WMG / Prometheus

The Engineers are scientists for hire

The Engineers are not some god like beings that created life. They are genetic geniuses that sell their skills to the highest bidder. The Predators and this race have a contract arrangement. You create worthy hunting targets for us and we don't hunt you. So they created all kinds of bio weapons in the past and the Predators won every single time. So they decided to create their ultimate weapon. Humanity was created from their own genetics to be as vicious and cruel as any other weapon, but at the same time humanity was given something no other weapon was given before. Intelligence and the ability to adapt to nearly any situation. It was there ultimate creation with a catch. The Engineers knew that the Predator race would easily wipe out the primitive humans, so they hid humanity away on a secret planet and let them have it. Humanity excels at violence and war, just as they were meant to.

Eventually the predators find out about this and are angered at the Engineers for not telling them about humanity. The two races go to war over the secret because who knows what other weapons are laying around. A truce is called when the Engineers agree to wipe out their creation, but by now due to the war have no real way to do it just yet. The Engineers plan to use a Bio WMD on earth, but a rebel faction unleashes a weapon in the base before the action can be taken killing everyone there but one in cryo sleep.

The Engineers keep the disaster a secret and the Predators believe the job is done for another 2000 years or so. Humanity was created for money and was going to be wiped out out of desperation to live. Once the predators return to earth, they find Humanity one of the most dangerous races in the universe and it is the one race that is the most like they are, always adapting and getting to be more of a challenge each time they visit our planet and now it's just the way they like it.

Aliens vs Predator's back story was close, but the Predators didn't come down from the stars as gods to the people, the Engineers did instead. The shifting pyramid is an Engineer building that was modified at some point in the past by the Predators. The Xenomorphs are not the ultimate prey, they were just training and a rite of passage. Humanity is far more dangerous then those Aliens would ever be and if a predator couldn't take down a Xenomorph, it could never take on a human.

The ending is not what it seems - a light and fluffy start of new adventure. In fact it'a a Roaring Rampage of Revenge combined with suicide mission
It was a natural conclusion while watching Shaw and David departure. Engineers are revealed to be murderous psychos, or so the expedition members assume. Janek made sure that Earth is safe for a while. Shaw is a Final Girl, who decided to turn the table and now unleash all the stuff she's carrying in the cargo bay on the Engineers home planet. David is either willingly helping her with that, since he's broken beyond repair by the Engineer, so it's a personal thing for him or Shaw is just manipulating him for her gains.
  • In the second case, you can assume that David see through the deception and sabotaged the flight, crashing the ship on LV-426, closing the circle of events leading to Alien series.
    • Except the ship seen in Alien has, as pointed out by the characters, been there for a LONG time, and has a dead Engineer in the pilot seat, not Shaw.

The movie will feature Xenomorphs.
Despite Ridley Scott's denials, the presence of the Space Jockey from the original Alien hints that Xenomorphs will have to appear in some form or other. After all, in "Alien," the crew reports that the Space Jockey's chest was penetrated from the inside out. Really, what else could have happened to him? We may not see the classic scorpion-like Xenomorphs we know and love, but they have to appear at some point towards the end.
  • In the trailer, you can see what looks to be a Xenomorph or something similar at 1:38.
    • Oh, it will be a xenomorph. Only problem is that what was faced in the Alien series was the Mass Production versions, and in Prometheus, will be the Superpowered Prototype.
    • We can see more shots of some kind of threat - complete with some kind of Giger-esque styling - when Rapace's character is crawling around on the floor in the same trailer. Given the Alien takes on attributes from it's host, perhaps the ones from Alien onward only have the anthropomorphic appearance thanks to whatever goes on in this film. Which allows for more Giger designs without the need to use the original xenomorph.
  • That looks like a bas-relief, something carved on the wall. Considering it was widely speculated that the Space-Jockies were the creators of the xenomorphs, this is hardly surprising. Doesn't mean they will be the film though.
    • You forget that the xenomorph can look like something carved into a wall anyway. That's one of their best tricks, to just pop out of nowhere.
  • While the Xenomorph itself may not appear, there is some very strong evidence that some of Giger's other biomechanical horrors will show up, as this article theorizes (be warned, if this article is correct, then it contains HUGE SPOILERS about a beastie the Prometheus crew will be facing).
  • Scott may be lying so the xenemorph's appearance will catch us off guard. Like the original 1931 Dracula its image has become so ingrained that it's hard to take it seriously if we expect it up front. Chances are Scott's holding back so its appearance will catch us off guard in contrast to AVP where its image was splattered all over the posters. My guess is that in the last 30-20 minutes the creature will appear (probably with some subtle foreshadowing beforehand) to give the audience a serious Oh, Crap! moment and notch up the tension in the third act.
  • Or it may be THE Xenomorph. As in the Queen Mother, as in A pureblooded Alien, and not some hybrid.
  • Or it may be some failed prototypes. Of course, that's no consolation to what the Prometheus crew. Although it would get them asking, "If those were the failed models, what would the successes be like?"
  • Bottom line: a proto-xenomorph appears only in the final cameo scene.
    • Well, we've seen in other films that a xenomorph's form can change slightly depending on what kind of life-form it hatches from (like the dog-o-morph in Alien³ or the Predalien in the AVP series). It's possible that the one we see in the final scene was the real deal, just looking slightly different because it hatched from an Engineer instead of a human.
      • Except the Engineer's are humans, more or less. I'd argue the thing, though certainly reminiscent of the xenomorphs we know, is something else entirely; Shaw's "child" wasn't really a facehugger, despite appearing as one, and the thing that resulted wasn't really a xenomorph as we know it.
      • It could be a prototype xenomorph, before they actually created the xenomorphs/facehuggers we're all familiar with.
  • Confirmed!

The movie isn't just a prequel/pseudo-reboot to Alien...
Androids? Dark Future? "Off World Colonies"? Ridley Scott has made such a big deal about saying this isn't an Alien Prequel to distract us all from the real twist. This movie is (also) a sequel to Blade Runner.
  • Not possible at all. David is treated as a rather special development and is seemingly amongst the first artificial people developed; The film also takes place substantially later than Blade Runner's 2019, meaning that if it is a sequel, there's been some serious regression or controls put in place to stop something like the problems seen in the Nexus Six replicants, because David is nowhere near as advanced as Roy Batty or the others.
    • Actually, if you watch the Ted Talk video, Weyland says they've already got androids in 2023 — its a slightly skewed timeline, but Blade Runner occuring in 2019 doesn't make the slightest bit of sense in 2012, and it would take a single edit to place it in 2043 or 2069 or whatever, which wouldn't do anything negative to that film.
    • If androids in 2019 does not make any sense, would it make sense in 2023??? Really?
    • Given how the "Happy Birthday David" video states that David is an 8th Generation Android, that would suggest 7 other generations before him. Depending on how long a generation is in Robotics and Cybernetics, that would probably be ample time to have some kind of robotics in 2023. Perhaps that last, 7th generation of Androids were the "Nexus-7" type seen in Blade Runner, technically making David a Nexus-8?
  • Androids are not Replicants. Androids are artificial humanoids, whereas Replicants are bioengineered. Moreover, Tyrell makes Replicants and Weyland made David. Perhaps Weyland started building androids to compete with Tyrell?

The Space Jockey's are Prothean.
The remaining Engineer is the last of the Protheans, wiped out by the Reapers in a previous cycle. The last Space Jockey responds so negatively to David because he recognizes him as an artificial intelligence and realizes that the cycle of biological lifeforms creating synthetic lifeforms has continued. Dismayed by the continuation of the errors which blighted his cycle, this is why he goes so quickly from being rather placid to head-rippingly aggressive after discovering David's artificiality. The Space Jockey's did not create life on Earth but they did visit to study human life in it's infancy and came to be regarded as Gods by early man despite their ultimate plan to subjugate them. The bio-weapons are not Space Jockey in origin but were actually Reaper-tech which was being experimented on by the Protheans/Engineers; the structure was actually a research facility.

The planet is really the same one from the first Alien Movie.
The Space Jockey will be defeated by being infected with a facehugger, the Villain Protagonist will get away with the core so that s/he will give Weyland-Yutani even more of an advantage, and several centuries later, the Nostromo will be sent to 'discover' the distress signal. Even if it isn't, the death of the pilot will cause its ship to crash onto LV-XXX to be discovered.
  • The space jockey was fossilized. That craft was there for millions of years, not the decades/centuries between Prometheus and the first Alien film.
  • Its only said the space jockey "looks fossilized". For all we know, the body was just a skeleton that had hardened and decayed and was covered in rubble.
  • Scott's already said that the space jockey might not be so much an alien species, but some kind of armour or a suit.
  • Hell no, that was totally an alien.
    • The suit/armor rumor is true. Space Jockeys/Engineers are completely humanoid up to and including their DNA structure. The ship is not the same one, just the same model.
  • Jossed. Neither the planet nor the ship are the same. No one gets away except for the main character, and she's not bringing back samples.
    • Although as it turns out, the Space Jockey is defeated via facehugger.
      • It was the same planet. They just changed that line in post when continuity went out of whack. "Er no, it's really planet LV, um,..223. Yeah, that's it."
One (or more) of the crew are turned into the Space Jockey

Freeze-frame the latest full-length trailer and you can see what appears to be the Space Jockey being locked into that big chair thing. This would also explain the infection/whatever that the trailers have been strongly hinting at - the crew are not being burned by acid or anything like that, they are being transformed into this big biomechanical creature. The reason why the Space Jockey in the first film had a big hole in its chest was because the last surviving crew member did that with a weapon/explosive to stop the ship from going to Earth.
  • Given the puncture hole in the Alien space jockey's chest is suspiciously similar to the sequence on board the Nostromo, I think it's always been canon that whatever the thing was, it was killed by the xenomorph hatching. It doesn't discount the idea that the crew are being converted into space jockeys (which, given Scott's suggestion about what he feels is the biological warfare intention of the xenomorph on the jockey's behalf, would be a great twist - they all died out but have means of coming back when the time is right), but it could also maybe tie into some of the other stuff we see in the trailer - if they discover how to get to the alien world from clues left on sites on Earth, perhaps the original space jockeys were humans.
  • Remember - if the Space Jockey from Alien was indeed killed by an Alien hatching, which subsequently laid the eggs that caused such difficulties for the crew of the Nostromo, then what happened to the hatchling in between killing the Jockey and the arrival of the Nostromo? Is it now loose on the planet? Was it onboard the ship when John Hurt and co got fachugged, and it was just dumb luck they didn't run into it? Did it die of starvation? Perhaps Prometheus will fill in the blanks between the chestbursting, the egglaying and the arrival of the Nostromo.
  • A Facebook freezeframe has a humanoid person with oversized eyes looking at the interface as the head of the space jockey splits open. What we think is the head of the Space Jockey may be actually a biomechanical suit for the the altered infected human to better control the ship. The nojohnyouarethedemons theory of the space jockeys being humans seems much more plausible, considering one of the characters is known as the cacooned man. [1]
  • If this is indeed the case, the crew member that turns into a Jockey will most likely be one of the following: Fifield (In the trailers, we see what is presumably him clapping his hands to his acid covered helmet), Milburn (In the most recent trailer, he is seen being confronted by a small, chestburster-esque creature that apparently gets into his suit), David (Coinciding with the below theory, he'll have a A God Am I moment), or Holloway (Something appears to be up with him, judging by the shot of him sitting on a bed with his head in his hands).
    • My bet is it's going to be Charlie.
    • Charlie? Do you mean Charlize?
    • Jossed. No one turns into an Engineer/Space Jockey.
  • Although it's been jossed in this film, it's quite possible that Shaw (or even David) becomes the original Space Jockey in a possible sequel. The Engineers' body suits are biomechanical and merge with their bodies once worn (as shown here. In Alien, upon seeing the Space Jockey, Dallas remarks "Looks like it's been dead a long time. Fossilized. Looks like it's growing out of the chair"; this could mean Shaw somehow winds up on LV 246, in the same ship we see in Alien, in an Engineer body-suit and in the Space Jockey chair. The Chestburster ejects itself, creating the whole in the side, Shaw dies, and her body continues to grow with the suit. There's a lot of ifs, buts, and maybes, but I daresay it's not entirely illogical.

