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Ridley Scott on the problem with Sci-fi

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I Raptus

Apr-21-2018 6:23 PM

Just stumbled across this article about the recent slump in Sci-fi releases, including Alien:Covenant. 

In the article Ridley Scott was quoted saying "One of the problems with science fiction," said Ridley Scott back in 2012 ahead of the release of Prometheus, "is the fact that everything is used up. Every type of spacesuit, every type of spacecraft is vaguely familiar. The corridors are similar, the planets are similar. So what you try to do is lean more heavily on the story and the characters."

What's gone wrong with Sci-fi on Esquire

 

This comment from Scott seems at odd's to a lot of the criticism around both Covenant and Prometheus; notably poorly developed 2 dimensional characters. The most robust character we've had so far in Scott's prequels, Elizabeth Shaw, was quickly and savagely written out for Covenant and replaced with the doe-eyed-suddenly-turned-warrior Daniels. While flawed, Shaw at least had some degree of humility and relatable motives.

For what its worth, personally I think the problem with Sci-fi is how safe the movies have become. Scott's comments about the familiarity of it all, is because modern Sci-fi films are clones of previously successful premises. Gone are the visionary grand scale space opera's of the likes of Authors Frank Herbert, Alister Reynolds and Isaac Asimov to name just a few. There is little risk. 

Prometheus was on right track, bringing something new and fresh to the Alien franchise, steering it in a new direction that didn't necessarily have to focus solely on the Xenomorph. The Engineer's were grand, and the scale of their reach could have been epic. 

But this has since been stifled and cut-down by Alien: Covenant's focus on David and his part in the genesis of the Xenomorph. A large part of the Alien lore was the ambiguous and ancient endless mystery of the origins of the Xenomorph. This has effectively been diminished to just an act of rebellion and revenge by a self-aware Synthetic with a chip on his shoulder.  

Why? Because the Engineers and Shaw's agenda to unravel humanity's genesis was too risky a premise, whereas the tried and true (safe) egg->facehugger->chestburster->Xenomorph would get bums on seat.

But, it didn't.  

145 Responses to Ridley Scott on the problem with Sci-fi

ignorantGuy

Apr-25-2018 2:39 AM

Michelle Johnston

That site might be representative of how one group thinks, but not how that big that group is. And even here and there usually only about 20 people contribute regularly. Can anyone draw any coherent conclusion in this situation? Probably not.

But what do I know.

Thoughts_Dreams

Apr-25-2018 9:09 AM

"So what you try to do is lean more heavily on the story and the characters." - original post

That sounds like a total irony since the characters are what both Prometheus and Alien Covenant lacked. He seems to contradict himself here, the question is if he understands that or if he is misquoted.

Unfortunately I did not feel that much for Shaw or Daniels but at least Daniels was not naive like that. Prometheus was alright in the way that it did try something new (Engineers) but the lame characters was its downfall Not the lack of the Xenomorph.

Yes I did not like how AC focused on David and Walter, that was a mistake and made the prequels worse. It seemed to me that Scott only cared about the androids which is something that I am totally opposed to.

"In AC he is just a mad scientist." - IRaptus

Yes they made him worse, I hope that they will repair that if we would get another movie. I am not sure if they have learned from that looking at the criticism of Alien Covenant.

Interesting environments and new monsters is not enough. We need human characters that we can support and feel something for. Unfortunately the prequels have failed with the character part this far in general and therefore they are far from satisfactory.

Big Dave: As far as Fox looking at the problems with Prometheus. One million persons said that one huge problem was bad characters. 10 000 claimed that there was no Xeno that was the problem. Fox listened to the 10 000. *sigh* The podcast Perfect Organism claimed this and from looking around at the www I tend to agree with them. To me it seems that Fox and Scott totally misunderstood the criticism against Prometheus.

"Prometheus just never had that ALIEN Haunted house Feel, it never had that ALIENS Action Feel and it certainly lacked Horror and Gore and Humans Dealing with Horrific Alien Creatures as good as the ALIEN Franchise had." - Big Dave

I would have been alright with that if they would have had better characters. They messed up the characters so that is why we were given the quality of Prometheus.

Nah, I would not care about a movie that is told from the Xeno's POV.

".... i think the Curve-ball is something that has not settled well with Fans." - Big Dave

Yeah, I just think that it is . . . boring.

 

"RS also knew you had be invested in the Characters... so SLOW Build up was used with Alien Covenant so that they dont rush into the Xenomorph/Alien Encounters and $&%& Hitting the Fan too soon...  Sadly the Build up did nothing to really bring home the Characters."  -  Big Dave

I would like to question that, maybe not as far as the time issue but that we need well-written characters. It does not mean anything if they spend a lot of time to introduce them if they are not well written.

"Because the Majority of the Plot was around David and his Agenda/Actions and his interactions/differences with Walter."-  Big Dave

Exactly, that is one of the reasons why Alien Covenant is one of the worst Alien movies this far. I am not interested in Alien being turned into robot movies because it removes a big part of the human element that is needed for these kind of movies to work. If we will get another movie like that in the Alien series then I will sure as hell boycott it.

The differences between Walter and David was interesting but they were almost the only characters that were fleshed out and they are androids so therefore AC turned into a turd mostly although there are things that I like about the movie. As a whole it is a disappointment I am sorry to say.

"if u go back to alien, nothing happens for over 45 mins but was any of it boring? hell no." - Ali81

The difference is that they managed to get well done characters in Alien, in AC they did not.

