Prometheus Analysis – The Beginning

Engineer pointing towards a Star System

Let me continue where I left off. In the first scene of the film, a spaceship departs a planet, leaving behind a sole engineer next to some kind of a waterfall. The engineer consumes a black substance that acts quite powerfully and results in his rapid disintegration. He then falls into the waterfall and eventually, the broken down molecules that make up the biology of the engineer (Emphasis on DNA is obvious in the film) trigger a biogenetic reaction. Fast forward to a few billion years later, Shaw and Holloway find archaeological evidence cutting across different civilizations and vastly different time periods suggesting that giant beings visited humans and that they seem to be pointing to a star map. They interpret it as an invitation for us to find them.

There are a couple of things I would like to address about these scenes. First, the idea that life originated on Earth due to a direct extraterrestrial intervention (Based on later developments in the film, it would be safe to assume that the first scene is from a prehistoric earth). The second thing is that the planet has been visited by these extraterrestrial Gods during human development.

The first idea is fairly complex, so I will tackle it in my next post. Let’s look into the second point, extraterrestrial visitation. There are several descriptions of visitations by strange crafts and beings in various cultures. Of course, a lot of people would say that the work of  authors like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin had influenced the writers of Prometheus (When Prometheus reaches LV 223 airspace, the crew just find a rocky, uninhabited land, but, suddenly, Holloway spots something in a valley and tells Janek to land there. He comments, “God does not build in straight lines”. The structure that the crew explore later is not the only one in that valley. If my visual memory is right, prior to the landing of Prometheus I could see at least four such structures, may be equidistant from one another and all laid out in a straight line. I am sure that this is what he meant. Another visual that interested me is that there are straight line markings on the surface of the valley. Later, we saw a powerful storm that partly jeopardized the mission. If such a storm is common on the moon, and assuming that the straight line marks on the surface are temporary, then, they should have been destroyed by such a storm. The fact that they are there when Prometheus arrives could possibly mean that they are etched out to attract attention and hence, probably permanent. Däniken theorized that the famous Nazca lines of Peru, especially the straight lines represented some kind of an air strip for extraterrestrial visitors. The longest such straight line in Peru covers nine miles across the plain. Perhaps, this idea inspired the writers. Although there are several theories regarding the purpose of Nazca lines, a recent theory suggests that they represent a giant map of underground water resources traced on land. For more, just head to the wiki page). These two people enjoyed their spotlight in the media as the proponents of ancient astronauts theory and reached legendary status in late night paranormal radio shows. Däniken was particularly popular, with his Chariots of the Gods? selling millions of copies worldwide. Good for both of them.

But the ancient astronaut theory is much older. My first exposure to this concept happened when I was 11 years old. My dad’s former American colleague gave me a book called, The Call of Ctulhu written by H. P. Lovecraft. I finished the book in one sitting and it blew me away. This was probably also the starting point when my visualization capabilities started to improve, for the better or worse. One thing lead to another and now, I can proudly claim that I have read most of H. P. L and he will always be one of my greatest idols. Although I have read many books from Sitchin and Däniken, I am not a fan but I did admire their imagination. And as far as Däniken’s claim that he is the father of Ancient Astronaut theory is concerned – Please! His books should be considered as belonging to the speculative fiction category, nothing more, nothing less.

At this juncture, I would like to take a small sidestep, since it is connected to the general theme of this blog as I had intended when I started it. It should be evident to the long time visitors of this blog that I have an interest in the paranormal, especially, the UFO phenomenon. But, I don’t subscribe to the popular explanation regarding their origins, namely, the Extraterrestrial hypothesis. I am a religious follower of Jacques Vallee’s work and naturally subscribe to his Control System, Unexplored aspect of consciousness approach. Extra dimensional origin theory seems to be another viable option. The reason why I am mentioning this is because Vallee has spent a considerable amount of time researching folklore and history and reports of human contact with otherworldly  beings (fairies, demons, angels etc.) over the ages. Most of these extraordinary reports always involve some kind of technology that is beyond human comprehension and can be compared to the modern day UFO phenomenon. Remember Arthur C. Clarke’s  third law – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Anyway, Vallee concludes that the phenomenon has been with us since ancient times and seems to influence our belief system. He has written exhaustively about the trickster nature of this anomaly. For more fascinating details, I suggest you folks read the book, Passport to Magonia by Vallee. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Vallee and Chris Aubeck came out with another book in 2010 called, Wonders in the Sky – Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times and Their Impact on Human Culture, History and Beliefs. This book includes chronology of reports dating back to around 1460 BC. If you wanna expand your horizons further, you should read all of Valle’s books.

The idea that ancient civilizations have been visited by intelligent God-like beings has been well implemented in the film. But it’s the message that they convey to the humans that is mysterious.

Now that we have talked about ET visitation aspect of the film, let us analyze the concept that life originated on earth based on the engineers’ intervention in the next post.

Prometheus Analysis – Part I: The Title

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.

Prometheus – From Wikipedia

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!).

Creation of Man from Clay – Wikipedia

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.

Prometheus Spaceship

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!).

Prometheus – Part I

Charlie, Elisabeth and David

First, I would like to talk a bit about the film Prometheus. The film is more than three months old, I know. But the film premiered here in Germany only a few weeks back and I watched the English version just a couple of weeks back. I am sure there are multiple websites dedicated completely towards unlocking the secrets of the film. But, I decided not to visit any of those websites until I had seen the movie myself and have tried to understand its meaning.

My Dopamine levels shot through the roof causing a tremendous excitement in anticipation of this film and The Dark Knight Rises. As every SciFi fan would attest, Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time. The first time I saw the film, I was shaken to the core. It took me a couple of days to recover from the shock. On top of that, I have this problem that I am good at visualizing. I would take elements from what I have heard or seen and would wrap a fantasy around them and let it evolve. The accompanying visuals, although fantastic, would leave me shit scared at times. It reached impeccable levels after watching Alien.

One of the greatest badasses in movie history – Ellen Fuckin Ripley

Although Prometheus is a kind of prequel to Alien, I think the film can be considered in its entirety as a stand alone film. Ridley Scott even mentioned that his idea was not to make a direct prequel, but to take the questions that everyone had about Alien and try to wrap a story around them, but make it unique. I believe he has succeeded in that exercise. Nevertheless, for the die-hard fan, it would make sense to try to connect the elements in Prometheus with Alien. But, as it turns out, it is not that straightforward. Prometheus has given rise to more questions than answers. Like every fanatic, I am trying to find the connection between the films. From just a superficial standpoint, it is evident that there are aspects in Prometheus that can be connected to Alien. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. This is exactly what I would like to address in the next couple of posts. My analysis is based on my own interpretation of the movie and guesses and hunches as to how I perceive the saga going forward for a more direct connection to the Alien series.

More in the next post———-