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Why the Aliens in Battleship were the Good Guys - A Pirateship Movie Overanalysis

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  • Why the Aliens in Battleship were the Good Guys - A Pirateship Movie Overanalysis

    I was watching Battleship on DVD when I couldn't help noticing something that actually popped into my head during the first viewing but was now an idea that became more reinforced. Namely that the aliens in Battleship weren't really bad guys. Every single aspect of their behavior seems to scream otherwise.

    This isn't the first time I've had to rise to the defense of movie villains whome the sheeple public have labeled as villains simply because the credits told them so. The Galactic Empire remains on of the most egregious cases of propaganda against "evil" organizations that actually weren't so bad. Now I make my case for the aliens.

    The producers of Battleship would like to spin the story as one of mankind staving off an "extinction event" against an overtly hostile alien agressor. But were they really so hostile? Let's review:

    The first casualties ever inflicted by the aliens were caused by a crash from one of their spacecraft. Casued solely by Earth's junky orbital traffic. Not a hostile act. When the aliens land, what do they do? Why set up shop and.....wait. They do absolutely nothing besides sit there and deploy a force field which inflicts one casualty only because the pilot of the fighter plane doesn't see an energy field with an optically solid consistancy as something he maybe might not want to fly into.

    There the aliens sit and continue to sit until the humans start screwing with them. It is only after the humans actually fire on them that they return fire.

    But that first shot was just a warning shot! You say. To us, yeah. We know a shot across the bow is Navy for pull the over. All the aliens understand is that YOU SHOT AT THEM. That it missed only indicates you have bad aim.

    And when the aliens do respond they begin with a limited barrage. Only after persistant attack do they volley fire and sink their targets. And the moment the cruiser backs off, they stop.

    And it's not just their navy that employs very restricted rules of engagement. So do their marines. When retrieving a wounded comrade they use only enough force to subdue their enemy. While even a SWAT team will simply cuff everyone before sorting wolves from sheep, these guys will flat out ignore anyone who isn't a threat. When they sieze the comm building their aggesssion level is so lax that they will allow civvies to wander right the heck in and take office supplies. Won't even bother them. As long as they aren't violent. Marines in Afghanistan aren't that lax about civilians in security zones.

    All these guys are doing is phoning home. But Hollywood propaganda says they're the villains. What evidence do they present? There are only two points of consideration.

    One: a brief flickering telepathic message that MIGHT be hinting at an invasion. Really it's too brief to know for sure. For all we know the captive alien was warning the humans of another invading force which he was trying to protect them from. We don't know. The only other point is where the aliens seem to muder-zorb a freeway. This is the only engagement recorded against a noncombatant target. As severing the freeway served no real strategic function that could just as easily have been a zorb-drone malfunction. Again, we don't know and no one stops shooting at the aliens long enough to ask. Because aliens are always bad and even if all they do is befriend children: expect to be used for medical experimentation.

    All the evidence ever suggests is that the aliens are a professional military force trying to establish communication with their home planet. They could be lost. They could be friendly. They could have vats full of cures for AIDS and cancer in those barges of theirs. And they don't bother anyone who doesn't bother them. But the US Navy hates them some quill faces so screw figuring out their intentions: let's just send them to Davey Jones' locker!

    This has been a Pirateship Movie Overanalysis!
    Last edited by Pirateship1982; 02 Oct 12, 22:39.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Could easily be interpreted as not friendly.

    1. The response to receiving a message should have been a return message long before attempting contact.

    2. Ships designed for such long range travel would have either been shielded against space junk or would have had superior methods of detecting and deflecting them.

    3. For being unable to detect them with radar when on the surface, how was it that they were so detectable while in space?

    4. Since radar couldn't lock onto the ships, how could it lock on to the incoming mortars?

    5. When did they pick up the alien before others came to the rescue?

    6. Why the huge shield? Why did it bypass the fleet so easily yet encompass Oahu?

    7. Why send out the shredder to tear up the freeway?

    8. Why no defense against the shredder that attacked the destroyer after it took out the three smaller alien ship?

    9. Why were the mortars unguided?

    10. The BB turret, designed to withstand 16 inch shell hits, too easily damaged by the mortars.

    11. Being so tough, how was it so easy to take out the shredders with air to air missiles?

    It's just a movie full of the usual flaws. Other then having limited fuel and 16 inch ammo aboard the battleship, which as a museum ship it doesn't, the movie wasn't that badly done.

