Editor cuts Prometheus and Alien together to make a better prequel

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Jun 12, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

Alien is pretty much universally revered as a science fiction classic, so when Ridley Scott announced he was making a sorta kinda prequel, everyone got cautiously excited for Prometheus. Then Prometheus came out and, while the film still has its defenders, plenty of fans weren't impressed by the messy results. Prometheus isn't really an Alien prequel, but because it actually sort of is, it can never really escape the earlier film's rather long shadow. Even if it did some things better, it's a film forever trapped within the legacy of an iconic predecessor. 

Editor Job Willins understands this and came up with an idea that would both highlight the good things in Prometheus and give it much closer ties to Alien: Mash the films together into a parallel narrative, set 30 years apart. The result is Derelict, a two-and-a-half-hour mashup cut that Willins produced "for academic purposes." 

"Prometheus wasn't exactly an Alien prequel, but this treats it as such by intercutting the events of Alien with Prometheus in a dual narrative structure," Willins wrote. "The goal was to assemble the material to emphasize the strengths of Prometheus as well as its ties to Alien."

So, instead of watching the crew of the Prometheus on their doomed adventure while trying to hold the whole world of Alien in your head and make connections, you get to see them simultaneously. Michael Fassbender's David begins to bring his ship to life, then the Nostromo crew wakes up from stasis. The crew of the Prometheus reaches their destination, then the Nostromo crew reaches the same one decades later. The ruins of Alien contrast with the pristine newness of Prometheus, and it all comes together pretty well. To make things even more cohesive, Willins decided to make all of Derelict black and white, which sounds like an odd idea until you see it. The flourescent glare of the human ships contrasts heavily with the Gigerian darkness of the alien vessel, and that whole "haunted house movie in space" vibe Ridley Scott went for with Alien is actually heightened. 

Check out Derelict below:

Derelict from Job Willins on Vimeo.

(Via The A.V. Club)