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There is a very cool space battle scene during which an armada of human warships are fighting a single huge alien ship. Who are the alien race and what happens to them? What led to this battle in first place?

It seems like the humans are technologically at a disadvantage here and have to resort to using doomsday weapons to avoid huge losses. Is that really the case?

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The novelisation refers to the "War against the Southern Territories".

This was the army humanity had fronted in one of the worst wars of its entire checkered history—the War against the Southern Territories. It was largely because of this war, with its years of violence and astronomical numbers of casualties on both sides, that humanity had firmly rededicated itself to pursuing peace if at all possible. Peace bought with the bloodiest of prices, Okto-Bar remembered his father saying. He continued to read the list of ships and their captains.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: The Official Movie Novelization

And the film itself identifies the baddies (over Mül) as being "the Arysum-Kormn"

The war against the Arysum-Kormn led to the destruction of Planet Mül.

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Nothing more specific is known other than that humanity won, and was so horrified by the death and destruction that it then dedicated itself to the cause of galactic peace.

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