Finally saw the movie last week.
Locutus of Bored wrote:
Even Scott's out-of-movie attempts at making the film seem profound fail to be consistent with what was actually in the film. Take the Space Jesus idea, for example...
With that bit now nice and explained, let's get to the bigger question -- what did we do to make God/our creators angry? Well, if you theorized that it was because we crucified Jesus, you win! Confirming that at one point the script explicitly spelled this out, Scott says that was the direction they were taking with the story -- at least at first. "We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose," he admits. "But if you look at it as an 'our children are misbehaving down there' scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, 'Let’s send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it.' Guess what? They crucified him."
Why would the Engineers be moved to destroy us because of our crucifixion of their emissary Jesus? Wasn't his sacrifice for the sins of man the whole point of Jesus' death? Isn't self-sacrifice to advance humanity's development the entire basis of the Engineer's philosophy as witnessed by the beginning of the film and their temple? So why be upset by the simple fulfillment of the most basic tenet of their belief system?
My take was that maybe the "mission" Jesus undertook was to teach the Romans the need for self-sacrifice, with the hopes that our species may have become an advanced-enough civilization to grasp the concept. To paraphrase one of the mantras in the movie - "Every king must die" - perhaps it was hoped that whoever was serving as Caesar during that time may have been compelled to die for the Greater Good of civilization. Methinks the Engineers heavily underestimated their creations' instinct for self-preservation - a potentially unique adaptation to our species during its development on a hostile Earth - an adaptation they didn't foresee.
My other thoughts:
I can't remember specifically if the team, towards, the end, made the specific assumption (in-dialog) that this was a bio-weapons facility or not. I have vague recollection of this, but can't be sure. A 14-year-old boy appeared to have either a seizure or go into diabetic coma next to me and my wife in the middle of the movie, so some details are a bit fuzzy. I have no idea if he pulled out of it, but he seemed to be somewhat lucid when the EMT's came to get him out. In any case, I think the assumption (and I'm going to focus on that word - assumption
) on the part of the crew and some posters here is in error - although I'm sure we were meant to think it was this way, either deliberately or through sloppy dialog and editing - in so far as the black oil could
be used as a weapon, depending on how it was wielded. Remember Genesis in ST2 & 3? It was a tool built by the Federation to create life. The Klingons saw it as a biogenic weapon, capable of destroying life on whole worlds. Both viewpoints, of course, were true. The oil was used to break down the molecules of an Engineer to create life on Earth. It was also going to be used en-mass to destroy it - not because it was designed that way and hidden away on some distant moon, but because the Engineers knew of our human nature. All they would have to do is drop all those canisters on Earth, they would crack open and the oil would be programmed
to our nature to destroy us. The engineers weren't afraid of it, as for them it was a tool to create life in selfless sacrifice of their own. For them, it was a sacred substance that could be used to either build or destroy - morally neutral.
It is entirely possible that some Engineers set up this remote base so that others didn't find out about their plans. If Scott is taking from various aspects of Earth mythology, I think he's going for a mix of the Kabbalah and Indian mythology next - and starting to work with the nature of Seraphim and fallen angels. What if these Engineers who wanted to destroy us were misinterpreted in ancient times as the angels who were cast out of Paradise, jealous of our own creation as humans. The war between these angels could very well have been a civil war between the creator Engineers and the destroying Engineers, and we were just a pawn world in the greater war. The Indian Mahabharata
spoke of a massive war with great weapons in ancient times. If Scott is going von Daniken on this, why not go all the way?
I, too, am starting to think that he should have left the xenomorph connection out of all this. Let it stand on its own as an Ancient Aliens/Ancient Mythology tale. But I think the temptation to pull it back into the Alien fold of his original film was too great. I'm giving it a B+. I was trying to look deeper beyond the surface meaning of the film and definitely saw something there. I don't feel that I was as distracted by the stupidity that always shows up in the form of modern horror movie tropes, knowing there was something else there - bigger and far more significant - to focus on.