Most alien/extra-terrestrial tropes based movies often depict them as losing despite being far more advanced physically and/or technologically. This is seen in cases like Aliens, Predators, Independence Day (computer virus, seriously?!), Species, Pacific Rim, Edge of tomorrow, you name it.

In some movies we see aliens losing interest or probably over protective of humans. Arrival, Day the earth stood still, etc. And in some very few movies it's depicted as though we lost war, like Andromeda Strain (2008 miniseries, not the 1971 movie where we succeed), Invasion of body snatchers, Cloverfield, etc.

I've excluded space opera from this because it deals with way too many species (mostly anthropomorphic) and often end up with a democratic union of sorts. That's out of scope of this question anyway.

The very idea that these aliens have travelled across space is evidence enough of their superiority anyway. Why are film makers hell-bent on showing humans as stalwart heroes who can overcome any sort of adversary who are intellectually, physically and technologically far superior to humans?

Note: This is not a duplicate of another question as the idea clearly portrays that there are bad guys. Where as aliens in Aliens or Predator are not bad nor are shown as bad. Aliens are merely surviving, while Predators are just hunting. This is clearly different from a dedicated 'bad guy' trope whose intentions are evil.

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    Mostly because the people who will pay to go see the film are humans and they would rather be on the winning side... There wouldn't be a huge market for movies where humanity gets wiped out and totally overrun by the aliens.
    – Dave
    Jun 12, 2018 at 23:21
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    How about Cloverfield or Invasion of Body Snatchers? They were critical and commercial success? People actually paid to watch humans get wiped out. :) Jun 12, 2018 at 23:35
  • Exceptions to a rule will always exist :) The "plucky humans" have to win out in the vast majority of movies...
    – Dave
    Jun 12, 2018 at 23:38
  • Oh, dumb, selfish humans! :) Jun 12, 2018 at 23:40
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    Uh, this seems pretty much the same question. Those aliens are for all intents and purposes "bad guys", no matter if they have a reasonable motivation attributed to them or not. I don't see why you're singling them out as "not actually bad" when all other possible "bad guys" aren't. Or you might want to rework your question a little more to point that inherent difference out a little more.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 13, 2018 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


Because, ughhh, humans.
You mentioned Predator. It's a version of Red Riding Hood. The Predator is Wolf, killed company is grandma and whoever kills them is lumberjack/Huntsman (hell Arnie is so Lumberjack trope).
And surprise, surprise, Wolf is not bad in the fairy tale. He just want to eat and survive, as wolfs do. But he's killing us - screamed people. Ok so that maybe make him bad? As serial killers are bad just because they kill people.

Sooo Am I trying to tell you that whoever is an antagonist of our hero is bad?
Yes I do and yes it do.
They have different views on crucial beliefs. Hero want to live while the aliens and Predators want to kill them. There cannot be common ground.

So the alien rarely win because we still like fairy tales because fairy tales are sole for our reality. We need them to know that good will prevail because in real life it's not always like that. And you need to feel cold to appreciate warmth.

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