Planet Destroyer Movies

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Main Question or Discussion Point

The pinnacle of human civilization is when we can create machines that can destroy an entire planet (by imploding or exploding it). This would extend our control of foreign policy to extrasolar policy in the event life would be detected off world someday.

1. In the movie Ender's Game. The weapon can disrupt molecules and cause chain reaction destroying an entire planet.

2. In Star Wars, they use the rays of the sun?

3. In Superman Return, they try to heat the core to destroy the earth.

4. In Star Trek (one of the latest), they use some kind of exotic matter to destroy the Vulcan homeworld.

5. What other movies do you know and what method did they use to destroy a planet? What would be the most feasible or plausible?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
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The pinnacle of human civilization is when we can create machines that can destroy an entire planet /QUOTE]You have a warped sense of greatness, it seems to me.
 
  • #3
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I saw a copy of "Destroy All Planets!" at a used book store yesterday. Not sure they actually destroyed any, however.
 
  • #4
Garlic
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There is a game called Spore, similar to the Civilization game, in the space stage of your civilization you can buy planet buster bombs.
 
  • #5
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3000 A.D. First hostile contact with intent for our planetary extinction.The choice is to be destroyed or to destroy. What would you choose? I can remember the lines of the two most powerful speeches in movie histories. Independence Day and Armageddon. Here are the speeches (can you share others movies.. they would be feel good words as we deploy the Planet Destroyer beyond the solar system):

"I address you tonight, not as the President of the United States, not as the leader of a country, but as a citizen of humanity. We are faced with the very gravest of challenges, The Bible calls this day Armageddon. The end of all things. And yet for the first time...in the history of the planet, a species has the technology… to prevent its own extinction. All of you praying with us need to know… that everything that can be done to prevent this disaster… is being called into service. The human thirst for excellence, knowledge every step up the ladder of science, every adventurous reach into space, all of our combined modern technologies and imaginations, even the wars that we’ve fought, have provided us the tools… to wage this terrible battle. Through all the chaos that is our history, though all of the wrongs and the discord, through all of the pain and suffering, Through all of our times, there is one thing that has… nourished our souls. And elevated our species above its origins. And that is our courage. Dreams of an entire planet are focused tonight… on those 14 brave souls… traveling into the heavens. And may we all, citizens the world over, see these events through. God speed and good luck to you." (Armageddon)

"Good morning. Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences any more. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist, and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on, we're going to survive.' Today we celebrate our independence day!"

Independence Day moviepart II coming 2 weeks now. What will they want from Earth again? Why didn't they just destroy it? It is times like it that we can justify the deployment of a Planet Destroyer. By the way.. Vulcan was destroyed by a Red Matter sent to its core and ironically, Red Matter was fabricated in the Vulcan Science Academy. 6 Billion people died. In the Marvel Movies or even comics.. I forgot what method the villians try to destroy the planet. Any remember?
 
  • #6
Bandersnatch
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  • #7
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What planet was destroyed in "2010". Jupiter reached "enlightenment", that's all.
 
  • #8
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There are some good novels about strangelet based weapons below https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strangelet. Real scientific analysis reports it:

"If the strange matter hypothesis is correct and its surface tension is larger than the aforementioned critical value, then a larger strangelet would be more stable than a smaller one. One speculation that has resulted from the idea is that a strangelet coming into contact with a lump of ordinary matter could convert the ordinary matter to strange matter.[14][15] This "ice-nine"-like disaster scenario is as follows: one strangelet hits a nucleus, catalyzing its immediate conversion to strange matter. This liberates energy, producing a larger, more stable strangelet, which in turn hits another nucleus, catalyzing its conversion to strange matter. In the end, all the nuclei of all the atoms of Earth are converted, and Earth is reduced to a hot, large lump of strange matter."

But it added "A detailed analysis[15] concluded that the RHIC collisions were comparable to ones which naturally occur as cosmic rays traverse the solar system, so we would already have seen such a disaster if it were possible"

There are 10 books or tv episodes suggested.. I don't have time to read all.. which of them has the detail where they were adjusted by labs to bypass the RHIC analysis and makes us a plausible strangelet tactical bomb?

Look. In the movie Armagaddon. Scientists commentaries said conventional nukes won't even split the comet (or is it meteor?). You need a miniaturized Planet Destroyer Class weapon to do that. So the benefit is maybe to avoid an Extinction Level Event scenario that happened to the dinosaurs?
 
