Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz over the Pentagon’s confirmation that UFOs are a thing. They are supposed to release a report on the issue next month. (We hope they brought in Mulder and Scully as consultants.) The Pentagon confirming the existence of aliens would be just what Earth needs right now. I mean, at this point, it would be hard to be surprised by anything, right? Let’s just hope that our reaction to a potential toilet paper shortage didn’t scare the government away from telling us the truth about UFOs. (Come on, we promise not to panic).
We may not know what real extraterrestrials are out there, but we have many fictional examples to mull over. So what aliens do we hope to make contact with soon, and which ones would we rather stay away from us? Well, we’ve put together this article to answer that burning question. Here are the best and worst fictional alien species (in no particular order) for a first contact scenario:
1. The Vulcans
According to Star Trek, the Vulcans making contact with humanity was the best thing to ever happen to us. They took us from post-apocalyptic squalor to a never-before-seen level of peaceful sophistication within a few decades. In the Star Trek universe, we had to go through a third world war and wait until 2063 to meet the Vulcans and start getting our crap together. It sure would be great if that could happen forty years ahead of schedule.
Vulcans are known for being supremely logical beings who focus on knowledge and wisdom. They figured out how to overcome their violent natures and had eliminated violent domestic conflict by the time they made contact. Despite this, they are capable military strategists who have defended their home-world from multiple alien invasions. We could do worse than to have them as our allies.
2. Heptapods from Arrival
These seven limbed aliens may have seemed like a threat at first but watching linguist Louise Banks figure out how to communicate with them was mesmerizing. Any species willing to patiently learn how to communicate must have something good to offer. The heptapods possess advanced technology and seem to have benevolent intentions towards humanity.
We don’t know much about their culture or home planet, but learning about a new society would be half the fun of meeting aliens. A non-humanoid race would be especially fascinating. The Heptapods seem like the kind of species that could open up whole new frontiers for humanity and help us positively progress our technology and society.
3. The Asogians
Better known as E.T.’s species, the Asogians appear in the famous 1982 movie E.T the Extra-Terrestrial. They also make a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace. Some Star Wars fans consider the Asogians to be a part of the Star Wars universe. The Asogians are sometimes called the Children of the Green Planet, so it sounds like they come from a beautiful place. Fans have speculated that this green planet is located in the Andromeda Galaxy since this would fit with the original movie’s claim that E.T is 3 million light-years from home.
In addition to being an adorable alien who befriends a human child, E.T also has the very useful ability to heal with a touch of his finger. If we assume his entire species possess this gift, it’s not hard to see how contact with the Asgonians could benefit humanity. The potential for empathic connection would make communication and mutual understanding easier (as long as humans could learn to control it). It would also be fun to know that we got our picture of the big-headed alien from a real species.
1. The Borg
When it comes to apocalyptic alien invaders, the Borg are up at the top. Not only do they have incredible weapons and shielding technologies, but they also have experience assimilating hundreds of worlds. We probably wouldn’t be an exception (despite what Star Trek shows).
With alien species that don’t act in a collective, there’s always the possibility that negotiations might be able to take place. Such attempts with the Borg would be, well, futile. Even worse, the Borg act based on the ideology that assimilating other species is good for them. It’s difficult to talk an entire culture out of an idea like that. Also, the idea of being captured and assimilated is even more terrifying than the threat of being killed. Some aliens wipe out entire planets, the Borg enslave entire planets.
2. The Xenomorphs
Xenomorphs have been terrifying sci-fi fans since they first appeared in the original 1979 film, Alien. Monstrous and aggressive Xenomorphs seem to be built for gore. They don’t just hunt humans; they also like to use us as hosts for their parasitic eggs. The baby Xenomorph destroys its human host from the inside out and then bursts out through the chest. As if they needed to be any more dangerous, Xenomorphs also have acidic blood they can use as a weapon.
Xenomorphs are not the most intelligent alien species out there. They’ve been compared with non-human primates. But they seem to operate with a hive-like collective consciousness that lets them coordinate their efforts. Humans can out-think it but only if we’re not paralyzed in terror.
3. The Thing
There’s nothing more frightening than something you can’t really see. No one knows what the natural shape of the alien in John Carpenter’s The Thing looks like. The Thing assimilates any life form it comes into contact with and can imitate that life form convincingly, down to its memories and physical traits. The Thing assimilates life forms through direct contact, but assimilation happens on a cellular level, almost like being infected with a germ.
It acts mainly on instinct but seems able to adopt some of the intelligence of humans and other larger, smarter creatures that it assimilates. It’s also capable of assimilating multiple life forms at once. The characters in the film estimate that if the Thing reached populated areas, the world’s entire population would be assimilated 27,000 hours after first contact. That’s about three years that humanity would have to figure out how to kill it.
It’s not easy to kill. You have to use fire or bombs and completely destroy it. Now imagine that most of Earth is already assimilated. The Thing is like a cross between a monster, a demon, and a virus. In real life, our chances of getting out of this one alive are not great.
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