Prometheus Ending Explained Plus Charlize Theron Discusses A Surprising Theory About Her Character

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If you saw Prometheus this weekend you probably walked out with a lot of questions. If you haven’t seen Prometheus yet you probably have no business reading this post unless you want to have the film completely and totally spoiled.

WARNING! Discussion of Prometheus spoilers follow…

One of the biggest questions I walked out of Prometheus with was… why did Charlize Theron’s Meredith Vickers character have a surgical unit which could only operate on men? Vickers says she brought the device with her in case of an emergency, but the technology turns out to be only programmed for male physiology. You might think that the only thing going on here is that she was lying, and that it was actually brought for Guy Pearce’s Weyland character… and that makes sense. But why not program it for both sexes, since Meredith was clearly in charge and probably could have done so if she’d chosen to?

Maybe because it only works on humans and Meredith wasn’t one.

In an recent interview with Slashfilm Theron says that her character may have actually been a robot, just like Michael Fassbender’s David.

We played around with a lot of stuff, I’ll just say that, nonspecific things. I don’t think we ever went like that … [puts her finger down as if pressing a button] But we played around with a lot of stuff, and we threw a lot of stuff out there very loosely, and maybe they influenced some of it a little bit, but there was definitely something that happened once David and I kind of stood next to each other, where I started feeling like his posture was overtaking my posture. There’s the good age-old question like, ‘Is the chicken before the egg?’ Like, is it him or is it me or is it part of my DNA in him? We did talk about that a lot, that it was nice to have something ambiguous about the origins of both of us, maybe, like why do we look so much alike? Why am I walking so much like him? Is it that I am an android or is it that I gave him human qualities, that I gave him my DNA? We played with a lot of that shit, which was fun.

It doesn’t sound like her being an android was ever something they specifically decided while filming, maybe just something they left open as a possibility. It would make a lot of sense, since Meredith is Weyland’s daughter and he also considers the android David as a son.

While we’re on the subject of David, here’s a re-enactment of David’s character arc in Prometheus

But what about that open-ended Prometheus finale? Whether or not Meredith was a robot Elizabeth was the only character left alive at the end and her agenda seemed pretty unclear. Elizabeth wants to go to the alien homeworld, but David wants to go back to Earth. Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof has given a few answers to Time. He explains it this way…

I think they’re going where she wants to go. His fundamental programming has been scrapped. Weyland [the man who built and programmed him] is dead and so now his programming is coming from God knows where. Is he being programmed by Elizabeth, or is it his own internal curiosity now that Weyland isn’t telling him what to do any more? He’s always been interested in Elizabeth, remember that: He’s watching her dreams when she’s sleeping in much the same way that he watches Lawrence of Arabia. He’s a strange robot that has a curious crush on a human being, and when Weyland is eliminated, I think he is genuinely interested in what she’s interested in. He reaches out partly for survival, but partly out of curiosity, and I think he’s sincere that he’ll take her wherever she wants to go.


  1. lovetokyo says:

    I love this weird debate lol, nobody has ruled out the possibility of Vickers being a male lol

  2. B. Jerew says:

    The “re-enactment of David’s character arc in Prometheus” animation was hilarious!

  3. I enjoyed this film a lot better on DVD than I did at the movies, because I stopped asking myself why in hell would they leave their helmets behind in case the breathable air suddenly turned toxic? It drove me crazy at the theater, destroyed my suspension of disbelief. But second time around, I let it all the flubs go.

  4. BenS says:

    I think the idea of Vickers being a post-op transsexual fits perfectly within the whole picture. It falls into the same category as “being human” in the Prometheus universe: to have been created as something that you don’t feel you are, and what that means to your maker.

    My take on it is that Vickers didn’t feel like the man she was born as, and so decided to shape her existence to match her own image of it. Weyland has probably rejected her after her sex change, maybe because he was offended by her obvious dislike of what she was given by him (specifically his gender). I think it’s also very likely that Weyland employed genetic modification to ensure male offspring, further explaining his discontent. His creation did not only dislike what he created it to be (in his “image”, I might add), but it has changed itself to its own liking.

