The Aliens In Prometheus Are Angry Because We Killed Space Jesus

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Let’s just start this off with a big, giant SPOILER WARNING for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Seriously, if you haven’t already seen the movie and plan to, and would like to go in unsullied, then click away right this very minute because we’re going to be throwing out specifics below the break. Perhaps go peruse some of our other content, or find out what’s going on in the world of science fiction this week. Still here? Alright, you’ve been warned. If you stick around below this picture of Charlize Theron in a very well-fitting spacesuit, you have only yourself to blame.

Now then, if you’ve seen Prometheus you know that much of the film hinges on the actions and motivations of the mysterious Engineers, the name given to the aliens previously only seen as a mummified corpse in Alien and referred to as the “space jockey.” In Prometheus we get to see what they look like under the Sandman-esque mask, and we get to explore what could be some sort of sacred site, bio-lab, or weapons-testing facility, depending on your interpretation of the movie. We learn that humanity was created as the product of Engineer, well, engineering. The specifics of that creation are suggested in the film’s opening sequence, when one of the Engineers takes a swig of mysterious black liquid and disintegrates at the cellular level, seeding a nearby stream with his DNA. As the title suggests, Prometheus is riddled with religious themes and symbolism, from brief visuals all the way up to direct dialogue exchanges. In spite of all of this, however, the film ultimately plays coy with outright explaining the Engineers’ motivations, or what causes the disaster that killed off all but one member of their installation on LV-223.

One particular blogger has taken a fine-toothed comb to Prometheus, however, and come up with a surprisingly compelling theory that sounds ridiculous at first glance, but which makes more and more sense the further you get into his argument. The theory posits the Engineers as beings with a deep, ritualized respect for self-sacrifice; envisions the black slime as a substance that responds to not just the subject’s biology, but their intentions; and suggests that the Engineers decided we were a failed experiment because we killed Space Jesus.

While that sounds like a joke, the idea is actually straight from the mouth of director Ridley Scott, taken from an interview with Movies.com. Here’s the excerpt in question:

Movies.com: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?

Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. 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, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.

So while it sounds like Scott dismissed this specific concept, the bones of it are still apparent in the film, most notably the mention that whatever disaster befell the LV-223 settlement occurred “around 2,000 years ago.” Even if you don’t agree with blogger Cavalorn’s theories, there’s no question that they’re intriguing and well argued. We definitely recommend heading over to Cavalorn’s blog and reading the full essay.

Finally, we’ll leave you with this food for thought. Prometheus unfolds on a moon designated LV-223 (as opposed to LV-426, where Alien and Aliens were set). This is the text of Leviticus 22:3, from the New International Version of the Bible:

Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the LORD, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD.

If that wasn’t intentional symbolism on their part, it’s a pretty damned impressive coincidence.


  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.stitt.7 Craig Stitt

    The possible religions overtones first struck me when they make the statement that the beheaded Engineer is roughly 2000 years old, and that they were taking off to wipe us out, but then I got distracted with all the other stuff that is more then a little off with the film. But now, being reminded of that, and especially with the little “LV-223′ bit… The movie makes a lot more sense and actually has a lot more depth then I first gave it credit for. I ‘might’ almost end up liking this film after all. Which will be quite a change, because every day since I first saw it, I have thought it over and have just gotten more and more frustrated. But, now, maybe there is hope.

  • jimmy99

    So the actions of a few humans would justify the destruction of an entire species? This does not sound like the idea of a superior species. I’m glad he didn’t go with that plot. And didn’t god get a “do over” in the flood? It would have ruined the film for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/craig.stitt.7 Craig Stitt

      Although I do like the possible religious overtones and concept (because it makes a lot of the movie make more sense) Even though it might look like the Engineers were ‘punishing’ the whole planet for the actions of a few… if you take a broader look at the world, not just Rome 2000 years ago, there were some brilliant flourishing societies… but I think the Engineers, having probably done this before, had seen enough to know that in the end, mankind would end up a mess (and they would have been right), so they were going to hit the ‘reset’ button.
      I left the movie with the impression that the Engineers where basically just a waring species, with plans to use Earth as a ‘test tube’ for their bio-weapons. But now, I see them in a very different light. And although Scott may have pulled back a bit from that concept, the simple fact that he/they left in the fact that the ship was preparing to head to Earth 2000 years ago, and the chances of LV-223 and Lev 22:3 having any correlation at all, makes me think that, although more subdued, that is still the core story behind the movie and the Engineer’s actions. Still have lots of questions, but now they are the kinds of questions that don’t seem irrelevant or stupid. (Although there are still a few scenes in the movie that just don’t make any sense – like the geologist who gets lost, is terrified of anything ‘alien’, but decides to ‘take a break’ in the creepiest room they can find, and THEN, get all lovey-dovy with a creepy penis-vigina alien worm/tentacle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DrewsPlace Andrew Reese

