The storytelling aspects of the holographs of space jockey's / engineers running in panic seems well justified as far as the script is concerned.

I just cannot figure out why the ship would project those holographs in the first place. It seems like the only purpose could have been to serve as a warning, but then why would the ship want to warn anybody when it seems engineered to trap anyone that discovered it? Or is there another reason to play these holographs? Or was it just a malfunction?

  • 1
    What makes you say that the ship is engineered to trap anyone that discovers it?
    – NominSim
    Jun 13 '12 at 17:58
  • 2
    hmmm... it's full of biological weapons that begin to come online almost as soon as the earthlings begin exploring the ship? i guess it's assumption...
    – zipquincy
    Jun 13 '12 at 18:02
  • It lets them come and go as they please though, I don't recall any attempts it made to trap them.
    – NominSim
    Jun 13 '12 at 18:04
  • 2
    There are traps and then there are traps...
    – zipquincy
    Jun 13 '12 at 19:03
  • There were also holograms played in the compound outside the ship earlier in the film. Some viewers seem to confound the tunnels and chambers with the ship itself see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/18221/… Aug 22 '12 at 5:09

The ship did not play the holographic images until they were triggered by David, the android whose skill at language translation was evident by the ability to activate the holo-feed. Activating that information was one of the first things he did upon boarding the Engineer's space-craft.

What was being shown was the cause of the condition of the ship, likely the equivalent of a black box recording on our conventional aircraft. David's incomplete knowledge of the system could account for the low quality of the image, or the ship may only record low density images leaving more complete data to be interpreted once the black box is sent home for analysis.

It appeared David had a much better grasp of the Engineer's language than he let on, seeing how every major discovery was opened, activated or able to be interfaced with because of his ability to correctly interpret the Engineer's written language.


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