[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/prometheus_poster_9004.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"[[ArcWords Big things have small beginnings]]."]]
->''"A king has his reign, and then he dies. It's inevitable."''
-->-- '''Meredith Vickers'''

'''''Prometheus''''' is a 2012 science-fiction film directed by Creator/RidleyScott, and a semi-prequel to the 1979 film ''Film/{{Alien}}''. It marks the end of Scott's 30 year abstinence from the science-fiction genre, after his 1982 movie ''Film/BladeRunner''.

The film follows a team of scientists and astronauts who set out on the research vessel ''Prometheus'' to unravel the mystery of the dawn of mankind by seeking out the Engineers, who may be our very creators. Scientists Shaw and Holloway believe they have uncovered an "open invitation" to find them by means of a reoccurring star pattern found in ancient human writings. However the team soon learn the location is far from welcoming and that what they've discovered could be a danger to the human race itself.

For months there was speculation as to whether ''Prometheus'' was actually related to the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' franchise. Creator/RidleyScott danced around the issue at first stating it started as a direct prequel before moving onto something new entirely during its initial inception. Since then it's been confirmed it takes place in the ''Alien'' canon. However whilst the film makes notable references to everyone's favorite Xenomorphs and Weyland Industries (before it was [[MegaCorp Weyland-Yutani]]), the plot's main focus is on the nature of the "Space Jockeys" and their connection to humanity.

----
!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusivePrecursors: [[spoiler:To the point that they are trying to wipe humanity, [[OffingTheOffspring their own creation]], out altogether]].
* ActionSurvivor: Shaw. Notably, she runs like hell when [[spoiler:the Engineer attacks Weyland, Ford and the mercenary]].
* AIIsACrapshoot: David [[spoiler: has been instructed by Peter Weyland to get in touch with the Engineers by any means necessary.]] While he's programmed against attacking humans, after Holloway expresses willingness to do "anything" to learn more about the Engineers, David can interpret this as permission to [[spoiler: poison Holloway with the Engineers' organic sludge to see what happens.]]
** Foreshadowed to a degree by the ''Happy Birthday David'' viral advert:
--> ''I can carry out directives that my human counterparts might find... distressing, or unethical.''
** AllInTheManual: In the original script David had the instruction to make sure Holloway and Shaw didn't survive to tell the tale once they'd found the Engineers.
* AlienBlood: David's odd milky-white blood.
* AliensAreBastards: [[spoiler:The Engineers seek to wipe out the life of Earth for unknown reasons, and the last Engineer alive in the ship almost immediately starts killing everyone once he's awoken]]. WordOfGod confirms that the Engineers are pretty much assholes.
** Because the Engineers only sent out the [[spoiler:death warrant for humanity 2,000 years ago, some fans speculate that the Engineers and humanity were on good terms until some unspecified event occurred at that time which prompted the Engineers to want to eradicate humanity. The official reason has yet to be confirmed, however.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The [[https://www.weylandindustries.com/timeline Weyland Industries corporate timeline]] goes into much more detail about the technology and devices used in the film. The website's timeline also gives a much better understanding of Earth's advancement in the years leading up to the film's events, along with vague references to the main film series (including a mention of prototype rifles being developed for the Colonial Marines) and several interesting notes about Weyland's history, including the remark that he named the "David" android line after the name he wanted to give to his unborn child if it was a boy.
* AlmostOutOfOxygen: ''"Warning: You have 30 seconds of oxygen remaining."''
* AmbiguouslyHuman: [[spoiler:The Engineers are genetically near-identical with humans, and in terms of appearance the only differences are in size, lack of body hair, lily-white skin, and UncannyValley facial structure.]]
* AnAssKickingChristmas: The bulk of the film takes place around Christmas. Janek sets up a tabletop Christmas tree to remind himself of the season. [[DidIMentionItsChristmas Nobody else pays much attention to the season]], but given that central themes and plot elements concern faith, communicating with our creators, and a message in the stars, there's some symbolic connections.
* AnAxeToGrind: Shaw carries a fire axe while inside [[spoiler:Vickers' ejected lifepod]], and [[spoiler:the mutated Fifield]] uses one to dispatch a mercenary.
* AncientAstronauts: The Engineers.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler: The ''Prometheus'' crew foils the Engineers' plan to wipe out life on Earth, but Shaw (the sole survivor of the expedition) still has no idea why they decided to destroy the species that they helped create. Desperate for answers, she boards an Engineer spacecraft and, with David as her guide, plots a course for the Engineers' home planet...]]
* AppliedPhlebotinum: The organic [[spoiler:and corrosive]] black substance that not only does... ''curious'' things to tissue and living hosts, but can apparently both create and destroy entire ecosystems.
* AStormIsComing: ''"...and lots of static. This is not good."''
* Main/{{Autodoc}}: That pod in Vickers' quarters.
* BandageBabe: Underwear made of gauze bandages seems to be standard cryostasis attire.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Pavel and Chance decide to stay with Janek when he decides to [[spoiler:ram the Engineer craft]], instead of leaving the ship.
* BigBad: The Engineer race. [[spoiler:They seeded life on Earth, but now they want to get rid of it for some reason. The means they use to achieve this are... ghastly]].
* BigNo: Shaw, [[spoiler:watching Holloway flame-broiled alive by Vickers]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:The Engineer is killed before he can destroy Earth, but [[EverybodysDeadDave everyone is dead, except Elizabeth and David]]. They pilot a course for the home world of the Engineers, but Shaw ends up inadvertently creating [[Franchise/{{Alien}} something much worse.]]]]
* BlackComedy:
-->'''David:''' I didn't know you had it in you. Sorry, poor choice of words.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: [[spoiler: Averted. Janek, the TokenMinority, survives until the climax, while Fifeld and Milburn are the first to die. Notably, when Janek ''does'' die at the end, it's the result of a HeroicSacrifice that he planned himself. Incidentally, the black dude sacrificing himself is a common occurrence in the ''Alien'' franchise; in fact, ''Aliens'' is the only movie that doesn't feature it.]]
* BloodFromTheMouth: One of the crew members, when [[spoiler:the mutated Fifield attacks the ship]]. Justified, since it seems that [[spoiler:Fifield ''did'' crush his organs]]. Also occurs after [[spoiler: David's head is ripped off, though it's a rather odd milky-white seeing as he is an android]].
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Engineers. [[spoiler:While one is shown having the intent to kill the human race, one underwent a HeroicSacrifice in order to give us life, and another apparently sacrificed himself to buy the other Jockeys some time from the mutagen.]]
* BodyHorror: The main form of horror used throughout.
* BondVillainStupidity: At least 2,000 years ago, the Engineers [[spoiler: gave the order to wipe out humanity and apparently had the bright idea of leaving the job to their least competent outpost who couldn't even keep their own weapons under control. In the two intervening millenia, whatever military or governing body of the Engineers that exists didn't even consider checking up on the status of their own outpost, let alone the status of the target they ordered destroyed.]]
* BrokenPedestal: The Engineers invoke nothing but hope and wonder in Holloway and Shaw. They are seen as a chance to know more about ourselves and humanity's origins. Essentially they are viewed as living gods. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, Shaw learns first hand that they are monsters who, for reasons known only to themselves, want to destroy us.]]
