History Main / InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien

7th Jun '16 1:24:38 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The Zentraedi of the ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' franchise are somewhat this when introduced. While they have and can operate their machinery, they have no knowledge of how to repair it or build anything new with the technology, beyond what the automated factories spit out. It makes sense in context for the series, since the Protoculture made them for war and this lack of knowledge would make it less likely for the Zentraedi to rebel.

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* The Zentraedi of the ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise are somewhat this when introduced.introduced in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''. While they have and can operate their machinery, they have no knowledge of how to repair it or build anything new with the technology, beyond what the automated factories spit out. It makes sense in context for the series, since the Protoculture made them for war and this lack of knowledge would make it less likely for the Zentraedi to rebel. Zentraedi who have assimilated into human society are more likely to avert this.
3rd Feb '16 5:52:01 PM TheUnknownUploader
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** A major plot point in several incarnations of the story, when Ford and Arthur end up on a spaceship with the rejects from an allegedly-dying planet. Basically, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the most intelligent caste tricked everyone else]] into evacuating their planet under the pretense that it was going to become unable to support life. They kept the manual labourers and workers, getting rid of only those who were culturally or industrially unproductive: bureaucrats, insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising executives etc. These lesser castes eventually landed on prehistoric Earth, equipped with advanced technology but not knowing how to make or repair it themselves. It's suggested that these people were behind the legend of Atlantis, and eventually wiped themselves out in a spectacularly stupid manner. An aside/footnote in the novels (a Guide entry, in the TV series) explains that with this useless third of the population out of the way, the people of Golgafrincham made great cultural, scientific and technological advances before [[{{Anvilicious}} being wiped out]] [[RuleOfFunny by a virus contracted]] [[KarmicDeath from a dirty telephone]]. In the novel in which they appeared, ''Life, the Universe, and Everything'', Ford tells Arthur that ''these'' are the ancestors of modern humanity, not the Neanderthals Arthur tries to teach Scrabble to.

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** A major plot point in several incarnations of the story, when Ford and Arthur end up on a spaceship with the rejects from an allegedly-dying planet. Basically, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the most intelligent caste tricked everyone else]] into evacuating their planet under the pretense that it was going to become unable to support life. They kept the manual labourers and workers, getting rid of only those who were culturally or industrially unproductive: bureaucrats, insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising executives etc. These lesser castes eventually landed on prehistoric Earth, equipped with advanced technology but not knowing how to make or repair it themselves. It's suggested that these people were behind the legend of Atlantis, and eventually wiped themselves out in a spectacularly stupid manner. An aside/footnote in the novels (a Guide entry, in the TV series) explains that with this useless third of the population out of the way, the people of Golgafrincham made great cultural, scientific and technological advances before [[{{Anvilicious}} [[DeathByIrony being wiped out]] [[RuleOfFunny out by a virus contracted]] [[KarmicDeath from contracted by a dirty telephone]]. In telephone.]] [[spoiler: And the novel in which they appeared, ''Life, the Universe, and Everything'', Ford tells Arthur that ''these'' are the end up becoming human's ancestors instead of modern humanity, not the Neanderthals Arthur tries to teach Scrabble to.cavemen.]]
30th Jan '16 11:50:48 PM KeithM
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* The Gbaba in Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels almost qualify. Their technology had been stagnant for at least two thousand years when humanity found them, and had humanity gotten another 50 years to innovate before the war, the Gbaba would have lost. Since all evidence suggests they aren't likely to develop any new technology while humanity hides and rebuilds, Merlin is working hard to bring the people of Safehold up to a technological level capable of making the Gbaba qualify for this trope when round 2 comes along.

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* The Gbaba in Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels almost qualify. Their technology had been stagnant for at least two thousand years when humanity found them, they never demonstrated any improvement or alteration even as losses mounted as the humans tried desperately to catch up, and had humanity gotten another 50 years to innovate before the war, war the Gbaba would have lost. Since all evidence suggests they aren't likely to develop any new technology while humanity hides and rebuilds, Merlin is working hard to bring the people of Safehold up to a technological level capable of making the Gbaba qualify for this trope when round 2 comes along.
27th Jan '16 4:20:36 AM Perey
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Contrast with SufficientlyAdvancedAlien and AliensNeverInventedTheWheel. SubTrope to LowCultureHighTech.

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Contrast with SufficientlyAdvancedAlien SufficientlyAdvancedAlien, naturally, and AliensNeverInventedTheWheel.with AliensNeverInventedTheWheel, where the technology (or cultural trait) the aliens lack is just an oddity, something they always got by without. SubTrope to LowCultureHighTech.
26th Jan '16 8:30:42 PM DinoTurtle
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* The Saiyans of the ''Manga/DragonBall'' franchise were a bunch of BloodKnight barbarians that wiped out the more advanced Tuffles who shared their homeworld. All of their technology was either salvaged from what was left of the Tuffles' civilization or given to them when Freeza recruited them into his planet-broker business.

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* The Saiyans of the ''Manga/DragonBall'' franchise ''Franchise/DragonBall'' were a bunch of BloodKnight barbarians that wiped out the more advanced Tuffles who shared their homeworld.homeworld ([[{{Filler}} at least according to]] Anime/DragonBallZ). All of their technology was either salvaged from what was left of the Tuffles' civilization or given to them when Freeza recruited them into his planet-broker business.
15th Dec '15 8:17:27 AM LadyJaneGrey
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Added DiffLines:

** Also from ''Next Generation'' are the Mintakans, an offshoot of Vulcans with a Bronze Age society, who believe Picard is a god after seeing his technology, despite him insisting he was not.
30th Nov '15 9:54:56 PM KeithM
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The reason is because the secret to anti-gravity is [[InsaneTrollLogic so illogical]] that the scientific method is essentially rendered useless and scientific progress is brought to a complete halt. The story didn't progress far enough to tell whether or not humanity's technological progress would also stagnate due to this discovery. Admittedly, a comparatively advanced civilization such as ours with an established and highly diversified scientific community probably wouldn't have that logic-jamming problem.

