Aliens come from another planet. Their entire culture, history, and even biology could be radically different from that of us Earth-folk. It should not be surprising if they are so
different that we can't comprehend them at all
Fortunately, though, it turns out that aliens are really just humans with some bits glued on
. Same with their ideology: they're just a thinly veiled stand-in for whoever the public is politically afraid of at the moment, or whoever in Earth history the writers want to anvilize
the viewers about. Basically, this is a Planet of Hats
where the "hat" is some feared human ideology.
All but the best writers
end up giving in to this to some extent. Some actively revel in it.
If a show is lucky enough to be in production when the public's #1 scary ideology shifts, there's a good chance that we'll see the aliens switch dogmas as well. That, or a new race will show up and supplant them as the top threat.
Hybrids are also common, probably because the writers have only a passing understanding of what the popular scary ideology is really all about. Note how often political pundits on both sides compare their enemies to Nazis
in recent years to see that this extends beyond fiction.
Slightly more self-aware writers will do a bit of Lampshade Hanging
by giving the aliens trappings so obviously derived from the source that you can't help but notice, like putting them in Nazi uniforms
. Compare Master Race
, for a cultural group who are not necessarily aliens but still see themselves as superior. A Sub-Trope
of Aliens Are Bastards
Scary Dogmatic Aliens generally take on one of a hand-full of forms:
"All inferior creatures are to be considered the enemy of the Daleks, and destroyed!
Among the oldest forms of the trope, aliens are regimented, efficient, and full of xenophobic hate that won't be sated until they've wiped every single one of us from existence. Their leader is a charismatic psychopath who rules with an iron fist. Often obsessed with genetic purity, with the cute little hypocrisy that their leader isn't genetically pure.
"You need not fear. Cybermen will remove fear. Cybermen will remove sex, and class, and colour, and creed. You will become identical. You will become like us.
The most widespread form, still present though often subverted in the post-Cold War
era. Everyone is the same, individuality is a capital crime. Heavy emphasis on assimilation, which which can either be literal (with them wanting to transmogrify humans into more of their own
), or allegorical (e.g. brainwashing or body-snatching). The Virus
may fall into this category.
"Your destruction is the will of the gods... and we are their instrument.
The most recent evolution of the trope. It's a step forward that Speculative Fiction
can now depict alien religion as extending beyond "advanced = atheistic
; primitive = fooled into worshiping anyone with a PDA
," but it's also a step backward in that the new category of alien religion is more often than not just a thinly veiled allegory
of the most tragic and extreme forms of human anti-social devotion
. The Alien as Religious Fundamentalist hates humans because their god/gods told them to.
For maximum points, it should be possible, even likely, that if the alien god does exist, it really isn't averse to humans at all, but is being misrepresented by the alien leadership. To really stick a fork in it, it occasionally turns out that humans
are supposed to be the aliens' "true" gods, according to the correct interpretation of their religion.
"The alien is not intrinsically evil. Do not hate him. Pity his ignorance. Seek to understand his differences and acquaint him with his inadequacies. Only then will he accept his place in the Greater Good."
The oldest form of this trope (dating back to H. G. Wells
' The War of the Worlds
), but generally quite similar to aliens as Nazis, roaming the cosmos in search of new lands to subjugate and new prizes to claim in the name of the Empire or for their own personal glory. Your subjugation will occasionally be in order to civilize you, but more often will be because Might Makes Right
, and those too weak to make a stand don't deserve a say in their own fates. An Alien as Conquistador is likely to be a Proud Warrior Race Guy
. Can mix easily with other types.
The entire "suddenly, vastly technologically superior anthropomorphic aliens landed and life as we knew it forever went to hell in a handbasket" seems to be so everlastingly popular in America due to its own history being just that, except that the invading aliens, not the unfortunate current residents, carried the day. For much the same reason, Japanese anime's aliens have a army of Monsters of the Week
and practice gunboat diplomacy by packing the power to flatten entire cities in one go, while Russian scifi tends to focus on exploring and colonizing incomprehensible, faintly oriental, and technologically backward aliens, and not vice versa. Every culture's colonization-related alien stories reflect its own historical experiences, whether in wishing to repeat past achievements, recalling past humiliations and horrors in fear of the old adage that history repeats itself, or in apprehension that "do unto others..." promises a long-overdue Karmic backlash any day now.
Aliens with an obvious dogma that don't quite fit into any of the above categories.
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Aliens as Nazis
Anime and Manga
- Kenichi Sonoda (of Gunsmith Cats fame)'s Cannon God Exaxxion's main antagonists, the Riofaldians, have many similarities to the Nazis, especially the sinister Major Rya'am & Lt. Za'ire, who are basically alien versions of Josef Mengele & Ilsa The She Wolf Of The SS. Interestingly, they're actually a lot closer overall to another of the Axis Powers, namely Imperial Japan, which is probably why the series was never made into an anime...
- They also fit the trope as alien Conquistadores, first arriving under the guise of peace and friendly trade relations, before utterly conquering the human military and declaring Earth as their new colony. However it's how they treat the humans afterwards that fits them straight back into Nazi territory.
- The Gamilas / Gamilons from Space Battle Ship Yamato / Star Blazers. Desslok's title is "Leader" (that is, Fuhrer) and he commands an extremely loyal cult of personality. The Gamilons appear to be a completely militarized people who are utterly contemptuous of "barbarian" races. They even give the Nazi salute. In spite of all this, Desslok experiences a Heel Realization at the end of the second season and calls off his war with humanity.
- The current version of the Thanagarian race from The DCU (Human Aliens from a planet orbiting Polaris) have an expansionist culture with a fascist government, though individual Thanagarians aren't all evil. Comparisons to the Nazis don't end there: They have a red-and-black insignia and make use of raptor imagery. Recent developments have seen the rise of a new faction of Thanagarian religious fanatics that fit the "aliens as religious fundamentalists" subtrope.
- The Sinestro Corps enforce totalitarianism on any planet they have the manpower to conquer, as per the ideals of their founder and leader Sinestro, who single-handedly turned his homeworld of Korugar into a Nazi-esque nation-state back when he was a Green Lantern. As an added bonus, their power rings are fueled by the fear they instill into others!
- Ironically, the Guardians of the Universe can sometimes regress into oppressive bureaucrats and set a number of laws and mandates that hamper the livelihood of a Green Lantern. Subverted, as each law has some basis in safekeeping the Corps, like banning relationships between Lanterns so as to not compromise their mental state.
- Virtually every single alien empire out there in the Marvel Universe, including, but far from limited to, the Kree, the Troyans, the Skrulls, the Shiar, the Dire Wraits, the Negative zone armies of Blastaar and Annihilus, the Phalanx, and now even the Inhumans.
- The Ultimate Comics has the Chitauri, at first seemingly a Skrull Expy race Piggybacking on Hitler but later turns out they really consider themselves the Master Race and intend to kill all other lifeforms in the universe. Turns out they've been kicked off of all the other planets where they've attempted this and Earth is their last ditch attempt at Taking You with Me in the end.
- Despite being a silly B-Movie, Teenagers from Outer Space could easily be a subtle Nazi allegory. In the first place, the aliens intend to exterminate humans from Earth to create "grazing room" for their "Gargon herds" (giant lobsters). Mars is revealed to be a fascist dystopia in the dialogue, and the main villain continually refers to his species as "the supreme race." Essentially, as one viewer put it, "it's like a Martian version of Summer of My German Soldier."
- In the Star Wars film series, we have the Galactic Empire, Scary Dogmatic Humans who have enough Nazi parallels to fill a large encyclopedia. The Expanded Universe also makes comparisons between them and pretty much every conquest-happy empire in history.
- Going back further, the Galactic Empire has also been compared with The Roman Empire.
- In the Flash Gordon film, when the bad guys are watching the memories of Dr. Zarkov (a Holocaust survivor played by Topol), and a Hitler rally pops up, Klydus comments that "He had promise." Otherwise, however, the bad guys just seem to be corrupt feudalists.
- The Yevetha from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. One of the things that the controversial New Jedi Order series did right was have the even more dogmatic Yuuzhan Vong wipe out the extremely annoying Yevetha, with the last one committing suicide rather than have a human assist him.
- The Atlas retconned this to the Vong wiping out all but 10,000 Yevetha, 7,000 of them being on their smoldering homeworld.
- The Daleks from Doctor Who, who literally did Nazi salutes in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "Genesis of the Daleks".
- And the German-speaking Daleks in "Journey's End".
- Terry Nation, their original writer, once described the Daleks thusly; as the Nazi technocrats who developed the V-weapons, did concentration camp experiments, etc., and were sometimes recruited by the Allies post-war due to their technical ability. 'You should think of the Dalek as being a Nazi technocrat locked up inside his own individual paranoid Panzer tank, unable to have human contact, on the edge of hysteria at all times'. In their earliest appearances, they are individuals, scientists, and easily panicked by proximity with those icky aliens.
- Due to being written during the Cold War, the original Dalek story saw the planet Skaro devastated by nuclear and neutronic warfare, with the Daleks planning to vent more radiation into the atmosphere, evoking From Russia with Nukes.
