Gah, the stupid, it burns. Ridley Scott is making a kind of prequel to Alien called Prometheus, which sounds fun; I liked the first two movies in the Alien franchise. But his rationale dismays me, and makes me regard Scott as a bit dim.
"The (space) journey, metaphorically, is about a challenge to the gods," Scott said. But Scott’s ambitions with Prometheus go far beyond simply restarting a hit franchise. The British director said the film’s storyline, and script by David Lindelof, was partially inspired by the writings of legendary Swiss sci-fi writer Eric van Daniken.
Van Daniken, author of 1968 bestseller Chariot of the Gods, is best known as the first proponent of the so-called ancient astronaut theory, which holds that aliens kick-started civilization on earth. "NASA and the Vatican agree that is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today without there being a little help along the way," Scott said. "That’s what we’re looking at (in the film), at some of Eric van Daniken’s ideas of how did we humans come about."
I had to laugh at the claim that von Däniken was a “sci-fi writer”. He wasn’t. He was a pseudo-science writer who believed that his nonsense about aliens helping the Egyptians construct the pyramids (and other belittlings of human abilities) was actual history. I’ve read a couple of his books, many years ago, and they were so hopelessly inane and incompetently supported that I rejected them as a high school student. It doesn’t say much about Scott’s scientific discrimination that he can be inspired by that drivel, and it is just about as damning to his competence at recognizing a good story that he mistook it for a sci-fi novel.
I also don’t consider the opinion of a bunch of engineers or a gang of theological thugs to be of much value in assessing the likelihood of evolutionary events — the authorities he cites are not authorities in the subject he’s discussing. I have a strong suspicion that Scott is making crap up, doesn’t know much about what either NASA or the Vatican has said, and probably hasn’t even read any of von Däniken’s books, but is only vaguely echoing the ‘common knowledge’ of blithering Hollywood celebrities.
My expectations for this movie have plummeted, though. Those Hollywood celebrities should never ever speak, because they always seem to confirm that they’re vacuous and credulous.