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The reason is because the secret to anti-gravity is [[InsaneTrollLogic so illogical]] that the scientific method is essentially rendered useless and scientific progress is brought to a complete halt. Additionally once you have functional, controlled, antigravity technology (however primitive), you don't ''need'' many of the other technologies such as steam power, electricity, or even basic mechanics as antigravity allows you trivially overcome many of the problems those technologies were developed to solve. The story didn't progress far enough to tell whether or not humanity's technological progress would also stagnate due to this discovery. Admittedly, a comparatively advanced civilization such as ours with an established and highly diversified scientific community probably wouldn't have that logic-jamming problem.
19th Nov '15 1:50:53 PM HighCrate
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* The Saiyans of the ''DragonBall'' franchise were a bunch of BloodKnight barbarians that wiped out the more advanced Tuffles who shared their homeworld. All of their technology was either salvaged from what was left of the Tuffles' civilization or given to them when Frieza recruited them into his planet-broker business.

to:

* The Saiyans of the ''DragonBall'' ''Manga/DragonBall'' franchise were a bunch of BloodKnight barbarians that wiped out the more advanced Tuffles who shared their homeworld. All of their technology was either salvaged from what was left of the Tuffles' civilization or given to them when Frieza Freeza recruited them into his planet-broker business.
19th Nov '15 7:25:37 AM StFan
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[[folder: Anime and Manga]]

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[[folder: Anime and & Manga]]



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

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[[folder: Comic Books ]][[folder:Comic Books]]



* This is how the [[MarvelUniverse Kree/Skrull]] war got started! The already-advanced Skrulls visited the Kree homeworld to see if they were developed enough to join the Skrull trade empire; they were prepared to share their tech, but only with the superior species of the planet. Unfortunately, the human-like Kree shared their world with the equally intelligent plants, the Cotati. So the Skrulls held a contest to see who was more creative, and the Kree lost. The Kree went ''"Oh yeah?!!"'', killed the still-peaceful Skrulls and paperclipped their technology. By the time the Skrull empire finally responded (their homeworld being in the Andromeda galaxy), the Kree had already advanced enough to be able to match them in space warfare.

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* Franchise/MarvelUniverse'':
**
This is how the [[MarvelUniverse Kree/Skrull]] Kree/Skrull war got started! The already-advanced Skrulls visited the Kree homeworld to see if they were developed enough to join the Skrull trade empire; they were prepared to share their tech, but only with the superior species of the planet. Unfortunately, the human-like Kree shared their world with the equally intelligent plants, the Cotati. So the Skrulls held a contest to see who was more creative, and the Kree lost. The Kree went ''"Oh yeah?!!"'', killed the still-peaceful Skrulls and paperclipped their technology. By the time the Skrull empire finally responded (their homeworld being in the Andromeda galaxy), the Kree had already advanced enough to be able to match them in space warfare.



[[folder:Film]]

* In the [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'d classic ''PrinceOfSpace,'' the chicken-nosed invaders are capable of interplanetary travel, but invade Earth because their fuel is less efficient than something invented in Japan in the 50's (in fact their entire plan is based around stealing it from Earth so the next generation of ships can actually invade). Also, their weapons don't work on garishly dressed heroes who wave batons.
* ''Morons From Outer Space'' is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* The "Prawns" of ''Film/{{District 9}}''. Whilst they possess high levels of technology, it isn't clear that they developed it themselves and when found aboard their mothership are in a very poor state of health and hygiene. After (nominal) incorporation into human society, they rank very much as second-class citizens and barely above animals. This is the cause of much speculation in-universe, the leading idea being the leadership caste was wiped out.
* The Tenctonese from ''Series/AlienNation'' were a slave race who overthrew their masters and landed their ship on Earth (presumably, then, the vast majority of their people are still slaves). They are very adaptable, but this means they end up about as advanced as the humans they live amongst.

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[[folder:Film]]

* In the [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'d classic ''PrinceOfSpace,'' the chicken-nosed invaders are capable of interplanetary travel, but invade Earth because their fuel is less efficient than something invented in Japan in the 50's (in fact their entire plan is based around stealing it from Earth so the next generation of ships can actually invade). Also, their weapons don't work on garishly dressed heroes who wave batons.
* ''Morons From Outer Space'' is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* The "Prawns" of ''Film/{{District 9}}''. Whilst they possess high levels of technology, it isn't clear that they developed it themselves and when found aboard their mothership are in a very poor state of health and hygiene. After (nominal) incorporation into human society, they rank very much as second-class citizens and barely above animals. This is the cause of much speculation in-universe, the leading idea being the leadership caste was wiped out.
* The Tenctonese from ''Series/AlienNation'' were a slave race who overthrew their masters and landed their ship on Earth (presumably, then, the vast majority of their people are still slaves). They are very adaptable, but this means they end up about as advanced as the humans they live amongst.
[[folder:Films -- Animation]]



* Aliens in ''Film/{{Signs}}''. Their spacecraft possess the ability to travel vast interstellar distances (to Earth), and also exhibit the ability to cloak their spacecraft with a sort of invisibility shield. They, however, may not possess the astronomical skills to observe that over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, a reasonably common substance [[WeaksauceWeakness that is instantly fatal to them]]. Furthermore, the aliens are never seen using any sorts of projectiles/energy weapons, and they appear to be ''completely naked''. Not only would bodies of water be immediately fatal, but simple contact with water vapor in the air should have rendered it impossible for them to wander around Earth's surface. RealityEnsues when the invasion is defeated almost immediately.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A6J7f64G9Q Never mind projectiles, something simple like an axe or equivalent to break down doors is apparently too advanced for them]].
* The theory of this is put forth in ''Film/{{ET|The Extraterrestrial}}'', as Elliot's brother thinks the eponymous alien may just be a worker drone, and isn't necessarily a great scientist or anything. ET is actually a botanist, but has more than enough engineering know-how to make a communication device. Then again, he ran away screaming when a can of pencils fell over and the kids did initially think he was a hairless monkey.
* The aliens in ''Film/IndependenceDay'' are sufficiently advanced to have interstellar capability and DeflectorShields, but in other respects their offensive capabilities are not particularly more advanced then ours. Their doomsday weapons are about as effective as nukes; their attack ships have about the same aerobatic capability as our own fighter jets; their {{PlasmaCannon}}s really aren't any more effective than bullets, and their computers are so jerry-built that a human with a laptop can hack them. In his review of the film, Creator/RogerEbert made a list of the things the aliens were arguably advanced enough to do but didn't, such as taking out everything from orbit, or knocking out our communications with an EMP, or of course, investing in proper virus protection.
** Possibly justified in the case virus protection, as a telepathic race has probably never heard of passwords, let alone computer security.
*** Supposedly they have done the planet harvest thing many times before, I doubt 'hackers' or even 'unauthorized access' is an exclusively human concept in the galaxy.