        being a geologist does not make you automatically good with maps. That would be a geographer, and not even then specifically as geography is the study of the movement of people not necessarily even maps. So the people that are claiming the geologist got lost don’t have their facts right. Also if you want to bring up the in contact with the ship point, the captain said the storm was interfering with the connection when it was at full force, so there ya go.

        • Eric Allen

          So… Their “advanced” technology somehow can’t record AND stream at the same time? BS. We can do that now. Furthermore, when the captain asks where they are… he could simply turn around to the GIANT F-ING TABLE WHERE EVERYTHING IS MAPPED OUT AND EACH PERSON IS TAGGED.

          And since we’re on the subject… how is it that they have awesome technology of floating objects that float around and map an entire structure in minutes yet 30 years on the future space marines ONLY have handheld MOTION detectors and paper construction plans??? Sure… the space marines probably have worse technology then independent contractors would… however… this movie is 30 years EARLIER and the difference in technology is probably 100 years at least… come on!!! Is there ANY military in the world using technology from over 100 years ago? No. Absurd.

          • bloggyblogblog

            There are several handguns in common use now that date back nearly a century. The most popular assault rifle on the planet dates back nearly 80 years in design. It’s not quite as absurd as you make it out to be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ajdutton77 Tony Dutton

            1947 was only 65 years ago, its called an AK-47 because it was designed in 1947.

    • JT

      According to Christianity… Yes.

  • Sleeper99999

    If Jesus was an Engineer, why didn’t he arrive in Rome, or some other highly developed part of the world like China?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffreydeanroot Jeffrey Dean Root

    Has anyone considered that the engineers themselves were at war with others from their own species and the facility on that moon was like an area 51 where they build secret weapons, even biological weapons?

  • greatmoviesaregreat

    Did you all fail to see the hundreds of other planets in the hologram? They were going to them all, destroying/seeding them. Earth is left over because the space jockey for earth was still in stasis. The others had already gone to destroy/seed. This is why it is all he wants to do when he awakes and tries to fly to earth. to finish his mission. Earth is the only left over planet.

    • David Lizewski

      Why was he in stasis after his colleagues succumbed to xeno flu?

  • Dan Bertilsson

    Ridley Scott himself said that Jesus being an engineer almost made it into the script.
    It got scrapped due to “issues” with the republican christian right, whom actually owns FOX.
    You can imagine the shitstorm that would have ensued if they had filmed this part…
    Keep in mind, 42% of americans do not believe in evolution and are deeply religious…so that part of the script would have created a cultural war, some cinemas in the bible belt would have outright banned this movie hands down.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KU5NYW2GUGXLEYFIX2MZLHZN7U Captain Commander

      Could be worse. If it were Mohamed as an alien, you could expect to see mass riots and bomb threats against the “infidels” Ridley Scott and Fox Studios.

      Making Jesus an alien would have been taken as a big joke. That’s all. Space Jesus would become a new internet meme right next to Raptor Jesus and LOLCats.
      It’s comedy fodder. South Park or Family Guy could get away with making Jesus an alien (South Park in particular has already had Jesus as a cable access talk show host, a second-rate birthday party magician, a superhero with the Super Friends, and a Matrix-inspired ninja assassin)….but the Alien universe? Nope. It would just be one more little nitpick over everything else that doesn’t make sense about this movie.

    • David

      Link: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/Americans-Continue-Believe-God.aspx

      92% of the US population believes in god.

  • baby fart mcgeeziaks

    Now that I’ve finally seen Prometheus I wanted to read and respond to this. First off thanks for the spoiler in the title. Really, Everyone that saw the title and hadn’t seen the film yet knew that A.) the engineers were going to be pissed and B.) not only didn’t get the opportunity to figure this theory out on their own but walked in with an expectation that tainted all interpretation of the film. Kind of a dick move guys.