* ButICantBePregnant: [[spoiler:Shaw discovers she's three months pregnant, despite sleeping with Holloway only ten hours before. Made a lot more horrific because Shaw was sterile and had wanted to have children...]]
* ByWallThatIsHoley: [[spoiler:Shaw avoids a gruesome death from being crushed by the Engineer starship by falling into a shallow, but sufficient dip in the ground, where the ship stops inches above her]].
* CallForward:
** The videoscreen in Vickers' room aboard the ''Prometheus'' appears to be the same technology that is seen during a scene from ''Aliens'', where Ripley sits on a bench in the Weyland-Yutani operated Gateway Station and watches the scenery change on the screen behind her.
** Everything in the ''Prometheus'' is this. The doors look similar to the ones in the ''Nostromo'', even down to having icons on top of them. Also some of the visuals for the ship's system look similar to the ones in the Nostromo, especially [[spoiler:the animated red X countdown seen when Janek prepares to ram the Prometheus against the Engineers' ship.]]
** Its not just in the human technology either.
* TheCameo: Patrick Wilson as Shaw's father, who appears in a single flashback near the beginning of the film.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Prometheus'' apparently ignores the ''AlienVSPredator'' films. The Weyland Corporation [[https://www.weylandindustries.com/timeline timeline]] notably does ''not'' feature Charles Bishop Weyland, who founded Weyland Industries in that canon. Subverted in a sense because [[spoiler: The Engineer's suits and equipment resemble that of a Predator's armor and weapons and many the "pictures" in the room resemble both Xenomophs and Predators]].
* CaptainsLog: The last lines of the movie, spoken by Shaw.
* CentralTheme: ParentalAbandonment. The "Engineers" left the human race to fend for itself, [[spoiler:and then attempts to exterminate it.]] Peter Weyland built the most powerful corporation on Earth, [[spoiler:and his daughter Vickers worked hard to be worthy of inheriting it, only for Weyland to seek immortality via the Engineers instead.]] Shaw discovers that [[spoiler:she's pregnant with an alien fetus, and immediately has the autodoc cut it out of her and attempts to kill it.]]
-->'''Shaw''': ''Why do you hate us?''
** Well, the "Engineers" are genetically identical to humans, and humanity's answer to that question seems to be; [[spoiler:''Because you're not what we wanted.'']]
** Invoked by David. "Don't we all wish for our parents to be dead?" [[spoiler: Weyland programs him, serving as sort of adoptive father, and without him, David would consider himself to be free.]]
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The automated surgical unit. After the surgical device has served its purpose, the creature it removed becomes one itself]].
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Fifield]]. Once he disappeared after the [[spoiler:Hammerpede attacks Milburn]], it was just a matter of time before he'd show up again.
* ChekhovsSkill:
** David is shown taking linguistics lessons from the ship's onboard computer, and says that he spent the last two years learning every ancient and proto language he could get his hands on. This later proves to be important when [[spoiler:Weyland asks David to speak with the surviving Engineer]].
*** While it's not explicitly stated, it's fairly clear that David was deliberately learning Ur-languages in the hope of being able to communicate with the Engineers, should the chance arise. Finding a means of communication is an essential part of any planned first contact. His studying of the languages would also be helpful in translating any hieroglyphs that might be found.
** David's ability to decipher the Engineer symbols and machinery in the structure comes in handy when [[spoiler:Shaw uses him to control an Engineer craft and leave the planet at the end of the film]].
* ChestBurster: Happens to the Engineer.
* CleanPrettyChildbirth: Inverted. [[spoiler:Not only is Shaw's cesarean section far more gruesome than most real childbirths, but [[{{Body Horror}} it's not even a human child]] being birthed in the scene.]]
* ContinuityNod:
** Near the end of the film, [[spoiler:the Engineer is killed by an organism resembling a giant facehugger, releasing a creature that appears to be a xenomorph related to the one found in ''Film/{{Alien}}'']].
** [[spoiler:Shaw's final log at the end of the film is very much a nod towards Ripley's log at the end of ''Film/{{Alien}}''.]]
** Basically everything in the film is a continuity nod:
*** [[spoiler:The suits, the gun on the ship... etc.]]
* ContinuityPorn: Everything related to the film, from the ViralMarketing campaign (that shows Weyland Industries before it merged with the Yutani Corporation) to the content of the plot (the crew interacts with the same type of ship seen in the original film, the Space Jockey race, [[spoiler: xenomorphs]], etc.), is made of this.
** The New Age background music to Weyland's presentation is from the end credits of Alien.
** Some supplementary materials from the Blu-ray show that at one point, the MegaCorp was supposed to be named Weyland-[[Film/BladeRunner Tyrell]]. It's never made clear if Scott gave up on the idea of linking the two continuities completely.
* CoolStarship: The SS Prometheus looks every bit the $1 ''trillion'' she cost to make.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive
** Unusually subverted for this universe. Vickers is framed this way in a particularly menacing introduction but turns out to be a straight shooter.
** [[spoiler: Weyland himself is a different story. He lies to the crew, treats Vickers like a redheaded stepchild, and seems to be the person pulling David's crew-abusive strings. He's also effectively risking humanity's existence on his request of the Engineers being well-received]].
* CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel: Justified, as the Prometheus is a brand new expedition ship whilst the Nostromo from ''Film/{{Alien}}'' was an old space truck designed for cargo.
* CosmicHorrorStory: Unsurprisingly, the number of inhuman terrors on display is considerable.
* CranialProcessingUnit: David's head, which is [[spoiler:separated from his body when the Engineer rips it off]]. He later [[spoiler:communicates with Shaw without the rest of his body]], and allows [[spoiler:Shaw and himself to escape the planet at the end of the film]].
* CreditsGag: At the end of the credits it's noted that the footage is the property of Weyland Industries.
* CrisisOfFaith: [[spoiler: Subverted. The entire movie seems to be setting Shaw up for a monstrous one, yet in the end, she stands by her faith.]]
* CrocodileTears: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dSkf06yCvU "Happy Birthday, David"]] viral clip shows that androids aren't quite capable of convincingly faking emotions like sadness.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Several, given the nature of the film and the monsters found within.
** [[spoiler: Fifield's helmet melts into his face. After he's mutated - which forced his body to crawl the entire way to Prometheus legs over spine - and shows up at the ship, he gets shot repeatedly, run over, and is set on fire]].
** [[spoiler: Milburn's death by asphyxiation - or perhaps, worse still, massive internal injuries - when a creature forces its way into his body through his mouth. What occurred beforehand was also ''very'' unpleasant]].
** [[spoiler: The Engineer's slow death at the hands of the horrific tentacle monster. Then the Engineer's true death by [[ContinuityNod chestburster]].]]
** [[spoiler:Vickers gets crushed under the Space Jockey ship]].
** [[spoiler:Holloway contracts an infection that begins painfully dissolving his body from the inside, then he's flame-broiled alive by a flamethrower--which doesn't appear to kill him right away]].
