Often, fictional extraterrestrials have bizarre names with Z's, G's, and apostrophes.
So it should come as no surprise to any Genre Savvy Science Fiction
viewer that the planets, moons, stars, and other celestial objects from which the aliens hail carry on this strange tradition — despite the fact that they still
use the Latin alphabet and their names can still be pronounced by English speakers?note
of these planets use lots of "weird" consonants (ones that are often utilized in Scrabble Babble
), like X, K, Z, Q, R, and N. Given their underuse in regular words, using them in alien contexts works all the better for writers.
Among other variants include planets that follow the "X-tar" or "X-lar" pattern. A few planets have names that end with "I". Often, they're Punny Names
Sometimes, it becomes a Brick Joke
when a planet like this is first introduced, then finds itself used for Scrabble Babble
(as mentioned above).
of Law of Alien Names
. Compare Numbered Homeworld
and Naming Your Colony World
for other ways to name a planet. See also Xtreme Kool Letterz
and A Villain Named Zrg
. Descriptively named planets go under Descriptiveville
- Superman: The late and ever-iconic Krypton counts.
- Krypton, however, has a Greek root, meaning something like "The Hidden".
- Fantastic Four: Skrulls originally come from the planet Skrullos.
Live Action TV
- Planets mentioned in the Cthulhu Mythos have especially weird names, the most obvious example being Yuggoth.
- Some of the planets in Outernet, like Vered II, fit.
- The eponymous K-PAX from the book series by Dr. Gene Brewer. The K-PAXian visitor/possible mental patient "prot" also calls his planet's two suns K-MON and K-RIL, discusses the planets FLOR, NOLL and TERPSION, and refers to Earth in his own language as B-TIK. The all-caps spelling of planets, stars and constellations is also part of their naming convention, while the names of individuals and most locations smaller than a celestial body are left uncapitalized.
Mythology and Religion
- Downplayed example: ALF's recently-destroyed home planet was named Melmac, which was also an old brand of plastic dishware.
- Rita Repulsa and her crew, when making some monsters to combat the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, would sometimes comment that they had done well in committing genocide on a certain planet named like this. Presumably those planets were the galactic equivalent of Ruritania.
- Several planets from Doctor Who, including Raxacoricofallapatorius and Skaro, the Daleks' home planet.
- Babylon 5 has Z'ha'dum (also has apostrophes!), and in The Technomage Trilogy, the Rim planet and Shadow/Drakh stronghold Thenothk.
- Of course those familar with B5 will know that Z'ha'dum is really an homage to Khazad-dûm (along with boatload of other nods to LOTR).
- A famous example is Planet Vulcan from the original Star Trek.
- According to Scientology, the planet we live on was previously called "Teegeeack" before Xenu deposited humanity there.
- The Mormons have Kolob, described as the planet/star closest to God's throne.
- The original Calvin and Hobbes also had this in the various alien worlds that Spaceman Spiff found himself crash-landing on.
- The Zorgons of Brewster Rockit Space Guy, who come from the planet Zorgo.
- An extremely early Dilbert strip has bovine-looking aliens from the planet Moothron visit Dogbert.
- The Neverhood has planet Idznak, home of the Skullmonkeys (where the sequel takes place).
- Each level in Ristar is a planet, and Freon (according to the actual Scrabble rules) just barely qualifies.
- Some of the planets in Milky Way Wishes from Kirby Super Star have names like Cavius. (Ones like Skyhigh and Hotbeat don't really count.)
- Metroid has, among others, Planet Zebes.
- Planets in StarCraft share this trait, like Aiur and Zerus (the homeworlds of the Protoss and Zerg).
- The Stylistic Suck flash game A Game About Courage (made by the creator of Riddle School) has you unlock a secret ending by getting a haircut while playing as Cloud. It reads:
- Ratchet & Clank: The former character comes from Veldin.
- Escape Velocity Nova have many planets and systems with names like Tre'ar Zalom, Z'precti Hem, Ver'ar Noriout, Nil'ar Kemorya in the east and northeast. Granted this is because of the way the Polaris speak.
- Planet Bazoik in Chex Quest, the setting of the first game.
- Massmouth 2: The planet Zeeble, home of the protagonist.
- The scientists who decide on official planet names tend to not approve too exotic-sounding monikers unless they are based in ancient mythology, but every once in a while Pop Culture Osmosis wins out. (For example, one of the proposed names for a planetoid is Xena.)
- That one ended up getting the classical name Eris (the Goddess of strife from Greek mythology). Its satellite, however, did end up with an oblique popcultural reference: it's called Dysnomia, after the Anthropomorphic Personification of lawlessness - referencing Lucy Lawless, the actress playing Xena.