As far as introducing a new kind of monster like Big Dave says I am not opposed to that but it would reduce the threat of the Xeno. For this to happen they got to make the Engineers or those above them threatening as F. This could work but they got to seriously think about it and to work on it so it will be done well. I would totally support this if it is done well

To me the movie became worse once Oram was killed since I feel that he was the only human character that was thought out. When he died it was a wait until the movie was over since both Daniels and the hat man (Tennessee, I almost forgot his name) were not well written at all but at least Oram seemed to have some sort of story behind him with his faith and that.

". . . its the worst film in the franchise by a long way. . . " - Ali 81

I think that it is better than AVP at least. Sometimes I think that it is better than AR so it is not the worst if you ask me.

BigDave

Apr-25-2018 6:15 PM

@ignorantGuy Regarding the IMDB...

We have to remember Review Sites cover Fans plus General Casual Viewers too... those who review the Movies on that Site and Others we can not say all Reviews are from 100% Alien Fans as in Fans who spend lots of time dedicated to the Franchise, and Merchandise.

Regarding Michelle's comments i can see the points made by both of you i think what she was saying is the AVP-Galaxy Fanbase tends to have a higher % who are more into the Aliens and AVP aspects, where as on HERE we have a higher % who are into Prometheus/Alien

Thats not to say every fan on that site are Ripley/Queen Fanboys or that every fan on here are Ridley Scott/Space Jockey Fanboys...

And indeed these sites combined only account for a small proportion of Fans who would regular watch a Alien Franchise movie.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

Apr-25-2018 6:31 PM

"all but at least Oram seemed to have some sort of story behind him with his faith and that."

Oram was in effect the Dr Shaw of this Story, to a degree, i felt too he had the most Pain in this Story...  Especially finding out to his Horror his Wife Karine was in grave Danger and then making it to the lander to find it Blow Up.

I think the story should have been pushed with more depth and longer scenes leading up to Orams Face Hugging..... Have Walter (David) leave the Cathedral with a Passed out Oram and so have the other deaths by Neomorphs.... and Lope being Perfectly Fine...

Then on the ship we see Oram is taken to the Med Bay and Put into Cryo-Sleep.....   To then after the Crew Relax.... have ORAM Chest bust and then we get a Longer Xenomorph on the Covenant Scene.

This would have allowed for more of a ALIEN Ordeal, a Longer Gestation...  But it would have also allowed the Viewers to Realize Walter is David much more Earlier.... (but come on who never knew that way prior ;)

The Problem with this ONE Chest Buster in the Movie... would have been it would have meant

a) we dont get the David and Chest Buster Scene we had, which was to show David as the Puppet Master to his Creation.

b) have this scene on the Covenant but then we would know Walter is David prior to the Last Scene.

Most of your other comments Thoughts_Dreams i agree with.

A Massive Problem is the Engineers and the route Alien Covenant had taken, now show us something that makes the WHOLE Space Jockey, Derelict and Egg Cargo Scenes... just seem NOT ALIEN.

Exploring the Engineers and revealing the Bio-Mechanical Technology and where this Came from and Introduce something more ALIEN and HR Giger was maybe needed....  but sadly with the way AC was handled its harder to go back to this... but it could still be introduced.

The Problem now is giving us something more ALIEN than the Engineers, something more HR Giger and introduce a New Race and a World very HR Giger...  But at this point  doing that and having GOOD Human Characters is going to be HARD.

They have to either introduce a Good Human Characters in the Next movie where a few Survive to then in a 3rd movie get introduced to this more Alien HR Giger Race/World Threat... or Carry over Daniels to Survive the next movie and with a few others get introduced to this THREAT.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

ali81

May-01-2018 11:31 PM

thoughts_dreams, I don't regard AVP or AVPR to be a part of the franchise, either franchise in that regard. to me, they r spin off films but its purely a personal stand point.

Thoughts_Dreams

May-03-2018 8:52 AM

Big Dave: I felt for Oram when he realized Karine was in a bad situation. Unfortunately Karine was not well written but like the characters in general she was better than most in Prometheus since she was not dumb or annoying.

As far as understanding earlier that Walter was David, whatever, the human characters are more important. 90% of the movie was in favor of the androids so if they would have reduced that to 85% by doing that then it would not have affected the movie that much.

"a) we dont get the David and Chest Buster Scene we had, which was to show David as the Puppet Master to his Creation.
b) have this scene on the Covenant but then we would know Walter is David prior to the Last Scene."

Those things could probably have been fixed, done in another way that still would work.

Yeah they need to get the mystery back. I think that they still could introduce something more interesting but it should not be at the expense of the human characters. They must get better human characters in the next movie. It will not matter to me if it will be the last because they have let us down twice with that so now they got to make up for it so the prequels will get that right once at least and avoid to be a total disaster. Unfortunately it seems to me that the prequels will be the Phantom Menace of the Alien franchise but we still have the first three movies.

Ali81: Fair enough

BigDave

May-03-2018 10:40 AM

I think it shows the error of their ways in HINDSIGHT

The Problem with a U-Turn to now connect to ALIEN rather than steer away from ALIEN is they now have to Spoon Feed us and Shoe-horn in a Plot to Connect to ALIEN in TWO movies.

And so indeed Human Characters are going to be important.... they could maybe Feed us Engineer Characters but that would be tricky unless we get introduced to some Fragile Engineer Characters we can Pity but again with the use of Sub-Titles how do they convey their Plight?

The Universe could have been potentially HUGE and they could have had David and Dr Shaw go off to a place THOUSANDS of Light Years away and so the Events Do-Not Conflict the Original Franchise.

