Apocalypse How: Class X-2
aka: Class X- 2
What happened? Doctor:
I programmed the Hand of Omega to fly into Skaro's sun and turn it supernova. Gilmore:
Super what? Allison:
He blew it up.
Star System-scale Physical Annihilation. You know that big ball of hydrogen/helium fusion and the bunch of rocks that used to circle it? Yeah, they ain't here no mo'
. This usually happens due to that particular fusion ball doing something unpleasant like going supernova.
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Anime and Manga
- When Cell of Dragon Ball Z launches his final Kamehameha, he claims it has enough power to destroy the entire solar system. Since he's derived from, and is at that point many orders of magnitude stronger than, a being that can both survive in the vacuum of space and live through a planetary explosion, it seems like he could pull it off.
- Then he gets killed by an 11 year-old kid.
- In one of the movies, Broly went into a rampage and destroyed countless stellar systems in the South Galaxy, nearly obliterating it entirely, making it a case of a class X-2.5, way above a single Class X-2, but not quite enough to reach Class X-3.
- Gall Force featured the System Cannon, a Wave Motion Gun disguised as a Planet. Its primary purpose was, after the enemy was lured into its system, to would fire at its own star, blowing the entire system to space dust. Considering that its destruction formed our Asteroid Belt, perhaps it's for the best that it didn't hit the target.
- Galaxy Express 999 has the metallic humanoids who blow up the Sun to eliminate the Earth because they hate and fear humans. Fortunately there are still many human colonies across the galaxy, and they are all extremely pissed.
- In Hellstar Remina, one of the early warning signs that the titular "planet" Remina could be a problem is that nearby stars start disappearing.
- In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Dark Phoenix recharges herself by consuming the D'Bari sun, causing it to go supernova and annihilating a planet of five billion people.
- As revealed in Part 2 of Clash of the Elements, A Class X-2 Apocalypse happened long ago when the Realm of Darkness started to overtake the real universe, taking many planets and stars into itself before it was stopped.
- Star Trek: Generations has Dr. Tolian Soran blowing up suns to alter the course of The Nexus.
- Though we don't see it all on screen, the stellar cataclysm that destroyed the planet Romulus and set Nero on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the 2009 Star Trek Reboot would count. This was an averted X-3, according to Spock Prime, however, Romulus' system is the only one known to be affected.
- ''Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'': The Fallen actually wants to destroy the Solar System by using a powerful machine located within the Pyramids of Egypt that is pointed at the Sun. Fortunately, Optimus Prime destroys the machine before it activates, and later kills the Fallen by yes, tearing off his face.
- Sunshine is about a space mission to avert this trope and prevent the Sun's imminent collapse, apparently through natural processes.
- Arthur C. Clarke's The Songs of Distant Earth runs with the premise that humans calculate from unexpected scientific measurements only a brief few hundred years to leave the solar system due to stellar instability. Given that no technologies existed to send living humans away, the gesture was made of sending automated colonizers to populate other hypothetical worlds. Then things get a little weird.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe featured some pretty badass weapons, ridiculous as they were, including the Sun Crusher (which caused a sun to go nova, which would result in not only its own destruction but that of any system of habitable planets it may have maintained), and the Galaxy Gun, which can blow up planets anywhere in the galaxy, without having to the leave the safety of the Empire's most heavily defended world. There's also the innocuously named Centerpoint Station, an ancient superweapon whose functions had been long since forgetten...until it was discovered (by the Big Bad of the story, naturally) that like the Sun Crusher, it can cause stars to go nova, along with other less directly destructive but still incredibly useful functions.
Han Solo: What the Empire would have done was build a super-colossal Yuuzhan Vong–killing battle machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus or the Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose. They would have spent billions of credits, employed thousands of contractors and subcontractors, and equipped it with the latest in death-dealing technology. And you know what would have happened? It wouldn't have worked. They'd forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up. Now that's what the Empire would have done.
- In Frederik Pohl's novel The World at the End of Time war between plasma-based beings that live inside stars results in the destruction of uncountable solar systems. The war is fought by directing energies into a star that tear apart the beings. It has the side effect of causing the stars that the beings inhabit to go supernova. That side affect is used to exterminate biological entities before they might threaten the beings. One notable example is the destruction of a Wolf Rayet type star when one being tricks another into believing that is the type of star he prefers. It is revealed to be the Sun, and takes out Earth and all human civilisation except the colony the story is set in.
