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Prometheus 2: What’s Going to Happen in the Sequel?

Prometheus
20th Century Fox

A number of guides out there are attempting to help moviegoers answer the big questions about Prometheus, and we continue to get “viral” supplements (videos, websites, etc.) to officially offer clues. But there’s really only one thing that we’re left wondering about after two viewings of the movie: where will the inevitable sequel take us?
Yes, there is expectation for a ‘Prometheus 2,’ in spite of the fact that ‘Prometheus’ is a prequel to ‘Alien’ (and the series it spawned) and so would seem to not need a follow-up. But even if this were a direct predecessor — and although that final shot looks to be a set-up to the beginning of ‘Alien,’ it isn’t — the studio would demand another narrative that parallels the events of the ‘Alien’ movies.

And that’s precisely what is promised by the second-to-last scene with Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the android, David (Michael Fassbender), flying into the sunset in search of a more satisfying solution to the mystery of life. We can presume that ‘Prometheus 2′ will take us alongside the incompatible duo on their buddy-film-esque next adventure, in which they attempt to locate where the “Engineers” come from.

There are a few problems with that most obvious course for the series. For one thing, it sounds terribly repetitive and redundant given the thematic point of this movie. Shaw, David and their Prometheus shipmates traveled out to the moon LV-223, with the mistaken idea that they were responding to an invitation, in order to meet their makers and find out all about the origins of mankind. As with philosophy, what they got out of trying to answer questions was just more questions.

In fact, the frustration people have had with the vagueness and inconclusiveness of ‘Prometheus’ is intentional, as it aligns us with Shaw and plays on the whole idea of trying to solve a puzzle that can never be truly solved with what we’re given. Many viewers are hoping for a sequel that will answer the unresolved parts of this movie, and that would go against the statement it’s making — not that sequels don’t often undo the original.

Besides, as with the biggest questions in life, no answer will be good enough for us. And likewise any further answers for Shaw will be as disappointing as those she finds on LV-223. Say she finds where the Engineers come from. Then she will want to know the source of that source and so on, in an eternal ancestral investigation, and while that’s an interesting rabbit hole to consider, it doesn’t allow for very fresh plotlines.

Still, we like the concept of this new series heading in the opposite direction from the ‘Alien’ films. Those four installments deal predominantly with ideas about reproduction and creation, therefore it moves in a temporally forward-minded fashion as far as generative thinking is concerned. ‘Prometheus’ also works with these concepts in laying out a bridge between what will be parallel series, but it ultimately aims for ideas about origins and will look for antecedents rather than descendants.

Ridley Scott’s discussions of the development of ‘Prometheus’ have us wishing for something a bit different. Though his original title of “Paradise” was a reference to Milton’s Paradise Lost, it also brings to mind Dante’s Divine Comedy. At one point in the movie someone refers to LV-223 as Hell, which makes Prometheus like Inferno, so the next installment could take us through something inspired by Purgatorio followed by a trilogy closer that relates to Paradiso. It would certainly be very different than the monster movie focus of the other ‘Alien’ films.

Whatever the story, we wonder if or how new human characters could be introduced to the sequel or if it could actually just involve Shaw and David, which would be another huge deviation from the crew-based ensembles we’re familiar with in the ‘Alien’ franchise. Maybe the duo will be met by a new group of Weyland Corp. employees, which could be a purely accidental encounter with miners or colonists or prisoners or whatever or a mission meant for them.

Perhaps we’ll get confirmation that Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is indeed an android, as many continue to speculate (including myself). And once she gets free from beneath the Engineer ship that crushed her, she somehow makes contact with her company back home and rendezvouses with a new team and aims to stop Shaw and David from continuing their pursuit of answers.

Even though it only opened in second place, ‘Prometheus’ is being called a box office success, but if word of mouth is spun towards the frustration of being left with so many unanswered questions rather than the fun of trying to put together an unsolvable puzzle, it might not actually warrant a sequel. But Fox and Scott will want one anyway, and as much as ‘Prometheus’ is a stand-alone story, we hope ‘Prometheus 2′ happens just so we can see what bearing they point this ship towards.

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