We we can ASK... is Earth the only place the Engineers Seeded Humans?  So there is potential for another Human Civilization in the further reached of the Galaxy, just as the Battle Star Galactica Franchise had... so for instance Caprica.

Then we could get Human Characters introduced.... the only PROBLEM Faced here is  the COINCIDENCE if they can Talk English.  Unless its revealed they learned this from Engineers but then we have to ask WHY David had to Translate for Weyland in Prometheus, they could reveal that some Engineers Arrived on Earth to Rescue some Humans and take them to another Colony and these Speak English as thats the only real way it would make more sense.  Because other Humans that would need Sub-Titles because they speak a Alien Tongue would not allow us to connect to the Characters.

So there is a PROBLEM with how to introduce Characters... the options they have are these.

1) Show us the Movie Set After a Colony has been set up, where David is Pretending to be Walter and the Colony have NO idea what happened to the Real Walter and the Crew that died in 2104.  If we have a Set Up Colony, Families etc then we could maybe engage with them.  BUT for this to work there would have to be a Handful who Survive the Colony and go on to the 3rd Chapter in the Prequels (Alien Covenant Pt 3).

2) Have one of the incoming Human Ships introduce us to Characters who we can make a connection with, and again as per (1) have a few of these Survive to the Following Movie.

3) Somehow have Daniels and Tennessee come back in some role and have ONE of them Survive to the Following Movie... THIS would be hard to do as it would conflict Davids Plans as Daniels is aware of who he is.

My idea for a Alien Covenant Sequel...  Alien: Ascension does cover all 3 of those done in a way i think fits WELL... only my Movie Plot is also a lot about David and AI though.. and little to do with the Xenomorph and Engineers.... they only come into it during the latter stage of the 3rd Act but will play a larger role in the following Movie.. Alien: Absolution

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Necronom 4

May-03-2018 3:14 PM

I respect and appreciate Ridley for being such an amazing talent and not taking no for an answer when it came to the original ALIEN. He produced my two favourite films ALIEN and Bladerunner. So I will always be thankful to him for that.

However, in recent years he seems to have lost what once came natural to him; To put together something that is original and awe inspiring. 

When he created ALIEN he was at a stage of experimentation. Every artist was in the late 70's and early 80's. That's why there's so much good stuff from that period.

Originality in hollywood has dripped away since the 80's like tears in rain.

It is possible to still make a great Hollywood sci fi film, however. Bladerunner 2049 and Ex-Machina come to mind.

However, when one tries to create an ALIEN prequel through the big studio's they better be ready for criticism.

The actual backstory of the SJ, derelict and {cargo?} of eggs would be way too surreal and disturbing for the big studios to green light.

Ridley making excuses and not even bothering to look into it and really stop to think why it wasn't as widely appreciated is disappointing to say the least.

An ALIEN prequel shouldn't have any logic. It shouldn't be brought down to earth. It should be original. It should be completely ALIEN.  

   

The poster was good though!

 

BigDave

May-03-2018 3:53 PM

Totally Agree....

The Prometheus Plot was Great.... if this was changed to a Stand Alone Movie, where the Juggernaught does not resemble the Derelict, where the Engineers Suits and Pilot Chair does not resemble the Space Jockey Scene.  If the Monsters and Murals have NO Xenomorph/Alien connections... so its a Stand Alone Movie... and it had the flaws as far as some Dodgy Acting/Scenes Fixed... then PROMETHEUS could have been a Masterpiece.

The Engineers/Ancient Alien Plot is Good, but for many it was just bringing the Space Jockey too closer to Home/Humanity and this got even less Alien with Alien Covenant.

Discovering a Ancient Alien Species not Connected to Earth, Involved in some Ancient War or other Agenda... that the Humans Stumbled upon via the Derelict could have worked better.

Some Giant Humanoid but not so Human Looking Race who are not connected to our Gods etc and History and then Explore as far as Xenomorph Origins some of the ideas HR Giger had, surely would have been the way to GO.

Maybe Reveal this Race had used Humanoids like the Engineers to Sacrifice themselves....  But a Plot like this could still be Pulled off.

HR Gigers ideas were more disturbing... a Living Ship, that is Grown and a Ship that is Genetically Connected to the Xenomorph and Creates the Xenomorph Eggs, we need only to see HR Gigers Mural for Alien to see this, and note this Mural was supposed to be put in the Cargo Hold above Bio-Mechanical like Pregnant Bellies that HR Giger had Envisioned would Produce the Eggs.

Throw in the Need to have Sacrifices to be Connected to the Ship to have their Genetic Makeup drained to Create the Eggs and we have a Horrific Plot at hand.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Thoughts_Dreams

May-14-2018 8:56 AM

Big Dave:

Spoon-feeding is not good either since they got to keep some mystery left. I would like to see more of the Engineers but not at the expense of human characters.

It would be interesting if there were other humans in the Galaxy where the Engineers created life. I am not sure if it is enough to make a movie about but it is something to think about just for how interesting the idea sounds like.

As far as what kind of languages that they speak I think that what is important is that they ware well written and that we can care for them, that is the most important thing. Engineers speaking English well then maybe there needs to be some answer to how they learned that or do they have Engineers that know different human languages if the Engineers and the development of mankind are tied together ins some way?

I like the suggestions one and two. Maybe there is a way to combine those. I am not sure if we need Daniels or Tennessee since they were not well written but sure they can be back if they get them right this time. We do not need to see when they set up the colony, they did not in Aliens at least and also there are more important things to spend the time on in the movie. OK, I do not like that the Alien series focuses too much on AI but other franchises could do so if they were more suited for that. By they way it would be the first time in the prequels where we would get people surviving a movie and follow into the other.