    Having sex with the pilot would make Vickers feel accepted and appreciated (by a man) for being a woman. That could also be why she didn’t simply cut herself to prove she’s a red-blooded human. I personally think that sex, and more broadly reproduction, is the only area where gender should matter, yet her father/creator doesn’t seem to feel te same way.

    She may now look very much like a woman, but her behaviour is traditionally masculine (rational, cold and tough, as opposed to emotional, warm and soft). It might be a reaction to her fathers rejection: desperately trying to earn his recognition as being his offspring, and perhaps ultimately to be deemed worthy of his heritage. Her male genetic “blueprint” could also be the reason for her masculine behaviour, which would draw a parallel to David, who is made to look and act convincingly human, but is also fundamentally not what he’s supposed to resemble.

    Despite his human looks and programmed/emulated behaviour, David will always be an android, and because of that he is not accepted as being equal (or superior) to humans, who are his creators. The humans even seem to feel threatened by him, which appears to somewhat hinder him in executing his purpose. He studies Shaw because she is clearly a woman of faith and emotion, which could be seen as distinctively human traits. He recognizes that there is a lot he can learn from her, which would draw another parallel to Vickers, who envies David for being recognized as something she might never be.

  5. Mark Oakley says:

    This movie was either incredibly stupid, or incredibly brilliant.

    The thing which struck me *repeatedly* was how unbelievably idiotic the crew was. Scientists acting like imbeciles on SO many occasions, completely out of sync with even the barest vestiges of scientific method. Their lead scientist was actually disappointed in not immediately finding his definition of a creator when sprawled beneath their ship was a huge alien stronghold, proof positive of alien intelligence. What kind of moron, scientist or otherwise, wouldn’t be excited to make such a mammoth discovery?

    They got to work immediately, if you could call it ‘work’, not even taking a day to study the environment, desecrating the tomb, running willy nilly into the heart of the alien structure. Real archaeologists use brushes and painstakingly expose bones and relics, documenting as they go, eager for every tiny bit of knowledge uncovered, patient in the understanding that the real work would happen over the following years as they put all the pieces together. Instead, these morons were acting like adolescent cowboys, not even respecting their own space suit helmets or protocols, if they even had any. I absolutely couldn’t believe anybody could be so incredibly moronic. They *deserved* to die through their own rampant stupidity. After fifteen minutes, I found myself rooting for the aliens, thinking, “You stupid, stupid humans! What the hell is wrong with you? Are you all brain damaged?”

    And this is where I found myself thinking that the film might actually be brilliant. Because MAYBE all that mountainous dumb was the point. Because at the end, the question I found hanging was this: “Why, if the so-called ‘engineers’ had created humanity, would they then seek to destroy it?”

    Well, perhaps the point of the film was to very deliberately show just how humans had devolved into corporate child-morons with no respect for science, life or the majesty of the universe, and thus needed to be wiped the hell out. That’s what I wanted to see, anyway. I wanted them all dead for being so pathetic. And looking at our world today, with the vast and on-going corruption of science, it’s easy to project into a future of Idiocracy-like people that humanity really could descend to that level of insanity.

    Wipe ’em all out. They’re too stupid to live. If I was their creator, I’d want just that.

    And that’s me being charitable. That’s if Ridley Scott was really smart. Otherwise, the only other possibility is that his brain has melted during the decades since his master works of years gone by.

  6. Chris says:

    I have a few issues with Prometheus, but I certainly don’t have bitter hatred towards the film as so many others do.

    I think it’s a film that people will debate about for many years to come and I can’t help but feel there is another cut (or three lol) to come much like Blade Runner.

