Feature: “Big things come from small beginnings” – Prometheus Trailer Breakdown

The long-awaited trailer(s) for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus landed this weekend in a blaze of Q&As and viral videos. The trailers are, quite frankly, stunning. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

This is the US trailer. This is the one I’ll be screen capping and breaking down.

This the UK (international) trailer. It’s longer, more subtle, and less bombastic than the US trailer. Both give us our first real idea of the plot of the film, but clearly the trailers jump back and forth in the chronology of the film. I’ll be talking about it as it happens in the trailer. It’ll be up to you lot with your massive brains to assemble the rough order of the shots so it makes sense. And, of course, you’ll have to prepare yourselves for possibly huge spoilers. Okay, enough of that, let’s get to it, shall we?


Opening with a river and a waterfall, the shot tracks up to reveal…

… a giant hovering spacecraft. It’s different to any other ship we’ve seen in the Alien universe before.

Standing by the side of the waterfall is a weird humanoid creature. Possibly human but infected with… something. Its veins and arteries thicken and grow along his arms and across his head. Is this our first look at the ‘alien’ in Prometheus? The next question – is this Earth thousands of millennia ago, or a distant world like we see in the next shot…

The spacecraft Prometheus streaks through the atmosphere of a mysterious planet. I can’t be 100% certain but I think it’s Charlize Theron’s Meredith Vickers who says “A king has his reign and then he dies. It’s inevitable.” Is this a reference to the alien race they discover, or could it be a foreboding threat to humanity?

Prometheus, high in orbit above the planet. I love how frickin’ beautiful this film is!

The bridge of the Prometheus. Check out the shiny touchscreen panels. Very ‘now’. I actually read quite an interesting theory in the comments section of an Prometheus article as to why the technology onboard the Prometheus is far in advance of that used on the Nostromo in Alien despite Prometheus coming before it chronologically. This commenter said that Prometheus was an incredibly expensive research vessel, decked out with all the very latest technology and equipment. Nostromo, on the other hand, is a mining vessel that’s made to be as inexpensive as possible, using far less advanced but easily repairable tech. Makes sense, in a way…

It’s Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) asleep in a very glowy hypersleep chamber and sexy future underwear. Go the future!

Janek (Idris Elba) pilots Prometheus…

… through very stormy conditions…

…and brings the ship in. “Prometheus has landed” he’s heard saying. Once again, I must point how stunning this all looks. That’s wallpaper/screensaver material right there.

Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Greene) give the crew of the Prometheus an archeological lecture and here’s where we get our first proper reveal of the plot. You can see android David (Michael Fassbender) sitting to the right of Noomi Rapace

Holloway says “These are ancient civilisations that were separated by centuries. And yet this same pictogram was discovered at every one of them”. It’s worth embiggening this pic to see which ones. It’s pretty neat.

I’m assuming this is Earth. The film was shot on location in Iceland. Is this it? I have no idea. Let’s say yes.

Holloway and Shaw up in the mountains…

…where they discover another pictogram. “I think they want us to come and find them” says Shaw. I’ve got a feeling she might come to regret saying that. So, the story has it that aliens either seeded life on Earth or visited us over many thousands of years, leaving clues to their civilisation that we could one day follow like breadcrumbs up into the heavens. Okay. I’m down with that.

The team prepare to leave the Prometheus. Flamethrower! It wouldn’t be the Alien universe without a flamethrower.

The crew leave on their adventure. Again, another stunning shot. Someone asks over the top “We’re all here because of some map you kids found in a cave?”

Shaw answers “Not a map. An invitation”.

Ford (Kate Dickie) and Fifield (Sean Harris). Fifield says “From whom?” And, you know, why?

The pyramid. This was in HR Giger’s original designs for Alien before it was cut because due to budgetary constraints.

Alien glyphs line the walls. Someone says “Please tell me you can read them”.

Our first look at Michael Fassbender as the android David. Will he pull an Ash on this crew?

BIG GIANT HEAD! The BIG GIANT HEAD from the poster! What could it mean?

Containers/jars line the floor of the room with the BIG GIANT HEAD. What do they hold? They’re very reminiscent of the eggs in Alien. There might not be any xenomorphs within them this time, but something equally as dangerous.

