I wrote this a little while back in response to a discussion with a friend, J.D. (BUY HIS ART!!!!) but I totally forgot to post it. I haven’t slept much since my son was born (ah, the gifts of fatherhood!) which means I’ve had a lot of time to semi-watch movies but it also means that my writing is suffering the ails of insomnia. Feel free to slap me around if there’s a break in logic or an error.
A Prometheus Theory: The New Gods & Weyland
I finally got a chance to watch Prometheus last night on demand (better late than never) and it got me thinking so I scoured the internet to read different theories like any other perfectly normal geek would.
I found a lot of theories, some based on religion, some based on technology, and a really good theory based on a mixture of the previous two borrowing heavily from the “Ancient Astronaut theory.
I’ll talk a little bit more on my take on the mythology within the movie, but for now let’s talk about what bothered a lot of people about this movie: The Black Goo.
The Black Goo
As the HuffPost article explains, many people had an issue with the Black Goo because they wonder what it is, what it does and if and how Weyland knew about it.
I think that Weyland knew that the “engineers” or Prometheans had created us and thus were either Gods with no tangible tools which we, ourselves could steal from them. Or the Prometheans were just advanced creatures which would mean they have some sort of technology which we could take and use and advance our own species.
And here’s where this TEDTalk clip and some of the website material from http://www.weylandindustries.com/timeline come into importance. If you read the timeline, you will find that Weyland has led an extraordinary life of invention. He cured cancer, perfected biotech and A.I. as well as Faster Than Light travel, terraforming and hypersleep.
All that’s left for Weyland to possess the same abilities as the Prometheans/engineers is to create organic life from scratch (not A.I. like David 7) and to obtain immortality.
Weyland sends the team but secretly joins them because he wants them to do the leg work of the mission while David has his own objectives to execute for Weyland. Weyland also comes along for one reason, if the Prometheans didn’t use tools than he must be present to request immortality. If they did use tools, the crew can bring the tools back but Weyland might be dead by then. Also, why risk them not having tools when he can just fly out with them.
David is Weyland’s personal tool and is viewed as a son by the prolific inventor. many people wondered how David knew about the Goo or why he “poisoned” Holloway. Here’s my take.
David didn’t know about the Goo, not specifically. But David was programmed to find whatever he deemed valuable and collect it for Weyland and his company. David is also built to be as close to life-like as possible. We see that he smiles in scenes and that he has a healthy, if not dangerous, amount of human curiosity. I’m guessing that Weyland made the last version of David to have some sort of thinking or reasoning ability. He’s able to look for things without knowing what he’s looking for specifically.
When he discovers the Goo in the room, he doesn’t know what it is but then he touches it. We saw that when he touched some other Goo earlier, he was able to tell what it was composed of or if it was organic.
In The Room, he is intrigued by the capsules but I don’t think he knows what they are or what they do. When Shaw says “don’t touch them”. David apologizes and stands up. But the Goo begins to move, David goes back in for a closer look, this time touching it and then bagging it. I don’t think there’s an issue here at all and I don’t know why people would assume that Weyland either knew about the Goo or that it was a plot error. They choose to ignore the other obvious possibility that a curious David happened to have discovered the Goo on his own.
As for David poisoning Holloway. I’m not sure if he knew what the result would be but David knew that the Goo did something and that he wanted to find out what. He actually gets Holloway’s permission to spike his drink when he asks “What are you willing to do” and Holloway responds “anything and everything”. David doesn’t try to poison Holloway, he gives Holloway what he wanted.
My theory is that Weyland didn’t know about the Black Goo but he had assumed some sort of device or tool or method for creating life existed and the Prometheans had it on this planet.
That device itself was going to be the big payoff for Weyland’s company and Vickers. That’s why Vickers tells Shaw and Halloway that her objectives are different than those of Shaw and Halloway. She’s there for business.