  7. Toto says:

    lol charlize theron talks like a illiterate ratchet?:)

  8. Got Your Number says:

    When you read the kind of garbage the actors and screenwriter are putting out, you realise that you were right to regard Prometheus as the worst piece of insulting crap of all time. Of course for pre-pubescents, coherent storylines and superb execution don’t matter. But for those of us who’ve made it through university, Prometheus is a cartoon pretending to be a ‘piece of art’ resulting in excrement on the big screen and coming out of the mouths of the people involved.

    • Alvinne James Barron says:

      oh cool you made it through university… that’s awesome
      the movie is a sci-fi… sci-fi means science fiction.. i know you know that, because you made it through university, just checking.. sci-fi about the biggest question in science, physics, (those are major subjects on all universities that you probably know because you made it through university) sci-fi about the origin of everything… actually there are lots of tricky stories and facts you would find out about the movie that probably, someone like you would appreciate and be amazed of because based on what you said, you made it through university..
      actually, when it comes to the worst piece of insulting crap, this is nothing compared to the current shit we have today, ex. lady gaga, justin bieber, nicki minaj, which, well, for someone who made it through university you would probaby consider those as one of the most insulting crap we have in our time… or maybe not if they made it through the univer-shit-ty of swag… oh, that’s supposed to be university of swag.. i mispelled it on purpose as a joke, which you would probably get the logic and purpose of the joke because you made it through university…

  9. Here’s a theory…Prometheus was crap due to the lazy, open-ended writing of Lindedork.

  10. What keeps bothering me is how Meredith dies. The wagon wheel of death! Elizabeth falls over and just rolls out of the way where Meredith keeps running in a strait line in the space ship’s path to be crushed. Just bad…

  11. Arthur Burton says:

    Why ignore the fact it was just a bad film?

    • Alvinne James Barron says:

      it wasn’t a bad film… oh yeah maybe for some, it wasn’t because it doesn’t have so much swag and no justin bieber or lady gaga ending, opening and theme song…

  12. CGamid says:

    I think it’s obvious Vickers wasn’t a Cyborg just by the way she was acting. Unlike David, who was so obviously a cyborg, she acted human. Albeit, a very cold human, but still human. She did push-ups, she sweat, she cried when speaking to her father (and btw, she was behind closed doors when she cried with him, where her “secret” wouldn’t have been revealed to the crew), she had sex, she screamed right before she died…which of course means she felt fear. David had essentially no human emotions at all, and he especially felt no fear. It’s not even clear from watching the movie that David even felt anger. Yes, David had his own agenda, but it’s not clear he felt anger, at least not in the way humans do. There are, of course, many other examples of her human-like traits in the movie, but those are first to come to mind. Simply put, it’s overwhelmingly obvious that Vickers was human. I think that Prometheus teased at a lot of things because it likes to make people think, but viewing the movie objectively, she’s human. At any rate, since she died at the end of the movie and was never revealed her to be a cyborg, you have to assume she’s human until proven otherwise. But I doubt the next Prometheus sequel is going to re-tread on this topic, so case closed, she was human!

  13. Alvinne James Barron says:

    – I think that Vickers was a man because, that moment when Dr. Shaw was amazed of the med pod and tried to go techie with it, Vickers tried to stop her… probably so that Dr. Shaw won’t find out that it’s designed for a male patient only and it wont give them the awkward suspicion of her gender.. if it was made for Peter Weyland, why not get the one for the same sexes? I also think he’s the son Peter Weyland, never had… or had but never did..

    For the whole story, i think there is a god who created these engineers to create us, the humans, god liked us, engineers doesn’t, engineers wants to wipe us out maybe because we don’t worship them, god wants to stop them so maybe that’s why he created these parasites to stop these engineers.. probably that might be the story, but i don’t know, if it wasn’t i would like to know… SEQUEL! SEQUEL! 😀

    I just watched the movie minutes ago… great story and looking forward for a sequel…. the adventures of David & Dr. Shaw. 🙂

