Movie: Prometheus, Ripoff of Asimov


Just a few minutes into the movie, I thought the entire opening sequence seemed so familiar.  It’s not an exact rip-off, but it was very close to a science fiction story I had read when I was a kid.

* Spoiler Alert *

* Don’t read further if haven’t see the movie and if you don’t want to know what happens. *


As some of you geeks may know, Prometheus was inspired by the 1968 film “Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past”.  The science fiction concept isn’t new; and perhaps not so different from some Eastern religious views.

I thought the opening sequence was very familiar and couldn’t place my finger on it until I realized that it was in a short story I read.  I dug up the short story I had read a long time ago.  I had remembered it because it was such a good story.  And guess what, of course it was a good story.  It was by Isaac Asimov!

The story is called “Founding Father”.  It is still in print, in the paperback short story collection, “Starships: Stories Beyond the Boundaries of the Universe”, edited by Isaac Asimov.


* “Founding Father” Short Story Spoiler Alert *


“Founding Father” is a story of the last moments of the life of the last surviving astronaut, who’s crew crash landed in an alien planet.  Sent to terraform planets for future human colonies, they were stranded in an inhospitable planet that they could not leave, and tried many years to terraform without success.  But as the last of the crew dies, his body, along the flesh of the other buried crew, becomes the catalyst which will bring an Earth-like environment to the dead planet.

In Prometheus, the opening sequence shows how the alien sacrificed himself to bring life to Earth, I thought of this short sci-fi story.  As a short story, “Founding Father” was very well written.  Very short, but meaningful enough that I still remember it so many years later.

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