During the first scene of the film we're shown a montage of landscape shots (actually Iceland) as establishment for the section when the CGI 'guy' drinks, disintegrates and drops into the waterfall.

During the scene where the ship 'Prometheus' is flying across LV223 we're shown a similar montage sequence of landscape shots prior to it landing.

There is a sub-second overhead landscape shot that is identical in both sequences.

I can only think of two explanations;

  1. that as multiple hands-on editors were involved in the film an oversight was made and the same clip was reused,
  2. that there is something to this and somehow both are the same place - and yes that would have a very significant affect on the assumption that the disintegrating guy was somehow seeding his DNA on an Earth of the past.

I assume it's the more obvious first explanation but I've found little other reference to this elsewhere. Does anyone actually know an answer to this?

  • 1
    From my understanding he was seeding the earth.
    – DForck42
    Jun 22, 2012 at 18:22
  • 3
    According to Ridley Scott, the planet at the beginning is not necessarily the Earth... which renders the whole scene rather redundant.
    – Nobby
    Jun 22, 2012 at 19:46
  • The two montages are about 15 minutes apart... so whoever spotted this must have a phoographic memory (or a bootleg copy of the movie lol)
    – Shiz Z.
    Jun 23, 2012 at 5:09
  • 1
    Given that the Engineers were still in the process of terraforming LV223 and the planet seemed lifeless when the Prometheus flew over, I don't see how they could be the same planet. Jun 25, 2012 at 3:13
  • 1
    @DavidHarkness I think it was just an editing error myself, two editors dipping into the same 'bin' - just wondered if anyone had their own thoughts
    – Chopper3
    Jun 25, 2012 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


The first scene was on the Earth. Here is an important FAQ from IMDB, where it clearly states:

There is no definite answer. It could very well be Earth in the early stages of life, possibly sometime after the extinction of the dinosaurs (the meteor which was responsible actually resulted in a mass extinction of nearly all life on the planet; the Engineers could have chosen Earth as it was a planet capable of supporting life, and maybe saw the creation of humanity as a way to "heal" the damage). However, there is no indication that it is specifically Earth. It could very well be another planet, as it is suggested that the Engineers created other life besides humans.

Another site stated supporting it was Earth:

Our Theory: What we are seeing in the beginning is the creation of Earth. The giant ship (which is different from the ring-shaped one we see later in the film, weirdly) has landed on Earth to drop off the Engineer so that he can terraform the planet and make it sustainable for life. We think he drinks the black goo to break down his own structure and spread life on Earth through his own DNA, but that doesn’t really explain his surprise while he’s disintegrating (and if the Engineers do have the same DNA as us, it’s hard to say why the Engineers had to be broken down in order to create humanity)

The Prometheus forum also states it is Earth showed in the first scene:

The engineer basically killed himself by drinking that stuff, which broke down his body and allowed his DNA to be dispersed and then (as per the film) this kick started life on Earth.

As far as the same landscape is concerned you can see there is are touches of "slight greenery" in the first scene, whereas when Prometheus was entering the planet, no such greenery could be seen! Also water was present in the first scene, whereas no signs of water was there before entering the cave in Prometheus. The planet was full of rocks, sands and all. No signs of life was there. This makes the two landscapes different. However filming was done on the Earth only. So there can be some similarities...

slight greenery in starting scene

slight greenery in starting scene

greenery as well as water in the first scene

greenery as well as water in the first scene

  • "Here is an important FAQ from IMDB, where it clearly states:" - Yet that FAQ entry doesn't state anything "clearly" and speaks as hypothetically as anyone else (including the other links). I'm not saying it wasn't earth or your answer is wrong, just that this statement is far less clear than you make it sound.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 27, 2014 at 11:45

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