The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Dingus on November 05, 2004, 05:45:00 am

Title: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Dingus on November 05, 2004, 05:45:00 am
I have noticed that aliens dont usually appear anymore in the manys scifi games or tv series.  even if there are, There are only human looking aliens in scifi (usually in Star Trek/anime) which is quite boring. Also hostile aliens usually outnumber the friendly ones.

Big space corporations and earth vs mars colony wars seem to bee more frequent... Am I wrong to think that maybe aliens are out of fashion? or are we becoming more ethnocentric/xenophobic?

I really loved the Alien races in Star Control 2, like the Melnorme or the Spathi! So imaginative, unlike in the mainstream scifi.

what are your thoughts on this?

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Baltar on November 05, 2004, 07:15:47 am
SC2 wasn't _that_ original; it did draw pretty heavy inspiration from other sources.

I think you are definitely right about less aliens these days in sci-fi, but I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it.  I think writers realized they didn't *have* to have tons of prosthetics to explore ideas relevant to human beings.  Obviously just having aliens around isn't an end unto itself.  We have plenty of our own cultures that we can have sci-fi with only humans and still avoid ethnocentrism.

To see what I mean check out the new Battlestar Galactica series that started airing in the UK some weeks back.  It and Firefly are the finest sci-fi shows I've seen in the past 10 years.

/dodges onrush of screaming B5 and Farscape fans

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on November 05, 2004, 08:13:47 pm
I agree that many SF TV shows/games/movies limit their alien content.
Probably more for budget reasons than anything else. One thing about
UQM/SC2 they didn't need costumes or special CGI. Well, everything was CGI. So it was just as easy for the artists to draw a Mycon as a Human.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on November 05, 2004, 08:56:52 pm
J. Michael Straczynski said it quite well when talking about "humanoid" aliens vs. "alien" aliens:

Re: the "funny forehead" was not what I've understood the FF syndrome to mean...a regular head with a little treatment on the front. This was a whole-head prosthetic, covering the entire back of the head. So wrong on that one. And re: n'grath having 6 legs rather than 4...who're you to say that? Ever seen a praying mantis? Do all insects all over the galaxy have to have six legs to qualify? You don't like minimal makeup, you don't like full-body understand that this comes out as "nothing will please me except a real alien." You tell me where to find one in Central Casting, and I'll hire him.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Slylendro on November 06, 2004, 02:33:49 pm
you can say that there's always some resemblance cuz all the races are somehow connected but yeah that's not easy to make none humanoid aliens without computer and for normal tv shows it's too expensive to allow it too often.
well it is stupid that all the aliens in star trek act just like humans

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Cronos on November 07, 2004, 02:54:29 am
Perhaps you should actually watch an episode and see for yourself.

Vulcans are cold hard and logical, Romulans are paranoid beyond belief, Klingons live for honour and glory, the borg are a hive intelligence that seeks to incorporate all life within itself, Risans are pleasure seeking beings whilst the Cardassians are sinister AND paranoid.

Humans do encompass some of the behaviour exhibited but never to the degree shown in any of the alien races.

Unless you meant building starships and conflicting with one another. In which case I might ask what storyline could be maintained for very long "Went to this planet, went to that planet, looked over there, looked over here" etc.

Unless I've misinterpreted something...

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: alpharomeo81 on November 21, 2004, 08:03:07 am
The Star Trek aliens are more "cultural aliens" than physical.

If you visit the sea and you clam "where is your leader", you may not even receive a laugh.  Why would you find anything different in other planets?

Why would humans be enemies of other aliens?  Why would aliens want to conquer us?  Aren't we like sea animals?  At most they would hunt us.  If they want us alive, they will build a matrix.

If aliens start to destroy Earth, they might be terraforming, just like Mycon did in the Syreen homeworld.

It is really stupid to have space wars with aliens.

