Is Prometheus a good movie or a bad movie? My answer is yes, and I feel like this deep dive into the mythology underpinning the film is part of why. There's a lot to consider here:
- Christian motifs throughout the film were obvious to me on first viewing (including the "crucifixion" scene as the pilot destroys the ship to save humanity, the washing of David's feet, and much more) but it is verifiably nuts that the original script included a heavy-handed hint that Jesus was actually an Engineer and that his crucifixion was the inciting incident in why the Engineers fell out with humanity. Which, I mean, fair enough? I thought it was just a hatred of AI but that fits somewhat better.
- I'm not sure I'd ever truly considered the fact that the "black slime" was somehow mirroring the host's intentions, so when a selfish, self-preservation-fueled human ingests it the result is an abomination that only considers itself.
- Obviously the film has a lot of references to the Prometheus myth from ancient Greece, but I wasn't aware that this is seen as a stepping stone in an incredibly common proto-mythological narrative of the "Dying God". As a storytelling construct it's clearly ancient and ties in with a lot of religious and mythological constructs: the idea of a God that sacrifices themselves in order to bring life into the world or let it achieve a true potential. Nor had I noticed the common thread of torn open abdomens (very Alien of course), with Prometheus himself having his liver removed each day and obviously you have the spear strike on Jesus, amongst others.
- I also think that mural in the first chamber of the Xenomorph fighting an Engineer (with abdomen torn open) is evocative of the yin-yang concept.
- I generally like the concept that the film is about the difference between acting to save others (self-sacrifice) versus acting to save yourself (self-preservation). Plus, framing the Engineers as a culture that values self-sacrifice above all else makes sense of the panspermia scene, the attack on David/androids (considering they are life born without suffering or sacrifice), and the killing of Weyland, a man who has spent a lifetime coming up with ways to prevent death.