodes? What prompted that response in the way he said it? Obviously, a head lying on the table would be enough to know they were mortal. Why say that after it blows up?
And why say it at all? What made him think otherwise? Was he saying that if they can't live forever then how would they help Weyland?

My answer to that is that up to this point, the premise they were operating on was a question of where along the scale these Engineers really were, between god or just another advanced being. The implication is that if they "created" humankind, then that suggests god-like status (which may also be a reflection on our own arrogance that we Humans could only have come from a "god")...or maybe they are just really super-advanced beings, but after a certain point there's really very little difference as far as our realm of reference. A god certainly should not be vulnerable to (further) damage by anything we could do with its "head" in a lab. Hence, when the head exploded, that was just taking the Engineers down a notch, as "just" a really advanced being, not a god. I think that was how David's mark was directed. It may well have been no more of a facetious remark by David, implying that we came all this way because we have this incredible hard-on to meet our maker, and yet it turns out the maker is nothing more than a flesh and blood, biological creature like anything else we have known.
post #2205 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

My answer to that is that up to this point, the premise they were operating on was a question of where along the scale these Engineers really were, between god or just another advanced being. The implication is that if they "created" humankind, then that suggests god-like status (which may also be a reflection on our own arrogance that we Humans could only have come from a "god")...or maybe they are just really super-advanced beings, but after a certain point there's really very little difference as far as our realm of reference. A god certainly should not be vulnerable to (further) damage by anything we could do with its "head" in a lab. Hence, when the head exploded, that was just taking the Engineers down a notch, as "just" a really advanced being, not a god. I think that was how David's mark was directed. It may well have been no more of a facetious remark by David, implying that we came all this way because we have this incredible hard-on to meet our maker, and yet it turns out the maker is nothing more than a flesh and blood, biological creature like anything else we have known.

Spot on...Pretty much how I saw it, and agree on David pretty much mocking humans.

Djoel
post #2206 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Good one biggrin.gif

But in the context of that thread, I'm asking who's the dog and who's the dog owner? Apparently someone found that offensive enough to ban me from that thread. confused.gif
It was NOT me.
I have never, ever used the Report Post button....real men don't.

I have said it before and will say again right now:

The Report Post button doesn't belong on a forum for adults.

Or as my momma used to say....if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

My answer to that is that up to this point, the premise they were operating on was a question of where along the scale these Engineers really were, between god or just another advanced being. The implication is that if they "created" humankind, then that suggests god-like status (which may also be a reflection on our own arrogance that we Humans could only have come from a "god")...or maybe they are just really super-advanced beings, but after a certain point there's really very little difference as far as our realm of reference. A god certainly should not be vulnerable to (further) damage by anything we could do with its "head" in a lab. Hence, when the head exploded, that was just taking the Engineers down a notch, as "just" a really advanced being, not a god. I think that was how David's mark was directed. It may well have been no more of a facetious remark by David, implying that we came all this way because we have this incredible hard-on to meet our maker, and yet it turns out the maker is nothing more than a flesh and blood, biological creature like anything else we have known.
Nicely done.

I think Prometheus makes the point that we humans have tried and often still try to define things in supernatural terms when, in fact, it may be nothing of the sort.

The Engineers are, as you say, "flesh and blood."
And while they are not "gods," they still could have been the "creators."
post #2207 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post

Good one biggrin.gif

But in the context of that thread, I'm asking who's the dog and who's the dog owner? Apparently someone found that offensive enough to ban me from that thread. confused.gif
It was NOT me.
I have never, ever used the Report Post button....real men don't.

I have said it before and will say again right now:

The Report Post button doesn't belong on a forum for adults.

