While having a discussion about why David cried in that scene I had mentioned it was just like when Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) had to shoot Gasim for what he had done. He had to execute his friend to preserve peace and eliminate any possible revenge that could happen if Bedouin had carried it out themselves.
David and Lawrence both understood that to create a new world there needed to be sacrifices made, the old world of cruelty and indifference destroyed – @muthur9000
That was a key moment when Lawrence had to shoot Gasim… and admitted afterwards that he ‘enjoyed’ it, which horrified him. It revealed so much about him, below the pragmatic surface.
I found this quote that expresses some of the common themes between that execution and what David does:
“In the film, Lawrence’s godlike power to give Gasim life is soon mirrored by the godlike power to deprive it.” Lawrence’s description of his experience, and the almost-botched, bloody execution, implies the trauma that could be occurring in David. But even though it’s traumatic, it’s necessary. To clear the way to use this world, and be safe in it, and indirectly punish the Engineers for creating humans in the first place and being inferior gods who tried to destroy David himself. – Executed today 1917: Gasim, by Lawrence of Arabia
The idolisation of T.E.Lawrence was first Sir Peter Weyland’s, dubbing his spaceship the Prometheus. He had hoped to steal the Engineer’s technology to benefit mankind, or that’s what he had told his investors and the world.
We know his journey was, in fact, a last-ditch hope to extend his life. The Last Engineer thought he was unworthy of such a gift, as a result, his creation David became the vehicle of his destruction.
Similarly, T.E.Lawrence owed his power to the Military and the Bedouin. In the beginning of Lawrence of Arabia, he demonstrates with ease his trick of snuffing out a single match, exclaiming “The trick William Potter is not minding that it hurts.”
David’s journey paralleling Lawrence’s’ as he holds his version of fire in the form of the Chemical A03959x.91-15 also known as the Black Ooze. Looking at the liquid glistening and dancing at the end of his fingertips while exclaiming “Big things have small beginnings.”
David, using this fire, this power is stolen from the Gods, using it he goes on a crusade to become a creator. Both Lawrence and David away from their respective creators dare to use the power which doesn’t belong to them and at first, it is manageable, like the pathogen in Holloway’s drink or the fire which Lawrence warms himself by as he talks to Prince Feisal.
But as they both travel through their respective deserts, both David and Lawrence are surrounded by fire. Symbolic of the power they wield, it is ever present like the Black Ooze for David, in the form of the canisters or present in the form of his creations.
The fire grows as the film progresses, like the fire, his creations are easily controlled initially, as we saw after the Chestburster errupted from Oram.
And just like Lawrence he is destined to be undone from the very thing he created, Lawrence loses control of the Bedouin as they start a fire in the city, and David’s visage in the screen is attacked by the Xenomorph.
To preserve the peace Lawrence has to shoot his friend Gasim to prevent the Bedouin from taking revenge into their own hands. His sacrifice to create an Arab state breaks him but he still carries on, he knows that to handle fire he has to not mind that it hurts.
But David, similarly has to sacrifice Elizabeth Shaw to create the Perfect Organism. Not minding that it hurts, he knows “Sometimes to create you must destroy.”
And this all comes at a cost to Lawrence, he is only a man and has a soul. Has a conscience. He cannot mind that it hurts and eventually it erodes him. Exclaiming he only wants his fair share of common human decency, he cannot go on. But he does.
The lonely perfection of David’s dreams is like in Lawrence’s, in that he is a man who can dream with his eyes open and make them a reality.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The name of the ship Auriga was after the constellation, one of which backstories is of the legend regarding Hippolytus.
According to some sources, Hippolytus had scorned Aphrodite in order to become a devotee of Artemis, devoting himself to a chaste life in pursuit of hunting. So Aphrodite in retaliation made Phaedra, Hippolytus step-mother fall in love with him. He naturally rejected her, which led to Phaedra plotting an assassination resulting in his death in a fall from a chariot.
As a result, a cult grew up around Hippolytus, associated with the cult of Aphrodite. His cult believed that Artemis asked Asclepius to resurrect the young man since he had vowed chastity to her. He was brought to Latium, Italy, where he reigned under the name of Virbius or Virbio.
Origae-6 in Alien: Covenant
So I was reading up the meaning of Origae to find out more about this planet the Covenant is headed to and I am reminded that there is a constellation. I previously did some investigation about the meaning of Origae, which has several meanings:
origa is an Latin word started with o. Here is the definition of origa in English
origa origa, origae
feminine noun charioteer, driver; groom, ostler; helmsman; the Waggoner (constellation);
Origa masculine noun
charioteer, driver; groom, ostler; helmsman; the Waggoner (constellation)
Alien: Resurrection & Alien: Covenant movies about creation
I have been looking deeper into its other meanings to try and uncover this little puzzle Ridley has left for us, and there’s no surprise that the ship name in Resurrection is Auriga seeing as they sought to create life from the DNA salvaged from Fury 161.
Auriga was also known as the constellation and the God Erichthonius, King of Athens and son of the fire God Hephaestus. Raised by Athena he was taught how to harness a chariot of four horses. The 6th brightest star in the sky Capella, Alpha Aurigae, is associated with Amalthea the goat who was foster-mother to Zeus. The star is located on the Charioteer’s left shoulder.
A message from the Space Jockey
I believe Origae-6 is a planetary body orbiting Prijipati – δ Aurigae (Delta Aurigae), and of course if you are familiar with Dan O’Bannon’s first draft of Alien, the space jockey left a symbol on the dash in front of it before they died, a triangle: Δ which is the upper case of δ
Prijipati, Delta Aurigae, is a binary star about 140 light years from Earth. It consists of an orange K-type giant and a companion star 115.4 arc seconds away. The primary star has an apparent magnitude of 3.72 and the companion, 9.7. 126 light-years (39 parsecs) distant from the Earth. In Indian astronomy, the star is called Prajapati, which means “the Lord of Creation” in Sanskrit.
