My *impressions*, off-base as they may be, go something like:
I don't know if the Lucifer/Prometheus Engineer is a goodie or a baddie...but whether as punishment or mission he is dropped on a sterile world and then he gets infected with the black goo, then dies in the water and his DNA goes everywhere. This is the world the Black Goo made, when there was no other life around for it to contaminate. That's certainly enough to explain the Engineers' interest in observing it, and their interest in us as the technological species produced by its biosphere. A thought occurs, and I don't think it really adds up perfectly, but the thought is that it might have been of some interest to the Engineers to see what would happen to the life the Black Goo made if it were *newly* infected with the black goo. What would a new black goo infection *do* to it, what would be created? On the planetoid, the stuff has many different effects, I would say that in the context of Prometheus you could explain away the greater size of the Space Jockey just by saying the goo infected him and it wanted to spread itself off-planet. It does like to spread, and it'll take any available avenue to do so! It'll change the host's body in many ways, and it'll turn into just about anything, seemingly randomly. Later on the xenomorphs are just the aliens we know, all the same: the "offspring" of Kane, to the very last one. KANE. But on the Prometheus planetoid they're polymorphous, because the raw Black Goo is *virulent*. Different host, different form! Actually the aliens we know aren't just Kane's products but the products of the Space Jockey as well, the xenomorph must indeed have been massive, it laid a *ridiculous* number of eggs and then at some point just must've died of hunger or old age or something. So Engineer DNA is in the original facehugger, and human DNA is in the "original" facehugger-spawned xenomorph. The black goo works FAST, and does ANYTHING, and we have to figure the black goo is what the Space Jockey got infected with. But how? Or, maybe more interestingly...
Where do the multifarious xenomorphs *come* from, that kill all the Engineers? How does the infection break out in the first place? You have to figure they knew what they had, and took precautions. Was it a rebellion? There are a few different potential stories there. We don't actually see what the Engineers were fleeing from.
The planetoid that the Nostromo visited wasn't one the xenomorph's progeny could leave. The Space Jockey's last act must've been to set the distress beacon blaring. Why? Did the black goo make him do it? Huh, here's the problem with the black goo, when it first infects a host it uses that host's own abilities to spread itself around, but WHEN IT DOES the resulting xenomorph doesn't retain many of those abilities. Perhaps some intelligence? I'd consider that an open question, but I'd still draw the line at the xenomorphs using any human or Engineer *machines* in an intelligent way. The first host of the Black Goo, however, seems to retain some agency as long as it survives.
What you have here, perhaps, is just the Black Goo's "attempt" to create LINEAGES: aggression, infection, exploitation of reproduction systems. It's liquid, it lives in water and warmth. I don't think the Engineers do a whole lot of reproducing in their spare time, do you? It hits an Engineer and it has to go parthenogenetic. The Engineers are clones! Wait, does that answer everything? The Engineers are clones. The ancient Prometheus is the only one that ever produced "children"...except for the Space Jockey. Okay, how about this:
The Black Goo gets out -- somehow -- and it starts turning Engineers into monsters that pursue other Engineers to infect them, the idea being that the black goo "wants" to get into a sexual reproductive system. But the Engineers are sexless, so this doesn't work. The black goo could have been designed to operate this way preferentially, and the Engineers being clones would have been a biological cordon on it, just as the sterile landscape of the planetoid is. All the black goo can do is just change the Engineers' bodies, infect more, change more, infect more, change more...these are technically hosts for the infection, but they're crap hosts, none of them can generate lineages of monsters, only one-offs that can't themselves begin a process of reproduction, can never INCREASE THEIR NUMBERS. Maybe this is it? The surviving Engineer in a cryogenic pod like Ripley -- the escaped one is the one where the random generation of monsters has finally produced one that uses the same reproductive system that the Engineers do, even though everywhere else the biological cordon holds. Somewhere along the line of serial infections the black goo "figures out" how Engineer reproduction happens, maybe it finally comes across an Engineer about to generate a new clone as offspring. Hey, who knows, the Engineers may die giving "birth" to the new clones, they may emerge from their chests for all we know! If a new Engineer emerges fully-formed and fully-grown, would that not mean the parent Engineer must grow in size? The escaped Engineer crashlands, sets the distress call, and then does the parthenogenesis thing, not knowing the process has been hijacked, not knowing "he" has been very recently infected. Then BOOM, out comes an Alien, and it lays a bunch of eggs that are all the same. Forgive my rambling while I'm thinking, here, of the Aliens we know of, only ONE came from Kane, and that one's dead -- Ripley killed it. All the others come from the Space Jockey, via human hosts. Okay, right, this may indeed work...