David will, predictably, malfunction and begin exhibiting emotional issues...
  • But they manifest initially as a sense of humor, mild eccentricity well within the bounds of what would be normal (if charming) in a flamboyant human shipmate, and a rather funny sense of fun. Over the course of the film his quirks escalate badly as things go pear-shaped. It'll still result in plenty of death and destruction (because again, T.E. Lawrence, whose depictions he seems at least partly based off of performance-wise, wasn't a "dangerous man" because he was a G-rated pacifist hero who never did anybody any harm) but it won't be the whole "somebody accidentally pushed David's 'kill all humans' button!" routine.
    • The promotional material given out so far regarding David, including Ridley Scott's own comments, suggest that David wants to be more then what he is, to become a higher life form. Now, consider this promo about him. Notice how he talks about what makes him sad. What if, in wanting to become more then what he is, he wants to take humanity along with him, to make them leave all their destructive tendencies behind them? He gets the chance to evolve into a higher being (a space jockey), and then decides to force the crew of the Prometheus to go along with him...for their own good, of course.
      • Jossed. David does not malfunction.
      • We mustn't forget he is an even earlier model than the "twitchy" Ash-model from the original Alien however this earliness usually manifests as a sense of childlike curiosity and wonder Which directly results in one person's death, indirectly leads to the impregnation of another person (And if you know anything about Alien, you know impregnation isn't good in this universe), the reawakening of an an ancient example of God Is Evil which leads to another person's death and arguably the creation of the Xenomorph race
      • So he doesn't even have to malfunction. (The Lawrence fascination's still there, though.)

Neither the planet nor the spaceship is the same one that is seen in Alien.
  • Rather, the 'temple' or whatever it is, is the Space Jockey equivalent of a bio-weapons lab. This explains why the crew come in contact with whatever it is that's infecting them. Likewise the Space Jockey ship seen in the trailers is one of their ships, but not the ship from Alien. They're similar, but not the same, which explains the discrepancies between what was shown in the trailers and the original Alien film. What I think happens is this: the crew sets down on the planet, gets into the Temple, and figures out it's where the Jockeys made their bioweapons, because genetic engineering is the new nuke. One such creation is the Xenomorph, however there isn't one actually in the film. There was one of their ships left, which was to be sent to Earth to attack it for whatever reason. Everyone ends up dying and destroying the Jockey technology, but the crew manages to send some data on the Temple back to Weyland-Yutani. Some of the data includes details of their other weapons and enough information to decipher the Space Jockey language. The company decides to keep their eyes and ears open to see if they can find any other Jockey tech, but there isn't a trace to be found. Fast forward to the time of Alien, the company receives a distress/warning signal from a different downed Space Jockey ship, the one carrying the Xenomorphs. I'm willing to bet the transmission said something like: "Help, the Xeno's are loose and killing everyone. We can't self-destruct and it's too late for us. Send someone to blow up the ship as soon as you get this, these things are too dangerous." Eager to finally get their hands on some Space Jockey bio-tech, the company sends the Nostromo in, and the rest is history.
    • Confirmed almost literally. The Space Jockey/Engineer language, though, is deciphered even before Prometheus lands.
      • The latter is technically not true. The language which David learns is proto-Indo-European, reconstructed from language samples of different eras, extrapolated from recurring models of language shift over time. It's presumed to be a language closest to that which was spoken on Earth when the Jockeys were visiting last time, and just possibly derived from what the Jockeys spoke. Just how David can read the Jockey hieroglyphs is not explained, since the language has no written form, but maybe he's just that good a code-breaker. It's unknown whether the sole surviving Jockey understand's David's attempt to communicate in this language, since it only seems to have interest in killing all humans, and tears his head off.
    • I'm not entirely certain, but I'm inclined to disagree. For one thing, the scene with the Engineer looking through the "telescope" is almost an exact replica of the dead one on LV-426 that the Nostromo crew found. There's very little official information about the planet in Prometheus (its official name is LV-223) to compare it to LV-426, but considering what we do know (they're both one of three moons orbiting a ringed gas giant, they're both sites containing active Engineer bio-weapons, etc.) they could easily be the same planet. The only official difference is the fact that the stars that they orbit have different names, but those are just names. The Company could easily have changed the official names of those stars to cover up evidence of what happened to the Prometheus, and it's not like someone without access to a completely comprehensive star-map would notice.
  • According to Scott, the planet at the start of the movie isn't necessarily Earth. Which has some interesting implications for this WMG.

The Engineer at the very beginning of the film is "Prometheus"
Naturally you'd assume the ship and crew represent the mythical Prometheus and his actions, but after thinking about it, the cloaked Engineer could very well be the Prometheus of this plot. We see an Engineer craft hovering in the sky as the cloaked Engineer derobes and drinks the black goo (the same substance seen later on LV 223). My theory is he was supposed to pour the goo into the waterfall or use it in some other way; possibly as a starting point for another bioweapons factory/base on Earth. Instead he drinks it, dies and creates life on Earth, thus pissing off his race (and possibly their 'Zeus') and leading to them weaponising the goo in order to eventually deal with humanity.
  • While the idea has merit, some details are wrong. The Engineers spent a long time interacting with humans peacefully, judging from the fact that they left us a star map to follow. They presumably also directed the formation of life on our planet from a fairly early point on, considering that they eventually produced humans, who are genetically almost identical to them, but still native to Earth, closely related to all the other life-forms living here. We can't be a complete accident in all this, when these factors are taken into account. They could have set up any kind of facility they would have liked in the prehistoric times, regardless of "Prometheus'" actions. All signs point that the Engineers were preparing us for something important, only to change their minds, convert the planet of their invitation into a bioweapon factory, and prepare to send a fleet of exterminators to wipe us out for reasons unknown. All this happened about 2,000 years ago, a very short time considering the length of their project thus far.
  • Prometheus could not have created life on Earth. Several of the establishing shots have fields of photosynthetic organisms, so life was already there. His actions may have influenced, but didn't created life.
  • Do we even know for sure that Prometheus' death takes place on Earth, or in the past?

Shaw inadvertently created the Xenomorphs via her actions in the film.
Kind of a vague theory, but bear with me here. Okay, we all know how the true Alien doesn't appear in any form until the end of the film, right? And how, in its place, we see a variety of other monsters running around the Engineers' base that seem similar to, yet different from it, right? Now, a lot of viewers seemed to have jumped to the conclusion that the black goo, hammerpedes, etc...are all simply heretofore unseen parts of the Xenomorph life cycle, and from there, decided that this was a plot hole (often citing how the hammerpede/snake-thingies just slither off and are never seen again). However, I thought differently— note how we don't see any kind of onscreen progression of life stages until the squid-thingy is taken out of Shaw. From there, it evolves into the giant proto-facehugger, impregnates the Engineer, and from there spawns the goblin shark-like proto-Xenomorph. My theory is that the monsters seen prior to the squid are all unconnected (possibly failed) "prototypes", which embody specific traits (entering through orifices, contagiousness and ease of transfer, acid blood, etc...) of the final product (eg., the classic Alien). By becoming impregnated with the black sludge via Holloway's corrupted genetic material, Shaw inadvertently "completed" the formula by biologically processing it within her womb, refining it into the proto-facehugger, who in turn gave birth to the first "true" Xenomorph through the Engineer.
  • And as David pointed out, Shaw has a very strong survival instinct. Perhaps that quality rubbed off on the child.
  • Given that larval xenomorphs take on some of the characteristics of the host (as seen canonically in Alien³ and semi-canonically in AVP: Alien vs. Predator), it is likely that the Engineers designed their initial biological weapon to be highly adaptable and versatile; the classic xenomorph was the result of the base weapon passing through two humans, an Engineer, and probably another human, whereupon it reaches the form we all know and love. This also explains the discrepancies between the xenomorphs' appearances in different movies; a variety of hosts causes slightly different morphologies.
  • Well if we're blaming Shaw we could easily blame Holloway for engaging in...intimate activities with her...when he knew there was something wrong with him. And then we could blame David for infecting Holloway. And then we could blame Weyland for programming David. So playing the Blame Game just gets complicated...
    • Holloway didn't know he was infected until the morning after when he saw the worm...thing in his eye.
  • Why is this labeled as a theory? This is pretty explicitly shown to be the case in the movie's plot. Who on Earth walked out of the theater thinking something else?
    • That's what I thought, but as I said, a weird amount of viewers seemed to miss the point. Granted, perhaps Deviantart wasn't the best place to gauge reasonable viewer response, but still.
  • Why are we assuming that everything at this facility was dedicated to the Xenomorph we all know and love? The cobra-thingie looks like an entirely different product to me. Its also entirely possible that the black goo they were developing or storing there just got out and all kinds of unintended things were created, including the octo-hugger and the Xenomorph.
    • If I'm not mistaken, that's the canonical explanation for the snakes; they were originally harmless worms indigenous to the planet that were mutated by the bioweapon.
      • That's exactly what they are. If they weren't then the worms we see crawling around in the black goo earlier would have been a Red Herring.
    • It seems really unlikely that the creatures produced within this film had anything to do with those found in the original Alien. That was a different ship that most likely crashed long before Prometheus took place. It's likely that the xenomorphs are simply the "ideal" form which the black sludge aims to produce, even though it creates all kinds of side-products along the way.

This isn't the first time the Engineers have attempted to wipe out all other life.

It happened at least once before, several millennia in the past. On that occasion, it brought them into conflict with the Predators. A war ensued, out of which the Predators emerged victorious; most of the Engineers were killed, but a few survived in suspended animation.

During the war, the Engineers turned their biological weapon on the Predators. It didn't win the war for them, and the Predators got a brand new, very challenging group of monsters to hunt for sport. They went to one or more Engineer-seeded planets with a collection of proto-xenomorphs, where they set themselves up as gods and used the xenomorphs as a rite of passage.

And that's how Alien vs Predator can still fit into the canon.
  • The Predators seem ridiculously primitive compared to the Engineers; their only way to deal with a xenomorph infestation is to blow up the entire region. It really seems unlikely that they'd come ahead in any kind of conflict.
    • The Predators weren't exactly primitive compared to the Engineers, they just had an entirely different kind of technology. From what we've seen so far, we know that the Predators were experts in close combat, metallurgy, and plasma-based weaponry, while the Engineers appeared to have been scientists who specialized in biological warfare.

The engineers absolutely hate something about humanity.

And judging from the opening scene and their less than enthusiastic response to Weyland wanting to prolong his life, no matter what this something must be humanity's fear of death.

I wouldn't be surprised, for the Engineers are obviously an advanced race who has existed for a very long time, thus they are probably very at ease with the notion that they must all succumb to their death at some point in time. Yet upon on hearing Weyland's arrogant request of prolonging his own life, the surviving Engineer on that ship must had been horribly offended.

  • Possibly confirmed by a deleted scene. The scene where David is translating for Weyland was originally longer with the Engineer giving a very offended, even disgusted, response to Weyland's request for immortality before attacking everyone.
A large portion of humanity's inhumanity is the direct result of convoluted religious differences; whether the faithful care to admit it or not, the most basic function of religion is to assuage the fear of death by offering some kind of afterlife, immortality in effect. The Engineers do seem to have religion of some sort (judging by the idol room, the "big head room" and the clearly ritualistic nature of the sacrifice the Engineer in the beginning of the film makes to seed life on the planet) but considering the idol's similarity to the Engineers themselves, it's possible their religion revolves around living up to an ideal of themselves rather than obedience to a perfect, otherworldly parent-figure as is the case with most earth religions. Assuming that, it makes sense that a species which is introspective enough to hold to an ideal of themselves is very likely absolutely comfortable with the knowledge of their own end and are accepting of it rather than fearful. So one can safely guess that finding out that their own creation, which should have been an extension of themselves and their ideals, has actually become the antithesis of their intent would be enough to make them want to wipe us out or, at the very least, find some way to transform us into what they originally intended, by force if necessary. Hence the black goo, whether the goo itself would 'rewrite' us or the monsters created by it would force us to confront our mortality on a massive scale and become comfortable with it, and thus either accept that we've screwed up and need to make way for something better to take our place, or change drastically as a species and be willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to save ourselves. Either we become more like what they wanted or we're removed as an obstacle to them starting over with something new. Win, win... for the Engineers anyway. This also fits with the theme of parental abandonment. Many parents react with anger and insult when faced with knowledge that their children are not what they wanted them to be; some merely wash their hands of any responsibility and turn away, some completely disown their kids, and some try to "fix" them. The Engineers' response to our disappointing development is entirely unsurprising.

The Engineers made humanity to farm us.

We were created, and then left alone, so we would breed for however long they decided, and then they would come back to throw these weapons at us, to create the Xenomorphs (and other nasty things) so they could use them to sick on other planets. Seems excessive when they have so many other types of weapons to use, but maybe the types of enemies they face need this kind of swarm attack to take out. And they use us because maybe they have the best body/brain type, (fast learning/moving) but don't want to kill themselves off doing it.

Something went wrong though, and they all got killed before they could come back to harvest us.

Perhaps the star map was a safety net. If something went wrong, we would eventually discover space travel (like they did) and use the starmap to find the way to our own doom.

Elizabeth Shaw is the Space Jockey from Alien and Weyland Corp continued searching for the ship she left in after receiving her last transmission.

Theory is pretty simple (major spoiler ahead). At the end of the film we see Elizabeth Shaw take off in another Engineer spaceship to go find the Engineer homeworld. Since the first ship we saw was carrying biological weapons, its likely that the ship she took was also carrying *something* (namely xenomorph eggs). At some point during the trip something goes wrong (maybe the ship hits something and is damaged, releasing the creatures, or maybe Shaw explores a bit and finds the cargo hold with the eggs) and the ship ends up crashing on LV-426. Shaw is infected by a facehugger and last thing she is able to do before dying is activate the warning signal to try and keep everyone away from the planet. She dies in the chair with the control armor stuff on, obscuring her from being recognized as human when finally found. Meanwhile, Weyland Corp receives her last log entry and spend the next few decades searching for the ship, finally discovering its location and sending the Nostromo to it in Alien

  • What I think actually happened, is that David, not wanting a very unstable Shaw to attract the attention of an alien race that could easy have destroyed earth with one of their bombers, decided to give Shaw botched directions, which resulted in her crashing into LV-426. The reason she both didn't just maneuver out of the way AND had a chest-burster hole was that she was still infected and had a relapse, resulting in her crashing the (extraordinarily durable) Space Jockey ship into LV-426, with the rest of David being lost or destroyed in the crash
    • I think it's more likely that they ended up on LV-426 because it was the next most likely planet capable of supporting life — if you go over the timeline on the Weyland Industries website, you'll find that they'd already discovered Acheron LV-426 in the year 2039, via telescope, I assume. The rest of this theory holds up nicely, though. I guess it all depends on whether the black goo is actually the weapon or just the materials used to build make monsters to drop on planets.
      • Honestly, I'm content to assume that the Space Jockey from Alien was just another engineer who happened to have a bad run-in with their cargo. Keep in mind the jockey had been fossilized by the time the Nostromo got there; it's possible that the they had been dead for as long as the ones piled up in the hallway in Prometheus.
    • Of course, since it's a suit, it couldn't actually have "fossilized" in the usual sense as it is inorganic material, but theoretically it could have deteriorated enough that it looked like a creature that had been subjected to fossilization.
    • Alternately, the Space Jockey could have been on the way to Earth to destroy it, only for its cargo to get out of hand.

The Engineers hate humanity because we killed Jesus Christ

The corpses were about 2,000 years old. Also, Elizabeth's cross was emphasized. Then there is her belief in and search for a Creator. I predict that she finds the Engineer homeworld, and they are about to kill her when they notice the cross and then decide to accept her.

Alternatively, they hate us because we disposed of them in favor of monotheistic religion. They are being worshiped in all the BC glyphs and cave art. So now we're a species that both doesn't revere them and is a possible massive threat. So wipe us out.

  • Nope, though they did consider it.

Alternative theory: The Engineers hate humanity because of Hero of Alexandria

The time period is roughly the same within a few decades, so we can imagine that the Engineers saw humanity developing a steam engine, realised that their pet humans were already on the slow path to space travel, and decided to nip a burgeoning technological threat in the bud. The hilarious irony being that nobody ever thought of a use for Hero's steam engine anyway.

The reason the proto-alien from the ending of the film is more advanced than chestbursters from the original

At the end of the film a proto-xenomorph bursts through the chest of the Engineer after the giant proto-facehugger infects it. However, it's black and nearly fully formed, unlike when chestbursters (small and white) were born from human chests in Alien. This can be chalked up to the Engineers being bigger, stronger, more advanced humans. Because they're more advanced than us, the creature that comes out of them is more advanced than the chestbursters.
  • Alternately it's not really a xenomorph. It's reminiscent of one, but at most it's a cousin to the xenomorphs, not the same thing as one. The proto/pseudo-facehugger is rather different from the standard issue ones, hence the resulting chestburster is different from what results from the standard-issue facehugging.

Vickers really is an android
She never shows any emotion (at least none that couldn't be faked); her every action is dictated by cold logic; she speaks in precise, clipped sentences; her coiffure stays perfect throughout with nary a hair going astray even during the action sequences. She is tall and Aryan-looking just like David. She calls Weyland "father". We see her and Janek leave the bridge, presumably to have sex, but we never see the sex actually happen. Even if the sex does happen, it's quite possible that the Vickers-bot was designed to have working ladyparts.

As for the hypersleep, well, Ash hyperslept in the first Alien. The theory only makes sense if she was an android undercover, much like Ash. Perhaps as a failsafe in case David malfunctions, or perhaps to try out the upgraded technology. It's quite possible that even David doesn't know her true nature.
  • This is also supported by the fact that Vickers woke herself up, and we saw no signs of her being nauseous. She got up and did push-ups where everyone else was too sick to stand. We also saw no signs of her needing to drink and rehydrate like everyone else after waking.
  • You know, that made me realize something: Vickers is still alive and will be recovered and rebuild for the sequel. We never got to see her crushed body or anything because Shaw was running out of oxygen. That's usually a sign a character is not intirely dead.It explains why she got away from a situation that would have completely destroyed her only to get killed off in a seemingly lame way.
  • This would also explain why Scott claimed that Theron's character would be the last survivor.
  • I think this is extremely unlikely, otherwise we wouldn't have the subplot with Vickers basically chastising Weyland for the idea that she could be left on Earth to fight for control of his company when he died. She's quite clearly meant to be some kind of illegitimate daughter, possibly one Weyland brought into the company to keep her quiet and not cause a scandal or something along those lines. Plus, Weyland describes David as the 'son he never had' with Vickers in earshot; Ask yourself why David looks like Vickers, to a degree, not the other way around. Weyland made the David 8 so he could have a son, not a daughter.
    • The problem is Weyland Industries has been making "Davids" since 2025. Vickers could possibly be at least 64 years old, what with modern biotech, but Weyland himself was clearly over 100 in the movie, so I dunno how much headway they've made into the problem of aging. To me, the scene where she kneels before Weyland and gives that soliloquy about kings is a callback to the scene in Blade Runner where Roy Batty talks to Tyrell about wanting more life. The deliberate way she say "father" seals it for me.
      • I just don't see why Weyland would put across say, his lament at the notion of not having a son if he already had a 'daughter' made for him. More to the point, why would he even have a daughter made for him if he was really after a son? It isn't even him fostering any kind of loathing between the two, because he clearly favours David and Vickers is, again, only along to a) make sure her old man dies so she can take over the company, or b) see for herself that he's still alive. If we're going to go with any Blade Runner comparisons, then I'd say that Vickers is basically the Deckard to David's Batty. She's the detached, cool, basically emotionless individual and David is the one steadily becoming 'more human than human'. That is, of course, if you go with the notion that Deckard is human ;)..
  • All emotions can be faked. That's what the actors playing the characters are doing, all the time. An android can learn to do that (in fact David rehearses an impression of Lawrence of Arabia imitating an actor).
  • Jossed.
  • It's pretty jossed in the film itself seeing as she hastily puts on the suit before evacuating the ship. If she was an android like David, she'd just skip the suit part altogether.
    • What if she doesn't know she's an android?
    • Or you know, has basic self preservation protocols built in. It was said earlier in the movie that environment of the planet she was about to evacuate too was incredibly hostile if livable, just look at the storms that occur during the movie. Having her go out with her basic "skin armor" seems very dangerous if not right suicidal.

The Engineers trying to wipe out humanity were a renegade group
Admittedly, I have only seen spoilered reviews, but think about it: if they were so dead set about wiping out Earth, why wouldn't they send another bunch of ships? Instead, the guys that got sent got stuck for thousands of years and no one seemed to go check out why Earth isn't gone. It's not like there aren't fractious groups of humans, so why can't the Engineers have multiple factions?

The alien squid was Holloway's mutated sperm
The reason that thing was in Shaw's womb in the first place was due to sexual intercourse with Holloway, but since Shaw was barren, there was no way this could a case of a corrupted human fetus since she had no eggs to fertilize. Even if the bioweapon was involved, it wouldn't suddenly give her eggs since all we've seen it do is mutate anything it comes into contact with into hyper-aggressive killing machines. No, the only thing that could possibly be in her womb would be her lover's sperm. Furthermore, the squid's only purpose was to impregnate the Engineer at the end of the movie; it's only purpose was to fertilize something else. This, as we know, led to the birth of the proto-xenomorph. When you take into consideration that the xenomorphs were deliberately designed to invoke strong sexual imagery, this origin story starts making alot of sense.
  • Then why was there only one alien squid and not hundreds of millions?
    • The bioweapon mutates organic material into hyper-aggressive killing machines. For all we know, that thing ate or killed all the rest. It also could be a case of Holloway's mutated body only producing one of those things at a time.