Here’s a little about the Indian God of Creation: Brahma is the first god in the Hindu triumvirate or Trimurti. The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, while Shiva’s role is to destroy it in order to re-create.
David did quote in Prometheus “To create, sometimes you must destroy”
Lawrence and David
How this positions the story of Lawrence as his parallels David’s journey, in the Alien: Covenant commentary which @gothic-fiction-in-space drew my notice to, the design of the Covenant was inspired by train cars.
Which puts us at Lawrence striking at the Turks’ supply lifeline, the Hejaz Railway. During one such raid, Lawrence blew up a locomotive with an electric mine. Which could explain the charged particle flare knocking out the Covenant as it was recharging along to Origae-6.
The Turk’s losses were 70 killed, 30 wounded and 80 prisoners with the loss of one Arab. Which sounds quite similar to the losses of the Covenant, as per the novelisation “We lost forty-seven colonists and sixteen second-generation embryos, and as you know, one crew member. An additional sixty-two pods incurred damage, all of which is salvageable”
Making the next movie the “War of the worlds” in which multiple parties will meet David at Origae-6 to do battle. The battle of Damascus.
As David’s story also parallels that of the Biblical David, there is also a link to Damascus. Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David probably existed around 1000 BCE, but that there is little that can be said about him as a historical figure. There is no direct evidence outside of the Bible concerning David, but the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone erected by a king of Damascus in the late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings, contains the phrase ביתדוד(this is also hidden in the pages of The Art of Alien: Covenant Book as a blue design on the top left corner of each page), bytdwd, which most scholars translate as “House of David”. Ancient Near East historians generally doubt that the united monarchy as described in the Bible existed.
Special mention to @ASH-A-Fan-Fiction-Comic for sharing an article on the names and meanings of ships in the Alien Universe. It prompted me to look a little deeper and it, of course, made everything click.
In Greek mythology, the TitanPrometheus had a reputation for being something of a clever trickster and he famously gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork, an action for which he was punished by Zeus, who ensured every day that an eagle ate the liver of the Titan as he was helplessly chained to a rock.
In Prometheus 2012 we can see many references to the black Ooze being like fire, the references in Lawrence of Arabia and David in Prometheus gives us that link. As well as the Peter Weyland TED Talk where he also speaks about the Prometheus Myth. In the Mission Ready clip, the Weyland Employee also talks of the Prometheus Mission as Weyland’s gift to mankind.
Prometheus (Forethought) was one of the ringleaders of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods led by Zeus to gain control of the heavens, a struggle which was said to have lasted ten years. Prometheus did, however, switch sides and support the victorious Olympians when the Titans would not follow his advice to use trickery in the battle.
I have also drawn parallels between Weyland and Prometheus here.
David was stranded on Planet 4 for 10 years and in that time he had used the Black Ooze to refine his creation. He switched sides from Elizabeth Shaw to destroy the engineers and pursued his own cause in creating the Xenomorph. Just as Prometheus created man.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Prometheus’ father was Iapetus, his mother was Clymene (or Themis in other versions) and his brothers were fellow Titans Epimetheus (Afterthought or Hindsight), Menoetius, and Atlas. One of Prometheus’ sons was Deucalion, an equivalent of Noah, who survived a great flood by sailing in a great chest for nine days and nights and who, with his wife Pyrrha, became the founder of the human race.
Deucalion is interesting because he was a Noah like figure, just like Walter was. Bringing the USCSS Covenant/Ark to Origae-6, but now David has taken his place he is representative of Deucalion.
In some traditions, Prometheus made the first man from clay, whilst in others, the gods made all creatures on Earth, and Epimetheus and Prometheus were given the task of endowing them with gifts so that they might survive and prosper. Epimetheus liberally spread around such gifts as fur and wings but by the time he got around to man, he had run out of gifts. Feeling sorry for man’s weak and naked state, Prometheus raided the workshop of Hephaistos and Athena on Mt. Olympus and stole fire, and by hiding it in a hollow fennel-stalk, he gave the valuable gift to man which would help him in life’s struggle. The Titan also taught man how to use their gift and so the skill of metalwork began; he also came to be associated with science and culture.
David is just like Prometheus because he is a scientist(mad scientist counts right?) and he is very cultured in the way he composes music, recites poetry and illustrates. And Walter is like Epimetheus.
PROMETHEUS RAIDED THE WORKSHOP OF HEPHAISTOS AND ATHENA ON MT. OLYMPUS AND STOLE FIRE; HE THEN GAVE THE VALUABLE GIFT TO MANKIND.
In a slightly different version of the story, mankind already had the fire, and when Prometheus tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and fat instead of the best meat during a meal at Mt. Olympus, Zeus, in anger, took away fire so that man would have to eat his
meat raw. Prometheus then stole the fire as in the alternative version. This also explained why, in animal sacrifices, the Greeks always dedicated the bones and fat to the gods and ate the meat themselves.
David sacrifices his love Elizabeth to create the xenomorph. And Planet 4 is a rotting Paradise filled with things that smell of rotting flesh.
Zeus was outraged by Prometheus’ theft of fire and so punished the Titan by having him taken far to the east, perhaps the Caucasus. Here Prometheus was chained to a rock (or pillar) and Zeus sent an eagle to eat the Titan’s liver. Even worse, the liver re-grew every night and the eagle returned each day to perpetually torment Prometheus.
The lifecycle of the Xenomorph could be symbolic of this, after being impregnated by the Facehugger or the motes will have a Chestburster or deacon eviscerate the host on escaping.