Title: Hominids
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 18, 2005, 05:41:35 am
Starflight, Starcontrol and Starcraft have nice compliments of non-humanoids. (We'll have to see what the Xel'Naga end up as, though.)

Not many movies, The Thing (1982 remake) and Forbidden Planet (even though you never saw the krell.) As guess Alien counts too.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Fossaman on February 18, 2005, 06:20:41 am
Aliens in star trek...yeah, romulans and cardassians were Communists. That's really all there was to that. It appealed to audiences when that was first aired.

Like OxDecode quoted, the reason for humanoid aliens is having humanoid actors GREATLY in the majority. While creepy, strange, and bizarre shapes are always entertaining, they just aren't practical.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Cronos on February 18, 2005, 10:41:56 am
The klingons represented communism in ToS, the Romulans were based culturally at least, on Roman civilisation.

Later on, in TNG and DS9, it became apparent that Cardassians were closer to communism and that klingons were closer to ancient asian cultures.

Also, if my memory serves me, wasnt there a precursor-like race in Star Trek that seeded life throughout the cosmos and hence the inherent similarity between humanoid life forms?

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Kaiser on February 18, 2005, 11:48:53 am
Yes, they had their own form of Precursors.

Cardassians, IMO, are closer to Fascism/Nazism than Communism.

Title: Dead Aliens in scifi
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 19, 2005, 02:31:48 am
Star Trek was just the Forbidden Planet tv series. Thus, they are Krell.

Krell = Ancients = Precursors = Forerunners = Xel'Naga

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Death 999 on February 20, 2005, 05:51:04 am
Not exactly the Xel'naga, because they only created the protoss and zerg, not the humans.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 20, 2005, 08:09:10 am
None of those I listed created us. Only a series as stupid as star trek would try to explain its pithetic low budget in such a way. You see, we have this little thing called the fossil record.

What I'm talking about are the "impossibly advanced" species which built a lot of crazy shit, before getting killed by their own minds, getting burned as fuel, going off to another dimension, commiting suicide to escape infestation, or not escaping infestation.

There are so many mysterious but extict aliens in scifi. Like those aliens in Total Recall and Stargate, even species in classic space rpg computer games like the poor little Legk.  :'(

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Fossaman on February 20, 2005, 10:14:54 am
David Brin's uplift novels are almost entirely based on the principle of other races evolving lower life forms to sentience. It's probably such a common concept because it's so entertaining.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 20, 2005, 07:52:56 pm
That's fine, I like killing their creations. (protoss especially)

Just as long as they don't say "those monkey fossils don't prove anything, because humans were bio engineered by us aliens." You built the mycon, you built the zerg, but you didn't build me, so take your retro virus and shove it up your phalanx.  :P

Creationists, you can live without them.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Death 999 on February 21, 2005, 10:55:45 pm
I realized that immediately after I shut down my computer...

The more immediate objection to the Xel'Naga is that they continued to exist well into human historic times.

And of course they're the same as the Vorlons and Shadows, once said species leave the galaxy. But again, that's different, since WE KICKED THEM OUT... :)

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Crowley on February 22, 2005, 01:02:03 am
This is where all life on Earth came from:

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Defender on February 22, 2005, 07:29:03 am
*shakes finger*

no circle time paradoxes please. :P

reminds me of the star trek iv movie, where kirk sells the bifocals in 1984, only to be given to kirk as a gift from dr mccoy in the future. where did the glasses come from? there is no beginning and no end to this paradox. i cant remember the scientific name this paradox was given though. anyone else remember this?


Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: Death 999 on February 23, 2005, 02:57:28 am
When he bought them in the 23rd century, he bought the original. There is also another, much older pair lying around somewhere. In other words, the glasses cycle is a loop-de-loop, not a circle.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj on March 19, 2005, 07:25:11 am
The more important circle time paradox is the invention of transparent aluminum.

Title: Re: Aliens in scifi
Post by: michael on March 19, 2005, 11:03:56 am
and quantum leep :P.