In a recent post we talked about Dr. Stephen Hawking’s concerns that we may encounter unfriendly aliens, and the idea that we don’t even want no stinking alien contact around our earth. I disagreed and to my surprise cannot find nearly enough support for what I think is an obvious notion – superintelligences are very likely to be friends not foes, or at least will just ignore us because we are, well, pretty unimpressive by the likely standards of the probably millions of intelligent species likely to be all over the place in our spectacularly large known universe.
Horatiox suggested I may be biased by what he suggests is a “cute alien” Hollywood standard to come to my conclusion so I thought it would be fun to look at the top 20 Sci Fi movies from IMDB and see what kinds of Aliens appear in those.
|1.||8.8||Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back(1980)||265,556|
|2.||8.8||Star Wars (1977)||309,465|
|3.||8.6||The Matrix (1999)||362,975|
|4.||8.6||Iron Man 2 (2010)||1,781|
|5.||8.5||Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)||225,768|
|8.||8.5||A Clockwork Orange (1971)||184,963|
|11.||8.4||2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)||153,902|
|12.||8.4||Back to the Future (1985)||191,070|
|14.||8.3||Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)||202,527|
|15.||8.3||Blade Runner (1982)||178,350|
|16.||8.2||District 9 (2009)||134,452|
|17.||8.2||The War Game (1965)||1,480|
|18.||8.2||Donnie Darko (2001)||200,859|
|19.||8.1||Ivan Vasilevich menyaet professiyu (1973)||2,905|
|20.||8.1||The Thing (1982)||74,264|
Well, I’d hoped to make a stronger case that Hollywood aliens are mean, but it’s looking like you could make either case from these films. Star Wars bad guys vs Star Wars cute nice guys, Terminator bad vs Wall E good, etc. I think Hollywood is all over the place on this though I guess Horatiox could point to AVATAR and note how cute they are and how mean the humans are.
Darth Vader? The matrix-bots? Alien? Terminator?? And the villains of Star Trek flicks?? All black hats, JC. I rest my case.
Blade Runner presents a slightly different issue. With BR (the story was “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”) the replicants–not really aliens, per se, but high-powered ‘bots–are sort of “good”, or at least …empathic. The humans, even including Decker, however are not so good, but cunning and corrupt, themselves machine-like. PK Dick generally avoided the space-opera cliches–no supremely evil aliens, or cuddly ewok sorts, or Starship Trooper-heroes.
A clockwork orange featured aliens?
My memory must be failing me.
A little in and out maybe…ROFL..FG.
Interesting connection to BR – Horatiox you bring up a very interesting connection there.
Joe in the near term any alien contact will most likely be a deadly virus that could wipe us all out. It is just nature, living things consume what they encounter one way or another. Aliens will be no different.