    Edit, if you watch the credits all the way through, there was an escape pod that landed in Scotland. Some locals cut it open. Guess what? Sequel coming.
    “Breaking News,”

    “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
      The Galactic Empire remains on of the most egregious cases of propaganda against "evil" organizations that actually weren't so bad.
      Are you talking about the "evil" Galactic Empire from the Stars Wars franchise or from somewhere else?

      And how are they the good guys?

      Cheers,
      Dan.
      So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

      Aldous Huxley: Ends and Means (1937)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dan M View Post
        Are you talking about the "evil" Galactic Empire from the Stars Wars franchise or from somewhere else?

        And how are they the good guys?

        Cheers,
        Dan.
        Not the good guys, but not strictly bad guys either. It was mostly war like the real ones, were usually both sides have a case and it isn't black and white.
        The Empire's two main sources of violence were two high ranking officials with trully draconian methods to maintain imperial rule: Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Darth Vader. Responsible for the Tarkin Doctrine (that led to the destruction of Alderaan) and the Jedi genocide. Palpatine only caused violence to the population by backstage work in the creation of the Empire, during the Republic years, and had no interest in it afterwards although he was indubitably a powerhungry bastard.

        However, as a whole the Empire worked better than the Republic before it, the average citizen (who didn't join the rebellion) lived his life just fine. The further out you got from Imperial control, the bigger hole the planet was, like Tatooine, full of crime lords and smugglers and mercenaries, or further out Yuuzhan Vong territories.
        The expanded universe further reinforces this. The Empire claims to have the objective of bringing order to the Galaxy, as it's portrayed, the Galaxy desperatly needs it. It's brutal out there, and it was a mess before the Empire was created. It's fairly easy for the average citizen to escape the furies of the higher ups, who for all their violence mostly land their hits on rebels and incompetent imperial officers.
        Palpatine is popular among the populace, again explored further in the expanded universe but shown in the prequels also, and he gives considerable autonomy to planetary administrations together with the protection of the Imperial military. Most people just see him as a strongman than ended the problems.

        But the main argument for the Empire despite its many flaws is comparing to the alternatives, the Republic before and the Rebels.
        The Republic was weak, full of crime, corruption, endless bureaucracy and interplanetary conflicts where dog eats dog.
        The Rebels were, quite simply, well meaning douches. Their main players are a farm kid who just wants to do cool stuff and fly spaceships, an amoral career smuggler, and a snotty "princess". The politics of the Rebels come from shadowy figures, planet representatives we never get to know that just want to vaguely restore the previous republic and presumably end up with the same problems we had before. Neither the Emperor, Vader or Tarking had immortality and were mostly old: the rebels started a war with massive collateral damage without even coming up with a plan for the billion billions of people they were supposed to rule after winning.

        By the time of that war, the imperial army is no longer built of the clones from the Clone Wars, but rather millions of volunteers, ordinary men. When they destroyed the Death Star (that was only doing damage because there were rebels in the first place) they killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, not just apolitical soldiers but maintenance workers, engineers, mechanics, canteen staff, etc, all just going about their daily bussiness.

        They basicly created a war that killed millions at the worst possible time: after the Empire began to produce order and prosperity, and Palpatine, Tarkin and Vader were getting older. Palpatine and Vader only messed around in their immediate circle, choking some incompetent officers and experimenting to further their Sith powers, hardly noteworthy in the vast Galactic Empire were more people die from cow related injuries. And Tarkin was a strict professional that did his thing as a reaction to the insurgency.
        Plus, if we go beyond the movies, the expanded universe reveals beyond the Republic/Galaxy are a bunch of non-human factions bent on getting us killed and the Galactic Empire (were humans are the dominant species) was our best chance at surviving.

        This is basicly an old Star Wars argument going way back, between Empire supporters and Jedi fans

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        • #5
          Real navy guys must have cringed at the ludicrous concepts of battleship warfare that were presented, not to mention the obvious fraternization between sexes and ranks.

          Lousy film, not even very amusing.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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