5 Movie Militaries That Donald Trump Should NOT Model Space Force On
Yes, the original Alien was a claustrophobic horror film set in a cramped spaceship, and the sequel Aliens was a straight-up 80's action movie, complete with huge machine guns, flamethrowers, and a bunch of Rambo wannabes called the Colonial Marines, but did they have to be so stupid? After watching an entire colony fall off the grid, Earth responds by sending a handful of gung-ho soldiers on a mission to scout out the situation wearing nothing but short sleeves and flak jackets, even though Ripley has told them about the xenomorph's uniqe M.O. (facehuggers and acid blood). On top of that, the Marines are probably the least professional, least disciplined group of soldiers outside of M.A.S.H.—despite being trusted with literal nukes, they disobey orders, disrespect the authority of their officers, and immediately panic during their first contact with aliens, leading to most of them being shredded. Their legacy has been enshrined in countless video games since, all of which portray Marines as scared, helpless idiots with guns.
2. The Federation Marine Corps (Starship Troopers)
Starship Troopers took a page from Aliens' book by looking at legions of living alien weapons, most of which are fast-moving and deadly at close range, and saying "You know what would be the best match for these? Lightly armored ground troops with small arms." Granted, Starship Troopers is meant to be a satire, but watching thousands of soldiers running across open desert and throwing themselves at the alien equivalent of grain threshers and flamethrower tanks is mind-bogglingly dumb. The bulk of the alien forces in Starship Troopers resemble giant leafcutter ants that like to rip people apart with scythe-like arms, so the smart thing to do would be to put as much distance between them and the troops as possible, or, better yet, just bombard planets with nukes from orbit, as Ripley suggests in Aliens.
3. Starfleet (Star Trek)
Space Nine or the Battle of Sector 001, where Starfleet was ripped apart by the Borg, Starfleet's strength seems to be exploration, not stand-up battles. To add insult to injury, there are not one but two movies where Earth is threatened by an enigmatic spacecraft that holds Earth hostage (V'ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the Whale Probe in Star Trek IV), and Starfleet can do nothing about it.
4. The Imperial Navy/First Order Navy (Star Wars)
Rebels would try to attack (the thermal exhaust port), the Imperial Navy couldn't stop a handful of X-Wings, either. It's baffling how inept the Empire's forces are when it comes to space battles, especially when it comes to the weaknesses of their big guns, like that Super Star Destroyer or Snoke's flagship Supremacy in The Last Jedi: it turns out that one Rebel ship, rammed with sufficient speed, is enough to be bring both of them down, begging the question of why the Rebel isn't launching non-stop kamikaze attacks with ships piloted by astromech droids.
5. Earth Space Defense (Independence Day: Resurgence)
Popular Mechanics writer Joe Pappalardo, the failure of the Earth Space Defense force in Resurgence is a teachable moment:
Despite reverse-engineering the alien weapons and ships used in the last assault on Earth, the ESD is woefully unprepared for the new invasion, which quickly overwhelms their forces and does what it did before: wipe out cities and (almost) demolish the White House.
So, a message to President Trump: please, please, PLEASE don't base Space Force on any of these guys. Ever.