[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' classic ''Film/PrinceOfSpace'', the chicken-nosed invaders are capable of interplanetary travel, but invade Earth because their fuel is less efficient than something invented in Japan in the '50s (in fact their entire plan is based around stealing it from Earth so the next generation of ships can actually invade). Also, their weapons don't work on garishly dressed heroes who wave batons.
* ''Morons from Outer Space'' is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* The "Prawns" of ''Film/{{District 9}}''. Whilst they possess high levels of technology, it isn't clear that they developed it themselves and when found aboard their mothership are in a very poor state of health and hygiene. After (nominal) incorporation into human society, they rank very much as second-class citizens and barely above animals. This is the cause of much speculation in-universe, the leading idea being the leadership caste was wiped out.
* The Tenctonese from ''Series/AlienNation'' were a slave race who overthrew their masters and landed their ship on Earth (presumably, then, the vast majority of their people are still slaves). They are very adaptable, but this means they end up about as advanced as the humans they live amongst.
* Aliens in ''Film/{{Signs}}''. Their spacecraft possess the ability to travel vast interstellar distances (to Earth), and also exhibit the ability to cloak their spacecraft with a sort of invisibility shield. They, however, may not possess the astronomical skills to observe that over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, a reasonably common substance [[WeaksauceWeakness that is instantly fatal to them]]. Furthermore, the aliens are never seen using any sorts of projectiles/energy weapons, and they appear to be ''completely naked''. Not only would bodies of water be immediately fatal, but simple contact with water vapor in the air should have rendered it impossible for them to wander around Earth's surface. RealityEnsues when the invasion is defeated almost immediately. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A6J7f64G9Q Nevermind projectiles, something simple like an axe or equivalent to break down doors is apparently too advanced for them]].
* The theory of this is put forth in ''Film/ETTheExtraterrestrial'', as Elliot's brother thinks the eponymous alien may just be a worker drone, and isn't necessarily a great scientist or anything. E.T. is actually a botanist, but has more than enough engineering know-how to make a communication device. Then again, he ran away screaming when a can of pencils fell over and the kids did initially think he was a hairless monkey.
* The aliens in ''Film/IndependenceDay'' are sufficiently advanced to have interstellar capability and DeflectorShields, but in other respects their offensive capabilities are not particularly more advanced then ours. Their doomsday weapons are about as effective as nukes; their attack ships have about the same aerobatic capability as our own fighter jets; their {{Plasma Cannon}}s really aren't any more effective than bullets, and their computers are so jerry-built that a human with a laptop can hack them. In his review of the film, Creator/RogerEbert made a list of the things the aliens were arguably advanced enough to do but didn't, such as taking out everything from orbit, or knocking out our communications with an EMP, or of course, investing in proper virus protection.
[[/folder]]




* Pretty much everybody in space compared to humanity in Creator/HarryTurtledove's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(short_story) "The Road Not Taken"]]. Anti-gravity and its (singular) spin-off FasterThanLightTravel is simple to discover - most species do so before gunpowder - but [[ArtisticLicensePhysics anti-gravity only has this one other application]] in stark contrast to electricity, leading to this for all species who take this road. The alien invasion force in the story [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien possess the tech levels]] and mindset of Spanish conquistadors. They try to conquer mid-21st century Earth with arquebuses, cannons, and fliers that drop [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard petards]] on their enemies. [[CurbStompBattle The results are what you would expect from that description.]] The sequel pits a lone human against a whole planet occupied by militaristic aliens roughly on WWII level... A lone human and his AI-equipped interstellar spacecraft.
** Actually, the reason is because the secret to anti-gravity is [[InsaneTrollLogic so illogical]] that the scientific method is essentially rendered useless and scientific progress is brought to a complete halt. The story didn't progress far enough to tell whether or not humanity's technological progress would also stagnate due to this discovery. Admittedly, a comparatively advanced civilization such as ours with an established and highly diversified scientific community probably wouldn't have that logic-jamming problem.
* The Lizards in ''WorldWar''/''Colonization'' series have interstellar travel, but their weapons technology is about where humans were at the end of the twentieth century, and they're so conservative that they are pretty much incapable of improving it, or adapting their tactics to match rapidly advancing human technology, so we catch up with them pretty quickly when they invade in the middle of WWII. It's implied in the books that the Lizards' weapons technology isn't as advanced as their space technology because they've been at peace with themselves for thousands of years, and the other two races they conquered weren't much more advanced than Medieval Europe, so they had no need to innovate further. They were expecting us to be the same based on their last survey, just a few hundred years ago...

