Genesis Effect

"Simply put: Genesis is life, from lifelessness."
Dr. Carol Marcus, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Sure, watching planets getting blown up is fun and all, but it takes a lot longer to create something than to destroy it. Sometimes, it's nice to see a world take shape, rather than become rubble.

This trope occurs whenever a planet is born.

Some form of this occurs in every religious Creation Myth. It's also fairly common in Science Fiction. Sometimes it's a naturally occurring event, sometimes someone just possesses the technology to make planets. Typically is used as a symbol for birth and renewal, usually with a hefty amount of Scenery Porn special effects thrown in for good measure, while the sheer amount of energy required can stretch Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

Due to the precarious nature of this trope, writers tend to avoid using it, even when it would be appropriate or interesting to do so.

Contrast Earth-Shattering Kaboom and Apocalypse How.

Not to be confused with "Blast Processing" on the other Genesis.


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    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Titan A.E., the Titan (a giant spaceship) can do this. It takes about seven days. Cale thinks his father programmed it to take that long as a joke.
  • The first part of the "Rite of Spring" segment from Fantasia.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Genesis Device. Also the trope namer.
    • And due to the circumstances that it happened in, also becomes a case of Outrun the Fireball
    • The plot of the movie is driven by the fact that if the Genesis Device is aimed at a lifeless rock (or nebula), it will create a living, breathing planet... if aimed at a living, breathing planet, it'll erase it entirely and create a brand-new living, breathing planet. Which makes it a weapon of mass destruction as well as mass creation. Subverted; we later learn that Genesis doesn't work. Completely the opposite of its creators' intention, it's only a weapon of mass destruction.
      • This is why Dr. Marcus was adamant that there be "not so much as a microbe" on the target planet. The reasoning being: what would have happened on ancient Earth if a Sufficiently Advanced Alien race tried it out there, simply because all they saw in the water was a few little amoebas...
    • Then in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Klingons learn about Genesis, and understanding its potential as a weapon, try to acquire it themselves.

  • The very first chapter of The Bible is called the Book of Genesis, and involves God creating heaven and earth. It's the Trope Namer for the Trope Namer.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has Magrathea, where planets are custom-built. Slartibartfast in particular is rather proud of his fjords.
  • In the first part of The Silmarillion, The Music of the Ainur, the angelic Ainur sing the world and all its history, while Eru Il˙vatar (God) adds two themes known only to his own mind into the symphony, which become the races of Elves and Men, and finally he ends the music and brings the symphony into real existence with " Let these things BE!"
  • Seen, rather literally, at the end of The Light Fantastic where we see the hatching of four new little Turtles, complete with elephants and little worlds on their backs.
  • The novel Photon: Thieves of Light involves two humans joining a struggle between aliens over the possession of small devices that can do this. The good guy aliens believe the devices to be of a spiritual nature.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During the Doctor Who Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor takes Donna back in time to witness the formation of the Earth.
  • Red Dwarf: In the episode "Rimmerworld", Rimmer does this to a barren planet.

    Video Games 
  • It's almost as easy to create planets in the Space Empires games as it is to blow them up. So easy, in fact, that you can keep destroying and reforming planets if you don't like the atmosphere.
  • Planets in Master of Orion II can be constructed from asteroid belts or gas giants in already-colonized systems (tough luck with a system that only has asteroid belts or gas giants). They always turn out Barren-class. Since there's no way to terraform Toxic planets, it may be sometimes beneficial to blow up an enemy's Toxic colony with a Stellar Converter, conquer/colonize the neighboring planet, and rebuild the resulting asteroid belt into an improvable Barren world.
  • In Spore, there are a multitude of different tools for use in making worlds habitable. The easiest to use of these is the Staff of Life, which will instantly transform any planet into a lush paradise, but it only has 42 uses.
    • Also, if you blow up a planet (delete a saved game), a new planet (save-space) will appear elsewhere in the solar system or galaxy that makes up the main menu.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2
    • The Hungry Lumas will, if fed enough starbits or coins, actually transform into either a new planet or galaxy.
    • At the end of the first game, the universe seemingly collapses. The player is then Sucked into a bright tunnel where there is the sound of Babies crying. Rosalina arrives and announces that at this moment THOUSANDS of Lumas are being born.
  • In Ratchet & Clank, the Blargs led by Chairman Drek are trying to build themselves a new homeworld by looting everything they need from other planets across the galaxy. They need to do this because Chairman Drek himself polluted the previous world and intends to do it again for financial gains.

  • There are a few professional 3D procedural world generation applications, some which render planet-birth to stunning real-time effect similar to Star Trek II.
  • Every religion or mythology ever has had its version of the Creation Myth.
  • The formation of the Earth in Real Life makes this literally older than dirt.