I finally (ok, a week after it opened) got to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and found one part of it most surprising (spoilers after the break):
No, it was not Chris Platt as Peter Quill. No, it was not a talking, butt-kicking raccoon. Indeed, the movie referred to a previous (and newly reincarnated) movie/tv show of talking/fighting animals--Turtles.
No, the biggest revelation was, of course, Groot. Not the many ways it (she/he/?) said the same lines but differently enough that the Raccoon could decipher the meanings as if they were Chewbacca and Han. No, that Groot could adapt its form in so many ways to address whatever challenge--from being a ladder to producing flowers that illuminate to shielding its allies.
Which, of course, produces the realization--previous Space stuff sucks in imaging alternative life forms. With few exceptions and perhaps constrained by budgets (hence the choices of varying colors or strange haircuts or ridges on skulls or what not), most movies and TV sci-fi does not think outside the box very much when it comes to alien species.
Perhaps the most revolutionary and yet least imitated episodes of classic Star Trek was the one of a silicon based lifeform, the Horta. Bones had to be a bricklayer and not a doctor in order to treat it. Have we seen much like that since? Perhaps I am poorly educated in truly alien aliens.
I will have to see the movie again as it was so funny, I missed many lines due to audience laughter.
For now, I can just satisfy myself by thinking that we are all Groot!