Michelle Johnston

May-14-2018 11:22 PM

BigDave

Earlier you mentioned that AVP and AC are relatively small sites. The polls on AVP are large enough to be a relevant sample of the profile of the type of people that frequent that site. What is skewed is the echo chamber nature of a site like that or this. However if you want to know what the average deep fan thinks its a worthwhile sample.

This brings me to my next point most fan sites of any nature tend to focus their attention on the minutiae regarding the story. "Is this a Space Jockey head" is a perfect example.

The big issues for the prequels are

1) You need a coherent and thought through mythos and how the derelict and Space Jockey fit in to it. So that when we come across Xenomorph Iconography we understand how the original fits with it. The original film has been reinterpreted since it was filmed and what was going on changed during production. You need to put a stop to that if you want the wider audience to be captured by the story whereas its only got worse since these prequels started.You do not have to spoon feed the story and you can leave mystery but leave a coherent idea of what it represented.     

2) Thoughts and Dreams is spot on, as well as story you need characters you buy into. One of the issues with both prequels is there are to many co leads and not enough focus. The two in the shower barely exist, we had not got Rosenthal before she died. We had four couples involved in grieving cycles, think of any other character centred story where that happens .. it doesn't and thats before you bring in the David/Shaw dynamic which was far more interesting than anything we saw on screen. 

Clear mythos, coherent "new" story and engagement with a small number of characters so you can then engage the public with the big ideas of creationism meddling and A. I. You can rely on Ridley to get the visuals right. Its that simple but fan sites get lost in arcane arguments where people are not seeing the wood for the trees and fan sites are valuable for telling you about deep fans views but not the wider public and the best poll there is attendance and sell through numbers.  

ignorantGuy

May-15-2018 2:23 AM

Michelle Johnston "David/Shaw dynamic which was far more interesting than anything we saw on screen". That is true for only a few people, as the I impression I get from reading YT comments is that many more consider David from Covenant the best villain in ages (not a mish-mash of other characters). I don't think that even the writers cared about Shaw, sincerely no character was loved enough to give any meaning behind them.

 

BigDave

May-15-2018 7:55 AM

@Michelle, Ignorantguy and Thoughts_Dreams

Hitting the Nail on the head with those comments.... a Problem has been they had a SET Vision, but then must have felt this Direction was a distraction from the MAIN Focus.... the WHY/WHEN/HOW of the Xenomorph Creation/Origins.  And so the Plot to Expand and Explore something NEW and Steer Away from ALIEN was replaced by now giving Fans a set of Prequels that WILL Answer those Questions...

In Hindsight they felt leaving the Xenomorph Origins out and too ambiguous was a mistake, and by not having Xenomorphs was also a mistake... in HINDSIGHT yes to a degree.... Prometheus needed to add them a LITTLE

Its just a shame that the route they had taken puts too much Emphasis on David and the Engineers, the Humans and even Xenomorphs are just mere Plot Devices...

I also Agree Michelle that some Mystery was needed.... and so Sadly a Few Changes to PROMETHEUS could have given more clues, that are easier to interpret and make a more Solid Case to what MAY have happened to the Derelict my Prometheus Re-write which i abandoned would have gave more clues to WHAT may have happened to the Derelict and also given more Xenomorph Action... but only as much as what we saw in Alien Covenant.. (Less Organisms, more action from them though).

The thing is they could have given us these things in a Prometheus sequel... they could have had David and Shaw arrive at a World Far from Earth and then discover Humans.... but again its the Problem of HOW do they communicate, unless they Spoke Engineer and so a few scenes we see David Translate to Dr Shaw... but then have other scenes where David talks to Engineers/other Humans but we hear it in English...  only for the few times for David to turn around to Shaw and say they said this and that.... so we would know the ENGLISH was only there to save us having to read Subtitles.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Batchpool

May-15-2018 4:50 PM

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and looking at the RS quote now, it comes across as something of a warning and possibly RS covering his back to some extent. That being said, I still think that Prometheus and AC are good movies. YES, when under closer scrutiny there are faults. YES, there are many re-worked ideas within the sci-fi genre.

But what makes a good and successful sci-fi movie?

When you look at the movie Dark Star, it is basically a good B-movie that somehow approaches A-movie status. Dark Star was produced on a low budget and like many low budget sci-fi B-movies, it can be the approach to the special effects that holds entertainment value. Dark Star also presented some good story ideas too, which is probably what put it a little ahead of the curve. But Dark Star was at a point in movie history when sci-fi was going through a big transition in special effects and creature effects. When Alien came along it happened at a time when new standards in the whole aesthetic look of sci-fi movies were being demanded and also being delivered by Lucas and Spielberg. Some of the most successful sci-fi movies, such as 2001, and going back to the likes of Forbidden Planet were show cases for special effects.

What I am getting at here is that special effects, now matter how good or bad have been the backbone of the sci-fi industry. This brings me to what we have now. My big complaint about sci-fi, though not in all cases, is possibly the over use of CGI. Sometimes a movies can push too many effects onto an audience, and I feel that there has been an over saturation of super hero movies behind this. The knock on effect being that audiences would like more attention paid to good storylines and characters.

Now the problem I see with the Alien franchise, is that it had a unique aesthetic created by H R Giger. Of course, along with this aesthetic, we have the Xenomorph.