- In the book series Into the Looking Glass, by John Ringo, at the end the hero is given a device of unknown functionality. Using the "Looking Glass" portals the device is taken to an uninhabited star system for testing. After the testers return to see the results of the test, they find the entire star system just plain gone. Later books include a space station made by precursors that controls the entire output of a sun.
- David Weber's Empire from the Ashes series has spaceships the size of moons with Black-Hole-generating engines that if used too close at too high a power setting to a sun, can cause it to go supernova. In the third book of the series, they figure out how to micro-miniaturize the supernova effect into a gravitic bomb that's less than nine feet long.
- In Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space trilogy, the Inhibitors build a device called a star-singer. It turns manipulates the gravity of a star to turn it into a giant flamethrower, both utterly incinerating all life on the targeted planet and turning the star into a dwarf too dim to allow any life to ever evolve in that system ever again. Then the Greenfly terraformers show up, and begin the slow, inevitable conversion of all the planets in the universe into swarms of plant-filled space habitats.
- The Greenfly are stated to eventually cause a X-3 and then X-4 event. It is stated that Greenfly will cause the premature end of the universe by tainting the process of stellar birth and death.
- In Randall Garrett's short story "Time Fuze", Earth's first expedition to Proxima Centauri arrives just in time to watch the star go supernova a few billion years ahead of schedule. It turns out that it was caused by the FTL drive on their ship; on the return trip, they discover that they accidentally blew up our own Sun on exiting the solar system, too.
- In Lensman, using planets grabbed from a universe where the laws of physics are different from ours, mainly that superluminal inertial motion is the norm rather than impossible, one is fired into a sun causing it to go supernova.
- Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy has Alkad Mzu's Alchemist, which freezes a gravitational distortion node in time just before it reaches the point at which it would push itself out of the universe (many of these in a lattice around a ship are their method of FTL travel). It has two settings, one which, when fired into a star, will suck all the surrounding matter into it and create a neutron star. The lower powered setting is much more destructive, as the gravity isn't strong enough to overcome the explosive force of collapsing a star/gas giant. Which they use in order to destroy about two ships.
- Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves is about a power source which, if not stopped, will cause this to happen to the Sun... and start a chain reaction bringing the catastrophe to just below Class X-3.
- Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series novel The End of the Matter is about a rogue Black Hole that threatens multiple star systems by devouring their suns, leaving them barren and lifeless. The protagonists spend their time looking for a Lost Superweapon reputed to have been developed by an ancient race specifically for use against this type of threat.
- One group of human survivors in The Killing Star cause an X-2 event by causing the Sun to partially implode in a desperate attempt to die rather than be captured by the alien attackers.
- One of the many names of the Lone Power from the Young Wizards series is "Star Snuffer", since It has the ability to both render a star dark and cause it go supernova.
- Technically, the threat to the Discworld in The Last Hero probably counts as this, although its sun (which is only a few miles in diameter) would've been a much smaller loss, as celestial bodies go, than Great A'Tuin and the world-bearing elephants.
- National Geographic progam, Evacuate Earth (Evacuation Earth) , has this kind of sitaution with a rogue neutron star, not only destorying Earth but other plants in the solar system, possibly the sun as well.
- Stargate SG-1's Samantha Carter drops a stargate, opened onto a Black Hole, into a star, causing the star's mass to be depleted and explode, destroying the Big Bad's fleet, and unfortunately throwing SG-1 into a different galaxy.
- Which makes no sense whatsoever, given that long-lived stars have low masses, while Hypergiants have a life-span of one or two million years.
- Likewise, Rodney McKay from Stargate Atlantis managed to destroy almost an entire solar system by mistake. Five-sixths, but it's not an exact science. Destroying a solar system rarely is.
- Rodney doubtless also still resents the fact that Carter gets mad props for deliberately blowing up an entire star system, where as he only gets mockery for accidentally blowing up most of one...
- Andromeda: The Systems Commonwealth, the good guys of the series, had Nova Bombs, explosives with enough power to make a star go supernova. Dylan Hunt, the main protagonist, had 40 of them on his ship, which he used to temporarily turn a Black Hole into a White Hole in the first episode. Later on in the series, we find out he's making more of them, though he's making them to destroy the Magog.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Changeling-Bashir attempted to cause Bajor's sun to go supernova.
