The portrayal of aliens in science fiction always gets a little tricky insofar as so many of the creatures we see in our films, television and even print stories are humanoid. Sure they’ll have crazy nose, or too many limbs, or even sometimes look like a cat or a fish, but ultimately, they’re just funny looking people. But beyond crinkled noses and boney foreheads, the best and most fun science fiction alien physical feature is easily a pair of crazy ears. Here are five of our favorites.
Ferengi (Star Trek)
The notion that aliens derive sensual pleasure from organs different than humans was touched on every once and while in Star Trek. But the most perverted of these notions was easily the concept of “umox.” If you rub a Ferengi’s ears in such a way for a long period of time, eventually they’ll have an orgasm. Or something. Though you’d think the Ferengi’s exceptional hearing would be highlighted more than this slightly gross feature, it seems like this fact is more prominent. If you know of anyone who has ever asked you for umox, we advise you to run!
The Bionic Woman (The Bionic Woman)
I’m not sure why this is true, but Lindsay Wagner’s The Bionic Woman is easily a more watchable show than Lee Major’s The Six-Million Dollar Man. Maybe it has something to do with the title. Though Jaime Sommers has great bionic powers all the way around, where would she be without her amazing bionic hearing? The constant close-ups of Jaime’s ear with that telling sound-effect was extremely useful in letting the audience know just how good her hearing was. Her ear is bionic! Here, we’ll do another close up with the sound effect. Get it?
Jaxxon the Lepi Star-Hopper (Star Wars comics)
Jaxxon comes from the very odd Star Wars Marvel comics continuity, in which Han, and later Luke, meet all sorts of nutty aliens. Jaxxon was supposedly a smuggler, with a space ship cleverly named the Rabbit’s Foot. Did Jaxxon inspire the Claymation rabbit that later appeared in Michael Jackson’s “Speed Demon?” Was he the source of inspiration for Bucky O’Hare? Or even Jar-Jar Binks? As ridiculous as he is, he’s cooler than any of those guys. If you’re talking ears, you gotta talk space rabbits, and this guy is the best by far.
Vulcans (Star Trek)
How do you know Vulcan ears are the most important aliens ears of all time? Because before they were called Vulcan ears, pointy-ears were attributed to elves. But now, the pointy ear is owned by Vulcans. And quite right! Vulcans have awesome hearing, and are probably the coolest (emotionally) aliens in all of science fiction. Did the ears present a problem when Vulcans needed to blend in among more rounded-eared creatures? A little bit. But if you’re Spock or Tuvok, a headband, beanie, or do-rag is never far away.
The thing we probably miss the most about Christopher Eccelston’s turn as the Doctor on Doctor Who is not his damaged soul, or northern accent, but rather, his wonderful ears. Chris, there’s only one word that can describe your ears: Fantastic!
Did we miss your favorite? Tell us! We’re all ears.
Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com. Stubby can hear you all the time.