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if anyone runs a photoshop contest on what a Japanese/Klingon culture would look like, do notify me. Here, I'll give you a thought experiment to get you started: Whorrf wearing a Hello Kitty outfit.

It would not be hard to read SF stories/movies as a reflection of how the US-Soviet relationships were - how tense the Cold War was. During dentente, one gets cuddly aliens like ET. During more tense periods one gets The Thing, or Invasion of the Pod People.

I also wouldn't read too much into why Star Trek aliens look like people in rubber suits. After all, the "transporter" was done as a cost savings as they could not afford the budget to use the "shuttlecraft" in every episode. While $300k/episode doesn't get you much these days, back in the 1960s it was a budget buster. And after all, Kirk kissing Uhura was the first interracial kiss on US TV - and it almost got that show cancelled as well.