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View Full Version : Go against the grain: a new plot device



LordAnubis
August 30th, 2004, 08:49 PM
You know how sci-fi tends to get formulaic? You know, like how there is always a formula that translates to good guys fight the bad guys and win despite losses?

The bad guys are usually the "aliens" and the good guys are often humans. The one thing I liked about Star Wars is that the bad guys were humans -- think about it, for the most part, the Empire was comprised of humans, human clones, and human-sith. Aliens were "inferior".

It would be cool to have a sci-fi series/movie where humans from Earth have achieved an advanced level of technology and go off to explore the galaxy. However, instead of being benevolent explorers like the Federation or SG-1/SG-A, they are evil and imperialistic. When the encounter aliens, they conquer, kill, and destroy. It would be a nice change to see humans being the baddies for once.

It reminds me of a book I read once where the US sends another manned mission to the darkside of the moon. There, they find a flag with a Nazi swastika on it and a plaque/memorial from the 1940s dedicating the site to Der Fuehrer. In the book, a UFO crashed in the black forrest in Germany in the 1940s and the SS retrieved the wreck including two survivors -- Roswell-type grays. The SS interrogated the aliens, tortured them, and began to learn about their pacifist society. They also began to reverse engineer the ship.

Finally, they were able to repair the ship, learn the location of the alien homeworld, and sent elite Waffen-SS troops to conquer the aliens and leave Earth since the war was lost by then.

I don't remember a lot more than that, but I think the Nazis eventually created a huge empire in space and then were going to come back to Earth to reclaim their homeworld.

Anyway, sorry for rambling...it's late! :eek:

FieryHands
August 30th, 2004, 09:39 PM
The closest thing on TV I can remember as if this moment is an episode of Farscape where John goes home and his friends accidentally follow him. They get caught and locked up and Rygel ends up dissected. But given what you just described, the ending was a bit of a cop out.

Closest anyone gets is an evil government conspiracy/organization like the Initiative, but there will always be some good human to balance it out. I guess they think viewers can't believe "evil humanity". As if. :p

Bast
August 31st, 2004, 01:33 AM
I tend to believe that Video game stories are more saphesticated then movie and television ones, Starwars KOTOR had a better surprising story then the last two recent starwars movies. Unlike a movie you could decide weither the good guys or bad guys won heck you could become the bad guy at anytime.
Id like to see a show about a reverse alien invasion were the Humans were out to invade a alien world and were the villains, The Good guys are the aliens trying to save their planet.

As for the nazis I think they have been overdone by Hollywood especially in SCi FI genre , lets go for some Communist or even how about a universe were the Confederates won the civil war and the U.S becomes a militaristic state that invades other civilizations to acquire new slaves to sell and trade on the market.

ibwolf
August 31st, 2004, 01:53 AM
Spoilers for Babylon 5 In Babylon 5 Earthdome (humans) became the bad guys after the vice president had the president assassinated so he could take power. It eventually led to a civil war.

Tok'Ra Hostess
August 31st, 2004, 03:59 AM
Id like to see a show about a reverse alien invasion were the Humans were out to invade a alien world and were the villains, The Good guys are the aliens trying to save their planet.

Good luck trying to find one. Books, OTOH, do that scenario more often. One that springs to mind is Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.




As for the nazis I think they have been overdone by Hollywood especially in SCi FI genre , lets go for some Communist or even how about a universe were the Confederates won the civil war and the U.S becomes a militaristic state that invades other civilizations to acquire new slaves to sell and trade on the market.

That's called Alternate History, and again, there's plenty of books that go that route. It would take a really well done, popular alt history novel to make it to the big screen, though, or viewers wouldn't get the point. Off hand, I can't think of any such (really popular)novel.

And even then, they'd probably make the alt humans the good guys. :rolleyes:

FieryHands
August 31st, 2004, 10:02 AM
Oh well, if you're talking books, that's different--there is pretty much a vast ocean between what is considered a good scifi movie and what is considered a scifi book. TV and movies tend to stick to a very mainstream approach to most scifi tales and pushing the limits usually means turning a formula on its head than say, taking on a huge moral issue and following it through to its inevitable nasty end. There's always the exceptions though.

Whitster
August 31st, 2004, 12:40 PM
Wasn't the mythology behind Firefly something about the american civil war recreated in space? and if I remember rightly the main protaganinists were on the confederate (equivelant) side. :S Yeah wonder why that show failed. :cool: :cool:

Wyrminarrd
August 31st, 2004, 02:28 PM
It would be cool to have a TV series where humans are the bad guys. However the main heroes would have to be humans rebeling against the government or the executives at the TV stations would never green light it.

Personally Iīd be hapy just to see a series where humans arenīt good guys but instead are just thinking about whatīs best for them and them alone.

B5 spoilers in the next paragraph:

This is in response to ibwolfs statement about humans being evil in the series. Now I donīt think they qualify as the kind of evil he was talking about at the start of the thread. Earth gov while it was under some bad people they as a whole were more of the "We donīt care about the rest of the universe and are just going to mind our own business". In the show we never saw them try and conquer other races or do out right wrong on a species scale.

LordAnubis
August 31st, 2004, 04:12 PM
It would be cool to have a TV series where humans are the bad guys. However the main heroes would have to be humans rebeling against the government or the executives at the TV stations would never green light it.

