A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery in Prometheus

A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery, Joseph Wright of Derby (oil on canvas, 1766)

 

A key idea of the Age of Enlightenment—that empirical observation grounded in science and reason could best advance society—is expressed by the faces of the individuals in Joseph Wright of Derby’s A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery.

David in this scene takes on the childlike wonder similarly depicted by the two young boys in the painting and of the young woman staring unblinkingly at the Earth floating near its centre.

In the painting  A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery and in our solar system it’s the sun that takes centre stage. In Prometheus, its the Winged Sun that symbolises aspects of the Egyptian sun god. From roughly 2000 BC, the symbol also appears in the Levant and Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. It appears in reliefs with Assyrian rulers and in Hieroglyphic Anatolian as a symbol for royalty, transcribed into Latin as SOL SUUS (literally, “his own self, the Sun”, i.e., “His Majesty”). David is in the centre of the Orrery, Weyland’s son, next in line for Weyland Industries(given Vickers demise).

Wright’s painting captures a moment of Enlightenment, the philosophical shift in the 18th Century away from traditional religious beliefs of the universe and toward verifiable by observations and scientific approach. *It is important to note the term given this new way of thinking. “Enlightenment” indicates an active process, undertaken by an individual by a group.

Joseph Wright of Derby became the unofficial artist of the Enlightenment, his use of chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark) depicting scientists and philosophers in ways previously reserved for Biblical heroes and Greek gods.

Which is quite interesting given the fact David is the Biblical Anti-Hero as he is both Satan and the Titan Prometheus. *A false equivelancy is given to the role of David and Prometheus since he does not steal the fire/black ooze to benefit mankind but to destroy it.

Other than Thomas Gainsborough (One of his art pieces is also present in Prometheus Transmission), who spent much of his career in the high-society resort town of Bath, Wright was the most prominent English painter of the 18th Century to spend the majority of his career outside of London. Operating without the constraints of the mainstream London art world, Wright was free to explore a general interest in science with his friends, a group that included Erasmus Darwin (Grandfather of Charles Darwin) and other members of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, an informal learned society which met to discuss scientific topics of the day.

In the 1760s Wright began to explore the traditional boundaries of various genres of painting. According to the French academies of art, the highest genre of painting was history painting, which depicted Biblical or classical subjects to demonstrate a moral lesson.

David and Shaw’s mission is both a pursuit of knowledge, you could argue David’s is rooted in science and Shaw’s is rooted in Faith.

David, as he experiences the projection, comes to an epiphany when he notices the sarcophagus the Engineer is sleeping in and goes to notify Sir Peter Weyland. After his ordeals on LV223 his conversion to science is a conversion to creator.

Prometheus was filmed in 3D, arguably the orrery scene is one of the most striking scene in the entire movie, as a homage to this Philisophical painting it is a masterpiece of the Alien series.

 

StarBeast — Alien: Covenant, the Alien

About the Alien: Covenant Xenomorph

Monster Legacy

“No one understands the lonely perfection of my dreams. I found perfection here. I’ve created it. A perfect organism.”

“They want Aliens, I’ll give them fucking Aliens,” said Ridley Scott of the eponymous creature’s return in Alien: Covenant. Previously, the director had said that “the beast is done. Cooked,” something that resulted in the complete excision of the Alien from the final script for Prometheus. However, the lack of actual Aliens in the prequel film backfired and became a widespread complaint among enthusiasts of the series; as such, Twentieth Century Fox pushed for the inclusion of the original creature in the sequel. “It went straight up there, and we discovered from it that [the fans] were really frustrated,” Scott said. “They wanted to see more of the original [Alien] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth. So I thought: ‘Wow, OK, I’m…

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StarBeast — Alien: Covenant, the Neomorph

About the Neomorph

Monster Legacy

From the start of Alien: Covenant‘s production, it was known that the monsters in the film would be mostly digital effects. “We knew from the outset that we were going to do fully CG versions of all the creatures,” said visual effects supervisor Charles Henley, “but Ridley also wanted to have something there on set that he could frame on and direct, and that could interact with the actors. We started with the idea of reference puppets; later, this evolved into high-quality creature suits.” Scott said: “sometimes the physicality of an actor doing something odd that you haven’t thought of or you don’t want to do digitally, is useful; so whenever you can, always shoot the monster.”

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Weyland Industries Timeline

Than goodness someone saved this

Strange Shapes

A TRADITION OF INNOVATION
From Peter Weyland’s first commercially viable cybernetic android to the invention of the atmospheric processor, Weyland Industries has continued to innovate and works towards the realisation of a better world. Over the years, our unique solutions, including a myriad of firsts, have served customers, communities and governments across the globe and helped address many of the universe’s most challenging problems.

OCTOBER 1ST, 1990 – A MAVERICK IS BORN
Peter Weyland is born in Mumbai, India to an Oxford-educated Professor of Comparative Mythology and a self-taught engineer.
(Notes: Weyland’s parentage highlights his upper class background, as well as a childhood steeped in mythology, such as the stories of the Olympians and Prometheus. His parents seem erudite, capable, and worldly. Weyland’s father is self-taught, and his talent seems to rub off on the young Peter.)

OCTOBER 1ST, 2004 – PETER WEYLAND TURNS 14
Days after his 14th birthday, Peter Weyland is…

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The Holographic Engineers

The scene in which the Prometheus Crew explore the Engineer temple to Shaw and Ford experimenting on the head of the Engineer correlates with the Canto 13 of Dante’s Inferno.

In Canto XIII Dante and Virgil enter a darkened wood populated twisted and gnarled trees, just like in Prometheus the crew enter the pyramid populated by darkened twisted caverns. After In this wood he can hear cries but cannot determine where they seem to be originating from, much like the start of the hologram where they can hear a screech in the tunnel followed by the ghostly holograms of the engineers as they run for their lives from some unknown evil.

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With some prompting from Virgil, Dante plucks a branch from a close by thorn bush and to his surprise, the bush wails, and starts to bleed, and exclaims

“Why dost thou rend my bones?” (13.35)

Prompting Dante to question his acts of destruction to the bush despite its initial appearance, it was not dead at all and could feel pain. Which brings me to the point where Elizabeth Shaw and Ford bring the Engineer Head back to life, their curiosity in finding out what caused its death also causes it the further pain by reanimating it.

“We wield an incredible power, to transform, to destroy and to create again, the question of course before us is what the hell we are supposed to do with this power or more importantly one should ask what we are allowed to do with this power, the answer to that my friends is nothing, rules, restrictions, laws, ethical guidelines, all but forbidding us from moving forwards” – Sir Peter Weyland, TED Talk 2023

The tree explains that all the trees in the forest were once humans but are reincarnated as trees, their branches pecked and pulled by banshees as their punishment. Virgil apologizes to the tree but says that only by plucking a branch could Dante believe that the trees used to be people. Likewise with Shaw and Ford, if they hadn’t conducted test they wouldn’t have discovered the link to mankind with DNA.

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The bush tells Dante how he came to be there, it turns out he had taken his own life and suffered the sin of suicide. Minos cast him into the 7th circle of Hell, Ring 2 which turned him into a bush and will suffer pain and anguish from his leaves being eaten for eternity. Feeling sorry for the bush’s story of woe, Dante gathers up the boughs scattered by the banshees and brings them back to it. Realising the Bush had come from the same hometown as Dante, Florence. Shaw collects the Engineer’s head like Dante gathered the boughs, Shaw and Ford realising the Humans came from the Engineers is just like Dante realising the Bush was a native of his hometown as well.