  14. My Head Hurts, Mommy says:

    Let me explain this as simply as possible. Prometheus wasn’t just a HORRIBLE movie, it was IRRESPONSIBLE, ego-driven and poorly executed filmmaking! Ridley Scott and Lindelof in particular fashioned this mess of a movie into a series of plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, poorly fleshed out characters you don’t care about for a second and such a ridiculous storyline that would lead one to believe they creators SHOULD have billed this as a stand alone film! Instead of some vague, wishy-washy, half-assed attempt at creating a “prequel” to the far more superior and classic Alien! I actually left the movie MORE than confused…I was downright angry! To think the films creators could pull the wool over our eyes with the drivel they presented at multiplex’s worldwide is infuriating. To have spent $15 dollars for a ticket is blatant thievery as far as I’m concerned. Word is there will be a (heheh) “sequel” to Prometheus. Let’s hope the producers are joking. Better yet, let the hugely disappointing Prometheus die a good death and may it never be mentioned again in the annals of cinema history.

  15. One of the issues in this film is simply plot points that are referred to as “State of Plot” — the device not set up for woman has nothing to do with Vickers, she is not a robot…

    You have a very specific scene in the film with an immense amount of tension, and a need to maintain this tension by providing road blocks to the character that raises the difficulty as well as the drama. If the machine was setup for a woman the scene with the “Self-Abortion” would not have been as dramatic. It is merely a case of State of Plot taking over, where a minor aspect of the film takes a plot point to make things fit in the story (especially when earlier they try to illustrate her need to be prepared with redundancy. It’s not for her, it’s for her father. Sloppy is more the concept I’m thinking here in terms of filling continuity holes without full and proper rewrites to connect the story properly – which leads to these type of wild conjectures.

  16. JNWBUFFET says:

    My biggest question was why couldn’t Theron’s character make a 90 degree turn while running….or 90, 80??? and then the ship doesn’t land on you….yes?

  17. Ramone says:

    Not buying it, mainly because on of the team leaders–Elizabeth Shaw–was female. Not to mention Dr. Ford who was actually the crew’s medical doctor, was also female. I doubt that if it was meant for the crew in general that they’d have made it “male only”.

    It was programmed for males because it was exclusively for Weyand.

  18. squrls says:

    I have seen most people question wether Vickers is a robot or previously a man. While I can see why those hypothesis have been determined, in the long run I believe that both of them are false. To totally understand Vickers, you need to look at Weyland and Vickers together. You have a father vs. daughter conflict going on. Weyland is “king” of a multi-trillion dollar empire. He is a narcissist and most likely a sexist as well. If he wasn’t, then why wouldn’t he have handed the company over to Vickers? Probably because he doesn’t believe she can do the job properly because she is a woman. He wants the Weyland name to live for eternity, that is why he wanted a son, to be like him. Why do you think he wants to live forever? His empire consumes him, to the point of going to a far away galaxy on two scientist’s hunch that there are superior beings that created us, and could possibly save us from our ultimate ending. A man who has everything but always wants more, and in the end is the reason for his death. That is your typical “king” portrayed in entertainment. And then you have Vickers. A strong-willed daughter ready to prove her father wrong at any given moment. She even said in the movie that she went along to make sure her father wasn’t throwing away everything for a silly dream, and most likely wanted to be the first to say “you were wrong”, to her father. She is constantly wanting her father’s approval, and clearly tired of being looked upon as inferior, that would be why she acts like a hard-ass, to intimidate. I also almost wonder what their family life was previously? It seems like there is deep seeded resentment towards each other. Wether or not that stems from what happened with the mother, remains to be a mystery, since a mother figure was never presented or mentioned. So what I mean by that is, Vickers may resent her father for the way he treated her mother. And Weyland may resent Vickers because it reminds him of his wife. It’s the snowball effect, take that and all the other conflicts and you have a nasty, toxic relationship between father and daughter. Just think if the both of them were not so worried about what they ultimately wanted instead of being content; as in Weyland and ever-lasting life, and Vickers proving her father wrong. They would both still be living. That’s why greed and envy are two of the seven deadly sins.