* CuriosityKilledTheCast:
** Milburn deliberately tries to touch the "Hammerpede", a snakelike creature that emerges from a pool of the black liquid. This is despite Fifield's pleas for him to stop what he's doing. It ends...badly. As noted under TooDumbToLive below, this is a ''biologist'' who apparently does not recognise a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threat_display threat display]].
*** One of the deleted scenes shows that he's so ecstatic because nobody's ever found alien life bigger than a bacterium before.
** Vickers tells [[spoiler:Weyland]] before the team leaves for the structure: "If you go down there, ''you'll die''." Not only does [[spoiler:Weyland and most of the team]] get killed minutes later by [[spoiler:the surviving Engineer]], but [[spoiler:Vickers ends up getting crushed by the falling Engineer ship seconds after her escape pod lands on the planet]].
* DeadStarWalking: Guy Pearce appears to be this. It's said in the film that he was close to death just before the Prometheus set out for Lv-223, and recorded a final message knowing his time was at an end...[[spoiler:then it turns out he was on the ship all along]].
* DeathByGenreSavvy: After the team finds the dead body while exploring the alien planet, [[ThoseTwoGuys Fifield and Milburn]] [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere turn tail to head back to the ship]]. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, they get lost, and end up getting killed there. The rest of the party manages to survive that particular excursion]].
* DeathIsDramatic: Shaw's [[BigNo response]] to [[spoiler:Holloway's death]].
* {{Determinator}}: Shaw turns out to be an especially tough cookie when she [[spoiler:removes the alien lifeform from her womb]].
* DistractedByTheSexy: There's nobody on the bridge to hear Milburn and Fifield calling for help because Janek went off to have sex with Vickers.
* DistantPrologue: The film's opening depicts [[spoiler: what seems to be the Engineers creating humanity.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Charlie rather snidely addresses David as "boy" while giving him orders.
* DontTouchItYouIdiot: [[http://res-gestae.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d53ab0t David. Enough said.]] Unless you haven't seen the movie. In which case we apologize for not having said enough.
* DramaticAlienVTOL: At the beginning of the climax.
* DroneOfDread
* ExcessiveSteamSyndrome: The ''Prometheus'' itself, notably seen when steam comes out from the floor of the cargo bay as the expedition team first sets out.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: The [[spoiler: facehugger]] seen in this movie is noticeably squid-like, in contrast to [[spoiler: the more arachnid-like ones in earlier ''Alien'' films]].
* ExactTimeToFailure: Shaw's spacesuit tells her out loud how much air she has left.
* ExitPursuedByABear: [[spoiler:The final Engineer is finished off by the fully-grown "fetus" that Shaw removed earlier]].
* {{Expy}}:
** Dr. Shaw is said to be one for Ellen Ripley. Not that that's [[TropesAreNotBad a bad thing]]; Creator/NoomiRapace considers it high praise.
** Vickers is set up as something of one for Ripley, at least to start with - aloof, no-nonsense, and mercilessly by-the-book when a crew member returns to the ship infected with ''something''. [[spoiler:No doubt deliberately done as a red herring to further Creator/RidleyScott's pre-release claims that Vickers would be the lone survivor]].
** David is one for Ash from the [[Film/{{Alien}} first film]], being an android [[spoiler:under morally ambiguous orders from the corporation and ends up reduced to a talking head]].
* EyelessFace: The [[spoiler: Deacon]].
* FaceFullOfAlienWingWong: [[spoiler:The last Engineer]] gets this from [[spoiler:the squid-like creature Shaw releases]].
* FaceHugger: The xenomorphs.
* FailsafeFailure: The storage area. The jars apparently [[spoiler:do ''nothing'' to contain the black stuff, and unleash it as soon as the door is opened; the only way to handle it safely is by actively freezing it]]. Possibly intentional if Janek is right about their nature, and it ''has'' been a very long time.
* FallenHero: Peter Weyland, who according to the company timeline was a child prodigy, earned two unshared Nobel Prizes, and founded a corporation which is entirely responsible for humanity forming an interstellar civilization. Such a person would have been favorably immortalized by history without a doubt. [[spoiler: His desire for physical immortality however, not only alienated his daughter, but sacrificed a significant portion of his corporation's assets, was directly responsible for the deaths of 15 of 17 people aboard ''Prometheus'', and jeopardized the human race with extinction. However, because no one returned to Earth to tell the tale, [[KarmaHoudini Weyland's reputation remains intact.]] On the other hand, him sacrificing said portion of his company's assets may have unwittingly led to Weyland Industries' merger into [[MegaCorp Weyland-Yutani]]. ]]
* FanDisservice: Creator/NoomiRapace half-dressed? Sure, but she also just woke up from cryosleep, and is vomiting quite a bit. [[spoiler:She gets half-naked again later in the film, but also undergoes some emergency surgery to get the ''[[FoetusTerrible thing]]'' out of her, and staggers out of the medpod covered in blood and amniotic fluid]].
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Charlize Theron half-dressed and doing pushups. It goes by very quickly, though.
** For slightly longer -- a very lean and lovely Michael Fassbender in a tight, heathered-gray tee shirt. [[spoiler:Too bad it's when he's telling Shaw about her ''unconventional'' fetus and being the very personification of malevolent authority.]]
* FinalGirl: [[WordOfGod Scott claimed]] that he was intending to make use of this trope with [[spoiler:Theron's character]] by ''explicitly'' stating [[spoiler:she'll]] make it through to the end of the film. [[LyingCreator He lied.]] [[spoiler:It's Elizabeth and not Vickers]].
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Shaw
** TheLancer: Holloway
** TheSmartGuy: David
** TheBigGuy: Fifield
** TheChick: Milburn
* FlippingTheBird: Milburn and Fifield give each other the two-fingered variant while stranded.
** Given how both characters are British, this little detail was a [[ShownTheirWork rather nice touch]].
*** Well, both ''actors'' are British--Millburn seems to be American, though his accent is [[OohMeAccentsSlipping is kind of all over the place]], ranging from heavy Southern ("Millburn, biology") to more general ("If you're willing to discount three centuries of Darwinism...")
* FlyingSaucer: A large one makes an appearance in the opening sequence. It's so large that that the clouds flow around it when it manouvres.
* FoetusTerrible: [[spoiler: "It's... [[BodyHorror not a conventional foetus]]."]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Shaw and Holloway talk onboard the ship when they come back from the first expedition to the structure. Holloway makes a point of asking Shaw if her inability to conceive a child was caused by faith. Later on, she does find out that she's pregnant...[[spoiler:except it isn't a traditional fetus]].
** When Shaw uses Vickers' autodoc to [[spoiler:remove the fetus]], she is initially told that the machine is only programmed to treat a ''male'' patient. This foreshadows [[spoiler:Weyland's appearance, and the reveal that Vickers is his daughter - the autodoc was for his use in case he needed it]].
** Milburn and Fifield discover a pile of Engineer corpses that all have what appear to be holes in their heads, indicating something exploded out of it. Later on, when the crew finds [[spoiler:Milburn, a Hammerpede explodes out of his head and goes into the pool of black liquid]].
