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Prometheus (2012) Vivisected: Part 1: The Unacceptable Discontinuity between Alien and Prometheus

October 26, 2012

By now you’ve seen it in theaters, caught it at your discount theater, found a good Rip from some torrent site or even bought the Blu-Ray.  So everyone’s seen it by now, right? After seeing Prometheus I had very mixed feelings.  First off, overall, I enjoyed the movie.  I loved pieces, ideas and scenes of the movie; most likely these were the highlights of the initial pitch meetings.  But I had a lot of questions.  Not because the movie was the kind of movie that “makes people think,” but because the movie-makers and their poorly synthesized decisions did.

It all started with a major misinformation campaign.  Previews and interviews building up to the film’s release showcased a movie based on the Alien universe that would be “familiar” to fans of the franchise, but was specifically “not a prequel.”  All blatant lies as this is clearly a prequel.  Apparently, producers were worried that younger viewers who were less familiar with the franchise would feel alienated, avoiding the movie because they wouldn’t know what was going on.  I guess these producers have never hit the convention circuit, lush with teens and 20-somethings (and, of course, much older fans as well) quoting “bad call, Ripley” or “get away from her you bitch” and, without fail, “game over man, game over.”  The Alien franchise is inescapable to any television owner as we have been bombarded cheap 80s movie rip-offs (e.g., Alien Contamination, Deep Space, The Terror Within) and pop-culture references in witty, adult animated series (e.g., The Critic, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Robot Chicken)—not to mention the numerous comic book series and the recent videogame-esque AVP: Aliens vs Predator movies…and, right!  Or video games and toys that accompany them!

Oodles of comic book mini-series across decades…

And even a damned Predalien plushie!

I struggle to believe that any sci-fi fan, regardless of age, could have possibly been unfamiliar with the plot or, more so, would avoid an uber-budgeted effects-driven summer sci-fi release.  This is the product of IDIOT producers and marketers thinking that you, me, all of us, are IDIOTS! While watching Prometheus, scene by scene, I constantly found myself wondering: Why did they do it like that?  As I vivisect Prometheus for your [dis]approval, here are a few things that I found I would have done differently. Today I’ll be complaining about the unacceptable discontinuity between Alien and Prometheus. Why was this a different planet than in Alien?  Why was it LV-223?  In Alien, the Nostromo’s crew was awakened from their hyper-sleep when they passed the moon LV-426.  It was on LV-426 that they found the crashed alien ship like the one we see in Prometheus, “the space jockey” Engineer that we clearly meet [or his twin!] in Prometheus, and the xenomorph egg chamber which was paralleled in Prometheus.

Hey, kids!  Stop climbing on the Mr. 1979 space jockey!  He probably doesn’t like that very much.  Wait!  Is he dead?  Stop playing with the dead thing!

However, in Prometheus the egg chamber and the “Space Jockey’s” command seat were in different rooms—so it’s a totally different scenario, right?  If this was the same engineer in the same ship on the same moon as in Alien, would it really have thrown off any sci-fi viewers new to the franchise?  Say “yes” and I’ll Liam Neeson throat-chop you a la Taken! Stop trying to prove that this is not a prequel—we don’t buy it!!!  In the end of Prometheus, the only Engineer is attacked by a super weird, super-sized, starfish-Xenomorph thing.  He loses this little tussle and is reproductively smothered.


Slightly less subtle than the facehugger from Alien, isn’t it?  This one was modeled to solve that pesky blue whale problem they engineered on Earth.

Then—while he’s NOT sitting in his command seat contrary to Alien’s clear implication—a big-ass fully metamorphosed xenomorph erupts from his body. Why didn’t they just put him in the damned seat in the starmap room?!? He had started doing something in there earlier in Prometheus anyway.  Maybe, just maybe after regaining consciousness he’d want to go finish it up instead of desperately pursuing some inferior being that he created and was mentally prepared to eradicate like a domestic roach infestation.  Maybe even his damaged ship could have done whatever it was he wanted to do.  Either way, the movies would have been connected and it wouldn’t have hurt the new film or its viewers’ comprehension thereof in any way. Speaking of alien ships…  The crashed ship at the end of Prometheus is in the same damned position as the one in Alien!!!  How dare you say the movies aren’t connected!  All this decision does is upset fans (e.g., THIS GUY!).  Just let it be the same damned ship that Ripley and crew found 30 years later.

So…just to be clear…  Evidently two different alien Engineer compounds were made on two different moons in the same star system to serve as weapons-of-mass-destruction manufacturer’s AND at both of these alien factories something went horribly wrong which resulted in killing all but one sole-surviving Engineer who survived just long enough to get infected by a xenomorph (which it “engineered” and should fully understand) which just may turn out to be a queen laying egg-traps for the next investigating cosmonauts AND both Engineer ship headquarters end up trying to take off but re-crash in the SAME EXACT POSITION on two different moons AND in the random dead of space both such moons are—in terms of space travel and years-long hyper-cryo-sleep—rather swiftly encountered because, well, they must be on some heavily trafficked human space route.  Funny they never stopped by while the engineers had the operation up and running, then, huh?  Well, okay.  I guess when I say it out loud it’s not all so far-fetched any more.  WTFF?!?!?!


All things considered…  I still would’ve liked to see the xenomorph poetically make its way to the egg chamber, foreshadowing John Hurt’s face-hugger fate in Alien or, in this case, a surprisingly similar crew member who stumbled across this surprisingly similar moon.



Hey, Mr. Engineer.  I may have a lot of complaints about connecting your movie to Alien, but I still liked Prometheus.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  You don’t have to drink the death pudding gook in your little Chinese tea bowl thingy.


20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2012 6:09 pm

    Future Space Crew Member 1: Hey ever since that android showed up everyone’s died in strange ways
    Future Space Crew Member 2: Hey yea, that is weird. Alright let’s get the rest of these androids loaded up and ready for our next Space Adventure!!!

    • johnleavengood permalink
      October 27, 2012 5:23 pm

      Ash (Alien) was a real doucher, too. And cloned Ripley-droid (Resurrection) was bitter while Winona-droid (Resurrection) was annoying. But at least Bishop (Aliens) was a stand-up guy–er…droid.

      • October 30, 2012 9:53 am

        What about the guy who makes the maps getting lost? That was a soul hurting moment in an ambitious film.

  2. johnleavengood permalink
    November 17, 2012 10:20 am

    The worst cartographer/geologist ever and the worst biologist ever will be tossed into the fire in part 3.

  3. January 25, 2013 8:04 am

    Thanks for checking our my review. I Appreciate it.

    I find all your points valid. Someone needs to mention the bad psychological profiles of the characters. [Main] Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is a strange one. At the mere hint about children she gets VERY upset. Ooohh touchy, BUT! Vickers TORCHES her husband right in front of her and no, no reaction or quest for revenge or even a question of why- when they meet later. I certainly think she’d deserve a little trip as they both run from the rolling Alien ship.

    And I have another question. As advanced as the A.I. David was, why were humans needed for this trip again? What was their function? It’s pretty obvious you don’t really need humans as hosts to collect specimens or space-mens.

    • johnleavengood permalink
      March 30, 2013 9:13 pm

      More good points! This movie has afforded viewers with more valid criticisms than almost any other movie on record about anything! I could do an entire post about the cartographer that got lost while in radio contact with the captain who had a 3-D map with the crew members’ locations tracked. Or perhaps another post on the biologist which had no interest whatsoever to examine humanoid alien carcasses and had no fear of the 3-foot long cobra-like critter that hissed at him. It HISSED. What human doesn’t back off from something that HISSES!?!

      Thanks for your comments!

  4. Victor De Leon permalink
    January 28, 2014 4:55 pm

    My brain hurts. I gotta watch Prometheus again. I really must have not been paying attention the first go round. I’ll come back to your post afterwards! Good job!

    • johnleavengood permalink
      January 28, 2014 4:57 pm

      Check out part two of this article. It’s entirely on the black goo and alien infestation.

      • Victor De Leon permalink
        January 28, 2014 5:03 pm

        Oh, ok! I will, thanks!

  5. March 24, 2017 4:23 pm

    Ok, I realize you wrote your vivisection of Prometheus right after it came out, and you couldn’t have known how the franchise was gonna develop… but was it so far fetched to imagine that Prometheus was NOT the DIRECT prequel to Alien, but instead just the beginning of whole series of movies that at some point WILL connect directly to Alien at the end? Like David said “Big things have small beginnings”. They even included it in the Prometheus trailer.
    SO… all things considered, turns out they didn’t lie to us at all, right? You were just too fixated on the idea that Prometheus was gonna be the direct prequel to Alien, you didn’t see the forest for all the trees.


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