Personally Iīd be hapy just to see a series where humans arenīt good guys but instead are just thinking about whatīs best for them and them alone.

B5 spoilers in the next paragraph:

This is in response to ibwolfs statement about humans being evil in the series. Now I donīt think they qualify as the kind of evil he was talking about at the start of the thread. Earth gov while it was under some bad people they as a whole were more of the "We donīt care about the rest of the universe and are just going to mind our own business". In the show we never saw them try and conquer other races or do out right wrong on a species scale.
I think you're right, they weren't really all that evil, just greedy. When I say evil, I mean EVIL...baddies. Think mean, nasty, advanced, with cool uniforms, deadly weapons, fast ships, and just all out bad. Like space Nazis or something. Think of the most evil of humanity, give them tech and ships and see how aliens fare against them.

Whitster
September 1st, 2004, 05:13 AM
The closest thing on TV I can remember as if this moment is an episode of Farscape where John goes home and his friends accidentally follow him. They get caught and locked up and Rygel ends up dissected. But given what you just described, the ending was a bit of a cop out.

Come on that episode wasn't that bad of a cop out. Hell if it wasn't for that episode the plot up until the end of seson 3 would have been non-existant. :rolleyes:

Tok'Ra Hostess
September 1st, 2004, 05:56 AM
I think you're right, they weren't really all that evil, just greedy. When I say evil, I mean EVIL...baddies. Think mean, nasty, advanced, with cool uniforms, deadly weapons, fast ships, and just all out bad. Like space Nazis or something. Think of the most evil of humanity, give them tech and ships and see how aliens fare against them.

The leaders of Earth have historically been bad guys - Alexander the so-called Great, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, the British, Dutch, French, Spanish, American etc trade empires.

You could have biker gang space wars, or Mafia wars. Hell's heavenly Angels.... They could save Earth to keep it safe for their own criminal activities. To keep it safe for the pimps, the arms dealers, the drug cartel.

The Opium wars would make a perfect template from which to grow a series where the bad guys are humans. Even the "good" humans could have the imperialistic attitudes that support the evil militaristic trading empire: Maybe there's an alien civilisation that, like China during the Boxer rebellion, is perfect for growing and selling a horrible sort of drug with terrible consequences for what was once a strong society.

FieryHands
September 1st, 2004, 02:56 PM
Come on that episode wasn't that bad of a cop out. Hell if it wasn't for that episode the plot up until the end of seson 3 would have been non-existant. :rolleyes:


True true, but it turned out John is just a pessimist when its comes to his own people. But the point is the events on the false earth in AHR didn't happen in season four and humanity came off as just naive and ethnocentric, rather than an actual threat to the aliens. John made that clear when he told the visiting humans on Moya not to make any sudden moves in front of his crewmates, opposed to AHR where he worried about his friends' safety at the hands of Wilson.

Aw crap, you got me started on Farscape! :p

LordAnubis
September 1st, 2004, 03:41 PM
The leaders of Earth have historically been bad guys - Alexander the so-called Great, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, the British, Dutch, French, Spanish, American etc trade empires.

You could have biker gang space wars, or Mafia wars. Hell's heavenly Angels.... They could save Earth to keep it safe for their own criminal activities. To keep it safe for the pimps, the arms dealers, the drug cartel.

The Opium wars would make a perfect template from which to grow a series where the bad guys are humans. Even the "good" humans could have the imperialistic attitudes that support the evil militaristic trading empire: Maybe there's an alien civilisation that, like China during the Boxer rebellion, is perfect for growing and selling a horrible sort of drug with terrible consequences for what was once a strong society.
I kinda think you mised the point :( <sigh>

I'm talking about sci-fi, not historical Earth. ya, we had some bad guys on Earth, but I'm talking about humans being the baddies for once. I wanna see HUMAN star destroys, shock troops, death squads, extermination camps, torture squads. i wanna see this in context with Roswell greys or some other alien race. We have more advanced tech for once. We have no morals and dont' give a rat's a$$ about Geneva conventions or "the right thing to do". We just march in, all bad-like, shoot stuff up, conquer, and kill.

I'm being extreme, but you get the point. Humans are almost always the weakest, less technologically advanced, lamest physical abilities, dumbest, and usually good/honest, or bumbling.

Tok'Ra Hostess
September 2nd, 2004, 05:15 AM
I kinda think you mised the point :( <sigh>

I'm talking about sci-fi, not historical Earth. ya, we had some bad guys on Earth, but I'm talking about humans being the baddies for once. I wanna see HUMAN star destroys, shock troops, death squads, extermination camps, torture squads. i wanna see this in context with Roswell greys or some other alien race. We have more advanced tech for once. We have no morals and dont' give a rat's a$$ about Geneva conventions or "the right thing to do". We just march in, all bad-like, shoot stuff up, conquer, and kill.

I'm being extreme, but you get the point. Humans are almost always the weakest, less technologically advanced, lamest physical abilities, dumbest, and usually good/honest, or bumbling.

Uh, no, I think you missed my point, which was that there is plenty of believable precedent for creating a SF universe where the humans are the bad guys and the aliens are their victims. I suggested the historical opium wars as a template for creating a believable scenario where humans greedily and violently exploit aliens, and I took it even further - you know, giving the story an actual plot amidst the general cruelty and blowing everything to h*ll. :D