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\n* Pretty much everybody in space compared to humanity in Creator/HarryTurtledove's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(short_story) "The Road Not Taken"]]. Anti-gravity and its (singular) spin-off FasterThanLightTravel is simple to discover - -- most species do so before gunpowder - -- but [[ArtisticLicensePhysics anti-gravity only has this one other application]] in stark contrast to electricity, leading to this for all species who take this road. The alien invasion force in the story [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien possess the tech levels]] levels and mindset of Spanish conquistadors. They try to conquer mid-21st century Earth with arquebuses, cannons, and fliers that drop [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard petards]] on their enemies. [[CurbStompBattle The results are what you would expect from that description.]] The sequel pits a lone human against a whole planet occupied by militaristic aliens roughly on WWII level... A lone human and his AI-equipped A.I.-equipped interstellar spacecraft.
** Actually, the
spacecraft.\\\
The
reason is because the secret to anti-gravity is [[InsaneTrollLogic so illogical]] that the scientific method is essentially rendered useless and scientific progress is brought to a complete halt. The story didn't progress far enough to tell whether or not humanity's technological progress would also stagnate due to this discovery. Admittedly, a comparatively advanced civilization such as ours with an established and highly diversified scientific community probably wouldn't have that logic-jamming problem.
* The Lizards in ''WorldWar''/''Colonization'' ''Literature/WorldWar''/''Colonization'' series have interstellar travel, but their weapons technology is about where humans were at the end of the twentieth century, and they're so conservative that they are pretty much incapable of improving it, or adapting their tactics to match rapidly advancing human technology, so we catch up with them pretty quickly when they invade in the middle of WWII. It's implied in the books that the Lizards' weapons technology isn't as advanced as their space technology because they've been at peace with themselves for thousands of years, and the other two races they conquered weren't much more advanced than Medieval Europe, so they had no need to innovate further. They were expecting us to be the same based on their last survey, just a few hundred years ago...



* Humans in Creator/FrederikPohl's ''Literature/HeecheeSaga'' use abandoned Heechee technology to explore the galaxy without really knowing how it works.
** They (we?) also punch holes in many of the recordings and instruction manuals that the Heechee left lying around and wear them as jewelry ('prayer fans')
* The Kzin from Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' universe, particularly during the ''Man-Kzin Wars'', who culturally resemble a hybrid of lions and Apache/Viking/Zulus more than they do a species with a thriving inter-stellar empire. Justified, as spacefaring Kzinti were a backward isolated stone-age tribe that got their technology from another species (herbivore traders who were hiring them to be their strong-arm army). The Kzinti then turned around and wiped out the more advanced members of their species, enslaved their benefactors, and started a religious crusade of galactic conquest. Big on ambitions, small on planning. ''Known Space'' is fueled by this trope. The [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Puppeteers]] use periodic transfers of SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology to manipulate the less advanced races (like the Kzin and humans) into participating in their master plan.
* The eponymous beings in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'' are an odd example. It's unclear how much of the principles behind their technology they actually understand, but what ''is'' clear is that they're technically advanced but ''dumb'' in a lot of common-sense ways, and a lot of their high-tech solutions are AwesomeButImpractical at best. For example, they run their entire operation off of AA, AAA, and C- and D-cell batteries [[spoiler: with the occasional [[PoweredByAForsakenChild forsaken]] LivingBattery as a supplement]] and even go so far as to send two of their own on a SuicideMission into a hostile atmosphere to get more rather than rely on the electric grid. It simply never occurs to any of them to just buy a goddamn AC/DC converter. Their violent tempers don't help either: When their stupidity regarding the batteries is pointed out, they explode because they never thought of it.
* The Phinons in ''Literature/DykstrasWar'' use technology that seems very counter-intuitive in its design, and there appears to be no way to negotiate with them. The reason turns out to be that [[spoiler: they have barely animal intelligence. They evolved spacecraft-building the same way bees evolved to build hives or beavers to build dams. It's a very good design, certainly good enough to kill any nascent competitor spacefaring species like humanity before we can develop more advanced tech ourselves. But the Phinons themselves are virtually mindless.]]
* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[ExpandedUniverse novel]] ''Ishmael'' by Creator/BarbaraHambly asserts that the Klingons were a primitive race who were conquered by starfarers called the Karsids. The Klingons, being Klingons, then defeated the Karsids and appropriated all their tech, [[LowCultureHighTech giving them advanced tech despite still being culturally barbaric,]] a perfect object lesson in the worth of the [[{{Alien Non-Interference Clause}} Prime Directive]].
** Subverted, in that the Klingons did eventually figure out how to build and maintain this technology on their own to the point that they can manage a sizable stellar empire and stay at par with the Federation and the Romulans. However, they remain frozen culturally at their initial primitive level.

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* Humans in Creator/FrederikPohl's ''Literature/HeecheeSaga'' use abandoned Heechee technology to explore the galaxy without really knowing how it works.
**
works. They (we?) also punch holes in many of the recordings and instruction manuals that the Heechee left lying around and wear them as jewelry ('prayer fans')
* The Kzin from Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' universe, universe:
** The Kzin,
particularly during the ''Man-Kzin Wars'', who culturally resemble a hybrid of lions and Apache/Viking/Zulus more than they do a species with a thriving inter-stellar empire. Justified, as spacefaring Kzinti were a backward isolated stone-age tribe that got their technology from another species (herbivore traders who were hiring them to be their strong-arm army). The Kzinti then turned around and wiped out the more advanced members of their species, enslaved their benefactors, and started a religious crusade of galactic conquest. Big on ambitions, small on planning. planning.
**
''Known Space'' is fueled by this trope. The [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Puppeteers]] use periodic transfers of SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology to manipulate the less advanced races (like the Kzin and humans) into participating in their master plan.
* The eponymous beings in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'' are an odd example. It's unclear how much of the principles behind their technology they actually understand, but what ''is'' clear is that they're technically advanced but ''dumb'' in a lot of common-sense ways, and a lot of their high-tech solutions are AwesomeButImpractical at best. For example, they run their entire operation off of AA, AAA, and C- and D-cell batteries [[spoiler: with [[spoiler:with the occasional [[PoweredByAForsakenChild forsaken]] LivingBattery as a supplement]] and even go so far as to send two of their own on a SuicideMission into a hostile atmosphere to get more rather than rely on the electric grid. It simply never occurs to any of them to just buy a goddamn AC/DC converter. Their violent tempers don't help either: When when their stupidity regarding the batteries is pointed out, they explode because they never thought of it.
* The Phinons in ''Literature/DykstrasWar'' use technology that seems very counter-intuitive in its design, and there appears to be no way to negotiate with them. The reason turns out to be that [[spoiler: they [[spoiler:they have barely animal intelligence. They evolved spacecraft-building the same way bees evolved to build hives or beavers to build dams. It's a very good design, certainly good enough to kill any nascent competitor spacefaring species like humanity before we can develop more advanced tech ourselves. But the Phinons themselves are virtually mindless.]]
* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[ExpandedUniverse novel]] ''Ishmael'' by Creator/BarbaraHambly asserts that the Klingons were a primitive race who were conquered by starfarers called the Karsids. The Klingons, being Klingons, then defeated the Karsids and appropriated all their tech, [[LowCultureHighTech giving them advanced tech despite still being culturally barbaric,]] a perfect object lesson in the worth of the [[{{Alien Non-Interference Clause}} [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]].
**
Directive]]. Subverted, in that the Klingons did eventually figure out how to build and maintain this technology on their own to the point that they can manage a sizable stellar empire and stay at par with the Federation and the Romulans. However, they remain frozen culturally at their initial primitive level.



