Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.
Battleship is an action packed science fiction movie where the U.S. Navy saves the world from an extraterrestrial invasion. The plot begins in 2005 when a focused radio message is sent by a NASA communications array in Hawaii to a “goldilocks planet” – a distant exoplanet not to far or too close to its parent sun to host life as we know it. Seven years later, the extraterrestrials answer the message by visiting the earth in five ships intending to establish a beachhead where alien reinforcements would arrive to presumably launch a full scale planetary invasion. They establish an energy shield around the Hawaiian Islands, and are on the verge of successfully sending a message home when a sole U.S. Navy destroyer trapped inside the shield begins picking off the extraterrestrial ships. Ultimately, the retired battleship, Missouri, is commandeered by a rag tag group of sailors to attack the last alien ship and the NASA communications array co-opted by the invaders. During the movie we witness President Obama doing a cameo where he talks about the national security crisis engulfing the Hawaiian Islands. All this raises the question of what would an extraterrestrial invasion be really like, and whether the U.S. military is doing anything to prepare for such a contingency?