Created By: Ekuran on May 18, 2011 Last Edited By: Ekuran on October 27, 2011
Nuked

Supernova

Destruction of a star.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Up for Grabs, Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, Needs a Better Title, Needs an Index.

Alt Title: Super Nova.

Ah, a good old Earth-Shattering Kaboom. There's nothing more visually impressive than seeing a planet being torn apart at the seems in what's guaranteed to be the largest explosion on this side of fiction. Or Is It?

Enter the Supernova. When a Earth-Shattering Kaboom just isn't big enough, you need to scale things up and have a star hit the dust.

Writers often take this Up to Eleven, with multiple stars, the galaxy, or even every star in the entire universe being destroyed in a suitably awesome way. If it happens gradually over time, it may lead to The Stars Are Going Out.

A Supernova qualifies as a Class x-2 on Apocalypse How scale, although it can go up if more stars are destroyed.

Has nothing to do with Remember When You Blew Up The Sun, although the Trope Namer provides an example.

Please note, a star doesn't have to be destroyed by way of an actual supernova, though they usually are.

Very much Truth in Television, although artificially destroying them is a bit out of the question.


Examples

Film
  • The 2009 Star Trek movie has an explosion of a star that, somehow, menaces to destroy an entire galaxy and is the indirect cause of all the events.
    • Another Star Trek example is from the Generations film, where Soran blows up a star to deflect the Nexus to where he can enter it.

Literature
  • The titular weapon in Christopher Rowley's Starhammer is just that. You aim it at a star, and when you fire it, it makes the star go nova.
  • Samuel R Delany's novel Nova (duh). If you get close enough to an exploding star you can net yourself some illyrium, the rarest and most valuable substance in the universe. Just try not to get too close, and watch out for rival illyrium prospectors.

Live-Action TV
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Half a Life", scientists on the planet Kelon 2 are working to revitalize their sun, which is dying and will explode in a few years.
    • The Q weapons (seen during the Q civil war in Star Trek: Voyager) cause supernovas when fired.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • May 18, 2011
    GendoIkari
    Only example I have in mind is from the 2009 Star Trek movie. The explosion of a star that, somehow, menaces to destroy an entire galaxy is the indirect cause of all the events.
  • May 18, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Apocalypse How ? I know both Warhammer 40000 and Star Wars expanded universe had some Lost Super Weapon / Super Prototype capable of doing this. EDIT: We have it: Star Killing
  • May 18, 2011
    Taeraresh
    The image from http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1996/23 might make a good page image.

    For a literature example, the titular weapon in Christopher Rowley's Starhammer is just that. You aim it at a star, and when you fire it, it makes the star go nova.

    I'm sure this has happened at least once in Schlock Mercenary, but I can't think of where.

    Another from Star Trek. The Q weapons (seen during the Q civil war in Star Trek Voyager) cause supernovas when fired.
  • May 18, 2011
    Ekuran
    ^^I really can't believe we had that. Damn... can't we expand it then, since this is about star destruction in general?
  • May 18, 2011
    LeeM
    Samuel R Delany's novel Nova (duh). If you get close enough to an exploding star you can net yourself some illyrium, the rarest and most valuable substance in the universe. Just try not to get too close, and watch out for rival illyrium prospectors.
  • May 18, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    The actual term for this is Super Nova. Should that be the title, or a redirect?
  • May 18, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Also, we technically have this already, but only as an Internal Subtrope of Apocalypse How (Class X-2). That being said, if this happens often enough, I'd say it's worthy of it's own page. (After all, Earth Shattering Kaboom is also an internal subtrope of that)

    Make sure it links back to Apocalypse How.
  • May 19, 2011
    girlyboy
  • May 19, 2011
    jaytee
    I tshould be mentioned in the description that this is specifically a subtrope of Apocalypse How, meaning that its use as a trope should be limited to apocalyptic star-desctruction. The mere appearance of a supernova/exploding star is not a trope in and of itself.
  • May 19, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    By virtue of it being a star blowing up, it would also be a subtrope of... Stuff Blowing Up...

    I do think that one is an index as well.
  • May 19, 2011
    LeeM
    ^^"The explosion of a star that, somehow, menaces to destroy an entire galaxy..."

    IIRC, the radiation from a single supernova could devastate any planets with life for hundreds, if not thousands, of light years. Of course, it would take hundreds or thousands of years for the radiation to reach them.
  • May 19, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    And yet another Star Trek example is from the Generations film, where Soran blows up a star to deflect the Nexus to where he can enter it.
  • May 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    And another one: in the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Half a Life" scientists on the planet Kelon 2 are working to revitalize their sun, which is dying and will explode in a few years.
  • May 20, 2011
    Deboss
    Super Nova would be a much better name than a poor Portmanteau.
  • May 26, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    bump
  • October 25, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bumping again.
  • October 27, 2011
    MetaFour
    • Homestuck has this as a plot point. The kids can't directly defeat the fully-prototyped Jack Noir, so they instead attempt to destroy the source of Noir's power: the Green Sun, a star with the mass of two universes. The mission does not go as expected, so the Green Sun has yet to be destroyed.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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