So the Black Goo gets into an Engineer about to undergo parthenogenesis, perhaps one already intending to leave the planetoid, if that's so its ship might have been actually SHOT AT, and damaged, to do the crashlanding thing. Inside this Engineer, the new Engineer has been co-opted, and its reproductive system finally comprehended and seized. Once the original xenomorph is out, it lays eggs, because it can't actually just genuinely reproduce *as* an Engineer, only *like* an Engineer. Inside the eggs are the facehuggers, intermediate stages ready to transmit the xenomorph's form into hosts. if they ever encounter hosts with Engineer-like physiology. Every one of the facehuggers is the same, every one of the resulting xenomorphs will be a clone of the original xenomorph, plus just a little bit of DNA from the hosts. As it turns out, once human DNA becomes part of the mix, sex-based differentiation sets in: only a xenomorph that emerged from a female human will be able to lay more eggs. And now here's a thing:
LAMBERT WAS BORN A MAN.
That's canon, from 1980 or whatever. Lambert was a trans woman.
I merely mention it.
Anyway, who knows what happens in a group of xenomorphs with several "females" after a couple decades, this is all new. Only one Queen? WHATEVER. Of more interest to me is what happens to Shaw, whose reproductive system is co-opted *without* any Engineer DNA being involved, except at a remove of a few billion years. Essentially this is the black goo infecting the Black Goo, with very little in the way, and it is FAR WEIRDER than the old Giger xenomorph-forms, and it could become a lineage and just work through sexual reproduction, provided it had another human-derived "partner"...which of course it won't.
But if it did?
Well, that would be very curious.
Yeah, the "molecular acid" for blood...I can't explain that but I can offer a maybe-workable guess: it's gradually derived from the toxic atmosphere of the planetoid visited by the Nostromo, over the 33,000 years that the eggs just sit there exposed to it. These eggs are BRAND-NEW THINGS, created by the interaction of the Black Goo with Engineer DNA, and they sit in a very weird place for a very weird length of time. That planetoid can't support life! Can't produce life. But the eggs, doubtless gas-permeable in the long run, already have a powerful adaptive agent inside them, that co-opts the atmosphere as it co-opts everything else.
Overall, it's an interesting idea. What kind of agent could mimic a morphology that only evolution should be competent to produce? In Alien, the face-hugger is clearly not "new", its tail coils around Kane's throat when they try to pull it off him, without the facehugger being an evolved organism and part of a species this can only be due to some sort of "intelligent" recombination of evolved traits taken from elsewhere? Has to be, then, that somewhere in the evolutionary past of the Engineers there were at least something *like* facehuggers...
Yet my theory would actually be that the Engineers are parthenogenetic because they themselves were MADE from some DNA somewhere...made by creatures who reproduced sexually jut as we humans do, and thus as above, so below, and it's turtles all the way down...they made weapons they could fight their creators with.
But who made the Creators?
personally I don't believe it was originally a military facility. the mural and giant head makes me think it was seized by the militant faction at some point but possibly started out as a scientific facility for terraforming or was a facility used by the engineers at the beginning of Prometheus as the mural and head suggest a place of worship
@ali81: Do you think the death's head atop the pyramid/s was there from the start? If so, this suggests a death-cult, so why invite us to such a place?
