My first comment would be I always enjoyed that film.
And politics always gets involved in all manner of things including space exploration, etc...no surprise there.
As to the alien controlling her mind to see her father that's certainly possible and a truly advanced race would obviously know more about space , time, and space travel than we do .....
but what I found the most intriguing was the comment from the 'alien' who said, "We didn't build the Transport System. We don't know who did. It was here long before we came."
Now that's mind boggling.