When it comes to science fiction, it is often seen as a genre that depicts a world that differs from our own as the result of new scientific and technology discoveries. Even though science fiction movies do talk about the future, they also address different social issues that are currently affecting the world. Science fiction is a medium to make social issues prevalent that are currently affecting us. One of those current issues science fiction has spoken about is invasion. Narratives involving the invasion of Earth by alien forces from outer space are among the oldest forms of science fiction. This type of invasion experienced a particular flowering in the United States in the 1950's, responding to a paranoid sense of threat that was central to American culture in the peak Cold War years. Since that time, alien invasion narratives have remained popular, branching out in a variety of directions, often demonstrating an extremely sophisticated ability to deal with complex social and political issues (M. Keith Booker and Anne-Marie Thomas 29). There are many science fiction film that address invasion such as: Independence Day, The Puppet Masters, and Avatar. These films show different reasons for invasion, such as the need of a resource or wanting to take over. These movies are similar to historical events and current issues and show some differences seen in science fiction invasion movies.
In science fiction invasion movies, the topic of historical events can be addressed by the viewers. In the movie Avatar, viewers can find a notable comparison of the Na'vi with the Native Americans. The movie takes its viewers back to their history class of the invasion of Europeans into the Native Americans' land. In this historical event, the Europeans come to take over the Native Americans' land, and the Europeans win this battle thanks to their technology advancements like their guns. This event is similar to one of the scenes seen in the film Avatar when the U.S. military tries to attack the land of the Na'vi people. In this first attack, the Na'vi lose the battle because of the U.S. military's technology used against them. This film also addresses that there are different reasons why invasions are done. In the historical events, there are different reasons that have been given throughout the years of why the Europeans invaded the Native Americans. One of the main reasons is because of the land. In the movie Avatar, the U.S. military invade the Na'vi because of a resource wanted for Earth's energy. This example can also address the invasion of the Nazis into Poland. As Knighton stated, Poland's invasion by Germany Hitler watching German soldiers marching into Poland in September 1939. Having brought most of the Germans together, Hitler wanted more space for them to live in. "Lebensraum", meaning "living space", was his idea that the German people had a right to a greater territory to support them and ensure their growth. This was to come at the expense of other people, who he saw as inferior (Bundesarchiv 1). Poland, a large neighboring country with a lot of agricultural land, provided both an easy target and plenty of space.
Invasion is an issue that been seen for many years but is still an issue that has occurs in modern times. One of the most recent invasions is the invasion of the United States of America into Afghanistan. Invasions are not always because of resource wanted but to also show strength, revenge and power. This was the main reason for the United States' invasion into Afghanistan. In the magazine Vital Speeches of the Day, President Obama mentioned, this invasion was not something he wanted to do but had no other choice... After losing thousands of lives in the terrorist attack by al Qaeda on 9/11. President Obama's goals were to struck devastating blows against the al Qaeda leadership in the tribal regions, deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, prevent terrorist attacks, and save American lives. After almost 13 years after the 9/11 attack, Obama's mission has come to a responsible end. Today, American forces no longer patrol Afghanistan's village or valleys. The science fiction film Independence Day depicts an invasion of aliens on planet Earth with spaceships that start to destroy the city with energy weapons. In the film, the President of the United States formulates a plan to defeat the aliens. This movie addresses the invasion of the United State of America to Afghanistan in how the American government did not keep their hands crossed and tried to defeat these outsiders that came to destroy their country.
