<Spoiler Alert: Obviously, you shouldn’t check out this short article if you want to see the movie unfiltered.>
Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” (2012) is a film about production, abortion, and redemptive self-sacrifice. Although aspects of the plot perform not have as much art or integrity as one can favor, the film has moments of complex and also sedimented allegory. The film obviously opeprices at the granular level of bionational politics and also posing the fundamental concerns of philosophy, however it is Michael Fassbender’s function as the android David who is obsessed via Peter O’Toole’s portrayal of T.E. Lawrence in “Lawrence of Arabia” that adds the wealthiest and also the majority of unintended layer.

You are watching: There is nothing in the desert and no man is nothing


In a meta-theatrical minute, we hear David quote from “Lawrence of Arabia” just as the spaceship descends to the mysterious planet of the Engineers: “There is nothing in the desert and also no male needs nothing.” However before, he is not quoting the blond Bedouin, yet Prince Feisal. The original quote from “Lawrence of Arabia” is: 

“I think you are another of these desert-loving English. No Arab loves the desert. We love water and also green trees. There is nopoint in the desert and no man requirements nothing. Or is it that you think we are somepoint you can play via because we are a little people? A silly civilization, greedy, barbarous, and also cruel? What execute you recognize, lieutenant? In the Arab city of Cordova, there were two miles of public lighting in the roadways as soon as London was a town.”

This is a noteworthy slipweb page which moves David from the role of the messianic agent-provocateur, to the marginalized early american topic — from the narcissistic “creator” of another’s nation to the object of royal intrigues; from an Englishmale to an Arab male. I don’t think this slippage or duality is unintentional as it reinforces David’s status of subordinate masculinity which T.E. Lawrence himself came to take on as he adopted Arab dress and the Arab cause, and also especially after he was raped by Turkish soldiers at Der’a. Of course, also Lawrence’s self-effacement and also rejection of hyper-masculinity is problematic and also deceptive from a Foucauldian/Butlerian perspective (view Grant Parsons, “Another India” in Philip Darby’s At the Edge of International Relations, 1997, pp. 169-171). Power cannot simply be rejected. Therefore, it is unsurpclimbing that from this position of subordinate masculinity Fassbender’s character functions his subtle, seductive, and also treacherous cdamages on the hapmuch less crew members.

At one more level, an android quoting the expression “no man demands nothing” is a ponderous enigma. The double negative transforms the nothing into something. But even more to the allude, the android reciting the phrase is no male even though he clearly has actually desires and desires somepoint. In fact, the android desires to kill off his human creators in collusion via the Engineers who seeded humankind yet now seek to abort the species. 

The desert setting of the film is likewise ironic because the extra-terrestrial desert, a lot like the desert of Arabia, is hardly empty. However, and also by method of contrast, the desert of the Engineers is loaded via tools of mass destruction which are found within minutes. This is possibly supposed just as a quick jab at Westerners that have sought consistently to create, abort, and also re-develop the Center East in their own picture also while unleashing massive slaughter. However before, it is not the WMDs yet the engineers’ and android’s motivations for aborting mankind that remajor an elusive mystery in the film.We are left without definitive answers, other than for snippets of dialogue in between David and also crew members in which we are told that males created the android ssuggest “bereason they might,” a lot as the Engineers most likely created guy bereason they can. Perhaps any type of answer from a film would certainly be trite or perhaps the film is informing us that the motivation for development is unknowable.

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For the motivation for the impfinishing genocide we are just told that all kids naturally look for to kill their parental fees. The one chance in the film to get a directly answer is scuttled as soon as an alien Engineer is woken just to be transdeveloped right into a caricature of Mary Shelly’s modern-day Prometheus. Thus the film is not interested in explaining incentive so a lot as suggests — and also here we are referred back to “Lawrence of Arabia.”In a rehearsal of a scene in which T.E. Lawrence reflects his comrades a trick to putting out a enhance via his fingers, we are told that the essential is “not minding it hurts.” The snuffing out of the generative flame bestowed by Prometheus must be lugged out without emotion — a job for which the android that is qualified of feigning but not feeling emovement is a lot of well suited, a lot favor the alien spawn developed by the Engineers.

The film leaves us via a simple if revolutionary sub-text: to the creators/produced, nothing is owed.