Prometheus : Why the Engineers Hate Humanity (700 words)
Prometheus raised very interesting questions and there’s one that is particularly put forward: Why did the engineers want to destroy the human race ?
I’ve seen many interesting theories on the internet but most of them presented the problem of resting upon (wild) speculations when I think a movie is a closed universe. Yes, at the end of Prometheus Dr.Shaw wants to go on the engineers’ planet and ask them why they wanted to kill us, so the ending is open, but to me the movie cannot not give us the answer in an indirect way otherwise it would simply be an unfinished piece of work.
Prometheus tells us the story of a group of humans in search of answers about the origin of their existence. When writing that kind of story you have to situate your characters according to the topic.
Peter Weyland: wants to be immortal. He despises life.
Dr. Shaw: comes from nowhere (her mother died before she got to know her and her dad died when she was very young) and is going nowhere (she can’t have a baby). Also, she doesn’t care about her own life I think.
Miss Vickers: doesn’t know whether she’s a robot or a human being and thus she strongly respects what life is. She knows how much she doesn’t want to be a robot. She celebrates mortality as much as she doesn’t want to die and is thus somewhat stuck between two worlds.
David: is a Robot who looks perfectly human but who is, in the end, still a non-living object which existence is an insult to life.
Fifield (geologist) and Millburn (biologist): are scared/fascinated by what is alive but don’t want to be part of the process (scientific researchers). They only want to observe it.
Charlie Holloway: wants to become an engineer I believe. He is fascinated by the promethean power, which is why he should be in love with Dr. Shaw and doesn’t care about the fact that she should be infertile: he doesn’t care about the natural way through which life can be given. His dream would be to create a robot like David but alive, I believe. (I’m not too sure).
Janek: is ready to sacrifice his life in order to save the life of others. He is the sole one who can kick the engineers' ass.
I suppose all these characters meet a fate that suits their own personal problematic but my point here is just to wonder what they all can represent in the eyes of an Engineer.
When he is awakened, the engineer is confronted to a little group of humans who seem desperate to get answers from him. As a promethean metaphor, he is the character that reveres life: his spaceship and his computer are organic, his weapons of mass destruction are too. Whatever he does, he does through perpetuating life.
In front of him, a sample of the race he’s created thousands of years ago and then decided to destroy… maybe they could prove to have become a lot more than what he was afraid they would become.
The thing is, as their representatives the humans sent a guy who wants to be immortal, a robot and an infertile woman. These three individuals encompass perfectly the disrespect that the race has for the living world. And they ask the robot to translate what they have to say as if there could be anything worse than a robot to convey their message.
So, I believe that the engineers created the alien because the creature is the opposite of human beings : it is life adapting to anything. Aliens don’t spread death, they kill to spread life, whereas human beings are fascinated by the non-living and they value objects more than living things. They are fascinated by everything that is not alive. Aliens are not necessarily more monstrous than this.