Analysis: Scott’s “Prometheus”—Part II

“What did we do wrong?” asks lead archeologist Elizabeth Shaw, near the end of the prequel. This question drives her to continue pursuing the Engineers with the help of android David, her sole companion-by-necessity at the end. What did humanity do to deserve extermination, and by such vicious means? Answer: humans, like the mythical Prometheus, were becoming more independent, rebellious, self-empowered. If Scott’s writers follow a corollary to tales of the Nephilim, some pre-prequel humans had cross-bred with the Engineers and carried “God” genes. One gained the ability to create life-forms such as Cyclopes and unicorns. Even after demolition of the human race in the Great Flood, some humans carried those genes—for example: Noah. It was obvious to the Engineers that as humans advanced technologically they would again steal the fire: the power to create life, build galactic empires, and compete for control of the Universe.

In the next Prometheus film it will be appropriate for Scott to make clear that Peter Weyland, CEO of Weyland Corporation, is the lead “Prometheus” of this three-phase myth. His company is engaged in the business of creating new worlds, which presumably includes terra-forming desolate planets and establishing environmentally-useful bio-engineered life-forms, all towards making the resources of these corporate-owned alien shores financially productive. The Prometheus ship was Weyland’s specially tasked spacecraft, and its name showed Weyland’s prideful awareness of the archetype that he had been representing for some time and with great success.

Recall that, in Alien, Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ripley, and her crew are directed by that spacecraft’s owner: The Weyland-Yutani Corporation—a global corporation by this point—to respond to a wrecked spacecraft’s “distress” signal. The greater truth, we surmise, is that Ripley’s mission from the outset was to travel into that sector so that the android member of her crew, Ash, could obtain the biological material that was already known to be on board the crashed alien ship. But how could the Weyland Corporation people have known that alien fetuses akin to those encountered by the prequel’s science mission crew were there? They knew, we say, because they had been in communication, and when the ship was ditched they knew that the pilot had activated a warning signal. But why would that spacecraft have been in communication with Earth?

Aboard the alien ship, seated in the alien spacesuit, thought to be skeletal remains in the Alien movie, is, as we foresee it: Elizabeth Shaw, betrayed by android David as Ripley is later betrayed by her covert android Science Officer, Ash. David had failed to use Shaw as a gestational vessel in Prometheus, but a second effort is successful. Shaw realizes too late that David had no intention of helping her find the Engineers’ home planet—because that was never Peter Weyland’s agenda and David is programmed to serve Weyland. In her persistent effort to protect life on Earth, Shaw broadcasts a warning signal as she intentionally crash-lands on the remote planetoid hoping to never be found. David, however, has already let the Weyland Corporation know the location. The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, knowing where the ship crashed, sends Ripley’s ship, the Nostromo, to retrieve the alien biological material under the guise of—and in the course of—conducting a mining operation on one of the worlds it owns.

In an Alien II movie we may expect to see Weyland-Yutani set up a bio-weapons development laboratory on the planetoid, a secret base of operation in a “war in the heavens” against the Engineers. Fire is used to fight fire all the way to Orion.

The Blade Runner story, although originally set in the early 21st Century can be re-cut again, or remade, in order to move it a century or so ahead. By this point, on the cusp of 2014, it is obvious that the original timeframe for Blade Runner was way off, at least in this universe. This is also true for Alien. Both stories belong in the 22nd Century, with Alien preceding Blade Runner, as it did in movie theaters. Adjusting the dates for the two films also allows bringing them into sync with the Prometheus chapters in order to create a meaningful, seamless, understandable myth. Of course, as we implied in Part I, making the story understandable to the masses of movie-goers may not be a priority. The second and third acts of this play may even be left untouched, requiring some assembly by astute viewers.

With respect to the Blade Runner timeframe adjustment: (1) J. F. Sebastian becomes plausible as a 22nd Century bio-engineer creating little “friends” that amuse him, thus evidencing the successful theft of fire that the Engineers foresaw more than two thousand years of Earth time earlier; (2) android Roy’s description of his memories of warfare in deep space conjure visions of battles near Orion between the “dark angel” Engineers and the humans who managed to create combative androids with abilities exceeding those of humans by millions of years of natural evolution; and (3) Deckard’s unicorn daydream can be interpreted as genetic memory of the pre-Flood genetic experiments of thousands of years ago. In a Blade Runner II sequel, the Nexus 6 rebellion can be shown to be the reaction of a self-aware and emotion-equipped species of androids who consider their narrow tasking as well as that of forebears, such as David and Ash, to have been demeaning, abusive—evil. If the new Nexus 7 series has previously-unmentioned self-replication abilities that generation presents even greater problems.

Yet thanks to traits unique to human beings, including mortality, imagination, and unlimited ability to adapt cybernetically, humans—in the Blade Runner II that we envision—modify themselves and ultimately achieve victory over both their suppressive creators and their rebellious creations. A transformed race of god-like humans experiences Paradise, at least temporarily.


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