You see, neurons are atrocious little beasts that can amplify even the smallest of effects and in the process, stimulate your thought progression. Such a stimulation happened when I watched Prometheus. The first time I watched the film, I paid attention to the main plot, the obvious links with Alien (proto-alien, facehuggers, space jockey etc.) and simply soak in all the stunning visuals. I watched it again, but this time, my focus was on symbolism’s, hidden meanings and subliminal messages/images in the film. After pouring over my notes the next few days, I decided I should post my thoughts.
As I had mentioned earlier, the following is just my interpretation. Of course, it could turn out to be completely against the analysis of other hardcore fans or the views of the film makers. But, I love doing it. The last time I did something like this was when The Matrix Reloaded came out. I wrote a lengthy article on that film talking about various symbolism’s in the film and what they meant. In addition, I theorized as to how Revolutions would end. I actually went for the Zion is a second level simulation scenario. But it was easy to theorize that Neo had to sacrifice himself to destroy Agent Smith. Even tried an amateurish crack at connecting Quantum Mechanics with Agent Smith’s duplication and so on. Anyway, we all know how the film turned out. I was dead wrong in my analysis, except for the death of Neo part. I tried my level best reaching out to various weekly journals to get it published and all I got was, thanks, but no thanks. Regardless, it was fun. So, my point is, I do this time to time and I sincerely hope that my interpretation does not offend anyone.
OK, lets move on. First, whats up with Prometheus as the title? It makes perfect sense. Prometheus, in Greek mythology is a Titan and is credited with the creation of man from clay. He is also responsible for stealing fire from the Gods and giving it to humans. We all know what role fire played in the creation of civilizations and advancement of mankind. For this theft, he incurred the wrath of the Gods who punished him by tying him to a rock and making an eagle feed on his liver every day. Liver, as you know has a regenerative capability. On a side note, I worked previously in trying to reconstruct the complex gene-regulatory machinery that was responsible for controlling the detoxification of drugs in the human liver. One of my best friends and colleagues, who worked in the same project called his work-station, Prometheus. Sorry, I had to give a shout out to my bud (Hi Joe!).
As Wikipedia states, Prometheus was interpreted in the western classical tradition as someone who was symbolic for the quest of scientific truths, but sometimes at the cost of reaching tragic results ( Over the years, we have seen such tragedies happen in our quest to unlock the secrets of the universe, be it, space travel or trying to harness the power of the atom, to quote a few examples). He is known for his intelligence and most certainly is a champion of mankind.
But what interests me the most is that in addition to the description above, he is considered to be one of those so called trickster figures. This is something that I spent sometime looking into. I will talk about it in detail a little later in the analysis.
Based on all this, Prometheus is a perfect name for the film and the spaceship. The anthropologists’ quest to know the truth about human existence captures the very essence of Prometheus. But, as we saw in the film, their efforts in uncovering the truth resulted in death, destruction and the creation of a horrific new life-form that contributes either directly or indirectly to the xenomorphs that wreak havoc in the future (Alien, Aliens, etc., although they gave us Ripley!).