What kind of business? Weyland creates androids. If you read the timeline, the original issues with the Androids is that they weren’t life like enough. Weyland had to create a proprietary code to get the androids to mimic human emotion. Still, the timeline on the website mentions that 7% of humans can still tell when they are dealing with a droid and that humans don’t always like the droids.
Give the history, ability and product line of Weyland Industries, I believe the goal of Vickers and her company is to find this tool for creating life and use it to build organic humanoids on Earth which they can sell to industries or employ in the many colonized mining planets that Weyland owns.
There is a zip file that you can download from the Weyland Industries site that gives you screen shots of a Weyland email exchange that says they should go to the new planet because what they discover there will be very profitable for them.
Weapon, Tool or Both?
So what do I think the Black Goo is? I think it’s nanomites. I think that the nanomites enter the blood stream and go to work on altering the DNA. This is why Fifield mutated into a zombie like monster. This is why the drop in Holloway’s drink started to alter his appearance as well. This is also why the head of the decapitated eningeer began to alter itself and exploded when they brought it to life on their ship. They showed in that scene that the same Black Goo was leaking out of him and bringing the head back to life activated the nanos.
This Black Goo is different than the cup of goo the Promethean drank in the opening scene. I believe they are engineered to cause different alterations. The Promethean on Earth had a goo that turned him into human DNA while the one in the particular stock room that the crew finds is engineered to turn the DNA into these zombies.
In essence, the engineers were creating bio-weapons or WMDs to wipe out humans because humans weren’t supposed to exist in the first place. (Or perhaps we were but got out of hand and dangerous). The Alien is the weapon.
At the end of the movie, when we see the Alien, this isn’t the first time the Prometheans have seen it. They, after all, had a tombstone with the alien on it.
I believe The Room, is a weapons cache for the Prometheans and these were the very weapons that they were planning on using to wipe out humanity on Earth.
So why where the holographic engineers running? Some believe that they had an outbreak, but I don’t think that’s true. If I recall correctly, when we see the holographs running, the last engineer is shot as he turns the corner and he falls to his knees and that’s why he is decapitated by the door.
They didn’t have an outbreak or if they did, they weren’t killed by the xenomorphs because they don’t use guns. What we need to do is look at the timeline. This engineer died approximately 2000 years ago, in the human timeline of the movie, that’s about 93 A.D.
My guess is that some of the engineers returned back to Earth to tell us of our origins, this is the Jesus theory, and that when they got back to their base, their superiors found out and a battle broke out. I am assuming that the pro-human engineers won out because humanity was never destroyed and the engineers were either wiped out or put into stasis.
An alternate theory is that the Promtheans have a hierarchy and that their own leader, their King, sent his son to Earth to tell us about our origin and we killed him. Their angry leader decided to wipe us out and this divided their people into two factions.
Both are possible so far given the story line that we have seen. We’ll have to wait for the sequel to see exactly how the real story line plays out.
The Original Alien
Here’s an added theory I have; the original strain of Alien/xenomorphs that the engineers were going to send to Earth aren’t as strong or as dangerous as the one that’s created at the end of the movie. The new aliens that we see in the original Alien film became these super creatures with human tendencies because they share our DNA as well as the DNA of the Prometheans. There’s that symbolism of fire being both a tool and a danger.
I believe that there is a strong tie to the religion theory and the Prometheans. Some of these titans came to Earth and sacrificed themselves to create a new race of beings. They were clearly capable of terraforming so they perhaps cleaned up the Earth and created both human and other life here. The movie shows DNA forming and many people assume it’s only human DNA, but there’s no reason that the Prometheans couldn’t create other forms of life as well.
As for the mythical “fire”, I believe that what these specific Prometheans who came to Earth stole was the Black Goo and they used it to create humanity. And it’s for this theft that they are punished by the rest of their kind.
I believe that, again getting back to the story in the Weyland TEDTalk, where he talks about the eagle continually tearing through Prometheus’ belly in the cave. That’s the other Prometheans punishing those that gave life to us by stealing the Black Goo. This is the mythological theory of “fire” given to us by Prometheus. It is the spark that lit the torch of humanity.