** The hologram of Peter Weyland at the beginning of the film refers to David as "the closest thing [he] has to a son". There is then [[spoiler: a brief shot of a seething Vickers. It is later revealed that Vickers is Weyland's biological daughter.]]
** Vickers being [[spoiler: Weyland's daughter]], is once again foreshadowed by the fact that she and David [[spoiler: (Who Weyland had earlier referred to as the "closest thing he had to a Son"),could easily pass for brother and sister]]. Janek even asks Vickers [[spoiler:if she is an android because she and David have a similar temperament.]]
* FromASingleCell: [[spoiler: It's strongly implied that even the smallest drop of the virulent black goo ending up in an eco system would be enough to turn a habitable planet into an all out DeathWorld overrun with rapidly evolving flesh-eating nasties, deadly parasites and rampaging mutants. For instance, the "Hammerpede" that killed Millburn and Fifield originated as an inch-long segmented worm that got drenched in the goo leaking from the vases]].
* GenreSavvy: Almost the entire cast demonstrates this at one point or another. It's however undermined by IdiotBall (see also below).
** Shaw runs on first trope when hell starts to break loose in [[spoiler:the Engineer ship]].
** Fifield and Milburn know to get the hell out of Dodge when the party discovers an Engineer corpse - but then Milburn, a biologist [[spoiler:who should know better than to play with snakes, thinks that strange hissing snake thing is ''cute''...]]
** Vickers refuses to let [[spoiler:Holloway back on the ship when he is obviously infected with the black mutagen]], and Holloway [[spoiler:forces Vickers to kill him with a flamethrower when he realizes the implications of his infection.]]
** Janek [[spoiler:refuses to allow anything related to the black mutagen to leave the planet, up and to sacrificing the ''Prometheus'' and his life to disable the Engineer vessel set to release said mutagen on Earth]].
** [[spoiler:The Engineer they first find deliberately decapitated himself to prevent the mutagen from activating]].
** When running from [[spoiler:the falling Engineer ship, Shaw escapes to the side while Vickers runs straight forward and is crushed]] - but it's only because Shaw fell and so wouldn't catch up.
* GenreThrowback: Possibly to the first ''Alien'', in terms of style.
* AGodAmI: Peter Weyland in his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb7gspHxZiI 2023 TED speech]]
--> '''Weyland''': ''We'' are the Gods now.
** In one of the deleted scenes, this is how he justifies [[spoiler: wanting to be immortal to the Engineer]]:
--> '''Weyland''': I ''deserve'' this, because you and I, we are superior. We are creators. We are gods. And gods never die.
* GodIsEvil: Subverted with the Engineers. [[spoiler: They may have created humanity long ago, but they are very much mortals. And absolutely not worthy of worship]]. [[spoiler:Whether or not the entire race is AlwaysChaoticEvil is left up in the air, though. See Blue And Orange Morality.]]
* GodzillaThreshold: Shaw uses [[spoiler:the Trilobite in a desperate attempt to escape the Engineer knowing that the survivor of ''that'' fight is more than capable of killing ''her'', but at that point she literally has nothing to lose- to whit- the Engineer's hands are literally ''around her throat'' at the time]].
** Janek [[spoiler:destroys ''Prometheus'' and himself by invoking RammingAlwaysWorks to stop the Engineer ship]]. It's implied that it was meant from the start as the last-resort option of damage containment.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: [[spoiler: Shaw writes an ApocalypticLog warning travelers not to get near the planet, but never explains why]].
* GuideDangIt: Seeing the film alone rises to WildMassGuessing. For more information, one needs to read the WordOfGod's explanations.
* HateSink: Vickers fills the role of "person we're allowed to hate" for most of the film, since [[spoiler:the Engineer]] doesn't turn up until the end and [[spoiler: David]] doesn't have clear enough motives for us to know ''why'' he does what he does.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:When Shaw informs Janek that the Engineer vessel is headed to Earth with its "payload", he decides to crash the ship headfirst into it. His crewmen Ravel and Chance refuse to leave his side in order to help him. They all go out in explosive style]].
** This actually seems to a running theme in the movie: [[spoiler:the Engineer at the start sacrifices himself to birth humanity; David muses over T.E. Lawrence's line about "not minding that it hurts" and, despite cruelty and unnecessary violence making him shed a single milky tear, indicating some amount of empathy, proceeds to sacrifice the rest of his crew for some apparently larger goal; Holloway asserts that he would be willing to do "anything and everything" to succeed in the mission (indirectly giving David permission to infect him), and later keeps quiet about his health concerns for the sake of continuing the mission and allows himself to be burned to death to stop his infection; and at the opposite end of the spectrum is Weyland, who will sink a trillion dollars of research and resources, plus risk the security of mankind, to stop himself from dying, despite already appearing to be past his centenary]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The Engineers seem to have this happen to them constantly, including the only living one seen in the film. Then again, these guys don't seem to care about their own survival all that much.]]
** [[spoiler: Holloway too]]. He says that he is prepared to do "anything and everything" for the mission to succeed. Unfortunately, [[spoiler: David]] takes that a little too literally...
*** Though he ''was'' drunk at the time, so probably wasn't thinking too clearly about the implications of what he was saying.
** [[spoiler: Fifield and Milburn]], upon being informed there are sporadic lifesigns in one direction, immediately go the other way. [[spoiler: Going ''to'' the sporadic life signs to investigate would have placed them outside a locked hatch in a perfectly safe corridor. Going the other way placed them in the room with the creatures that killed/mutated them.]]
* HolographicInterface[=/=]UnusualUserInterface:
** One was human-made, used for the MissionBriefing early on.
** [[spoiler:The Engineer ship has room-sized holographic displays, which are activated via playing a musical instrument, and controlled by pressing button-like fatty cushions and glowing green crystals]]. [[spoiler: Other control panels in the ship seem to be little more than cuneiform inscriptions carved in rock, that react to touch]].
* HollywoodScience: The crew examine the alien's DNA by simply putting a tissue sample on a slide and looking at it under a light microscope. Possibly justified, seeing as the film takes place in the future.
** Let's say that it is possible to restore functionality to the nervous system of an organism that has been decapitated and has been rotting for over 2000 years (the brain of the organism has been derived of oxygen all that time, which the brain requires to function); the head's muscles would have been so decayed over that time that the head would no longer be recognizable; let alone move its facial muscles.
* HumanAliens: A very interesting example. The [[spoiler: Engineers]] are genetically human, but looking into their eyes, you see they are ''[[HumanoidAbomination unutterably alien]]''.
* HydraProblem: [[spoiler: Fifield attempts to cut off the alien snake's head when it breaks Millburn's arm, but not only does it spray acid blood over Fifield's face for his efforts, the head ''instantly'' grows back.]]
* IAintGotTimeToBleed: Shaw's not going to let a little thing like [[spoiler:a caesarean section]] slow her down.
** Again, probably [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by having access to futuristic medical technology, like all those shots she injected herself with.
** Also, she spends a lot of the rest of the movie injecting herself and taking pain medication, but still has trouble walking and [[spoiler: zipping up her suit to go back out onto the planet.]]
* IceQueen: Vickers, to the point where one character even questions if she's secretly a ''robot'', like David.
