Created By: Alma on April 17, 2013 Last Edited By: Morgenthaler on November 22, 2016
Troped

Angelic Aliens

Aliens that are tall, graceful, and probably glowing.

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Alternative titles: Space Angels

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_spaceangels_6574_660.png

These Human/Rubber-Forehead Aliens are tall, willowy and graceful — and incredibly beautiful to humans. Bonus points if they glow, are made out of Pure Energy, or have some kind of ethereal quality.

They are distinct from Space Elves insofar as Space Elves are defined more by their personality (uptight and academic) and superiority complex than their appearance. The chief characteristics of the Space Angel are its beauty and grace, and it is not uncommon for them to be silent, adding to the high-class feel. (If they do talk, expect their voices to also be incredibly beautiful, as well as resonant.) Radiant and glowing, these beings leave humans awestruck and may prompt more superstitious characters to actually compare them to angels. If the appearance or abilities of the Space Angels validate traditional depictions of angels, it may be a case of Ancient Astronauts.

Their clothing will likely be composed of elaborate flowing robes, but it is just as common for Space Angels, particularly of the Energy Being variety, to not wear them. This can be for any one of a number of reasons: They may be agender (or at least appear that way); they may lack clothing taboos; or their "clothes" might appear to be integrated into their bodies. There is a high chance that a Space Angel will have jellyfish-like frills and/or tendrils, likely as a form of Alien Hair.

They are likely to have advanced technology, telepathy, empathy and other hallmarks of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and may indicate a race of Rubber-Forehead Aliens that has reached the apex of technological advancement or Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence.

The facial forms of Space Angels are likely to evoke The Greys (large eyes, small or no nose, small mouth), possibly due to the visual and mythological links between aliens, angels, and elves/fairies. However, unlike the Greys, Space Angels are normally kind, gentle beings who are friendly to humans, though they are sometimes depicted as unknowable, with morals and motives above and beyond our understanding.

Examples:

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    Film 
  • Mission to Mars. The alien (possibly a hologram) revealed at the end of the film, who remained behind to seed Earth with life when her race fled Mars after a meteor collision devastated the planet. She is tall, regal and—unusually for a Space Angel—a strong orange in colour.
  • The Abyss. The aliens inhabiting the eponymous abyss, who are an aquatic version of this. They are able to manipulate water and are, for the most part, benign and pacifistic, protecting the lives of humans on multiple occasions. However, they show themselves as a species not to be messed with when they threaten to annihilate human civilization with massive tidal waves if they don't cease their warlike ways.
  • Attack of the Clones. The Kaminoans are a hybrid of Space Angels and The Greys. They dwell on the ocean world of Kamino and possess advanced cloning technology. They are peaceful and polite, although they unwittingly provide the Separatists with the clone army that would later form the foundation for the army of the Galactic Empire, and their grace is shown in long necks, slow speech, narrow robes, and desaturated colors.
  • The aliens from Knowing seem to combine this with Energy Beings. They have wings and are glowing and kind of see-through.

    Literature 
  • Inverted with the red devil look of the aliens in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. It's explained that the idea of the red devil is actually a sort of reverse species memory.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Masters of Horror. It is revealed at the end of "The Screwfly Solution" that the human extinction was engineered by this type of alien. The last surviving woman encounters them while fleeing from hunters in the woods. They kill by shooting jets of fire from their hands in a manner similar to a Bible passage quoted by a hunter, and are referred to throughout the segment as "angels". Although they appear to be hostile to humans, it's implied that they decided to wipe humans out as punishment for their immoral nature.
  • The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are a notable subversion. They are stone creatures that look like angel statues, but they are among the most dangerous and evil creatures of the universe.
  • Torchwood
    • Mary, a telepathic Energy Being with the ability to take human form. She turns out to be hostile, killing humans in order to maintain her disguise, making her a malicious example of a Space Angel.
    • Another member of the same species is shown in the first episode of fellow Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, and this one seems benevolent, and is thus a more straight example of the trope.
  • In Babylon 5, the Vorlons appear as angels to humans and the equivalent to other species. It's part of their grooming us to fight a proxy war against the Shadows.

    Music 
  • The music video for Katy Perry's E.T. depicts several Space Angels, particularly the Kaminoan-esque alien in flowing robes floating in space. The lyrics speculate on whether the alien lover whom the song is about is an angel (or a devil).

    Tabletop Game 
  • The Serrans of Strike Legion, sort of. They're a hyperintelligent genetically engineered species resembling angels, and they were created by the God-Empress of Mankind to function as a Slave Race along with several other created species.

    Video Games 
  • Male Morrigi in Sword of the Stars project a psionic illusion that makes viewers see them as an attractive male of their own species with wings, and are explicitly stated to have inspired myths of angels on earth (along with a host of Trickster legends). Though their actual appearance is a three-meter long feathered serpent with eight limbs, and females are up to six m and inspired myths of dragons.