- The Daleks become religious fundamentalists in the two-part episode, Bad Wolf and The Parting of Ways, which, given the length of the series, neatly illustrates that depending on the writers so depends the threat. An early Dalek appearance has them burning through a forest while chanting; 'Align and advance, advance and attack, attack and destroy, destroy and rejoice!'
- The religious overtones are still subordinate to the Dalek notions of racial purity. In "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways", the Daleks' religious language and fervor are a symptom that they've gone mad even by Dalek standards, because they can't reconcile themselves to being created from human tissue. Similarly, the Cult of Skaro departs from the orthodox Dalek Way in the belief that they can thereby find new ways to
exterminate EX-TER-MIN-ATE non-Daleks; they're not really a "cult" in any other sense.
- We only saw them in two episodes (three, if you count Caan's appearance in Season 4) so it's hard to know for sure.
- Most recent appearance includes an upgrade to a colour-coded caste system.
- With the colorful Daleks obliterating the old ones, who agree to be obliterated because they agree that they are inferior. This is much like when the Cult of Skaro killed Dalek Sec after making him part human. One of the most Nazi-like things about the Daleks might be that not only do they want to wipe out all non-Dalek life, they'll also kill fellow Daleks for not being genetically "pure" enough.
- In the same episode ("Victory Of The Daleks"), the trope is played with when the older Daleks pose as helpful servants of the Allied War effort. This gives rise to the amusing yet menacing request "Would you care for some tea?"
- Interestingly, according to Asylum of the Daleks, despite being fascist in nature, they are also a parliamentary democracy. This is entirely reconcilable, however, by the fact that most of the relevant fascistic beliefs are literally coded into them on the genetic level and a cornerstone of their culture, so the chances of any Dalek voting against the EX-TER-MIN-ATE foreign policy doctrine (and domestic doctrine, criminal code, and legally mandated method of dealing with those that aren't Dalek enough) are minuscule at best.
- Asylum also has other species being partially converted into Daleks, breaking from the dogma a bit, but only as disposable servants. Oswin being converted into a full Dalek is again a sign that the Daleks involved were mad.
- The "humanitarian" aliens from V. This shouldn't be surprising, seeing as the movie was initially going to be a miniseries based on It Can't Happen Here, a novel based on the idea of a fascist American dictatorship. The lizards with odd dietary needs were the result of Executive Meddling.
- The Morthran from War of the Worlds season 2, also with uniforms.
- Babylon 5:
- In a Flash Forward in the fourth season finale, the Nazi-stand-ins were humans, down to SS uniforms.
- President Clark's administration has some fascist overtones, with uprisings violently put down, dissent eliminated, free speech all but gone, anti-alien sentiment once again on the rise, Night Watch doing rounds on the station in black uniforms with armbands.
- The Sebaceans in Farscape, who even used the same red-white-black color scheme. Their enemies, the Scarrans, are even worse. They view the Peacekeepers as inferior, making them the Nazis to other Nazis!
- Vosk's race from the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Storm Front Parts 1 & 2" were not only alien Nazis, but were explicitly allied with the actual Nazis.
- Star Trek: The Original Series has a Planet of Hats whose hat is that they actually are Nazis (but they were deliberately engineered into their "hat" by an interfering Earth historian). He actually thought that the best way to impose order on the planet was by turning them into Nazis. It actually worked, for a while, before they encountered their neighbors from planet Zeon (a pretty transparent reference to Zion, the lands of Israel). They immediately declare them inferior and start planning an invasion on the "Zeon pigs". This happened because the human historian forgot that Aliens Are Bastards and Power Corrupts. Once his local assistant understood how it worked, he drugged the historian and used him as a figurehead.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- The Cardassians are a nuanced and fleshed-out version of the Nazi origin story. They are described as having suffered a terrible economic collapse and famine, which was their motivation for becoming militaristic and expansionist. The comparison went so far as them having concentration camps during the Bajoran occupation, and developing the Obsidian Order as their own version of the SS.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Other Side", the Eurondans turn out to be these in The Reveal.
- The Gua from First Wave, complete with Nazi uniforms.
- According to Joshua, the Gua used to be peaceful beings, whose favorite pasttime was comtemplating the universe, until they were invaded by a violent race. This forced them to radically alter their society in order to fight off the invaders. The name Gua means "the power to overcome".
- Joshua himself undergoes a Heel-Face Turn when he realizes that humans also posses Gua, and they've unleashed it in the hero.
- Technically, only one in 117 humans have it, but that's still a lot, given that there are nearly 7 billion of us. Hell, Cade alone made a mess of the Gua infiltration effort. Imagine millions of humans doing that.
- Ming's government in the Flash Gordon TV series reboot. Ming rules the only city on planet Mongo, built around the only source of uncontaminated water in the world. He uses his Patriot troops (all clad in a mix or red and black) to enforce his rule, all the while maintaining the image as the Benevolent Father. He himself prefers to wear a military uniform, as opposed to the ornate clothing of Ming the Merciless from the film. He also controls all the cantons (villages) throughout Mongo by virtue of controling their water supply. Anyone caught trying to circumvent his water monopoly is caught and publicly executed, although this may be justified because contraband water is likely to be contaminated. His plan is to use the portal technology to steal fresh water from Earth but only to continue maintaining control instead of giving more to others.
- Interestingly, just like Hitler dabbled in the occult, so does Ming often visit an order of priests in order to have his future read. This is done in a ritual where a priest is stung by a scorpion and spouts prophecies before a painful death. These predictions usually come true.
- Additionally, any Deviant (a mutant) is automatically an enemy of the state and must be killed or exiled. An episode had a woman beg the "Benevolent Father" to spare her newborn baby, whose DNA contained only 1% of deviancy. Ming simply says it's 1% more than he should have. Of course, the finale reveals that Ming himself is a Deviant and tried to have his newborn son killed, who was born deformed; the son survived and led a rebellion against him.
- Not exactly aliens, but the Scourge on Angel. A group of very Nazi-like pureblood demons. (though it was said somewhere else that even 'pure' demons have some human taint, so they weren't as pure as they thought.)
- The Espheni in Falling Skies, they have ravaged Earth, and enslave captured humans with harnesses. Their commanders love to gloat on how inferior humans are, and how superior the Espheni are. Then they started gathering children and placing them into reeducation camps, and later convert them into Espheni.
- Humans in Warhammer 40,000 are the closest the setting has, depressingly enough. A xenophobic blend of all the worst periods in human history, but at least in this universe the crusading against aliens and mutants is justified...
- Like Warhammer, in Rifts it is Humans who fit the mold, with the xenophobic, expansionist Coalition States. And, like the Star Trek example in Television, this is entirely deliberate, with Emperor Prosek consciously emulating Those Wacky Nazis.
- The Nictus of City of Heroes, while not Nazis themselves, are closely linked to the Council, and especially the 5th Column, the Nazi enemy group that the Council absorbed. (Requiem, the 5th's leader, is also one of the leaders of the Nictus.)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gives the Aldmeri Dominion, a nation formed of the Bosmer and Altmer homelands of Valenwood and the Summerset Isles (southwestern provinces of The Empire during the four previous games). About thirty years before the game begins, the Dominion invaded The Empire and sacked the Imperial City (though they were repulsed by a Legion counterattack). They forced the Emperor to outlaw worship of Talos, a.k.a. Emperor Tiber Septim, who ascended to godhood after his death. This led directly to a civil war in Skyrim, due to the Nords' love for him. Nowadays their operatives, the Thalmor, openly arrest and torture anyone they even suspect of being a secret Talos worshiper.
- Freespace gives us the Hammer of Light, a Vasudan fanatic cult that worships the Shivans as cosmic redeemers. They believed the Shivans had come to deliver them from evil, citing some obscure Vasudan legends, and declared open war on the Terrans and Vasudans, seeing them as inferior beings. Unfortunately, the Shivans don't really care for their worship, and destroyed them indiscriminately.
- Not technically aliens, but a subspecies of human, the Helgans of Killzone are all Nazis on a revenge streak. And boy howdy, when they say they will spare no one, they aren't kidding.
- Mass Effect:
- The Batarian Hegemony subtly fits into this for a number of reasons: They're a rogue state; they have a fascistic dictatorial government that controls the citizenry with propaganda; they believe themselves to be the master race; and they are one of the only species that still practices slavery (the other race that owns slaves? The asari). They prefer subterfuge and working through unofficial privateers to outright warfare, although after Shepard destroyed one of their colonies war seemed likely. But in Mass Effect 3 it turns out that this was just the outward appearance: ordinary batarians are no more good or evil than anyone else.
- It's arguable that the Reapers are this as well, seeing how they want nothing more than to purge the galaxy of all organic life. In a bit of an inversion, though, they aren't focused on genetic purity so much as genetic diversity; species with higher genetic diversity, such as humans, have a better chance of making a new Reaper.
- The Soulless of Puzzle Quest Galactrix. They're obsessed with improving themselves to the point of perfection. Apparently part of that path to perfection is wiping out the imperfect (read: everybody else).
