History Main / InsufficientlyAdvancedAlien

22nd May '17 9:23:20 PM PaulA
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* 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 [[AlienNonInterferenceClause 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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* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[ExpandedUniverse novel]] ''Ishmael'' ''Literature/{{Ishmael|1985}}'' 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 [[AlienNonInterferenceClause Prime Directive]]. Subverted, in that the 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, Romulans, but they remain frozen culturally at their initial primitive level.
12th Apr '17 5:01:23 AM book
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** Considering that the Ferengi bought warp technology instead of developing it, they're possibly an example of this trope, especially if they also bought most of their other technological advances too. Most of them see nothing ''wrong'' with this path towards technological development, after all accumulating wealth and ''profit'' are far more important (technology being only a means towards that end). Even the one Ferengi scientist encountered on any of the shows admits he's only in it because he's not very good at finance, but great at physics; his best option is to invent and then ''sell'' some new technology.

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** Considering that the Ferengi bought warp technology instead of developing it, they're possibly an example of this trope, especially if they also bought most of their other technological advances too. Most of them see nothing ''wrong'' with this path towards technological development, after all accumulating wealth and ''profit'' are far more important (technology being only a means towards that end). Even the one Ferengi scientist encountered on any of the shows admits he's only in it because he's not very good at finance, but great at physics; his best option is to invent and then ''sell'' some new technology.
25th Feb '17 6:41:44 AM iowaforever
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* ''Literature/TheTommyknockers''. They have the ability to create wonders like antigravity, contained miniature stars, and teleportation. However, they don't have the common sense necessary to ''use'' these things (for example, they use up scads of batteries for their antigravity devices, because they need direct current and wall current is alternating. None of them ever thought about [[MundaneSolution buying an AC-DC converter]]), and their other racial trait is HairTriggerTemper. They keep killing each other over petty differences and have destroyed planets before because two of them got into an argument and used what turned out to be planet killers on each other.
22nd Feb '17 5:20:28 PM marcoasalazarm
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* ''Film/InvisibleInvaders'': The titular invaders get a HandWave that their technology (other than their spaceships, the titular capacity to be invisible, and their ability to take over the bodies of dead humans) is unable to work in our atmosphere, and thus they simply use human weapons for their campaign of world-wide sabotage. Even then, they do a pretty good job almost keeping their promise to annihilate all of humanity ''in just three days''.
20th Feb '17 3:09:36 PM Zaptech
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* 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 than 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.
19th Feb '17 2:54:03 PM Lopiny
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* The Doog in ''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.

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* The Doog in ''VideoGame/StarControl3'' show barely have 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.Ploxis, while being little more than enslaved brutes otherwise. And yet they have a GameBreaker of a starship with homing projectiles and the best auto-repair system available in the galaxy.
10th Feb '17 7:16:42 AM __Vano
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* Humanity in ''VideoGame/{{Vangers}}''. With the "technology" born from occult arts, they were able to build permanent portals to unknown worlds which they eagerly rushed to explore "while culturally remaining knee-deep in their own issues". This ended exactly as well as you think.
4th Feb '17 1:24:14 PM Lopiny
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* The Florans and Avians of ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'' skirt the trope. Florans are violent savages who find time better spent ssstabbing things than learning higher science, so they prefer to just scavenge technology from other races (usually after a good bout of ssstabbing). Avians were granted advanced technology by unknown aliens, but the full understanding is solely in the hands of the Stargazers (their high priests), as is the only supply of the Avolite crystals said technology depends on, thus ensuring that the priesthood remains in power.

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* The Florans and Avians of ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'' skirt the trope. Florans are violent savages who find time better spent ssstabbing things than learning higher science, so they prefer to just scavenge technology from other races (usually after a good bout of ssstabbing).ssstabbing), and what little self-developed technology they have is all in the hands of a single caste called the Greenfingers, who are apparently smart enough to compensate for their dumber brethren. Avians were granted advanced technology by unknown aliens, but the full understanding is solely in the hands of the Stargazers (their high priests), as is the only supply of the Avolite crystals said technology depends on, thus ensuring that the priesthood remains in power.
19th Dec '16 9:19:00 PM TheRoguePenguin
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** Same with the Kazon from ''Voyager'', who have interstellar spaceflight forcibly appropriated from their Trabe conquerors, but can't figure out how to synthesize water. Or land on a planet that has water. Or even melt an ice-asteroid. These are a people so backwards that the ''Borg'' deemed them unworthy of assimilation.

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** The Ornarans from "Symbiosis" have starships that they have forgotten how to repair and can barely fly competently. This is because the Brekkians have kept them addicted to a drug for generations, and they've long stopped caring about anything other than getting a continuous supply.
** {{Lampshaded}} by the Barzans themselves in ''The Next Generation'' episode "The Price". They decide to sell their newly discovered wormhole because they have neither the experience nor the technology to exploit it and they hope this transaction would allow the end of their situation of Third World Country IN SPACE! Despite the relative lack of natural resources on their planet, they already reached a development stage where they can deal with other planets. 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.
** Same with the Kazon from ''Voyager'', who have interstellar spaceflight forcibly appropriated from their Trabe conquerors, but can't figure out how to synthesize water. Or land on a planet that has water. Or even melt an ice-asteroid. Their idea of a holding cell is literally telling the prisoners not to cross a line. These are a people so backwards that the ''Borg'' deemed them unworthy of assimilation.



** 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 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. You don't even have to clone a ''person''. Just clone organs.

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** 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 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. You don't even have to clone a ''person''. Just clone organs.



** {{Lampshaded}} by the Barzans themselves in ''The Next Generation'' episode "The Price". They decide to sell their newly discovered wormhole because they have neither the experience nor the technology to exploit it and they hope this transaction would allow the end of their situation of Third World Country IN SPACE! Despite the relative lack of natural resources on their planet, they already reached a development stage where they can deal with other planets.
** 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.
25th Oct '16 3:26:58 AM KeithM
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* In ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'', one of the perplexing aspects of the genocidal Achuultani invaders is the odd patchwork their ships exhibit, mixing superior and inferior technologies in defiance of what the natural progression of technology should have resulted in. For instance, "they appear to possess only a very rudimentary appreciation of gravitonics and their ships do not employ gravitonic sublight drives, yet their sublight missiles employ a highly sophisticated gravitonic drive which is, in fact, superior to that of the Imperium." [[spoiler:It is later theorized that the ships were deliberately handicapped by their overlord AI, thus perpetuating the "crisis" that enables it to exercise emergency protocols to maintain control.]]

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* In ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'', one of the perplexing aspects of the genocidal Achuultani invaders is the odd patchwork their ships exhibit, mixing superior and inferior technologies in defiance of what the natural progression of technology should have resulted in. For instance, "they appear to possess only a very rudimentary appreciation of gravitonics and their ships do not employ gravitonic sublight drives, yet their sublight missiles employ a highly sophisticated gravitonic drive which is, in fact, superior to that of the Imperium." [[spoiler:It is later theorized that the ships were deliberately handicapped by their overlord AI, giving them the tech required to win but also to suffer significant losses while doing so thus perpetuating the "crisis" that enables it to exercise emergency protocols to maintain control.]]
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