What are some alien species from media that interest you?

Thaluikhain

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Hawki said:
How can the orks even be developed though?

I mean, sure, they've got lore over the years, but if you had orks that deviated outside the norm, it would probably be kind of universe breaking, or at the least, not orky.
You do, though. Or at least did, it was explicitly stated that for most orks, being s Stormboy, wearing a uniform and practicing drills together and so on was a phase most adolescent orks grow out of (they are rebelling against being individuals), but then there are some adult orks that keep to the stormboy way for some reason.

Then you have the various different clans and factions of orks which are basically subcultures.

Hawki said:
And what were they discussing?
Eh, I spoiler-ed that bit cause it was something of a reveal in the books. But, what they were doing and talking about was never explored at all. Just that it was a total shock that they had that set-up to begin with.

However, the Beast series (and stuff about Ghazghkull) wasn't just about the orks having massive forces, they aren't behaving as normal orks, they've changed the rules and are working together, and their opponents keep underestimating them because they are used to the old ork ways.
 

Asita

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If they're unfamiliar to me, they're probably interesting to me. With that said, I grow weary of the "human but" variations. This is not to say that they can't be interesting, but that it requires a decent hook to make them interesting to me.

Let's take Star Wars as a case in point. The franchise has some nice variety with their alien designs, but it also has its share of "human but..." races. Mirialans, for instance, are summed up as "human but green", and that's the extent of their alien nature. And that's phenomenally dull to me. On the other hand, Star Wars also has the Miraluka, which are "human but eyeless". This race comes with a hook, however. Owing to the conditions of their homeworld, eyes became a vestigial trait for their species, and they evolved to the point that the entire species simply sees through the Force. Which is a simple but fascinating concept, both in its implications for the race's culture and in the simple logistics of it. Would a species whose people have only ever seen through space magic even have a concept of field of vision? Can they read a computer screen? Focus their sight on something miles away? The questions keep coming and it makes me want to know more about them. For me this is a "human but" race done right.
 

Silvanus

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skywolfblue said:
I always found Xenomorphs to be absurdly implausible. Especially their life cycle.
Perhaps, but there are plenty of species right here on Earth in the real world with implausible life cycles. They happen.

"Life finds a way", as Jeff Goldblum would say, but it often does so in an unnecessarily convoluted or oft self-defeating manner.
 

Xprimentyl

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Silvanus said:
skywolfblue said:
I always found Xenomorphs to be absurdly implausible. Especially their life cycle.
Perhaps, but there are plenty of species right here on Earth in the real world with implausible life cycles. They happen.

"Life finds a way", as Jeff Goldblum would say, but it often does so in an unnecessarily convoluted or oft self-defeating manner.
Correct me if I?m wrong, but alongside being inspired by the abhorrent act of rape, wasn?t their reproductive method also inspired by the species of wasp that lays their eggs inside of roaches, and the larvae subsequently eat their way out of the living host? *shiver*
 

RJ 17

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Hawki said:
RJ 17 said:
Yautja (Predators).
Gotta love a race of intergalactic serial killers with advanced technology and a code of honor.
Um...do you?

This isn't so much directed to you, but AvP fandom in general. Like, I get why people find the yautja "kewl." What I don't get is why so many people see them as being anything other than what you describe.

Yes, the yautja have a code of honour. They're still a race of serial killers that hunt sapient beings, human or otherwise. On ff.net, there's a plenthora of humanxyautja fics (why? Just, why?), and even in tie-in fiction, I've noticed a trend of humanizing the yautja. And while nothing I describe above prevents the yautja from having an in-depth culture, it still doesn't change how their culture is pretty repugnant when you get down to it. Even when we get a "good" yautja in 'The Predator', he still murders numerous people, even stringing them up, when all he'd have to do was just drop off his gear and bug out.
The funny thing about fan-fic is that you can find plenty examples of "wow...really?" for pretty much anything. I do fully agree that the whole "humanize the pred" or all that "the enemy of my enemy" crap is just ridiculous because - indeed - at their core they're murderers. Alien hunters that make sport out of killing other sapient beings. They're not meant to be "the good guys" in any way, shape, or form. This is why the AvP games work so well (for me, at least): when you play as the Predator you're not teaming up with anyone, you're on a kill-everything-in-your-path mission. Except for the classic arcade beat'em up...but that's just a very well made beat'em up so it still gets a pass.

That said, the main reason I like them so much is their concept and design. The code of honor means that they actually aren't just out their slaughtering inferior species, the entire point of the hunt is for the yautja to prove its worth as both a hunter and a warrior. The bigger the challenge and harder the fight, the more glory the predator receives. In terms of design, those masks and dreadlocks go a long way. The wristblades, shoulder cannon, and all the other weapons at its disposal are fantastic.