* IdiotBall:
** Yes, go ahead and pet the strange hissing cobra thing; we all want to see what happens. Scratch that, we've ''paid'' to see it.
** Why ''oh why'' would anyone on an alien world take their helmet off? Even if the air's composition is chemically breathable, it's still dangerous, especially since the body has zero preparation for any microscopic contagious life it encounters.
*** The fake Weyland Corporation timeline says that the company has developed advanced bioscanners that can detect microscopic life-forms. However, this still doesn't excuse them removing their helmets and introducing ''Earth'' micro-organisms into an alien environment.
** Did anyone stop to consider that maybe the aliens might be hostile?[[note]] Yes they did, they even brought guns and flamethrowers just in case. Unfortunately for everyone else involved, the guy who funded the exploration and the two scientists he says are in charge of the mission don't allow their use.[[/note]] While it is true that there was peaceful contact in the past, they don't consider that maybe there was a reason it stopped. Everyone seems to think that their arrival will be met with fanfare, that [[Film/{{Contact}} they'll be greeted heartily]] and all their questions will be answered.
** Two of your crew are lost in a hostile environment, with no supplies and no way to provide backup to them until next morning? Sure, captain, go to bed. Don't leave anyone on watch to monitor them in case something happens to them. For that matter, don't have rotating watch shifts either, it's not like ''your'' ship is in a hostile environment either. Don't move the spaceship any closer to the cave allowing them a better chance of getting there.
*** Oh, and ''do'' dismiss the strange life sign as nothing despite the rest of the alien inhabitants appearing ''dead'' and your crew members being very close to it.
** So the suit of one of those crew members shows up inexplicably right outside the door, and you the captain realize that something is amiss? [[spoiler: Whatever you do, don't actually tell the rest of the crew, instead of just talking to yourself, or physically stop the doors. Because that would be helpful]].
** If Shaw and Vickers had just run to the side to begin with, [[spoiler: they would have avoided both the ship rolling and tipping over]]. Shaw [[spoiler:only survives because she falls down and realizes she can roll out of the way]]. [[http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/06/13 Thoroughly mocked]] by Webcomic/PennyArcade.
*** [[spoiler:This last may be a case of juggling Idiot Balls; a closer look at that particular scene shows the alien ship provided more than a little shelter. One could risk getting squashed by the alien ship, or run to the side only to get clobbered by the falling debris of the Prometheus.]]
*** Shaw at least has the excuse of being so exhausted that she was weaving, racked with pain, and horribly traumatized that she could not be expected to be thinking clearly.
** Fifield managing to get lost on the way out of the ruins. This could be understandable, if he weren't the very guy in charge of mapping the place. And if he didn't later provide Janek with his ''exact'' location by way of coordinates. Gauntlet mounted tracking/mapping device and he relies on his own sense of direction to try and get back...
* IndoEuropeanAlienLanguage: Inverted; our distant ancestors actually learned Proto-Indo-European from the Engineers.
* {{Infodump}}:
** LectureAsExposition: The elaborate MissionBriefing given by [[HolographicTerminal holographed]] Weyland and Holloway.
** Janek explaining that the alien base is a military installation stockpiling bioweapons. He didn't see enough of the installation to be the one to come to that conclusion, and there's no guarantee he's right.
* ImmortalityImmorality: Gallons and ''gallons'' of it. Not wanting to wither and die from age is ''so'' evil that it not only [[spoiler:destroys your whole family]] but [[spoiler:condemns your ''entire species'' to righteous genocide.]]
* InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace: The crew of the Prometheus all wear clear domed helmets with lights on them.
* JustAMachine: The attitude taken towards David. He just brushes it off every time it comes up, but it's quite clear that it insults and annoys him in some capacity.
* KillAllHumans: [[spoiler:The default setting for The Engineers. Upon being awoken from stasis and having a conversation with David, he kills those who awoke him. He then carries on with his mission to destroy Earth ''despite it being two thousand years later'']].
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:Vickers ''decontaminating'' Holloway]]. And then again, later, when [[spoiler:the mutated Fifield attacks the ship]].
* KinkMeme: [[http://prometheuskink.livejournal.com/ Recently got one.]]
* LargeHam: Peter Weyland acts like a combination of [[Film/IronMan Tony Stark]] and Steve Jobs during his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUxdAWrsag8 2023 TED speech]].
--> "[[AGodAmI We, are the gods now]]."
* LaserGuidedKarma: Vickers explicitly tells [[spoiler:Weyland]] that going down to the planet will [[spoiler:result in his death]]. She's absolutely right - [[spoiler:he is mortally wounded by the Engineer]] and dies soon afterwards.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Shaw is infertile and had always wanted a child with Holloway [[spoiler:just not [[FoetusTerrible like that]]...]]
* LettingHerHairDown: When Vickers appears to be the average corporate bitch, her hair is tied back in a ponytail. When she shows some warmth her hair is shown down. After that, while she continues to wear it in a ponytail, it's much looser.
* LivingWeapon: It is discovered that everyone's favorite [[Franchise/{{Alien}} xenomorphs]] [[spoiler:are just one type of genetically engineered superweapons made by the Engineers.]]
** The producers [[WordOfGod say]] their intention with the [[spoiler: Deacon]] was to show the "origin" of what would later become the familiar Xenomorph.
* LoveInterest: Charlie is Elizabeth's long term partner. They both share the dream of meeting the Engineers.
* LosingYourHead: [[spoiler: David after the last Engineer wakes up and tears it off. Later, when Shaw returns for him, both David's head and body respond, with his hands almost comically reaching out to her.]]
* ManOnFire: [[spoiler:Holloway allows himself to be torched when he's infected with the black mutagen.]]
* MeaningfulName: The ship is named ''Prometheus'' for the [[GreekMythology Greek titan]], who stole fire from the Olympian gods to give to man and was punished. Peter Weyland discusses this at length in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2BxH-xwc9M the 2023 TED Talk viral clip]], and his explanation of the name is reiterated in the video message the crew watches during the briefing.
* MegaCorp: Weyland Industries. How "mega?" Weyland and his company discovered and/or are responsible for biotech, nanotech, fusion energy, M-theory, deep space exploration and colonization and {{Artificial Human}}s. Note that this takes place ''before'' the merger into Weyland-Yutani.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Holloway]] asks for this - and gets it - from Vickers.
* MissionBriefing: Delivered by Weyland [[HolographicTerminal himself]] and Holloway.
* MutagenicGoo: The black goo responsible for the creation xenomorphs and mutation of humans and other lifeforms.
* MythologyGag:
** Compare the first trailer to the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf99ouvFBJw 1979 trailer]] for ''Alien''; most notably it contains the same wailing tone throughout. Lampshaded by the online community later with this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ6SUTI1j9M gem]].
** David performs an impossible basketball shot, just like Ripley in ''Film/AlienResurrection''. (Taken UpToEleven when he does it while riding a bicycle.)
** Also, a certain line from ''Aliens'' gets repeated.
--> "David, we are ''leaving''!"
** The briefing scene aboard the ''Prometheus'' resembles the briefing from ''Aliens'', including most of the crew not having been told about the purpose of the mission before they went into hypersleep. However, the circumstances of this movie make this much less plausible.