- The Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah from Star Control II, complete with red eyes and black exoskeletons, except that they are sympathetic villains with a real tear-jerker story. They still count, but it loses a lot of impact. There is also a dash of Aliens as Religious Fundamentalists, as while they don't kill you because of their religion, it does provide them with an excuse for why it is an acceptable method to reach their goal (they believe in reincarnation, and apparently believes it applies to all sapient beings. Any killed alien hence has a chance of being reborn as an Ur-Quan, meaning there's no real moral issue with killing everyone non-Ur-Quan to ensure the Ur-Quan are safe from enslavement).
- The Highbreed of Ben 10: Alien Force, who were (or at least claim to have been) the first race in existence, and consider all other races to be filthy, repulsive, genetically impure abominations that must be exterminated. Ironically, they are actually a Dying Race. Their entire race has become sterile due to in-breeding. Their entire reason for genocide is that they can't stand the idea of "inferior" races out-living them.
Aliens as Communists
- An exception is Green Lantern's Kilowog of Bolovax VIX, whose race was so social as to be nearly hive-minded, and eventually chose to work for the Chinese government because China came closest to his race's psychology, in which socialist government and communist economics were the optimal course for society. He never tried to push his ideals on anyone; his role was basically The Big Guy / Genius Bruiser, and he was (and still is) a close friend to all the main-character GLs.
- He later stopped communicating with Earth Communist governments because he discovered the corruption caused by human greed.
- This was the original characterization of the shape-shifting Skrulls of the Marvel Universe, but they now have been re-invented into the fundamentalists (see entry below).
- In the post-Zero Hour version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the insectoid teleporter Gates is a sympathetic communist character. Although a hero, he is also a frequent source of comic relief as a Deadpan Snarker at the LSH's capitalist society. Could also be considered a clever Lampshade Hanging, in the implication that only a race of hive insects could ever make communism really work. Later his snarking was to a more racist bent, emphasizing his bias against vertebrates, though by then he had generally mellowed and the snarking came across more as teasing than as serious insults.
- The Chitauri, i.e. Ultimate Skrulls, from volume 1 of The Ultimates. Although they once allied with Nazi Germany, that was because a totalitarian takeover of the world would have helped advance the Chitauri's agenda of bringing "harmony" to the world. The Chitauri consider the universe analogous to an organism, themselves its immune system, and independent thought a cancer that they have been sent to cure. In addition to propping up totalitarian regimes, their treatments include the deployment of thought suppressing chemicals in the water supply, brain-influencing microchips in mobile phones, and "surgery". Much like pod people, they killnote individual humans and take their places.
- Nexus, having begun in the Eighties, has the Sov Empire, which is explicitly the interstellar expansion of the old Soviet Union. They are literal Communists In Space. While the Sov Empire is clearly dystopian, their ostensibly democratic counterpart, the Web, is itself monstrously corrupt. Nexus and his little planet of Ylum stand apart from either of them.
- The alien Pod People from the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers are an obvious allegory for Communism with all the replacements being devoid of emotion as well as being driven to infiltrate the rest of humanity and take them over as well. Apparently this was unintentional. Ironically, some interpretations have the aliens as representing McCarthyism, and its need to crush anything perceived as too different.
- In the 1978 remake, the pods were updated to represent the corporate facelessness of the late '70s and '80s.
- Even more ironically for the McCarthyism interpretations of the original is the main character, played by actor Kevin McCarthy.
- The bug aliens from Starship Troopers were also a metaphor for communism. Lampshaded as Heinlein's narrator explicitly articulates both the parallel and the counterpoint that the Bugs' communism only worked because the species was biologically adapted to it by their evolution. So not only is communism to be destroyed by humans, but communism would never work for humans. The film version parodied this by making the humans overtly fascist to the point of wearing leather SS uniforms.
- The novel contains nothing that even really resembles Fascism. It does depict that military service is necessary to gain the vote and serve in a couple of restricted professions like cops... but that has never been an element of any fascist state in the real world, let alone a defining characteristic, and the book makes the point that this is the only difference between a resident and a citizen. Residents otherwise have exactly the same rights as citizens. Elements of Fascism that are absent are legion - there is no Fuhrer nor anything remotely like one, and whilst government is made of veterans the active military plays no part in government whatever (the right to vote doesn't kick in until they retire, because, as one of the characters mentions, otherwise the soldiers would all vote never to go to war). There is no state control of the economy, no state control of the media, the military is tiny and is largely ignored or despised by the population, questioning of authority is not only not repressed, it's carefully encouraged... really the society depicted is closer to a liberal democracy than anything. One reason fans of the book so disliked the movie was that every fascist element in it was tacked onto the story, not originating from the book at all.
- Although the film emphasizes military service as a requirement to earn citizenship, in the novel many forms of social work and service to the community also lead to citizenship. The general concept is "if you're willing to sacrifice for the good of society, then you're the kind of person that should be allowed to have a say in how it's run."
- Subversion of the trope in Joe Haldeman's books:
- The clone alien Taurans in The Forever War have a Hive Mind which makes communication with the aliens impossible for humankind until humanity develops its own hive mind through cloning, whereupon it's swiftly determined that humanity caused the forever war due to its own beligerance and its military industrial complex seeking a reason to justify its existence. The 1000-year long war is explicitly dedicated in-story as a monument to human stupidity.
- Subverted again in Forever Peace. The humans develop a technology that lets them share memories in real time. The first clinical test of the device on a dozen psychopaths and murderers led to them rapidly developing a Hive Mind and turning pacifist. The military backers of the technology freak out and try to destroy all traces of the experiment. They fail. Joe Haldeman explicitly states, repeatedly, that he sees 'a radical increase in empathy' to be absolutely critical to humanity's survival in the modern age. Haldeman portrays communism positively. (Forever Peace doesn't contain aliens but it's the spiritual successor to The Forever War which does contain aliens.)
- The Tripods, with all humans being "capped" by mind-control devices at puberty to assimilate them, although the humans so assimilated don't become part of the alien culture, but slaves to it, making it either an imperfect analogy or an extra advanced one.
- Taken to the extreme on the planet Camazotz from A Wrinkle in Time, so much so that all of the identical children in their identical yards bounce identical balls off their identical garage doors in perfect synch with one another.
- Mostly averted by the Amnion in Stephen Donaldson's The Gap Cycle. While they are The Virus who also constitute a Hive Mind, their motivation to assimilate is purely biological. They do not understand politics and are genetically incapable of lying or betrayal: while they do ultimately launch several plans against humanity, these are largely fueled by their fear and mistrust of human unpredictability. The humans, of course, are at least as afraid of them. In spite of this their first contact vessel is named Solidarity, probably as a Shout-Out to this trope.
- Some of Michael Swanwick's works (Vacuum Flowers, for one) feature a variation in which Earth (Earth specifically, not humans generally) is the Scary Dogmatic Alien. Not aliens, because that would imply there's more than one: Earth is linked into a hive mind called the Comprise. There's an uneasy peace between Earth and the rest of humanity, helped somewhat by the fact that though Earth is several centuries ahead of the individual humans in the physical sciences, it hasn't found a way around the lightspeed limit, so the hive mind starts to fragment if the "units" get too far apart. This puts a natural limit on the expansion of the Comprise (roughly lunar orbit, where the lag becomes intolerable).
- The Cybermen from Doctor Who, with assimilation. When the Daleks and Cybermen both appeared in the new series, they naturally did not mix—though the Cybermen did try proposing an alliance to the Daleks. It worked out just about as well for them as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did for Stalin.
- Interestingly, the Cybermen (and their expies the Movellans) originally existed merely to exist. They follow the economic theory that the first duty or purpose of any organisation is to continue to survive.
- "We will survive" - Cyberleader. The Movellans are fragile, handsome 'disco'-themed robots and have no dream of conquest; they merely defend themselves from attack. The Movellans are scarily good at defending themselves. They spent untold millennia in a perfectly logical standoff with the Daleks, each making absolutely logical responses to the perfectly predicted moves of the other...right up until the Movellans created a disease deadly to the Daleks and inflicted an utterly crushing defeat on them. The Daleks were reduced to hiring human mercenaries to break Davros out of prison to cure the disease for them.
- Doctor Who also has an odd sort of double subversion in the case of the Ood, who are a Cthulhumanoid Slave Race with no real individuality. They're treated as something to be both pitiable and sort of revolting, but in their second appearance it's revealed that they have a sort of Hive Mind connected by the Ood Brain, meaning that when freed they are still completely dogmatic. They even punish the villain of the episode by transforming him into an Ood to be "looked after" by the Brain, but are still treated as a sympathetic race.
- The Taelons from Earth: Final Conflict were a minor subversion, in that they were only minimally evil.
- The Peacekeepers from Farscape. Their symbol is a version of the Soviet artwork ''Beat The Whites With The Red Wedge''◊. If Peacekeepers are captured, they are regarded as being "irreversibly contaminated" - in WW2, captured Soviet soldiers were regarded as traitors to the Motherland, and those who survived German captivity were punished when they came home.
- The Borg from Star Trek, with assimilation. Taken even further in Star Trek: Destiny, where it is revealed that the Borg are a corruption of a near-Utopian society. In the original series, the Klingons represent the Soviet Union and the Red Chinese, with the Romulans as 'the honourable enemy'. And yet it's the Federation whose economy most closely mirrors Marx's idea of a socialistic democracy where everyone's needs are satisfied equally (not necessarily the Soviet implementation of that idea). The episode where a 20th century capitalist is defrosted, Picard is disgusted that he is concerned with accumulating wealth. Then again, clean, cheap energy and replicators may do that to a society.
- The Mor-taxan from War of the Worlds season 1, with body-snatching.
- The Tau from Warhammer 40,000. Often affectionately referred to as "Blue Space Commies". They're this with a rather large helping of Flat Earth Atheist.
- The Tau are relatively benevolent, by the setting's standards. Their society is actually far less oppressive than that of humans, and their brand of assimilation consists of converting surrendered enemies to their ideology (which may feature brainwashing if they do not convert willingly) and giving them a place in their society. Of course in any other setting they'd be at best Well Intentioned Extremists, but this is 40k we're talking about, so the fact they give you an option of joining them or dying makes them seem like saintly paragons of virtue in comparison to everybody else.
- And then come the implications of mind control, forced sterilisation, death camps...
- The Tau are morally ambiguous. The forces of Chaos, the Necrons, hordes of orks, and the swarms of Tyranids are morally unambiguous in the sense that they all just want to kill you and steal/eat some part of you. The Tau certainly don't meet the "scary" requirement of "scary dogmatic aliens" compared those four races - the psychopathic, entirely selfish, and tremendously violent Orks easily qualify as the least horrifying of the 'evil' races. The Tau aren't half as dogmatic as the Imperium of Man either.
- The issue with the Tau is both a matter of both Unreliable Narrator and Real Life Writes the Plot. The Tau were originally introduced to be the "one good and noble" race in the 40K universe because so many fans were getting sick of the Grim Dark permeating every molecule of the in-game galaxy. Of course, this ended up annoying many existing players who LIKED the "My guys are the good guys simply because it's from their perspective" aspect of the whole ordeal. The kicker? They made the Tau seem like potential dystopian overlords through fluff which was written almost entirely from the perspective of Imperial scribes... Which tend to be about as accurate as 1940's or 50's newsreel depictions of the Axis Powers / Communists, respectively. So once more, "it's in the player's hands."
- The Hanar from Mass Effect. Shepard can even wryly comment on this whilst bartering with one. They're also Grammar Nazis and a bit of Religious Fundamentalists, although not too bad on that part (the worst they ever do is preach without a license and even that's only if they don't have the money to get one). Oh, and they train some of the galaxy's best assassins.
- The Quarians are also communists; they don't practice commerce with each other - they just share everything, except food and medicine that are carefully regulated. These are necessities of living on a fleet of spaceships with extremely limited space - owning many possessions can quite literally prevent you from having enough room to sleep. They're not least bit scary or dogmatic apart from their attitudes towards artificial intelligence, though, and those they share with most of the galaxy.
- The Rikti in City of Heroes, invaders from another continuum who use psychic powers as a means to attain what is referred to in-game as "monolithic harmony," and even have "priests" whose sole function seems to be ferreting out aberrant thought.The Rikti also actively assimilate humans into their species with genetic retroviri, chemical treatments, and psychic reeducation- the villain group "The Lost" are actually humans half-transformed into Rikti- one of the big secrets in the game is that the Rikti are human; they were engineered into the Rikti by an alien race, and continue to perform the same modifications on their children during pregnancy and childhood.
- The charmingly titled Communist Mutants from Space features aliens from the planet Rooskie who are turning the inhabitants of other planets into "Communist Mutants" and serve the "Mother Creature", who drinks irradiated vodka.
- In Quake IV, the Strogg are a race of cybernetic aliens that go from planet to planet, and violently turn the native life there into more of their own while stripping the planet bare of resources. You even get to bear witness to the transformation process since it's being done to you.
- Certain subtleties indicate the Autobots might be like this in Animated, namely Optimus' "cog in the great Autobot machine" speech and the fact that the guys put out on space bridge repair duty all seem to be ones who either violated or disregarded conformist Autobot patriotism.
- In fact, according to the Back Story of the G1 cartoon, the Autobots were outright Communist revolutionaries, more or less, being that they were created by the sinister Quintessons as a labor force, but decided they'd rather control the means of production themselves. The Decepticons on the other hand were designed as military hardware & after helping Cybertron to gain its independance they decided a military dictatorship would be the best way to run the new regime, a situation oddly similar to the Chilean Revolution of the 1970s. Kind of strange for an American cartoon from the 1980s...
- In the IDW verson it's the Decepticons, a group of hard-luck blue collar workers, led by a miner (guess who) to overthrow the corrupted Autobot senate. But by the time they arrive on Earth, they spend most of their time killing humans within blasting range.
Aliens as Religious Fundamentalists
- A subset of Skrulls now claim that the Earth belongs to them - as per their religious prophecies - laying the foundations for the Secret Invasion Crisis Crossover. They don't represent the entire species, however: during the Runaways / Young Avengers crossover, Xavin refers to them as extremists (the Skrulls on his / her home planet find religion boring).
- Marvel Comics has a race called the Uncreated. They know themselves to have been created by a Physical God or godlike alien. This gave them a massive inferiority complex, so they rose up and killed the being. They then launched an atheistic jihad against the rest of the cosmos, wiping out anyone who would not recant all religious belief. The Starjammers defeated them by tricking them into believing their "god" had returned. The Uncreated fleet committed suicide.
- Almost completely averted in Enemy Mine, where the alien race, despite being Reptilian Space Muslims, aren't fighting for religion. They're just defending themselves against Human incursion into their space.
- The aliens who invade Earth in Lester Del Rey's 1954 short story "For I Am a Jealous People" are very religious folk...who actually do have God on their side.
- The Ascendants from the Star Trek Novel Verse certainly count. Their entire culture is dedicated to a crusade that will see them reconnect with their gods, the True (who are the Wormhole Aliens, known to Bajor as the Prophets and to the peaceful Eav'oq as the Siblings). The Ascendants destroy all who worship falsely and commit blasphemy against the True. They do not appear to have a problem with non-worshippers, however. The Redeemers are another culture of religious fundamentalists; indeed, the only members of their species left are this, as most were wiped out by the Redeemer virus the survivors later used to cower subjugated (converted, "saved") peoples. The Holy Order of the Kinshaya appears to be a military theocracy, with crusades against the Klingon "demons", though given Klingon attempts to destroy Kinshaya worlds they are somewhat more sympathetic than most fundamentalists.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe fans will remember the Yuuzhan Vong, who are probably the most extreme version of this trope. Extreme in that they use only biotechnology, believing any form of inorganic machinery to be blasphemous, and insist on the genocidal removal of anyone who doesn't follow their methods. They also have a religious devotion to pain, so much so that their ceremonial rite of passage involves cutting off one of their own limbs and replacing it with a biotech limb. And this is from the same universe that produced Ewoks. Darker and Edgier much? They also have shades of Aliens as Nazis, as they consider themselves to be a superior race out to purge the universe of impurity.
- Also from the Star Wars Expanded Universe are the Ssi-ruuk, a race of, essentially, sentient alien velociraptors who rule a dwarf galaxy that orbits the Galaxy Far Far Away. Much like the Vong, they are religiously motivated conquerors with a strict caste system, but while the Vong are incredibly technophobic, the Ssi-ruuk power their technology with the stolen life-force of their slave races. They also tend to use droids to do most of their front-line fighting, as their religion teaches that if they die outside of their already-consecrated territory, they'll be doomed to wander the galaxy for eternity, and as such they're a Proud Warrior Race on their own turf and Dirty Cowards off it. Fortunately, they don't have enough slaves to power sufficient droid armies to conquer the galaxy, but they've still been a regional problem on more than one occasion (at one point while the Vong arc was ongoing, leading one of the POV-characters- half-Vong Action Girl Tahiri- to mentally compare them).
- The Idirans in Iain M. Banks's Culture novels. The Idirans are more like imperialists than xenophobes, however; they want to conquer the galaxy so that they can improve it. The Chelgrians too, to some extent, with the addition that their heaven is a real place that their technology will take them when they die.
- Pretty much all aliens in David Brin's Uplift universe. They have a bizarre and absolute commitment to ancient beliefs, and make remarkably slow scientific progress on account of their belief that almost all solutions have answers in the Galactic Library. Humans and their clan are among the few species that bother to innovate, and for this—and humans' claim to have evolved intelligence without having been Uplifted—makes them the target for near-universal hate among the Galactics.
- Subverted, however, in the case of the Thennanin. Although at first rather hostile towards humans, the Thennanin—and particularly Ambassador Kault—take the whole "respect tradition" schtick seriously, and are persuaded to become allies of Earthclan when gorillas, as "Garthlings" elect to be uplifted by the Thennanin.
- The Amplitur of Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy. They seek to unite every species in the galaxy for some mysterious and vague ideal they call "the Purpose", and they use their Mind Control powers and armies of Slave Mooks to do so.
- The Mollies in The Flight Engineer cut off all supplies of anti-hydrogen to the Commonwealth in order to cause the latter society to collapse, as they consider it unholy. The Welters are having none of it and declare war.
- The Demu in F. M. Busby's Demu Trilogy ("Cage a Man", "The Proud Enemy" and "The End of the Line") are lobster-like aliens who believe that they are the only beings in the universe gifted with souls. As such, they take it as their religious duty to 'convert' all intelligent life into Demu by a combination of surgical alteration and psychological conditioning.
- In SA Swann's Apotheosis series, the rogue alien A.I. turned nanocloud Adam wants everyone to worship him and undergo conversion into Nano Machines, or die.
- The Consu of Old Man's War are a variation. For seemingly inexplicable reasons they land a force on a planet that is just large enough and sufficiently armed to challenge the local military, give a barely comprehensible sermon, then attack and are killed, though taking many of the defenders with them. And their solar system's defenses are such that it's clear they could annihilate entire empires, but they don't. The protagonist gets the opportunity to ask one of them why they attack other species, and is told that unclean races must earn their place in the grand cycle of rebirth by proving themselves in battle. So they believe they're doing every other species a favor.
- Doctor Who:
- As said above, the Daleks in "Bad Wolf" and "Parting of the Ways" wear this as a secondary hat. The fact that the Daleks have a concept of blasphemy absolutely horrifies the Doctor.
- The Church of Silence is a doomsday cult staffed by black-suited Grey aliens who want to kill the Doctor because they believe that if he ever reveals his name, the world will end. Their reasoning behind this becomes clearer in the 2013 Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor." Also, in that same episode, another similarity with Real Life fundamentalists becomes apparent: the doomsday cult is just a Renegade Splinter Faction of a relatively sane and agreeable church.
- The Magog and scads of minor villains in Andromeda. Hell, their name is even a Biblical reference.
- Perhaps the earliest example on TV is the Morthran from the second season of War of the Worlds, who were the prototype of the trope, though they had to be liberally mixed with the Nazi archetype, since the religious fundamentalist archetype wasn't quite ready for public consumption yet.
- The Goa'uld and their followers in Stargate SG-1 fit this trope pretty well but the Ori fit it even better, all the way down to disputes over the meaning of symbolic passages in the very King James-sounding Book of Origin. The Goa'uld aren't so much dogmatic as create dogma around themselves to control their underlings. Even so, many Goa'uld believe their own propaganda. (Ba'al is that more dangerous because he doesn't. In the Continuum film, he convinces Teal'c to join him by promising him freedom for all Jaffa, as he knows that has been Teal'c's life-long dream. A god would, instead, demand obedience.)
- Species 8472, from Star Trek: Voyager...at least at first.
- The Dominion from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is ruled by a race of xenophobic shapeshifters who are venerated as gods by their subjects, who see their war against the Alpha Quadrant as a crusade. The amalgamated nature of the Dominion might suggest elements of Aliens as Communists as well.
- From what we see, only the Jem'Hadar and the Vorta are for sure true believers. There is evidence that many of the other races under the Dominion simply live in fear or go along because they profit by it (this is especially true in early referenes to the Dominion and depictions of their activities). The Founders are said to have an innate need for order and conformity, and the avowed mission of their crusade is to bring this order to the untidy quadrant-next-door. Thus the Dominion may embody several types: the Founders are Aliens as Communists, the Jem'Hadar and Vorta are Aliens as Fundamentalists, and the rest (perhaps) are the thralls of Aliens as Conquistadores.
- By the 24th Century, The Federation of Star Trek can be interpreted as having become this; a dogmatic society bent on spreading Starfleet doctrine across the galaxy and whose unwavering faith in the Prime Directive routinely allows them to condemn various races to die, due to the misguided belief that "evolution" has slated them to die and they must not interfere in the "cosmic plan".
- In the new Battlestar Galactica, the Cylons are scary dogmatic robots that try to wipe out humanity because they believe it's God's will. Funny how God seems to be angry at people who they feel have wronged them.
- Babylon 5:
- In the backstory, the Minbari were this kind of alien towards humans, engaging in a kind of holy crusade to destroy humanity due to a terrible misunderstanding. They only change their minds and stop just short of destroying Earth when they discover that the human they captured for study not only has the soul of a Minbari, but is the great Valen (a figure who is as important to the Minbari as Jesus and Mohammed combined). They confirm the former mindboggler with more captured humans and decide they are harming their own species by killing humans. This is a horrific concept to the Minbari and the ruling council orders their forces surrender to stop this tragedy. In all fairness, Babylon 5 manages to dance on the knife's edge of religion, playing with both Crystal Dragon Jesus and Scary Dogmatic Aliens/Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions without falling on any side and getting Anvilicious.
- Neroon described Delenn as a "religious fundamentalist". The series did not provide enough information on the religious practices of other Minbari to determine if this was objectively true, or to what extent religious zeal drove her actions. Note that religious fundamentalism in this case may be considered a positive attribute given the first point raised above.
- Most of the points of Minbari religious thought we actually hear are Carl Sagan quotes with slight modifications. In fact many of the religions in the series seem to be all about great teachers with very few supernatural elements. Not too surprising considering the setting was created by an Atheist.
- The main organizing force in Narn society appears to be a number of religions based on the teachings of certain incredibly respected sages (at least one of which contains detailed and correct information about the Shadows). Things get quite wonky for G'Kar when he writes a book during a stay in jail, and finds himself turned into one of these overnight. At one point he complains about half the population wanting him to come home and rule over them, the other half wanting him to come home, bless their ruling over everyone and go away again. He eventually ends up taking an extended trip outside known space to let it all cool down.
- Everyone in Warhammer 40,000 to a greater or lesser extent.
- First up, the Imperium of Man, fighting in the name of the immortal God-Emperor. Scary Dogmatic Humans. Xenocidal and imperialist, as happy to wipe out billions of its own people as it is to exterminate entire alien races.
- Chaos. Extra-dimensional malevolent gods and daemons that are capable of crossing into the physical realm and corrupting the minds and bodies of sentient species. Four principal Chaos Gods and countless lesser deities and daemon princes, served by billions of cultists and thousands of ancient daemon-corrupted Super Soldiers who rebelled against the Imperium during a galaxy-splitting civil war ten thousand years before the setting. Unquestionably evil, delighting in murder and depravity. The four main gods are born from the emotions of hope, love, bravery and acceptance; this should tell you most of what you need to know about 40k's place on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.
- Necrons. Once an ancient and technologically sophisticated race, now a Sealed Evil in a Can in a particularly nightmarish way at the command of the C'Tan Star Gods. The Juggernaut, Determinator, Cosmic Horror, and just barely shy of a race of Omnicidal Maniacs.
- The Eldar and Dark Eldar don't really show any fanatic tendencies as well, same with Tyranids.
- Tau are, sometimes, an inversion of this subtrope. They're Flat Earth Atheists, and have stated in some materials that they don't really mind people being religious as long as they serve the Greater Good. (This being 40K, religious tolerance in this form is actually suicidal - Chaos cults anyone?) While they are fanatically devoted to the Greater Good, generally speaking, this is usually depicted as a positive trait.
- The Covenant in Halo worship the ancient Forerunners and their artifacts, whose messages are interpreted by the high species of "Prophets". The above subtrope quote originated when the first game was in development for the Macintosh, but it's established in the Expanded Universe as the single message the Covenant send the sole remaining human ship after an early battle. Of course, it turns out that the Covenant's xenophobia is a direct result of jealousy and denial by the Prophets themselves, who had discovered that the Forerunners thought we were special enough to inherit their civilization.
- The Ilwrath from Star Control II, who worship twin gods of cruelty and pain; their worship rituals take the form of killing and maiming en masse. Did we mention you can drive them into a religious civil war by impersonating these gods? The Kohr-Ah also talk about a religious belief that sterilizing other races will increase the chances of you reincarnating as a Kohr-Ah, so they might count too. The Mycon talk incessantly about something called "Juffo-Wup" with what seems to be a religious devotion ("Juffo-Wup is the light in the darkness, the heat in the cold. All else is non-fulfilled Void."), though at times it comes across more as insane babbling than actual religion.
- The Protoss in Starcraft not only devote themselves towards the elimination of the Zerg, even if humans are in the way because of their semi-religious beliefs, but even use terms such as zealot and templar. However, the protoss are viewed semi-sympathetically, if not completely. Notably, they don't actually worship any gods, including their own creators, but rather a particular system of hierarchy and duty. Perhaps analogous to Confucianism. It helps that humans are prime targets for infestation.
They also hate the Dark Templar for rejecting their faith, choosing to embrace individuality. Their attitude towards Zerg and humans becomes more pragmatic as the story goes on and they reconcile with the Dark Templars. As if to compensate for these progressive changes, the faction of Tal'Darim are introduced in the sequel, and my god, do they fit this trop to a T. They worship the artifacts they are guarding and never shut up about "desecrating" humans, they call the natural gas outlets "the Breath of Creation", which you, of course, is defiling by harvesting the gas, and they are completely bonkers, even willing to detonate the star their planet is orbiting just to kill you. They're even worse in Heart of the Swarm being willing to serve an Omnicidal Maniac like Amon just because he happens to be one of the Xel'Naga.
- Some alien empires in the space age of Spore conquer others in the name of Spode.
- The Vasudans from Descent: Freespace are initially depicted as a bunch of religious fundamentalists. The Terrans come across to the Vasudans as a bunch of racist bastards, so we have a 14-year-war dragging on. Here come the Shivans, all of a sudden the two races agree to split their differences in order to battle the Big Bad Omnicidal Maniacs. However, a splinter group of (yup) religious fundamentalist Vasudans called the Hammer of Light emerges, who claims it's The End of the World as We Know It, citing some ancient prophecy about an all-powerful destroyer race, which they claim to be the Shivans. (On a side note, the racist Terrans thing was taken to the logical next step in Freespace 2 with a bunch of anti-Vasudan Terran rebels called the Neo Terran Front) Considering that one of the principal themes of the series is that Terrans and Vasudans are Not So Different, this is more of a subversion than anything else.
- The Rigelatins from Duke Nukem II game are rather nasty. Their leader presents himself as the "evil conqueror" and their method to achieve victory is to kidnap Duke and steal his brain patterns. This process would leave Duke in a paralyzed state of constant pain. "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering."
- The Manifold Caretakers of Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire (the expansion to Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri) have a quasi-fundamentalist devotion to preserving the ecology of Planet, and specifically to preventing Transcendence. They're actually rather like the various Scary Dogmatic Aliens of David Brin's Startide Rising and The Uplift War; even the name of their species (the Progenitors) is a Shout-Out to Brin. Of course, the Caretakers' mortal enemies (as in, in-game, you are not allowed to make peace with them) are also Progenitors, and they want to rape the planet and initiate Transcendence. In this case, their fears are justified, as the last Transcendence destroyed their homeworld.
- The Rixian Unity of Allegiance, who appear in the backstory as the first sentient life humans encounter. Unfortunately, they're bent on converting humanity to their beliefs at any cost. Gameplay-wise, Rixian ships are all coloured black and purple, a stark contrast to the almost-ISO Standard Human Spaceships of most human factions. Their ships also handle a lot differently than those of other factions, namely an apparently partial belief in Two-D Space with the ability to turn very quickly on their horizontal axes but very slowly on their vertical axes, which gives some pilots a hard time. Also, they don't use missiles like most factions. However, their guns reach farther and are more powerful, and their hitboxes are quite slim.
- While not aliens, the Qunari in Dragon Age definitely qualify. They follow the way of the Qun, a strange philosophy that demands complete obedience and devotion, to the point that they don't have proper names. Their titles/ranks are their names. In Dragon Age II, the Arishok constantly refers to anyone non-Qunari as bas, meaning "thing". Four years in the extremely chaotic city of Kirkwall drives the big guy nearly insane. It doesn't help that the Viscount of Kirkwall keeps trying to appease the Arishok, which only shows weakness. The stuff they do to mages, though, is more of the Nazi variety. They are chained, their lips are sewn together, and they are controlled with special yoke that keeps them obedient. Kinda makes what the templars do to human and elven mages nice by comparison.
- The Qunari also refuse to explain their reasoning or their philosophy to any bas, claiming these explanations are a waste of time. If you're not already of the Qun, then you won't understand it. In Origins, it took the whole game to get Sten to admit that the reason he went ballistic and slaughtered a family of farmers was because his sword was missing, a great shame for a Qunari.
- Interestingly, the Qunari make no distinction between themselves and members of any other race that choose to follow the Qun. The second game has two elven fugitives willingly convert to the Qun, thus gaining the Arishok's protection. As far as he's concerned, they're now his brethren, and he has no intention of handing them over to human authorities. It doesn't hurt that they only became fugitives because they killed their sister's rapist (who was a city guard).
- The term "Qunari" isn't even the name of their race, but, rather, it refers to anyone who follows the Qun. The name of their race was "Kossith," but they're so dogmatic that they haven't used that term in centuries, at least. It's just an example of how devoted they are: their philosophy sees no difference between the grey skinned horned giants and spindly elves, so they do not even have a name for their own race. Even "Kossith" isn't the name of their race. It's the philosophy that predated the Qun.
- The Wargots from UFO Aftershock. They are highly spiritual beings who had been sent to Earth on a religious crusade, seeking to conquer the planet in the name of their gods. They had even signed an alliance with a human doomsday cult.
- The Krynn in Galactic Civilizations 2. The Altairians would also be an example if their religion wasn't built entirely from sunshine, kittens and rainbows.
- The Zuul from Sword of the Stars, who consider conquering the galaxy a sacred duty given to them by their creators. Which happens to be true, although their creators aren't actually divine.
- This doesn't actually change for the Heel Face Turned portion of the Zuul in Sword of the Stars 2. Although they follow different religions — Catholicism is the most common, both being an influence on the first defector and being the only surviving human religion with enough following and influence to be worthy of the label "world religion", but others are also used — they're still thoroughly religious.
- The heretic geth of Mass Effect, who worship the local Eldritch Abominations. Their 'orthodox' counterparts have the same long-term goal, but want to achieve it on their own terms (and preferably without committing genocide).
- The Paranids from the X-Universe series are a vulture-like race of Holier Than Thou theocrats who are generally suspicious of the other races. However, it's subverted by the fact that they do not have the attitude that causes them to wage holy wars towards other races just because of lack of adherence to their religion; they're nothing more than a semi-isolationist (though not in the same manner as the racist Terrans), religious society who adhere strictly to their one and only emperor, and they have at least one priest duke to oversee their planets/sectors.
- The Kerak from Space Siege. They're incommunicado throughout the game, but according to the backstory, they're on a genocidal rampage against humanity because we accidentally colonized one of their planets-implied to be their homeworld.
- The Seraphim from Supreme Commander. The Aeon Illuminate are Scary Dogmatic Humans.
- Homeworld features the Kadeshi, Scary Dogmatic Hiigarans encountered within the Great Nebula. After millenia of isolation they worship the Nebula and have mythicised their entire history, among others distorting the Taiidani Empire into an ominous "evil", the precise nature of which was lost to the Kadeshi except for the belief that it would destroy their species should they ever leave the Nebula and that it drove them there in the first place by causing the Hiigaran Exodus.
- The Ob'enn from Schlock Mercenary are a highly advanced race of violent xenophobes, who consider the annihilation of lesser species a sacred duty, and are constantly at war with everyone and everything. For added irony, they look like four-foot koalas. Some dialog implies they're internally divided between the theocracy and the military high command, the latter being more "aliens as Nazis."
- Leono and his wraiths from Sluggy Freelance, who use God as an excuse to devour all life in the universe (except for flowers).
- The Ith from The End are members of a violently xenophobic police state called The Monoculture. Unfortunately, they're also the species the human protagonists are most likely to be mistaken for.
- The Makara family and the Subjuggulators of Homestuck are violent Space Juggalos who await the coming of Lord English and the Mirthful Messiahs. Their rage and zealotry is reinforced naturally by the genes that give them their blood color. The Mirthful Messiahs are actually both of the cherubs, but Gamzee only follows Caliborn. Caliborn has no desire for Gamzee's worship or companionship in his rise to power, so he only lets Gamzee tag along for his utility.
- Some incarnations of Despero have a distinct Islamic militant flavour to them, since he grew up in the desert. Lampshaded in the Justice League cartoon when Green Lantern remarks that his Origin Story sounds a little derivative.
Aliens as Conquistadores
Anime and Manga
- The Viltrumites of Invincible. When they come to a new planet, they cure all disease, end all intra-species war, and share their technology, bringing about an unprecedented utopia, at least until they've sucked the planet dry of all its resources. Then they use the races they've enslaved to help conquer other planets.
- The aliens in Independence Day, except even meaner.
- The humans in Avatar. They sound much like 18th-19th century Americans talking about Native Americans as they describe the Na'vi (blue-skinned aliens they're trying to conqueror) as "savages" and "barbarians".
- The blue-skinned aliens in Hunter Prey.
- The aliens in Cowboys and Aliens, to the point that they're even expressly depicted as being after Earth's gold.
- Another Iain M. Banks Culture example: the Affront. They appropriated this name from the Culture after deciding that since it suits them so well, they might as well just take it. Their entire civilization is based on Might Makes Right, and they are vicious and jovial in equal proportion.
- Possibly the Ur Example, The Martians from The War of the Worlds (novel) are looking to conquer Earth for extra room and, naturally, have to wipe out everyone on Earth first. Word of God states that the inspiration for this book was the way the British Empire treated the Tasmanian Aborigines, i.e. a genocidal invasion.
- The Mandalorians of Star Wars, especially early in their history.
- Both Bugs and Humans in Starship Troopers have this motivation.
- The Psychlos from Battlefield Earth. They get bonus point for being chiefly interested in gold.
- The Race from Worldwar.
- Their obsession with order and obedience makes them similar to the Nazis, despite the fact that they consider any culture that doesn't have a hereditary absolute ruler to be insane.
- Humans are (very obviously) this in the novel/short story collection "The Martian Chronicles."
- In Old Man's War by John Scalzi, the entire plot revolves around every galactic species being at war with each other over inhabitable planets. Humans are amongst the worst.
