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Prometheus : Theodicy

Prometheus : Theodicy

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Michelle Johnston

Aug-31-2018 2:10 PM

As some of you know I have begun working on a literary reboot of the prequel sequence from the point that the Prometheus slams into the Engineer Craft destined for earth towards the end of the movie Prometheus.

The work subject to tinkering and proof reading known as Prometheus:Regained is all but finished but all of the more casual readers who loved Prometheus who have acted as my feedback group would like me to treat the 48 hours beginning on the 25th December 2093 in the same mode.

To begin with I was against writing a novelisation of the movie but some of my work on Regained made me begin thinking about writing the story from a different perspective - Davids. 

I have explained at my blog

http://myloveofprometheus.blogspot.com the advantages I

see in taking this approach so will not repeat them here. 

So during the rest of this year I will complete the work and aim on the 25th December 2018 as a Gift to like minded individuals to share Privately the entire journey from the moment the huge grey craft settles atop the falls until ... well that would be telling. I am acutely aware that the source material is subject to copyright this is merely a conversation between friends.

This work is very much a labour of love and is not intended to stimulate argument and endless comparison or analysis (I have produced a glossary to answer all those sort of questions) but discussion, thought sharing and enable us to breath again "all about everything." 

However to be fair and honest to readers if you like Alien:Covenant then this is not for you and if you did not like the tangental direction Prometheus was intended to go after 2012 you will hate Regained.

If only one person reads the Complete Prometheus, a form of Theodicy which explains how evil exists in an Intelligent Creation I do not mind, for me the most precious benefit is I now have Prometheus back and I know Charlie's death and Ellie's determination to keep going was worth it. In addition I am satisfied we really had only seen a fragment of the android who up until, the 27th December 2093 had been driven by his response to robot apartheid and the reality that he was an extension of someones else's vanity and a someone who lacked morality, conscience and had only one objective - to create for his own benefit survive and test the Gods... the real ones.  

 

122 Responses to Prometheus : Theodicy

BigDave

Sep-11-2019 7:14 AM

I think while Alien Covenant is not the Sequel that most wanted, it also seemed to be NOT quite what appeared to be the Direction if we look at Prior to 2014.  I think Prometheus left it open to EXPAND this Story in Many Ways, which Alien Covenant had just Clipped the Wings off that Bird.....

So its always Interesting to get another persons idea of HOW they would have Continued the Prequels.   I have not been Commenting on this Topic, because my replies can be too much in Depth and with the Subject Matter at Hand and Scope of WHAT could have happened after Prometheus, my Feedback would just kind of be TOO LONG and maybe Derail the Thread....

But i certainly am Interested in seeing your TAKE on what to have done NEXT, just as i would with others who would have wanted to go ahead and explain WHAT they would have Done Next....

While Alien Covenant will likely remain Canon... and to Continue with the Path is NOW more Simplistic but Disappointing, i still think its GREAT to discus Prometheus and what it could have led to because that Movie had almost Unlimited Scope, so its Good to see how others would have Continued with the Story.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Sep-13-2019 5:29 AM

@BigDave

Thank you for not offering your brand of "deep feedback."It is much appreciated the point of highlighting the Furious Gods was two fold:-

1) To encourage people to purchase and watch it to increase their understanding of the narrative and visual symbolism of the film.

2) To show how my original work work sits with the expanded understanding the material provides. 

 

 

BigDave

Sep-16-2019 7:48 AM

Certainly i think its interesting to see how others would TRY and Continue with Prometheus, expand maybe some things that were a bit Vague in Terms of Theatrically and to offer a Continuation of Questions Raised by Prometheus and those that are NOT really Answered in Prometheus...  As far as Theatrically.

*We get Indication that we are a Product of the Engineers Interference both from our Genetic Origins and Creations, to our Development from Cave-Men to the level of Technology just prior to the Middle Ages

(We never got much indication of WHY this Investment of Time by the Engineers).

*We see at some point the Engineers had conducted Experiments that are NOT really Genetically Connected to us, such Horrors which Theatrically was Ambiguous to WHY and so we have Davids "sometimes to create one must first destroy" to go by.

(And so these are things that also a Sequel could covered, because again in Part these are things Dr Shaw would want Answers too).

*In spite of their Discovery, where Dr Shaw may have been so Wrong... she holds on to her Faith that surely a God would not be so Cruel and so WHO had Created them.

(so this is something ELSE that she wants to Discover but would such a Discovery be closer to her Faith or even Further away and Horrific).

*We have the Arc of David, a Superior Creation, who feels Mistreated by his Creator (and Humans), who longs to be Free, and Finally Becomes Free, he has a Dislike for Humans, but in Dr Shaw he comes across a Interesting Case, and so it seems he is Interested in WHAT drives her to Carry On, in Spite of the Discoveries.  Her Faith is what drives her on, and gives her Strength and also contributes to her Kindness.

(so its a Question of Davids interest in this and what effect Dr Shaw has on David, and how they could change his outlook on Life and Purpose is something that could have been explored).

*We then come to the Extended Scene a little... were Dr Shaw does want to go to where they (Engineers) come from for her Answers as she has Nothing to go back home to.  And the Extended Version we know David says the Engineer told him they come from a Place we would call PARADISE...

(so there is that to Explore, in what Context would we consider the Engineers World Paradise?).

Then you do have other Questions like What is a Soul?, where do we go when we Die?  I think its interesting to see David go on a Journey for more of a Purpose than he was Created, and Dr Shaw could certainly Inspire him, so there are a lot of Blade Runner like Themes to be explored....  would it be IRONIC that David is the only being who is actually as close to having the Soul that Dr Shaws Faith would indicate?

