The script for Alien endured several rewrites before finally making it to the screen. One element that survived each draft was the arduous process of landing the Nostromo on LV-426. The late Dan O’Bannon took great pains to portray the process as being both complicated and dangerous. He was quite pleased at how Ridley Scott visualized his ideas. The landing was indeed clunky and painstaking. One wonders what O’Bannon would think of this clip from Prometheus. It shows the title ship arriving at its destination as smoothly as a leaf being carried on the wind.
“Smooth” is the opportune word, as it could be used to describe just about everything in this clip. The landscapes feel like matte paintings. The ship arrives amidst rough weather, but the rhythm of its stride is never broken. Since Alien takes nearly 30 years after Prometheus, I have to wonder if technology takes a huge step backward during that time. It seems that the landing process got considerably harder. Then again, we’re probably talking two different types of spacecraft. Still, something tells me that had Dan O’Bannon lived, this scene might have played out much differently.