Planet Spaceship
Truly enormous spaceships that rival planets or moons in size.


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-10 18:38:32 sponsor: Tiiba (last reply: 2013-01-21 11:42:33)

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There's big spaceships, there's gigantic spaceships, and then there's these: a space ship (or station) that's as big as a small planet or large moon[[note]] (Earth's moon is a very large moon)[[/note]]. In space, you have no external gravity to contend with[[note]], aside from microgravity[[/note]], so it's possible to build some truly humongous structures like this. Alternatively, you may just want to strap some engines onto an actual planet or moon and set off, although this may require Sufficiently Advanced Technology.

Often used for Rule of Cool, in which case it will overlap with Cool Starship, the Planet Spaceship is a great way to intimidate your foe, or to pack your entire population off when your home world is in trouble. May evoke a "That's No Moon" reaction when it first appears.

Subtrope of Mile-Long Ship. May be used as a Big Dumb Object, The Battlestar, or a Generation Ship. Commonly, though not exclusively, found in Space Opera. Compare Dyson Sphere and Ring World Planet. See also: Unnecessarily Large Vessel, Unnecessarily Large Interior and Awesome, but Impractical.

(Hey guys, Tiiba here. I thought this thing was dead, and then I see it has fifty replies. And somebody launched it, but there's nothing here to indicate that.)

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • The Zentradi main base in Super Dimension Fortress Macross is hundreds of kilometers across. Of course, the Zentradi themselves are giants.
  • There's a ship in the Raalgon fleet, in Irresponsible Captain Tylor, that causes Tylor himself to comment that it's "more like a planet than a ship".
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the final battle has the two sides fighting with ships that are on the same scale as galaxies!
  • Transformers Cybertron: The planet Primus can transform into a spaceship of sorts.
  • In Outlanders, Earth's moon is revealed to be a millennia-old ship, the superweapon called "Dola".

Comic Books

Film - Animated
  • Titan, for which Titan A.E. is named, is a very large, spherical spaceship. When activated, it converts energy into mass and turns into an actual planet.

Film - Live Action

Literature
  • In the Ted Reynolds short story, "Ker-Plop", we get a reminder of the difference between size and volume, when humans return from the Magellanic Clouds in a ship that is ten thousand kilometers across (about 1/10th the diameter of Ceres). The agent sent to investigate realizes that because the entire volume is inhabited, rather than just the surface, this one ship contains more people than his entire galactic federation. The decks are arranged concentrically, like an onion, and the first kilometer alone has nearly 400 decks, each with nearly the same surface area as the entire ship!
  • In E. E. “Doc” Smith's Skylark Series, Drs. Seaton and Crane build a 1000km diameter spaceship called the Skylark of Valeron. Its size was needed to house the sensors required to travel at its full velocity. Later, their rival Dr. DuQuesne builds an even bigger ship.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space series, the Pierson's Puppeteers have basically turned a star with five orbiting planets into a spaceship, and are using it to flee the explosion at the center of the galaxy.
  • In the Gor series:
    • The planet Gor itself is arguably this, since the Priest-Kings (the Physical Gods of the planet) moved it to its current location 5 million years ago.
    • The Kurii live in "Steel Worlds" in the asteroid belt; from there they plot their plans to destroy the Priest-Kings and take over Gor & Earth for themselves. The Steel Worlds have aritifical weather & daytime/nighttime and rotate to simulate gravity, with beings living on the inside circumferance of the ships. They used to have a planet of their own but they destroyed it making war with each other.
  • From Iain M. Banks's The Culture novels, the General Systems Vehicles. You know that bit at the beginning of Star Wars, where the Star Destroyer swallows up the Tantive IV into its docking bay? Picture a ship that could do that... to the Death Star. Twice.
  • David Weber's Empire from the Ashes series has Dahak and all the other Imperial Planetoids. Dahak has spent the last 50,000 years pretending to be Earth's Moon... and it's the smallest of them. They come equipped with hundred kilometer thick armor and carry 80,000 ton battleships as parasite craft.
  • In John Varley's Gaea Trilogy, Gaea and her brood are living space habitats large enough to be mistaken for additional moons of Saturn.
  • In The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, it is revealed at the end that most of the humanity left the Galaxy to explore the universe... in a star cluster made into a fleet.
  • At the end of Halo: The Cole Protocol, the inhabitants of The Rubble, survivors of the Covenant invasion of their system, convert a large asteroid into an evacuation ship to get everyone safely to UNSC space.
  • In Remnants, the humans who awaken when the ship reaches a destination initially think they've landed on a bizarre alien world. They soon discover it's a massive spaceship controlled by a sentient AI that brought them aboard as a curiosity.
  • In Robert Reed's Great Ship series, the Great Ship itself is an ancient abandoned artifact which was claimed and settled by mankind's descendents. It is larger than Jupiter.

Live-Action TV
  • In Andromeda the Magog come from worlds (yes, that's plural) locked together in some kind of structure. The whole thing is mobile, and even contains an artificial sun!
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series ep. "The World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" a group of aliens have been sequestered inside a large interstellar asteroid for so long that they have forgotten that they are actually inside one.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer 40,000:
    • Eldar craftworlds are described as "planetoid-sized".
    • The Necron World Engine, unsurprisingly, is a Necron ship the size of a planet. An entire space marine chapter sacrificed itself to destroy it.
    • Also, the Phalanx is the moon-sized fortress-monastery-spaceship of the Imperial Fists.

Toys
  • In Franchise/Bionicle, Mata Nui was designed to observe other universes while having beings inside him functioning as Nano Machines in a sense. His Humongous Mecha body is roughly forty million feet (7,575 mi or 12,192 km) tall and had a camouflage system that created an island on his face. Mata Nui was able to control specific things like gravity and light within his body.

Video Games
  • In Marathon, the eponymous ship was originally Mars' moon Deimos.
  • The Dammerung in Xenosaga is described in the accompanying Perfect Works manual as an artificial planet the size of Lebanon. It's the headquarters for Fiction 500 company Vector, and contains at least one megalopolis in an area large enough to have a real weather system.
  • In the videogame adaptation of Futurama, Mom's plot involves transforming the Earth into a giant spaceship.

Western Animation
  • In Invader Zim, Mars itself was converted into a spaceship.

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