So i am not offering my view on any of these, just Highlighting some of the things to have explored that had not really been done so in Alien Covenant.

And so the parts in the (Brackets) are showing what Potentially could had been Explored, and that i think in part is the reason you went about with your Version of where to go NEXT... which i think has been a Labor of Love and something Interesting to Eventually Read ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Sep-16-2019 9:40 AM

@BigDave

First bracket -Answer

Why did Frankenstein make the monster and Weyland David and in the latter case pursue 8 upgrades. Hubris/an aspiration to be God because they were able to but most important of all it was not out of love for their creations. It was non consensual and when both made demands or looked for equivalence guess what happened. There is your allegory for dark angels/mankind.

Second Bracket - Answer.

Elizabeth wants to have it confirmed we are not alone and that when we die our soul resides somewhere. After the experience on the Moon she wants to know why they created us and why they wanted to destroy us. By the end of Prometheus she knows we are not alone but in away that she is not convinced is the final answer.  

The issue of soul and where it resides is a very emotional issue for her (mother and father) it becomes a central driver of the final act and David plays a significant role who we also know is interested in, being artificial where he fits in. In Prometheus he is profoundly interested in Elizabeths preoccupation with this part of her journey and continues to be so. David understands the context of soul before Elizabeth for a story telling reason.

Third bracket - Answer

The issue of the Engineers Home world and to what extent we would regard it as Paradise. The answers are :-

1) Would mankind consider it Paradise? Depends who you ask.    

2) Would the creatures of the Moon consider it Paradise. No otherwise they would still be there. They are Promethean and ended up with the same fate. 

3) Does Elizabeth feel she has arrived at Paradise no she believes she has arrived at the Engineers Home world which also turns out to be incorrect. Does it feel like her definition of Paradise in terms serenity beauty captivating Yes at some points in the story. But she doesn't say ah this is Paradise she says at one point wow this experience is pure Paradise or she sees something and says this is a veritable Paradise. David finds a truth which enables them to understand all sorts of things including what is Paradise and Paradise Lost. 

4) Do they meet Adam and Eve. Yes and No. 

5) Do they find Heaven. Yes and No.  

We were made by dark angels but in the end they came from the "Engineers Home world" and so to use Ridley's word we have recall/foot prints embedded within us which are a fragment of the truth so that is why the truth looks a little like our myths but a lot like something altogether different. The reason the truth is hidden from us is appalling indeed the most appalling truth of my vision but it explains a good deal of why we are the way we are.  

To come back to the central point of this entire arc of thinking begun with Prometheus and Bladerunner.

1) Some people believe we are an accident of all the elements of creation coming together Darwinism. They do not look for a loving creator.

2) Some people believe in divine intervention through the power of a loving God.

3) The idea of P/BR is we were made with purpose but no love. We were made because you can for the convenance of the creator and if that tenuous relationship breaks down from the creators perspective start again.   

 

BigDave

Sep-16-2019 3:56 PM

"3) The idea of P/BR is we were made with purpose but no love. We were made because you can for the convenance of the creator"

The intention of Prometheus indeed was not 1 or 2, but to Step Between those Boundaries, of a None Accidental Creation by a Ancient Race who indeed were playing lets see what we can Create.

The Evolution of the Concept has changed the Outlook on a Reason WHY we was Created, after the Changes and Removal of Deleted Scenes, then we are Left with the Theatrical Cut....  we with Comments mainly by Lindeloff we are indeed shown that its case of those Engineers maybe just could.....

I think Lindeloff just has a Lazy Outlook to it a little, while Spaights seemed to have more sense of Depth, thats not Disputing WHY we was Created... Theatrically its left not really explained...  the whole its because we could was a Get Out Card of sorts...

But even if this is the Intention, that we was Created because they could.... then there is the Interesting Part of what do you do Once you realize what you could Create, what Intention then....

And as you mention.. "if that tenuous relationship breaks down"  it is really Interesting that you are maybe going to touch on what became of this Relationship Once these Would be Gods proved they could go and Create in their Own Image.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Oct-01-2019 1:07 AM

@chli

Out of politeness just to say I have not forgotten your request. 

After my experience with the "Furious Gods" I was inspired to enhance (not change) my descriptions of both the place and characters that David and Elizabeth meet and come into. Inevitably I found myself improving the text most often simplifying to make the reading more dynamic and communicative. When I write it tends to be backwards with the question then the answer, whereas for a completed narrative you simply need to offer the action of the narrative rather than explain it. 

However I have been reading some essays written collectively about Shelley's work and Scotts work and realise that sub consciously I had included within the narrative the importance of consent but hadn't focused on it. Unlike her father Elizabeth she ask questions, she does not offer blind obedience she personifies Miltonic Adam. David was created for his creators benefit and then upgraded by his creator eight times so consent or lack of it becomes very important to David.

Did the Engineers of this story consider consent and why did the  creatures of the Moon use hosting as a natural choice of sub creation. So the former is driven by Shelley and the latter by Scott.

It ties in with "the accident" the creature which hosts without consent so that footprint is in the Mutagen. (The Mutagen=Creature). Incidentally if the movie was made on the basis that the Mutagen(gloop)= Creature then the Mutagen thematically has to involve a Parasite it cannot be the original creation tool alone. In the sub created world that makes no sense.   

The other issue is the Dick/Bladerunner one, Do Androids dream.....   

If David finds himself in front of something which is capable of/has harnessed the power of creation what would his search for meaning include. In the movie he interrogates Elizabeths dreams, that cannot only have important consequences for their continued connection but for him and there is a story beat which it fits naturally with which I have rewritten. 

In closing I must stress the mode of the overall piece is quite definitely much more aligned with Lindelof's vision for P2 that it would "most likely" not contain any references to the things we associate with ALIEN. It would be a separate child moving narratively alongside and away from ALIEN. 

