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Cerrax

Alien invasion

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So I was watching Independence Day today and the way the aliens are depicted in the movie bothers me. If these creatures are intelligent enough to built massive ships that travel unimaginable distances through space that are equipped with shields, why is their plan of attack so damn stupid?

According to the film, these aliens simply want to eradicate life on Earth and consume its natural resources.

First of all, why wouldn't they simply enslave humanity (and maybe even other species)? There's an awful lot of resources wasted in the destruction of human civilization when it would just be simpler to send down armies and capture all major government installations. That would devastate the chain of command and a leaderless population would fall into anarchy, leaving ample room for a tyrannical regime (the aliens) to take hold.

But for the sake of argument, let's say that they do not understand or have no way of indicating how we organize or react and simply don't want to take chances with revolution and whatnot. So they plan a massively destructive campaign to kill us all.

Why use such big ships? Even though they are shielded, they are still easy targets. Plus the amount of energy needed to keep a ship like that running not to mention generate the energy shield or even move it would be incredible. Powering and arming smaller ships would be easier. Plus then the devastation is only limited to the range of those little spacecraft, not one gigantic laser.

Plus the little ships themselves are pretty stupid. They're not shielded and since they do most of the fighting in the movie, that seems pretty reckless. Plus I find it odd that the ships have such terrible aim. You would think these aliens for the sake of superiority would enhance their pilots with computer systems that not only track targets, but lead them as well and also have guns that are pivot-mounted so that less work has to be done by the pilot to get a good shot. They don't even have any guided weapons! For a race that seems to be heavily based on military superiority, they don't seem to have much to fight with.

Discuss.

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Actually, the attackers were shielded, I guess you didn't watch the movie enough.

As for why? It's Hollywood, man. And you have to admit that a buttload of seventeen mile wide ships coming out of space and parking over our cities would be pretty damn scary.

The resources thing...probably means raw materials. Getting us out of the way so they can use up the arable land and potable water and excavate whatever precious metals and such that they use in their technology.

The books I've read expand on it a lot; they use an awful lot of organic technology in their civilization and they spread their power out through their various ships.

As for why they've never heard of a computer virus, well, I don't think they haven't, but it's like if you took humans from 200 years from now and reintroduced polio. Sure, you've got advanced technology capable of defeating it but first you've got to figure out what the hell it is and that takes time.

The movie dialogue specifically states, while not directly, that David Levinson suspects that once they identify the infection they'll be able to excise it easily, hence there being a window of "a few minutes" during which the energy shields were down.

But on that note, he demonstrated that the shields were up on the attacker they had in area 51, but he walked through them easily to put a Coke can on a ledge inside the shield.

That said, why the hell didn't they just get a bunch of sky cranes and lower nukes down onto the surface of the destroyers instead? With the shields still up it would've reflected the force of the nuclear blast back down into the ships, further destroying them.

Sure, then you've got a shitload of irradiated alien stuff sitting around, but it beats the hell out of doing something stupid like sending a single ship up to their interstellar hive and hoping that your communications expert can break into their network and upload a virus that may not even work.

EDIT: So, to clarify, they're telepathic, they organize into a hive mentality, they are divided into two subspecies (one a controller race and one a warrior race), and they use organic equivalents whenever possible. So it's not too much of a stretch to think that they don't have guided missiles or targeting computers, given that (according to the novels anyway) they have to have three warriors in each ship just to make it fly straight let alone shoot.

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Their apparent lack of weapon variety might be due to the fact that their shield had never been penetrated before. I mean, let's say there's an army in the Middle Ages whose soldiers are protected by some sort of personal shield that makes them completely and utterly invulnerable to outside attack. What possible reason would they have to go and develop anything beyond the bow and arrow, spear, and sword as far as offensive weapons? They can sweep across the world and wipe out every single civilization at that point in time, because even if some army manages to develop the crossbow, or even muskets, that technology is pointless - the invulnerable army will still win, and since their weapons did the job adequately, they'll probably just let the new technology be forgotten rather than bother trying to learn how to use it. After all, learning would cost them time, and when the weapons they have will do the job anyway, it becomes a dead loss of time.

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