Created By: Unknown TroperJanuary 16, 2008
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The War of Earthly Aggression

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A specific subtrope of La Resistance.

You know it, you love it! La Resistance- space colony style. The red planet, the moon, or some other outpost of the Terran mother civilization rebels against the colonial oppression of Earth! The Revolutionary War (sometimes the Civil War) of The Future. The ur-example of this is are the mutant Martian revolutionaries in "Total Recall," though I suggest we name the trope for the slogan from the ever popular Marsie Revolutionaries on Babylon 5: "Free Mars!"
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • January 14, 2008
    DomaDoma
    I hear Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is about a lunar rebellion against Earth, though I haven't read it. (I definitely will, though - not all libertarians are Ayn Rand, you know.)
  • January 14, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Agreed. This subtrope often applies to lunar colonies. I believe there's a videogame about a lunar rebellion too. My favorite iteration was definitely B5.

    Mutants... telepaths... it seems these guys are somewhat ubiquitous in the scene. Mutants/Telepaths are always an option if you want a third force.
  • January 14, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Oh, furthermore, there is a Futurama episode where a farmer on the moon has a "The Moon Shall Rise Again" cap.
  • January 14, 2008
    Jordan
    An earlier example might be in Bradbury's Martian Chronicles which explicitly compares the Martians with Native Americans and humans with the white settlers of the American West. Not quite sure it counts though, since the times in which Martians kill humans are fairly unjustified. Incidently, Bradbury shows at least some Martians to be telepaths.
  • January 14, 2008
    BlackDragon
    I think this is solid in the form of 'Human colony in space rebels against the mother-planet' form.

    I'm reminded of Zone Of Enders, where several colonies - including a space-station in orbit around Io (one of the moons of Jupiter) - rebels against an oppressive Earth.

    ...or was it in orbit around Titan?
  • January 14, 2008
    silver2195
    Lusitania in the Enders Game books.
  • January 14, 2008
    anowack
    Didn't we YKKTW this a while back as War On Terra, or some such? Can't remember if it ever got launched.
  • January 14, 2008
    Brickman
    There was an episode of the Outer Limits with this (specifically, negotiators trying to avoid it), though I don't remember how it ended.
  • January 14, 2008
    Withad
    If I remember correctly, the space colonies in the various Gundam series do this a lot. It also came up occasionally with the Maquis in Star Trek. The Ha Lo novels expand a bit on the background of the games' universe and mention that, before the war with the Covenant, human civilisation was starting fracture as colonies rebelled against Earth.

    It's probably worth noting that these kind of scenarios usually draw on some historical parallel - often the American Revolution with Earth playing the part of the British Empire.
  • January 14, 2008
    Seanette
    Doma, you're right about the Heinlein, which IMO was terrific. One of my favorites of his.
  • January 14, 2008
    fleb
    We *did* have a tentatively named War On Terra ykttw. We should lump the orbital, lunar, martian, and other space colonies' rebellions in one trope to start with.
  • January 15, 2008
    Air of Mystery
    I'll take it!
  • January 15, 2008
    JethroQWalrustitty
    Heh, Uncyclopedia has a good article on War On Terra http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/War_on_terra
  • January 15, 2008
    Lurkerson
    With regards to Zone of Enders mentioned earlier, I think I recall near the end of ZOE: The 2nd Runner Dingo demands that the government "Free Mars" in return for his stopping the villain.

    Although, it has been a few years since I played that, so my memory is a bit fuzzy...
  • January 15, 2008
    Arivne
    The Robert Heinlein juvenile Red Planet ends with a rebellion of human colonists on Mars against the colonial administration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Planet_%28novel%29

    If we include other planets, his juvenile "Between Planets" featured a revolt by human colonists on Venus against the Earth Federation.
  • January 15, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Granted this trope is not specific to Mars but Free Mars! is such a catchy name. War on Terra sounds like an episode of the old Battlestar Galactica (as in the cheesy-bad '70's version).

    Can also be extended from humans only to humans and near-human aliens (Bradbury's Martians) rebelling against the colonial superpower of Earth
  • January 15, 2008
    Native Jovian
    A few notes: Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is indeed about the lunar (prison) colony rebelling against Earth. The phrase "Free Luna!" becomes a popular salutation between residents during the period building up to the rebellion, which dovetails nicely with the Free Mars idea. I actually like Free Luna better (and I'm willing to bet that the "Free Mars!" slogan is a direct reference to "Free Luna!", but whatever). As a side note, I've never been able to tell if "free" in that case was meant to be a verb or an adjective...

    As far as Gundam goes, every series can be boiled down to "Earth vs. Space Colonies" in some form or another. Sometimes Earth is the good guy and sometimes the Space Colonies are the good guys (and sometimes, like Gundam Seed, they're both pretty much evil bastards), so I'm not sure if they'd count for this trope. I get the impression that this is meant to be "good guys in space vs. evil guys on Earth".
  • January 15, 2008
    anowack
    I'm actually not a big fan of War On Terra, but Free Mars is worse to me, as it doesn't focus on the defining point of the trope, which is that its a revolution against Earth.

    Anyway, examples:

    • Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and its sequels.
    • This happens during the history of Issac Asimov's Robots books, IIRC.
  • January 15, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Okay... how about we call it "LA RESISTANCE... IN SPACE"?
  • January 15, 2008
    anowack
    No; that title also covers the Rebellion in Star Wars and all its knock-offs in other fiction, which aren't really part of this trope.
  • January 16, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    The War of Earthly Colonial Aggression?
  • January 16, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    This one better get launched and not shelved like the other YKTTW. I'm counting on everyone else to do their jobs, here! Ahem. With that said, the same example I gave then: the orbital colonies in Phantom 2040.
  • January 16, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    We can launch this anytime, we just need to decide on a name and I HATE "War on Terra." My vote goes toward "The War of Earthly Aggression."
  • January 16, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Although "The War of Earthly Aggression" is very catchy in a world where everything is opposite, this is not that world. And the US-centrism is uncomfortable, even if a lot of instances of this trope explicitly allude to the American Revolutionary War.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable