Space Elves YKTTW Discussion
Note: See discussion here, here (original ykttw), here, and here for reference. This is a supertrope bringing together isolated references to Space Elves in three separate tropes: Our Elves Are Better, Proud Scholar Race Guy (Type II), and The Greys in one spot for the first time. Examples of each type would still fall under those tropes. Launching soon, please respond with examples prior to launch. There are certain races in Speculative Fiction that appear to occupy an equivalent niche that elves do in a fantasy setting; the idealized, Closer to Earth culture reaching toward utopian ideals, or the inscrutable, ominous Fair Folk for whom We Are as Mayflies. When they are not behaving as a standard fantasy elf or, as is often the case, an enlightened mystic race such as Vulcans or Na'vi, they are off abducting humans, cattle, and children just like their Fair Folk ancestors. Sometimes the elf-like race is implied to be Ancient Astronauts themselves, misremembered or otherwise. Sometimes they are literal Elves IN SPACE! or at the very least have elf-like characteristics such as longevity and Pointy Ears. Some anthropologists have speculated that the tendency to imagine any foriegn intruders who are different from us as Elves Versus Dwarves is hard-wired, like the theory that humans are hard-wired to imagine dragons because monkeys were afraid of snakes. By this logic, humans have an innate tendency to classify "alien" cultures as inscrutable, slender (tall and/or diminutive) beings who were here before us, have better tools and are not to be messed with,[[hottip:**:(all of which traits were once attributed to pygmies and other neolithic tribes by their Iron Age neighbors)]] versus swarthy, hairy fellows with large families, who are industrious, engage in untouchable occupations such as mining, and are migrants.[[hottip:**:(all of which traits were once attributed to the Irish and European immigrants, along with pygmies whom neighboring tribes wished to subjugate.)]] Space Elves and Space Dwarves would thus occupy an extreme niche as entirely legendary beings that personify the same archetypes. Subtrope of Our Elves Are Better. There are three types of Space Elves: actual elves in a non-standard fantasy setting (compare Urban Fantasy, Mundane Fantastic); archetypal mystical philosophical beings (Proud Scholar Race) that could be elves if it were a fantasy setting (compare Proud Warrior Race, Proud Merchant Race for the Elves vs. Dwarves equivalent); and beings which are definitely alien but behave almost exactly like the Fair Folk and sometimes fill the same function (compare Ancient Astronauts, The Greys, Little Green Men). Examples of all three types fall under this trope: Type I is a specific category of Our Elves Are Better. Type II is a specific category of Proud Scholar Race. Type III is a specific category of The Fair Folk. Type II-A is an oddly specific phenomenon that describes the tendency of Type II's to manifest as a Blue Skinned Space Babe. It is a reoccurring theme in several works and universes that all seem to be referencing each other. Type I: Elves In Space* (main article: Our Elves Are Better) *redirects here Standard fantasy elves or equivalent beings with Serial Numbers Filed Off... In Spaaaace! These are surprisingly common in science fiction and Tabletop Games (compare Urban Fantasy). Ancient Astronauts may count as Type I if they are not merely mistaken for elves, but actually are elves who turn out to be an alien race. Type II: Enlightened Mystic Race* (main article: Proud Scholar Race (Type II) *redirects here Personality-wise, they may be aloof and detached, or (in the case of empathic types) quite gregarious. Either way, they have a tendency to be more mystical or philosophical than most of the other species in the setting. These are almost by definition Proud Scholar Race Guy (Type II), and they are typically pitted against Proud Warrior Race Guy in a straight application of Elves Versus Dwarves. For more information on Type II, see Proud Scholar Race. Type II-A: Psychic Blue Space Babe* (main article: Green-Skinned Space Babe) *redirects there
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin. For some reason, Space Elves, especially females of Type II, tend to manifest as a Blue-Skinned Space Babe and for quite some time now. Sometimes known as "blue hotties", they're more likely to be blue than green. Possibly because of the "little green men" stigma about science fiction, and the fact that green skin is more likely than blue to look like you have a horrible fungal infection. Sometimes they are part of a Sexy Matriarchy. Examples of Type II-A do not need to be listed separately, but are worth noting.
Examples of Type I (Literal Elves In Space)
- Examples Needed, Will update on launch.
- The Eldar in Warhammer: 40000, naturally.
- The Elves in ElfQuest.
- The fairies (including elves) of the Artemis Fowl series are traditional, native-to-Earth fairies, with magic that does some things, but they're also very high-tech and in a distinctly sci-fi setting. A fairy space probe plays a part in "Atlantis Complex," among other things.
- Jak's race might be another example - Jak strikes one as Link IN SPACE!, and Link was an elf.
Examples of Type II (Enlightened Mystic Race)
- See main page (Proud Scholar Race, Type II) for more examples.
- Spock and his Vulcan ilk are scholarly, long-lived, pointy-eared, phlegmatic, and psychic.
- The Na'vi are Wood Elves. Type II-A to boot: the most recent example.
- There's also the asari from Mass Effect. They also fit the scheme of Type II-A. Female, Blue, Space, Psychic, somewhat elfish.
- The Abh in Crest of the Stars are blatant type 2's, with a good helping of Can't Argue with Elves--they're world conquerers and we're supposed to sympathize with them.
- Not from a matriarchy or a female-dominated race, but other than that, Mira Nova from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command fits the bill of Type II-A'' perfectly.
- The Elerians from the Orion games (2 and 3, not found in MOO 1) are a Type II-A.
- The Syreen from the Star Control series of games are Type II-A.
- The loroi from the webcomic Outsiders are Type II-A.
- The Protoss from StarCraft fall under Type II and, except for the babe part, Type II-A.
Examples of Type III (Mystic Alien Intruders)
- See also The Greys for additional examples, of a specific type.
- The Ariloulaleelay from Star Control 2 would qualify as a Type III. They live in another dimension, are as old as dirt, and imply that performed experiments on humans in the past.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a partial example, given their habits towards humans.
- E.T. and his people start out as this, but are revealed to be Type II and a Friend to All Living Things in the supplemental fiction.
- The Water Beings from The Abyss.
- Mr. Grey and his enemy, from Dreamcatcher by Stephen King, masquerade as this to deceive impressionable humans from their true intentions... which means they fit the bill of Type III quite nicely, come to think of it.