FALLING SKIES: The Bipedal Alien Mechs – Speculations & Theories

Falling Skies - Mechs

One of the most intriguing mysteries issued in the Falling Skies premiere concerns why the alien ‘machines of destruction’ – The Mechs – have two arms and legs, resembling humans more than the multi-legged ‘Skitters’.

One idea put forward in the episode was that the Skitters created the Mechs with a bipedal design to give them a psychological edge over the humans.

Perhaps, but surely multiple legs would give them more of an advantage on that front? Such a design would be more unfamiliar to humans who – as we’ve seen – can at least predict the bipedal Mechs’ movements. Since the show put the idea forward, it’s probably safe to say it was just a suggestion designed to get us thinking.

The logical answer is that the Mechs are bipedal to help them move around in largely human-constructed areas – towns and cities. Again, perhaps. We should also consider that the aliens just think like us and designed their robots accordingly. And perhaps we also think like them. There were already creatures on Earth that resemble the multi-legged Skitters, such as: spiders and octopi.

Looking at it from the other direction, it suddenly opens up the possibility that the Skitters have human-like creatures on their planet. If so, this becomes very interesting.

On a related, but slightly different train of thought, could it be that the aliens/Mechs are somehow linked to ‘Earth-humans’. Did the aliens rule Earth prior to humanity? While that may be the case, this wouldn’t necessarily explain why the Mechs resemble ‘human design’.

My extended theory is that the Skitters and Mechs might not be as united as they appear. The opening two episodes strongly imply that the Skitters give the orders to the Mechs. But what if there’s more to it than that? What if either the Mechs or Skitters are themselves under the thumb of the other?

  • Could the Skitters be more benign than they seem?
  • Are the Mechs actually human-controlled?
  • Is there a deeper conspiracy to the alien invasion?

I can’t be sure, but one thing is for sure – there’s mystery to be had.

Do you have any thoughts or theories on the Skitters/Mechs?

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    • Ryan Wilson says

      Nah.. I think they are both greeddy, dominant creatures of their planet. Than they came to Earth for our resources. And they killed us all because they needed slaves to do thier labor work and to get us out of thier way from stopping them. With out us in thier way, they can conquer. My question is, how did they get here? I sure doesnt look like they can drive..

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      • Anna says

        That is very wrong. If they were so nasty, then why in Episode four did the one looking over the harnessed children pet them and make comforting sounds. They obviously think the humans they take are important.

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  1. Shaun says

    I think the Mechs are being run by the hijacked kids. Every Mech you blow up is killing one of your own.

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      • Ryan Wilson says

        Not possible. PERIOD.
        If they were run by the kids than why wouldnt the kids kill them to get back to thier families?

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        • Dapixeldude says

          The kids wouldn´t attack the aliens since they are controlled by the harnesses.

          Ep 04 throws a hint about the skitters using humans as soldiers, so it was impossible for the resistance to attack them.. Perhaps the theory about kids controlling the mechs is accurate??

          Can´t remember if there were mechs before the skittters kidnapped young kids though..

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    • Swålsh says

      That is so stupid..Dude, they travelled from another planet. Pretty sure they can design their own robots to kill w/out some 4year old controlling it.

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  2. gis says

    hi mr.Roco,

    i just have a question for u my friend:
    when my foreign friend asked me to translate the world skitter and mechs to him i just could not find a word for them

    can u help to explain those two name, just give ma another word for each of them if u could.

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    • says


      “Skitter” is the name given the aliens because they move quickly on many legs like spiders. So “Scurry” or “Scuttle” (or just “run”) would be effective translations.

      “Mechs” is short for “mechanical”. So “Machines” or “Robots” would probably translate well.

      Hope that helps.

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  3. James says

    Harness kids are Skitters. The “harness” is a genetically engineered organism that transforms the kids into skitters. Since adolescents are still growing and their physical and genetic structures are still pliant, they’re more amenable to transgenic metamorphosis.

    Mechs are powered armor or armored fighting suits. The aliens are probably morphologically similar to Humans. Crack one of those mechs open, and you’ll find a live operator inside. Skitters perform a functiom similar to war dogs and act as and extra pair of hands for the mechs.