- In The Next Generation a weapons-dealing robot is encountered whose masters died out after their sun went supernova and a Dyson sphere is discovered that was abandoned for similar reasons (in "Relics").
- Battlestar Galactica, believing that fifteen known cases of Class 2 by the middle of the third season was not enough, gave us a supernova at the end of "Rapture". This was a natural event... maybe.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The End of the World", Mercury, Venus and the Earth are engulfed out by the expanding sun. Although Earth's technically an uninhabited protected landmark by that point.
- In series 5's "The Lodger", the time ship (disguised as an upstairs flat) that is powered by lifeforce is incompatible with human and Time Lord life. When it absorbs a human, it burns them, causing toxic rot to seep through the ship's floor, but if it reaches the Doctor, the energy would blow up the entire solar system.
- In Remembrance of the Daleks, the 7th Doctor pulls a Batman Gambit on Davros, tricking him into making Skaro's sun go supernova.
- After converting her prison ship, Ruby White in "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith" traveled to many worlds, but warns Clyde not to look out for them, as they're "no longer with us".
- Normally, the card game Nuclear War only goes so far as allowing players to irradiate the planet in a Class 3 or Class 4 situation. However, the rules state that if a player launches a 100-megaton warhead and spins the (improbable) "Hit nuclear stockpile" result, the game instantly ends as a chain reaction engulfs the planet and the entire solar system in a nuclear fireball.
- In the RPG Traveller, the Darrians have a weapon that can send a star supernova.
- Warhammer 40,000 naturally has one of these as well. If several Blackstone fortresses are linked, they can make a star go supernova and consequentially destroy the star system with it.
- Also, the Necron C'tan used to eat stars. Before they decided sentient beings were tastier.
- SimEarth: At the end of the game, the sun expands and swallows up the planet.
- Star Ruler allows the player to blow up stars, with sufficient firepower. The star will go supernova, annihilating everything in the system - planets will be blasted apart, and any ship that can't outrun the explosion or jump away will be wiped away in a nuclear hellstorm.
- Final Fantasy: Endless Nova revolves around this. It turns out Paradorn has been pulling off Class X-4s on a regular basis, just to feed herself. Apparently she can use magic to turn a supernova into a universe-wide disaster.
- The plot of Star Trek: Bridge Commander started and revolved around sun-shattering kabooms.
- Sierra's Space Quest series has the Star Crusher, a (suprisingly small) energy weapon capable of vaporizing planets and detonating stars, thus theoretically capable of wiping out whole solar systems in one shot. Fortunately, the mad scientist who created it was exiled before he could use it, and his research confiscated.
- Of course, the people that confiscated the research didn't stop the project, oh no. They discovered their own star was dying, renamed the project the Star Generator, and used it in an attempt to save their planet. And apparently, no one expected the original mad scientist to get upset and try to take his weapon back...
- In Space Empires, you can blow up a star, killing everything in the system. However, sometimes that's not enough - you can recreate stars and planets, after all. If that's the case, turn the system into a Black Hole, which also destroys the raw materials for planets. Then again, you can also destroy the resulting Black Hole...
- Then put a new star back in place, and put a Dyson Sphere around it, making the materials for a massive sphere from virtually nothing...
- Galactic Civilizations II includes, in one of the expansion packs, the Terror Star: a moon-sized space station:
...vast spherical space stations that can drift from system to system with a forboding slowness, detonating stars like gaming's biggest exploding barrels. The resulting supernova annihilates every planet and ship in the solar system, leaving only a few asteroid belts composed of the detritus... I call mine the Starfucker Extreme.
But there's a big difference between owning something that can destroy stars, and actually destroying one. The best weapon, after all, is one you only have to fire once. That's how Tony Stark did it, that's how his father did it, and that's how the Spatial Hares will do it. Unfortunately, I don't think the AI pays any attention to what happens to uninhabited worlds, so nuking Bikini Atoll wasn't going to cut it. In order to ensure I'd never need to use the Starfucker Extreme on a real planet, I had to use it on a real planet.
Of course, I already knew a way to do that - I told you all about it on Day 6. The two ghost worlds I accidentally created, by colonising them with empty colony ships. I could do the same again here, and end up with an almost entirely empty world that still counts as an owned planet. It would be my almost-entirely-empty-world, of course, so I'd have to give it to the Terrans first - perhaps for a tidy price - then immediately destroy it to terrify them.
And to think, they called me crazy.
- Freespace 2 ends in the Shivans doing this to Capella... for reasons that have not been explained.