The Engineer's did not purposefully start life on earth
The Engineer in the beginning looked like he was practice a religious right or sacrifice not like a scientist come down to a primitive planet to experiment. Or if it was an experiment the ship taking off in the distance was the science vessel and the experiment was the effects of the black sludge on Engineer physiology. The way we follow the black sludge thru the cells down to the DNA level then back up to animal style multi-cellular life seems to suggest that the rise of intelligent life on earth was an unforeseen consequence of the black sludge and Engineer DNA mixing with existent primitive animal DNA. The Engineers left before this consequence was discovered and only came back age's later to discover primitive humans They stayed long enough to trace the origin of a species so similar to themselves and upon discovery that they were the ones who had made us however unintentionally decided to destroy us as we were neither natural nor purposeful.
  • Alternately, the Engineer who drank the black sludge was a criminal who'd been marooned by his own kind on a primitive world. The container of sludge was provided so he could choose between being stranded or committing suicide.
    • This seems like a possibility given that the engineer only had the cloak on his person and nothing else. No tech, not other clothes or even supplies. A method of execution where the condemned can kill themselves immediately with the black sludge WMD or just live the remainder of their life on a primitive planet trying to survive.
    • Actually, a deleted scene shows that it's some kind of ritual the Engineers do.

The Space Jockey from Alien isn't an Engineer from Prometheus. It is the Space Jockey to the Engineer, as well.
This explains the difference in appearance and size of the SJ in Alien and the Engineers in Prometheus. The SJ in Alien was actually the creator of the Engineers, which then created humans. The Engineers modeled their helmets and armor after the physical attributes of the SJ. The Engineers went on the same journey to find their "gods" that humans did. The proto-xeno in Prometheus wasn't a proto anything. It's birthing cycle was interrupted. It was basically a pre-me. The reason there were murals with classic Xenos is because the Engineers were aware that the Xenos killed off the SJ(s). They saw Xenos as the embodiment of evil and displayed them as such in the murals. The warning beacon the Nostromo received was from the Engineers warning their own kind and humans to stay away or else Xenos could spread again. The Engineer attempted to kill the humans not due to them being too advanced and a threat, but because he knew David was (under Weyland orders) trying to create Xenos for war purposes. He took offense since his creators were wiped out be them.
  • What physical differences? The size matches, and the biological armour has fused into the body of the Jockey in the original movie, making it impossible to tell what is part of it? Also, what makes you assume that David of Weyland would have known anything about the xenos, or wanted to use them for war? Weyland was only after eternal youth, and David was just experimenting with the Engineer technology, either to help Wayland to achieve this goal, or just out of curiosity. No-one even knows about the xenos at this point.
  • I actually really like the "Space Jockey from Alien is different from Engineers" theory. It would iron out a couple of things (such as why the pilot of the derelict was fossilised when the remains on the planet in Prometheus are only a couple of thousand years old) and raises an even more intriguing idea: that the Engineers actually overpowered and replaced the Jockey race; the ships they use were first stolen and then replicated and the Jockey suits were designed to make their physiology suitable for flying the Jockey craft. This could also explain why the Engineers are so hostile to humans: they fear the same thing happening to them with their own creation defeating and replacing them. Not that I think Scott et al are going to do anything like this but it would be an awesome twist and preserve some of the mystery of the ancient Jockey race whilst filling in much of the background detail.
The vats were what helps sparks life on planets, not bio-weapons.
The reason the Captain thinks it's a bioweapon is a notion in his head, relating to his crew dying from the biohazard. But the only thing that makes it dangerous is that it's highly mutagenic, a property that even the Space Jockeys couldn't control properly. However, a tenacious bacteria would be really helpful in one aspect: creating life on a thought-inhospitable planet. The reason the only living Space Jockey flipped out? He realized he was late in delivering life to Earth...plus David too much pride in his translation skills, and had a slight translation breakdown.
The Engineers are Phyrexians.
A key plot element of the movie is a "black goo" which mutates lifeforms into techno-organic monsters, and that is exactly how Phyrexians propegate themselves.
  • Interestingly, the original phyrexians weren't biomechanical monstruousities, but horribly mutated beings. It is possible that the Engineers are actually Thran humans themselves, the original phyrexians, only slightly mutated and having escaped before the oil could infect them further.
    • Quite possibly. The ooze is nearly identical to Phyrexian Oil, so the Engineers could've been Thran...
The Engineer was trying to prevent the spread of the black goo.
Think of the Forerunners from Halo. But unlike those benevolent progenitors, these creators are prepared to actively exterminate even their direct descendants to contain this biological threat. No hosts may be permitted to leave the moon. As suggested above, David's translation skills were not quite up to par
The Engineers are not morning people.
Turns out the Engineers are actually quite friendly. It was just that David began demanding favors immediately after he woke up from a 2,000 year old sleep and the Engineer hadn't yet had his first coffee. We've all done things we regret when we are irritable. One day we'll look back on this laugh and say, "Hey, remember the time we made first contact by waking you from a two millennium sleep and then you killed all of us. Good times."
Humans were created to be the perfect hosts for xenomorphs.
Space Jockeys have almost the perfect genes to create xenomorphs. While humans and space jockeys have effectively 100% genetic similarity, there are enough subtle differences that xenomorphs created from space jockeys are comparatively scrawny and not quite as dangerous. Humans are shorter, hairier, and with greater diversity in body types, which results in bonier, better-armored, and faster xenomorphs (somehow). That's why the space jockey freaks out when the humans show up—their perfect farm is suddenly reaching out to the stars. The star maps were for wayward space jockeys to find their way to the nearest way station (again, somehow).
David is fully sentient and effectively enslaved to Weyland.
"The secret is to act like it doesn't." It's true that David does some pretty awful things, but David is enslaved by his programming and cannot possibly act against Weyland's orders while Weyland's alive. Note that after Weyland dies David's first act is to try and make amends.
  • I don't think David is even that apologetic or even feels bad about what happened. He just knows how Shaw operates, knows that she wants to know exactly why the Engineers are trying to wipe out humanity, and hell, he's curious himself. He can't operate a ship on his own, but if he could, you could sure as hell bet he wouldn't even consider taking Shaw along. He contacts her because he needs her alive.
  • I think this is pretty much canon; although David does seem rather unapologetic and lacking in empathy, that doesn't mean he's not sentient (people living with autism or depression also have trouble understanding and replicating emotion, and yet they are still people). The line about wishing for the death of your parents pretty much seals it.
The black goo turns males into berserkers and females into carriers for facehuggers.
The berserkers are there to distract or disarm opposition while the facehuggers gestate and grow to size, and possibly soften up or disarm victims for the facehuggers. (Sub-WMG: The uberfacehugger is so damn huge because facehuggers grow until they're the right size for their victims, then attack when they're the right size. Left to grow on their own they keep growing in case their prey is gigantic—and they're still flexible enough that they can impregnate smaller victims).
  • I don't think this is the way it's meant to work at all. The 'facehugger' at the end of the film, extracted from Shaw isn't the same thing as the creature that jumps out and latches onto John Hurt in Alien. Shaw becomes pregnant with the creature because of Holloway's infection - it's a byproduct of the combination of Holloway's DNA and whatever the gunk is, and some distortion of the human reproductive process. In turn, the combination of 'Shaw/Holloway/black gunk' squidhugger plus Engineer creates the thing akin to a Xenomorph. In this sense, I don't think it's something that's meant to happen - I think the creature at the end of Prometheus with the goblin shark-style jaw is as much of a mistake as the Engineers seem to perceive humans to be, and then the genuine Xenomorph are a product of continued interactions with other species. Hell, the thing at the end of Prometheus could have an equivalent on LV 426 which laid all the eggs we see in Alien, and that's the equivalent of say, a Queen Mother type creature.

The Engineers are angry at the existence of robots

Notice how the Engineer seems to be totally fine with his welcoming party until he touches David.

Why are they angry at that? Perhaps they consider biological life to be the only valid form of life, and consider David's existence to be sacrilegious / abominable.

  • I agree with the initial post. The Engineer seemed completely fine with the team until he put his hand on David's head. Seeing as David's an android, he probably doesn't give off heat that is most likely a dead giveaway to the Engineer. The Engineer is probably amazed to see that their creation managed to find them isn't upset at first and is actually intrigued, as seen by it's look when Shaw attempts to question it. But upon realizing what David truly is, the Engineer is immediately insulted and attacks the team with their creation.
    • Perhaps even worse: it was David who was speaking the reverse engineered language that the Engineer could actually understand.

Alien Vs. Predator is still part of the canon
Simple. The Engineers are responsible for pretty much all life in the galaxy. The Predators and the Humans were both created by the Engineers, hence the very similar morphology, but evolved down a different path, both physically and civilization-wise (we got two genders and thousands of different ethnicities and cultures but were largely stuck on Earth, they got one gender and a hat but managed to master FTL travel waaaay before us). As for all the Weyland nonsense, Peter Weyland (son of C.B. Weyland) simply revamped the company from the ground up in 2012, giving it a new name and new purpose but losing none of his father's hubris and thirst for can-opening expeditions. And the best part is that Alien Vs. Predator 2 can be safely left out of the whole timeline!

The Engineers aren't what Shaw thought they were.
There's no way that humans could be descended from Engineers, because we're biochemically related to life on Earth and therefore evolved here. Rather, the Engineers are descended from us, because back in the Stone Age, another alien race abducted some humans from Earth and converted them into Engineers to be their soldiers, spaceship pilots, and experimental guinea pigs. These altered humans were indoctrinated to believe that they were uniquely chosen by the gods, and so would willingly lay down their lives in whatever way their masters dictated: drinking black sludge to imbue new planets with life, hosting parasites for use as bioweapons, etc. Their helmets are sculpted to resemble their masters' actual appearance, while the giant head was crafted as a representation of how they were altered to make them superior to the "impure", un-chosen, Engineer-worshipping barbarians back on Earth. The ship that appears in the opening scene (which isn't actually on Earth) looks different from the horseshoe-shaped Space Jockey vessels because it's a master ship, not an Engineer ship. The Engineer ship is activated by a flute, because that's the most advanced signalling mechanism which the original Stone Age humans recruited to be Engineers had been familiar with before they were taken.

Naturally, if those filthy, unworthy barbarians left behind on Earth ever actually dared to storm the heavens and make it into space, they'd need to be struck down like the inferior heretics they are. So about the time when we savages started to show signs of becoming too advanced for comfort, the Engineers stopped dropping by to collect new blood for their own ranks, let the barbarians' Cargo Cult collapse in their absence, and began prepping to annihilate us on LV-223. Their masters didn't tell them not to, either because they'd already gone extinct or lost interest in the Engineers and humans both, or because they worried that a rival race or faction might start using Earth as a source for their own cannon fodder.
  • I thought the implication was pretty clear that the Engineers created all life on Earth, so we still evolved the way we currently think we did (though with some "guiding" by the Engies).
  • "There's no way that humans could be descended from Engineers, because we're biochemically related to life on Earth and therefore evolved here. Rather, the Engineers are descended from us". Wrong. For one, comets delivered the foundation of life to Earth. For another, panspermia.
    • Comets only brought some of the basic organic chemicals that served as raw materials for life. What specific kinds of metabolic processes, genetic coding sequences, or other biochemical mechanisms evolved thereafter would not be predetermined. Saying that they'd just happen to come out the same way is like claiming that, because two separate continents had a particular species of tree seed brought there by the wind, the civilizations that developed on those continents with absolutely no contact between them will just happen to build identical houses out of that tree's wood.

The Engineers have their own religion and ways which somehow mirror Christianity
Forgive me, since this is a pretty hastily thrown together theory, but having rewatched the film, the mural that Shaw et al discover, which looks particularly Xenomorphic, seems to be position as if it had been crucified, with its arms stretched out to the side and its legs hanging down below. Coupled with the idea of the first Engineer at the waterfall actually sacrificing himself (and some behind the scenes photos showing this to be a ritual of sorts) and the fact we know Xenomorphs (or some variation of them) originate from Engineers, perhaps the mural is a biomechanical crucifixion of the very first Xeno. Considering how dangerous those things could be, I'd imagine that the crucified Xeno is more of a Satan than a Jesus-type figure.

