Playing With / Starfish Aliens

Basic Trope: Aliens that bear little to no resemblance to terrestrial life forms.
  • Straight: The Maura are a bizarre race of silicon-based aliens, with an incomprehensible, gurgling language and unprecedented, mangled biology.
  • Exaggerated: Maura are Eldritch Abominations who shatter the sanity of those who see them, despite not being inherently malevolent.
  • Downplayed:
    • Maura are very different from Humans in biology, psychology, and language, but not so different that coexistence is impossible.
    • Maura are very different in biology and communication, but still have some basic elements shared with humanity, such as a comprehensible grammar system and concepts for life, death and an afterlife, and a system of morality and ethics comparable to some human beliefs.
  • Justified:
    • The Maura home world has almost nothing in common with Earth.
    • The sheer size of the universe means that there are sentient beings out there with varying biologies, no matter how weird-looking.
  • Inverted: The Maura are Transplanted Humans.
  • Or they just look like generic "little green men."
  • Subverted: With the help of Translator Microbes upgraded to deal with the Maura language, humanity discovers that the Maura have a very human-like psychology.
  • Double Subverted: ...Until morality and philosophy come up.
  • Parodied:
    • The Maura's incomprehensible language is subtitled, revealing them to be Cloudcuckoolanders of the highest degree.
    • The Maura are literal Starfish Aliens. They are a sentient race that have built a truly amazing empire across several planets...and then you meet one. It looks like a normal starfish sea star. Uh...how did they build that amazing empire again?
    • The Maura have a completely inhuman appearance... but talk in Midwestern American accents and enjoy baseball and apple pie.
    • The Maura are entirely different to humans in biology, language and living habitat... but their language is subtitled and reveals them to have the exact same fears about meeting humans as humans do about meeting them.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The Maura are a bizarre alien race, until Translator Microbes reveal them to be very quite human-like in psychology, until morality and philosophy come up, but later they come to understand our morality and philosophy, even taking on a form humans are comfortable with looking at. Then, it turns out that they were putting up a facade so they could invade our planet and destroy ~Terraform~ it, but prolonged contact with humans convinced some of the Maura to help humans either by siding with them or at least find another Earth-like planet for them to live on.
    • The Maura are shown to have a very human-like mindset, until morality and philosophy come up... but their culture in many respects is still quite human-like, having developed music which has some Earthen analogue, having scripts and language which show development similar to some human languages, and having developed systems of government which are easily compared to human ones.
  • Averted: The Maura have at least some terrestrial analogue, and can, with Translator Microbes, communicate with humanity easily enough.
  • Enforced: The work is on the hard end of the Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness, where Rubber-Forehead Aliens are too ridiculous to be taken seriously.
  • Lampshaded: "That's a Maura?! ...What."
  • Invoked: The Precursors isolated entire worlds from each other and gave them completely different environments as a project on evolution.
  • Exploited: General Ripper successfully uses the alien appearance of the Maura to argue that they can't be trusted not to try and conquer Earth.
  • Defied: The Benevolent Precursors seeded all intelligent life with certain basic commonalities to ensure galactic peace and diplomacy.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Now that is how you show alien evolution."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The Maura fail to recognize humanity as sentient, or their Blue and Orange Morality causes a diplomatic incident of unimaginable scale, resulting in interstellar war.
    • The Maura, have lived on a planet which has many predators on it and thus developed instincts which are comparable to human ones, even if their state of being is entirely different to how humans turned out. Because of this, they recognise humans as having something similar to them, and aim to learn more because they sympathize with how humans developed.
  • Reconstructed: Humanity and the Maura are Genre Savvy enough to realize they don't know enough about each other to communicate meaningfully. But since they occupy completely different types of worlds, they simply stay out of each other's way.

Back to Starfish Aliens
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