a) My questions
Should I ask if it represent an apparition of the Deacon that would appear later in the film?
I might wonder if perhaps the Engineers foresaw its coming as a distant future event or if these things had been coming quite regularily over the millions of years?
Perhaps I could even wonder if it was designed that after whatever came about from DNA altered by the black substance in the urns, which crossed from one person to another and then another.
Steve Messing sculpted an alter area for this set that attempted to pay homage to HR Giger, in the form of a relief sculpture hanging from the wall. It has an impression of a loosely Giger-esque alien form with flowing structures around it.
- Steve Messing: Another set that I worked on was known as the "Head Room." This was a ceremonial room that contained hundreds of ampules beneath a giant sculpture of an Engineer's head. Julian Caldrow did an amazing job of working out all of the details for this environment and created the set drawings. The final set was built at full scale and was incredible to walk on. I also sculpted an altar area for this set that paid homage to Giger. It is a relief sculpture hanging from the wall and has the impression of an alien form with flowing structures surrounding it. (http://io9.com/)
c.i) Messing's point of view about what's depicted in
In Steve Messing's mind, film series most significant alien beast was a descendant of something known as the Ultramorph. (See Prometheus: Ultramorph )
In his mind, it was the pure form of this thing that the Engineers had created that was almost like a virus.
The Engineers culture centred a lot around sacrifice.
Once upon a time, there was an engineer that sacrifice himself with the virus as we see in the beginning of the film Alien, and then created this horrific creature, a being that was going to eradicate planets.
It was supposed to be a sort of a parasite that would destroy the planet, so that the Engineers could start over and rebirth the place.
The figure's relief represented something that they worshipped and so it was almost a religious sculpture.
As the virus became spread and as if it were polluted, supposedly the creature in the Alien series that has come to be referred to as the Xenomorph was an evolutionary descendant that was not as pure.
c.ii) The ultramorph as a pure creature?
It sounds as if Steve Messing must have been having behind the scenes discussions about the alien creatures inspired by what Carlos Huante's ideas were for the Ultramorphs that he did for Ridley (See Prometheus: Ultramorph )
- Steve Messing:
The Xenomorph in my mind was the descendant of Ultramorph. In my mind it
was the pure form of this kind of almost virus that these engineers had
created. They’re a lot about sacrifice. So in my mind there was an
engineer that sacrificed himself with this virus, and then created this
horrific creature… This being that was gonna eradicate planets, It was,
it was like a parasite that would, you know, destroy the planet, and
then they could start over and rebirth it. And they kind of worshipped
it, and that’s where you can see this relief sculpture, where it’s
almost a religious sculpture. As it got kind of, the virus spread, and
got polluted, the Xenomorph was a evolutionary descendant, that was not
as pure. (Prometheus blu-ray, "Xenomorphology:The Deacon")
|concept design for the relief|
|Relief in the ampule room (source: Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report)|
|Relief in the ampule room (Source: http://www.avpgalaxy.net)|
Messing also mentioned about how there were a lot of Easter eggs in the sculpture including several hidden Giger motifs that were not used in the original film.
- Steve Messing:There are a lot of easter eggs in this sculpture — including several hidden Giger motifs that were not used in the original film. (http://io9.com/)
The central figure had a body vaguely inspired by HR Giger's "The Spell I." and is the first jumping for people who see it to make comparisons with. One thing to note is the feet with long toes of both the central figures.
|The Spell I (Photocomposite from HR Giger: Dark Star documentary)|
|comparison between the legs|
Perhaps the flowing forms around the creature could be compared to the flower petals from HR Giger's "Homage to Melly" created for his mother.
|Homage to Melly|
|Rough comparisons between the petaled forms in HR Giger's|
"Homage to Melly" and the relief in Prometheus
Also there's drawing from 2004 that could be found on the cover of a book Filmdämonen by H Hunka, exploring films and oddly this could well provide the basic structure of this relief
|Giger's 2004 drawing on the cover of Filmdämonen by H Hurka|
|Giger's 2004 drawing and concept for the Prometheus relief|