With incredible reviews across the board, resulting in a 100% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes, the Amy Adams starring vehicle Arrival is riding on immense hype before its November 10th release date. A lot of the praise is due to its adult approach to alien invasion, with some calling it the most grown up sci-fi blockbuster to come along for many years. Check out the trailer below:
In the film, Adams plays a translator who is tasked with contacting the aliens and figuring out what they want. The resulting film has been described as a cerebral and thoughtful look at what makes humanity so special. Nevertheless, it raises the key question: what would we actually do in the event of an alien invasion? Well, you can rest safe knowing that:
There Are Protocols In Place
Like a lot of countries defence plans, how the American or any other government would deal with aliens is strictly top-secret. Nevertheless, a formerly government funded organisation (it now lives on private contributions) named The SETI Institute (Search For Extra-Terrestial Intelligence) has a protocol in place, should we discover signs of alien life. First recommended in 1989, it states that if anyone discovers signals of aliens life, SETI should be informed informed, they will then will take steps to verify it's not made up (which so far, it has been).
If it's actually real, this information is then passed onto the global scientific community, and then major governments and the UN, who will decide together what kind of message to put out. This, most likely, would be in binary code, given that there's no reason for aliens to know any English, or to even use a mode of communication we can comprehend. Then we would base our response on whether or not the aliens are being friendly. Expect a lot of UN meetings before everyone agrees on something. Nevertheless:
If Aliens Arrive Without Us Predicting It, They're Probably Stronger Than Us
Think about it. If we only have knowledge of aliens by the time they are in our galaxy, then they have a method of travel that is far superior to us. By extension, this would also mean that the aliens have weapons in a far stronger capacity. So realistically, instead of simply being able to blow up a few buildings and cause us a little grief, we would probably be dealing with a Death Star vs Alderaan-type situation. Outside of an optimistic evacuation, it would be game over for us.
Stephen Hawkings, seen by most as a very smart man, has this pessimistic approach:
"I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."
Therefore, in the face of a superior force, maybe:
The Best Method Would Be Diplomacy
As Arrival has shown, one of the best things to do when dealing with aliens is to figure out what they are here for. There is no need to suggest that just because they are aliens that they are here to destroy our world. Maybe they just want to be friends, or wish to learn or trade with our culture. By using our best and brightest translators and scientists in order to communicate with them, we could figure out their desires.
But what language should we teach them? The best would be a constructed one: English takes around 1000 hours to be fluent in, whilst the little-used Esperanto — invented in the late 19th century — only takes 150. For one thing, it has no irregular verbs, something only humanity would be so stupid to invent.
An optimistic way of thinking about aliens and us, is that although aliens may have a superior culture — and they probably do considered they travelled all this way — they lack those little things that make the earth special. As Starman says in the eponymous John Carpenter film, when describing his home planet:
"It is beautiful. Not like this, but it is beautiful. There is only one language, one law, one people. There is no war, no hunger. The strong do not victimize the helpless. We are very civilized, but we have lost something, I think. You are all so much alive, all so different."
Hopefully, they would have as much to learn from us about being human as we would from their advanced technology. However, if it seems that their aims are not peaceful then we must prepare for war. Therefore:
If We Have Any Chance, The Whole World Has To Work Together
Thankfully a remnant from the Cold War could be the best solution to dealing against aliens with force. The Military Staff Committee — formed in 1948 — combines France, Russia, China, The USA and the UK to work together on UN operations. Naturally, due to NATO, the Warsaw Pact and selfishness and conflicting interests, this committee has been described as mostly useless in today's world. Nevertheless, with such an existential threat as total annihilation, its safe to say leaders will put their differences aside to beat them. This committee would allow for direct communication between all four major countries (and France) to come up with a joint military strategy.
Love Sci-Fi? Check Out:
- Astronomers Want to Cold Call The Universe In Hope of Finding Alien Life
- 'Arrival' Is A Very Different Sci-Fi Movie To What You're Expecting
- Your Complete Guide To 'Arrival', 2016's Biggest Sci-Fi Movie
But who could be the person capable of uniting the world together against the alien force? We all know the answer. It would be this guy:
Greatest moment in The History of Cinema?
If all us fails, and we have been colonised but not totally destroyed, we would do well to research some guerrilla warfare tactics, as in this analogy we are the Na'vi and the aliens are the American government. It's hard to say what would be worse: the end of the world as we know it, or having life actually resemble the film Avatar. Nevertheless, its safe to say that we will not go quietly into the night!