** The movie ends much like how the original ''Alien'' did: [[spoiler:the survivor goes off into space, leaving behind a the final log of the ship that describes what she's been through]].
** David 8. Compare with Ripley 8 in ''Alien: Resurrection''.
** The POV Cams from ''Aliens'' re-appear. And, like that movie, the team disarms themselves with disastrous results.
** The head on the outside of the ship closely resembles the newborn from ''Alien: Resurrection''.
** The [[spoiler: mutated Fifield]] gets run over and crushed by a vehicle in exactly the same way as one of the Xenomorphs in ''Aliens''.
* NeckLift: The Engineer does this to [[spoiler:the android David]] just before a NeckSnap, and topping it off with an OffWithHisHead
* NeverTrustATrailer: At least one of the trailers made extensive use of the iconic "howl" noise from the original 1979 trailer for ''Alien''. This, plus the choice of rapid-cut shots, could be interpreted as an attempt to sell ''Prometheus'' as being much more directly concerned with the Xenomorphs than it actually is.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Played with. The environment on [=LV-223=] is hostile to humans, but the air inside the caves is breathable because the Engineers terraformed that spot just for them.
* NoNewFashionsInTheFuture: PlayedWith.
** SpaceClothes do show up aboard the ''Prometheus,'' though their purpose is justified and well shown. On the other hand, most fashions seemed to have weathered the century of change from the present more or less unchanged.
** The flashback viewers see of Dr. Shaw's childhood, which is set in India sometime around the 2060s-70s can easily be mistaken for TheSixties or TheSeventies of the twentieth century from the clothes used. The Scotland 2089 scenes wouldn't look out of place in 2012.
* TheNothingAfterDeath: It's a character's opinion after [[spoiler:being mortally wounded by the very thing he thought might save him]].
-->'''[[spoiler:Peter Weyland]]:''' There's... nothing.\\
'''David:''' I know. Have a good journey, [[spoiler:Mr. Weyland]].
* NothingIsScarier: The scenes where Fifield and Milburn are trapped in the cave during a storm. They know there's some sort of creature out on the planet with them, but don't know where it is.
* NotSoDifferent: The Engineers created the Xenomorphs to serve as a LivingWeapon. [[spoiler: It's implied so were humans.]]
** David makes a connection between himself and Holloway in that they are both trying to understand why they were created. [[spoiler:He also brings up the possibility that the Engineers created humanity just because they could, nothing more.]]
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Shaw's Swedish actor Creator/NoomiRapace slips out of her British accent occasionally (the CaptainsLog at the end, for example)
* OneDimensionalThinking: A DoubleSubversion when [[spoiler:Vickers and Shaw are running away from the crashing spaceship along its longest axis as it rolls toward them, but Shaw survives when she [[DramaticSlip falls over]] and it finally occurs to her that she could roll a short distance to one side. The second subversion comes when it falls on top of her anyway. Possibly a third subversion when it almost crushes her but is stopped by some rocks. The same doesn't occur to Vickers and she's just plain crushed. Ironically, if ''she'' had fallen, she might've thought to roll in the other direction from the one Shaw rolled, which would be the way ship wouldn't fall.]]
* OnlyPointTwoPercentDifferent: It is revealed that the [[spoiler:Engineers are a match for human DNA, despite being ten-foot tall hairless albinos with pitch-black, pulil-less eyes]].
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Woman]]: Vickers may be a DesignatedVillain, but she is one of the few characters who behaves rationally, generally does the right thing, and generally tries to avert disaster for everyone. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, she gets a [[DroppedABridgeOnHim spaceship dropped on her]] for her troubles]].
* OrganicTechnology: Staple of the Engineer culture. Anything from their ships to their clothes (seemingly seamlessly fused to their bodies) seems to be made of living tissue or bone. [[spoiler:The most significant example is probably the black sludge, which in Earth-like atmospheric conditions has the ability to mutate any Terrestrial life-form in horrible, parasitic ways into techno-organic nightmares.]]
* OriginsEpisode: Scott claimed fans would "recognize strands of ''Alien's'' "DNA" at a certain point in the film.
** The film features a [[spoiler: wall mural that looks eerily similar to the Xenomorphs]] and [[spoiler:a variety of monsters]] that will be very familiar to ''Alien'' fans.
** [[spoiler:A proto-xenomorph called the "Deacon"]] makes an appearance at the very end of the movie.
* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Shaw's belief in God and wearing a cross is treated as somewhat unusual.
** Justified in that the people shown to look down on her beliefs are either scientists, ruthless industrialists, or an android - not groups that are generally known for their belief in a higher power. Even if it were a modern day setting (ignoring the android) she'd still likely be the odd one out.
* POVCam: The crew on the ''Prometheus'' watches the feeds from the expedition team's helmet-mounted cameras (seen from the operator's perspective) at several points in the film.
* PoorCommunicationKills:
** Janek, right before [[spoiler:the mutated Fifield]] attacks. He clearly realizes that something is wrong, and even voices as much to himself, but doesn't use the comm system to warn the mechanics or even stop the door from opening.
** Janek again, when Fifield and Milburn come upon the pile of Engineer corpses in the structure. Janek thinks it's amusing and tells them to have a good night, then leaves the comm station right before Milburn gets attacked. [[spoiler:Not that he would have been able to help them anyways, considering the storm.]]
** Holloway sees an alien worm swimming around in his eye, and doesn't bother to tell anyone he's infected until he collapses during the second trip to the structure.
* {{Precursors}}: The Engineers seeded the original life on Earth from their own genetic code.
* PreMortemOneLiner:
--> [[spoiler: [[TookALevelInBadass Shaw]]: '''''DIE!!''''']]
* PreviewsPulse: The film's trailers used a muted variant, coupled with a strange howl taken from the original ''Alien'''s trailer.
* RRatedOpening: The introductory sequence with The Engineer's body deteriorating.
* RagnarokProofing: It's stated that the [[spoiler:Engineer's starships]] are ''at least'' 2,000 years old, and yet are shown to be still functional and flyable.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: [[spoiler: Janek sets the ship on an intercept course with the discovered Engineer ship to prevent it from leaving orbit and attacking Earth]]. Unusually, [[spoiler:the Prometheus is completely destroyed, while the Engineer ship is merely brought down intact to the ground]].
* RedHerring: [[spoiler:The hammerpede crawling down Milburn's throat. It seemed like this would be the origin of the xenomorph, but it turns out the thing was just killing him and nothing more.]]
* {{Retraux}}: Subtle example, but the "Happy Birthday, David" viral video is done in the style of a 70's or early 80's informational or advertisement video. Its most noticeable in the retro music and the clipped, "brick to the ear" audio mastering, but also in the furniture and interiors shown, repeating, moving geometric patterns in the "beat clips," fonts on the infographics, as well as the high-key lighting and color choices.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: The Space-Jockey from the original ''Alien'' was in fact an Engineer. Given that they are supposed to look near-human, the reason for the Space-Jockey's strange, elephantine features is because it was merely his ''helmet'']].