Another current invasion that can be addressed to science fiction invasion movies is the invasion of the United States to Iraq. Even to this day, the invasion of the United States in Iraq is a divisive debate about what the Bush administration's motives were to invade Iraq. These debates have brought out official and unofficial reasons of why Iraq was invaded by the U.S. As Heinrich mentioned, "The official reason of the invasion of Iraq were characterized by concerns brought to the forefront by the events of September 11th, 2001, namely global terrorism, and more importantly, the weapons at its disposal in a new era of transnational asymmetrical war waged by non-state actors. In Presidents Bush's State of the Union Address on January 29th, 2002, he made clear that the U.S. would not differentiate between terrorist groups and nations which harbor or arm them (Bush, 2002). This policy led to the invasion of Afghanistan, motivated by the need to remove al-Qaeda's safe haven and training ground." (One war many reasons: U.S. invasion of Iraq 1). However, the unofficial reason that led United States to invade Iraq is equally important. The main unofficial reason is for removing Saddam Hussein as a demonstration of US military might against a visible enemy. This main unofficial reason of the invasion of the U.S. in Iraq is also addressed in the movie Independence Day where the United States shows their power against the aliens that came to the planet Earth on bad terms destroying Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. The U.S. Army, instead of making peace, decides to annihilate them. Another unofficial reason of this invasion of the U.S. in Iraq is because of oil, even though a lot of political scholars do not agree with this invasion being due to oil. One of the political scholars noted, "Iraq's oil resources are part of what makes it an important and influential state in the Middle East, and thus one where it was hoped that change would serve as a catalyst for change elsewhere in the region" (Pillar, 2008). This unofficial reason of why the United States invaded Iraq is addressed in the movie Avatar in how the Americans invade the Na'vi for resources that are needed for the planet Earth. Similar to real life when third-world countries are invaded for resources needed for first-world countries, as the Americans' invasion into Iraq for oil with Americans being the outsiders and Iraq being the Na'vi on Pandora and the mineral oil as Unobtainium. This shows an example of the different reasons why countries invade others. Invasion is a current issue that has happened often to different countries for different reasons. A lot of the invasions occur to countries that are rich in resources. For example, India has been invaded so many times for its wealth. These examples show how science fiction movies can remind their viewers of current issues that are affecting society by showing how some countries invade other for resources that are needed or wanted in their country.
These science fiction films depict how society has been functioning, currently functions and will function throughout the years. They take its viewers back in time to different historical events and make them realize that these are issues that have not stopped throughout the years such as invasion. The The Puppet Masters (1951) novel depicts an alien invasion where these aliens begin to attach themselves to humans' backs and start controlling their minds. As these aliens convert the humans into puppets to do their bidding, the alien masters quickly move forward on a program of global conquest. This invasion of aliens that are controlling human beings can be compared to communism. This novel makes explicit the analogy of the mind-controlling aliens and the Communist Russians and the Second Red Scare in the United States (M. Keith Booker and Anne-Marie Thomas). This novel also addresses to the movie avatar in how the humans from The Puppet Masters and the Na'vi in the film Avatar managed to defeat the outsiders using the resources at their disposal such as germ warfare in The Puppet Master and bow and arrows by the Na'vi in Avatar.
These science fiction movies help the viewers to not only view the invasion from the point of view of the invader, but to also see it from the point of view of the place invaded. The science fiction films Avatar and Independence Day show how the place of the invader has changed. In Independence Day, it's seen that the world is invaded by aliens, and it's the world who is fighting back in defense. In the film Avatar, it's seen that it is now the humans who are invading the aliens. The humans are seen as the bad guys destroying these out-of-earth-creatures' home.
Science fiction is a medium that helps its viewers see different issues that are seen such as invasion. Invasion is an issue that has not stopped throughout the years. It has been seen from the invasion of the Europeans into the land of the Native Americans to one of the most current invasions of the United States invading Iraq, Afghanistan and others. Country invasions are something that occurs for different reasons such as the need of resources and to show power and justice. This genre reminds its viewers of current and historical issues that are important in their country. Science fiction is showing its viewers the potential of alien invasion narratives to serve as commentaries on real-world social and political phenomena, especially invasion (M Keith Booker and Anne-Marie Thomas 28). These science fiction invasion movies help their viewers to not be as narrow-minded and be more open-minded about the invasions that have currently happened and see both points of views such as the invaders and the people that are being invaded.