In Men In Black, shortly after the Bug crashes, Edgar approaches him and they have a brief conversation:

Bug: Place your weapon on the ground.

Edgar: You can have my gun, when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. 

Bug: Your proposal is acceptable.

He then proceeds to consume Edgar and steal his skin.

Why did the Bug give Edgar a chance to surrender?

Edgar was obviously no threat to the Bug, as demonstrated immediately thereafter when Edgar resists. And I'm pretty sure he wasn't going to let Edgar live either way.

Obviously it created good tension for the story, though I'm curious if there's an in-universe explanation as well.

  • 1
    The bug isn't a mindless killer. If he can get stuff without putting himself into harm's way, so much the better.
    – Valorum
    Jun 14, 2021 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


This is addressed in the film's novelisation. In brief, it's a translation that doesn't quite scan properly. Note that the bug is referred to as Kerb.

Kerb shifted his position so he could see through one of the gaping holes in the ship's hull. Well, well. There it was. A human. Or, as they were known galactically, a terry—they certainly were ugly, fleshy, stunted little bastards—pointing what was obviously a projectile weapon at the ship.

They never learned, these inferior species.

Kerb said, "Put the gun down, stupid."

His vox box translator, linked to the UT in his aural canal, transformed his command to "Place the projectile weapon upon the ground, less than optimal brained one."

Well, that was close enough.

The terry skittered away for an instant, then edged back into view. It leveled the weapon at the ship again. "My name is Edgar Yax and that's my pickup truck your damned spaceship just landed on and squashed! You owe me for it, pal. And as for my gun, you can have that when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!"

"There's a deal," Kerb said to the Edgar. That came out as, "Your proposal is acceptable."

  • Nice! He does indeed speak more formally at the beginning than the rest of the movie. Maybe his translator started picking up common Earth language better. I should probably go read the novel.
    – Tronman
    Jun 15, 2021 at 11:47
  • @Tronman - Both original novelisations are recommended. The MiB:International one is garbage though.
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2021 at 12:46

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