I want to watch a space opera with a number of interplanetary civilizations locked in a centuries-long death match, knowing that whoever can wipe the others out will control the cosmos forever, and knowing that their odds of supremacy pretty much boil down to recruiting scientists, soldiers, etc. to leave the other civilizations and immigrate to theirs.1
So like: the Va-arlox spend most of their energy thinking about how they can make their planets more welcoming and appealing for the J’ghaar, how they can create enticing compensation and benefits offers, how they can phrase their civilizational values and goals in terms that J’ghaar can feel OK with, how to run successful missions to make friends with J’ghaar and convince them to relocate to Va-arlox planets, etc. etc. When they get a bunch of J’ghaar to immigrate, they high-five knowing that they’ve just pumped up their long-term prospects of having more scientists, more soldiers, etc. and winning the interplanetary war.
(Hmm, minus the war part, this may be a world I’d like to live in as well as a show I’d like to watch.)
The battle scenes are pretty short. Whoever’s ahead in immigration generally has better and more spaceships, so they win the battle pretty easily.
My favorite episode is the one where a few Va-arlox fall into a wormhole and end up on today’s Earth, in the U.S. They visit the Pentagon and initially feel right at home with all the people furiously brainstorming about how to achieve American hegemony over China, Russia, etc. But then they ask some curious questions like “So how are you getting more Chinese people to relocate to America?” and they hear “Oh that’s not the goal at all, in fact we turn away almost everyone who wants to come here.” And they’re SO confused, the look on their faces is the best.2
If you’re asking “Wait, why would someone immigrate to an alien civilization that is enemies with their home civilization?” think about real life instead of existing sci-fi shows. This is totally something individuals would do. ↩
I focused on military consequences of immigration because sci-fi shows are usually about war, not because I think this is the only or best reason to increase immigration. ↩
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