I was thinking the 'Invitation' drawings were really the Engineers saying, "We are going to take you to this place." What they did not tell us is what they were going to do to us when we got there?
depends on what such a design means to them. we don't know enough about them. plus it may have been something added at a later date and may not have been part of the original structure design. possibly a warning to others after the facility had been seized like planting a flag
The multiple structures on LV-223 reminds me of weapons storage facilities in Nevada - just don't ask me how or why! Something got lost in translation - maybe the Engineers were saying if you misbehave we're going to bomb the crap out of you. Early humans may not have been able to grasp this concept. :)
I disavow any knowledge of this ... or any other military facilities that I don't care to name!
I think that drawings with engineers pointing to the stars says "this is the place of your beginning"
@DeepSpaceExplorer: Which again suggests we were engineered for death given LV-223 includes a xenomorph temple!?
Up-voted for the Effort ;)
some interesting ideas... and indeed we cant rule out the Engineers being Cloned Servants created by another Race (beings on Paradise) for the same reasons that Weyland Created David.
As for the rest.. i will get back to this post with my two cents.
But the LV-223 Outpost to me looks like a Nursery/Greenhouse and also a Watchers Watch Tower.
These Genetic Gardeners would surely like to further evolve their creations in a environment they can contain and experiment with them, at the risk of them not contaminating Worlds they Seed.
My Prometheus 2 draft hinted to this... it would have shown Engineer Juggernaught collecting Primates and taking them to LV-223 to further Evolve with Engineer DNA to then make another Race that was more closer to Humans.
When the Engineers are happy with the new Evolution/Experiment they then seed that back on Earth and other Worlds.
This is what i felt LV-223 was used for before something changed.
The Maps are those beings merely saying this is where you came from or where we created you from. Mankind came from LV-223 instead of the Garden of Eden....
The Engineers or their Creators who came from the Garden of Eden.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
@BigDave: Thanks for the Up-vote (still new to the forum so not familiar with that term yet:)
What Watchers' Watch Tower design are you referring to (any links)?
While it would seem they created races on other planets in their image initially (such as those on Planet 4 and us), the remaining questions include in particular:
a) The Leviticus connection I find *quite* convincing. If we follow this it would seem acceptable for us to come to the LV-223 installation where the sacred offerings are if we are ceremonially clean, but for some reason we weren't!? Why?
b) And did they consider the Black Goo to be a sacred offering, and why would something so destructive be considered to be consecrated? It would seem it was given the mural suggesting they worship the Deacon, which would seem to have been created after their creation of primate species?
The Leviticus connections does kind of fit, but then what do we make of The Leviticus 4:26
"And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him"
This is harder to match into the Franchise apart from the Space Jockey Sacrifice... but i think the Leviticus quotes should be taken as coincidence only.
If we try and fit them in, then the only way Mankind could be unclean would have to be in one of 2 ways.
1) We are genetically unclean, a copy of a copy etc and only the Original Engineers or direct Generation created from them are clean.
2) We are unclean because of our Morals and Values, but then surely people who are considered Good Morally would not suffer any problems... some argue this is why Shaw survived but i dont by this idea.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
As far as the Worship of the Mural... and why the Engineers Worship this... well its open to debate.
Let me break down the Engineers History as far as from conception when they was making a Prequel.
*Spaights and RS had sat down to discus this Race and indeed they played a role in the Creation of Mankind. Spaights drafts and idea was this Ancient Humanoid Alien Race was a Race who have Evolved themselves over Millions of years and some event had caused them to LOOSE the ability to Procreate. So they had to come up with other ways to create Life.
*Ridley Scott added after Prometheus that these Engineers can create Life in other ways, but the Sacrificial Scene was just the way they chose to do so. It was a Ritual Scene where Engineers are chosen to donate their Bodies to Create Life.
The Elders Scene was never fully shown in no shape or form, the Full Scene had a TWO-Way Dialog between the Elder and the Engineer, we have never seen the Full Scene. But a short cut of the Dialog had been put on the Blu-ray. Where this Sacrifice was very significant to the Elders the Elder handing over the Sacrificial Bowl says this.
"Let your body become the dirt! Your blood become the waters. May your soul become their way back to us"
So they need our Creation for some Purpose?
*Next we go to how the Engineer Reacted with Mankind, he seemed pretty interested in Dr Shaw, more so in the extended Scenes, he could have killed her so Easy but it seemed he was Fascinated with her.