- The ReMastered from Charles Stross' Iron Sunrise are very obviously scary and dogmatic. In the book, they are mainly seen as conquistadores, but they also have elements of Nazi aliens (they clearly believe themselves to be superior to regular humans and have no moral barriers to killing, mind-controlling or in other ways abusing them), communist aliens (the mysterious ReMastering process clearly implies a partial loss of personal identity) and even religious fundamentalists (their main goal and motivation is to build their own godlike AI).
- In The True Meaning of Smekday, the Boov are obviously this trope, even putting all humans on reservations. The Gorg, who invade after the Boov, also count as this trope with a bit of Nazi sprinkled in, due to their insistence on killing all cats on Earth.
- The Centauri from Babylon 5, especially back in their Glory Days that they never stop yammering about
- The Goa'uld from Stargate SG-1 do this for their own personal glory in addition to posing as gods.
- The Klingons of Star Trek.
- The githyanki of Dungeons & Dragons are Proud Warrior Race Guys whose entire society is dedicated to conquest. Their Freudian Excuse is that they were once the slaves of the illithids. The githyanki have two goals in life: 1) annihilate every last illithid in existence, and 2) conquer/kill anyone who might enslave them again — which to the githyanki means everyone else. It should be noted that not every member of their race felt this way. Those who wanted to live their lives in peace eventually split from the warmongers and came to be *known* as the githzerai.
- The githyanki are also massive hypocrites; they are obsessed with freedom for themselves, but, not only do they conquer, subjugate and slaughter others in pursuit of this goal, they have also fashioned themselves into a brutally self-oppressive Fantastic Caste System based on military lines. This, from a race who won't even worship gods because they see the requirements of religion as being too much like slavery.
- Even that anti-religion line is pretty suspect in older editions, where they all but worship their lich-queen and are devoted to her to the point that almost none of them protest when she "rewards" them for achieving high levels by devouring their souls to sustain her own undeath and prevent possible rivals. Heck, she even has Cleric-like githyanki in 4e.
- Their late leader Gith also made a pact with Tiamat that was brokered by the aforementioned lich queen which allows the githyanki to call upon red dragons for aid. The only thing worse than an army of fanatical militaristic alien conquistadors led by a soul eating lich is an army of fanatical militaristic alien conquistadors led by a soul eating lich who occasionally use huge evil dragons as mounts.
- Monsterpocalypse has the Martian Menace who want to conquer earth for its resources.
- The Imperium from Warhammer 40,000 are Scary Dogmatic Humans, and are quite fond of this even though they've already colonized about a million worlds.
- The Orks are an even better example, though they mainly fight not to conquer, not to subjugate, not even always to win, but because they love it. They're considered the comic relief, and that should tell you everything else you need to know about the setting.
- The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za from the Star Control series, who rationalize that they are protecting the races they conquer from both outside destructive forces and their own uncivilized impulses. Also, in a dash of Other, they have a species-wide Freudian Excuse (due to Genetic Memory and a really bad history), but regard 'exterminate all other species' as a step too far.
- They do have some positive moments, although those are few and far in between, like finding the Syreen a new homeworld. This, however, goes in line with their philosophy of "enslave but never destroy".
- The Combine from Half-Life 2, who not only enslaved Humanity but also drained Earth's oceans using portals.
- The Kriken empire in Metroid setting appears to be one of these. Not much is known of them but they're described as being imperialistic and it is know that young Krikens are exiled from their society untill they locate a planet that would be a suitable canditate for an invasion.
- The Pfhor from Marathon are evil alien slavers.
- The Manifold Usurpers from the aforementioned (under Aliens As Fundamentalists) Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire. The Usurpers want to exploit Planet for all it's got; the only reasons they don't exterminate the humans is that (1) they can't (they start the game on the same footing as the human factions, and might indeed be eliminated by the humans early on) and (2) they might be useful against their mortal enemies, the Manifold Caretakers. Also, their leader is called Conqueror Judaa Marr. Yeah.
- The Hierarchy in Universe at War who have ruthlessly conquered thousand of other worlds, strip mined them of all resources, and wiped out any life forms that got in their way.
- The Terrans from Final Fantasy IX are stated to be a group of people that have been absorbing the souls of the planet to merge it with their own planet's souls, which would cause the Terran's planet and the victim planet to merge and fuse together. This was done to preserve the lives of the Terran people since their planet's crystal (its source of life and souls) was too weak to sustain itself. In other words, they wipe out all forms of life on one planet so that their own planet can survive. This drives the entire plot for the game as Zidane discovers that he and the big bad, Kuja, hail from that planet and were created to destroy all life on Gaia so Terra can advance and flourish.
- The Vasari Sins of a Solar Empire a race of advance space faring aliens who arrived in trader space to plunder resources of Trader planets and enslave their populace. The Vasari use to be a large interstellar empire , but they are threaten by an unknown enemy that has destroyed their strongest fleets, and they have no idea who or what they are. So they leave their worlds and make a run for it, but when they arrive in trader space, they end up in a stalemate with the TEC and the Advent, and the unknown enemy is getting closer.
- The Thalmor are a fantasy equivalent of this in Skyrim. They pretend to be religiously and spiritually motivated, but insider information gathered by the player character during the game reveals that it's mostly a pretext and that their doctrine is merely expansionism laced with a racist elven supremacist ideology.
- Nearly all adult trolls in Homestuck live off-planet in a perpetual campaign of Alternian conquest, declaring war on whatever alien civilizations they come across.
- The Varn Dominion from Terinu combine this with a dash of Religious Fundamentalism. In their viewpoint, they have a mandate from their gods to preserve all habitable worlds. The sentient races that happen to using them at the time were put there to serve Varn interests.
- The Irkens from Invader Zim have conquered so many planet that they don't even know what to do with every new acquisition. Example: they turned the homeworld of the "horrible rat people" into another parking lot planet.
- The Lorwardians in Kim Possible. Not only is their plot to conquer Earth during the Grand Finale, they are also introduced as always carrying world domination gadgets wherever they travel.
- The Decepticons in almost any Transformers series. Fortunately, the Autobots strongly disagree with their attitude.
- The Volgans in Invasion! and ABC Warriors were initially intended as a stand-in for the USSR - in fact the creators originally wanted to use the actual USSR as the villains, but were forbidden for fear of antagonising the Soviet embassy. Just to drive the point home, Volkhan's head is shaped like one of the Kremlin's domes, and his Weapons Of Choice are a hammer and a sickle. In more recent years, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and improved relations between Britain and Russia, the Volgans have come to more resemble the Bush administration (though when America appears in these stories, it also resembles Bush's country. Yeah).
- The Dire Wraiths from Rom Spaceknight are an Always Chaotic Evil race of sorcerers who literally do all their bad stuff just for the sake of it's being evil. They come from the Black Nebula, a region of space whose name is used as a curse throughout space, and their planet Wraithworld was so suffused with supernatural corruption that Galactus couldn't eat it. They are loathesome in every possible way, and they revel in it. Their cousins the Skrulls want nothing to do with them.
- Many Deconstruction Fics and Hate Fics for The Conversion Bureau paint up the ponies as this, usually as a mixture between the Nazis and conquistadors.
- In the worse portrayals (whether intentional or not), the ponies come across as all four. They're nazis because they think that humanity is inherently inferior, communists because they choose to assimilate humanity (which basically brainwashes the human) to fix that, religious fundamentalists because of their almost fanatical devotion to Celestia, who is usually portrayed as a Physical God, and as conquistadores because they're bent on taking over all of Earth.
- The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone has a softer take of the ponies as conquistadors, with Celestia herself being more genuinely clueless as to why the humans are refusing her "gifts."
- The ghouls from They Live! are all about "trickle down" economics. The entire Earth is their third world, where they do all their evil alien business outsourcing, until Roddy Piper runs out of bubblegum and saves the day. Yes, this movie is intentionally fairly silly.
- The 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) features aliens as ecoterrorists, who want to wipe out human civilization and infrastructure to preserve the biosphere. You can appreciate the ideological update: the 1951 original had the aliens trying to warn humanity about the hazards of the atom bomb. It should be noted that this is precisely the reason Klaatu in the original was NOT a Scary Dogmatic Alien. He did deliver a threat ("if you continue like that you are a danger to other planets and we will intervene"), but he was clearly benevolent, and the good guy of the movie at all times. Remake Klaatu ended up with a change of heart, but before that his mission was not to warn anyone, but to skip straight to the EXTERMINATE-part. The humans are still bastards, but the fact that they are defending themselves against an advanced alien that tries to wipe them out casts them in a MUCH better light than in the 1951 movie.
- In Film/Signs the aliens are heavily implied to be The Horde, here "only" to abduct humans for food and then running back into orbit once we figure out their weakness
- In Antares, The Ryall are a subversion. They attack the human race on sight, clearly intent on genocide. Yet when captured, the Ryall do not seem evil. They are not driven by any sort of religious dogma. They simply believe that it is impossible for two sentient species to coexist peacefully. The root of this belief is that, on their homeworld, they fought and wiped out a species of sentient amphibious sharks.
- In The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, the Vogon dogma is obstructive bureaucracy. In many ways, this makes them the worst of the lot: If the forms are signed, they'll demolish your planet without so much as batting an eye, and as far as they're concerned it's your own fault for not looking into these affairs.