Also I just really like the clicky sounds they make.
 

Thaluikhain

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Xprimentyl said:
Silvanus said:
skywolfblue said:
I always found Xenomorphs to be absurdly implausible. Especially their life cycle.
Perhaps, but there are plenty of species right here on Earth in the real world with implausible life cycles. They happen.

"Life finds a way", as Jeff Goldblum would say, but it often does so in an unnecessarily convoluted or oft self-defeating manner.
Correct me if I?m wrong, but alongside being inspired by the abhorrent act of rape, wasn?t their reproductive method also inspired by the species of wasp that lays their eggs inside of roaches, and the larvae subsequently eat their way out of the living host? *shiver*
Not roaches, but yeah, there are wasps like that. Also wasps that just paralyse their prey and seal them up with their eggs to eat later.

However, xenomorphs go rather beyond that.

(Also, it annoys me a bit that "xenomorph" is the term for them in particular, rather than a generic term for all sorts of things, the way the word was introduced in Aliens)
 

Redneck Gamer

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My favorite aliens. This should be a fun list.

The Colours out of Space: I mean what is not incredible about these things? Big blobs of strange and alien colors that seem to have no mind and purpose, or idea of the damage it causes. There's hardly something more alien.

The Great Race of Yith: A whole race of amoral librarians that stop at nothing to gain knowledge, and even share it with humans. They just erase their minds later of all the knowledge.

The Necromorph: Just what the hell are these things? murdering monsters made of alien DNA from corpses by other alien creatures, and spawned by lovecraftian markers. The markers help their creation but there is something beyond in their origin that could have been great to explore. Freaking EA....

Star Wars Togruta: The females are sexy, they're a fierce predatory race, and I thought Asohka was a cool character.

Krogan, Drell, and Quarian: all 3 are great races, Krogans are tough as tanks and I did like 3's hinting the Krogan were going to have a cultural Renaissance. The Quarians are a resourceful gypsy race victims of their own hubris, and the whole trapped in their suit idea was great. I wish they looked more alien under the helmet though. Drell seem to have an amazing culture, and I'm more curious of their religion.

Elder Things: They don't even come close to looking like anything that should exist, and they've warred with just about everything across the Lovecraft mythos.
 

Asita

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Redneck Gamer said:
Krogan, Drell, and Quarian: all 3 are great races, Krogans are tough as tanks and I did like 3's hinting the Krogan were going to have a cultural Renaissance. The Quarians are a resourceful gypsy race victims of their own hubris, and the whole trapped in their suit idea was great. I wish they looked more alien under the helmet though. Drell seem to have an amazing culture, and I'm more curious of their religion.
Eh, I must dispute the characterization of the Quarians as "victims of their own hubris". They weren't playing god or trying to do something beyond their means. What they were doing was no different in principle than any virtual intelligence developer, they just did it far better than they'd anticipated (much to their horror) and made the mistake of trying to pull the plug when they realized it had advanced as far as it had. It was a mistake born of fear, but "hubris" doesn't really describe it.
 

Hawki

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RJ 17 said:
The funny thing about fan-fic is that you can find plenty examples of "wow...really?" for pretty much anything.
You can, but a lot of the time, you can get why.

Since everyone is mentioning 40K, let's take the idea of humanxeldar. I can get why from the physical standpoint (eldar can be considered attractive by human standards), and from an in-universe standpoint, it can follow the trope of "true wuv overcomes prejudice." Realistically, most eldar would likely be disgusted by the idea, but it can at least work from an out of universe standpoint and in-universe.

In contrast, humanxyautja. From an out of universe standpoint, who the hell is going to get jacked off by humans and yautja screwing each other? I can't speak for everyone, but yautja look monstrous - try to kiss them, you'll get your lips bitten off. And in-universe, there's similarly no rationale, because humans and yautja are going to find each other hidious to look at (there's in-universe precedent for both of these perspectives), they can barely communicate, and humans have every reason to hate yautja, and yautja have every reason to see humans as prey. So I can't think of any in-universe or out of universe precedent for the desire to write such stuff.
 

Gatx

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I've been thinking lately that our search for alien life is too narrow, like we're looking for radio signals and what not because we assume that intelligence is ultimate goal of an advanced civilization but that's just what happened on our planet. Maybe on some other planet, sharp teeth and big muscles are what puts a species on top. To that effect, I think the Arachnids from Starship Troopers are conceptually very interesting. They're an alien race on the level of humanity in that they are the dominant life form in their corner of the galaxy and they have evolved an entirely different means than humans to travel through space, yet they are so fundamentally different as a species that negotiating with them would be nearly impossible. They might not even understand the concept of negotiation let alone even WANT to.

