Do not read what follows if you have not seen this movie.
First off, this movie was pretty decent. Knowledge of Alien and Aliens robs some of the thrill while giving birth to wondering when a chest will burst.
Opening of movie will leave you puzzled. Pale gray humanoid with muscles on top of muscles and no hair eats what seems is a bio-weapon that dissolves his body as it tumbles off a raging falls. Meanwhile this classic giant saucer departs the planet.
The planet that humans think is referenced in these multiple ancient drawings or steles leads them to a planet orbiting a ringed gas giant, this planet is labeled LV-223. Nostromo follows a radio signal to LV-426.
The Weyland survey vessel Prometheus lacks any drones to survey the planet. So the whole ship goes into the atmosphere to find things. And they quickly do.
They enter a giant stupa with a ring wall. In the movie they are constantly calling it a pyramid.
The android David, whom Weyland calls his son except for lacking a soul, has been studying during transit such things as Hindi, the implication being he is trying to learn from the Indo-European languages the mother tongue that gave birth to this linguistic family. - One must also note, David becomes enamored with Peter O'Toole's portrayal of Lawrence of Arabia and tries to imitate him. - So when David sees inscriptions on the wall, he start pushing buttons because it seems he recognizes what they mean.
Almost as soon as they enter the stupa and detect the atmosphere is breathable, everyone starts taking off their helmets. No one is worrying it seems about airborne pathogens in the stupa.
David activates a hologram recorder and they follow the aliens running to find their first body. Missing it's head. David opens the hatch before anyone can stop him. They find the severed head plus all these odd containers arrayed around a giant humanoid bust. I am reminded in some way of the bust of Hel from Metropolis.
They run a carbon scan on the dead alien and get a reading of 2,000 years. Wait a minute. How do they know with any certainty what their instrument is calibrated to read C-14 decay matches this planet?
Then suddenly this killer dust storm loaded with silica just happens to blow up with the survey crew in the stupa. So we get drama of the doctor, toting severed alien head, getting bumped around before being rescued by David.
They drag the head to Medical. Run scans saying its clean. Ross and the doctor are merely wearing normal surgery garb and masks. Then they decide to feed electricity to the head to trick it into thinking it's alive. Shades of The Modern Prometheus? And naturally the alien is infected with something and they slap the head back into containment before it goes splatter.
Ross and the doctor don analysis of the alien DNA and compare it to humans. 100% match. Even though the alien is taller, stronger, hairless, pallid in color, and eye structure is different.
While all this is happening aboard ship, including David infecting Holloway with the alien bug, back in the stupa two guys are still in there. They had told Ross they were leaving because aliens was freaking them out. And they manage to get lost in the stupa. Meanwhile the smart balls are busily mapping the stupa and it seems no one thought of getting directions. And when they stumble into the chamber where the giant head is, suddenly they are nonchalant as these alien serpents start approaching them. You can imagine what happens next.
I am going to skip ahead to where speculation runs rampant, the end and what it leaves unanswered. We get to see one Alien burst out in almost the form we see in Alien. Ross and David manage to leave LV-223 in one of the alien ships. Ross wants to ask the Engineers why did they change their mind and set out to create the means of wiping out humanity. The alien might have also found the same Engineer's ship. Or Ross was still infected, though she had surgically removed the half-alien fetus in her womb that which later turned into a tentacled elder god out of Lovecraft. Nostromo responds to what they think is an SOS on LV-486 and find an alien corpse, well one of the Engineer's spacesuits with chest blown open, in the chair. Who is to say that is not Ross in one of their spacesuits?
Update - I guess I should not blog at 3:30am ever again. Character's name is not Ross but Elizabeth Shaw. I do not know where I got that name.