*RS Mentions the Engineers as Fallen Angels (does he mean all the Engineers or LV-223?) if they are Fallen Angels this means they Rebelled against their Hierarchy/Creators in some way. If we also look at Fallen Angels in context to the Bible, they did have a interest in Human Women... Genesis 6:4
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown"
Other Mythos also show the Gods having Sexual Relations with Human Females.
*However Biblical Wise the Angels are all MALE God is too, and however Women play a Important Role... Many cultures have it that when Mankind was created.. it was Man First and a Woman was created latter to give companionship and to serve the Man. However other Mythos of Gods do have Male/Female Gods.
*Prometheus we see No Female Engineers, if we consider Spaights idea that they used to be able to Procreate but can no longer, maybe it points to the Engineers having Females before but then they lost them... some way.. maybe as they Evolved the Need for them? But this Advancement means while the Engineers/Elders Live for a Long time... they are still Mortal, and if they cant Reproduce there Race will Eventually Die out....
Maybe they could Clone themselves, but maybe this has problems and maybe this is what RS meant when they can create life by other means.... So is the Sacrifice a Way to Restart and Create Life in their Image? if they can Clone themselves maybe these Clones are Copies with Flaws and so again Produce no Female Clones... maybe the Sacrifice and Creation of Mankind was a attempt to lead to Females for the Engineers so they can Procreate again... which fits with Genesis 6:4 and maybe the Engineers interest in Dr Shaw.
*WHICH BRINGS US TO THE MURAL....something related to the Xenomorph had infected some Engineers and we know the Face Hugger in affect allows a Male to Gestate Life inside them and then Give Birth to Life.... and maybe this is why the Engineers Worshiped the Mural... for a Faction of these Engineers this event had allowed their kind to Bare Children/Procreate in a kind of bizarre way. Their whole Culture was based around Self Sacrifice to Create Life, and so Chest Busting a Deacon would indeed be Creating Life via Sacrifice.
*HOWEVER.... Alien Covenant we see Female Engineers, but these beings did not quite look Engineers, they was Humanoid and about the same Height as Mankind... and so Why Create Mankind if they have Females?
The only Logically Answer i have is that these Engineers Seeded Worlds to Gain Females, so they can Procreate and Once they had Achieved this and had a Pool of Females (that are not 100% Original Engineer Females) then they can Procreate with them and this is what we see on Paradise, Females as the result of their Seeding Worlds have been taken to Paradise so they can Procreate again, and with each Generation we get Half Engineers, Half Humanoid Female Off Spring and then further Generations they kepts mixing the Races until the result is more Engineer than Human, but still retain Human DNA.
These beings are Ancestors of the Engineers but not all of them are 100% Pure Engineer Stock.
THAT IS MY OVERALL THEORY ;)
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
"Thoughts on why a star map to a military installation".
We do not know that it was a star map to a "military installation", as we would define it. Some of the characters thought it was, but we don't have anything concrete saying what it was to the Engineers. Only a tiny area of that facility was explored in Prometheus. We saw something that was like a religious temple, a bunch of tunnels, and a hanger bay for a Juggernaut ship - that was it.
We don't even know for sure if the crew Prometheus was even in the correct place, or if we were really invited there. Damon Lindelof said it best -
"You look at a cave wall, there’s somebody pointing at some distant planets, and one interpretation is “This is where we come from” another is “We want you to come here.” Where are we drawing that from? I think another thing that’s interesting about the system that they visit is that the moon they land on in Prometheus is LV 223. And we know LV 426 is where the action takes place in Alien, so are they even in the right place? And how close are they to the place that these aliens on cave walls were directing them? Were they just extrapolating “This is the system that has the sun with the sustainable life.” So there’s a lot of guesswork...there’s something fascinating about humanity where we perceive it as an invitation.
@BigDave: Thanks for your explanation. The only question it subsequently leaves me with is if the Engineers considered self-sacrifice their way forward, why did the one remaining one resist the Trilobyte if it would lead to new life?
And why initially show interest in Shaw, and then later go out of his way to killer her?