The issue of Giger/Lovecraftian is handled as Scott handles it in the "Furious Gods" he wanted a vision of a world before these things come into it older. if the Moon represents Paradise Lost then the dysfunctional interrupted quality of Giger is perfect but the original vision was pure which as you know was the original brief to the artists who wanted to sneak in Giger!

Earlier this year Scott offered the overall Prometheus story in the context of seven worlds a very sophisticated advertising vehicle for Hennessy.

Creation

Archaeological Discovery

The Ritual

Artificial Sub creation

Destruction

Aftermath

Religious seeking for the truth

Rebirth

Revelation  

It is not so much the themes echoes mine (I wrote my story in 2018) but as others have noted the visual symbolism offered is aligned with mine and if you view it, it is not dysfunctional at all. What you see is the world that David and Elizabeth come into, so the horrific truths for mankind are played out in a seaming Paradise which makes the pill that much more bitter and particularly if you can not accept the notion we might be a footnote.    

BigDave

Oct-01-2019 3:09 PM

I think certainly its Interesting to Ponder if David would be Searching for  a Purpose, and looking at our Purpose, he did seem Offended by the Suggestion that he was Created because we could....

So they Both could have Shared a Journey that could have gone in many ways, but what we Ended Up with was something that Tossed that Potential in the BIN!

The Seven Worlds Hennessy Advert was interesting and it also got me thinking was there some subtle hints in this to what he had Intended with the Prequels?

Could it be that he had Conceived that there is a possibility he MAY-NOT get to Tell the Story he wanted to, and so he Incorporates some ideas into other Projects... like The Seven Worlds.

It would be interesting to wonder how much of Raised by Wolves would borrow from his Alien Awakening too.

Prometheus Certainly had a lot of Potential, i do worry we would NEVER see anything that connects to it anymore...

So its always Interesting to see HOW others would have taken the Ball that was Dropped with Alien Covenant and see how they Run with it.

So i Wish you all the Best with your Prometheus : Theodicy

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

chli

Oct-02-2019 9:06 AM

Michelle

That’s very kind of you. Looking forward to it!

About consent. Has anyone agreed to be born? Can we be sure that most people have been born out of love? Of course, the consent could refer to sexual agreement and the facehugging equal to rape. Furthermore, the birth of a xenomorph (through hosting) is violent, but not too dissimilar to human births, is it? Pain and violence is part of creation?

Anyway, “The Seven Worlds” is beautifully done.

BigDave

Oct-07-2019 5:37 PM

I think Consent and Love are very Interesting to Ponder.

In Context to the Apparent Creation of Mankind, a lot depends on the Path.... we can only Speculate about HOW LONG it would be after the Sacrificial Scene before we arrive at Cave Men on Earth, and how many Artificial Evolution's on the way to this had Happened.

Depending on what we look at we could Arrive at a different Conclusion, but we have to maybe try and NOT consider any Deleted Material

We could Speculate about the Consent of the Engineer, was he really so WILLING?  The Theatrical Cut shows us he seemed like he had a Sense of Purpose i never got a Sense of him being Concerned or Fearful, do we assume that he Fully was Aware of what would become of him?  Surely he would know about his Races Procedures and Rituals which RS seemed to indicate that he would have.

Certainly Mankind did-not Consent to our Creation, but then with a lot of Creation, the Creator does not ask its Creation for Consent.   Regarding Love then indeed Human Creation does sometimes come from Love, but sometimes its purely a Consequence of Lust.

So when such a Creation comes from NOT so Love in that way, even Totally as NOT from Love such as Rape, that does-not mean that the Creation would be UNLOVED.

I dont mean for this to be OFF-TOPIC.. i think it kind of is ON-TOPIC, as far as HOW would such things be Covered by Michelle's work.

So by that its like IF we was Created because the Engineers Could and there was NO LOVE, would that apply to the Effort spent in Visiting us and Teaching us, was there Care and Compassion for us in this? or was this something (Visits/Teachings) that was done purely for some other GAIN and not for our Benefit?

I think looking at the Xenomorph and the like is Interesting too as there is 100% No Love or Compassion Involved it is Primal, Survival.

This does-not rule out that some Consent is involved if we cover that some CHOOSE to Self-Sacrifice themselves to allow for such Horrors to Exist, however you would Consider that Most would not be Consenting to this, unless they was Part of some Ritualistic Cult.

I think another Interesting take would be how Michelle you would tackle the Relationship between David and Dr Shaw, would a Robot be Capable of more than Platonic Love for Dr Shaw and how would she React?  Would she Reciprocate that or Reject it?

Which ever way she would React... how would this Effect David?

Then we have the Situation that David and Dr Shaw can-not create Life together... not in the Traditional/Natural Sense.  Would David be trying to look at HOW he could HELP her to become a Mother? She could NOT conceive a Child... only a Horror from the Pathogen, but this at least Proved that this Pathogen Presented a Way for her to Create a None Human Fetus.

Could David be thinking of if there was way she could Conceive a Normal Fetus, would he Help her?

So yeah there are many Interesting things to Ponder, which if some or all are Covered by you Work Michelle i think it would be Interesting to see how you tackle those.

Good Luck with your Project ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Oct-08-2019 12:18 PM

Consent 

Within the narrative there are issues about non consensual demands without explanation of the consequences.

However this is really about :-

“Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay / To mould me Man, did I solicit thee / From darkness to promote me?”

Adam makes an error and is banished from Paradise, well excuse me God you made me. The creature in Frankenstein did not ask to be made and he is even more angry with his creator. David has only been active seconds, and much like Frankenstein, Weyland has an instant but different reaction he sees a danger. 

