There's also the whole argument that 'technology implies belligerence' as posited by Peter Watts in his painfully good novel Blindsight (if you like Hard SF I can't recommend it strongly enough, probably the best I've ever read, but don't read it if you can't get on board with a certain pessimistic/reductionist view of humanity, it will depress you).
Anyway, his argument is that the presence of tools and technology suggests a psychology geared around forcibly altering your environment to suit your needs and from that basis if you meet a technologically advanced species it can be assumed that they have spent a good deal of their time struggling for survival and that will tend to breed a certain conflict-response traits into their mindset. Certainly, I wouldn't want to pootle around unknown space unarmed, just in case.
As to the film, I haven't watched it when I was kid, and I loved it then. I suspect I'd find it highly cheesy to watch it now but it would be quite cool to go back and look at it through the lens of all the sci-fi I've read in the intervening time. And also my son would probably love it which would be another good reason to give it another watch.
I seem to remember a fairly harsh scene where Maximilian rammed his blender hand through some dude and the clipboard he was holding scattered shredded paper into the air. When I was a lad that was about as scary as if it had been blood flying and was quite effective at communicating his monstrous nature.
As to the question earlier of him having blades instead of lasers I'd suggest it could either be for intimidation purposes ("Guns for show, knives for the pro") or to avoid hull breaches from over-penetration.
Thanks for reminding me of this film though. I'll have to find a copy and sit down with my boy at the weekend.
"Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing."