well, thing is, the scale of the Universe is so big and planet formation seems to be so abundant, that other intelligent life forms seem very likely to develop elsewhere. BUT! Time scales are also so imaginably big, that if we consider that we (as inteligent life forms) are only here for a few thousand years, and maybe we won’t be here for long either (destroy planet, war, comet hits the earth etc), we could think that civilizations only exist for a few thousands of years (which is too small on the universe time scale). Then, maybe we could worryingly conclude that although civilizations pop-up into existence frequently, they hardly exist simultaneously!
Although I agree that Star Trek overdid on the lens flare, your post is excellent. I could only add that Lens flares on the begining of computer graphics were very bad and it became a thing later on to make fun of its cliché use. Nowadays there are really good tools to create true simulations of lens behaviour, and have realistic and beautiful lens flares, so I think much of the criticism is not fair anymore.
Well, except if it’s overdone like on star trek, where any source of light, as weak as it was seemed to cast a flare on the lens.