This week, we’re going to have a look at the major sci-fi staple; Aliens. The main thing I want to look at is why we seem to identify best with humanoids. If we look at the best loved and most famous aliens from sci-fi history, Predator, Chewbacca, the Klingons, E.T etc. they are very easily identifiable as humanoids, bipedal, human forms, all features (mouth, eyes, nose (usually), hands, feet) all in places we’d expect to be. Even the less humanoid aliens, such as the Aliens or Jabba The Hutt have some humanoid features with few bits taken away, like the humanoid rear legs on Jabba (but he still has very human arms) or the human-like head/ face on the Aliens, which is the bit that makes them so scary, as we humans seek emotion from the face, so removing the face makes the Aliens emotionless and unnerving. The only major alien that has no humanoid features, that I can think of off the top of my head, would be the Daleks, and we can argue semantics over whether the Daleks count as full aliens or cyborgs, because of the pepper-pot mobility suit, but even there they were engineered by a humanoid from humanoids, which is meant to be (alongside the Cybermen) a metaphor for the dangers of surgical enhancement, by making them less human they become more scary.
Anyway, I’ll let you guys take over now. Why do you think we identify better with aliens that are more human? Can you think of any famous non-humanoid aliens that are worthy of major note that I’ve missed? And who/ what is your favourite alien?