Or as my momma used to say....if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

My answer to that is that up to this point, the premise they were operating on was a question of where along the scale these Engineers really were, between god or just another advanced being. The implication is that if they "created" humankind, then that suggests god-like status (which may also be a reflection on our own arrogance that we Humans could only have come from a "god")...or maybe they are just really super-advanced beings, but after a certain point there's really very little difference as far as our realm of reference. A god certainly should not be vulnerable to (further) damage by anything we could do with its "head" in a lab. Hence, when the head exploded, that was just taking the Engineers down a notch, as "just" a really advanced being, not a god. I think that was how David's mark was directed. It may well have been no more of a facetious remark by David, implying that we came all this way because we have this incredible hard-on to meet our maker, and yet it turns out the maker is nothing more than a flesh and blood, biological creature like anything else we have known.
Nicely done.

I think Prometheus makes the point that we humans have tried and often still try to define things in supernatural terms when, in fact, it may be nothing of the sort.

The Engineers are, as you say, "flesh and blood."
And while they are not "gods," they still could have been the "creators."
post #2208 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

It was NOT me.
I have never, ever used the Report Post button....real men don't.

Still doesnt explain why you havnt used the report button. ;-)
post #2209 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Still doesnt explain why you havnt used the report button. ;-)
LOL...you have driest wit on the forum, sir (madam?tongue.gif).
post #2210 of 2359
So for the Space Jesus angle we're expected to believe that the Engineers, a spacefairing species who appear to work on projects with timeframes measured in tens of thousands of years, sent Jesus down (in human vs. Engineer form) to teach us or lift us up or something. He preaches forgiveness and salvation via a benevolent creator and all that. At the end of his life (he was crucified at 35 or so?) they are unsatisfied with his reception by their creations and decide to wipe them out in a decidedly unpleasant manner.

Their response seems illogical if we believe that Jesus' message was in fact their message. It also seems illogical that they'd jump right to the "let's wipe 'em out" plan after seeing him killed. I mean, Jesus only had direct contact with a tiny fraction of the humans on Earth for a very brief time. They had to know that given the technology of the time that it would take time for his message to spread. History shows that this in fact happened as over the next several centuries (a tick of the second hand for these guys) Christiantiy became the/one of the most dominant religions. In fact the death and resurrection themselves are central to the faith and perhaps/probably responsible for the "success" of the message over the centuries. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, more powerful in death than life. For guys out doing what they're doing this seems awfully rash.

If this is the real backstory then this movie is even worse than I though.
post #2211 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp View Post

If this is the real backstory then this movie is even worse than I though.

Not very interesting is it. Since it's our job to write the script, I'm going with
the Black Goo Zombie Angle. I still need to work out how zombies build ships, but
what the heck wink.gif
post #2212 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp View Post

If this is the real backstory then this movie is even worse than I though.

How can a backstory make a movie worse, the backstory isnt in the movie. The movie leave several hints on a backstory that the viewer can play with. But nothing written in stone. If you dont like the Jesus twist, make up another backstory in your mind.
post #2213 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp View Post

So for the Space Jesus angle we're expected to believe that the Engineers, a spacefairing species who appear to work on projects with timeframes measured in tens of thousands of years, sent Jesus down (in human vs. Engineer form) to teach us or lift us up or something. He preaches forgiveness and salvation via a benevolent creator and all that. At the end of his life (he was crucified at 35 or so?) they are unsatisfied with his reception by their creations and decide to wipe them out in a decidedly unpleasant manner.
Their response seems illogical if we believe that Jesus' message was in fact their message. It also seems illogical that they'd jump right to the "let's wipe 'em out" plan after seeing him killed.

Not that far fetched. After all, according to the Old Testament, Jesus' father - God - decided to wipe humanity off the earth because he was displeased with the direction they were heading. Maybe all gods, even though their god-like powers stem from advanced technology like the Engineers, are similarly inclined toward genocide...? Maybe the Bible is the template and the rule for ancient, hyper-advanced species, not the exception...?
post #2214 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

How can a backstory make a movie worse, the backstory isnt in the movie. The movie leave several hints on a backstory that the viewer can play with. But nothing written in stone. If you dont like the Jesus twist, make up another backstory in your mind.
I actually agree with your first point. You and I touched on the relevance of information not found in the movie in an earlier exchange, so I'm violating my own philosophy here biggrin.gif. As for the latter, I guess I just think there has to be "a" backstory, not just whatever the viewer can cook up in his own mind. I just find myself frustrated with what could have been a better movie had it made more sense on it's own, without the need for so many external sources.

