What if our solar system (which is most definitely devoid of intelligent life other than on Earth, though there may be some sort of life on Europa and Titan, and it sounds like there has been life on Mars) is a backwater solar system? What if other intelligent species live close to eachother, their planets close to another and they have a galactic government or union, a way of travelling between eachother's planets which takes little time... What if they are in another galaxy, or maybe galaxies, and they are connected with eachother and travel freely between their planets/galaxies of residence? What if that's where all the action is? What if they all live fulfilling lives there? What if we're so far away from them that we are doomed to live isolated and without purpose, away from the "real people", a cosmic mistake?