    Western Animation 
  • The Clone Wars. The Diathim (pictured), also known as Angels. First mentioned in The Phantom Menace by a young Anakin Skywalker, who says they are the "most beautiful creatures in the universe", they were later depicted in the CG version of The Clone Wars series as tall, glowing humanoids with butterfly-like wings.
  • Subverted in The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files". Homer sees in the woods what appears to be a glowing, smiling Grey saying, "I bring you peace" and "I bring you love." It turns out to be Mr. Burns, disoriented and high after a medical treatment "to cheat death," with the glow coming from his exposure to nuclear plant radiation.
  • The Aeons from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) possess various similarities to the image of aliens, notably their wings. When corrupted, they take on demon-like characteristics.


Indices: Alien Tropes, Angelic Tropes

Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • April 17, 2013
    MokonaZero
    First, categorize the examples with headings, with [[AC: so it looks neater.
  • April 17, 2013
    Alma
    Better? Should I add media as well?
  • April 17, 2013
    Nocturna
    You generally want them sorted by medium, like they would be on the trope page.

    The second paragraph (about the contrast with Space Elves) needs to be re-written; its tone currently clashes with the style of the rest of the draft.

    Beings that glow is Phosphor Essence, so that would be related. Creatures made of Pure Energy are Energy Beings.

    The examples need to explain how they fit the trope (e.g. brief description of what they look like and of how they're shown as being superior), not just state that they are an example.
  • April 17, 2013
    MokonaZero
  • April 17, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^^ Well, it can't do any harm, so...
  • April 17, 2013
    Alma
    Working on it. :) Thanks for the feedback so far, guys.
  • April 17, 2013
    MokonaZero
    In Tenchi Muyo many of the characters are aliens that not only look human, but are attractive.
  • April 17, 2013
    StarSword
    TV:
    • In Babylon Five the Vorlons appear as angels to humans and the equivalent to other species. It's part of their grooming us to fight a proxy war against the Shadows.
  • April 17, 2013
    Yotsuyasan
    The Torchwood example can have an addition to it mentioning that another member of the same species is shown in the first episode of fellow Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, and this one seems benevolent, and is thus a more straight example of the trope.
  • April 17, 2013
    AliceMacher
    Subverted in The Simpsons episode The Springfield Files. Homer sees in the woods what appears to be a glowing, smiling Grey saying, "I bring you peace" and "I bring you love." It turns out to be Mr. Burns, disoriented and high after a medical treatment "to cheat death," with the glow coming from his exposure to nuclear plant radiation.
  • April 17, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    Inverted with the red devil look of the aliens in Childhoods End by Arthur C. Clark. It's explained that the idea of the red devil is actually a sort of reverse species memory.
  • March 31, 2014
    zarpaulus
    Video Games
    • Male Morrigi in Sword Of The Stars project a psionic illusion that makes viewers see them as an attractive male of their own species with wings, and are explicitly stated to have inspired myths of angels on earth (along with a host of Trickster legends). Though their actual appearance is a three-meter long feathered serpent with eight limbs, and females are up to six m and inspired myths of dragons.
  • April 1, 2014
    Snicka
    • The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are a notable aversion. They are stone creatures that look like angel statues, but they are among the most dangerous and evil creatures of the universe.
  • April 1, 2014
    Arivne
    • Deleted the space in "[[folder: <name>" so the folders would display properly.
    • Namespaced work names.
    • Corrected an improper Example Indentation in the Torchwood example.
    • Put the episode title "The Springfield Files" in quotes instead of italics.
  • July 5, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    Angelic Aliens? That sounds like the antagonists of Neon Genesis Evangallion.
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that's more like Alien Angels.
  • November 20, 2016
    intastiel
    There's already Inhumanly Beautiful Race, though this seems a bit more specific.
  • November 21, 2016
    eroock
    The aliens from Knowing seem to combine this with Energy Beings. They have wings and are glowing and kind of see-through.
  • November 21, 2016
    eroock
  • November 21, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Masters of Horror is misplaced under films—it was a television series.
  • November 21, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    ^^^^ This is definitely tropeworthy. Inhumanly Beautiful Race cuts across several different fantasy races—it could apply to elves, succubi, angels, sirens, or many others.

    If no one else does, I'd be fine with sponsoring and launching this one.
  • November 21, 2016
    MarqFJA
    I suggest replacing "These Humanoid Aliens" at the very beginning with "These Human/Rubber Forehead Aliens", because Humanoid Aliens actually refers to aliens that do look very alien at the same time that they have a generally humanoid shape (i.e. two arms, two legs, one head, more or less upright posture), as illustrated by the trope's image.
  • November 21, 2016
    Aubren
  • November 22, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    ^ Needs more context.

    ^^ Agreed.
  • November 22, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Updated examples to here.
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