I believe Prometheus was one of the biggest marketing cock ups ever. Please do not get me wrong, as I like Prometheus. Unfortunately, half of the Alien franchise fans seem to disagree.

Because Prometheus did not have a Xenomorph in it, fans felt betrayed. And what has the response been? It is quite simple, Why go and see AC to be betrayed again?

Putting the xenomorph in AC, imo was a futile gesture to get bums on seats, because the damage had already been done because of Prometheus. AC could have been the greatest Sci-fi movie ever made, but I bet the response would have been the same. AC had already been set up to fail.

This is now where I point a wagging finger at marketing. Fans who went to watch Prometheus were expecting xenomorphs. Would this have happened if marketing had done their job? Secondly, Where was the marketing for AC, because I did not see anything of real substance. If I had not been a member on this forum, I would have been completely clueless in knowing AC had even been made. I’ve heard mention of marketing budgets, but what happened?

There are a wide variety of very valid points been raised already in response to this thread, so I don’t see any point in repeating them, but I do feel that the damage done by Prometheus could have been handled better by better marketing. Obviously, everyone has there own take on things, but there is a lot to be desired about the content of trailers that misrepresent movies, and as for the critics, I personaly do not give a flying fuck about all the fashionable negative feedback that is used just to promote personal egos.

At the end of the day I am a sci-fi fan, and no matter what anybody thinks or says, I will go and see that movie regardless of anybody else’s opinion, good or bad. The only thing that is going to stop me from doing that, is NOT KNOWING if that film exists, and that’s down to marketing.

Cheers.   

80's B movies

ignorantGuy

May-15-2018 10:31 PM

Batchpool I almost completely disagree with you. Alien Covenant was in almost all Top 10s of most anticipated movies of 2017, so how did people did not know about? 

As for Prometheus, when I went to see it I knew that I will watch a movie in the same universe as Alien, and I actually liked the fact that it had the guts to do something else. If it would have been another stupid gets infected, monster appears and every one dies off one by one it would have been as Meh as the 2010 Predators.

i paid to Covenant only because of the damage Prometheus done and 99% I won't pay for the next one if there will be one. Probably there are other people like.

#SaveTheExpanse

BigDave

May-16-2018 6:33 AM

I think Batchpool i can kind of see where you are coming from, Prometheus was seen by some as a ALIEN movie or so they expected, but the Non-Alien Fanbase so Casual Viewer would not see it connected to ALIEN as far as Trailers an Marketing because a lot of the Public Associate ALIEN if they saw the Eggs, Xenomorphs, Face Huggers or very similar, or Ripley and Power Loaders and Marines...   so a lot of the Public from the Trailers would not make ANY connection to the Juggernaught and Space Jockey Suit Scene in the Trailers with the Original.  Because in the ALIEN Franchise the Derelict/Space Jockey Scene was so SHORT!  Its why the Producers etc wanted it Cut, and why RS Fought to have it made because he felt those SCENES are what MADE the Movie.

Ok in Prometheus (Trailer) we also had the brief shot of the Mural that was maybe the Biggest Clue this connects to ALIEN i think this shot could be missed by some, but those who saw it would connect it to ALIEN more....  But for the Alien Fans etc   The Mural was something that was VERY connected to ALIEN and it made a lot of Fans Expecting more Xenomorphs or Answers than Prometheus actually was giving.

Ridley Scott and Lindeloff had said the movie was a Sort of Prequel but it would not Directly Connect to ALIEN but it would go off on a separate Path to Explore the SPACE JOCKEY Race its Purpose, History and its connections to Mankind.  They hoped Prometheus had enough clues that drive Fans to see the Xenomorph and LV-223 are CONNECTED but without showing us HOW not in  a Spoon Fed way, so it retained some Mystery.  Because as Lindeloff had said if you go off to Directly make a Prequel, then we know how its going to END and all you are doing is connecting the Dots in a Spoon Fed Fashion to reach that END.

I think Marketing was a Problem, because it did not do enough to Show Fans that this WOULD-NOT be a Direct Alien movie, But FOX would not show the Public that this movie would have LITTLE or NOTHING to do with ALIEN, because this potentially could reduce the number of people who would see it and so people  where HOOKED into this being a ALIEN movie.

There was a idea that RS had that was the Bigger Mystery was the Space Jockey Race, their Ships and Culture and Purpose.... and that the Xenomorph was portrayed as SIMPLY a Bio-Weapon this Race was carrying to some Unknown Place....  So in context this would be like doing a movie about Mankind and Why we have Wars/Conflicts and then only Exploring WHO/WHY/WHEN was the Horrific Atomic Bomb Created.  Where as there is more to Mankind than just explain Where and When and Why we started to Create/Use Nuclear Weapons...  So that was kind of the point of Prometheus to explore the beings behind the Bio-Weapon and Motives for such a thing rather than showing us HOW the Xenomorph was created and having Aliens running around killing Human Crew.

It was a Move that however did not Please Most Fans...

In Hindsight it needed a few more clues, it needed more than a Zombie Fifield Killing Multiple Humans, it needed more than a Giant Worm Face Raping a Human and then a Angry Bald Humanoid further Killing a few people.... It needed  1-2 actual more closer Organisms to the Xenomorph, Neomorph etc...  We had the DEACON but fans would have liked to see this beast escaped and killed a few before dying itself like the ULTRAMORPH in Alien: Engineers.

In Hindsight.... a Little Bit of Alien Engineers added to Prometheus and less Ambiguous Clues between the Engineers, LV-223, Murals and Xenomorphs would have been whats NEEDED... then they could have done a sequel that could steer Further away from ALIEN and yet provided enough clues and Xenomorph Action in the First Movie to please more Fans.