So in an intelligent creation is there a danger that those whom are "Manufactured" and for a purpose might broadly speaking operate in the same area and deal with the same dilemma. 

What strikes me about the Moon is there is a good deal of self expression going on (The Fresco's, The Mural)  and given it has been left unattended for 2,000 years no one else is interested. At an authorial level I took that to mean they wished to express themselves through sub creation and the ultimate expression of that, the creatures in the Mural, is a living entity capable of procreation based on the Riff at the end. These guys on the Moon had created us who were capable of self sustaining life and the deacon race who could achieve the same, but in their eyes better. So life is created which is self sustaining (Not an accidental parasite) and would not ask consent of its parents but the reality in the story is none of this has consent.

So what does have consent in an intelligent creation and why?

How do you create, without love, and rub along amicably.

We know mankind creates across a range of emotional reasons and we do not rub along amicably.

So what would a universe look like where the issue of consent did not create a problem between the origin creators and the created, because its not relevant. Our proxy's for looking at this are David and Elizabeth. 

As for "is creation violent?" I develop that theme out of the idea Ridley offered they are aggressive f.....

In my vision, you receive various forms of sexual knowledge in the first movement. Vickers/Janek, Charlie/Elizabeth and a nasty three way exposé which includes the creature.

In the second movement its all about the revelation of creative knowledge how it has been applied why it went wrong (on the Moon) and how Elizabeth reacts to it.  

All the examples of creative knowledge are pursued in a profoundly aggressive manner driven by a desire for self expression.

However the most interesting example is back in the first movement where there is a confluence of creative and sexual knowledge where Elizabeth gives birth to a horribly deformed child which merges the two elements. In that instance the child immediately wants to destroy the parent. Is that a comment on creation out of chaos or the paranoid world view that all children want to destroy their parents (which actually isn't correct).     

David and Elizabeth (Bigdave)

In a universe where creation has gone astray and we have a barren woman and a brilliant android incapable of finding meaning in a creative sense, you can pervert the rules of creation and make them a new Adam and Eve but that seems to me to be to easy and merely the inverse of the Covenant narrative where the android stole her non performing reproductive organs and made the creature out of this and other ingredients to get more bums on seats.

All I will say say is one reader said the outcome for them was incredibly sad and another a wonderful vision of the future. In other words their journey is bound up with so many elements that it depends on the reader as to whether what happens to them is profoundly sad profoundly encouraging or even both.

If one believes in nothing at all then reading the books has no point at all because it isn't about nothing at all its about something. Put simply when you have a very broad scope the responses tell you more about the reader than whats read. To elaborate on this.     

If people do not like science fiction thats fine.

If people want endless rehashes of A L I E N and A L I E N S tropes thats fine. 

If people are profoundly "religious" and find you tinkering with God, Christ and creation and find that blasphemous thats fine. 

If people are certain that Darwin was 100% right thats fine. 

However if you want to take human nature, the big questions and offer to explain why we are the way we are and its neither Machines or Abrahamic Gods but essentially about what is morality ? Then you might be curious.

Put simply Prometheus the Movie is a morality tale about hubris on every single level from Fifield right up to the Dark Angel so what I found profoundly amusing and fascinating is how we react to this story.

You could argue Sir Ridley was also guilty of hubris but its quite clear he knew the risks he was taking and to be fair he nearly pulled it off, its the top grossing movie of the franchise it doesn't belong in, say some, the perfect hubristic comment on Monster Love.

Michelle Johnston

Oct-09-2019 11:28 PM

 

BigDave

As you know my style on the forum is to offer my conclusions and why, rather than your speculative approach of rehearsing all the potential questions. 

So I will answer your speculations and provide answers and why.

There are many sources relating the story of Prometheus, some of which are contradictory,

This is a quote from a paper on the link between Prometheus his brother and Frankenstein. The argument the writer uses to make his point is based on this

Percy Shelley describes Prometheus as a character “susceptible of being described as exempt from the taints of ambition, envy, revenge, and a desire for personal aggrandisement”.

So one needs to interpret whether the film and its title come from this particular notion/ variation of the myth and the answer is NO. 

Jon Sphaits makes it clear when describing the choice of the title that it is about rebellion, theft of technology and punishment. That is the Prometheus that the film deals with and that was the guiding principle for what the travellers come into. 

That the Engineers visited earth is a given in the film and the book. 

The earth is a petri dish in which mankind is an experiment according to the narrative. 

The story of Weyland/David is a personal metaphor of our relationship with our creators and David has been upgraded 8 times and Weyland does not love David he improves him. He revels in his achievement but humiliates him (in the holographic speech)

The facts are that mankind learned to read write and kill with even more ruthless efficiency in double quick time in a 10,000 year span from 18,000 to 8,000 years ago which is a point that Elizabeth in my story is pondering as we come across her for the first time in my book. 

So taking these three things together the mode of creation by these dark angels is out of a desire for self expression. That self expression reaches its Zenith or Nadir, depending how you look at it, when they decided to pursue an upgrade 2,000 years ago.

In between our creation they visit us until the point 2,000 years ago when they wanted to destroy us.

The visits represent observation, a desire to show off their knowledge and see what we do with it. Prima facie they did not come to bring love healing and grace because thats not where we ended up. We got more knowledgeable more fractionalised and learned to kill each other with more efficiency.

The film makers considered looking at whether Christ was the trigger, the end point and rejected it as a more general sense of displeasure. But thats a speculative conversation over a  latte with a journalist none of this comes out in the Furious Gods what comes out is what the Moon was doing was wrong and the Engineers got bitten on the bum.   