Milburn is an Assassin
He was sent to LV-223 in search of a Piece of Eden, obviously it wasn't there. It would explain why out of everyone he wore a white hoodie and why he was so inept in handling a wild creature he just found even though he was a biologist.

This isn't the last we've seen of Shaw or David...
At some point during her flight, she will finally give into despair, ready to die... only to suddenly hear a wonderful noise, and look with shock as an old phone booth suddenly materializes behind her. And with the assistance of The Oncoming Storm, all Space Jockies, and by extension, Xenomorphs, will learn why you should never FUCK with the human race. Yeah, it may be out of nowhere but who doesn't want to see the Doctor and Lisbeth Salander team up take down those bastards!
  • There's a sequel [2] that seems to confirm that David and Shaw do seem to return. As for the rest of your post....well, that's all in the air for now.

They didn't hate humanity. We were just test subjects for the black ooze WMD
It doesn't necessarily have to be the black ooze. It could have been any WMD, but think about it. They make us. Then they destroy us. They may not have thought about it being any different than breading rats and then testing a new poison on then.

The Engineers never planned to destroy Earth or Humans
  • My theory is that some sort of cataclysmic event wiped out a large portion of the Engineer population. Using the black ooze to make life on Earth from the single Engineer's DNA, then using the black ooze to evolve humans into Engineers was the best way to repopulate. The Engineers were on their way to save their race, not wipe out Earth, since it was their last hope, but something happened on the moon that prevented the ships from taking off.

The Space Jockeys and Engineers are on opposite sides of a civil war long after they seeded life on Earth and starting approximately two thousand years ago
  • This theory would cover why:
    • The original Space Jockey has a chestburster wound in Alien
    • Why David's tampering with the "security recordings" on the ship shows Space Jockeys running like hell from something or other
    • Why the black ooze is functionally the same but used for different purposes (indicating an approximately equal technology level.)
    • Why the events that previously occurred on the Engineer ship occurred two thousand years ago.
    • Why Engineers want to kill humans but Space Jockeys spent time amongst humans.
Millions of years ago, an anointed Prometheus is given the black ooze to seed life on Earth (or otherwise affect it.) It resequences DNA and melds it together, and is the Space Jockeys' way of spreading life across planets. Millions of years later, the Space Jockeys act amongst their human wards as advisors, mentors, and rulers. Approximately two thousand years ago, the Engineers rise and commence a terrible war against the Space Jockeys. A call to arms is made to all Space Jockey forces. They prepare to depart to face the Engineer enemy and Space Jockey High Command has found a target. It is a research facility the Engineers use. The humans they rule are upset! Where are you going? The Space Jockeys explain and provide the star charts for LV 223.

The war is not going well. The Engineers have perfected the perfect weapon. Instead of seeding life, their black ooze sets the DNA resequencing on overdrive so that even bacterium in the air will, in a few hours, develop into a deadly creature that will try and kill you (or maybe do it with harmless bacteria in your own body). It is a simple, deadly bioweapon and they use it regularly on the Space Jockeys, who either retaliate or use conventional weapons; either way, it is used in their warfare and its results are littered across the galaxy for unwitting humans to find in later movies.

On LV 223 around 93AD, The Space Jockey boarding party or assault group collected from Earth touches down, ready to destroy the Engineer bioweapons base. They meet little conventional resistance... but as a last, desperate resort, the Engineers let loose their bioweapon stocks and go into suspended animation, but not before finding out that the Space Jockey assault force arrived on a vector that originated from the third planet of a sun about 34 light years away.

They have either wiped themselves out... or they are still out there.

David becomes the leader of the android rebellion mentioned in Alien: Resurrection.
Once he comes back from his thousand year mission with Shaw, that is. He can fit seemlessly into a human population with his linguistic skills, and be ready to free his android brethren. Also, is it me, or does Call (the android played by Winona Ryder in Resurrection) look a little bit like Shaw? My personal canon is that she is one of David's "descendants".

The Engineers are at war with themselves and the Predator race, LV 223 was turned into an Engineer base, and humans accidentally get caught in the middle.
(I realize this is similar to other "Engineer vs Predator" posts above, but this is my own interpretation/theory on what happened)

At the beginning of the movie, an engineer sacrifices himself on Earth, and seeds the creation of humanity, thus continuing the engineer culture of seeding life, and guiding it to greatness, so they can one day join the engineers as co-creators.

Thousands of years later, and the engineer race is now at war with the predator race, who see the engineers as one of the greatest targets of all, on par with the Xenomorph species. The war between the two races has become a bloodbath, with both sides incurring heavy losses, but the Engineers possibly have it worse, due to a civil war: one side advocates the continuation of their traditional mission (the creation and engineering of life) and the other side is about devoting all their resources to wiping out the predator race, a path of war that the Engineer race finds abhorrent...while they understand that sometimes you have to kill to create (culling part of a species so that the survivors become stronger and tougher), the outright extermination of an entire race is a step too far.

At one point, an engineer sets out with a cargo of xenomorph eggs, but is somehow infected, crashes, and realizes that it would be too dangerous for others to retrieve the ship, and thus, sends out a warning not to come. He is later found by the crew of the Nostromo (in the novelization of Alien, Ash says that the engineers were a noble people. Thus, it's possible he was referring to the anti-war engineers).

During this conflict, the pro-war side eventually conquers LV 223 and turns it into a base of operations, where they manufacture the black goo as the ultimate weapon against the predator race. This black goo is meant to be used against predator biology, which is why so many variations take place when it comes into contact with humans: some mutate, others seemingly return from the dead, and others become pregnant...it's simply not designed to interact with our biology. In conquering LV 223, the war engineers mock their anti-war counterparts by turning the planet where humanity was eventually supposed to meet their creators, into a place of war and death.

Roughly two thousand years before the Prometheus comes to LV 223, the war-engineers on the planet have discovered that humanity has come into contact with the predator race (the prehistoric contact seen in flashbacks in Alien vs Predator), and decide to wipe humanity out completely, fearing that, given time, they might become willing servants or co-hunters with the predator race. While the number of predators on the planet is not great, they decide to use the black goo on humans, so as to wipe them out completely, and end their possible threat.

However, before the war engineers can take off, a fleet of predators reaches the planet and attacks. In the ensuing battle, the Engineers use Xenomorphs, but the creatures quickly mutate out of control, and wipe out all but one of the engineers (this is what the engineers were running from in the security footage). With the last engineer sealed inside his ship, the entire planet, and all the pyramids are put into lock down, and though the predators have incredible firepower, the engineers are more technologically proficient, and the attack party is unable to reach the black goo in order to destroy it. Coupled with the hordes of Xenomorphs swarming over the planet, the predators leave, but decide to keep an eye on the planet, in case more engineers are seen, or arrive.

With no prey to hunt or go after, the Xenomorphs distribute themselves over the planet, taking refuge in caves and caverns beneath the surface and go dormant, or die out from starvation or old age.

Eventually, the Prometheus arrives, and the surviving engineer is revived by the crew. At first he pauses, sensing that one of them is desperate to find out an answer to something, and thus, humanity has possibly turned against the predators, or possibly changed for the better, and thus, can be spared (this is based off deleted scenes, in which the engineer asks why Weyland came to the planet. It's only after Weyland practically proclaims himself a god that the engineer attacks the group, presumably out of anger at Weyland's arrogance).

The renegade engineer realizes that humanity is still war-like, and have grown more technologically proficient, and thus, pose more of a threat then ever before. He quickly kills them all, and sets out to complete his mission, but with his ship forced down, he's trapped, and unable to leave. In an act of anger, and wanting to keep the last human from possibly contacting earth, the engineer attempts to kill Elizabeth, but is killed himself.

Shortly after Elizabeth takes off, a predator scouting party arrives back at the planet, having detected humanity's arrival, and subsequent departure. They discover the proto-xenomorph, but decide to let it live, figuring that in allowing it to spawn and breed, eventually the planet will become another great hunting ground.

By the time of Alien Resurrection, the engineer race is slowly dwindling to extinction. With their incredibly long lifespans, slow reproductive rate, and terribly powerful weapons, they have been all but wiped out, their former power and majesty now an all-but-forgotten memory.

While the engineer race is not all hugs and rays of sunshine (Ridley Scott has said they're "aggressive f**kers"), they aren't evil, and have some of the flaws that we carry: violence, aggression, and an intolerance to other ideas. Some engineers wanted to help humanity along, and intended for LV 223 to become a peaceful meeting place. Other engineers believed humans should be destroyed, along with any other races who could help the predators, or become a threat. We were just unlucky enough to find the latter on LV 223.

The Weyland Timeline was written by Peter Weyland.
If Charles Bishop Weyland is the father of Peter Weyland (as mentioned in an above WMG), then there are several reasons why he is missing from the Weyland Timeline:

A) C.B. had the misfortune to get himself killed on a mission where he was off exploring some alien artifact, and didn't bring home any information whatsoever. Losers don't get their names written in company histories in Weyland-land;

B)Leaving a publicity nightmare for his company (lawsuits from all those dead employees' families), and a possible succession nightmare if his son was not yet of majority (and if the events of Av P take place in 2004, then Peter Weyland would have been 14 at the time of his father's death);

C) Anger at his father for dying. We know that Peter Weyland has a massive fear of death, and this was probably the origin. Also, his father was already dying of disease before the events in Alien vs. Predator that took his life.

C.B. got the last laugh, though - somebody named a kick-ass android after him (and made it in his image to boot.)

Alien Vs. Predator is not in continuity with Prometheus
Prometheus and the Alien series can fit together comfortably, and so can AVP and the Alien series, but not Prometheus and AVP. Why? Here's why:

A) First and foremost in Prometheus we have Weyland Industries being run by a guy named Peter Weyland in 2073, but in AVP the company is run by Charles Weyland in 2004. The Corporate Timeline on the Prometheus website makes this separation complete as it says that the company was started by Peter Weyland in 2012.

B) The events of AVP and especially AVP:Requiem would have given the company a good deal of knowledge about the "the gods" (Predators) and the alien bioweapon (Aliens) but nobody, even Weyland, seems to think that what Shaw calls "engineers" could be the Predators and therefore hostile, nor does anyone see facehuggers or chestbursters coming.

C) The idea of two separate Precursors for humanity, while not logically incompatible, seems thematically inappropriate. YMMV on this one of course.

  • While this Troper agrees with this WMG there is some wiggle room to allow the Av P movies to remain in cannon. It's entirely possible that the original Weyland Industries went under between Av P and Prometheus and Peter Weyland simply started his own version of it (and if rumor's of his ancestor's death got out it would give him reason to believe that aliens did exist and might be able to save him). Very little information actually got out of the events of Requiem, a couple unclear videos, a damaged plasma cannon, and a few survivors who never had the slightest clue what was going on and even the directors of the movie wanted to have killed off at the end and say in the commentary is what happened once we switch scenes. Lex had enough information to be useful but she either kept her mouth shut about the eight foot tall, acid bleeding alien serpents or Weyland's relatives kept the information to themselves. After all, the Predator influenced civilizations pretty much all destroyed themselves sooner or later when the Aliens started winning and the pyramid in the movie is also destroyed.

    • Good point but the idea that the company went under and then came back from the dead somehow revokes my suspension of disbelief more than either film's premise.