@Kethol: If they weren't meant to land on LV-223, how did they manage to incorrectly follow a chart that coincidentally led them to a still habitated planet? That can’t have been a mistake, IMHO.
They really had no "chart" to follow, and nothing indicating they were meant to land in any specific place.
Shaw and Holloway had nothing indicating any specific location at all. They found what looked like a group of six stars in pictograms from various cultures and various points in the past that they thought indicated an invitation. Then they found a group of stars laid out in a similar pattern that they thought was a match. They found there was a moon around one of those planets that they determined was capable of sustaining life, so that is where they thought they were supposed go.
It could have been any planet or moon orbiting around any one of those six stars that the Engineers were indicating in the pictograms, or mutliple planets or moons around those six stars (We now know there were at least two places they lived, and ). It seems clear Shaw and Holloway may have wrongly presumed they were 'invited' anywhere. The Engineers may have simply been indicating roughly where they came from with those pictograms.
Just like our stellite based GPS system. When you open gps you goin to see whole area furst but you can zoom in to spesific area to find out where are you.
Its why engineers has whole map of edges of univers they reached ever.
And it must be even memorial thing to their own ego. To remember all the.
Lindeloff makes some good points and i think he may be correct as far as how Dr Shaw and Holloway persevered the Star Map Invitations.
But not the Location... it cant just be by Pure Coincidence they match a system or group that matches the Star Maps and then get the place wrong but the place they end up does happen to be a place connected to the Engineers who are connected to Earth.
Could the Map had been to LV-426 instead? why when this place holds nothing of importance...
Surley it was not the Wrong Star in that configuration as i think again its a bit of a coincidence that they was supposed to go to another one of those Stars... but they chose the wrong one that was intended and this place also happens to be connected to the Engineers.
THERE IS ONE WAY.. i interpret Lindeloffs Comments.
This would be if it was a WARNING about LV-426 and the Xenomorph, but then latter those LV-223 Engineers went down to LV-223 and collected the Xenomorph and Re-engineered/Experimented on them.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Good point... i would think the Engineer wanted to confront the Human Survivors and Rid of Them and then he would be off to another Ship to carry on his Mission... this is why he did not want to Die... because his MISSION was Vital.
When he discovered Shaw he was interested again with her toying with her in the alternative shots, until she lashed at him with the AXE!
But the Theatrical Cut painted a different picture and that the Engineer overslept, woke up realized Mankind had arrived and off he went to kill every one of them.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
@Kethol: Sorry but the fact the Prometheus still arrived on an Engineer outpost means Weyland and Co. did their research and just didn’t make a random effort (which suggests that LV-223 is exactly where the Engineers were pointing to and humanity by Shaw and Holloway’s time had evolved enough intelligence to work out the puzzle they were presented with).
@BigDave: The problem we have is until Ridley releases an official Director’s Cut of Prometheus we are stuck with going by what the Theatrical version presents us with, the Engineer initially appearing interested in Elizabeth, then going out of his way to kill her, and resisting the Trilobyte despite self-sacrifice appearing to be the core of his race’s belief system. There's also still something we haven't explored enough yet around this, and that is Shaw's annunciation. Was her becoming pregnant from the 'black goo' meant to suggest she was the 'whore of Babylon' from the Book of Revelations and the deacon the pathway to the birth of the Antichrist (ala Agent Brears in Alan Moore's Neonomicon)? Were the Engineers at this outpost trying to create the antichrist?
Why would it be pure coincidence? Shaw and Holloway DID find the six-star group, but no specific star, planet, or moon was indicated by the Engineers, just a finger pointing to a group of six stars, which is a huge area of space.
Shaw and Holloway simply picked a star out of those six that was earth-like, and a moon around a planet orbiting it that they thought could support life. That was their only criteria for picking that place in movie. They arrived at ONE Engineer outpost. There could be dozens of them in that six-star group, including the Engineer home world. The planet in Covenant was probably another one.
Damon Lindelof indicated several times in his post Prometheus interviews that the Prometheus may not have gone to the right place. That was kind of the point of the end of the movie too. Shaw wanted to go where they came from, because the little moon outpost they were on clearly was NOT it.
