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.