Shaw looks up and asks “Prometheus, are you seeing this?”. Noomi’s lips definitely aren’t saying that, though, and if you listen closely you can hear her voice sounds like she’s wearing the helmet. Clearly things have been moved around to help the trailer make a little more sense.

What are they? The Space Jockeys from Alien? These appear to have a very similar skin/bone structure to the xenomorph too.

Fifield releases some floating probes…

… (I think that may be Rafe Spall as Millburn in the glasses)…

… the probes scan the corridors.

David spots something.

Holloway’s attention is drawn to the bowl, maybe by a movement or sound, it’s hard to tell. All I know is he should probably stay the hell away from it.

“Whatever the probe was picking up, it was reading a lifeform” Janek tells the crew.

Vickers looks on at a holographic model of the alien complex. Vickers character has been described as a corporate lackey, more interested in working her way up the ladder than any scientific discovery. Will she sell the crew out to ensure her own wellbeing?

Aw, it’s love. David the android and the floating probe share an elevator together.

The crew enter the room with the jars/containers…

… David investigates one more closely.

Shaw looks up and sees the ceiling of the container room moving and morphing…

… A tear runs down her face “Overhead. They’re changing.”

Vickers – “Changing into what?”

Ominous clouds. A hint at the terraforming power of the aliens or just some fancy timeshift photography like in Scott’s Gladiator?

The question as to whether David has any ulterior motives or will flip out seems to be answered here. Upon seeing the wriggling goo atop one of the containers, David pulls an eery smile.

When shown in the light, the goo contains millions of moving cells.

“It’s moving? These things are moving?” Fifield shouts as the trailer begins to pick up pace.

David removes a green sac from one of the frozen containers. It is very similar to the eggs found on the ship in Alien. Could it be? Nah, Scott said they wouldn’t feature in this film. What does David want with it?

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Is that what I think it is? Are you messing with us, Ridley? An image of the xenomorph. Is it a warning? It HAS to be a warning.

David is seen messing with something on the floor of this room. He turns on the glorious looking star map. Is it Earth?

Ford is heard asking “what is that?”…

… Janek replies “That is a ship”…

… then we see a hologram of the exact same horseshoe-shaped spacecraft seen in Alien…

… and to confirm it, the real version. It’s hidden underground in front of the pyramid. The ground opens up above the craft to let it out…

Something within the ship opens and a weird platform lifts out. On it are fifteen strange, egg-like shapes. Michael Fassbender’s David is heard saying “They’re leaving”. Is it a control panel?

Shaw asks “To go where?”

“Earth” David replies while holding a holographic version in his hands.

Another stunning picture. David stands in awe at the beauty of the star map room. This will kill in 3D.

The reality dawns on Elizabeth. “We were so wrong”. You’ll remember her saying this from the beginning of the teaser trailer.

David’s helmet mounted camera (it says so in the top left) captures him and the crew running for their lives. Gotta love those graphics. Pretty slick.

The crew make a dash for Prometheus chased by a giant wall cloud of dust and debris.

Vickers shouts “Take us home!”

Prometheus launches into the sky.

The ground opens up beneath Shaw. She’s heard shouting “If we don’t stop it there won’t be any home to go back to”.

Benedict Wong as Ravel looks more than a little concerned. Someone, possibly Janek, is heard hollering “Why’s that door open?”

Shaw looks a little worse for wear and over the top we hear someone screaming “Cut it off! CUT IT OFF!” and she brings her hands together as if to pray. Noomi Rapace has said of Shaw before – “I feel like my character is the heart in the movie. You follow her, and she changes. In the beginning, she’s a believer. She believes in God and she has a very strong faith. She is a scientist and an archaeologist. She’s on this mission, and she’s full of hope. In the middle of the movie, things happen and she changes into more of a warrior. And in the end, she’s such a survivor.”

Is this Vickers showing her true colours and making a run for it? Though, where can you run to on a spaceship? An escape pod maybe?

Another WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? moment. Could it be a real live Space Jockey? Can we dare to dream? The being messes with the green device and something familiar lifts from the ground.