I've also been getting tired of approaches like Star Wars or even Mass Effect, where the alien species essentially are just like humans but with various culture sliders adjusted. These guys are super violent! These guys are super smart but physically weak! They're also weirdly monocultural. When you consider humanity, we already have groups that live completely differently from one another. People who live in the U.S. are weirded out by Asian and even British foods and vice-a-versa. Hell, even people who live in other regions of the United States think Cincinnati chili is weird, and you're telling me that this other species that has just a large a planet that they've inhabited for just as long as we have on ours just have no cultural diversity?
 

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Gatx said:
I've been thinking lately that our search for alien life is too narrow, like we're looking for radio signals and what not because we assume that intelligence is ultimate goal of an advanced civilization but that's just what happened on our planet. Maybe on some other planet, sharp teeth and big muscles are what puts a species on top. To that effect, I think the Arachnids from Starship Troopers are conceptually very interesting. They're an alien race on the level of humanity in that they are the dominant life form in their corner of the galaxy and they have evolved an entirely different means than humans to travel through space, yet they are so fundamentally different as a species that negotiating with them would be nearly impossible. They might not even understand the concept of negotiation let alone even WANT to.

I've also been getting tired of approaches like Star Wars or even Mass Effect, where the alien species essentially are just like humans but with various culture sliders adjusted. These guys are super violent! These guys are super smart but physically weak! They're also weirdly monocultural. When you consider humanity, we already have groups that live completely differently from one another. People who live in the U.S. are weirded out by Asian and even British foods and vice-a-versa. Hell, even people who live in other regions of the United States think Cincinnati chili is weird, and you're telling me that this other species that has just a large a planet that they've inhabited for just as long as we have on ours just have no cultural diversity?
It would be really fun to have a predator movie but about the rest of their society who views the hunters and just the backwards rednecks of their species.
 

Catfood220

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Xprimentyl said:
Between the mix of sci-fi and the macabre, I?ve always been partial to the Borg from Start Trek, at least until they introduced the Queen who was a prototypical villain and removed most of the ambivalence and mystery from the species.
I want to know why for a species that is apparently constantly striving for perfection, The Borg have settled for spaceships that have barely functional lights and are full of steam. Not to mention that The Borg themselves seem to have stuck with a clunky cyborb design that seems to be from 1970-something. I know its to make them seem intimidating and scary, but surely sterile white rooms with drones that look more like humans or aliens (depending on who they've assimilated) with slight visable cyborb enhancements. That to me would make The Borg seem more scary than what they went with.

Maybe I've over thought this.
 
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Gatx said:
I've also been getting tired of approaches like Star Wars or even Mass Effect, where the alien species essentially are just like humans but with various culture sliders adjusted. These guys are super violent! These guys are super smart but physically weak! They're also weirdly monocultural. When you consider humanity, we already have groups that live completely differently from one another. People who live in the U.S. are weirded out by Asian and even British foods and vice-a-versa. Hell, even people who live in other regions of the United States think Cincinnati chili is weird, and you're telling me that this other species that has just a large a planet that they've inhabited for just as long as we have on ours just have no cultural diversity?
I remember reading an article many years ago that pondered this. The author came to the conclusion that it was basically 1 of 4 possibilities.

1) As each race makes contact with other species in the galaxy, they cling to an idea of just what it is that makes their race unique. Specific cultural concepts get elevated and become the standard for that particular specie's self-perception leading to a homogenization of the planet's culture as a whole.

2) By the time a species advances far enough along to make full colonies outside of their home system and create a working interplanetary government, one culture in particular is most likely going to have "won out", probably even back by the time the species was creating a single government for their home world.

3) There actually is cultural variety within each species but the scope of individual story is too limited to delve into such ideas on anything other than the most cursory level.

Or, the ever-popular 4) writers can be really lazy bastards.
 

Hawki

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Worgen said:
It would be really fun to have a predator movie but about the rest of their society who views the hunters and just the backwards rednecks of their species.
Someone's been watching Movie Bob.

That said, while I actually like the idea of yautja who don't follow the Hunt (and I'm not talking about Bad Bloods), I really dislike this idea - the idea that every yautja we've seen is the equivalent of a 'red neck.' It basically anthropomorphizes the yautja. Humans certainly hunt for sport as well, but as a species, we're not based around it, and hunting for sport is often frowned upon. Having the yautja follow a similar paradigm robs them of their alienness.

davidmc1158 said:
I like the in-universe explanations. That said, I think ascribing it to laziness is a bit simple. It's hard enough to build a single culture from the ground up, let alone multiple cultures. And when you consider that a lot of media has a set running time (e.g. films, movies), it's even more difficult.

It's something I've noticed as well, but a lot of the time, I wouldn't ascribe it to laziness.
 
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Hawki said:
I like the in-universe explanations. That said, I think ascribing it to laziness is a bit simple. It's hard enough to build a single culture from the ground up, let alone multiple cultures. And when you consider that a lot of media has a set running time (e.g. films, movies), it's even more difficult.

