Prometheus Forum
We are the Gods now
Question about the beginning of Prometheus [Spoiler]
  • Hey, I'm new here and saw Prometheus at the Belfast midnight screening on Thursday.

    There are so many questions about this movie that are unanswered, but one in particular is bugging me. At the start of the film we see an Engineer presumably sacrificing himself to begin the human race by drinking the black stuff that later plagues the characters in the movie. However, when the characters Fifield and Holloway encounter the black stuff, Fifield burns and later mutates, whilst Holloway goes through a similar transformation.

    This brings me to my question, because we find out that the Engineers shared virtually the same genetic make up as the humans, why does the Engineer disintegrate and die within minutes of drinking the black stuff, yet Holloway mutates about 24 hours after drinking the spiked alcohol David gives him?

    Any ideas/theories or pointing out something I've missed here would be very appreciated.

  • roguedesignerroguedesigner  
    Colonist
    Each of the three characters you mention have significantly different doses of the stuff. 
  • MajorWintersMajorWinters  
    Colonist
    Well both the engineer and Holloway ingested the substance- presumably to have the same fate. Maybe the quantity taken is a reason here? Holloway takes a minute amount and disintegrates more slowly? Additionally, I think that the decapitated head brought into prometheus was infected- and he appeared to be running for a wee while before his death.

    Fifield (much like the worms) are bathed in the substance (he lands face down)- this may be the reason for the differing responses?
    Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.
  • NautilusNautilus  
    Colonist

    Hey, I'm new here and saw Prometheus at the Belfast midnight screening on Thursday.

    There are so many questions about this movie that are unanswered, but one in particular is bugging me. At the start of the film we see an Engineer presumably sacrificing himself to begin the human race by drinking the black stuff that later plagues the characters in the movie. However, when the characters Fifield and Holloway encounter the black stuff, Fifield burns and later mutates, whilst Holloway goes through a similar transformation.

    This brings me to my question, because we find out that the Engineers shared virtually the same genetic make up as the humans, why does the Engineer disintegrate and die within minutes of drinking the black stuff, yet Holloway mutates about 24 hours after drinking the spiked alcohol David gives him?

    Any ideas/theories or pointing out something I've missed here would be very appreciated.



    No you have n't missed anything, it is unexplained so have to come out with some elaborate plot device of your own to explain it I'm affraid.
  • roguedesignerroguedesigner  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Unexplained apart from the massively different quantities ingested in each case.
  • PavelPavel  
    Colonist
    First off, I don't think in the beginning of the movie that the engineer is on Earth.  This would mean that Ridley Scott is saying that the pinnacle of all life on the planet earth is a tall white nordic human with a roman nose, a white power version of an Aryan.  So God, the creator of life, is a white power Aryan, really?  I don't think that's part of Ridley Scott's vision here. 

    It would make more sense that this engineer ingested the goo to weaponize himself to stop the other engineers from using the weapon.  It would decimate the planet, as it appears to have done, thousands of years ago.  It would explain what the holograms were running from in the tunnels and it would explain the holocaust that occurred after that.  In this way that first engineer who dies after ingesting the goo is the savior of mankind, in this way he is Prometheus.

    It would also help to explain why the engineers all look alike and why the goo reacted differently for the engineer.  They are probably clones, and what's more they are probably a part of the weapon.  They are meant to mix with the goo.  Their bodies are designed or cultivated to become weapons, they die, but so does everything else on the planet they are attacking.  This would explain why it entered the engineer so rapidly and converted him into the weapon.

    If he wanted to create life on a lifeless planet  then he could have just taken a dump in the water.  IF he was human he should have the same digestive track that humans have, full of trillions of microbes.  That would mean that one episode of explosive diarrhea would leave at least billions of microbes in the water.
  • RAFAEL7676RAFAEL7676  
    Colonist
    Halloway was given a drop, the Engineer drank a whole bowl
  • Henri111Henri111  
    Colonist
    I also feel this important scene is a secret whose meaning is yet to be revealed .....his DNA appeared to be obliterated, 
    not modified,unless I missed something. Yet there was no indication that he was a host, however.

    There's nothing in the film relevent to this scene as far as I can see. So the connection must appear in the next 
    installment.

    To say he deliberately sacrificed himself isn't how I perceive it, but that he was surprised at the result. 

    Placing it as the first scene suggests it may happened prior to the expedition... and I suspect there may be 

    no more of the engineers race left, alive on their planet.
     
     It's certainly possible I misread the visuals, but we will have to wait to know.


    "In this way that first engineer who dies after ingesting the goo is the savior of mankind, in this way he is Prometheus"  (pretty clever interpretation of the title)   yes!. We might consider the legend more, in interpreting the overall story,
  • Troym76Troym76  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    It wasnt the same black stuff if you look at at there was worms and stuff in it there was no silky black goo.
  • Henri111Henri111  
    Colonist
    I see Ridley didn't come up with the title, but the studio suggested it.
    All bets are off insofar as the legend being especially significant to the story.

    He DOES suggest that earth may have been seen as a "failed" experiment.
     So this story may go most anywhere.