Personal

I cannot see how you can ascribe Christ to the notion that he is connected to dark angels who make monsters. A very interesting paper was written at the time by a catholic theologian who made the point that christ was left out, thats what Lindelof said, but 2,000 was deliberate and that the message of the cross would be seen to be caught up in the broader explanation of what would be offered in the second film. He makes a distinction between the Gnostic Engineers of the Moon (who were wiped out) and the Universal Engineers of the Waterfall Incident of millions of years ago and there relationship would provide an explanation of how the Cross fits into the story. Whatever story one choses to write that supposition is logical and coherent.

David 

Again to retain the integrity of the movie Prometheus I started from the point that David did not have a sexual agenda or in robot terms it was not part of his programme. What he did have is a capacity for understanding human emotions and began to build up a series of experiences which he could use and as Michael said he played it that they had cognitive meaning to him. Charlie began to irritate him but he did not target him he just happened to be there. Whereas by the end of the movie he wanted his parent Weyland dead. Don't we all? No David. 

So the David that Elizabeth heals/repairs does not have a sexual agenda. 

Elizabeth 

There is nothing to suggest she wants to be cured of being barren she just offers a sense of regret in the movie. However events overtake her and like everyone else on the journey she receives her answer but it isn't quite what they asked for. 

In summary in my view Elizabeths journey is a philosophical one looking for a complete answer not a complete body. The Mutagen (of Prometheus) hijacks her and we never got to see if that had any more application than in the Crossing were she was dying of it according to her director and the actress that played her.

Summary

The Engineers did not create us out of love but curiosity. They did not visit it us because they loved us they visited us to toy with us give us a bit of rope and see whether we hung ourselves. 

David did not have a sexual agenda.

Elizabeth did not desire to make good her barren body.  

BigDave

Oct-10-2019 7:59 AM

"Put simply Prometheus the Movie is a morality tale about hubris on every single level"

+

"Jon Sphaits makes it clear when describing the choice of the title that it is about rebellion, theft of technology and punishment"

Totally Agree this is how i see the Movie too.

The whole Christ Aspect i am Glad they toned away from that, the Notion that RS had instead implied he was a Emissary i find is more Interesting, and has some applications.

The David and Sexual Desires is Interesting as we see David Lacks any Sexual Organs and  Hormones and so i also think that it would be ODD for him to have such Desires...  i think maybe he could be Frustrated that he Cant Create, if he Deems that the Inability to Create is what makes him just a TIN CAN... but then i think he would Pursue other Less Natural ways to Create, which we had seen in Alien Covenant.  And what we see with what the Engineers had also been up to.

With Dr Shaw i feel she had Accepted that she could-not Create, i think if she could have Bore Child then it maybe could have Effected her Reasons to go for Answers... by having NO ability to Naturally Create Life, she had NOTHING but the Pursuit of WHY these Would-be Gods wanted to Created and then Destroy us.

So i found it Interesting as far as if David started to Feel Compassion for her, that WHAT if he had suggested he could TRY and find a way to allow her to Give Birth... to Start a New Eden.....  would she have REJECTED him?  David seemed to have indicated as such.

But in this is in Context to how it turned out, and not as in Terms of HOW you would have Chosen to Take things.

I think its Very Interesting as far as what you are Choosing as far as to Tackle a lot of the Subjects at hand.

When Speculating about the Answers, in Part i was always drawn to our Creation not being much different to Davids, and i think a Good Analogy would also apply to the PLOT of the Planet of the Apes Reboot.... there was NO LOVE in the Artificial Evolution of that Chimp, and Science would just Further Evolve and see what these Improvements would allow, NOT to the Chimps benefit but as merely a way to HIGHLIGHT just how Great the Genetic Engineering of those Scientists really is....

What would be the END GAME to that Plot?  it surely would not have been to allow such Chimps like Caesar to become a New Branch of Humanity where they can Live Among Mankind as another Race of Humanity... Nope i feel it would have been to put them to USE for Tasks so that Mankind would NO-LONGER have to do them... much like how Androids would be USED.

And so this is HOW i mainly viewed our Relationship with the Engineers as Intended by them..  By that i am talking Broadly, as far as the Applications of the Discovery of the Agent ALZ-112 not so much its Original Intention.. so i was drawn to the Engineers motives being similar in that our Creation was done ONLY for some Benefit for them on ONE hand and maybe to Highlight what they COULD do on the other.

And so Fundamentally  "The Engineers did not create us out of love but curiosity. They did not visit it us because they loved us they visited us to toy with us give us a bit of rope and see whether we hung ourselves"  I agree with this ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Oct-11-2019 1:40 AM

BigDave

"All about everything."

One of the essential differences between the A L I E N franchise and the projected P R OM E T H E U S franchise is the former is grounded in a Universe of Mankind where the only thing that is out there is to coin a phrase "a noise in the attic" and the latter is saying Mankind is a foot note and everything is out there.

Once you take the latter on board its much easier to make sense of how the dark angels would have viewed us.

One of the unexpected pleasures of this project has been taking a scene from the movie and writing it down. I am just doing a final correction read through and have reached the point where Elizabeth gives birth but its scenes like David attending to Meredith when she wakes up which tell us so much about a potential creator/creation relationship. David is essentially a utility, in one of Damons scripts or IV's he describes David as a Toaster. So then apply that to what the Engineers thought of their creation out of rebellion, asking why did they come here is obvious, idol curiosity and to stir the pot. Its just its very hard for human beings not to be human centric in their view. 

I mentioned recently that D & E are not so much in love with each other but out of love with everything else.

It really begins with "what if they are no better than us" but twice Elizabeth reflects on the fact that she had very little in common with the six billion souls that Janek, Chance and Ravel save. David not only recognises in Elizabeth that she treats him entirely different to anyone has before but she shares his puzzlement with mankind.

