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
, they are off abducting humans
, and children
just like their Fair Folk
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
) 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
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
Type III: Mystic Alien Intruders* (compare: The Greys; The Fair Folk; Little Green Men) *redirects here
- 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.
These are beings that fill the same function as The Fair Folk
in the story or in popular consciousness, except that they (usually) Descended From Outer Space
. This is very commonly
associated with The Greys
, although not always. Little Green Men
can replace Leprechauns
. Alien Abduction
may take the place of a Changeling Tale
. When they aren't snatching up our children, unnaturally extending our lifespans
, or performing mystic rites on us for shits and giggles, they're snatching up our cattle
just like the Brownies
of old, and impregnating our virginal (swear to god!)
women-folk, thus leading to Half-Human Hybrids
. They may be Sufficiently Advanced
, or older than the hills
. See also Time Abyss
. One thing Type 3's share in common is they are invariably Inscrutable
Compare the Three Types of Proud Race Guy: Proud Scholar Race Guy
(usually Space Elves
), Proud Warrior Race Guy
(posssibly Space Dwarves
) and Proud Merchant Race Guy
(all too often
depicted as Space Jews
, who may in fact be any of the three Proud Race Guys, or they may be standard ordinary people in a diaspora
situation, thus occupying a middle position
Note: Type II Space Elves (Enlightened Mystic Race) are also Type II examples of Proud Scholar Race.
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 ElfQuest elves ironically didn't take on elf form until after they were stranded on Planet Abode, and didn't get back into space for about 20,000 years.
- 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.
- Vulcans are also long-lived, vegetarian, and consider their way of life superior to humans'. There are already Vulcan examples in Can't Argue with Elves... because you can't.
- Not only that, Vulcans are High Elves, Romulans are Dark Elves.
- 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.