Alien Covenant: Questions about God and Paradise Lost

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a) Expedition to meet our makers
While the expedition to the planet in Prometheus was about finding the makers of the human race,  Ridley Scott has no intention in meeting God in the first of the this proposed series of movies so that allowed at the end Dr Shaw to tell David that she wanted to go to where the Engineers came from. If the viewer were to get an old testament vibe from watching Prometheus, then Ridley would feel that he had done his job. He is someone really intrigued by those eternal questions of creation, belief and faith. He feels that it is in the back of everyone's mind.

b) The Engineers as an aggressive race
God in the Old Testament was someone who could be very harsh on the human race. In Prometheus, Ridley introduced us to the Engineers as an aggressive race,  and expected us to consider their brilliance in making dreadful devices and weapons that would make our chemical warfare look ridiculous. So far in the Alien and Prometheus films,  we have the alien egg and also the urns full of the strange black substance to consider. The engineer that we discover although possibly a godlike being in the movie is certainly not God. The planet turns out to be a place considerably dangerous enough for Dr Shaw to realise that it was a mistake to go there after all, but once she finds out that these Engineers can still be alive and come from somewhere that can be reached, she wants to go on to find out where they come from.

c) Paradise Lost
So the destination is Paradise and that becomes interesting because Paradise can not be what you think it is. It must has a connotation of being extremely sinister and ominous to the extent that it could be the most savage horrible place! The connection however being made by Ridley is Milton's Paradise Lost. The Engineers who are tall and elegant are the dark angels. If one looks at Paradise Lost, it's the dark angels who are having all the fun instead of God. It's the dark angel who is going to all the best nightclubs, looks better and get all the birds.

d) The biggest source of evil
When Ridley picks up a newspaper every day, he can not help but despair at what is happening in the world and how we are represented at human beings. The disappointments and corruption are dismaying at every level. And the biggest source of evil is of course religion. Everyone is tearing each other apart in the name of their personal god, and the irony is by definition they're probably worshipping the same god.

Source Quotes
  1. Movies.com:The film asks very big questions about where we come from as a species, and where we go when we die. It’s not possible to deliver concrete answers, but I’m hoping you can tell me how, in the planning stages of the script and story, you came to decide which open-ended, philosophical questions you would at the very least attempt to answer definitively.   .           
    Ridley Scott: Well, from the very beginning, I was working from a premise that lent itself to a sequel. I really don’t want to meet God in the first one. I want to leave it open to [Noomi Rapace’s character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw] saying, “I don’t want to go back to where I came from. I want to go where they came from.” .           

    

Movies.com: So that was always going to be the natural ending for this film?
 
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    Ridley Scott: Totally. And because they’re such aggressive f**kers … and who wouldn’t describe them that way, considering their brilliance in making dreadful devices and weapons that would make our chemical warfare look ridiculous? So I always had it in there that the God-like creature that you will see actually is not so nice, and is certainly not God. As she says, “This is not what I thought it was going to be, and I think we should get the Hell out of here or there won’t be any place to go back to.”

That’s not necessarily planted in the ground at the tail end of the third act, but I knew that’s kind of where we should go, because if we’ve opened up this door -- which I hope we have because I certainly would like to do another one – I’d love to explore where the hell [Dr. Shaw] goes next and what does she do when she gets there, because if it is paradise, paradise can not be what you think it is. Paradise has a connotation of being extremely sinister and ominous. 
 
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    Movies.com: We’re not going to get a slow build in this second film, then. These guys are volatile from the start? .           

    

Ridley Scott: In a funny kind of way, if you look at the Engineers, they’re tall and elegant … they are dark angels. If you look at [John Milton’s] Paradise Lost, the guys who have the best time in the story are the dark angels, not God. He goes to all the best nightclubs, he’s better looking, and he gets all of the birds. [Laughs]

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    Movies.com: So Milton was one of your influences for the Engineers?

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    Ridley Scott: That sounds incredibly pretentiously intellectual. (http://www.movies.com/movie-news/ridley-scott-prometheus-interview/8232)
  2.  ERIC SPITZNAGEL: I got kind of an Old Testament vibe from Prometheus.           

    RIDLEY SCOTT: Great. Then I've done my job.
Eric Spitznagel: So that was intentional?

    
Ridley Scott: Oh, yes. I'm really intrigued by those eternal questions of creation and belief and faith. I don't care who you are, it's what we all think about. It's in the back of all our minds.


    Eric Spitznagel: In the Old Testament, God is kind of an asshole.
Ridley Scott: Yeah, he was pretty hard on us, wasn't he?
Eric Spitznagel: Humanity's creators in Prometheus aren't much better. The "Engineers," as they're called, are really prickish and hostile. Are they a metaphor for your feelings about God?
Ridley Scott: Me, personally?


    Eric Spitznagel: Yeah. Do you believe in a supreme deity who's sadistic and cruel and maybe hates us?
Ridley Scott: Well, that's not me. That's Paradise Lost.


    Eric Spitznagel: You think Milton got it right?

    
Ridley Scott: I don't think so literally, but it seems analogous sometimes. The only guy in Paradise Lost having a good time is that son-of-a-bitch dark angel.


    Eric Spitznagel: My favorite part of Prometheus is when a battered and bloody Noomi Rapace reaches for her crucifix necklace, and the decapitated robot head says to her, "Even after all this, you still believe." In that scene, are you Noomi or the robot head?


    Ridley Scott: That's hard to say. [Long pause] I do despair. That's a heavy word, but picking up a newspaper every day, how can you not despair at what's happening in the world, and how we're represented as human beings? The disappointments and corruption are dismaying at every level. And the biggest source of evil is of course religion.


    Eric Spitznagel: All religions?


    Ridley Scott: Can you think of a good one? A just and kind and tolerant religion?


    Eric Spitznagel:: Not off the top of my head, no.


    Ridley Scott: Everyone is tearing each other apart in the name of their personal god. And the irony is, by definition, they're probably worshipping the same god. (Ridley Scott on Prometheus - Esquire and www.ericspitznagel.com/)
  3.  Ridley Scott:  They’re going off to paradise but it could be the most savage, horrible place. Who are the Engineers?(https://metro.co.uk/2012/10/10/ridley-scott-blade-runner-sequel-is-no-rumour-its-happening-597304/)
  4.  Ridley Scott:  It (Prometheus) was reaching out to talk about gods and demons and the world that we can never understand - our creation (Empire Magazine, December 2013, p25)




 

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