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot: David. The "Happy Birthday, David" viral clip expressly states that the David 8 model is capable of seamlessly integrating with an employer's workforce, and is capable of expressing many emotions (although even David himself admits he doesn't completely understand the concept of them). In the film, the characters [[JerkAss never seem to get tired of reminding him that he 'has no soul']].
* RoboticReveal: Unlike the prior ''Alien'' films (which had most of its androids reveal themselves by leaking or bleeding milky blood), David's robotic behaviour is personified in his introductory scene, where he rides a bicycle around in circles in the ship's basketball court while simultaneously dribbling a ball and shooting hoops.
* SavingTheWorld: "If we don't stop it, there won't be any home to go back to!"
* ScareChord: When Holloway discovers the worm in his eye, and any other instance of horrible things happening, including [[spoiler: the caesarean section]] and Fifield and Milburn's [[spoiler: fatal encounter with the snakelike creature]].
* SceneryPorn: The intro sequence.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Averted. The stated distance to LV-223 is 3.27*10^14 km[[note]]Approximately 34.6 lightyears[[/note]]. The characters are on Earth in 2089, and by the end of the film, it's 2094. This is justified since faster than light travel does exist in the shared universe of ''Prometheus'' and ''Film/{{Alien}}''. Rather than (in comparison) almost-instantaneous transition that FTL is usually depicted as, it actually still takes months or years to travel interstellar distances in spite of it, and the crew was in cryo-sleep for almost all of the two-year journey.
** Played straight when Vickers says they've come a half-billion miles, which is roughly the distance of Jupiter from the sun, unless she meant the distance travelled since they came out of FTL.
* SealedEvilInACan: The jars inside the structure, which can cause mutation or destruction to anything and everything that comes in contact with it. Later on, the expedition team discovers that [[spoiler:the Engineer ship]] has a cargo hold full of these jars, along with [[spoiler:a dormant Engineer who put himself in hypersleep, and intends to use the craft to destroy Earth via releasing the jars]].
* SendInTheSearchTeam: A second expedition team is sent into the structure to find out what happened to Fifield and Milburn.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler: Shaw's departure for the Engineers' homeworld, as well as the Deacon creature in the final scene]].
** In connection to the latter, the alternate ending for the film has David reveal that [[spoiler: the closest word we have for where they came from is "Paradise"]]. Current rumors point to this being the name of the eventual sequel.
** DevelopmentHell: [[http://collider.com/prometheus-sequel-news-damon-lindelof/ The sequel seems to be headed this way]], helped by how the last scene is. Some even think it's a possible StillbornFranchise.
* ShoutOut:
** WordOfGod states that David is inspired by [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL 9000]]. His actions and motivations parallel that of HAL's in ''2001'' and ''2010''.
** [[spoiler:The Deacon's jaw resembles closely that of a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjRSlnJ1rA4 goblin shark]], which in turn received media attention upon its discovery due to its bite reminding people of the original ''Film/{{Alien}}''. ]]
** [[TwoThousandOne "Good morning, David."]] Also the rise scene at the beginning.
** The autodoc very nearly says [[Series/StarTrekVoyager "Please State The Nature Of The Medical Emergency."]]
** Weyland's hologram-message to the crew bears a striking similarity to Hari Seldon's series of hologram-messages to the people of Terminus, in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''{{Foundation}}''. Seldon is also physically diminished, reveals the true hidden nature of their mission, and is [[spoiler:secretly manipulating people from beyond the grave. Although, in Seldon's case, he really is dead.]]
** David's love of the film ''LawrenceOfArabia''. The scene he watches is referenced by Peter Weyland in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2BxH-xwc9M the TED talk viral video.]]
** David pulling off [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF44YvDVP8Y a near-impossible basketball shot]].
** The protagonist's name is [[Series/DoctorWho Dr. Elizabeth Shaw]].
** At one point the captain paraphrases a line from a song in ''Theatre/FiniansRainbow''.
* SideBet: The pilots of the Prometheus have a 100 credits bet regarding the findings of the mission.
* SigilSpam: The Weyland logo is on everything, including David's ''fingerprint''.
* SingleTear: Shaw sheds one while she's on the table after [[spoiler: Holloway's death]], getting scanned and discovering [[spoiler: she is carrying an alien foetus]], and being asked about the death of her father by David as he removes her cross necklace.
* SongsInTheKeyOfLock: The Engineers' ship is activated by pressing buttons in order and by playing notes on a flute-like instrument.
* StalkerWithACrush: Damon Lindelof describes David's fixation on Shaw as [[http://entertainment.time.com/2012/06/12/prometheus-sequel-final-scene/ something like this.]] Creator/NoomiRapace (Shaw) interprets it as an attempt to fathom [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove the concept of faith]].
* StartOfDarkness: For Weyland Industries.
* StealthSequel: Although the film is set before the ''Alien'' series, Scott has said that there are possibilities to expand the universe in other ways through the events that occur in the film. The film is set on a different planet (LV-223), and focuses on the "Space Jockey" race from the first film: The Xenomorphs and Weyland Industries do get notable references, but the focus is clearly on the "Engineers" and their connection to humanity.
* TheStinger: [[spoiler: Involving the birth of The Deacon]].
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Engineers. Although humanity, through Shaw and David know ''enough'' to make some sense of their technological and physiological prowess, they still come across as virtually god-like.
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Holloway gets infected by the black goop, and chooses to be 'sterilised' by Wickers and her flamethrower.]]
* SummonBiggerFish: [[spoiler: The surviving Engineer]] is defeated by [[spoiler:a giant proto-facehugger]] set loose on it by the last survivor.
* ThemeNaming: '''D'''avid carries on the tradition of robot characters in ''Aliens'' movies having names beginning with the next letter of the alphabet from the last ('''A'''sh, '''B'''ishop and '''C'''all). Which is a bit strange, considering this takes place before they were even built.
* ThemeTuneCameo: The ''Film/{{Alien}}'' theme pops up when the ship lands on LV-223.
* ThreeLawsCompliant: Played with in the "Happy Birthday, David" viral clip. David states that he can seamlessly integrate with an employer's workforce effortlessly and do what is asked of him, but also states that he can carry out directives that are too "distressing or unethical" for anyone else. This [[CallForward foreshadows]] Ash's behavior in the original ''Alien'', Bishop's comment about how his programming will never allow him to harm another human being, and Call's interest in religion as a means of moving beyond mere ethical programming to true morality.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Geologist Fifield and biologist Milburn.
* TooDumbToLive: Oh the many examples to be had.
** The fact that the cast removes their helmets after finding that the atmosphere within the structure is breathable. Just because it's breathable doesn't mean it's ''safe'', as there's a myriad of factors which could potentially be deadly. The fact that they do this even after discovering that the place is a death trap is beyond stupid. Shaw at least lampshades this after [[spoiler:after Charlie mutates and is killed, treating airborne infection as a possibility]].
** Their quarantine protocols are a joke. They would have brought an infected crewmember onto the ship (Vickers was smart enough to waste him), and let a second crewmember on ''after that happened''. Before all that, they experimented on an Engineer head clearly infected with something out in the open rather than through some type of quarantine bubble. If it had exploded two seconds earlier, a half-dozen people would have been dead right there.