The map didn't direct them to a specific planetoid. It directed to a star system. It has been in the viral material since day one. It has also been stated on the blu ray info that Weyland already knew about the signal and when Shaw approached them, it hl gave him the final reason to go to the system. It s also inferred that the company knew the signal was coming from lv426 buy since the other planetoid was scanned as somewhat safe as far as atmosphere goes, the course was plotted there.
Nothing about a signal in the movie or Lindelofs scripts though.
The info on the Blu Ray about Weyland already knowing about the signal was something that was a play on details from Spaith's early drafts of the script. In Spaith's version, when Holloway meets with Weyland, he won't tell Weyland the location until he agrees to fund the expedition. Weyland then informs him that his AI division has already hacked their computers and he knows exactly which star they want to go to, and names it.
Shaw and Holloway had found a map left by the Engineers with specific directions to a specific star, including radius, inclination, azimuth, et cetera.
Lindelof changed that to a star system of six stars so it was not specific. That enlarged the area so there would be several Engineer worlds to visit across several movies.
I understand that if the engineers have lost the ability to procreate then they would look for other ways to prolong the species. but that's what confuses me. why the hell would they sacrifice their own to spawn some other species? theyv lost the ability to procreate in the traditional manner but surely if they found another way to create life wouldn't they be spawning engineers? I get that they may have found another species and over time believe it to be a great honour to sacrifice themselves for what ever reason but then that would mean that the mural has another meaning besides procreation in relation to them having lost the ability to procreate. I don't care if they r from another world. they r our makers. we r them. we may differ in beliefs, technology and maybe other ways but our basic natures r the same. intelligent, curious, aggressive and self aware, which means they would do what we would do in the same circumstances and that would be the survival of our own. we wouldn't sacrifice what little we had left to spawn another species. if we had found an alternate method to reproduce wed use it to create the next generation of our own kind.
John Spaith's Master Narrative shown on the Prometheus Blu Ray said this about the Engineers procreation:
"Individual Engineers live for a hundred thousand years. Ages ago their race abandoned sex and gender, reproducing by more abstract methods. In recent millennia they have ceased to reproduce altogether."
There was more about them being on the verge of some kind of transcendence where they would have completely abandoned their physical forms, but a lot of that text was truncated.
We don't know if any of that background will be used in future movies, but it is there on the Prom Blu Ray.
Here is what Ridley said about the LV-223 installation in The Furious Gods.
"...because they (Engineers) are not of this planet, where we are right now (LV-223), we will find out during the story, that actually this moon - I always parallel it to, I believe, the British in the second World War developed anthrax. All their experimentations went on in this place in, I believe in the Irish channel, which is like an old power station, an atomic nuclear reactor, which is locked up for the next 500-600 years because you can’t cleans anything of anthrax.
So I always think of and refer to it (LV-223) as the Anthrax Island of this race called the Engineers."
@Kethol - What are your thoughts on who/where this 'Anthrax' was to be used? I think this could be very interesting.
I don't really have any thoughts on it, other than what Prometheus indicates.
LV-223 was a facility the Engineers used to make several forms of the pathogen, which they use to create life or destroy life. We just know the Juggernaut David found was about to take the pathogen back to earth and wipe out mankind before the outbreak happened there about 2000 years ago.
I just thought it was a basic idea like- If they find us, then we will know they chose a certain path and it will be time to destroy them.
I get the fact that spaights wrote a good script but he did not write the final script that made it to film. thus his script cant be taken as factual. the blu ray extras though have been entered into the alien universe by fox themselves thus can be taken as factual. the company are aware of the signal from lv426 yet the decision is made to go to lv223 first as it is believed it would pose less of a threat yet would wield fewer rewards.
75% of that final script was John Spaith's though, and nearly all of his main story beats are there. A lot of the design work and effects sequences were well into the design stage before Lindelof wrote his drafts as well.
The background he wrote on the Engineers and the pothogen may very well still be in play in the movie series. I suspect that is why we it was only partially shown on the Prometheus Blu Ray.
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