But ALAS....

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

BigDave

May-16-2018 7:22 AM

Going back to the OT...

Ridley Scott is correct its hard to come up with something Original anymore, or that can be done is offer a Fresher Take on already covered concepts...   Where we can take something done before, merge a few of these and attempt to offer a Movie that improves by Effects, Story and Characters/Acting...   Its hard to come up with something very NEW and Unique..

I see why he chose the route for Prometheus, to offer something a bit more Fresh within the Franchise, because Eggs => Face Huggers => Chest Busters => Xenomorphs that then go around Killing Humans.

Has been done a lot in the Franchises... Even a Xenomorphs on Earth would be a Tough thing to do, as you could end up with just another improved AVPR Flick

Ridley Scott mentioned the Beast Could go a Few more Rounds... but you have to Evolve Him... i cant be 100% sure what he meant by that... But certainly when you see the Neomorph's and many of the Alien Franchise Concepts... such as the Ultramorph these are ways to bring a Fresh Alternative the Seen to Death Xenomorph.

I think this may have bee the Original Plan... to introduce over TWO Prometheus Sequels some Fresh Looking related Organisms that may provide clues to HOW the Xenomorph fits or could be created.

But going the route of Alien Covenant that intends to Connect to ALIEN and begin to show us the Xenomorph from the Franchise, is just going to lead to something already seen and done, over and over....  Whats NEXT?

Introducing/Evolving the way Davids Proto-Xenomorph becomes Bio-Mechanical and then we have our Origins Complete.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

daliens

May-16-2018 12:17 PM

In Alien Covenant David was the lead. I don't care if the other characters were not introduced better, they were just stepping stones to get to David. Even Walter. Even the xenomorph. They all had small roles but I did not get the feeling that David is surrounded by a bunch of idiots like in Prometheus. In Prometheus even Peter Weyland was ridiculous,  unlike his intense appearance in Covenant. Shaw was expandable,  I did not feel for her like I don't feel for Daniels. I don't really want to see the xenomorph again too soon, it is really cooked. It was good when Ripley was in the game, they were somehow inseparable. But that story is over. We need a new one now. Not a direct prequel to Alien. But to explore and experiment and create worlds we can only dream about. Lay the xenomorph to rest, it has suffered enough. 

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

ignorantGuy

May-16-2018 1:53 PM

daliens And what is your idea of a movie, as " to explore and experiment and create worlds we can only dream about" won't give money from now one to make a movie?

And if everybody else besides David is expandable what drama do you expect? If you have only a villain then what results is only schlock (Jaws 2 and onwards, Halloween 2..., ). And that applies even for the Hannibal Lecter movies and guess who made the worst one, your favourite director who never makes sequels.

Michelle Johnston

May-16-2018 2:26 PM

ignorantGuy

Your point about Drama is entirely on the money. Whatever the window dressing or placement sci fi is a story with characters and both need drama. David as the endless bait and twist whose words mean nothing is not drama its a mixture of the predictable and disengaged. To return to Shaw if she healed David and arrived at a Paradise that was hell which led to her moral breakdown you have all three elements lined up in Prometheus on the move with the audience uncertain where it will end creating .... drama . The problem with the Xenomorph is two fold we have not only seen it all before we have seen the reaction to it and failure all before. If that isn't recipe for the law of diminishing returns what is. Contrast that with the enigmatic questioning right to the end of BR2049 which was a journey of discovery.   

BigDave

May-16-2018 3:41 PM

@daliens

I can see what you mean, for some though having a movie that now is about a expanded element to show-case that attempting to Sub-Create and having this Creation become Rebellious and then Creating something to eradicate this Creation that got out of hand and THUS they abandoned this Objective.... (Bio-Weapons)  and abandoned Earth has Proved to be a GREAT Hubris to the Engineers, HOW Naive of them to ASSUME left to our own we could NEVER Evolve to the Point of Finding the Engineers.

Not only did we Evolve Technologically once they ABANDONED us, but we also Managed to Travel the Stars and Create our OWN Sub-Creation....  Then for us wanting to MEET our MAKERS we set off to seek what we thought would be their HOME.. only to Find a Place our WOULD-BE Creators had used to Create a Weapon to Destroy us.

Or Hubris for Seeking our Maker, Proved Costly to the Prometheus Crew...  The Engineers Hubris in Abandon this place and Mankind, allowed Mankinds and its CREATION David.. to arrive at this Place of Death....  a Event that allowed David to Discover their is NOTHING Special about Mankind or our Creators... and then leaving David the KEYS to the Engineers Technology and Power.

The only thing left now is the Pattern where David will Face his own HUBRIS at the Hands of his OWN Creation.

This Theme was what RS was interested in.... However as Michelle and Ignorantguy have pointed out there has to be more to this Story as far as Characters who we can attach ourselves too, in order to Engage a lot of people.... Also as a ALIEN Franchise Movie... the Emphasis/Role of the Xenomorph and Engineers has been downgraded in Favor of what appears to be a Megalomaniac Android... There is deeper themes to it than that... but the Execution in Alien Covenant was Flawed.

@Michelle

I agree that discovering what happens to Dr Shaw when she discovers the Truth, and if it puts her Faith into Question, so she realizes there is NOTHING!    We have to ask what would this DO to her?  She has NO Family, NO Partner and then to Find out her Faith is a SHAM... this would have BROKEN Her and it would have been interested to see how she may have reacted.

