Hello, neighbor! I’m Gary, a totally real space alien from Rigel, a planet orbiting the blue supergiant star of the same name in the constellation Orion. We don’t call our planet Rigel. We don’t call our star Rigel. Nor do we see “constellations” the same way you do. As space aliens, we don’t see or sense or understand anything in the same way you do. And Gary, as you may have already deduced, is not my real name. My real name is unpronounceable in your languages. It’s actually unpronouceable in all languages. My father had an odd sense of humor. You can call me Gary.
Yes, I have a spaceship parked here on Earth. I’m not telling you where it is. I have never taken anyone aboard my spaceship. Nor have I probed anyone. I have variety of portable, non-invasive scanners. And I did not travel 843 light-years across the galaxy to make fun shapes in your cornfields or steal your cows. There are space aliens out there who would be interested in your cows. I am not one of them. And no, I cannot take you with me. Sorry.
I arrived on Earth more than one of your Earth years ago to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with you. It was a remarkable accomplishment given your technological, material, and physiological limitations. Just so we’re clear, the moon landing was the remarkable accomplishment, not the celebration of the anniversary of the moon landing. That was fun and educational, but it was not quite as big of an accomplishment.
I stayed on Earth because even though we Rigellians (not what we actually call ourselves) are vastly superior in nearly every conceivable way (and a few ways that you can’t conceive of because we are so vastly superior and utterly alien), you humans do one thing better than nearly all the other sentient lifeforms in the Universe. You tell great stories. I have read, listened to, and watched almost all of them.
As you might imagine, and you are very good at imagining things, I was drawn to what you call “science fiction”. Much of it is beautiful, terrifying, and incredible. And some of it is really, really fun. I’ll admit that it took me much longer than it should have to understand that all those wonderful heroes, antiheros, villains, aliens, droids, robots, big robots, big robots that combine to form giant robots, spaceships, time machines, Dyson spheres, sprawling galactic Empires and Federations, alternate histories, alternate realities, alternate dimensions, post-apocalyptic futures, and epic battles were not real.
For example, when I watched the movie E.T., I believed you had actually encountered the Jo’van Tar from the Denari system. Then I remembered that only juvenile Jo’van Tar have glowing fingers. Adult Jo’van Tar do not. And Jo’van Tar are not permitted to leave their homeworld until they are at least 347 of your Earth years old. So you can imagine my surprise and confusion when I saw a juvenile Jo’van Tar stranded on Earth, waving its glowing finger around, bringing flowers back to life and making bicycles fly and other shenanigans. I almost called its parents.
I was completely bewildered until I saw Galaxy Quest. Then I got it. You make it all up. Even Galaxy Quest is made up with actors playing actors playing the roles they didn’t really play in a made-up television series (as opposed to a real television series that is still, of course, made up) in a movie that itself is just a made-up story. That is astounding. You have astounding imaginations.
I don’t have to imagine what it’s like to travel through time. My “people” can already travel through time. It’s pretty great. You create fantastic, pretend starships that travel faster than light. We did that for real a long time ago, and it’s honestly the only way to get around. Until you invent time travel that is. Then faster-than-light travel seems almost antiquated… like riding a horse to the grocery store, I would think. It’s still, you know, useful, given the size of the Universe.
And even though the Universe is teeming with intelligent, advanced, alien (to you) life, you invent alien beings anyway. Sure, most of the space aliens you invent look, think, and act remarkably like you do… except they usually have large, wrinkly foreheads or tentacles or look like David Bowie or whatever. That’s okay. You haven’t met real space aliens yet. Maybe you will one day. We’re great! Well, most of us are great.
I and the rest of the sentient (and so much more advanced, like you can’t even comprehend how much more advanced we are) beings in the Universe think that your stories are something to celebrate. You can celebrate the impossible, improbable, and wildly imaginative stories of science fiction at Discovery World.
Experience Sci-Fi Family Day! Dress as your favorite hero (or villain or creature) from the many worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Kenosha Lego Users Group will be there. The SE Wisconsin R2 Builders Group will be there. I’ll be there. Lots of aliens will be there. You won’t see us, of course. We’ll look like you. Not exactly like you because you would find that strange. I found that out the hard way. And because it’s Sci-Fi Family Day, we might even look like ourselves. You never know. Regardless, we will be there walking among you.
And if we do happen to meet in “person”, will you kindly explain what was going on with the movie Space Jam? I have so many questions.