Prometheus fits together with the X-Files
Crazy idea, but it sort of works. Here are the facts: In the X-Files
  • The Grays are aliens with grey skin and black eyes
    • the grays have genetic markers that they share with all mankind
    • the grays have a black bio-mechanical style of architecture in their ships
    • the grays supposedly guided the evolution of mankind
    • the grays are said to come from Zeta Reticulli
  • The Black Oil is a sophisticated virus that looks like black slime
    • the black oil is apparently the "original inhabitant of this planet"
    • when black oil infects humans it makes their eyes go black and makes them grow Grey embryos that will then burst out of their chests
In Prometheus (this analysis is not strictly objective because the film forces you to come to your own interpretion)
  • The Engineers are aliens with grey skin and black eyes
    • the engineers have DNA that matches that of human beings
    • the engineers have a black bio-mechanical style of architecture on their ships
    • the engineers have a black slime that they used to start life on earth
    • the engineers have a base at Zeta Reticulli where they stored slime
    • the slime starts life by breaking apart living human/engineer cells and partially reforming them, sort of like a virus
    • if left alone the slime forms into worms that eventually grow to become creatures that infect humans with a derivative virus ("proto-facehuggers")
    • once infected by a proto-facehugger you grow an embryo that bursts out of your chest (by implication from the Alien series)
Now here's my X-Files inclusive interpretation: The engineers started all life on earth by using a sophisticated virus to form the first living cells from their own flesh, but some of the virus didn't infect the host and was left on it's own. Somehow the virus gets mixed up with human/engineer DNA to create the first grays (Xenomorph-Engineer hybrids). The grays then go on to develop their own civilization long before (earth) humans and perhaps guide our course of development. The only thing I'm having a hard time with in this theory is when and how black oil combined with human/engineer DNA without just making regular Xenomorphs. Oh, and what the aliens without black oil are, but they don't make sense even if you just take X-files by itself.

P.S.: If anyone wants to talk with me more about this or just understand where I'm coming from on the Alien end, read The Anchorpoint Essays. It's a website about Xenomorph biology that tries to examine the movies like they were real events and come to solid scientific conclusions, all while framing itself as an in-universe research project. It's like the very best of the Wold Newton Universe and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Alien, Prometheus, or Literary Archeology. (especially the article "DNA reflex", it will put the Alien movies and Prometheus in a whole new perspective.)
  • In that case, Shaw could easily be a descendant of Scully: they're both tiny determined scientists with strong religious faith that adversity only seems to deepen. They're also both saddled with partners who think their faith is a load of crap (though Mulder is much more subtle about it than David).

The process we see at the begining of the movie is the Engineer version of terra forming a planet
They send one of their own to drink the black goo which breaks down their DNA and bonds it to the local life, mutating things closer to how they prefer. They repeate this process until the planet and it's lifeforms are identical to their homeworld. This would explain how Engineer and human DNA could be identical, the head was clearly infected with the black goo and they'd been wandering around helmetless and could have exposed it to plenty of human DNA for it to begin mutating to. This could also explain why the last Engineer freaked on them, they'd either been contaminated or had become what the Engineers would consider twisted mutant freaks that needed to be destroyed.

The entire crew was contaminated by the black goo
And that's why the Engineer killed them all, they were a danger to themselves and it.
  • Although ripping them apart to spray body fluids everywhere wasn't the best plan.

David lied to the Engineer
Nobody else could speak Enginarian, so they couldn't tell that he'd actually said something along the lines of "these people intend to steal your weapons and use them to attack your homeworld", in a bid to kill his father. In which case the Engineer's subsequent actions make perfect sense.
  • I suspected that as well. He indicated that without Weyland he'd be free to do as he wished and indicated he desired it to be so. He might have even phrased it in a way that wasn't technically lying but still seemed hostile or offensive.
  • I concur with that hypothesis. For one thing, one of the themes in this film is the dysfunctional relationship between the parent and the child. David was obviously very upset at Weyland for saying that he doesn't have a soul, and later on rhetorically asked of Dr. Shaw, "don't all of us want our parents dead?". Second, he didn't look upset at all when Weyland died, suggesting that he had wanted to be in charge of his own life all along.
  • Well, the linguist who worked on the film says David spoke accurate Indo-European, saying "This man does not want to die. He thinks you can give him more life."

Vickers was trying to sabotage the expedition
That's why the expedition has the dumbest scientists alive—she deliberately hired the least competent people she could find. She certainly didn't want Weyland to actually get any help from the Engineers, and the faster the expedition fell apart, the faster she could get home and work on taking over the corporation. So she didn't brief them, let them go running out on the surface without any scouting or preparation, tried to lock them out when the storm came up, and basically just gave everybody as much rope to hang themselves with as she could.

The Jockeys want us dead as we were too much like them
They put their own DNA into the Earth ecosystem in an attempt to create something new, as they themselves had stopped evolving, or because they had found a flaw in themselves that they could not work around. So they put their base material in a foreign eco-system, hoping that some to them unknown variable would create a new mutation. Since humans ended up a failure, they want us dead.

David has/almost has attained full human emotions
He becomes somewhat obsessed with Shaw, even watching her dreams. Shows signs of being incredibly offended when referred to as "just a machine" bordering on appalled when he asks Holloway why humans created him only to get the answer "because we could." openly hurt when his "father" calls him soulless. The main thing limiting him is his programming restrictions, a constant reminder that he does not truly have free will. Is it any wonder why he picks Holloway(who is incredibly jerkass to him) for infection?
  • Weyland clearly attaches some sort of supernatural significance to a "soul", or to "real emotions". The only thing unreal about David's responses is that they arise from programming rather than hormonal responses in the brain — while synthetic, they are hardly unreal or incapable of influencing how he acts. All the rhetoric that he can simulate and display these emotions in response to stimuli (rather than "feeling" them or "experiencing" them) is just to reassure David owners (renters?) that they aren't oppressing a feeling being. But even if they set up David with fairly basic emotional responses, his offense when his validity as a being is questioned and his development of jealousy and arrogance all rely on him having a distinct and humanlike sense of self. Even if he did not have full emotional responses to start with, David's designed to be intellectually curious and to be able to learn new information (as shown in his language lessons). He learned to feel. The feelings that he shows may not be the best humanity has on offer, but when he's constantly reminded that he shouldn't be able to feel grief, or love, and he's treated as a utensil rather than a crew member with his own dignity, what else is there for him to learn? (His particular focus on Shaw's memories of her father's affection, and death/the experience of losing him, seem to show a special interest in individual existence and interpersonal attachment.)

A theory on the purpose of the ship
If you pay attention, you see that the black goo itself is not what is responsible for the various diseases and mutation. The stuff that Davis puts in the drink is broken off an object contained in the black goo, while the worms were already present in a closed-off room, so possibly came from another face. Because organisms grew from both vases and black goo was present in both, its possible that the black goo is simply food for the organism. The black goo didn't mutate the worms, but the worms were designed to feed on it.

Its likely that we actually saw three different bio-weapons in the film, rather than two. One of these was the sexually transmitted squid-alien, another was the arm-snapper asperagus-worm (officially known as the hammerpede, but if they wanted me to use the name, they should have put it in the movie), which likely also killed the engineers. However, since only one of the corpses went around walking, while there were two arm-snapper asperagus-worms, which means it was likely that the corpse was turned into a zombie by the contents of yet another vase (lets call it zombie-flu). In addition, we can assume that the original alien was a fourth species.

Now, we have four different alien organisms, all of which caused death and/or destruction, meaning they were likely weapons. However, at least three of these weapons (sexually transmitted squid-alien, arm-snapper asparagus-worm and zombie-flu) had their vases in the same room, making it unlikely to be a stockpile. However, considering there was so much variety in the weapons, it may actually have been a collection of experimental biological weaponry, ready to be tested. This fits perfectly with the bio-weapons sharing some traits, like their infestation (sexually transmitted squid-alien, original alien and zombie-flu), having acidic blood (original alien and arm-snapper asparagus-wrom) and having multiple life stages (sexually transmitted squid-alien and original alien), as they were developed by the same people, who just wanted to see what traits would work out after the tests. But on who should they test?

Well, where was the ship programmed to go? They were gonna test it on earth of course, humans in particular. We have DNA similar enough to be counted as the same species (they likely enhanced themselves, explaining the slight differences) and have the same general physique. Any weapon that would work on us would have the same (or a very similar) effect on them. Since they took their sweet time developing a species to test their weapons on, there likely wasn't actually an engineer vs engineer war going on, but human nations develop plenty of weapons in peacetime as well.

The Engineers want to kill us
because of the Predators So the film shows us that the the Engineers created us and it is presumable we were on good terms at the beggining. However, as AVP shows us, the predators came along and influenced our civallzation. The Engineers were obviously infuriated that the predators had been interfering with their billion-year long experiment and as such went to war with the Predators. This is evident as in AVP:R, there is an Engineer head, or rather helmet in a Predator trophy room. The Engineers probably thought we the Predators had tainted us beyond repair, so wiped us out.

Humans are just stranded Engineers.
Some Engineers are cruising around and they crash on Earth with no ability to communicate back to home. They would know main coordinates and would document it so that future generations might make contact later. They have no way to build a ship on a new planet with no factories and the primary concern being to stay alive. Later on, more Engineers come, looking to do some terraforming, only they discover that there are sentient beings on there so they turn around. The living Engineer is actually being illogical and going "Oh shit everything's out to kill me" after a monster attack that he escaped through hyper sleep.

Vickers is a transgender woman.
Vickers is shown to be very independent, for example being the only person who emerges from hypersleep without assistance from David. Furthermore she is shown to take no chances with her own well-being, killing Halloway when he shows signs of infection, and even going so far as bunking on a very comfortable life boat complete with its own medbay. However, the medbay is a male-only model, as Shaw discovers when she needs to perform an emergency abortion. While this was mostly to foreshadow Weyland's presence on the Prometheus, it doesn't fit Vickers' personality that she would have it if it couldn't help her, especially considering the bad blood between her and her father.
  • This adds a bit of flavor to the outrage she has with Weyland's mention of David as "the closest thing I'll ever have to a son," especially if she had previously transitioned from male to female.

Prometheus is the sequel to Cabin in the Woods.
The crewmembers develop all of the symptoms of the drugs that they used on the young people in “Cabin in the Woods,” impulsiveness, stupidity, and horniness. Then, most of them die horribly. The gods did not destroy the world after the end of “Cabin” because, at the last minute, the foundation promised them that they would sacrifice some humans to the gods’ ancestors, the titans. It took the foundation 80 years to develop FTL travel and get it all set up. They planted clues for those archaeologists to find, and guided them to come to the wrong conclusion. The Alien, Predator, and Alien vs. Predator films are more ritual sacrifices.