    Moving on, it’s an interesting theory that I kind of wish was explored a bit more. I think they could have implied it a bit more without explicitly saying “Jesus was an engineer/working for them!” and risk offending fundamentalists. The fact is the internet is flooded with “Answer all the puzzling questions about Prometheus” stories and that those puzzling questions aren’t all that tough for anyone that paid attention in high school English class. Point being that people are stupid and wouldn’t have picked up on it if they didn’t want to.

  • ajcdisciple

    Interesting theory about the Leviticus reference. Playing it out, Leviticus 4:26 says, “He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the leader’s sin, and he will be forgiven.” If this intentional, and LV 426 is a reference to Lev 4:26, then they had this in mind all the way back in Alien.

  • systemsfail

    Not sure if this has already been mentioned but: It doesn’t add up. If they were angry about humans killing “Space Jesus” then why the star chart invitations/warnings that are many thousands of years older than the Jesus incident?

  • wlgnz

    It has been a while since I saw the movie, but there is was no logic in describing negative motives to the Engineer. He just got woken up after 2000 years (and I imagine a traumatic experience) and there where aliens on his ship, the synthetic human then says something which could be very offensive.

    Additionally the black substance could just as easily be a very unstable growth/DNA enhancing drug, maybe even some sort of nano machine:

    1. The engineer is supposed to be 100% human from the scan but is vastly stronger then a normal human,

    2. The worm that kills the scientist may have been caused by leakage of the substance, the substance may be designed to enhance any organic life.

    3. When the brother is killed he comes back alive, even after been burnt alive and left without oxygen.

    4, The alien inside Elizabeth is from the work enhanced from the black substance.

    He might be rushing to complete the next stage of human evolution and is horrified that the mission is not going well and humanity is suffering. There may have even been conflict as certain fractions did not want to enhance humanity.

    And finally what a ridiculous way to wipe out humanity, Aliens are a terror weapon. It would be vastly simpler to create a virus and just release it into the atmosphere.

  • Corwin1681

    I can’t get passed the picture…

  • David Lindleloff

    David lindleloff wrote the script.. If you havent seen LOST.. Then you dont get the symbolism.. Lots of religious symbolism in Lost

  • Roscoe

    It doesn’t seem like the destruction of Earth was all that big of a priority for the Engineers. After all, over 2000 years have passed since the unfortunate events that took out the original Engineers on that LV 223 settlement, and nobody else anywhere in the Engineers Organization on whatever planet Noomi flies off to has bothered to follow up.

  • HintOfSilence

    I’m not sold on the “Space Jesus” angle. If we wanted to find examples of why the “human experiment” had failed, we could find SOOOOOO many, based in real historical fact.

    Off the top of my head, I’d say the creation and proliferation of nuclear weapons would rank right at the top of mankind’s greatest offenses.

    Sure, there are definitely religious/spiritual connections and discussions to be had around Prometheus, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to go all out and try to explain away Christianity and why we deserve extinction in that context.

    Having read Erich Von Daniken’s works (which this movie is at least loosely based on), it really wouldn’t be all that hard to come up with viable, believable reasons that the Engineers might want to wipe the slate clean and deem this round of experimentation a failure.

    Christianity (or any Earth-bound religion for that matter) don’t necessarily have to play a direct role in the explanation for the Engineers’ motives. It’s an interesting concept, certainly, but only to a point, and the more I think about it, the more unnecessary that connection seems.

  • Doug Chaney

    This is what comes from the mind of man. The Bible says that all of the thoughts and imaginations of man are only evil continually and even my feeble mind can see it in the thoughts behind movie plots and our comments. God is spirit (the Bible says not me) and I don’t think He would use or need anything such as glass ampules full of biotech to destroy all flesh … we ought to fear Him rather than our fellows.

  • David Lizewski

    Who cares? This film ruined Alien!

    • Norome

      Aliens ruined Alien with its gratuitous pew pew shooty cannon fodder.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    But why punish all humanity for the crimes of the Jews? Why not just kill the Jews? Oh yeah–because they control Hollywood.
    (Maybe Hitler was also an Engineer…?)