* The HiveMind [[StarfishAliens fish aliens]] known as Squeem from the ''Literature/XeeleeSequence'' conquer Earth at one point despite being no more intelligent and not much older than humans - but they lucked out on finding technology left over from the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens sufficiently advanced]] [[{{Precursors}} Xeelee]].

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* The HiveMind [[StarfishAliens fish aliens]] known as Squeem from the ''Literature/XeeleeSequence'' conquer Earth at one point despite being no more intelligent and not much older than humans - -- but they lucked out on finding technology left over from the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens sufficiently advanced]] [[{{Precursors}} Xeelee]].



* The Gbaba in DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels almost qualify. Their technology had been stagnant for at least two thousand years when humanity found them, and had humanity gotten another 50 years to innovate before the war, the Gbaba would have lost. Since all evidence suggests they aren't likely to develop any new technology while humanity hides and rebuilds, Merlin is working hard to bring the people of Safehold up to a technological level capable of making the Gbaba qualify for this trope when round 2 comes along.

to:

* The Gbaba in DavidWeber's Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' novels almost qualify. Their technology had been stagnant for at least two thousand years when humanity found them, and had humanity gotten another 50 years to innovate before the war, the Gbaba would have lost. Since all evidence suggests they aren't likely to develop any new technology while humanity hides and rebuilds, Merlin is working hard to bring the people of Safehold up to a technological level capable of making the Gbaba qualify for this trope when round 2 comes along.



* In TimothyZahn's ''Literature/{{Blackcollar}}'' series, the Ryqril aliens are much more powerful than humanity and other species, but their technology all comes from other enslaved races--they're capable of reproducing things designed by their occupied races, but they can't invent new technology themselves above a certain level. It ends up being a big problem for them when they have to fight human guerrillas who are aware of the weak points on most of their human-designed craft.

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* In TimothyZahn's Creator/TimothyZahn's ''Literature/{{Blackcollar}}'' series, the Ryqril aliens are much more powerful than humanity and other species, but their technology all comes from other enslaved races--they're capable of reproducing things designed by their occupied races, but they can't invent new technology themselves above a certain level. It ends up being a big problem for them when they have to fight human guerrillas who are aware of the weak points on most of their human-designed craft.



* Parodied in a story by Brazilian author Creator/LuisFernandoVerissimo, which even starts with complaints that all sci-fi have technologically superior aliens - and [[WrongGenreSavvy the characters even try to figure the advance tech only for a subversion]]. For instance, the lack of forest around the [[ExcessiveSteamSyndrome lumber-powered spaceship]] isn't a forcefield, but the aliens cutting the trees to fuel the ship. "The little men from Grork" also don't know guns, both the wheel and the vowel (so much that they tried to spell their world's name "GRRK"), electricity, and their spaceship [[EpicFail was originally meant to be a boat]], but it went upwards instead of forward.

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* Parodied in a story by Brazilian author Creator/LuisFernandoVerissimo, which even starts with complaints that all sci-fi have technologically superior aliens - -- and [[WrongGenreSavvy the characters even try to figure the advance tech only for a subversion]]. For instance, the lack of forest around the [[ExcessiveSteamSyndrome lumber-powered spaceship]] isn't a forcefield, but the aliens cutting the trees to fuel the ship. "The little men from Grork" also don't know guns, both the wheel and the vowel (so much that they tried to spell their world's name "GRRK"), electricity, and their spaceship [[EpicFail was originally meant to be a boat]], but it went upwards instead of forward.



[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** The Pakleds from the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Samaritan Snare" appeared to be functionally retarded, but managed to steal enough technology from their neighbours to maintain a rather patchwork starflight capability. It isn't clear if this is a racial characteristic or just the few featured in the episode, since the ones that appear as extras in later seasons appear to be mechanics and merchants.

to:

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** The Pakleds from the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Samaritan Snare" appeared to be functionally retarded, but managed to steal enough technology from their neighbours neighbors to maintain a rather patchwork starflight capability. It isn't clear if this is a racial characteristic or just the few featured in the episode, since the ones that appear as extras in later seasons appear to be mechanics and merchants.



** Another from ''Voyager'': the Vidiians are suffering from the 'phage', a disease which destroys their internal organs. They are able to steal organs from every other sentient race for transplant with no risk of rejection, a feat that even current Federation medical science cannot replicate. Despite this, they seem unable to actually cure the phage to begin with. It seems hard to believe that the Vidiians [[AliensNeverInventedTheWheel have no knowledge of virology or immunology]], given that preventing organ rejection requires knowledge of immunology to begin with--more likely [[TheyJustDidntCare the writers decided not to research the matter.]]
*** At one point it's revealed that Klingon tissue is resistant to the phage, setting up a plotline putting half-Klingon B'lanna Torres in jeopardy of being harvested--never mind that a simple tissue sample, along with cloning technology, would be all that the Vidiians would need. Both are within ''20th century technology'', let alone what the Federation has available, and yet this win-win (the Vidiians cure the phage without harvesting B'lanna, and ''Voyager'' gets a valuable ally in return) never occurs to ''anyone'' involved. Worse still, there was one point where the Vidiians kidnapped B'lanna and somehow physically split her into her component human and Klingon halves. If you can do that, surely you could have just taken a blood sample and made yourself a full-Klingon B'lanna without all the fuss.
** The Bajorans have supposedly tens of thousands of years of recorded history, including the best part of a millenium of manned spaceflight, at the very least. But their technology seems to have stagnated at some point and most of the people behave like [[MedievalStasis Medieval peasant stereotypes]]. Of course the the fact that their religion is based around worshipping [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Sufficiently Advanced Aliens]] might have something to do with this. The whole thing with the Cardassians going all Holocausty on them probably didn't help either.
** Gul Dukat even cites the Bajoran stagnation as a ''justification'' for the Cardassian occupation at one point, arguing that the conflict (though costly) ultimately ''helped'' Bajor. Major Kira, a former resistance fighter, doesn't buy it.