- In StarCraft II, a planet containing one of the Xel'Naga artifacts is being burned up from an expanding sun by the time Raynor's Raiders reaches it. Within a few hours, the sun will have engulfed it.
- The backstory of the Halo universe states that the Forerunners deliberately did this several times in (failed) attempts to stop the spread of the Flood.
- X-COM Interceptor has the ultimate weapon as the Nova Bomb. When fired at a star, it takes about a minute to accelerate to light speed, at which point it is unstoppable. When it hits the sun, it instantly goes supernova, wiping out the entire solar system. You're supposed to use it to take out the alien superweapon, but there's very little preventing you from targeting a star the aliens have built several mining bases around and pulling the trigger. The star does in fact disappear from the map.
- Mass Effect brings us an example in the second game's DLC Arrival. Shepard has to blow up a Mass Relay in order to slow down the invasion of the Reapers, who prefer doing the Class X-3, long enough for the galaxy to get its act together and unite against them. Of course, in the process the exploding Relay took out the system it was in along with the 304,942 Batarian people living there, therefore all but guaranteeing war between the Human Systems Alliance and the Batarian Hegemony. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
- Until the third game rolls around, and we find out that the Reapers showed up and obliterated the Batarian Hegemony before they could fire any shots against humanity, proving to the few Batarian survivors that Shepard was in the right.
- Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner features the military fortress Aumaan, which when activated, can radiate enough energy to swallow the entire solar system. Big Bad Omnicidal Maniac Nohman attempts to do just this, but Dingo destroys Aumaan's core and destabilises the reaction before it does much damage. Beyond, y'know, destroying one of Mars' moons.
- The Pfhor in the Marathon Trilogy have a Trih Xeem in their arsenal, a Jjaro technology which roughly translates to "Early Nova". Guess what it does. They deploy it when they take heavy casualties or lose outright when waging wars and/or suppressing slave revolts. Thing is, when you come along and spank them and cause them to unleash Trih Xeem, no one bothered to mention to them that the local sun was keeping a being of chaos imprisoned—the attempted X-2 cascades into an X-3 that you spend the final game trying to undo.
- In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, when the Kvrk-chk ate a Racconan colony ship's passengers and broadcast that they would come after the rest next, the Empire retaliated by roasting one of the more populated Kvrk-chk star systems with a stellar lance.
- In Schlock Mercenary, a coalition of races pop and invade a Dyson Sphere made by the Gatekeepers. The Gatekeepers blow up the sun in the centre of the sphere in response, almost wiping out the offenders in the process (it's no big loss for them. They've got more).
- The Pa'anuri use supernovas as a first-strike solution against anyone who annoys them sufficiently ('annoying', here, meaning 'having invented radio'). The only reason they hadn't done it to our galaxy was because of the Gatekeepers.
- In Sinfest, Slick claims that stars are civilizations blowing themselves up.
- In Homestuck, The Tumor is a bomb that can destroy the Incipisphere (a pocket dimension roughly with the size and contents of a solar system) and is designed to do so to erase Null Sessions. Jack Noir would have eventually destroyed the Kids' Session via a bunch of Class Xs, and ends up doing this to the Trolls' Session.
- We have 5 billion years until it happens naturally in our little corner of the galaxy.
- While our sun's red giant phase will destroy the inner planets by swallowing them, those planets that won't be swallowed (which includes all the gas giants) will survive quite well so this won't be quite an X-2. Plus the sun will still be there as a white dwarf.
- However, in the very far future (many billions after many billions of years) the probabilities of a star passing so close to our Sun that planetary orbits will get disrupted increase. It has been estimated that after a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) years our dead and dark Sun will have all of its planets stripped, so by then the Solar System will have ceased to exist.
- There are different ways this can happen at the end of a star's life cycle: medium-mass stars (like our Sun) swell up into a Red Giant, incinerating their inner solar system, then collapse, ejecting most of their mass into a Stellar Nebula, and turn into a tiny White Dwarf, which eventually cools down into a Black Dwarf: a dark, cold, dense lump of matter. High-mass stars die much more dramatically, swelling into Supergiants and then going supernova (exploding), leaving behind a nebula, a Neutron Star, or a Black Hole. Low-mass stars are estimated to last as long as ten times the current age of the universe. Any low-mass stars that might have become helium white dwarfs were originally higher-mass stars stripped of their mass.