All our famous speculation of visitors from outer space predict a superior being with advanced technology who will humiliate the human race despite all of our incredible advances. This fact is documented by so much of our science fiction. They are huge, they can read our minds, they know our strategies for defeating them even before we have devised them. We are helpless to compete. We think too little of ourselves. What if we’ve underestimated our abilities and grossly overestimated what has evolved in the far reaches of space. Just because the aliens have travelled an incomprehensible distance, does that mean they have to be smart? “Morons from Outer Space” looks at aliens not as a superior being whose advanced technology has brought them here, but instead it sees aliens as a discarded toilet seat that gets stuck in an unlikely current to cross the Pacific and end up on a beach in California.
Interest in life from outer space can best be proven by our love of all things “Star Wars.” Luke and Leia are international stars, proving that even in outer space, the underdog has a chance to make sure that truth and justice prevail. The film series sees no sign of slowing down now that Disney is churning out new stories that fill in all the empty spaces of the Star Wars universe – and it is a vast universe of advanced technology, oppressive powers and incredibly human values.
H.G. Wells helped to paint the picture of the conquering aliens when he wrote “War of the Worlds.” The story of superior aliens bringing humanity to its knees rang so true with average Americans that the radio adaptation from Orson Welles sent panicked audiences into the streets seeking refuge from the onslaught.
The image of the superior alien wreaking havoc on humanity litters the sci-fi genre. Will Smith fights off aliens in epically enormous battle behemoths in the “Independence Day” franchise. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” examined the horror of the physiological advanced alien who takes over our cities by taking over our individual bodies. The terrifying scream from Donald Sutherland’s alien infested throat embodies the total and complete alien take over. Marty McFly even takes advantage of humanity’s fear of the technologically advanced alien in “Back the the Future.” Claiming to be “Darth Vader” from the planet “Vulcan,” he tricks his dad, George, into believing the walkman-equipped alien from another planet. Sigourney Weaver’s famous quip to the evil invader in “Alien” seemed to sum up humanity’s reaction to the impending invasion from another planet.
The alien invader has occupied so much celluloid that there are a fair number of great spoofs to the idea. Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” takes every opportunity to poke fun at the “Star Wars” franchise. 1999’s “Galaxy Quest” pokes fun at the “Star Trek” series when a group of actors, trained in nothing important, find themselves saving an alien race in reality. These spoof films have made fun of the idea of the alien invasion film, but they do little to debunk the idea that aliens are up to no good.
“Morons from Outer Space” questions our whole premise, and it makes us laugh at ourselves in the process. What if the aliens we fear are not advanced, but extremely limited? What if they made a wrong turn at Andromeda on the way to the store and landed on Earth. “Morons from Outer Space” answers “Star Wars” the same way “Airplane!” answered the “Airport” franchise. When asked, “are you from another planet?” these aliens do not claim to come in peace, instead they respond, “no, we come from our planet, not another one.” Humanity suffers only self-inflicted damage when it attempts to thwart the evil plans of this planning-challenged group of green men.
What if our imagination about aliens from another planet has led us astray. What if we’ve been underestimating ourselves? “Morons from Outer Space” both bolsters our position in the imagined universe, but it also points out how silly it may be to question our own advancements.
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