Professor William MacNeil
Southern Cross University
This paper will argue that Ridley Scott’s much anticipated return to the Alien series Prometheus, speculates materially, indeed realistically, on the nature of creation (in the character of android, David), evolution (in the monstrous Medlab “birth” of the alien spore) and extinction (as intended for humanity by their creators, “the Engineers”), as well as the “missing link” between the three (ironically, in the high heteronormativity of the Holloway-Shaw coupling), all the while articulating a new natural law that reposes the question of origins and ends. In executing what this paper calls a “theogonic turn”—of origins and ends, of purpose and meaning—Scott’s film discloses as profoundly jurisgenerative the real Promethean longing animating its storyline and, quite possibly, the Alien saga as a whole: that is, for nothing less than a speculative legalism.
Professor William P MacNeil is the inaugural The Honourable John Dowd Chair in Law, the Dean of the School of Law and Justice and Head of Lismore Campus, Southern Cross University, New South Wales & Queensland. MacNeil is a scholar of jurisprudence and cultural legal studies and his most recent book, Novel Judgements: Legal Theory as Fiction, won the 2013 Penny Pether Prize for Scholarship in Law, Literature and the Humanities. A former Chair of the Council of Australian Law Deans (2017-2019) MacNeil is the editor of the book series, Edinburgh Critical Studies in Law, Literature and the Humanities, and is, at present, completing a book on the philosophy of law in science fiction, fantasy and horror.