In space, no one can hear you scream — but everyone can hear the
Science-fiction movies have had a long affinity for classical music, and the relationship is a fascinating and complex one. In
The trick is knowing whether that intelligence is benign or malevolent — or perhaps some of both.
One of the movie's recurring images shows a young girl playing the violin. It's the centerpiece of a digital hologram that Weyland Industries has beamed into outer space to demonstrate the achievements of mankind. Like the real-life Voyager probe, which is carrying many classical pieces into space, the hologram is intended to reach intelligent alien life — and to demonstrate our own intelligence and creativity.
In "Prometheus," classical music represents human ingenuity at its best and most ennobling — literally, how we wish to present ourselves to the universe. But the filmmakers also associate classical music with another kind of intelligence — the murderous survivalism of the alien xenomorphs.
[Spoiler alert] The movie concludes with a gruesome bang: the violent birth of a xenomorph, the virulent species that bleeds acid and exists only to kill and propagate itself. The xenomorph utters a deafening scream and then the movie cuts abruptly to
The juxtaposition is jolting, but it's also powerfully suggestive. Here, the movie seems to say, is an organism that is a
In the sci-fi genre,
The peaceful classical-music coda to "Prometheus" echoes the final credits to "Alien," also directed by Scott. The 1979 movie concluded with
In both movies, it's a deceptively calm ending. As we now know — and Hollywood has seemingly made sure of it — there is no end to the alien invasion.