to:

** Another from ''Voyager'': the Vidiians are suffering from the 'phage', "phage", a disease which destroys their internal organs. They are able to steal organs from every other sentient race for transplant with no risk of rejection, a feat that even current Federation medical science cannot replicate. Despite this, they seem unable to actually cure the phage to begin with. It seems hard to believe that the Vidiians [[AliensNeverInventedTheWheel have no knowledge of virology or immunology]], given that preventing organ rejection requires knowledge of immunology to begin with--more with -- more likely [[TheyJustDidntCare the writers decided not to research the matter.]]
***
]]\\\
At one point it's revealed that Klingon tissue is resistant to the phage, setting up a plotline putting half-Klingon B'lanna Torres in jeopardy of being harvested--never harvested -- never mind that a simple tissue sample, along with cloning technology, would be all that the Vidiians would need. Both are within ''20th century technology'', let alone what the Federation has available, and yet this win-win (the Vidiians cure the phage without harvesting B'lanna, and ''Voyager'' gets a valuable ally in return) never occurs to ''anyone'' involved. Worse still, there was one point where the Vidiians kidnapped B'lanna and somehow physically split her into her component human and Klingon halves. If you can do that, surely you could have just taken a blood sample and made yourself a full-Klingon B'lanna without all the fuss.
** The Bajorans have supposedly tens of thousands of years of recorded history, including the best part of a millenium of manned spaceflight, at the very least. But their technology seems to have stagnated at some point and most of the people behave like [[MedievalStasis Medieval peasant stereotypes]]. Of course the the fact that their religion is based around worshipping worshiping [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Sufficiently Advanced Aliens]] might have something to do with this. The whole thing with the Cardassians going all Holocausty on them probably didn't help either.
**
either. Gul Dukat even cites the Bajoran stagnation as a ''justification'' for the Cardassian occupation at one point, arguing that the conflict (though costly) ultimately ''helped'' Bajor. Major Kira, a former resistance fighter, doesn't buy it.



** Also, in the same episode, the Caldonian delegate decide to withdraw from negotiations when he realized [[PlanetOfHats his race of scholars]] wouldn’t be able to manage the administrative needs provided by the wormhole.

to:

** Also, in the same episode, the Caldonian delegate decide to withdraw from negotiations when he realized [[PlanetOfHats his race of scholars]] wouldn’t wouldn't be able to manage the administrative needs provided by the wormhole.



** The non-rebel [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Jaffa]], since the [[AbusivePrecursors Goa'uld]] who rule over them hold back technology on a need to know basis, keeping them in MedievalStasis with SchizoTech.
** The Aschen-conquered agricultural worlds.
* A ''SaturdayNightLive'' skit from the '80s featured an AlienInvasion by a race that apparently hadn't advanced past muskets. When asked how they got the spaceship they came to Earth in, one scientist says, "Our guess is they stole it." The whole thing looks like an homage to ''The Road Not Taken''.
* A major plot point in several incarnations of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', when Ford and Arthur end up on a spaceship with the rejects from an allegedly-dying planet. Basically, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the most intelligent caste tricked everyone else]] into evacuating their planet under the pretense that it was going to become unable to support life. They kept the manual labourers and workers, getting rid of only those who were culturally or industrially unproductive: bureaucrats, insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising executives etc. These lesser castes eventually landed on prehistoric Earth, equipped with advanced technology but not knowing how to make or repair it themselves. It's suggested that these people were behind the legend of Atlantis, and eventually wiped themselves out in a spectacularly stupid manner. An aside/footnote in the novels (a Guide entry, in the TV series) explains that with this useless third of the population out of the way, the people of Golgafrincham made great cultural, scientific and technological advances before [[{{Anvilicious}} being wiped out]] [[RuleOfFunny by a virus contracted]] [[KarmicDeath from a dirty telephone]]. In the novel in which they appeared, ''Life, the Universe, and Everything'', Ford tells Arthur that ''these'' are the ancestors of modern humanity, not the Neanderthals Arthur tries to teach Scrabble to.

to:

** The non-rebel [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Jaffa]], since the [[AbusivePrecursors Goa'uld]] who rule over them hold back technology on a need to know need-to-know basis, keeping them in MedievalStasis with SchizoTech.
** The Aschen-conquered agricultural worlds.
* A ''SaturdayNightLive'' ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit from the '80s featured an AlienInvasion by a race that apparently hadn't advanced past muskets. When asked how they got the spaceship they came to Earth in, one scientist says, "Our guess is they stole it." The whole thing looks like an homage to ''The Road Not Taken''.
* ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'':
**
A major plot point in several incarnations of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', the story, when Ford and Arthur end up on a spaceship with the rejects from an allegedly-dying planet. Basically, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the most intelligent caste tricked everyone else]] into evacuating their planet under the pretense that it was going to become unable to support life. They kept the manual labourers and workers, getting rid of only those who were culturally or industrially unproductive: bureaucrats, insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising executives etc. These lesser castes eventually landed on prehistoric Earth, equipped with advanced technology but not knowing how to make or repair it themselves. It's suggested that these people were behind the legend of Atlantis, and eventually wiped themselves out in a spectacularly stupid manner. An aside/footnote in the novels (a Guide entry, in the TV series) explains that with this useless third of the population out of the way, the people of Golgafrincham made great cultural, scientific and technological advances before [[{{Anvilicious}} being wiped out]] [[RuleOfFunny by a virus contracted]] [[KarmicDeath from a dirty telephone]]. In the novel in which they appeared, ''Life, the Universe, and Everything'', Ford tells Arthur that ''these'' are the ancestors of modern humanity, not the Neanderthals Arthur tries to teach Scrabble to.