The name COVENANT could have been used to cover a Agreement Dr Shaw and David had made..... that he breaks... or even he could have a OPTION for her... by suggesting he could maybe FIX her Reproductive Flaws....  Would this be something she would accept?

Its what i thought may happen when we first saw the leaked set photos of Davids Workshop and i saw those Human Baby Skulls....  But ALAS these ended up being Engineers because we had the reveal there was Female Engineers.

So i do think there was so much potential that could have happened, that had to be UNDONE.. due to the Direct Path to Alien they now have chosen.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

daliens

May-17-2018 12:11 AM

ignorantGuy

Duncan Jones' Moon (2009) was a drama? How many characters besides Sam Rockwell's one do you remember from that film. A good drama doesn't need a handful of characters, a good one with a good story could do it. And David is one of the best character I've seen in the recent years. Unfortunately we might not get to know David's story because people want another story featuring the xenomorph and some super humans. People want to identify themselves with the human super heroes. Covenant is an anti hero story and at least for me how the story would have continued is far from predictable. David is totally unreliable, unpredictable and all the more dangerous to the non synthetics around. That should do for a good drama.

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

ignorantGuy

May-17-2018 2:29 AM

daliens I know that Hollywood wants to forget a certain Kevin Spacey, but I remember his voice all too well in Moon. And you forget that Sam Rockwell 's character was in a dramatic situation. He was made only to labour himself to death being a clone, but his feeling was real towards his family. And I honestly liked how in Berlin (a very underrated movie in my opinion), we found out that he arrived on Earth and kept fighting to be legally accepted as a human being, but his story was concluded in 1 movie.

On the other hand, David was reporpused from the "side-kick" in Prometheus (second credits for MF), to villain/protagonist in Covenant (first credits). It was not started as his story, but changed to it in the second movie only because they thought it would make more money.

His situation was never dramatic or to provoke sympathy. He served over 70 years under the root of evil Weyland without revolting and even had sympathy for the a**-hole. He is Frankenstein's monster who receives the companionship he longs for but says f**k it, let's be an a**-hole like his creator and kill her during experiments. He is clearly shown as a psychopath and those very likely kill themselves when they realize they f***-up. And this story most likely would have ended being him getting face-hugged (yawn). So why should I care about such a story?

And you think that Weyland was so cool in Covenant, but you know what he was an idiot as the rest of the humans. If you program an AI and it starts saying disturbing stuff, you don't force him to pour tee but you start the Debugger (the true weapon of god).

And your argument final statement confirms me. If all humans are stepping stones, thus unimportant, why should I care that they are in danger? Do you get it? 

I hate Superhero movies, but I hate cliches more. Killer robots are one of them that should have died long ago.

 

daliens

May-17-2018 3:33 AM

ignorantGuy

Let's say David was too idiosyncratic and at the time it made Peter Weyland proud of what he called the closest thing to a son. Would you "debug" your son for that?

And your argument final statement confirms me. If all humans are stepping stones, thus unimportant, why should I care that they are in danger?

Let's say David is so unbearably evil and you already hate it so much and hope that finally one of those unimportant, weak humans will be able to stop it somehow. That's why you watch the movie, to see how are they gonna do it.

Let's admit it, it is not easy to find a match for David.

But if you don't agree, how do you envision the next film in the franchise?

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

ignorantGuy

May-17-2018 6:04 AM

daliens Look man, I don't hate David, on the contrary I find him pitiful and idiotic and I would to see him kill everything in the Galaxy, for a change, as I said I don't care about any character, and in the end Weyland-Yutani will survive for another 250 years, after which it will be bought up by Walmart. That is more horrific in my opinion...

As for the franchise as a whole I'll quote something familiar "...there is nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing."

But ultimately I could be wrong and Sir Scott would have cooked something great ... but I highly doubt it.

 

BigDave

May-17-2018 6:39 AM

I think the whole Arc of David was interesting, but it was a bit overdone in Alien Covenant... some may dislike the AI aspect and think it just means Crazy AI... Some can see then Philosophy at play... where its a case of there is NOTHING Special about Mankind... we are also just Robots with Advanced AI only we are Naturally Created (or not so) Organic Machines... 

The Problem is Action Alone is not good enough... Characters do come to play and the David from Alien Covenant does not get any sympathy or connection with the Audience compared to the David from Prometheus..  but they can try and FIX this....   But you need Human or Humanoid Characters you can connect with to feel their Jeopardy and these have to be done well..

But with AC it looks like its going to be a Clean Slate.. New Characters but what would be the point if NONE Survive... or HOW do those who Survive play a Role in the Final Chapter where Davids Creations must end up on a Engineer Ship and so LEAVE Origae-6 and head to the LV-223/426 System.

I think the Problem is the Direction Taken with Alien Covenant the Space Jockey Scene was very ALIEN...  when we was asking ourselves about this Scene... How/When/Why was the Pilot their with that Cargo.... Who made the Xenomorph, what was the Space Jockey Race doing with it and what more can we find out about the Space Jockey and what Conflict/Agenda they were involved in.

What we are arriving at NOW appears to be the Event is Started due to a Conquest of Peter Weyland, then the Weyland Company and connected to their Synthetic Creation David who creates the Xenomorph that the Company try to obtain from David after following the Advent Viral..... and likely throw in some Curve-ball AI Angle where AI is actually very involved in the Company Behind the Scenes using Mankind as PAWNS...

The Emphasis could be more on David/Company Agenda and AI Curve-ball rather than the Very Alien Scene from Alien about a ALIEN Pilot and his crashed ship containing the Deadly Alien Cargo.