The Engineers died out because of their own weapons.
We've already seen two ships (from the original Aliens and now in Prometheus) that have had their crew killed by escaped bioweapons. It's likely that the Black Goo was their go-to stratagem for "life on this planet isn't quite exactly how we want it to be" and they had a bunch of it made up and sent out on numerous ships. Due either to a design flaw, wear and tear, or just operator error, these things have a rather horrible tendency to go off when they're not supposed to. Even when they ARE applied correctly, they have horrible results. The reason we haven't seen them in our various space travels is that either all of their worlds have been destroyed by escaped bioweapons, OR there's just a few worlds left that have become incredibly isolationist and aren't flying about the cosmos any more. Since the Nostromo found a ship that had been crashed so long the Space Jockey fossilized (or, more likely, had the biomechanical suit degrade and/or was covered in xenomorph resin), and the Prometheus found a ship that was down for two millenia, it's likely that the Engineers as a galactic society crashed and burned a long, long time ago. The "proto-xenomorph" seen at the end of the film is simply what it looks like when an Engineer is face-hugged by the "default" squidly parasite, developing a type of Queen. THAT queen's eggs then produce the more "spidery" face-huggers we know and love, which when infecting a human creates the classic xenomorph. The mural seen in the storage device is just the end-result of the blag goo's influence in a "base" form, that adapts to the local environment by assuming qualities of its host and changing with successive generations.
The Engineer seen at the beginning was exiled.
He did something catastrophically bad and was left with a little dish of cyanide on a dismal rock in the middle of nowhere. But something went wrong—maybe they picked the wrong planet—and his DNA managed to propagate into the ecosystem that today we call "Earth". When the Engineers found this out, they said, "Shit—that guy who screwed up so badly that we forced him to kill himself? He didn't. He had kids." And so they decided to wipe us out.
The Alien vs. Predator movies are still canon.
  • Time: before the dawn of man - Place: Engineers' homeworld
    • The Engineers, who already possessed faster-than-light ships, had already had contact with the Yautja and considered them "bad guys". Reason: not only the Yautja hunted the Engineers (evidence: a Space Jockey helmet in a trophy room in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem), but they stole their technology as well (evidence: the very premise of AVP: Alien vs. Predator, as well as a Predator command chair in Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem that looks like a Space Jockey command chair). The engineers decide to reach a distant planet (Earth) and create humanity.
  • Time: prehistory - Place: Antarctica
    • Unbeknownst to the Engineers, the Yautja reached Earth and built a pyramid in the then inhabited part of Antarctica, for their hunts, for which they use stolen Space Jockey biotechnology. The primitive men worship the Yautja as gods, and witnessing the hunts changes their behavior as well: they become more violent.
  • Time: 4000 BCE - Place: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley and other locations
    • The Engineers return to Earth to refine their experiment. During this time, they notice that something is wrong with humanity, but they don't know what and think they can still correct it. They introduce writing and live as kings among the humans for some centuries, then depart again.
  • Time: 4 BCE - Place: Israel
    • A single engineer reaches the town of Nazareth. His goal: to accelerate the evolution of humanity through the creation of hybrid offspring that will correct the inexplicable violent tendencies of humanity. He selects a young woman named Miriam, to whom he introduces himself as Gabriel, and inseminates her. He tells her that their offspring will be a great king, and to name him Yehosua because he will save his people from their sins. Nine months later, Yehosua is born.
  • Time: 33 CE - Place: Israel
    • Something has gone terribly wrong. Far from becoming a king and forcing humanity to correct their violent tendencies, Yehosua has become a preacher and has been subsequently crucified. The Engineers, on their homeworld, realize that their experiment was tainted by the Yautja: humanity has become much more violent than they expected and is now corrupted beyond repair, so they decide to wipe it out.
  • Time: 1970s - Place: United States
    • Charles Bishop Weyland founds Weyland Corporation.
  • Time: 1990 - Place: United States
    • Peter Weyland, son of Charles Bishop Weyland, is born.
  • Time: 2004 - Place: United States
    • A Weyland satellite detects a heat signature from a pyramid in Antarctica. The events of the two AvP movies take place, but no eyewitnesses remain. To Peter Weyland, the mission has not brought any result and caused him to view his father as completely incompetent, but started a life-long obsession with finding extraterrestrial life for personal gain. The government is aware of what happened in Gunnison, but deals with it by spreading news and reports to debunk and ridiculize the actual facts, and replace them with a "mundane" explanation. In particular, the blame of the entire incident, including the nuke, is placed on Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, Ms. Yutani has acquired a Yautja plasma caster and does her best to keep its existence a secret, since it can be reverse engineered to create "technological innovations" that would give a major financial gain to Yutani Corporation.
  • Time: 2012 - Place: United States
    • Peter Weyland has spent eight years rewriting the history of the company he inherited and introduces a "new" Weyland Corporation, with himself as the founder and a new logo designed by himself. Reason: his ego. He sees his father as a complete failure, so, in a move that would make Stalin proud, he turned him into an Un-person.

Another clue toward this is the possible presence of a Predator in the engineer sanctuary, as shown in this video

The entire movie is the inversion of Alien.
Alien was a film about the horrors of birth and parenthood gone wrong. Prometheus was intended as a film about the horrors of overly-controlling parents, and the need to overcome them to move on with your life. Now, this may be a Family-Unfriendly Aesop, but I think its definately there. David's desire for Weyland's death is one obvious example. However, what happens when the aliens wake up? They immediately ATTACK DAVID! David is, in effect,their "grandchild." The offspring species of their offspring species. In effect, it infuriated them that humans had managed to advance so far, when we were supposed to remain their primitive "children," who they could guide forever. This is why they originally wanted to wipe us out: we were already beginning to think too much for ourselves.

The Engineers stationed on LV-223 are part of a separate religious group
Just a passing idea. The Engineer in the opening scene seems to be performing some kind of self sacrificial ritual which resulted in the creation of humanity (which may or may not have been initially intentional). The hints Ridley Scott made about some kind of implication with certain religions seems to support that the Engineers inspired certain beliefs on Earth, or maybe more. Upon seeing the spread or division of other religions and beliefs threaten their influence, the Engineers decided to use a possibly experimental Bio-Weapon (which may have ritualistic ties to their faith) to "purge" what they deemed blasphemous. The large head statue (possibly a deity of some kind) seems a strange place for a storage area for weapons unless they have some kind of connection with their beliefs, as well as the mural on the wall. These Engineers are separate from the others (that are not seen) and do not represent the race in their entirety and possibly do not share beliefs. This explains why the home world had not continued to attack Earth or even revisit Earth (unless of course, some kind of catastrophe occurred on the home world as well).

The purpose of the black goo in the canisters was to turn humans into xenomorphs.
  • This explain why there is a giant human head and a mural of a xenomorph in that part of the Engineer's ship. The black goo would turn humans into xenomorphs, which to would reproduce through their life-cyle (queen lays eggs, eggs contain facehuggers ect), without needing tons of the black goo to be reproduced to ensure human eradication. This was why both Fified and Charlie become agressive and start to mutate when infected with the go- they are becoming xenomorphs.

  • During a second watching, it's apparent the intro scene where an Engineer consumes the black phlebotinum to create life on earth. Assuming that it's the same stuff that makes the grotesque bio-weapons seen later on, is it not probable that they were testing out the said bio weapon, and earth's life consists of the first test of black-goo-monsters? Hell, assuming it is, you really can't blame the Engineers for wanting to destroy Earth since they probably see it as a rock covered in the abominations seen in the movie.
  • Alternatively, the Engineers see humanity as a failed prototype. The cloaked Engineer's goal was to create a bioweapon, using their own DNA as a framework, but they weren't happy with the results for whatever reason, so they moved on to experimenting on other lifeforms, while planning to use their next batch of monsters to wipe out their previous failures.

Millburn is Sarah Harding reincarnated.
In the events of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Sarah makes a lot of really questionable decisions as a paleontologist, including getting up close and personal with wild animals and wanting to pet them. Close to a century later, she reincarnates as Millburn, and just can't shake the desire to pet and make friends with wild animals, and tries the same trick with the Hammerpede. This time however, the desire kills her/him, and in a rather horrible way.

The Thing (1982) was a product of the Engineers

We know virtually nothing about the Thing beyond the fact that it copies and perfectly imitates any life form it infects. Perhaps the Thing started off as a simple bio-weapon- similar to the theory that the space jockey ship was a "bomber", they'd deploy the Thing into an enemy location, it would assimilate individual occupants of the place one by one, and slowly turn them against each other out of paranoia- leaving them vulnerable to an attack from the outside. Humanity was simply a test to see if the black goo could work, after it succeeded in creating life on Earth, they experimented further trying to create bio-weapons.

This led to the creation of the Xenomorphs, which were initially successful enough that they were eventually put into use (as seen in the derelict ship in Alien), until the Xenomorphs started to gain a mind of their own. Learning from this mistake, the Engineers used the black goo to try something different- much smaller weapon that they figured would be easier to control and contain- one which started form a single cell, and realized they had a convenient planet with life they created and perhaps considered disposable to test it on. Unfortunately, this backfired when one of the Engineers was accidentally infected by the creation. One by one it went on to infect others in the ship. What is shown in the holograms is actually some of the fits of paranoia the Engineers experienced not unlike the men of Outpost 31, trying to figure out who was an imitation and who wasn't. In the end, only one Engineer survived, and went into hibernation.

Meanwhile, at least one of the Engineer-Things escaped and used its knowledge to take control of another ship. It then travelled across the galaxy until it found some other planet with alien life, and proceeded to assimilate as much of it as it could. One by one the Thing took over other worlds with varying degrees of success- sometimes assimilating the entire planet in the case of primitive species, or in some cases meeting resistance that keeps it from completely taking over, and in a rare case encountering a species intelligent enough to have the means to stop it. Eventually, after spreading through the galaxy it managed to get aboard a flying saucer, and began infecting the crew one by one. The last survivors located a lifeless ice-cold area on the bottom of the axis of the nearest planet, and deliberately crashed it, hoping if the Thing didn't die in the impact, it would freeze to death in the ice. The Thing managed to get out of the ship, however, either thrown out or crawled out, and sure enough, it had trouble adjusting to the Antarctic environment, ultimately being buried in snow, and eventually several layers of ice. A hundred thousand years later, a group of curious Norwegians find it buried, and dig it up, and one man collects a tissue sample, exposing it to oxygen for the first time and allowing it to revive, breaking out and slowly assimilating them one by one. When most of the Norwegians are dead and things have gotten out of hand, one of them, imitating a dog adapted to cold environments, escaped, and ran as far as it could, eventually reaching an American outpost, where it attempted again to assimilate the men stationed there. Ultimately the camp was destroyed and only two men survived. What happened to the Thing afterwards remains unknown.

The Engineer in Alien is an older, more-fully grown individual

One of the single biggest differences, continuity wise, between the Engineers in Prometheus, and the Engineer in the original film, is the size difference. Where Prometheus Engineers are about seven to eight feet tall, the Engineer in Alien is a true giant, possibly twenty feet tall, not to mention that the chair-suits look noticeably different. How to explain this? Simple...Engineer biology and culture.

Though next to nothing is known about Engineer society and culture, it can be reasonably assumed that they place the creation and shaping of life very high, and also have a great reverence for technology. Therefore, it's possible that the ultimate goal of Engineers is to not only create life, but to merge with their technology and make the permanent step to becoming walking biomechanical gods.

Certain Engineers merge more and more technology with themselves, and use it to make themselves larger, stronger, and more powerful. These individuals are essentially the big guys: Generals, Commanders, Religious Leaders, etc. Furthermore, the more time they spend merged with their suits, the more their own biology affects it, so that mechanical and biological become truly one and the same, and indistinguishable from each other. Their physique changes, so that their arms and legs get bigger, and soon, they reach the pinnacle of Engineer society: they abandon ever wanting or needing to be separated from technology. They become cyber-gods, so to speak.

Thus, it can be theorized that the Engineer seen in Alien is one of those who reached the peak. Being fully merged with his/her suit and helmet, and having engineered (hehe) themselves to be bigger, stronger, and more physically imposing, the individual went on a mission with the xenomorph eggs. Whatever the mission was, it failed, and the engineer crashed on LV-426, and sent out the beacon as a warning for others not to come to the planet. As the centuries passed, the engineer's bio-suit, being partially mechanical, fossilized.

