Alien and the religious angle
Posted Feb-12-2017 2:31 PM
Since Alien the series has gotten progressively more religious.Alien was simple,The Nostromo's refinery towers resembled cathedrals,plus Ridley described the film as having gothic terror.Aliens didn't seem to have any really(if there's something I'm missing feel free to point it out.)Alien 3 made the first big steps starting with Vincent Ward's Wooden planet.In it he described a group of monks who had been excommunicated from earth centuries ago,and lived on a space station covered completely with wood.They believed themselves to be the last remnants of mankind.The also believed the xenomorph to be the devil.They even forcibly remove Ripley's queen out through her throat in what they describe as an excorsism.The religious order is still echoed in the final film with Dillon leading the prisoners in a bizarre apocalyptic order.Alien Resurrection went one step further with its title being an almost literal nod to the Resurrection of Christ.Early sketches of the Auriga even had it shaped in the form of a crucifix to match the theme.Prometheus even more so than that as it literally deals with our creation.We have Shaw who is driven by her faith(a major point of contention with fans as far as The character goes)to meet our makers,our Gods if you will.There are some possible links from what transpired on LV-223 to the crucifixion of Christ.It's possible he may have been an engineer.We even have Shaw give a virgin birth of sorts,she cannot create life but does through being infected by the black goo.The film takes place on Christmas,that's no coincidence says Ridley Scott.Even at the end of the film Shaw keeps her faith.Now we have Alien Covenant.This one places Shaw and David(i forgot to point out the biblical themes behind his name)on the world of our creators.While its unclear what happened to the engineers,it is clear that David and Shaw become an Adam and Eve for this world Paradise which can be looked at as the garden of Eden .Not only Does David play Adam,but also the snake in the garden of Eden.David also seems to play the role of both God and the Devil,both creator and deceiver.There's also The Covenant itself.Aside from the religious implications with the name of the ship,it Also appears to take on the role of Noah's Ark,carrying only couples two and two.I think there's a lot more to point out,of course if I've missed something feel free the point it out.Is it possible with all the heavy handed religious themes to get an idea on Where the series might go next?Would David literally turn the Covenant into the Ark of the Covenant?Something that holds a terrifying and deadly power?Were the engineers a victim to an event similar to that of the flood?Between Prometheus and Alien Covenant,there are a lot of biblical apocalypse themes at work,so it does seem possible.
Posted Feb-12-2017 5:28 PM
I actually like the religious angle. It turns an otherwise "basic" plot unto something more profound. It's become something we can really think about and debate years after it's released. I like that, it makes the film more than just a film. Prometheus actually seemed to blend science and an overly athiest viewpoint with religious views. I rather liked that approach as it gave weight to both sides of the argument.
Posted Feb-12-2017 5:51 PM
But saying "it is clear" that David and Shaw will be the Adam and Eve in Covenant sound presumptuous. Is it clear? I hope not. The 'shaggy god' trope can often be pretty dodgy.
"I actually like the religious angle. It turns an otherwise "basic" plot unto something more profound."
It can be profound if done right. I'm not sure it was profound in Prometheus, but I liked the fact that Shaw was religious. Contrary to the flak the character continually cops from viewers I think it adds a different dimension to the character, that's often missing in these sorts of films. Too many think you can't be a scientist and have faith.
Posted Feb-12-2017 5:59 PM
I do have an issue with heavy handed religious themes in sci fi.It flat out ruined shows like BattleStar Galactica and Stargate Universe.Though SGU was crap to begin with.If it can be handled well then it's okay.Just so long as it doesn't become too preachy.
Posted Feb-12-2017 8:53 PM
"It might be better to keep the concepts to the human condition."
How is religion not part of the human condition?
"Observing Shaw throwing a fit in her condition when David grabbed her crucifix was almost laughable."
She was waking up from passing out (presumably) after watching her boyfriend get incinerated while being consumed by an alien contagion, and someone is fiddling around with her throat.
Posted Feb-12-2017 9:53 PM
"I think I see your point, but that part really has no effect on the human condition for basic survival and life- the Xeno cannot be prayed away for instance. "
True, but someone's faith may influence how far they are willing to go in order to survive and where lines are that might not be crossed.
Posted Feb-12-2017 10:04 PM
The thing is that faith is not fact. One could attribute faith for achieving great things or how far they will go to survive- but it really comes from inside with sheer will. Shaw bore a Christian cross- an individual who said to turn the other cheek and accepted his fate- to hastily paraphrase the New Testament.
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