* ''Series/BabylonFive''

to:

* ''Series/BabylonFive''''Series/BabylonFive'':



[[folder: Table Top Games ]]

to:

[[folder: Table Top Games ]][[folder:Tabletop Games]]



** Humankind's technological peak was several thousand years ago, and its knowledge has regressed significantly following the galactic dark age that existed prior to the establishment of the Imperium. (They also had a RobotWar about that time, which - as in ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' - put an end to any development or use of [[AIIsACrapshoot "thinking machines"]].) At best, humans can reproduce a shrinking number of ancient designs, but they don't understand the underlying principles of many devices. This is largely the fault of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a conservative MachineCult that worships technology and views innovation as heresy.

to:

** Humankind's technological peak was several thousand years ago, and its knowledge has regressed significantly following the galactic dark age that existed prior to the establishment of the Imperium. (They also had a RobotWar about that time, which - -- as in ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' - -- put an end to any development or use of [[AIIsACrapshoot "thinking machines"]].) At best, humans can reproduce a shrinking number of ancient designs, but they don't understand the underlying principles of many devices. This is largely the fault of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a conservative MachineCult that worships technology and views innovation as heresy.



** The Kroot are an avian-descended race of barbaric cannibals, who were still using black powder weaponry when the technologically-advanced Tau found them, yet are capable of building and flying their Warspheres. This is because some of them made a snack of some aforementioned Ork Meks - the Kroot are able to [[CannibalismSuperpower absorb useful evolutionary traits from the prey they devour]]. It's heavily implied that the Kroot purposely stagnate all their technology except space travel, so their race's focus remains on acquiring good genes rather than inventing stronger weapons.
** The Jokaero are an inversion of the trope. These orangutan-like creatures are capable of building advanced technology such as high-powered lasers small enough to fit in jewelry, to say nothing of spaceships, but no one's been able to quite determine whether they're intelligent, even sentient, or if this is just instinctive behavior. For all of their gizmos they behave like animals, and it's impossible to study them because they'll just invent whatever they need to escape from captivity.
* The Vargr in ''{{Traveller}}''. It's not so much that they are unadvanced as that they are so erratic that it is hard to imagine them actually having time to build starships before they are wrecked by the next civil war.
* The Space sourcebook for ''{{GURPS}}'' 3rd edition had tables for randomly generating alien civilizations; a roll of 3 on 3d6 in the "Technology Level" table would result in this trope. (4th edition sadly removed the possibility.)
* In the Phase World space opera setting for ''{{Rifts}}'', the United Worlds Of Warlock was founded when a spacefaring Dwarven nation who used magic to make space travel possible with 19th century riveted-iron ships met a medieval Elven nation who didn't even know what outer space was and who'd colonised several worlds via magical gateways.

to:

** The Kroot are an avian-descended race of barbaric cannibals, who were still using black powder weaponry when the technologically-advanced Tau found them, yet are capable of building and flying their Warspheres. This is because some of them made a snack of some aforementioned Ork Meks - -- the Kroot are able to [[CannibalismSuperpower absorb useful evolutionary traits from the prey they devour]]. It's heavily implied that the Kroot purposely stagnate all their technology except space travel, so their race's focus remains on acquiring good genes rather than inventing stronger weapons.
** The Jokaero are an inversion of the trope. These orangutan-like creatures are capable of building advanced technology such as high-powered lasers small enough to fit in jewelry, to say nothing of spaceships, but no one's no-one's been able to quite determine whether they're intelligent, even sentient, or if this is just instinctive behavior. For all of their gizmos they behave like animals, and it's impossible to study them because they'll just invent whatever they need to escape from captivity.
* The Vargr in ''{{Traveller}}''.''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}''. It's not so much that they are unadvanced as that they are so erratic that it is hard to imagine them actually having time to build starships before they are wrecked by the next civil war.
* The Space sourcebook for ''{{GURPS}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' 3rd edition had tables for randomly generating alien civilizations; a roll of 3 on 3d6 in the "Technology Level" table would result in this trope. (4th edition sadly removed the possibility.)
* In the Phase World space opera setting for ''{{Rifts}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'', the United Worlds Of Warlock was founded when a spacefaring Dwarven nation who used magic to make space travel possible with 19th century riveted-iron ships met a medieval Elven nation who didn't even know what outer space was and who'd colonised several worlds via magical gateways.



[[folder: Video Games ]]

to:

[[folder: Video Games ]][[folder:Video Games]]



* The Doog in ''StarControl 3'' show barely the intelligence to speak properly, and have probably received most if not all of their technology (whatever little they have) from their masters, the Ploxis.
* The Rikti in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' have energy weapons, teleportation, anti-gravity, Film/IndependenceDay-style ships that are capable of traveling between Universes, and shapeshifting. All this without ever learning how to split the atom.
** [[spoiler: To be fair, they ''killed'' all their gods, so they're certainly not incompetent, but they had all of their tech given to them back in the time of the Egyptians and never had a need to develop what we would consider conventional tech]]. That's not to say they aren't advanced in their fields, they simply developed in what is a rather backwards fashion.
* The Covenant from ''{{Franchise/Halo}}''. Their technology is far in advance of humanity's, but it's almost all poorly copied from [[{{Precursors}} Forerunner]] artifacts, and any Covie who wants to better understand and improve even their own comparatively shoddy knock-offs runs the risk of being considered a heretic. Additionally, only two species, the Prophets and Engineers, are even allowed to do R&D, with the former suffering from a small and inbred population, and the latter deliberately designed by their original Forerunner creators to focus their high intelligence on maintenance, repairs, and incremental improvements, not wholesale invention or even properly educating other species on science. The expanded universe and ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''-era media show that the humans are able to upgrade Covenant technology surprisingly well (though not without a lot of effort), in part because the Covenant have so intellectually stagnated that their grasp of fundamental scientific concepts like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations Maxwell's equations]] is inferior to that of humanity's.