Ouch. Someone’s face melts.

The wall cloud rushes towards Prometheus. Will the crew get to safety in time?

The crew flamethrower the hell out of something.

An alien/human hybrid leaps from the top of a vehicle onto one of the crew below. It looks like it’s onboard the Prometheus too. That can’t be good.

Is this the same place as the star map room? The Space Jockey prepares to pilot his ship to Earth on the the iconic chair/telescope thing last seen in Alien.

And the third OH MY GOD moment of the trailer is this strobe sequence. You’ll want to click and enlarge this because I’m not even sure myself – Is that a FACEHUGGER? It bloody well looks like one! And who’s being attacked, Shaw or Vickers? My money’s on Shaw. Also how the hell did it get in this chamber? Is David conducting experiments on the crew? Is this what was in the green sac we saw before? The black stuff we see splattered on her legs and on the glass of the chamber could be alien nastiness, but more likely (and more sinisterly) it is blood. In order to fool the censors and get the green band for the trailer, makers often take out the red colouring.

Edit: Another theory has come to my attention. Could Shaw be giving birth to this creature?! If you look closely at Shaw’s belly, you can see a possible cut or incision. Is a C-section being performed to remove the creature? It definitely looks like an umbilical cord trailing from it. Things just got freakishly sinister.

Prometheus blasts off into space.

Janek yells. Idris Elba should yell more.

Probably the most spoilery moment of the trailer is this – Prometheus crashes into the Alien spacecraft to stop it getting to Earth. It’s bit annoying to know the fate of the ship before seeing the movie. Ah well, as Tyler Durden said “You decide your own level of involvement”. I knew what I was getting into before I started this breakdown. Did you when you started reading it?

A crew member (most likely Shaw) tries to leap the opening doors shielding the spacecraft.

An infected crew member’s veins swell blue like the alien being at the very start of the trailer. Is this how the Space Jockey’s exist, by infecting/inhabiting other lifeforms? Or is this another one of their biological weapons like the xenomorph?

A broken, battered, and bruised Shaw makes her way through the corridors of the ship. Is this before or after what happens in the chamber? Whenever it is, it looks like she’s been through hell.

The Space Jockey’s craft falls from the sky with a massive explosion after being hit by Prometheus.

The dust cloud/storm rushes in and envelops Prometheus and crew, carrying some members away.

Vickers locks herself away in one of the escape pods. Possibly.

The Space Jockey as we know and love him! It looks like the jockey and the ship meld together in a bio-mechanical type way.

The crew enter the ship’s cargo hold armed and dangerous, looking for something.

The ship crashes to the planet’s surface…

… and Vickers runs for her life from the falling debris.

Shaw lets out a scream…

… as she’s confronted by an alien being, possibly the Space Jockey. The markings on the alien’s legs are very similar to the xenomorph. When Scott jokes that the films share DNA, is he giving us a clue about the monsters in the movies too?

David, talking to his finger, says “Big things come from small beginnings”. It seems our android may have a God complex.

And so endeth the Prometheus trailer. It looks STUNNING and, good or bad, it excites me more than many films have in years. After revealing so little for so long, it’s nice to finally know a little more about the movie.

Please feel free to comment if you have any theories you’d like to add or if I’ve missed any vitally important info. We always want to know what you have to think.

Prometheus opens in the UK on 1st June.

Other Features:

“Guys, I’m Bringing The Party To You” – The Avengers Trailer Breakdown

Top Five Movie Bromances

The Shootening’s Sundance Rundown

The Amazing Spider-Man

Bjorn’s Top Ten Games Released This Autumn

Top Ten Comic Book/Sci-Fi/Superhero Hotties

More Prometheus News:

The Prometheus Trailer Is Here

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus Second Viral Video Released

Shorter Cut Of The New Prometheus Trailer Drops Early

Prometheus Trailer Has A Trailer

Stunning New Pic From Prometheus

Ridley’s Scott Prometheus Begins Brilliant Viral Marketing Campaign

Prometheus International Poster Released

High Res Image Of Noomi Rapace In Prometheus

Prometheus Trailer Released

Prometheus Gets A Teaser Poster

Official Pictures From Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

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