The Iconic Film ‘Alien’ Came Out 40 Years Ago. A Scientist Explains Why Hollywood Depictions of Extraterrestrials Have Changed Since Then.
Article by Aylin Woodward August 20, 2019 (businessinsider.sg)
• This year marks the 40th anniversary of the film “Alien” by Ridley Scott, where a creature called a ‘xenomorph’ attacks and eats the entire space crew except for Sigourney Weaver’s character. (see ‘Alien’ 1979 movie trailer below) But as movie making has developed and as modern science has changed, so has the industry’s idea of what an alien would probably look like. ‘The days of little green men and giant scaly monsters in alien movies are over.’
• Physicist and author Sidney Perkowitz says that Hollywood attempts to depict what the public is afraid of. In the old days, aliens were scary, unintelligent creatures bent on the destruction of the human race. Dr Strangelove tapped into the public’s anxiety over nuclear holocaust. But Hollywood director’s decisions to make extraterrestrials appear human-like could simply boil down to cost. “Humanoid aliens are cheap to portray,” says Perkowitz.
• Andrew Siemion, the director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center (ie: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) thinks that the chances that alien life would look humanoid is infinitesimal. “We don’t have any reason to believe that they would look anything like us,” says Siemion. “The form of a human being is the result of several billion years of evolution.”
• Today’s scientific thinking is that extraterrestrials will likely be non-humanoid and have compassion for the human race, as depicted in the 2016 movie “Arrival” where Amy Adams’ character learns to communicate with passive, non-humanoid creatures. The destructive aliens have become a viral microbial contagion, such as in Jake Gyllenhaal’s 2017 movie “Life”. But Perkowitz doubts that even dangerous biological entities would likely exist in space. “Nothing lives for pure evil,” Perkowitz insists.
• Modern astrobiologists only expect to find errant microbes in outer space or on alien planets. Perkowitz feels that the decidedly non-human and microbial aliens that are currently in vogue in sci fi movies will help to establish more appropriate expectations for any discovery of life that NASA might make. And if they are falsely depicted as deadly microbes, says Perkowitz, it is only because “Hollywood isn’t concerned with the social responsibility of getting the science right.”
• [Editor’s Note] Hollywood isn’t concerned with the social responsibility of getting the science right? These so called “experts” – a physicist writer and of course the Deep State’s reliable mouthpiece, SETI, have some nerve. They are carrying forward a false propaganda war that has been waged by the Deep State since the 1940’s!
First they mocked the small Grays and the pale Ebens that were covertly recovered at various UFO crash sites in the 40’s and 50’s as “little green men”, which the public adopted as too strange and silly to be believed. Then Hollywood began to depict aliens as scary humanoid creatures to make the public fear and reject any ET presence. Now, the Deep State has altered Hollywood’s game plan to completely erase the possibility that extraterrestrials could be human-like, or even humanoid. At the moment, they want us to believe that there’s nothing out there, and certainly nothing out there to fear.
Well we know that there is good and evil out there, and the evil has had its way with this planet for millennia. And we know that the galaxy and universe is absolutely teeming with intelligent star civilizations of countless varieties of species. In our particular star cluster, the vast majority of these species are, in fact, human-like. The Deep State either intends to stage a false flag invasion by malevolent humanoids, or wants the public to reject and fear any benevolent human-like beings who might come to assist us in our planet’s imminent spiritual transition.
This Deep State can always rely on highly compromised academic and scientific institutions, such as SETI, and its Hollywood propaganda machine to manipulate the public’s conceptions toward its own agenda of casting the extraterrestrials as the scary bad guys and the Deep State as the good guys, so that when spiritual transition begins the people will look to the Deep State Illuminati cabal – the folks who got us into this mess – to save us.
The 1979 blockbuster “Alien” opens with a tension-filled scene: A spider-like creature attacks an astronaut named Thomas Kane on an unknown planet.
The crew of Kane’s ship brings him back on board with the mysterious critter still attached to his spacesuit. Under the fluorescent lights, the creature seems to die, detaching from Kane’s face. When the astronaut eventually wakes up, he seems unharmed by the encounter.
But a miniature alien later bursts out of his chest in a shower of blood as his shocked crewmates scream.
The xenomorph, as it’s called, grows to be larger than any human, with glossy black skin, razor-sharp teeth, claws, and a tail.
In the four decades since “Alien” came out – the film’s 40th anniversary was in May – that creature’s image has influenced moviegoers’ mental pictures of alien life.
But as NASA has embraced the objective of searching for extraterrestrial life in our galaxy, the scientific understanding of what extraterrestrials might look like has converged around a type of lifeform far different from the director Ridley Scott’s brainchild.
Today, astrobiologists suspect that extraterrestrial lifeforms are likely to be microscopic in nature, akin to the bacteria scientists find in extreme environments on Earth.
Hollywood filmmakers have started to embrace this idea and depict aliens as less humanoid, according to the physicist and author Sidney Perkowitz. In other words, the days of little green men and giant scaly monsters in alien movies are over.
“In the old science-fiction flicks of the 1950s and ’60s, if you did an alien, monster, or robot, it was a guy dressed up and stomping around a sound stage,” Perkowitz, who cofounded the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange group, which connects directors with science advisers, told Business Insider. “In the last few decades, CGI has changed that, allowing for the potential of really life-like, imaginative creatures.”
No more little green men
The chance that alien life looks humanoid is infinitesimal.
“We don’t have any reason to believe that they would look anything like us,” Andrew Siemion, the director of the Berkeley SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research Center, told Vox. “The form of a human being is the result of several billion years of evolution.”
Perkowitz said that Scott and other directors’ decisions to make extraterrestrials appear human-like could simply boil down to cost.
“Humanoid aliens are cheap to portray,” he said.
He added that the problem with “Alien” wasn’t just that the movie portrayed the alien as humanoid – it was that the extraterrestrial was depicted as unintelligent and beast-like. The xenomorph doesn’t try to communicate with the astronaut crew; instead, it eats the crew members one by one until Sigourney Weaver’s character blasts it into space.
“It’s hard to imagine a different lifeform would have such a negative reaction to another lifeform – nothing lives for pure evil,” Perkowitz said, adding: “If we always decide that ‘the other’ is hostile or contemptible, how does that encourage our efforts to relate to them?”
But the examples of nonhostile aliens in Hollywood are few and far between (Steven Spielberg’s E.T. notwithstanding). That’s because, according to Perkowitz, society uses film to explore what it’s afraid of.
2:10 minute trailer for the 1979 movie “Alien” (20th Century Fox)
FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.
“Alien” by Ridley Scott, Amy Adams, Andrew Siemion, Berkeley SETI Research Center, Dr Strangelove, Hollywood, Jake Gyllenhaal, NASA, podcast, sci fi movies, Sidney Perkowitz, Sigourney Weaver, xenomorph