  • #9
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Yesterday I watched Ninja Turtles for second time with my nephew. After the Technodrome was assembled. It was supposed to destroy the earth.. what kind of weapon does it use? it's particle beam ray based more than kinetic based projectile based.. perhaps it's antimatter particle beam of some kind? antimatter having more explosive punch per pound than TNT or thermonuclear.. is it not? what other particle beam weapons have more explosive or destructive potential than antimatter based?
 
  • #10
CalcNerd
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Just develop a large amount of anti-matter:woot:. A few thousand pounds should easily do. Just encase this antimattero0) in a bunker buster type missile that can penetrate a couple hundred miles deep:eek: into the core of the planet and Voila!!!, you should see the planet shatter:nb). Might want to run the numbers, but I suspect that the antimatter power source should provide the amount of energy needed to blast an earth sized planet to smithereens (heck,:biggrin: it might only need a few hundred pounds or even LESS). You can approximate the actual amount of antimatter to a first order approximation by assuming a nuclear fusion blast (Hydrogen Bomb) is only 2-3% efficient for the energy of its mass to energy release and the antimatter bomb is 200% efficient:rolleyes: for its mass to energy release.
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Hope this helps.:biggrin: Our own labs can already make antimatter. Just have to crank up the volume by a several orders of magnitude:smile:. I suspect there might be a couple hundred yocto-grams:woot: available for you to start with (I suspect I might be optimistic on current amounts,:oops: perhaps by a couple orders of magnitude as well).
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But as you wanted a feasible way to actually destroy a planet. Of course mankind can already seriously damage the surface to the extent of killing everything off except cockroaches.
 
  • #11
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E.E. "Doc" Smith posited "planet buster bombs" in his Lensman series, published in the 1930s and '40s.
 
  • #12
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The Lexx was designed to be a planet-killer. The Vorlons and Shadows on Babylon 5 had their own impressive planet-killers as well.
Don't know if I agree about planetary destruction being the "pinnacle" of human development, but I guess each person has their own idea of where we're headed as a species. The probable outcome is that there's only one planet we will eventually render uninhabitable - our own.
 
  • #13
Aufbauwerk 2045
I add to the list Star Trek: A Taste of Armageddon, This Island Earth, Battle Beyond the Stars, Outer Limits: Final Exam, and Codename Icarus. I won't add spoilers. I think these are all worth seeing.
 
  • #14
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What would be the most feasible or plausible?
An antimatter bomb should be quite effective.
 
  • #15
Aufbauwerk 2045
An antimatter bomb should be quite effective.
There is a Star Trek episode about matter and antimatter, which involves possibly destroying the universe.
 
  • #16
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There is a Star Trek episode about matter and antimatter, except it involves destroying the universe.
Ah, well that would likely upset a lot of innocent bystanders,
 
  • #17
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There is a Star Trek episode about matter and antimatter, which involves possibly destroying the universe.
That would be The Alternative Factor. The best thing about that episode is watching the actor playing Lazarus repeatedly fall down through the entire thing. It made me wish the Enterprise had a long flight of stairs. That man made Kramer look graceful.
 
  • #18
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Look. In the movie Armagaddon. Scientists commentaries said conventional nukes won't even split the comet (or is it meteor?). You need a miniaturized Planet Destroyer Class weapon to do that. So the benefit is maybe to avoid an Extinction Level Event scenario that happened to the dinosaurs?
In Armageddon, NASA also believed that training oil rig workers to be astronauts would be easier are more reliable that training astronauts to be drill operators.

There is a Star Trek episode about matter and antimatter, which involves possibly destroying the universe.
It certainly wouldn't. The early universe had ridiculously huge quantities of both that destroyed each other. And are you sure it was Star Trek and antimatter? If I remember correctly, their warp engine has an antimatter core, and their photon torpedo are antimatter, they have a lot of experience using it. Maybe you're referring to the omega particle?
 
  • #19
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Destroying a planet is not as easy as the movies make it out to be. Pretty much they have to rely on some highly futuristic science to get the job done. The difficulty is that planets are massive. Unless the weapon consumes or transforms the planet, anything that just leaves rubble will eventually end up with a planet forming from that rubble.

It isn't a movie, but there are documentaries online about the future of our solar system, which show one way to destroy a planet - when the sun expands to a red giant and the orbits of Mercury, Venus and the Earth lie within the atmosphere of the Sun, those planets orbits will decay and they will spiral into the sun. When the sun later becomes a white dwarf, there will be no sign of the planets it consumed.
 
  • #20
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The pinnacle of human civilization is when we can create machines that can destroy an entire planet (by imploding or exploding it). This would extend our control of foreign policy to extrasolar policy in the event life would be detected off world someday.