Then go to the next level. If the dark angels made us then what about the other guys who travel the Universe Seeding worlds would they really be taking an interest in whether Samantha or Craig got their grades what would be the pre occupations of a God who uses knowledge to sustain the Universe through billions of years ? 

 

BigDave

Oct-11-2019 7:58 AM

I think that is the way to look at it, as while some of the Material and Deleted Scenes may have pushed us to consider a certain way the Engineers see us..

I think when working on WHERE to go NEXT in Context to looking at Post Prometheus and so say prior to 2013, then those Engineers were Painted in a Different Light, and so indeed it is likely we are INSIGNIFICANT and those Engineers certainly from LV-223 are NOT in anyway Benevolent

And so the comments you made are Important such as we view David as a Toaster.... those Engineers could see us as merely MICE...  and so if they had MANY LABS where they kept and raised these MICE then the Loss of One Cage or Whole Lab would mean NOTHING really to them.

By that its just like you indicate, we dont know how many other Worlds they have Seeded Similar to us so we are not Unique or Special we could be just ONE of 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 other such Creations... who are not Important to the Engineers or Loved as say we would Care for our own Offspring.

So indeed Turning up to meet these Creators where we may be Totally Insignificant and then maybe wondering WHY they dont love us as Dr Shaw's Faith would have us believe... is something that Certainly would be Interesting to see the Reaction, from not ONLY those would be GODS but Dr Shaw too.

I think exploring the Dynamic of David and Dr Shaw would be interesting too David has never really known any Love from Mankind, and Dr Shaw could maybe see he is just a Product of his Environment and Upbringing

Everyone is BORN a Innocent Child and Environment and Upbringing can lead to Weyland or a Dr Shaw and so a Interesting thing with David, that the Alien Covenant Trailer Song and The Crossing seem to show is to let us WONDER.... if David was Activated and Brought up by a KIND SOUL like Dr Shaw then HOW would he have turned out.

They both realize that a lot of Mankind is Wicked.... but then David may have felt the same for all of Mankind, but with Dr Shaw he sees some Compassion and its Interesting to see how he would have reacted to that...  The Crossing was Interesting... but Alien Covenant seems to indicate it was all a RUSE by him to take Control.

Such a Waste with that Movie, as far as the Potential through Dr Shaw and David and our Engineers.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Oct-16-2019 12:41 PM

I have completed a further revision of both elements always seeking to make the story come off the page better, better descriptions, crisper dialogue. 

The mayhem elements in the extension were deliberately flat in terms of detail, probably sub consciously as a reaction to what I believe is now so formulaic. The revision allows for both David and Elizabeth to react in a more physically intimate way with whats getting out of hand and it also occurred to me there was a chance to define the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist in a new way.

Its no secret that the big theme of Prometheus is about transmission through sacrifice but there is another element which is crucial to a hierarchy who are aggressive ...... hosting and its many forms.

I have made the site public.        

https://prometheuscontinuationstory.com

To restate as starkly and simply as possible this is about "who made us and if they made us who made them." to quote Ridley. That things go wrong and a craft ends up on the Moon with a weird cargo is to quote Michael Fassbender "a small tributary of a much larger canvas."

So this is for those intrigued by Prometheus and where a separate story might go. Its avowedly not for ALIEN centric fans.  

ignorantGuy

Oct-17-2019 3:40 AM

Michelle Johnston 

I wish you receive praise for the hard work (yes, yes I know that you did this mainly for yourself, but still).

Lone

Oct-17-2019 12:22 PM

Michelle,

I have been absent from the forum for a while. Many thanks for sharing your work. It comes from a passion for Prometheus & what it opened us up to. Given the troping & emptyness of most cinema in recent years, very few directors would have had the vision or bravery to go there.

Prometheus was the beginning of an odyssey, what a waste that it was not allowed to follow through. As an aficionado of the original ALIEN & Ridley’s work, in cinematic terms it was the most excited I had been for years. After Covenant that excitement was replaced to a certain extent by sadness & if only…. 

Anyway, I will certainly be setting aside some time to savour your reworking. 

THE LONE GUNWOMAN

"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger

Michelle Johnston

Oct-17-2019 11:27 PM

ignorantGuy

Thank you thats very kind of you. I can honestly say it is not vanity that would respond to others wanting to make Elizabeths journey it is in the joy of knowing others find the questions which David recognises in her dreams so intriguing.    

Lone

One of the things I love about you is your passion for Ridleys visual coups and his prop design choices.

In both books I have tried to honour those choices by underwriting their meaning in what I hope you will feel is an authentic way.

I spent a long time thinking about why did they trigger protocols with musical sequences, what is the material in the four glass ampules and why does the craft at the beginning and its occupants communicate a simple unadorned elegance whereas the craft and people of the Moon reflect a curious mixture of the ethereal, organic and mechanical what was at the root of that change, for the documentary makes it clear millions of years separate the two.  

So my proposition is a simple one, whilst Prometheus is Ridleys story and is on the screen for all to see, if you consider his visuals carefully embedded in the film are all the materials for the next one.

 

 

BigDave

Oct-18-2019 6:58 AM

Had a Quick Glance through that Website Link Michelle, i think its Very Interested to add some FLESH to Prometheus to change a few things, but mainly to add some Meat to those Bones.

Help us to get a better connection with Dr Shaw and David by giving us a bit more depth about them, that you cant do with a Movie due to Time Constraints.

I am sure a Number of People are Disappointed that PROMETHEUS never got a Novelization apart from in Japan and so for those who saw Prometheus beyond looking for/at HOW we got to the Xenomorph and Derelict would certainly find it Interesting to see how you Flesh Out the other aspects of Prometheus.