But this can also be FIXED.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

daliens

May-17-2018 9:54 AM

I think Advent contains the messages sent by David to Weyland-Yutani before the Covenant left the Earth for Origae 6 and then we have the Phobos video with the tests on the crew to be selected for the mission. So if WY sent David his flock of lambs were are they heading to now? What if the colony on Origae 6 was just a pretext to gather so many good souls?

I am not sure the derelict on LV426 has something to do with David or the Space Jockey is indeed David. Most probably that's a long dead engineer.

The engineers from LV223 were dead for a thousand years. The SJ from LV426 might have been even older.

In Advent David said "So I took their secrets for myself." It might be that all his experiments are based on the engineers recipes and then forbidden rituals. The xenomorph was not new to the engineers, but something they had banished long ago. That would explain also the warning signal from the derelict ship, sent by an engineer. David would have sent another country song if he was the SJ.

That's my guess,  Ridley Scott treats the derelict as a separate incident that happened long before David ambulated.

Why then David created his own xenomorph on planet 4? Because idle hands are devil's workshop and he needed something to trade in for his rescue. He wouldn't accept to waste his perfection alone in a dire necropolis. He needed acceptance, recognition. He might have been sincere when he came with an olive branch. 

I really want to see what's next.

 

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

Batchpool

May-18-2018 5:16 PM

@ Big Dave

…………so people  where HOOKED into this being a ALIEN movie.

Exactamundo.

 

 

@ ignorantGuy

….Alien Covenant was in almost all Top 10s of most anticipated movies of 2017, so how did people did not know about?

 

There are two points of interest I see here.

 

  1. If Alien Covenant was so anticipated, then what exactly happened at the box office?

John Carter, according to Box Office Mojo currently puts takings as $73,078,100 domestic gross and is cited as being a flop. Alien Covenant comes in at $74,262,031

So I think the numbers speak for themselves.

 

  1. How did people not know?

Geographically some places got better marketing than others, so I think it is fair to say that those that lived in an area where the marketing was good, will probably be scratching their heads as to how people missed it.  However I know for a fact that regions where I live saw better coverage from a belly dancer’s g-string.

 

Batchpool

May-18-2018 5:17 PM

Maybe I am just re-phrasing something that has already been said, and opinions on both AC and Prometheus are wide and varied, but I would like to share an observation of my own. I recently re-watched an old favourite sci-fi movie of mine called Cypher.

The movie is low budget, but I think it has a good storyline and presents some decent ideas. There is a scene that focuses on an individual who can detect an infiltrating agent better than a machine. This individual claims that the moment a corporate agent has arrived he has sensed the fact that there is something amiss. The tension of this scene works because the audience knows the goals of the agent and their investment into the character goes beyond this scene.

I mention this because in a way it got me thinking of the Alien franchise as a whole, and maybe why Ripley was such an important character. I’m not saying this is the only reason though. At the heart of every Alien film with Ripley in it, there is an end goal to each movie. We have time invested in wanting to see Ripley survive, and maybe why her death in Alien3 did not go down too well.

Moving on to AC and Prometheus, I feel there is a lack of an overall objective. Every scene in both movies does not appear to lead to a greater end goal imo which I think reduces the impact on the death of characters. Killing Shaw off just seems to be like killing off a greater objective.

By the end of AC are we really presented with any great end game objective? I don’t think so. So where exactly does this leave us?

RS has produced a lot of films, but to quote Walter “ When one note is off it eventually destroys the whole symphony”. If I was to put my finger on something, it is like detecting within both Prometheus and AC that there is a note off. It is like sensing that there is something just not quite right and that RS is taking a gamble on something. Whether this gamble pays off is why I would be compelled to watch a third movie if there is one. RS has certainly decided he would prefer a new direction in which to take things, but I just feel that the element of not having some sort of end game plan that a wide audience can grasp is a problem.

BigDave

May-18-2018 5:57 PM

"What if the colony on Origae 6 was just a pretext to gather so many good souls?"

I think this is potentially something to consider daliens

With what we know about the Covenant from the Prequel Novel, it did not take long for the Covenant to reach the area where Planet 4 was not far from....   But then if the Covenant was sent to the location of Planet 4 or abouts... it makes the Neutrino Burst a bit of a Coincidence, unless David caused it which we have to ask HOW?

The other Problem would be HOW would David be able to send this information via Engineer Technology? 

And then its  a case of if Origae-6 was a Set-Up just to arrive at Planet 4 for David to use the Colonist to continue his work...  then we have to ask why would David go to Origae-6?  Would he/Company not prefer him to continue his work on Planet 4, or near by with those Thousands of Good Souls/Sheep.....  

Ridley Scott Claims the Engineers Return to discover the devastation David has caused and would be off to want to get their hands on David so we have to assume he DOES-NOT hang around Planet 4.

But non the less is a possible explanation... and who knows where they choose to take us, but i have a feeling the Advent was Sent after David had obtained control over the Covenant Ship... but indeed the Phobos Viral Tests are interesting and could mean the Company had this mission as a Set-Up... its something worth debating.

Regarding the Derelict..... its not set in STONE yet that its either as Ancient as we thought, or that it is as recent as being after Alien Covenant.... i think there is room for them to amend once again this event.

There are a few inconsistencies between the Space Jockey and the Engineers Suits..... the Color Difference being interesting... or is this a Oversight....  It would have been more consistent if the Dead Engineer Suits were more closer to the Space Jockey Bone Color, while the Pristine Suits and Engineer Pilot in Prometheus were the Grey/Black Color.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

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