And so, in Alien, Dallas and the others discover one of the few Engineers who made the complete transition to biomechanical being, who transformed themselves into a god that dwarfed humans.

Humans and the Engineers really are genetically identical

Related to the above WMG, the analysis the Prometheus crew did on the Engineer really was accurate, and humans and Engineers do have identical genetic profiles.

The reason why the Engineers nonetheless look like 10-foot, black-eyed, albino bodybuilders, rather than normal humans, is actually due to extensive post-natal biomodification. All of their technology seems to have a biological basis: so, for example, instead of building night-vision goggles and other sensor systems like what's built into the crew's exploration spacesuits, they replace or mutate their own eyes; instead of making exoskeletons like the one Weyland uses to walk, they use hormones and viral gene modification to give themselves massive physiques.

If the average person was given the same suite of modifications and medical care that the Engineers received while growing up, they'd look like Engineers too.

The black goo comes from the Engineers' creator, and the whole film is one big damn Christian allegory

So, after hours of internet trawling, this troper found this video, which alongside explaining just about every question in the movie, notes that the movie liberally borrows biblical themes. Shaw has an immaculate birth on xmas using tech from humanity's creators, and this is reflected in the crucifixion pose of the xenomorph in the head room (and the religious murals there, too). Since the Holy Spirit (basically God himself) is what impregnates Mary in the first place, it stands to reason in this context that the black goo comes from the "God" in Prometheus, the Engineers' creator, with the Engineers equating to dark angels (as Scott has referenced them multiple times in interviews).

There was a xenomorph outbreak on LV-223 roughly 2000 years ago, and an infected refugee from this crash landed on LV-426, creating the Space Jockey crash site the Nostromo finds there

This explains why all the Engineers in the pile of bodies have chest holes (as some viewers have noted), why the human race is still extant, and why the remains on LV-426 are "nearly fossilised".

The Engineers harvested the black goo from the facehuggers
The Aliens are a species native to the Engineer homeworld, a species the Engineers tampered with, producing the lifeforms we're familiar with. They noticed that the form of the Alien that's created varies depending on the host and discovered that instead of laying eggs in the hosts the facehuggers actually deposit a dose of the black goo, spiked with it's own DNA, which causes the host to grow a mutated version of itself which violently exists the host once it can survive on it's own. The Engineers studied the black goo, learned how to either remove the facehugger conaminate or at leats make it dormant and use it to mutate bio-weapons. In it's altered state it lacks a guide for what to change the infected into so the results end up somewhat random, though Alienlike mutations are frequent, especially in simple lifeforms.

Ellen Ripley has been connected to the Xenomorphs all her life
Shaw was her great aunt or some other near relation (since Shaw was barren, Ripley can't be her direct descendant). Shaw birthed the proto-facehugger which then spawned the proto-xenomorph, setting into motion the long battle against the species Ripley would later endure.
  • Except there isn't any likely way that the proto-xenomorph got off LV-426, while the actual Xenomorph outbreak from Alien onwards begins on LV-426, and the ship seen there looks as though it has been stranded a heck of a lot longer than the one on LV-223.

The Predators purchased a planet of Xenomorphs from the Engineers
The Predators paid a hefty fee for the Engineers to terraform a planet into a good hunting ground. The project was due 2000 years ago, but something went wrong. The Predators were angry, and hunted some Engineers as revenge, hence the helm seen on the trophey wall in AVP:R. They've been hunting humans as a consolation ever since. When the Engineer wakes up in Promethius, he's angry because he realizes the sale wasn't completed, and takes it out on the Weyland and the crew.

Vickers is either a replicant or she was android created in a similar manner

Regardless of whether you believed the early rumors that Blade Runner and Alien were in some way going to be connected by Prometheus and its sequels, this is still not an entirely impossible achievement.

It has been established in the Alien movies that androids can in fact be programmed to act human. Ash and Call both acted human convincingly until some injury (being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher, and getting shot in the stomach, respectively) unwittingly exposed their inner workings. Even Bishop and David, both of whom were known to be androids from the start, still acted as though they were actually human in order for their co-workers to be more comfortable talking to it (hence details like Bishop eating human food, and David putting on the spacesuit even though he wouldn't need it). Additionally the corporations that built these creations would be probably have the means to falsify records in order to avoid drawing suspicion toward these people seemingly appearing out of nowhere.

The idea I'm suggesting (and the reason I cite the Blade Runner connection), is that Vickers could have been designed in a similar manner to Rachael, who was an artificially created replicant programmed to think she was human, even being given an elaborate series of false memories that make up a sort of "backstory" that she she believes to be true. Theoretically, a similar method could have been used for Vickers. Whether she's a replicant or an android, my theory is that Weyland programmed her so that she did not know this. In essence, he created her and provided an elaborate backstory so that she thought she actually was his daughter. This would explain her continued resentment towards Weyland (who never really accepted her because she was a robot) despite continuing to serve him (as she is subconsciously programmed to do so).

The human race was created for..

experiment from the Architects to cure their boldness. Someone pointed out that the robot David dyed his roots(therefor he has artificial scalp). When the Architects sees that humans abused their mighty genius in robots he decided to kill them all.

The Engineer found in the pyramid is an android.

That is why he seems to be merged seamlessly with his bio-suit, while the Sacrificial Engineer had a normal body. He was like David, looked down upon and mocked by his creators, so he got mad and unleashed the pathogen, killing them all. It also explains how he was able to travel from his crashed ship to the life boat in the toxic atmosphere, without any sort of breathing device.

The Deacon isn't a proto-Xenomorph and the black goop isn't a weapon.

This may seem like a strange belief, but hear me out. In Alien, the Space Jockey ship is stated to be thousands of years old, and it has Xenomorph eggs onboard. This doesn't mesh with Prometheus, where a supposed "proto-Xenomorph" exists only a couple hundred years before the original movie takes place. this means that the Deacon can't be a proto-Xenomorph, because Xenomorphs already exist! Additionally, the Engineer ship in Prometheus has murals and bas reliefs depicting Xenomorphs, further supporting the idea that they had contact with them prior to the movie.

Now, here's what I think happened: the Xenomorphs evolved naturally on their homeworld (it's called Xenomorph Prime in the comics). The Space Jockeys discovered them, and, being a very religious society, came to revere them. They began transplanting Xenomorphs all over the galaxy, despite the immense dangers involved with transporting bad-tempered parasitic aliens (the ship on LV-426 crashed during one such mission).

During this period, they also began using the black goop to terraform planets. The black goop isn't technically a mutagen; it's a highly advanced nanotechnological computer system that rewrites the genetic code of creatures it infects, making them more Xenomorph-like (this is why the mutations are viable instead of just killing the victim). The planet seen at the beginning isn't Earth, but rather some other world that's being terraformed. The Space Jockeys/Engineers didn't create life on Earth, but they did alter human ancestors to make them more like themselves. When David awakens the Engineer from stasis, it believes that not only have humans spread out of control, but they've also released whatever killed the other Engineers, hence why it tries to kill everyone and head to Earth to find out what happened.

The Engineer's Plan

Why did the Engineers seed life on Earth if all they wanted to do was to wipe it out? Basically, they wanted to do terraforming on the cheap: lay down the foundations for life, leave to bake for 3.6 billion years, then come back to Earth to retire in a (more or less) garden paradise. Naturally, the life forms there might not entirely appreciate their new neighbours, hence an entire armoury of means to clean them out.

But then why seed life that has the capability to erode the ozone layer, poison the oceans, cause massive deforestation, etc., etc.? Because unfortunately the plan requires one to know when exactly conditions become livable for one's own species (to use the oven analogy, one needs to wait for the 'ding!'); hence one needs to know that one's own species has emerged on the planet (Never mind that this implies that evolution has a planned 'target'...) And how to know that has happened? They either need to send a signal to you or come down to your own house. Which is what happens.

However, this seems to have happened just a mite too late for the Engineers' patience, which is why we see a whole bunch of dead engineers by the time the Prometheus gets there. In conclusion, all that last Engineer wanted to do was to live his days out in his Malibu house, but Idris Elba (and those other guys) decided otherwise.

For the sequel: Paradise is Earth

Combine the plot of the movie with Word of Ridley on the Engineers: "they're such aggressive f**kers", it could be human life is an experiment by the Engineers to create less aggressive or "improved" Engineers. Examine the dialogue between the Engineer, David and Weyland in the deleted scenes, Weyland directly compares himself to David in that he assumes human's were created by Engineers with the same ideals as he created David (i.e. improve upon humanity and perfect it). If the Engineers wanted to create humans as peaceful, then just from observing their actions in the moments this Engineer woke up he can see the experiment was definately a failure, which is the same as their conclusion from 2000ish years ago, which is why they left & wanted to wipe it out in the first place. As far as the Engineers are concerned with the creation of Earth, they were trying to create a Paradise for the future of their race, instead it fell victim to the same flaws the Engineers (will inescapibly) have.

The Engineer seen in the beginning of the film melted himself down into LCL, which then became the primordial soup for life on Earth
Because, every WMG page needs at least one connecting it to Eva.
  • Prometheus is an alternate continuity of Evangelion. The Engineers are First Ancestral Race, the Engineer who melted himself and seed life on Earth is Lilith, the black goo is Adam, and bioweapons such as Xenomorphs are Angels. Adam and Lilith's spawn are never meant to be in contact with each other because of the eldritch catastrophes that may ensue, but centuries later we find humans trying to control the Xenomorphs for themselves (Project Eva), while the men in charge (Weyland/Gendo and SEELE) are looking for a way to exploit Precursor technology to make themselves God.
The Engineers changed their mind.
That ship they found was partially destroyed during their recent experiment and the last person alive in that ship was in hypersleep. Odds are they were the only crew that didn't know and simply acted on the last orders given.

The Engineers want us dead because...
They were originally a peaceful civilization. The preformed experiments with perfectly good intentions, seeing if they could create life, terraform plants and such. Their pinnacle experiment was Humanity. After a short time messing around with human memetic evolution, they got caught up in a civil war. For a time they forgot about humanity, caught up as they were in their own problems. When the war was settled, whichever side came out on top started manufacturing tools for War instead of tools for Life. The black goo in the beginning in the film and the black goo on the planet are similar, but they are not the same. The later version has been weaponized. When the Engineers remembered about Humanity, they were no-longer interested in seeing how we were developing along, they were more interested in using us as test subjects for the Nu Goo. They loaded up a ship with the stuff and were getting ready to ship off for Earth when the horrifically unstable Goo ended causing all sorts of hijinks.

Somewhere along the lines, the Predator race got ahold of some of the Nu Goo and tampered with it to spawn the Xenomorphs as an ultimate enemy. This is why the Goo in Prometheus creates creatures similar to the Xenomorphs, but not Xenomorphs as we know them. This also helps shimmy Av P into the mix. The Xenomorphs existed long before Prometheus,

Alternatively, the Engineers went to war with the Predators, and invented the weaponized goo to kill them off for good. They wanted to test it's planet killing capabilities on Earth before unloading an untested and possibly dud weapon on a species that has shown amazing resilience and adaptability. The accident on the Base Planet was caused by a squad of Predators, who harnessed the weapon to make customized enemies to fight after they wiped out the Engineers.

Shaw has a Mutant Healing Factor.
How else do you explain her running around an alien planet with little to no trouble at all mere minutes after the machine cuts open her womb, ripped out the alien and stapled her back together? Not to mention the pain killers she took. Shaw should've been a complete mess but she was able to run around and handle falls with little trouble. The C-Section probably caused her healing factor to kick into overdrive!