1?
thats terrible, not many would agree with your definition of greatness!
 
  • #21
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What other movies do you know and what method did they use to destroy a planet? What would be the most feasible or plausible?
The Vorlons and Shadows on Babylon 5 had their own impressive planet-killers as well.
There is a Star Trek episode about matter and antimatter, which involves possibly destroying the universe.
Destroying a planet is not as easy as the movies make it out to be. Pretty much they have to rely on some highly futuristic science to get the job done. The difficulty is that planets are massive.
Just to weave all this together - in terms of "what would be the most plausible," writers for sci fi TV or movies don't worry much about plausibility. So in this case, what writers find most difficult about planet-destroyers, I'd argue, is when & how to fit such an overly big weapon into the plot - i.e. by what means can its readiness to fire be plausibly delayed? Otherwise, "bang!" - the credits are scrolling much too soon.

Straczynski and the other Bab 5 writers pretty much never bothered to give "plausible" tech to the planet killers; the motto of that show being, "Never let tech get in the way of the story." The logic of the Vorlon version seemed to be "make it a really really really really big version of the normal Vorlon ship that can shoot a laser-like beam", while the Shadow version involved shooting a zillion torpedoes at a planet; these supposedly burrowed down to the planet core before exploding. And the way these killers were slowed down was to require that they traveled w/ other ships in really big fleets that were slow to arrive at any particular solar system, so the good guys had time to fight back.

Interestingly, in the original Star Trek TV episode "Operation: Annihilate!", bright light was used to destroy an invasion of "puppet master"-style parasites; but when sci fi writer James Blish wrote up this episode as part of a collection, he changed the ending to having the Enterprise track the creatures to their home world, after which a single photon torpedo was then used to blow up the planet. Apparently Blish wanted photon torpedoes to be really, really powerful; but he was the exception among Trek writers of any sort.

@rkolter makes a good point that destroying planets would be hard work. But then, others have made the point that even getting out into space in a serious way (e.g. colonizing Mars as a first step) would also be much harder work than most science fiction has been willing to admit. But again I don't think this is a stumbling block for writers; they are issued special keyboards that have an "Ignore" button to the right of the Return button. Again, in my view, the real problem with planet killers of any sort is that story-wise, they are just too powerful, so they have to be throttled back one way or another. In a way they're just big MacGuffins - they drive the action by providing a focus for the good guys to fight back against, but they're not that interesting otherwise.
 
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  • #22
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I'd argue, is when & how to fit such an overly big weapon into the plot
The Star Wars franchise seems to excel in this area. Their Death Star is virtually a character in itself at this point, they could probably work it into a 30 second McDonalds commercial without much effort. They could use it to sell their new egg MacGuffin.

Plausibility is a tough mark for even a theoretical planet killer to meet.

Except for the Lexx of course. That was 100% believable. ;)
 
  • #23
Aufbauwerk 2045
Correction: I was thinking of The Doomsday Machine, which involves the planet destroyer, but got the title wrong. A Taste of Armageddon mentions General Order 24.
 
  • #24
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General Order 24.
Speaking of special Starfleet orders involving large scale destruction . . . In "Voyager" there's some episode where it's revealed that there is a particular rare element that even in very small amounts is somehow a potential source of unlimited energy. However this element also has the tendency to explode when people try to actually install it as an energy source; upon exploding it punches large holes in the cosmic fabric and the fear is that a big enough explosion could wind up flushing the entire universe down the toilet. During discussion of said substance, Seven of Nine mentions that as a Borg, she really digs this rare element, not just because it is powerful but because the Borg believe it is "perfect" and therefore beautiful. Of course we know this is going to cause trouble later on.

Anyway the reason this rare element even comes up as a topic of conversation is because some alarm has just gone off on the ship & Capt. Janeway upon hearing of this turns grim (as opposed to her useful cheerful expression). No one even knew this particular alarm existed on the ship, but she reveals that all Starfleet ships are equipped with it; it detects the byproducts of foolish experimentation with this super-dangerous element, even from many many light years away .Thus Voyager now knows that some unlucky civilization has started fooling w/ this element in a nearby solar system. Capt. Janeway further reveals that there is a super-secret, rarely invoked, standing order by Starfleet to take any measures necessary to stop such experimentation. Like, blow up the planet doing the experimenting, if need be. Events proceed from there.
 
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  • #25
Vanadium 50
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How about the famous Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. It makes an earth-shattering kaboom!

 

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