During the after-shoot of Alien, Ridley Scott had originally set his eye on the space opera Dune, something that was left after the death of his older brother. He later started production of the film Blade Runner. He explained in an interview that he wanted to do a fantasy film of the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner, something that would be stalled in perpetuity.
In an interview with the journalist Danny Peary, he spoke at length about his ideas on Alien and his ideas on a sequel. An excerpt of this is below:
“It certainly should explain what the Alien is and where it comes from,” he told Omni’s Screen Flights/Screen Fantasies in 1984. “That will be tough because it will require dealing with other planets, worlds, civilisations. Because obviously, the Alien did come from some sort of civilisation. The Alien was presented, really, as one of the last survivors of Mars – a planet named after the god of war. The Alien may be one of the last descendants of some long-lost self-destructed group of beings.”
This certainly shows that, even at this early stage, Prometheus or something like it was the intended direction that Ridley wanted to go in.
Also of note is the phrase “self-destructed group of beings” which indicates the theme of hubris that is a recurring theme throughout the Alien series.
Ridley also explained to Cinefantastique that “’in many respects, it’ll be more interesting [than the first movie], from a pure science-fiction standpoint. We’d get into speculative areas, deal with two civilisations.”
It would be interesting to see the relationships between the beings that would later be called the Engineers and others in the wider galaxy from a non-human perspective. Or perhaps this ‘history’ could be uncovered by human archaeologists and anthropologists.
With the Classical themes of Prometheus and Alien Covenant in mind, it would be great to have something akin to a Titanomachia in space.
Also, the phrase “get into speculative areas, deal with two civilisations” could be used to further explain how the black goo and the Xenomorph came into existence in the current continuity. When I first saw Alien and the later instalments, I was struck by the similarities with Greek mythology.
The specific myth that I am referring to is the sowing of the teeth of the Dragon of the Ismenian Spring of Thebes by Cadmus from which sprang a fierce tribe of armed men with seemingly limitless aggression called Spartoi. Dragons in Greek mythology being sacred to the war god Ares or Mars in Roman mythology.
The second batch of Spartoi was sown by Jason in the fields of Kolkhis (Colchis) on the Black Sea–a task demanded of him by King Aeetes in his quest for the Golden Fleece.
Both the eggs of the Alien films and the black goo and motes in the prequel films could be an analogue for the dragon’s teeth and the resulting creatures could reference the resulting Spartoi.
The mural of the cruciform being could easily depict the ‘Dragon’ from which the ‘teeth’ (in this case the genetic material/pathogen) was extracted). Personally, this is something I would love to see.
It could also be used to give information on the society of the Engineers. As they aspire to perfection in their own creations, one would assume that this would translate into their own society.
For example, what happens to the offspring who are not born as statuesque and genetically ‘pure’ as their parents or otherwise seen as inferior as women were often seen as in Sparta and other parts of Greece?
Are they subject to infanticide by exposure as was commonly practised in the Ancient world or were they simply exiled.
Submitted by Phil, thanks for your contribution!