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  4. Diego says

    Interesting theories… my theory is that the Skitters are actually “bio suits” think of the exoskeleton the Independence Day Aliens wore. Inside the “bio suit” there could be a smaller more human like alien… which matched more closely to the mechs physical characteristics.

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  5. asdfg says

    Or the Skitters are an enslaved race themselves … since they appear to wear some sort of Harness as well… My Guess: once the Humans figured out how to remove the Harness and the Biospines properly, they will unite with the Skitters…

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  6. says

    I’m thinking that there is a higher power involved. On the motherships there is probably another class of aliens that resemble the mechs. I think the higher power is, y’know, like the contracters doing all the commanding, while the mechs (that are modeled after them) are like their heavy machinery tanks, and the skeeters are like the mexicans doing all the actual labor as infantry picked off another planet. Another thing to show that skeeters aren’t such a high and mighty species is that they don’t have any weaponry or armor! The mechs have both. While the skeeters run around butt-naked and defenceless…

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  7. Brian says

    I think the mechs are actually in charge. Some race invented them at some point and they rose up. They invented the harnesses to make slaves out of the biological races they encountered.

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  8. William says


    I think the Skitters came on Earth to fight adult people, and give to the Earth a new chance with the young people. In the episod 5, when they are in the hospital, you can see the Skitters don’t treat the young like slave, the skitter seem to “love” the young like a mother love children, the skitter sleep and protect the young, and when the skitter has been attacked, the young try to protect the skitter.

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    • Anna says

      I completely agree. It’s either your idea, or they consider the children they harness as members of their own species.

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    • Swålsh says

      lol again >.> some of these ideas are completely retarded..start over w/ a new generation? what, would they be better than the previous 1? right..of coarse they would be..they were only enslaved, saw their world destroyed, and most of the ppl they knew died..not much..great new world

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  9. Falling skies + Halo = win says

    Personally, i think the Mechs are just an exo-skeleton for the skitters. Open one up and there’s a skitter crammed in it. I was looking over the falling skies website picture of a skitter, and i noticed that on the underside of the gun, there was a slot for a hand (obviously this could be just a human operator moving a prop and such, but I’d like to think that the skitters use the mechs as a suit of armor.)

    other theory is that the mechs are just what they look like. Machines.

    still think that the mechs were designed for physiological intimidation. I mean, if they resembled the skitters more…they’d have probably been named spiders.

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  10. Matt says

    I believe that the skitters are a slave race and the mechs are their guards. Why else do the mechs have weapons while the skitters have none. Also when they question the captive skitter using Rick as an intermediary it seems to me that the skitter is asking to die because if it helps them it will be punished.

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  11. Take says

    It seems silly that the humans have not yet solved what the Mechs are and scavanged the weapons systems off of one of them.

    Come on, the EWOKS took out Imperial AT-ST Walkers with simple tactics, why couldn’t these human resistance fighters capture and disable one? Trip it with steel cables, dig an anti-mech pit for it to fall into with punji spikes made of rebar in it, etc.

    For a group led by combat vets and a military history professor, they sure aren’t very bright when it comes to warfare.

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  12. Lili Marlene says

    Spoiler Alert!
    There is no mystery. This is what is going to happen:
    1. The skitters are going to be found to be minions/slaves of the real masters who control the mechs and invading ships.
    2. The skitters are going to eventually team up with the humans to overthrow the masters and become free.
    3. Skitters and humans will become friends and skitters will give humans all kinds of good technology.
    (did I get to see the scripts, boys?)

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  13. J says

    From the Episode What Hides Beneath, we discover that Mechs are complete machines, and that they fire bullets made from human shell casings and mech metal. Mechs are bipedal because the skitters masters are bipedal. Oh, skitters are harnessed as well. The harnesses don’t control an individual, they transform it. Did I spoil it?