And then to Continue with where the Sequels could have taken us, instead of Caving in to ANSWER the Derelict and Eggs Chronologically... that gave us Alien Covenant.

After the Weekend i will give that Prologue of Sorts a Good Read, looks Very Good so far ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Michelle Johnston

Oct-18-2019 10:19 AM

BigDave

Thanks I would love some more feedback on my selection and choices for Book One.

At first glance the prologue simply positions Elizabeth but its actually an Overture to the truth which my most dedicated readers got.

In terms of authenticity I was aware of two matters which damaged the film :-

1)  Damon, probably because of where Pre Production was, simply overlaid some of Jon's Monster Beats. I think its no coincidence thats the weakest element of the film, because his original elements, the spiking of the drink and Sir Peter on board were very strong. I develop those themes much further.    

2) Specifically the original Fifield beat felt like a distraction in Jon's script. But with Weyland on board with his surrogate son and actual daughter it became a real problem. Originally Fifield was in Act 3 but that was considered to undermine the Weyland wake up so they pushed it back and wove it into Elizabeth coming round and onto the Med Pod which takes away from that scene and it overwrites Charles Death. I wont say anymore right now but I dealt with this matter head on.

 

 

chli

Oct-19-2019 10:08 AM

Michelle

I've started reading and enjoy it. You use an omniscient narrator but much of Elisabeth is you, isn't it, feeling isolated and different (among men and people in general :) )?

Michelle Johnston

Oct-19-2019 12:54 PM

chli

Omniscient Narrator 

That is entirely correct and that is because in this constructed mythos in the movie we know about the Waterfall Incident and in the book I know precisely what that means but those participating in the story, film or book, do not...to begin with (in the books).

Elizabeth

Thanks for this question :-

1) Film to Book Elizabeth is very very closely aligned so I would argue I am recording Ridley's vision. 

2) With the prologue and book 2 her portrayal is heavily influenced by 

i The serious young girl asking her father where do we go when we die. 

ii As the only child of a missionary in Africa I used a character from a Rider Haggard novel as a template. She was a daughter of a dutch missionary priest, isolated, used to living off her own resources but profoundly interested in matters of the spirit. Unsurprisingly she was socially naive living in an isolated mission.

When Noomi was doing wardrobe tests they dressed her in quite sophisticated outfits but then settled on her field suit again simple unsophisticated.

Her natural inclination then was to keep her own company and revel in her surroundings which I emphasis in the prologue. My eldest daughter is married to a Vicar but she is a very social creature but shares the humble uncomplicated personality traits of Elizabeth and her serious persona but she was never in my mind. 

iii The line in the Crossing "what if they are no better" again a comment on mankind in general and only heightened by what happens during the Moon event which I make darker.

iv Damon Lindelof's comment that she is our proxy. We want the questions she has answered.

Her being isolated and feeling different from her contemporaries is not only a crucial part of her overarching journey but plays very heavily into her journey with David.            

Her being barren is not significant other than it has a part to play in a story about creation and the forbidden fruit. It is a function of the narrative not her per se. 

If her portrayal feels very real and very personal then I am pleased. I do not have any issues as regards men or woman. I have two quite separate teams of men that I lead on my building projects and they love working with me as I do them. I am one of an increasing number of independent professional woman who do not need a man financially or for companionship and my really dynamic relationships are with both woman and men and they tend to be much younger than me. I love their enthusiasm for life and its boundless possibilities rather than the two generations above them who are becoming more and more cynical and not a little entitled, and if thats me its nothing to do with Elizabeth.      

Where I agree with Elizabeth and David is that mankind isn't doing very well and that plays into Ridley's point we may be a footnote and explain why we are not doing well.

I hope that helps and fingers and toes cross you continue to enjoy the books.   

chli

Oct-21-2019 9:58 AM

Michelle

I have read your novelization (Book 1), and I liked it very much. I think I prefer this version to the one we got (Prometheus).

The prologue is nice about Elisabeth and her father in Africa. Instead of the digging in the film (Isle of Skye), we get to know the main character better and Africa gives a nice background - where humans originated on Earth (There is also, later on, a nice allegory about the sun (God) feeling lonely . . .).

I think this version is a bit closer to Spaihts’. Good riddance to Fifield and Milburn and the Hammerpede. Instead, we get “proof” of the Engineers creating or “harvesting” the xenomorph which leads to one attacking Hamilton and Milburn (there is, perhaps, a hint back to Alien when the monster descends upon Brett and the tail wriggles behind the back of Lambert? :) )

This is, of course, also what the Engineers were running from 2000 years ago (which is seen in the hologram), and what infected the Space Jockey.

“If Janek’s theory was right who pushed the little grey button 2,000 years ago”? Well, I suppose it could have been self-triggered for quarantine? One door decapitates an Engineer and another door leaves a bunch of Engineers outside safety and behind them comes a xenomorph (or crawling facehuggers).

This version would have pleased the fans who expected to see the xenomorph and is still quite close to Prometheus with Elisabeth’s search for existential answers.

There are some spelling errors here and there, and a shift from the past to present tense in some places - perhaps intentionally?

Well done!

chli

Oct-21-2019 12:37 PM

I'm now reading Book2 and it's been interesting to visit the other pyramids. As for the Derelict, it's an imaginative solution to the hole that David made it climbing up and that he set the beacon. The Derelict is also on LV-223 (not LV-426). How come? I also wonder how old it's supposed to be since it started to decay as they decompressed the Derelict (it would perhaps even decay faster when there is air . . .)

Michelle Johnston

Oct-21-2019 1:33 PM

chili

Book 1

This is very encouraging and thank you for mentioning some spelling errors. I have just passed back through it and found two, lain instead of laid and one other where they had the y missing but spell check is on and it wasn't picking up any others. Sometimes I get where were and wear muddled. Frankly every time I work through it I am surprised to find something. I have created a space before each question mark so ? rather so? it seems crushed in word press and yet I still discover some have no space.

On the more general narrative points :-

1) If you put the waterfall incident in the first story you then need a visual connection, the Isle of Skye cave painting. Conversely if you remove the waterfall scene which is the ultimate expression of Ridleys thinking (meeting God in the second movie) then the "Isle of Skye" is not needed for the connection and simply slows the narrative down. 

2) Very pleased you like the remodelled second act and yes Frances Milburn's experience is based on the cut scene from A L I E N and an interview with either Veronica or Ridley where it is explained precisely what Lambert would be feeling at that moment. I also think getting the answer about the creature would have enabled you to view the movie as a standalone film which in Charlize mind it was.  

3) Vickers for me was a character that was caught between Jon and Damons scripts. Once you have Weyland front and centre you can solve that problem and I am very comfortable with her final decision. Some of that idea came from the fact that after Janek she had her hair down in a pony tail visually she had let go but really its all about more focus on Weyland and playing against that.  

Book 2 

When David wakes he is in the presence of the Nativity painting by P D F, which includes a figure pointing to a hole in the roof looking toward heaven. This is one of the three  destiny markers in the room for David.

The decision to have the Moon was a reaction to many conversations, not on this site, but ordinary film goers about the confusion caused by having two Moons. That the lone craft is 100 Kilometres from the Pyramids is significant to the overall story but explains David being aware of it. Remember there is no Beacon at this point (that idea is buried in some extras) and of course Davids choice has character building value. In my study of the Furious Gods it became clear that for most of the time the movie was being made the Prometheus landed on LV426.

The internal state of the Lone Craft and the Engineer Suit when they arrive should be identical to the Craft and Suits 'hung up' in the movie. I do not want to say to much about what David sees (or misses) in the chair because it plays into the story. David thinks he has seen a dead humanoid encased in a suit which is damaged on the upper right side.

When the craft is depressurised it is subject to a huge drop in temperature and the dirty winds of the planet and it then suffers degradation. I imagine in A L I E N it to be like coming upon a dead body suffering from artic exposure and the ferocious elements of the planet 29 years later.

Many people have referred to the area around the derelict as hinting at broken mechanical shapes, that gave me the idea of dropping Prometheus wreckage there which also would be affected by the inhospitable conditions and merge into the hostile environment thats just a touch rather than very important.

How long the derelict has been there is something you have yet to discover. It has story telling value. When Prometheus was out and Ridley was asked when it got into trouble he said within a couple of hundred years of the Pyramid Incident.  

 

Michelle Johnston

Oct-21-2019 1:43 PM

The Lone Craft

Just to clarify you know at this stage the Ovoid's come from the first pyramid complex and therefore the derelict must have been in its current location for at least two thousand years, maybe more but at least 2,000 years.

Naturally Elizabeth and David are puzzled by its cargo and its destination which they expect to find answers for. David has recordings of the Mural and understands the ritual of the  first part of the cycle but no more.  

BigDave

Oct-21-2019 3:01 PM

Sounds Interesting Michelle ;)

I have been Busy but i will give that site you made a Good Read, and i am really looking forwards to that.

Keep up the Good Work ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

chli

Oct-21-2019 9:31 PM

To have Miss Vickers develop into something better is fine with me and also to get rid of the tumbling croissant. Perhaps the destruction of the juggernaut is enough as a climax but since there is no angry Engineer coming after Shaw, perhaps the xenomorph should have been “saved” for a final battle? On the other hand, it’s a bit tiresome with macho women . . . :)

It’s still a mystery about the mutagen and the eggs (and I'm not sure that the ovoids are "the lesser of two evils" :) ). I’ll keep on reading . . .

Michelle Johnston

Oct-21-2019 10:31 PM

chli

The ending of the movie is caught up with the core dilemma that Ridley's wrestled with. On the one hand he wants to make a fresh movie and is enjoying himself but gets pulled back by that part of his brain that is about advertising and the related perceived benefits of the franchise (and its tropes). 

I have the advantage of a not for profit project and can simply focus on story. If this "all about everything" then the two punch climax of the Roy Batty question leading to the main jeopardy and the subsequent saving of mankind for the second time in 2,000 years is not only enough but enables the viewer/reader to focus on whats really happening in the story. 

Your point about the Ripley/Creature stand off which was done brilliantly in two movies is well made. The Daniels/Creature riff in AC is the perfect example of what happens when you deliberately repeat yourself. 

As your in Book 2 its worth offering this observation from my original very long forward.

"The third task was to decide what the mode of the story telling would be. To some extent this is driven entirely by the narrative considerations and the big idea for the mythos but I decided to try my hand at making all the players routed in normality and then the horror would be in the ideas and the detail of the effect of creating a mutagen whose base sequence is artificial intelligence rather than have monsters and bad tempered big guys running around. It seems to me if you want to pursue a companion piece which is part of a narrative whole make the second piece function differently. I appreciate given the rigidity of a global film audience that is a luxury I can afford whereas the filmmakers cannot. Nevertheless to write an extension which has a different atmosphere is not so very different from the relationship between Aliens and A3 where the link was Ripley.

 

 

chli

Oct-22-2019 12:27 AM

Well, you need to build up (a lot of) tension so you get a "catharsis" at the climax. For example, in Jaws, there was a debate between Spielberg and Benchley whether Brody should blow up the shark as the climax of the movie (and it worked).

(The Age of) Aquarius reminds me of Hair and the hippie movement in the 60s and 70s. This was the age of Däniken and the abduction of the Hills, which is fitting. :)

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