Chart Illustrates How The Alien Species Of Prometheus Are Created

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Were you bewildered by the sheer variety of creepy crawlies in Ridely Scott’s new Alien prequel Prometheus? You’re not alone. Luckily someone has simplified the whole gene-bending mess in one easy to read chart. Be warned; even though the chart may be easy to read, it doesn’t mean the permutations of black goo + genetic code and it’s actual purpose make any more sense.

WARNING! Go no further if you don’t want spoilers.

Although Prometheus was a beautifully shot film with fantastic special effects, it has garnered some criticisms by all of the questions it leaves unanswered by the end of the movie (see this spoiler-ific and hilarious earlier post, to hear Red Letter Media ask all the mind-boggling questions in one shot). One of the key questions that would leave even the most diehard Ridley Scott fan struggling to come up with answers, was why the viscous gene-splicing material seen earlier in the movie would make at least 4 different creatures from the same basic source. According graphic artist Carlos Poon, black goo creations are a little bit like pizza, they vary greatly depending on the ingredients.

Makes sense enough when you look at it. But this still begs the question, if the Engineers created a substance that would turn humans into space mutants, was the whole purpose of making them just so they would “do the nasty” with Earth women? If that was the plan all along, it certainly puts the return of the space geologist to the ship in a whole new (and kinda gross) light.


  1. Mamachop says:

    If you’ve followed the Alien franchise, including the comics as they go along they explain that the Aliens take on the DNA/body shape of its host ergo becoming more like them-assumingly to adapt to the environment the host is from allowing them to survive and thrive more efficiently. The top level of the chart is incorrect though, the liquid the first alien consumes at the beginning of the movie isn’t the same liquid that was given/exposed by the android. The liquid was more like mercury while the liquid in the vials was more like an oil mixture. And how did the Cobra/Serpent fit into this chart as well? Are they the full grown version of the worms that come out of the liquid or simply a combination of the bio-weapon the engineers created and some insect/worm that lives on the planet already?

  2. Craig Stitt says:

    The black goo reacts differently depending on who and how it is used. The Engineers have selfless sacrifice in mind, so the goo creates life. Unfortunately, when it comes in contact with humans, who are a long way from being selfless… it does just the opposite, and it reacts differently to each ‘host’ since they have a different personality.
    It’s not shown how, but somehow, about 2000 years ago, some of the ‘contaminated’ black goo (or something created by it + mankind) must have made it back to LV223 and all but destroyed the Engineers.
    It makes no sense that LV223 was a ‘secret bio weapons lab’… if it was, why did all the hieroglyphics and cave paintings draw a map back there? More likely, it was a holy sight, meant to create life. David even makes a comment when they first enter the chamber with all the cylinders (before they start oozing black goo) that ‘the atmosphere in here has changed’. He wasn’t talking about the air, he was talking about the energy. The Engineers knew the goo had the potential to create life or to create ‘death’ (hence the two images in the main room… one of an Engineer sacrificing himself to create life, and the other, the recognizable basic form of ‘the’ Alien… who is all about killing and doing anything else to survive. The exact opposite of the Engineers.
    How this all ties into the events on LV426 and what Shaw will find when she gets to the Engineer’s home-world, who knows.
    But I do like the graphic above, and it makes sense.

  3. Ritchie says:

    The chart is missing the “earth worms” + “black goo” = snake like worm things.

  4. Andy Young says:

    This is wrong. There is an original alien and face hugger on the mural in the weird huge head temple room. The original xeno did not come from the Shaw’s squid humping the engineer.

    • Matt W says:

      Not to burst anyone’s bubble (it did to me a little bit) but the huge mural behind the giant head with the apparent Xeno and other images was nothing more than the designers paying homage to the great Giger. You’ll see that there are even more pieces of his artwork in the mural that have nothing to do with the Alien film. My own personal opinion, I think that all of the new and awesome creatures in Prometheus are so far behind the Xenos/facehuggers/chestbursters because even Ridley said: There will be no Alien, it’s been beaten to death. I will show you an ancestor, a parent. (the deacon at the end of the film)

      I think it’s just supposed to open ideas about life and the universe and how all of these atrocious and marvelous things can come out of this black goo. But after generations, the black goo manifests into it’s ultimate form: The Xenomorph, the perfect specimen.

  5. baby fart mcgeeziaks says:

    Well this makes the xenomorphs into being more than just the ultimate species for adaptability and coping with natural selection, it makes them into a sort of neo-Frankenstein monster. If the engineers are designing life and probably trying to design the most perfect form of life, more perfect than what God designed… this can explain the origin of the evolutionary black slime and the eventual rise of the xenomorph. It of course turns on them just as Frankenstein’s monster turns on him. This does somewhat contradict the “WMD facility” theory proposed by Idris Elba’s character but I would ask whether or not the black goo’s purpose was only to destroy life on earth (and other planets, as evidenced by the complex star charts) or if it was also to replace the existing life forms with something “better”. I suppose the hole is that if the Engineers are so enlightened and know how dangerous the black goo can be (the holograms of them fleeing, going into hibernation, etc) why would they still want to use it to reset life on Earth when they woke up?