** Millburn is a biologist, [[spoiler:so he of all people ''really'' should have known better than to approach that hissing cobra like creature and ''stroke it'']]. Both he and Fiefield get this in unison when they bolt in response to seeing a dead alien body, then make camp in the ''same room'' as the dead alien body. Literally anywhere else would have been a better choice.
** [[spoiler:Holloway, later. ''[[EyeScream There is a bloody worm in his eye]]'', and he doesn't think to seek medical attention before venturing back into the place he possibly contracted it in. At least he has the common sense to force Vickers to kill him later.]]
** Shaw and Vickers don't consider [[spoiler:running ''out'' of the path of the falling spaceship instead of in the same direction it's crashing in. Shaw only gets the idea when she trips and finds herself about to get flattened. Vickers wasn't even that smart]]. [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/06/13 Noted]] by ''Webcomic/PennyArcade''.
** Shaw again, slightly earlier: [[spoiler:when the Engineer ship is rising up from its circular pit, she jumps from segment to segment of the opening hatch above it, nearly falling between the widening gaps at one point - and then stands stock still on one moving segment to address the other crew members on board ''Prometheus''.]] Only when the conversation is done [[spoiler:does she make a run for the edge of the opening, where she could have completely avoided the risky jumps in the first place]].
** There was no way that meeting the Engineers could be as rosy as Shaw thought it would be (to borrow a quote from somewhere else, "It would be like reading Homer's ''[[Literature/TheOdyssey Odyssey]]'', then traveling to Greece expecting to shake his hand").
** Holloway insisting on exploring the structure immediately when there's a storm on the way and not much daylight left. He's supposed to be anxious, and we can understand that, but someone should have shut him down.
** Dr. Shaw never mentions to anyone that an alien [[spoiler:has been extracted from her and]] is still alive and aboard the ship when everything else relating to alien life on the planet has resulted in gruesome deaths of fellow crew members. [[spoiler:Possibly inverted, as the alien in question ends up saving her life later.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Shaw starts the film as an archaeologist who's mostly concerned with collecting samples. By the end of the film, she's carrying a fireaxe around and [[spoiler:setting the fetus trapped in the medpod loose on the Engineer when he tries to strangle her]].
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailers for the film clearly show [[spoiler: the ''Prometheus'' plowing into the side of the Engineer ship and partially blowing up, Shaw's emergency c-section, the living Engineer attacking several members of the crew, and much more.]]
** In fact, one of the movie posters has Shaw in her suit in the foreground, with [[spoiler: the ''Prometheus'' plowing into the side of the Engineer ship and partially blowing up]] in the background. That's right, the ending of the movie in is one of the posters.
* TraumaticCSection: [[spoiler:Shaw cutting out the FoetusTerrible]].
* UncannyValley:
** ''Heavily'' invoked by the "Happy Birthday, David" viral clip. David is shown making several odd gestures, including what appears to be a slight moment of processing when the narrator asks what he can do (tilting his head slightly with a glossy look in his eyes), and his speech about how war and poverty make him sad, complete with thorough waterworks, then (without missing a beat or changing expression) describing how he does not feel even the remotest emotion but can replicate them perfectly. He also "smiles" (note SarcasmMode) whilst claiming he can perfectly replicate emotion and fit in with humans.
*** Also brought up when Holloway asks David why he's wearing an environment suit when he doesn't need to breathe. David responds by saying that he was designed to be as human as possible to put humans at ease when dealing with him. Not wearing the suit would put him squarely into UncannyValley territory.
** The Engineers, first seen in the movie's intro. They look almost human, but are over ten feet tall, and seem to have about as much in common with us as we have with David.
* UpToEleven: The last four movies had face-raping facehuggers that look like big skeletal spiders. How do you top that? Simple: [[spoiler: take the same creature, make it the size of a car, and turn it into a tentacled monstrosity with a mouth full of fangs and eyes on its underside]].
* VasquezAlwaysDies: Vickers, the callous company exec who's shown doing push-ups right after stasis, [[spoiler: torching infected crew with a flame thrower (for the sake of the rest), throwing David around like a rag doll]], and just being a bitch is offed in favour of the sensitive, scientific, religious, emotional Shaw.
* VillainyFreeVillain: Name one thing Vickers does that threatens the safety of the crew or the ship.
* VillainProtagonist: [[spoiler: Vickers, according to Theron]]. [[JustifiedTrope Mostly justified]] in that [[spoiler:she has no reason to believe Charlie and Shaw's thesis that the Engineers are out there. She's also the only one to follow any kind of guidelines and common sense when it comes to letting the infected and contaminated Charlie back on board, and thanks to her father's rather horrid WellDoneSonGuy tendencies toward her, she has a massive chip on her shoulder when it comes to David--whom Weyland brands as the ''son'' he never had in front of her and the entire ''Prometheus'' crew during their initial briefing. She's almost definitely a precursor to the CorruptCorporateExecutive we see fully manifested in Aliens' Burke, but she's got more reasons behind the way she is.]]
* TheVirus: The black liquid, [[spoiler: implied to be some kind of bioweapon]].
* WhamLine: "[[spoiler:You're pregnant.]]" Said by David to Elizabeth, after it's already been established that she [[spoiler:can't bear children]].
** Near the very end of the movie:
--->'''David:''' "[[spoiler:You have to get out of there, immediately. He's coming for you]]."
* WhenItAllBegan: The first few minutes serve as a "beginning of time" sequence.
* WholePlotReference: This movie is essentially Creator/HPLovecraft[='s=] Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness set in the ''Alien'' universe. In fact, Guillermo Del Toro basically said that it has all-but-killed any chance of him making his eternally-in-development adaptation of said story, since the two are so similar.
** And interestingly, this is the ''second'' time this has happened in the setting--''AlienVsPredator'' could be considered an even more direct reference.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: The opening shots of the film have this written all over it.
* TheVerse: Along with the ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' films and by extension, ''Franchise/{{Predator}}''.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** When Fifield attacks the hangar, two of the crew escape the cargo bay in one of the large, van-like rovers. Whereas the fates of the rest of the crew are seen onscreen, the two engineers who get in the truck are never seen or mentioned again.
** Generally speaking, at the beginning of the film, there are seventeen crew members on the Prometheus, but [[spoiler:only about ten of them]] die onscreen. What happened to the others ?
** It's possible that some of these characters die when [[spoiler:the ''Prometheus'' rams the Engineer ship, and is completely destroyed in the process]].
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: PlayedWith concerning David. [[spoiler: It is quite evident that he desires to be considered human or at least an equal by the crew members. He models himself after Peter O'Toole's character in LawrenceOfArabia. He even winces when Weyland says that David is soul-less and instantly frowns when Holloway reminds him that he is not human. It is also hinted that he wants Weyland dead in order to gain his freedom. Additionally, he shows clear affection towards the one person on board who treats him kindly and with respect - Shaw.]]
** "You bet he has feelings." - Creator/RidleyScott
* YourHeadASplode:
** What happens to [[spoiler: the decapitated Engineer.]]
** Inverted (implode) [[spoiler: with Fifield, whose helmet collapses into his face when he contacts the black goo]].
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