The Prometheus Sequel’s Poetic Title Might Be A Clue To Its Plot
So far, we’ve heard very little about the promised sequel to Prometheus—the biggest news being a promise from Ridley Scott that the movie would not feature the xenomorph creatures made famous by his Alien franchise.
But now, we’ve got a title, which might hold some major clues to the movie’s plot. In an interview with HeyUGuys, Scott revealed that the sequel will be called Alien: Paradise Lost.
The inclusion of “Alien” in the title suggests that this movie will completely bridge the gap between the 2012 Prometheus and the original Alien, which was released in 1979, making the franchise’s arc complete—which the director also seemed to confirm in a followup comment:
“Well, because we’re heading back to why and how and when the beast was invented,” Scott said, when pressed to explain the title. “We’ll go back into the back door of the very first Alien that I did thirty years ago.”
The key to the movie’s storyline, however, is the part that comes after the colon. “Paradise Lost” is the title of a famous epic poem by John Milton, and that’s definitely not a coincidence. And taken in tandem with some of Scott’s earlier comments, it says some fascinating things about where a Prometheus sequel might take us.
Adam and Eve and David And Liz
In Milton’s poem, Adam is essentially perfect—a sort of super-human human being, endowed by God with impeccable logic and reasoning skills. Sound like any pretty blond androids you know? Eve, by contrast, is more flawed (a.k.a. more human, sort of like Liz Shaw.) And much like a certain Biblical couple, when we last saw David and Liz, they had just seriously pissed off an all-powerful creator and were about to set off in search of answers…and, perhaps, a way back into the good graces of the universe.
Man’s First Disobedience
“Paradise Lost” centers on the original act of rebellion: Adam and Eve, tempted by Satan, eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and are subsequently ejected from the Garden of Eden as punishment for their disobedience. In Milton’s poem, the quest for knowledge is dangerous and verboten—and ignorance is literally bliss. And when Adam demonstrates curiosity about the universe, he’s chided to stop asking questions.
Meanwhile, in Prometheus, Liz Shaw is a scientist who willingly left the safe haven of Earth in search of answers to the ultimate questions: Who are we? Why are we here? And she lost everything, including the chance to ever see her home planet again, as a result.
But when we last saw Liz, she didn’t want to go back where she came from; she wanted to go where her creator came from, to hunt down and demand answers from the Engineers. It’s a fair bet that, like Milton’s human heroes, her continued quest for knowledge will lead her into confrontation with a higher power. But which higher power?
The biggest Big Bad, ever
And here’s where things get really interesting. “Paradise Lost” is all about the disobedience of man, but the narrative itself begins with the fall that preceded man’s: Satan’s. After a failed attempt to conquer Heaven, Satan and his army are cast out and sent to Hell—where he appears as an imposing being of formidable stature, and where he and his defeated cohort of demons mine the earth, creating a giant temple called Pandemonium, so that they can gather forces and plan for a second war.
Meanwhile, in Prometheus, the crew follows instructions left by humanity’s presumed creators (the giant, muscular Engineers) to a distant planet (from which the Engineers clearly did not originate), and discover a terraformed structure (which they literally refer to as a “temple”) full of terrible, destructive weapons designed to wipe out the world.
All this time, we’ve assumed that these films were partly a parable about the quest of human being to know our creator—and that Liz Shaw’s search for her “dark paradise” would find her in some sort of heavenly realm.
But now, we’re wondering: When the crew of the USCSS Prometheus went to meet their maker, were they going to find God?
Or was that…somebody else?