In science fiction, the trope of aliens has been explored so many times that now, I can make a post comparing and contrasting the various ones!
*Some aliens look rather frightening (me during Men In Black : *shriek*) so the only picture of them that is included with this post is the featured collage at the beginning*
Today I’ll be talking about five (hopefully well-known) examples of aliens. They are :
- the Demogorgon from Stranger Things,
- the Bug from Men In Black (1997),
- Architect Michael from The Good Place,
- the Heptapods Abbott and Costello from The Arrival,
- and the Trisolarans from The Three Body Problem trilogy.
I put Michael in because he is, in a way, alien, in terms of being foreign (at first) to human values and practices. Also, because I want to do some comparing with him and the Trisolarans!
Now, I will evaluate each of these aliens in three different categories. The first : Level of Unique Appearance. The second : Level of Intelligence. The third : Level of Unique Skillset.
I will use star ratings! (WordPress is amazing, honestly, it’s like they’ve thought of everything) 5 stars being the highest.
Let’s get started (yes, I know, you’re probably thinking “Finally!”)! I hope you’re excited because I SURE AM (it’s all in the caps)!!!!!
Category 1 : Level of Unique Appearance
This alien (from Season 1) is really mysterious in the beginning. Plus, on the scary side. The mouth is its most unique physical feature, in my opinion, because it resembles a Venus flytrap.
This guy is your classic alien look, but with even more frightening and alienated features — those e y e s and teeth and…. *shudder*
I mean…he looks like a completely normal human. But it is pretty cool that they decided to give an alien a human look.
Heptapods Abbott and Costello
Yes you may have noticed that I am extremely picky *hides*
In The Arrival, most of the aliens’ screen time is dominated by their legs, but there is one scene where we see the full body. The way these Heptapods communicate is really cool : their legs end in these smaller tentacles, and they can spray this black ink out, which forms patterned circles. Like, who needs words when you got an O? 😀
Lol, sorry, I’m not funny.
I know, I know, we never even see what the Trisolarans look like, so why am I giving it the highest score?
Really good question.
There are a lot of speculations circling around in the Web (wow that just sounded cool for some reason) but unless you’re the author or a film is made out of the book (I hope it will!), we’re probably not going to know anytime soon.
In the Three Body Problem (the book, not the trilogy), the virtual game Three Body is a key plot device. From it, we gain an understanding of the Trisolarans’ culture, and information of how their society operates.
So we know that they are reflective, transparent, essentially see through. Thus, all communications between Trisolarans involve thinking to one another, rather than talking. As with the Heptapods, the way they communicate is linked directly to their appearance, so these factors are taken into consideration.
As shown in Three Body, Trisolarans are able to dehydrate, meaning that they essentially become a heap of skin, unable to think, communicate, or move. This serves as protection when their planet is experiencing a Chaotic Era.
Once the Chaotic Era is over and a Stable Era enters, Trisolarans are able to rehydrate (with the help of non-dehydrated Trisolarans) and become full-fledged beings again.
Pretty cool, eh?
Category 2 : Level of Intelligence
This alien is probably the second smartest out of the three aliens from Stranger Things. It seems to be capable of quickly adapting to a new environment (and not just because its home, the Upside Down, is an alternate version of Earth) and avoids capture fairly well in the beginning. This can all be attributed to its intelligence.
This guy is pretty smart — impersonating a human to disguise its true form. While it did arouse some suspicion, the fact that the Bug was able to last until the end of the film is impressive. The Bug was also able to have a mind of its own, as it was carrying out a devious plan.
Michael is really good at strategic thinking and thinking outside of the box. The fact that he was able to understand and apply human ethics in a relatively short amount of time also demonstrates he has a high capacity for emotional intelligence. (Wow don’t I love sounding professional.)
Heptapods Abbott and Costello
Even though they cannot communicate easily with humans, these two were able to make it work and fulfill their goal in coming to Earth. They help humanity now — in 3,000 years, they expect humanity to return the favor. Because they were confident enough to come to Earth and state this claim, it shows they have a remarkably good understanding of human thinking and motives.
If I could give Trisolarans a 6/5, I would.
They are incredibly advanced in science and technology. Even more advanced than humans, as demonstrated continuously throughout the Three Body Problem trilogy.
Sophons and droplets — ah, beautiful names — were all invented by Trisolaris. Sophons were a result of unfolding a proton into two dimensions and inscribing circuits into the surface. Sophons were able to lock down Earth’s progress in all fields of science — an enormously powerful feat.
Droplets are made of a strong interaction force material, meaning they are practically indestructible. They seem to be able to bend the laws of physics — a stunning accomplishment.
Category 3 : Level of Unique Skillset
The only thing I can think of is that it’s able to transcend dimensions by creating portals. But when you think of the numerous fantasy novels that have characters with these powers…it’s not as impressive. However, the show did make it look pretty cool.
The Bug‘s invincibility and connection to Earth’s bugs made it unique and enabled it to last for so long in the film.
While I like this character, I think it would have been more impressive if he could literally create neighborhoods in The Good Place or Bad Place or Medium Place. But Janet is the one who does the actual work. However, Michael’s creativity does give him points 😀
But there’s something else that Michael is capable of that is fascinating. He can see in nine dimensions and use it to his advantage.
Heptapods Abbott and Costello
The heptapods can see into the future and had advanced spacecraft. Woo hoo!
Trisolarans could do so many wacky things in science — advance their fleet to lightspeed within a short period of time, create sophons and droplets, and much more. And while they used to be transparent creatures, the time of “peace” between Trisolaris and Earth helped Trisolarans become versed in deceit and trickery. Quite a big step for these guys.
Plus, like Michael, Trisolarans are able to access higher and lower dimensions, and manipulate to their advantage.
So now…we’ve reached the end of this alien analysis. I hope you had fun reading! In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these aliens and who you think had the highest level of unique appearance, intelligence, and unique skillset. I know that our opinions may differ, but let’s keep this a friendly, respectful environment!