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“Warning: Contains Spoilers
The Prometheus debate rages on. Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller did big business this past weekend at the box office, but it also sparked a sprawling online debate as fans tried to break apart and dissect its cryptic themes. Some fans have focused on the film’s theories about human life (TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger surveyed Scott’s scientific grounding in a post published yesterday), while others were more interested in how Prometheus linked up to the existing Alien franchise.
(Spoilers ahead) I rambled for about 1,000 words yesterday, on how I connected the plot’s various points, in relation to the Alien universe. But still, at the end of the film, I was plagued by a big question that needed solving: In the very last shot of the film, we see a spaceship take flight away from an alien planet. It is being piloted by a robot — well, half a robot, as his torso was left behind on the planet surface — and he is accompanied by the last remaining survivor of a doomed human expedition.
The robot says he can take her back to Earth. But, disillusioned and having just witnessed both the murder of her lover and the obliteration of her personal and professional belief structures, the doctor says that she’d rather use the spaceship to travel to the home world of whatever aliens ruined her life. Where was the ship ultimately heading, in that final shot? It’s anybody’s guess.
I promised not to publish his answers until the film had already opened. Here’s the exchange:
TIME: In that final scene, David wants to go to Earth, and Elizabeth wants to go to the alien home world. Where do you think they’re going?
Lindelof: 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.
(Steve again): Which means, of course, that she’s heading to the alien home world, in search of answers of why they created us, and then set out to destroy (or mutate) us. She’s headed for a confrontation, just as the alien monsters set out to spread across the universe, where the Nostromo will find them. Everything’s in motion — and a sequel can’t be far off.”
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“While doing the publicity rounds for Prometheus, Damon Lindelof took some time out of his busy schedule to talk all things sci-fi with IGN. Our spoiler-filled interview concerning his much discussed collaboration with Ridley Scott will run next week, but for now, here’s what Damon had to say on the subject of Star Trek 2 (and what he didn’t have to say regarding the identity of the villain!).
IGN: What’s going to set Star Trek 2 apart from the original?
Lindelof: I think that the first one was in a lot of ways an origin story. It was about how the crew comes together and a love story between how Kirk met Spock. How this emotional guy who thinks only with his heart befriends this logical guy who thinks only with his mind. And this next movie is about what it’s like now that these people are a crew.
IGN: Is it nice not to have to introduce everyone all over again?
Lindelof: Yes. And I also feel like just figuring out the time travel of the first movie - we had to put so much time and energy, and invoke screen time and energy into explaining the mechanics of what we were doing, it’s just such a relief not to be burdened with that stuff in the second movie and just be able to plough forward and do new things without having to explain what their connection is to the original time-line. That was a lot of fun too.
IGN: How is Captain Kirk different this time around?
Lindelof: Kirk is now in the Captain’s chair, for the first time, not having shanghaied it. And he has to learn how to manage his responsibilities as a captain with these friendships and relationships that he’s forming with these people around him. And I think also we’re introducing what is a very cool and nuanced force of antagonism that’s a little different from the first movie, which was just a steaming Romulan ball of rage that needs to be stopped at all costs.
IGN: So who is that villain?
Lindelof: Are you insane? I’m not going to tell you that!
Star Trek 2 hits screens worldwide next May.”
Source: @Forbes @parmy
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“If you’ve seen the trailer for “Prometheus,” the dark, hotly-anticipated prequel to Ridley Scott’s “Alien” franchise, you probably got a healthy dose of some of the best that sci-fi filmmaking can offer: shrieking astronauts in spherical-glass helmets, ships that travel at light-speed to craggy, blue-tinted planets and spinning holographic star charts.
All the stuff that tickles our imagination and makes us ponder humanity’s space-faring future. It may be a surprise then, that the man who wrote the original screenplay for “Prometheus” doesn’t see our reality planning out that way, rather neatly knocking on the head the notion that much of what we see and read in science fiction, is a hoped-for precursor to real technology.
Jon Spaihts, known as the “go-to guy” for Hollywood sci-fi screenplays, says that for decades, science-fiction writers have overestimated our civilization’s future technological progression; it makes him a story teller by trade, but a pragmatist at heart.
