Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Aliens and Halloween: Necessary Background

Before we get too far into aliens and what they mean to Halloween, we should start by establishing what an alien actually is.
What is an alien?
Alien derives, ultimately, from the Latin alienus and means that which belongs to something else.  It is that which is foreign to the being experiencing it.  It is strange.  It need not be hostile, but could be.  An alien, in this case an extra-terrestrial, is an organism that is not native to planet Earth.  Once upon a time the common human pop cultural idea of the alien was a "little green man", possibly from Mars, but since the 1980s the most common form of alien believed to exist by the largest portion of the Earth population is the Grey type, often associated with Roswell, New Mexico.  So pervasive is the Grey in human culture that analogs of it exist across popular media.  Even Star Wars has its version, the Duros, purported to be one of the first, if not the actual first, space-faring species.
The Duros equivalent of Neil Armstrong, this guy was the first of his kind to step on every known planet in the galaxy.
In a larger sense aliens are many things, often monsters, as was common in the cinema during the heyday of the drive-in.  They make good monsters, aliens, for they can be highly intelligent threats or blood simple beasts as the plot requires.  The key to most aliens is that they must look non-human, although as our Duros friend there shows, they can have anthropoid body plans and still be alien.
The aptly, if transparently, named Starro!
Starfish aliens are truly alien in form and mindset (see link).  You have aliens that look just like humans but are actually aliens (as in not from Earth, not Earth humans) like Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still.  You have aliens that look very much like humans but for a few key features, like Vulcans and even to an extent Klingons.  These types may even be able to interbreed with humans and produce viable offspring (which is all about that starseed logic of intelligent life being seeded onto planets throughout the cosmos).  Then you have aliens that are basically anthropoids but don't have human features.  You find these sorts of aliens all in Mos Eisley cantina and Jabba's palace in Star Wars.  Indeed Star Wars is full of aliens, like Bossk.
Roddenberry estate, I am prepared to testify as a witness if need be.
Bossk is a Trandoshan and a bounty hunter and not at all related to the Gorn species from Star Trek.  In fact Trandoshan is a Lucasian word that means "immune to lawsuit".  Just a little factoid from the Celtic Pumpkin.
Helpful Alien Recognition Chart

Essentially aliens come in all varieties such as the xenomorph from the film Alien or the lovable ambulatory turd from E.T.  Despite this wide variety the most common alien costumes on the market seem to be of the Roswell Grey type and seem to involve wearing robes.  Space robes, really; but we'll explore that soon enough.

Until then keep the atomic battery in your pumpkinbots charged.


  1. Good work on the Duros. Most Star Wars fans do not know that factoid about them being the first space faring species. Of course, that isn't GL lore and could changed at anytime.

    1. I think you know my feelings on GL lore versus the community of believers we call the EU. I have grown so tired of what is and is not canon, and yet I am as guilty of it as anyone else.
      I chose not to delve into the genetic relationship between the Duros and Nemoidians, all Vulcan-Romulan style, because I loathe the Nemoidians and their pathetically transparent prequel role as a straw man race of space capitalists created by a disingenuous fuck that has made his billions schilling toys for decades and then sold out to a mouse.