  • JonnywinJonnywin  
    Colonist
    Wasn't the stuff at the start golden? I remember it looking significantly different.
  • bunnypfbunnypf  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Pavel said:

    First off, I don't think in the beginning of the movie that the engineer is on Earth.  This would mean that Ridley Scott is saying that the pinnacle of all life on the planet earth is a tall white nordic human with a roman nose, a white power version of an Aryan.  So God, the creator of life, is a white power Aryan, really?  I don't think that's part of Ridley Scott's vision here. 





    Scott has said that the location of planet at the beginning is left to the viewer to interpret.
    "Once upon a time I was a hell of an Engineer."
  • ZeppoZeppo  
    Colonist
    We are assuming that the substance the Engineer drank was the same as that found in the ampules by the crew. I also don't believe that it was earth shown in the opening scene, but is was meant to represent human creation. I don't think the Engineer was so much shocked by the results of ingesting but the pain it must of caused. One thing the movie never told us was why? and nor should it, creation is a speculative theme. 

    If the liquid was the same, then we have to obvious theory's, the dosage, and the lack of Human DNA in the Engineers. what i took from the film was the idea that the engineers created human to use as hosts in order to create the Xeno's. They didn't come sooner as we needed to be at a specific point in our evolution for the goo to do whats intedned. Unfortuantly i think there creation got out of control, as shown by the movie and instead of being slaves to its masters (Like david represented to his creators) they could think for themselves. 
  • GahlaktusGahlaktus  
    Colonist
    The goo taken by the Sacrificial Engineer had other visibly different ingredients in it. It was speckled with a golden gleaming substance. It was also covered at first. Contact with air seems to dissolve that covering whatever it was, to reveal goo speckled with golden stuff. The engineer ingests it, looks weird, and dissolves.

    Holloway had a single drop of pure black goo. Fifield fell in it. Perhaps he ingested none of it but it was absorbed through his pores. Perhaps.
  • MorganScorpionMorganScorpion  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Maybe the alcohol in which the goo was put altered the chemical composition of the goo in some way.
  • dezdez  
    Colonist
    At the very end of the opening scene, we see the DNA tumbling at the bottom of the river, then we see the cell splitting / doubling/ splitting as a human baby does in a womb.

    The problem is, the human baby is a species incapable of surviving until it is several years+ old

    Even if 1,000,000 were created/ grown, all of them would die

    So we have a very big hole in the theory that this is how life is created on earth by the sacrifice of the engineer
  • Dancing_FrogDancing_Frog  (2 like this)
    Colonist
    It's one of internal inconsistencies of Prometheus. If you scrutinize it too hard, it falls apart. That's one of the problems of basing your storytelling primarily on the introduction of mystery boxes to maintain interest. You actually should have something that makes sense that you're not telling the audience. Otherwise, some people come away confused by the inconsistencies, your main characters look like idiots, and you look like your pulling things out of your ass just to advance the plot.

    For example, the beginning shows the engineers are capable of molecular manipulation. With that in mind, when Shaw and Ford allegedly take a sample from a head with cells in a state of change that exploded, the sample should logically contain a mix of engineer DNA and morphed DNA in different states of mutation considering how pervasive the infection was. However, they find only one type of DNA in the sample, and it is a match to human DNA. So, how likely is it that Shaw found and isolated engineer DNA when she has no idea what she's looking for? Or, is it more likely that Shaw and Ford analyzed a contaminant from one of the humans in the room or an isolated strand of morphed DNA? Any way you look at it, the conclusion that we come from them is not substantiated by that test.

    The other thing about the beginning is that civilizations and species have a lifespan. They are not forever. The planet that they are showing at the beginning, if it is earth, would be earth as it were 1 billion years ago after the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle was established and plants evolved. Given that all species drift and change due to a variety of factors, how is it after a billion years the engineers are still the same species that created us? Which is more likely? Earth one billion years ago or an accelerated evolution program on a another world?

    I wouldn't look at the beginning as babies in water. It's supposed to be the introduction of multicellar animal life on a world, it's just been poorly thought out by people who are artists and not scientists. Rather than embryos, it would have been smarter to have them morph into single cell animal life forms that most of us are familiar with from middle school biology. 

    Rocket Scientist
  • dezdez  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Nicely said :)
  • They could have really helped tighten up the story had they done a 2-3 minute scene with someone analyzing the goo.  They had an opportunity to use either Shaw/Ford analyzing the black goo from the head or David analyzing the black goo from the ampoule.  They also could have taken a sample from the urn room on their second trip into the facility.


    Janek : "Ford, get a sample of this material coming out of these containers!  I need to know if this stuff poses a risk to my ship and crew"


    Would anyone have thought it was strange and out of place had he done that?


     


     


     

Welcome!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Login with Facebook Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID

Forum Tips

• Bookmark All Discussions to catch all of the action.
• Introduce yourself here.
• Click your username for more options.
Dismiss to unsticky discussions.
Imgur for hosting images.
• Email: prometheusforum@gmail.com
• More forum tips.