In this Science fiction question, I use the world "Racist" to describe the human predominance of the Empire, in Star Wars.

Someone suggested xenophobic :

Well, this is getting a bit into anecdotal territory, but every Science Fiction piece I've read used "xenophobic" to describe those that hated other species. It may be that you need to further define "foreign." All you have to do is take the existing definitions, and extend "species" to the locality qualifier. This isn't unreasonable, and given that the whole idea is something we have not had to combat yet I find it entirely accurate.
– draeath

Is there any better word to define this fictional problem?

  • 2
    What do you mean, 'other' extraterrestrial species?
    – Mitch
    Sep 19, 2011 at 17:29
  • 7
    I don't think there will be a "better" word than xenophobia. That's the standard word, used for antipathy towards extraterrestrials as well as just people from other countries/regions on Earth. If you wanted to exclude the latter, you could go with anthropocentric xenophobia, or perhaps terracentric/geocentric. Sep 19, 2011 at 17:39
  • @FumbleFingers Then is "Racist" acceptable?
    – DavRob60
    Sep 19, 2011 at 17:46
  • 1
    Sort of like using "alien" for people from other planets, but also for people from other contries.
    – GEdgar
    Sep 19, 2011 at 21:11

5 Answers 5


I think xenophobic is the best choice. Take this definition:

xenophobic - having abnormal fear or hatred of the strange or foreign

Extra-terrestrials are definitely foreign and most likely strange too.

  • "Xenophobic" is also often applied to the dislike of humans by other humans, so it could be somewhat ambiguous. Jan 3, 2013 at 6:18

If you're looking for a word that doesn't necessarily imply a strong hatred or fear of another group (like xenophobic), but instead an elevation of one's own group to a higher level of importance, then I would lean towards anthropocentric (mentioned in a comment by FumbleFingers) as a better alternative:


  1. considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe
  2. interpreting or regarding the world in terms of human values and experiences

Another possibility may be humanocentric:

In science-fiction, humanocentrism is the idea that humans, as both beings and a species, are the superior sentients. Essentially the equivalent of race supremacy on a galactic scale, it entails intolerant discrimination against sentient non-humans, much like race supremacists discriminate against those not of their race. This idea is countered by anti-humanism. At times, this ideal also includes fear of and superiority over strong AIs and cyborgs, downplaying the ideas of integration, cybernetic revolts, machine rule and Tilden's Laws of Robotics.


It seems clearest simply to say that someone is anti-alien. Not only does that spare them from having to stem xenophobic, it removes the “unreasonable fear” element of a phobia and makes clear that they are taking a position against the aliens.


Since it's science fiction anyway, let's coin a word:


(an- not + terra, of Earth + phobic)

  • 2
    An- is only used before vowels (and h), though, and Terra doesn't mean ‘of Earth’—it's just means ‘Earth’. The adjective is Terran; so it should just be aterranophobic. Sep 17, 2015 at 14:48
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: And in any case, "terran" is based on a Latin adjective (which makes it slightly dubious to use either a combing form "terra-" or "terrano-") while "a-/an-" and "phobic" are from Greek, so it doesn't really fit together.
    – herisson
    Jan 11, 2017 at 4:27


  • 2
    It's more commonly called speciesism, and usually means favouring homo sapiens over other animals on this planet. Sep 19, 2011 at 17:42
  • 2
    I prefer xenophobia/xenophobic, but DavRob60 didn't want that. So I went for a word that could mean what he wanted, especially since he noted the use of the word racist (discrimination based on race). Speciesism would be discrimination based on species, and he specified extraterrestrial SPECIES.
    – Rob
    Sep 19, 2011 at 17:45
  • 1
    I certainly agree xenphobia is really the best word anyway. But speciesism has been used for some decades now with no particular implication of extraterrestrials being involved. In my experience it's often used by, for example, vegetarians, people against animal testing, etc. In short, its semantic reach has already ruled it out for the same reason OP doesn't like xenophobia. Sep 19, 2011 at 17:57

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