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  14. Boca says

    Anyone here consider that Pope and Margaret may be aliens themselves? Its just a thought ive been working after watching part one of the season final. They had a short convo about humanity that sparked this thinking. That and Pope is unusually smart and has an insasiable appetite for killing skidders. Margaret herself is qutie odd, quited and disconnected from the other humans. Just a thought Im tossing out there, they could be from another race that the aliens are at war with or have conqured before they came to earth.

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  15. Jason says

    Well we’ve seen the skidder’s bow to the bipedal aliens in the very first reveal when they are viewed through the binoculars. In the same episode, the bipedal alien is alone with a harness kid being controlled outside the door of the collaborator woman living alone in the city. Also take into account the way the skidder showed affection towards the harnessed kids when they are sleeping. I believe the bipedal aliens are the commanders, and the harness things themselves are the underlings. I wouldn’t be surprised to find the mech’s being controlled by nothing but a “harness”. Of course, it hasn’t been shown yet if the harness directly controls a subject, or indoctrinates, or whatever the case may be. It has been shown that the more quickly it is removed, the better chance the subject has of recovering. After a certain point, the subjects seem past the point of going back. Could it prepare, and then inject an alien parasite that overtakes the host, and not simply overpower or influence their conciousness? If that’s the case, it’s possible the mechs are controlled by the alien parasite underlings. As far as the theory that children are piloting them is concerned; The mechs were built before they invaded (as evidence by the metal they are constructed from) and I would imagine would have had to have pilots ready, instead of slowly recruiting. To predict, I bet the radio frequency will ultimatly end up killing the parasite or whatever turns out is controlling anyone but the bipedals. I then think you are right that the skidders will begin to fight with the humans. I also think the mechs, and possibly fliers, will be out of comission. We’ll probably see the bipedal aliens have a few new tricks, but I think it’s a decent way to allow the series to continue through to a satisfying end.

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  16. Dan says

    I agree with the theories that radiofrequency will be the ultimate weapon against the invaders.

    But I have some theories that haven’t been put forward in the posts so far:
    – the aliens seem to NEED the harnessed adolescents a lot. They go to great pains to capture them, and use/risk many resources to do so. So I’m guessing that most likely the aliens have a sort of reproduction system that depends on another living being – like intestinal parasites or some types of insects, whose larvae need to be put into another creature before it reaches it`s adult stage.
    That being the case, it could be that the `harness` is in fact the larval stage of the aliens.
    Perhaps the skitters are the final stage of larval form of the alien species. Possibly the skitters were an all together different species, from another planet than the original aliens. And they were used as hosts for the alien`s larvae all the way to extinction. And that`s why the aliens have to move from planet to planet: to find new hosts for their larvae in order to reproduce.
    If they simply wanted to take over the planet for resources, it seems pretty clear they could have just wiped everyone out at once.

    Any way, that`s my theory about the skitters and harnesses.


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    • Dan says

      PS: when I say `aliens` I mean the tall bipedal grey things that showed up in episode 8.
      And yes, I think the Mechs are designed after the bipedal alien dudes.

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  17. Dave says

    I disagree. In the later episodes of the season 1, they show that the Skitters are actually harnessed by the tall thin aliens. The Mechs were probably created by those aliens for combat and along their travels through space, found the skitters and use them for dirty work.

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  18. JIzzo says

    Well, the aliens must need the humans for something. They could easily wipe out this rag tag group of humans. You dont travel millions of light years and then be vulnerable to primitive weapons.

    The plot must have some surprises since it wouldnt make sense to use humans for slave labor when you have mechs. Why? Why deal with the drama, the food requirement not to mention illness, aging, etc..

    This show kinda of reminds me of BG with all the drama and the mechs except for the fact that it occurs on Earth.

    I am hoping that the series isnt cancelled prior to us finding out what the purpose of the invasion was. Im guessing they need humans for breeding perhaps. A slave race just doesnt make sense when you have the ability to build machines and possibly even machines that can be controlled by the mind of a sentient being.

    I do believe the skitters are genetically mutated humans. We are only seeing the military arm of the skitters. I believe we will other “beings” that are mutations of humans….a new hybrid race.

