We know that the Arquillians tasked the MIB with finding the Galaxy, giving them "one standard galactic week" (an hour) to find it, before destroying Earth to prevent it from falling into the bug's hands.

We can presume time was still left on the clock by the time the MIB retrieve the Galaxy. Yet, had the MIB not interfered, the bug would have escaped with it on his stolen ship within the hour time limit.

Surely the bug having the Galaxy would have been bad for everybody anyway, but I'm curious, if the bug escaped Earth before the hour was up, wouldn't the Arquillians have sent their battle cruiser after him rather than destroying the Earth anyway? Is there anything in supporting media that would explain what would have happened?

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If we take the novelisation at face value, the Bug's impression was that the Earth was almost certainly going to be destroyed after he left.

Enough. He would have plenty of time to fiddle with entertainment systems once he was off-planet. He was practically home free, best not to linger now. In a few minutes, this world was going to be a bad memory, cut into smoking trash by yet another exchange in the Arquillian-Baltian Conflict. Time he got home, the war should be in full swing again, and everybody in the family would feed well. Other families would benefit, too, not that anybody from them would give him the least bit of credit, oh, no. Well, that was the way of it. Trickle-down economics. He didn't care if they ate, long as his own family was fed.

Kay had much the same idea

"Isn't there anything we can tell the guys in the warships?"

Kay shook his head. "Zed will have been trying. They don't trust us, don't much like us, wouldn't think twice about blasting us and good riddance, if they had a good enough reason. We come up with the galaxy and the bug who killed their people, do a fast song and dance, we survive. Otherwise..."

It stands to reason that if the Arquilians have no way of using their sensors to detect the Galaxy, they'd have no way of knowing that it was on the Permarian ship and no reason to believe the MIB when they said that it was no longer on the planet.

  • Other than the on-screen apology for having to potentially blow up Earth, do we know the Arquillians well enough to have any assurance that they wouldn't blow up the planet anyway for failing to keep the Galaxy from leaving?
    – Ellesedil
    Jan 29, 2018 at 5:17
  • That makes sense. Guess I'm too used to "Star Trek" ships being able to detect anything that lifts off from the surface. Thanks!
    – Tronman
    Jan 29, 2018 at 23:49

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