I recently saw the Sci fi film Arrival. I won’t give away then main twists and turns of the film, though I should warn that some of what I say might still be a spoiler.
The film features an intelligent alien species that’s similar to a (possibly semi intelligent) water born species on Earth. Is that plausible? Possibly. Though some astrobiologists feel that the highly contingent conditions for life on Earth would lead to life that looks fairly different from life elsewhere, others feel that conditions for life might be similar enough to yield alien life that may look like Earth-based life.
Less plausiblly, though it adds much to the story line, are the aliens’ telepathic abilities and ability to live in nonlinear time (that is, future, past and present feel equally real to them). Though we may eventually be able to roughly read thoughts through something like an f-MRI scanner (Michio Kaku discusses this in his book, Physics of the Future), without the brain having a way for receiving similar waves from members of another species, we’d have no way of being telepathically controlled. Also, without a way for actually traveling in time, it seems unlikely that that a species could perceive times they aren’t currently living in, though perhaps tachyons (faster than light particles) offer a way out. However, nobody has ever found evidence for tachyons.
If you like these topics, keep coming back, and don’t forget to check out my book:
The Physics and Astronomy of Science Fiction, published by McFarland and available through them , Amazon, and many other publishers.