As I said in an earlier post:
"I guess if Ridley Scott wanted this movie to tough on the Big Themes with Deep Questions that could only be partially addressed through multiple viewings, background Nietzsche research, and home video extras, he succeeded. Making a coherent, self-contained film, not so much." Add interviews with the writers and readings of early scripts to the list.

So when some pretty well sourced information about early scripts, the writers' and director's intentions, etc come out it's fun to look at in the context of seeing if that stuff that was left out would have helped or hurt. From what we've been given re. Space Jesus I think it would have hurt.

Putting on my pretentious movie analyst cap: Perhaps the roundabout way the Engineers gave their "message" to humanity, via Jesus using an entirely seperate mythology seemingly unrelated to them, is in fact a clever intentional duality with how Scott presented that very story to the viewer? tongue.gif
post #2215 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

How can a backstory make a movie worse, the backstory isnt in the movie. The movie leave several hints on a backstory that the viewer can play with. But nothing written in stone. If you dont like the Jesus twist, make up another backstory in your mind.
Agreed.
Hints yes, but nothing in concrete.

This is part of the fun of the movie, and a big reason we are STILL talking about it.wink.gif
post #2216 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp View Post

Their response seems illogical if we believe that Jesus' message was in fact their message. It also seems illogical that they'd jump right to the "let's wipe 'em out" plan after seeing him killed.
If biblical angle is the theme, then we shouldn't leave out Noah. The Genesis Flood did quite a bit of wiping out, didn't it? We could speculate that precipitation control was the engineer's older weapon and their attempts to "correct" what they created may not be just one occurrence. Little over a month ago, someone posted a link to audio of story about creator from outer space which talks about multiple attempts at correcting their experiments (what they created). http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414632/prometheus-plot-spoilers-discussion/390#post_22475114
Edited by bcruiser - 11/27/12 at 9:00am
post #2217 of 2359
Yahweh had absolutely no problem annihilating his creations (the Bible is full of examples).
Jealous and vengeful Gods tend to be that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh
post #2218 of 2359
All fine and good but why did they send an emmisary who preached about a loving and forgiving God, if they themselves are in fact jealous and vengeful? Trick question for our ancestors?

It seems no matter what road you go down with this movie, it requires a lot more mental gymnastics and benefits of the doubt to come up with explanations for various aspects than just to accept that it's half-baked (or over done depending on your perspective).
post #2219 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenjp View Post

All fine and good but why did they send an emmisary who preached about a loving and forgiving God, if they themselves are in fact jealous and vengeful? Trick question for our ancestors?
According to the Bible, that is EXACTLY what Yahweh did.

Quote:
It seems no matter what road you go down with this movie, it requires a lot more mental gymnastics and benefits of the doubt to come up with explanations for various aspects than just to accept that it's half-baked (or over done depending on your perspective).
Won't argue that, but it is fascinating so much has been written/posted about it.
At some level, it has piqued alot of people's interest.wink.gif
post #2220 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

According to the Bible, that is EXACTLY what Yahweh did.
My Bible study is rather rusty - are we talking Old or New Testament? Space Jesus delivered the content for the New, don't recall the vengeful God showing up much in that half. Spaceship full of the black goo seems like an odd way to "turn the other cheek"! biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Won't argue that, but it is fascinating so much has been written/posted about it.
At some level, it has piqued alot of people's interest.wink.gif
No doubt! I'm as "guilty" as anyone of thinking & posting about this movie even though I didn't particularly care for it confused.gif

jeff
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