It's something I've noticed as well, but a lot of the time, I wouldn't ascribe it to laziness.
lol JMS, back when he was getting Babylon 5 off the ground (pardon the pun), swore that he wasn't going to have "Star-Trek-style" aliens in HIS show! Nosirree! No prosthesis glued onto an actor's nose and calling it an alien! They were going to be done properly!

"Then we had to start producing the show on a weekly schedule . . . . . .Yeah, we had to make nose prosthesis aliens." - JMS (paraphrased)

If it's that much of a fight just to get the appearances down for a show, then it's no wonder that the culture that the viewer gets to see gets developed over the course of multiple seasons on any show.
 

Worgen

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Hawki said:
Worgen said:
It would be really fun to have a predator movie but about the rest of their society who views the hunters and just the backwards rednecks of their species.
Someone's been watching Movie Bob.

That said, while I actually like the idea of yautja who don't follow the Hunt (and I'm not talking about Bad Bloods), I really dislike this idea - the idea that every yautja we've seen is the equivalent of a 'red neck.' It basically anthropomorphizes the yautja. Humans certainly hunt for sport as well, but as a species, we're not based around it, and hunting for sport is often frowned upon. Having the yautja follow a similar paradigm robs them of their alienness.

davidmc1158 said:
I like the in-universe explanations. That said, I think ascribing it to laziness is a bit simple. It's hard enough to build a single culture from the ground up, let alone multiple cultures. And when you consider that a lot of media has a set running time (e.g. films, movies), it's even more difficult.

It's something I've noticed as well, but a lot of the time, I wouldn't ascribe it to laziness.
I do watch movie bob but I mostly got the idea from Predator College.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsR2hAYEQ7U
 

Xprimentyl

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Catfood220 said:
Xprimentyl said:
Between the mix of sci-fi and the macabre, I?ve always been partial to the Borg from Start Trek, at least until they introduced the Queen who was a prototypical villain and removed most of the ambivalence and mystery from the species.
I want to know why for a species that is apparently constantly striving for perfection, The Borg have settled for spaceships that have barely functional lights and are full of steam. Not to mention that The Borg themselves seem to have stuck with a clunky cyborb design that seems to be from 1970-something. I know its to make them seem intimidating and scary, but surely sterile white rooms with drones that look more like humans or aliens (depending on who they've assimilated) with slight visable cyborb enhancements. That to me would make The Borg seem more scary than what they went with.

Maybe I've over thought this.
Ah, therein lies a good chunk of what makes them so intriguing! See, to your puny, barely evolved mind, ?perfection? includes an aesthetic quality. No, NO! The Borg cannot be bothered appealing to things as paltry and pointless as aesthetics; they are machines, and machines have no use for emotional drivers. Perfection is knowledge. Perfection is power. Perfection is efficiency. Perfection is objective. They either completely and utterly dismiss your entire civilization like a mere drop in the celestial ocean, or you?re assimilated, the cold, clinical, calculated process wherein you, a slab of meat, are forced into the Collective, a new, greater whole? And more chilling, the Borg weren?t, technically speaking, ?evil,? no more evil than you or I are when we test fresh produce before making it into a salad. Vegetables ARE a form of life, but we consider them so much lesser than what we deem to be sentient life; they are things, beneath us, as the Borg would consider you or I.

Then they added the Queen, and suddenly the Borg became a collective of mindless drones spearheaded by a prototypical, emotional villain. Then Voyager added species 8472; now, not only were the Borg robots being run by a turbo *****, they?d finally met their superior. Nah, I prefer them at their apex during the TNG when they, save for the Q, were the king ding-a-lings of the universe and their presence sent ships (futilely) scattering like roaches with the lights coming on.
 

Hawki

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davidmc1158 said:
lol JMS, back when he was getting Babylon 5 off the ground (pardon the pun), swore that he wasn't going to have "Star-Trek-style" aliens in HIS show! Nosirree! No prosthesis glued onto an actor's nose and calling it an alien! They were going to be done properly!

"Then we had to start producing the show on a weekly schedule . . . . . .Yeah, we had to make nose prosthesis aliens." - JMS (paraphrased)

If it's that much of a fight just to get the appearances down for a show, then it's no wonder that the culture that the viewer gets to see gets developed over the course of multiple seasons on any show.
Have to say, B5 does have pretty good makeup, especially for its time. Like, sure, you get the centauri, but you have stuff like the narn, vorlons, and Shadows, looking and/or sounding completely alien. Far more than Star Trek's approach of "here's a guy with pointy ears, alien!"

Also, as you touch on, B5 has the benefit of being set with a relatively small group of species that we get to see developed, whereas Star Trek has many one-off species that barely get to be developed.