giger esque

notapangolin  asked:

This might be a bit of an odd question, but how would you personally improve Prometheus?

I’m assuming you mean the movie and not, like, the mythological titan.

First improvement: scrap every character except David and start over, because they’re all boring, inconsistent, and terrible.  David is also inconsistent and terrible, but he’s at least interesting, so if we just make him consistent and well written, he’d be fine.

Since the expedition consists of scientists, let’s actually make them ACT like scientists, as opposed to either 1. creationists or 2. poorly written strawmen.  Let’s have them actually be competent in their fields, instead of, say, having a geologist who gets lost in the building he mapped out or a biologist who’s afraid of a corpse but NOT a hissing nightmare penis cobra.  Let’s give them more well rounded personalities than “has an obvious character flaw, like being an asshole or a coward, which shifts in and out of their characterization depending on how we need them to act for a scene rather than being consistent.”

Let’s also have most if not all of the people actually WANT to be on this expedition - it’s a lot more interesting/dramatically ironic if these people are all SUPER PUMPED to explore new worlds and seek out the life they might find there, only to have it all go horribly wrong.  Most of the characters in the film seemed disinterested in the expedition at best and downright resentful that they were there at worst, which resulted in most of the character building moments being “MRAAH I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ADVENTURE SUCKS,” which 1. isn’t endearing and 2. doesn’t really provide a character arc, since they basically go from “I THINK THIS MISSION SUCKS” to “YEP THIS MISSION SUCKS ALRIGHT,” which isn’t really good for character growth.

I don’t want to brainstorm a bunch of entirely new characters to fill up the cast right now because that’s a lot of work for a tumblr ask, but that’s what I’d have to do first and foremost to make this story not suck.

Let’s move onto the plot. The plot of Prometheus is simple at its core but made into a jumbled mess by its execution, which is what happens when you hire Damon Lindeloff.  So let’s cut to the core a bit: at its center, Prometheus is about people finding evidence that aliens visited earth, and using ancient clues Nicholas Cage style to track those aliens down.  They find an alien world that hides dark secrets and stumble into a whole slew of monsters.

Now, one of the ways Prometheus makes this needlessly stupid and convoluted is that they make the ancient aliens the creators of “all life on earth,” with some bullshit about how humans have identical DNA as the Engineers and all that.  It’s the kind of thing that sounds like it makes sense to people who paid no attention in high school biology and thus only know what DNA is from pop culture.  While this plot point is technically important for the whole “stressful parent/child relationships” theme that the movie has going on, it’s also intensely stupid and I hate it, so it’s getting cut.  Sometimes a theme must suffer for the sake of telling a good story.

But now we have to rejig things to accommodate for that major change, and rejig we shall!  So here’s how things start out instead: archaeologists discover evidence of ancient aliens, complete with what seems to be a star map.  Their corporate financial backer, Mr. Weyland (or was it Mr. Yutani?  I forget which one was involved here), who’s a bit of a wacko, decides to fund a rushed expedition to the planet in the star map.  He thinks these aliens must have created humanity (which the other scientists rightly think is a kinda stupid hypothesis), and wants to meet them to bring humanity to the next level.  An expedition of ambitious experts is assembled, and off to space they go!

They get to the planet and discover that, while it’s technically habitable, all life on the surface is dead.  There are corpses of all sorts of different creatures littering the surface, decayed and partially fossilized.  Some look much like terrestiral life, but a good deal more look very Giger-esque.  Most of the corpses are not in one piece, showing their deaths were pretty violent.  Something horrible clearly happened here.

But our heroes proceed, disturbed but willing to risk the danger in hopes of discovery.  They find an Engineer building and search it, discovering vague holotapes showing chaos on the ship and the creation of various Giger-esque monsters.  They find laboratories filled with strange monsters - David in particular is intrigued by this, as the idea of other artificial life intrigues him.  While the other explorers are trying to find kinship with the Engineers, David finds it all to easily in the monsters they created.

We eventually discover two things: first, the planet isn’t as dead as it looked, as there are a lot of strange monsters living within this building.  The many different monsters in Prometheus were, in my mind, its greatest strength, so my take would push that even farther - we’d have an entire ecosystem of Giger-esque nightmare creatures here.  When first discovered they’d be in a state of suspended animation, but the explorers broke the “seal” when they entered the tomb, allowing the Giger beasts to get active again.  The building quickly turns into a living hell.

Second, we learn the Engineers were nowhere near the benevolent precursors Mr. Weyland/Yutani believes them to be.  They didn’t create life on earth, nor did they visit earth to help us out - they’re colonialists who spread from planet to planet like a virus.  They did tinker with humanity’s ancestors, but it wasn’t so humanity could have some grand purpose - it was to make us better hosts for their bioweapons.  We aren’t children of the Engineers - we’re their petfood.  While Mr. Weyland and the other explorers are disheartened by this discovery, David understands it totally - after all, he was created to be a disposable tool, so why wouldn’t humanity follow a similar route?  The anger and frustration the explorers have at this revelation inspires him, though - after all, if they won’t accept their purpose, why should he?

The opening of the building has also been noticed by the Engineers, and soon enough an Engineer ship arrives on the planet to figure out who popped open their preserved bio-weapons.  The Engineer ship blows up our explorers’ spaceship, stranding them on the planet.  A squad of Engineers enters the building to destroy the remaining explorers and seal things up again, wearing biomechanical suits that make the Giger beasts nonhostile towards them.  We’d have at least one shot of an Engineer in its elephant-face-mask armor walking calmly through a sea of different nightmarish Giger monsters, all of which treat him with absolutely no animosity, because I think that would be a very eerie and interesting visual.

While the Engineers kill a few of them, the surviving explorers eventually figure out how to retaliate, killing all the Engineers in the building and taking their suits as disguises.  The fact that the Engineer’s host form resembles a human very closely is once more a meaningful plot point, albeit in a different way than in the original.  David also joins the group, hiding in the Engineer travel craft with some very familiar looking eggs.

Our heroes then sneak into the Engineer’s ship and try to take out all the remaining Engineers so they can use the ship to get home.  The plan succeeds thanks to David’s secret weapon, but unfortunately all of our human explorers are taken out in the process - either by the Engineer’s hands or, in the case of the final survivor, by stumbling into one of David’s alien egg traps and getting a good ol’ facehugger.

Now the only person left alive on the ship, David returns to the Engineer Building and basically loads up on eggs and other monstrosities, then sets off with plans to spread them as far and wide as he can.

And that’s how I’d change Prometheus.