You can read my review of Prometheus here. This post is not a review, but a response to one criticism I’ve been seeing about the movie.
Vague spoilers, sort of, here.
I know that a lot of people have been disappointed and/or confused about how Prometheus does or does not fit into the Alien franchise universe. And the movie very, very easily could have led straight into the Alien movie’s beginning.
I’m not going to get into the details, but if you have seen it and you didn’t pay close attention to some of the early details (like the numbered designation of the planet, compared to the planet in the first Alien — LV 426 in Alien and LV 223 in Prometheus) AND you are a big fan of Ridley Scott’s original movie, you probably were expecting events to play out in one way . . . and then, suddenly, you realize that it didn’t end up how you were expecting.
Because here’s what you were expecting: space jockey guy was going to crash his ship and a chest burster was going to kill him, leaving him in the chair until Sigourney and her friends came to find him in Alien.
So instead of giving us a movie that drives itself directly into the beginning of Alien, we’re given a movie that explains what the guy in the chair probably was. And gives a bit more background to where the Xenomorph aliens came from. Sort of.
So why was it not a prequel? One word for that answer:
Something like thirty years pass between Prometheus and Alien. That’s simply not enough time for the alien in the chair in Alien to petrify the way he did. There is no way to tell the story of that space jockey got there in a movie set in our future.
Instead, we get what could have been the next best thing. Something that explains enough that you can fill in the blanks for how the space jockey got into that chair and then got himself dead while giving viewers a brand new story.
The funny thing to me is that absolutely nothing is revealed about the space jockey that couldn’t have been figured out from watching Alien. Yes, there are some specific details added, but nothing that wasn’t already easily deduced from that first movie.