- The Auditors of Reality from Discworld are the Vogons amplified. They keep track of everything in the universe, from the spin of atoms to the orbits of planets and stars, and want to wipe out life because it's "untidy". The Auditors especially hate sentient life for coming up with abstract things that can't be measured or quantified, like "justice".
- The Rangor of Troy Rising end up here by virtue of combining traits from all of the above classes, with the possible exception of The Fundamentalist, and throw in the classic trappings of Imperial Japan to boot. The Communist is the closest match - they heavily practice information-control and use lots of propaganda, while also employing Political Officers, from a department that is JUST short of being named 'STASI', to keep their people in line - particularly those dangerous intellectuals! But they also widely practice eugenics, giving them heavy undertones of The Nazi, and are (at least SUPPOSED to be) fanatically dedicated to their Emperor, to the point of using kamikaze tactics, just like Imperial Japan. Finally, they also follow the path of the Conquistadores, taking those civilizations they deem useful and worthy as vassals, while destroying those who dare stand against their obviously superior culture.
- The Enamorati from The Engines Of Dawn, who jealously guard the secret of Faster-Than-Light Travel. This is because they actually use Eldritch Abominations as stardrives. They're nice enough, if you keep from pissing them off. Of course, someone does, and they send their State Sec to kidnap them.
- Star Trek: Voyager. The Kazon are clearly meant to be Gang Bangers In Space. Likewise in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (at least in the early seasons) the Bajorans are former terrorists who have given up their violent ways for politics (PLO and IRA), and newly-liberated Eastern Europeans on the verge of political anarchy.
- Babylon 5:
- The Vorlons are Scary Didactic Aliens. Think of your worst school teacher: yeah, the one with horned-rimmed spectacles, wisped together hair, tightened lips and a punishing ruler in her hand. Now give her millions of years of experience that convince her that she's the only one out there who knows how to bring up a green and callow race, and you will get a picture of a typical Vorlon. The lengths they go to in order to ensure absolute obedience and reverence from their unsuspecting students include tampering with your genetics to cause you perceive them as divine entities, genetically engineering your species to produce telepaths to fight their doctrinal enemies and leaving you to deal with the social ramifications on your own, obliterating your whole planet for assisting their doctrinal enemies even if you were forced into it or it was done by a rogue element, and talking to you in an insufferably aloof and mysterious manner.
- The aforementioned doctrinal enemies, the Shadows, are Scary Darwinian Aliens. Their approach to the whole upbringing business is distinctly simpler and less demanding: they get out there and start killing things. In spades. If their trainees are worth their salt, they'll think of something to drive them off, thereby making them smarter and tougher. And if they don't, oh well, natural selection is a harsh bitch and there are always other Younger Races.
- The Wraith of Stargate Atlantis are Scary Space Vampires. Humans are nothing more to them than food and their dogma can be summed up in the words of the Wraith Queen in the pilot ep - "We don't require our food to agree with us."
- The Whoniverse:
- Doctor Who:
- Sontarans are Scary Jingoistic Aliens, without any real ideology behind their jingoism except "Hell yeah, we love beating the shit out of our enemies, especially the Rutan Host!" Think of your typical Proud Warrior Race Guy, turn the martial aggression Up to Eleven, and throw in a bit of Eagleland, and you've got a Sontaran on your hands.
- The alternate-universe Cybermen in the new series, while maintaining some of their communist parallels, also represent materialistic technophilia. Their Steve Jobs-esque creator controls the world through Cybus Industries, a communications-technology conglomerate (think Apple on steroids). People even start implanting earbud-like devices inside their heads to access digital information more easily. And this is where it all goes to hell: Cybus starts using these "Ear-Pods" as mind control devices and "upgrades" every single Ear-Pod user into a Cyberman.
- The 456 from Torchwood: Children of Earth are alien drug addicts. While that should sound silly, it becomes clear that they're willing to do anything for a hit, don't care if their narcotic of choice is another sapient being, and they have the technology and weapons to ensure that the other party complies in handing it over.
- Farscape did a weird twist on this in the episode "The Ugly Truth" with the Plokavians. They aren't aggressive to other cultures, but they have a peculiar philosophical dogma that there can be only one consensus reality, and that if two people even slightly disagree with each other on factual matters, then the only explanation can be that one is deliberately and maliciously lying. This makes them hell to deal with if you accidentally get into a conflict with them.
- AT-43: The Therians are a race of Internet junkies who take over other races planets as part of a plan to prevent, technically speaking, the end of the Universe, by preserving them in their Dyson Sphere. In an added twist, the Therians are the actual humans who have evolved and transformed themselves into Necron expies, and in the long run they'll win in the end as they can overwhelm their opponents with their numbers and technology, or outlast them.
- Gamma World has the Grens, who are technically more Scary Alternate Worldline Humans. Their philosophy is to kill everything that is not natural and not a Gren so that they can create a perfect recreation of Earth's natural environment where the only things there will be other Grens.
- The Ancients in Traveller were Scary Scientific Aliens. They experimented with other races like a curious teen-nerd watching his ant farm and squishing one every once in a while just to see how the others react.
- The Scrin from Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series just want to harvest Tiberium, and stumble across humanity in the process. Having no precedent for a civilization surviving the Liquid Tiberium explosion that attracted them (Kane deliberately attracted them or at least spread more Tiberium), the Scrin invade with force to attempt to go about their job anyway, leveling cities as "diversionary tactics" to keep the humans off balance from this goal. When humanity kicks them back off the planet except for a single Threshold Tower, the Scrin Overlord declares that a full invasion will commence.
- One of the absolute best parts of the Scrin Campaign is when the aliens land and encounter heavy resistance... Their response is outright amazement at the humans' not even stopping their internal war as they were being invaded: "Factions continued combat operations between them even as they were threatened with extinction by our initial attack; indigenous population is warlike to the extreme; entire indigenous population must be cleansed from the surface of the planet".
- The expansion, Kane's Wrath, introduces two Scrin sub-factions. Reaper-17 are Scary Dogmatic Aliens played straight, in that they take any actions necessary to annihilate things that stand in front of progress, using a religious sort of fervor. Traveler-59 are more a cult of subversion (no, not the trope kind) who actively co-opt humans via a method of The Virus.
- Fun fact: Nod is an old Hebrew word for "Traveller".
- In Kane's Wrath, Kane himself calls the Scrin a "cult of addiction in the guise of a species," giving the mental image of an entire species of militant, highly advanced crack addicts who are turning planets into giant rocks to snort... which isn't that far from the truth, given that it is stated that they require regular Tiberium infusions in order to survive. It's implied that at some point in their past they adapted to living with Tiberium at the cost of a species-wide addiction to it.
- The people of Terra in Final Fantasy IX seek to wipe out the people of Gaia and absorb Gaia's life force in order to keep Terra alive. Dialogue in the game implies that this isn't the first time the Terrans have destroyed a younger planet so they could keep going.
- The Kilrathi are Imperial Japan IN SPACE! as Petting Zoo People! They've even got the honor-obsessed warrior code, Attack! Attack! Attack! battle tactics, and Emperor. All they're missing are headbands and katana.
- The Space Pirates from Metroid games, when not pirating stuffnote , seem to believe it is their manifest destiny to conquer the galaxy and nothing should be allowed to stand in their way. In Metroid Prime 3, where Dark Samus brainwashes their leaders, they become full-blown religious fundementalists, forming a cult that worships Phazon and considers Dark Samus to be their prophet.
- The Zuul from the Sword of the Stars expansion Born of Blood are all of the above categories combined into one scary-ass combo platter of dogmatism. They are a race of predatory, genetically engineered bio-weapons created by a race of Abusive Precursors to destroy their enemies. Instead of having Turned Against Their Masters as is typical of that trope, the Zuul worship their creators as gods. They view the genocide of the unworthy, and building of Zuul empires, as a holy purpose: Anyone or anything not a god or a Zuul is a slave to be conquered, abused, exploited, Mind Raped for any viable knowledge and then eaten. Unfortunately for both the Zuul and for the rest of the galaxy, the Zuul have lost their 'gods' and, without anyone to hold their chains, their entire race has turned to a galaxy-wide crusade to find their 'gods' again. This puts them in conflict with all the other species — and, as mentioned above, exterminating other species is what they were made for.
- The expansion into implies that they'll find the Great Masters, whether they want to be found or not. How many people are forced to be gods by worshipers?
- In Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter, we will meet the creators of the Zuul, the Suul'ka. From what we know about them, they are a really friendly bunch, and a pleasure to be around.
- Interestingly, a Zuul faction does end up abandoning their beliefs and joining with the Liir, who used to be their enemies. This is after they found out that the Suul'ka are really very old and large Liir who decide that ruling the galaxy is better than succumbing to nature and dying.
- Drive: The Continuum of Makers are nearly identical to each other, but rather than becoming Aliens as Communists, they place utmost importance on individuality. The most important Makers are the ones who "Birthed" the most "Spirits" ("invented" the most "unique things"). They're antagonists because a human "found" one of their ships, and reverse engineered the Ring Drive, founding an empire with FTL travel. The Continuum are not happy about this.