Watch: We dig into the history of alien invasions

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Syfy Wire Staff
Jan 26, 2017

It's a full-fledged sci-fi subgenre unto itself these days, but where did the alien invasion story get its start?

Like most science fiction allegories, these stories started out as twists on our own real-world fears of invasion and nuclear attack. But instead of Nazis or commie spies, the enemy became the extraterrestrial "other."

In the modern day, aliens have now twisted into the perfect tool to tell stories about terrorism and attacks that can potentially come from a place that's a whole lot closer to home. With films like District 9 and Arrival, filmmakers have been able to use alien visitors to tackle even more heady stories about the world around us.

In the latest installment of our series examining and exploring science fiction tropes, we break down the evolution of the alien invasion subgenre, from War of the Worlds through the beloved B-movies of the mid-20th century to the social commentary of They Live.

Watch below and let us know what you think!