Simple trope: To show how powerful a character (or his BFG
) is, you have him shoot down a satellite. Keeping in mind that astronomically speaking, a 'satellite' is just something that's in orbit, including the big things made out of rock that were there in the first place. So the high-order cases of this results in a Moon Shattering Kaboom
, or at least a visible impact on it. Expect the geological side-effects of destroying a planet's moon to be utterly ignored
in those cases.
Also a popular way to get rid of a pesky Kill Sat
when it's becoming inconvenient to the plot.
Related to Detonation Moon
. This trope covers any weapon/person who can destroy satellites (manmade or otherwise), who later does or does not do so, while Detonation Moon
covers the destroyed moon itself.
Anime & Manga
- In To Aru Majutsu no Index, early on a 'Weather Satellite' in geosynchronous orbit above Academy City (actually the main brain of the Academy's Master AI) gets shot down when Index goes Brainwashed and Crazy and unleashes an uber-powerful spell. In this case, it's less to illustrate HER power, than to show off Touma's Power Nullifier, what with him blocking her Kamehamehadoken for several minutes before she's tripped and sends the beam straight upwards...
- Dragon Ball Z sees Picolo destroying the moon with a Lightning Screw/Special Beam Cannon when Gohan goes into Giant Monkey Mode due to its light.
- In the original Dragon Ball, Master Roshi destroys the moon in one of the first episodes to stop Ozaru Goku, similarly to the Gohan/Piccolo example.
- In Trigun, Vash at one point puts a very large, very visible crater in the moon when his power goes out of control, forcing him to point it upwards to avoid accidentally wiping a few cities off the map. It's mainly there to show us just how much power Vash is generally restraining himself from using...
- S Cry Ed at one point has Kazuma and Ryuhou jump into the lower atmosphere to attack the HOLY EYE, a combination Spy Satellite / Kill Sat. It was very impressive. Too bad it was exactly what the villain wanted...
- One of the first things we hear about Ayako from Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo! is that she once shot down a secret US spy satellite at the behest of the japanese government. We never get solid confirmation that it was more than a rumor, but considering the powers she display in the series, it seems likely that it would be within her reach.
- In the dramatic conclusion of Gundam Wing, Heero Yuy must shoot down a piece of the Libra space station that has been dropped toward Earth.
- The famous scene in AKIRA where Tetsuo flies into space and punches out a satellite.
- A few times in The Incredible Hulk Hulk has been shot into space to punch out a satellite or asteroid. The most recent time it was just a ploy by The Illuminati to get hm out into space so they could rocket him off to some other planet. Thus began Planet Hulk.
- In The Dresden Files, Ebenezar McCoy brings down an old Soviet satellite from orbit on top of one of his more powerful enemies.
- A main battle Bolo, with its Hellbore main weapon, is fully capable of engaging and destroying fleets or orbiting starships.
- Referred to but not actually used in the classic Doctor Who episode, ''Robot'', when The Doctor is asked about the range and power of a disintegrator ray, he says that "it could bore a hole in the surface of The Moon".
- In Metal Gear Solid 4, REX's railgun is powerful enough to shoot down JD, which is in orbit disguised as a communications satellite.
- In Megaman X5, the Enigma laser is said to be powerful enough to destroy the Eurasia colony which threatens to impact Earth. It usually fails.