“Science fiction has taught us to see the universe as vastly smaller and less energetic than it is,” Spaihts said during a phone interview on Monday. “Space travel involves such mind-boggling distances and high energies that I think most people have no idea how difficult it is.” He paused for a moment. “My personal belief is that as much as I love science fiction, human beings will never reach another star.”
The reason for this is simple. Traveling at light speed, which is something most space-faring science fiction tales suppose, is impossible. It’s “not just something we don’t have a theoretical underpinning for, but theoretically prohibited,” Spaihts says. Even at rapid speeds, a journey to another star a would take generations, and require rockets to expend a tremendous amount of energy, “throwing something in the other direction – rocket exhaust.” The farther you go the more propellant you have to carry. “The energy you spend getting out on that fantastic clip, you have to spend that at either end stopping.”
All very rational. Fortunately, Spaihts can reconcile the logical reality of our future with his story-telling, by remembering where the mythology of space exploration comes from: a “nautical model,” and one that sees innovation constantly speeding up. “It’s a recapitulation of our story of the last generations as we have, as a species, expanded our understanding by orders of magnitude every century, and at an accelerating rate,” says Spaihts.
It is easy to expect that this “ramp” will continue ever upwards and that the expansion of human power and ingenuity will continue to ever-dazzling heights. How could that not take us to over planets? Spaihts points out we already see limits to some of these “ramps” on earth — to fossil fuels, to Moore’s Law, and to the speed at which one can travel through space. “These limits are non-negotiable,” he says. We may sometimes find alternatives, in making micro-processors cheaper and more energy efficient, for……..”
Source: Ain’t it Cool News
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“Hey folks, Harry here - and it’s been a curious and interesting day. You see - I first saw this script about 3 weeks before the first PROMETHEUS non-teaser trailer hit. I read it - and wasn’t convinced it was real - thus - I never mentioned it on the site. THEN… that next trailer hit and things really seemed to key up. Nearly everything seemed to come out of that alleged 2nd Draft. I had conversations with folks about the script, who worked on the film - and most of what I would consider the spoilery things, well, it was syncing with what they would tell me.
So then I post the following… Today, shit hits the fan and @DamonLindelof starts writing me on Twitter saying that there is no “Planet Zeus” in his draft or @jonspaihts and that he feels I have been duped. Then Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly tweeted a question to his followers about rather or not somebody ever knew of a filmmaker that blatantly lied to protect the secrecy of their project. Lindelof responded, “Never. That would be deplorable. #IAmLyingRightNow” Then an hour later Lindelof tweeted, “Harry, I swear upon The Force and Geekdom itself that what you read is 100% bogus. I would never lie about this.” And finally an hour later he tweeted at me, “THERE ARE NO SKRULLS IN PROMETHEUS!!! (but seriously, if you stand by this script, so be it, but I know how to spell “Zeus.”)”
If Lindelof swears upon the Force and Geekdom itself that what I read is 100% bogus, then as someone that has had several intoxicating drinks and have geeked out with Lindelof, I must say - The script I read must be bogus, because Lindelof has sworn so - and I am happy that I know nothing about PROMETHEUS and that apparently every source that I know on this film - and that things I’ve heard from others is also complete fabrication. Because that means I’m completely pure for this film then! And that would be fantastic too.
SO - what’s the deal with this draft. Misspellings of ZEUS aside - there’s an awful lot of material in the script that seems to somehow echo the film. For example…..”
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““This was Damon Lindelof’s 2nd Draft,” wrote Ain’t It Cool News proprietor Harry Knowles on Friday, before diving into a script review of “Prometheus.” The coming film from director Ridley Scott hits theaters on June 8, but Knowles apparently got his hands on Lindelof’s screenplay.
Except for the fact that he probably didn’t.
“Hate to break it to you, @headgeek666 [Knowles’ Twitter handle], but there’s no ‘Planet Zeus’ in my draft,” Lindelof wrote on Twitter. “Or in @jonspaihts’ work. I think you’ve been duped!” Jon Spaihts is another credited writer on “Prometheus,” which exists in the same universe as Scott’s “Alien,” but isn’t a direct prequel.
Knowles disagreed with Lindelof’s assertion, writing that the script he received —before the trailers for “Prometheus” debuted — featured scenes that “match so perfectly” with the marketing materials.
Reached for comment by HuffPost Entertainment senior writer Mike Ryan, Lindelof maintained that Knowles’ script was phony……”