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  19. Brandon Austin says

    As entertaining as these shows are they are quite stupid.
    Similar to “V” we have a group of humans somehow fighting against a super advanced race that is capable of intergalactic space travel, genetic manipulation, and technology that allows them to communicate with other civilizations using some sort of harness technology.

    Now, if a race were able to do all those things, do you think that they would be subject to “sound” weapons? Peronsally, I say NO. The only hope that they have to eliminate this race is that someone they are prone to a virus on our world not known on theirs. However, I find it hard to believe that their medical advances wouldnt have kept pace with their technical advances.

    The gaol would be to understand what they are here for..not fight them. Surely, as JIzzo stated, an advance race would have no need for human labor once they have the ability to create robots or mechs.

    Additionally, there is no need to enslave an entire race for breeding when you have the ability to genetically alter beings. They may need the DNA but you do not need billions of people for that.

    The whole plot is wrought with problems. You have to believe that an advanced race just enjoys blowing things up and killing people to watch this series. I cant fathom that. Not even humans are that destructive.

    One least point. So, if nothing I said makes any sense, try to imagine us with our currently technology warring against our primitive neaderthal ancestors. Who would win that battle? We would. We could easily wipe them out using drones, aircraft,etc.. We would pound them in to oblivion. So just exactly what is this film trying to prove, there is no way these humans would have a chance against these aliens.

    The fact that these skitters have shown some affection toward the children is a clue that there is a plan for the surviing humans and that they do not want to destroy all humans. Obviously they arent for food. You dont sleep with your food. Obviously they arent slave laborers..you dont sleep with you workers. Obviously they arent meant to be soldiers since you dont coddle your future soldiers. Breeding is the most likely reason here.

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  20. Johnny Iz says

    So, I wonder how humans would react if a super advanced race came to Earth for a food source.

    So, here is how the plot would go. A super race comes to Earth and communicates to our leaders that they will harvest the planet indiscriminately unless the leaders allow them to cull the planet in perpetuity.

    The aliens will cull 1% of the planet each year for their food needs. The governement leaders will select the people to be given up for food or people may volunteer. Candidates must be in good health, no diseases, and be younger than 40 years old. How would we react?

    Would be go to war? The aliens have made it know that they will take what they want and there is nothing that the Earth can do about it. Nothing.

    The aliens have also made it known that if they enounter resistance they will slaughter 1 billion of the Earth’s population and keep slaughtering until the resistance stops.

    Humans= cows. If an alien wants us for food, there is nothing we can do about it.

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  21. Johnny Iz says

    The twist.. The aliens look exactly like us. No human skin suits. They are humans from another planet ( It so happens humans are more common than we think across the galaxy) This race has exhuasted it’s food suppy. They lucked out and found a planet of 6 billion.

    Will the aliens find a heart? or will we succumb to being cows? Or is there another race that will save us?

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  22. J Williams says

    Whoa! Let’s not overlook the fact that this is TV. It does not make sense to apply logic beyond a certain point. In fact, if not for “inconsistencies” allowing us to hold our own at some level (ie., the often mentioned human spirit and will to survive) the show would only last one episode. History is full of examples of overconfident superior forces being defeated by enemies they had given little thought.

    That having been said, let’s take a moment to examine what we know about the teaser ending season 2 and then speculate. First, the aliens who entered at the end must have been kept at bay by the weapon since their appearance was shortly after it was destroyed by the 2nd MASS. Second, the Overlords knew this lot were in close proximity to earth or could be. Third, the new aliens and Overlords are not at peace.

    Now, if the new aliens had superior weaponry or defenses, they obviously would have come sooner and despite the Overlord defenses, so with less than or equal to firepower, they would need a resistance (however small) to tip the balance.

    I think it is likely the new aliens and Overlords will turn out to be from the same planet or star system and share some common technology or perhaps even ancestry such as the skitter connection.

    The Overlords’ forces came in shooting/ taking prisoners and the new aliens came in ‘soft’, landed in front of resistance firepower, and even dared a little smile. OK, they will turn out to be a worse threat than the Overlords in some way.

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