Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can't reveal in our review.
Three things for consideration. 1) That opening sequence, with the pale alien (can we call them paliens? No? Okay, fine) being left behind by a ship, drinking something, and breaking down into component parts, which then start to reassemble into new life. Ridley Scott explains in this interview that this scene wasn’t necessarily on Earth, and could have taken place anywhere, and the alien was “acting as a gardener in space,” donating its DNA to the creation of new life. Which is highly interesting, and useful to know. But can you call a film a stand-alone story when it contains elements that aren’t explained and don’t seem to tie into anything, and can only be decoded by the director personally explaining where and when and what you’re seeing?
2) What the hell kind of biologist says “Hey, a completely alien life form that’s hissing and snarling and exhibiting threat behavior remarkably like a cobra’s! That probably means it wants to cuddle! Since I don’t have any containment or handling gear on me, I think I’ll just poke my fingers into its glistening alien mouth!”
3) Scott has said this is meant to be a stand-alone movie. But if so, why go to the trouble to establish every element from the original Alien—the crashed C-shaped ship, the giant “space jockey” aliens with elephant-head masks, the pilot cradle in the middle of the room, the space-jockey corpse with the burst-open chest, the paleo-xenomorph, and so forth? And having nearly set up Alien, why have the giant alien get chest-bursted on the floor of Rapace’s shuttle, rather than returning to his pilot’s cradle, where the crew of the Nostromo found him, and sending off the warning message that brings them to his moon? It’s like Scott is torturing fans, à la The State, by driving the car right up to the edge of Alien, then turning around and going home. Or he’s underlining that this is meant to be an independent story rather than a prequel. But Prometheus seems far too dependent on Alien elements to stand entirely on its own, yet not accurate enough to work as a prequel, either. This one seems designed solely to start frothing fanboy arguments.