to:

* The Doog in ''StarControl 3'' ''VideoGame/StarControl3'' show barely the intelligence to speak properly, and have probably received most if not all of their technology (whatever little they have) from their masters, the Ploxis.
* The Rikti in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' have energy weapons, teleportation, anti-gravity, Film/IndependenceDay-style ''Film/IndependenceDay''-style ships that are capable of traveling between Universes, and shapeshifting. All this without ever learning how to split the atom.
** [[spoiler: To
atom. [[spoiler:To be fair, they ''killed'' all their gods, so they're certainly not incompetent, but they had all of their tech given to them back in the time of the Egyptians and never had a need to develop what we would consider conventional tech]]. That's not to say they aren't advanced in their fields, they simply developed in what is a rather backwards fashion.
* The Covenant from ''{{Franchise/Halo}}''.''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. Their technology is far in advance of humanity's, but it's almost all poorly copied from [[{{Precursors}} Forerunner]] artifacts, and any Covie who wants to better understand and improve even their own comparatively shoddy knock-offs runs the risk of being considered a heretic. Additionally, only two species, the Prophets and Engineers, are even allowed to do R&D, with the former suffering from a small and inbred population, and the latter deliberately designed by their original Forerunner creators to focus their high intelligence on maintenance, repairs, and incremental improvements, not wholesale invention or even properly educating other species on science. The expanded universe and ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''-era media show that the humans are able to upgrade Covenant technology surprisingly well (though not without a lot of effort), in part because the Covenant have so intellectually stagnated that their grasp of fundamental scientific concepts like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations Maxwell's equations]] is inferior to that of humanity's.



[[folder: Web Comics ]]

to:

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
[[folder:Web Comics]]



* Do the [[Franchise/StarTrek Federation]] [[{{Expy}} Expies]] / {{Take That}}s from ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'' count? Yes, they're in space, but the [[AllegedCar Federation starship Glorious Undertaking]] is...Well...See [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0015/ the description of the ship's structure]], [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0018/ the engine]], and [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0020/ the computer systems]], oops, pardon me, ''[[MasterComputer system]]'', singular.

to:

* Do the [[Franchise/StarTrek Federation]] [[{{Expy}} Expies]] / {{Take That}}s from ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'' count? Yes, they're in space, but the [[AllegedCar Federation starship Glorious Undertaking]] is...Well...See starship]] ''Glorious Undertaking'' is... well... see [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0015/ the description of the ship's structure]], [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0018/ the engine]], and [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0020/ the computer systems]], oops, pardon me, ''[[MasterComputer system]]'', singular.



[[folder: Western Animation]]
* The opening quote is from a Halloween special of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where humans destroy all their weapons after achieving world peace and Earth is in turn invaded by Kang and Kodos - armed with clubs and slings.
-->'''Kang''': (''pursued by Moe'') Ah! He's got a board with a nail in it!

to:

[[folder: Western [[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
**
The opening quote is from a Halloween special of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', of, where humans destroy all their weapons after achieving world peace and Earth is in turn invaded by Kang and Kodos - -- armed with clubs and slings.
-->'''Kang''': --->'''Kang:''' (''pursued by Moe'') Ah! He's got a board with a nail in it!



** In the first Treehouse Of Horror special, Kang and Kodos show the Simpsons their 'state of the art' entertainment facility. It's just VideoGame/{{Pong}}. When the family point this out, the aliens retort by asking if ''their' people developed travel between galaxies.

to:

** In the first Treehouse Of Horror "Treehouse of Horror" special, Kang and Kodos show the Simpsons their 'state "state of the art' art" entertainment facility. It's just VideoGame/{{Pong}}.''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''. When the family point this out, the aliens retort by asking if ''their' people developed travel between galaxies.



* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}'' had [[TheDitz Ajax]] abducted by "inferior beings" from the planet [[TakeThat Betamax]]. They're dumb enough to consider Ajax's [[CloudCuckoolander nonsensical ramblings]] to be wisdom of the highest order (though they have developed big screen televisions, because they have their priorities straight). When asked how they managed to acquire a spaceship, they claim it's a rental.

to:

* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}'' had has [[TheDitz Ajax]] abducted by "inferior beings" from the planet [[TakeThat Betamax]]. They're dumb enough to consider Ajax's [[CloudCuckoolander [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} nonsensical ramblings]] to be wisdom of the highest order (though they have developed big screen televisions, because they have their priorities straight). When asked how they managed to acquire a spaceship, they claim it's a rental.
24th Oct '15 9:24:40 PM allium
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* Pretty much everybody in space compared to humanity in Creator/HarryTurtledove's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(short_story) "The Road Not Taken"]]. Anti-gravity and its (singular) spin-off FasterThanLightTravel is simple to discover - most species do so before gunpowder - but [[ArtisticLicensePhysics anti-gravity only has this one other application]] in stark contrast to electricity, leading to this for all species who take this road. The alien invasion force in the story [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien possess the tech levels]] and mindset of Spanish conquistadors. They try to conquer 21st century Earth with arquebuses. [[CurbStompBattle The results are what you would expect from that description.]] The sequel pits a lone human against a whole planet occupied by militaristic aliens roughly on WWII level... A lone human and his AI-equipped interstellar spacecraft.

to:

* Pretty much everybody in space compared to humanity in Creator/HarryTurtledove's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(short_story) "The Road Not Taken"]]. Anti-gravity and its (singular) spin-off FasterThanLightTravel is simple to discover - most species do so before gunpowder - but [[ArtisticLicensePhysics anti-gravity only has this one other application]] in stark contrast to electricity, leading to this for all species who take this road. The alien invasion force in the story [[InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien possess the tech levels]] and mindset of Spanish conquistadors. They try to conquer 21st mid-21st century Earth with arquebuses.arquebuses, cannons, and fliers that drop [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard petards]] on their enemies. [[CurbStompBattle The results are what you would expect from that description.]] The sequel pits a lone human against a whole planet occupied by militaristic aliens roughly on WWII level... A lone human and his AI-equipped interstellar spacecraft.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien