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Prometheus: Questions for Discussion.

You know, for after you've seen it...

It should go without saying that there will be spoilers here.

In the original Prometheus story, Prometheus steals fire from heaven for the sake of man, and is punished by having his liver eaten by an eagle.

In this story, who is Prometheus? Who are the gods? What is the fire? And what is the punishment?

Prometheus is the name of the ship (and by extension, its crew), so let's work with that. In that case, the gods are the engineers. The fire we're stealing is presumably eternal life, or possibly just knowledge of our origins. But what is the punishment, and what the eagle? Death for many, sure - much of it brought on by the xenomorph organism - but not for the chief mover behind the seeking. (Weyland was the material cause, but the trip wasn't his idea.) One might argue that she was the most like Prometheus - attempting to benefit humanity in general - and she is practically rewarded for her efforts. Hm.

And besides, in this story, the engineers die. Not very godlike. And it sounds like they create a technology that ultimately proves their undoing. Could the engineers be Prometheus? So that the gods are abstractions like life itself (something not to be trifled with), the fire is human life, and the punishment is death by xenomorph? That final scene with the engineer was more than a little reminiscent of having your liver eaten by an eagle.

Or perhaps it's closer to what my friend Charles suggested: "You are Prometheus. You're trying to steal entertainment from this film. The liver is your wallet. The eagle is Ridley Scott."

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You know, for after you've seen it...

It should go without saying that there will be spoilers here.

In the original Prometheus story, Prometheus steals fire from heaven for the sake of man, and is punished by having his liver eaten by an eagle.

In this story, who is Prometheus? Who are the gods? What is the fire? And what is the punishment?

Prometheus is the name of the ship (and by extension, its crew), so let's work with that. In that case, the gods are the engineers. The fire we're stealing is presumably eternal life, or possibly just knowledge of our origins. But what is the punishment, and what the eagle? Death for many, sure - much of it brought on by the xenomorph organism - but not for the chief mover behind the seeking. (Weyland was the material cause, but the trip wasn't his idea.) One might argue that she was the most like Prometheus - attempting to benefit humanity in general - and she is practically rewarded for her efforts. Hm.

And besides, in this story, the engineers die. Not very godlike. And it sounds like they create a technology that ultimately proves their undoing. Could the engineers be Prometheus? So that the gods are abstractions like life itself (something not to be trifled with), the fire is human life, and the punishment is death by xenomorph? That final scene with the engineer was more than a little reminiscent of having your liver eaten by an eagle.

Or perhaps it's closer to what my friend Charles suggested: "You are Prometheus. You're trying to steal entertainment from this film. The liver is your wallet. The eagle is Ridley Scott."

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Hooray for Charles! I'm going to laugh all day at that line.

June 11, 2012
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