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.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Earth has been destroyed and re-created multiple times in the Dragon Ball franchise, usually wished back into existence with the titular Dragon Balls.
    • The Namekians averted this by wishing the dragon to find them a new planet rather than create one or bring back the planet Namek.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, Baby wished for a replica of the planet Plant to appear in Earth's orbit.
    • King Kai wished his planet back sometime between Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, Whis brings Earth back by rewinding time by three minutes after Frieza destroys it. He mentioned earlier that he has to do this fairly often to bring back his own planet's moons when Beerus destroys them during his tantrums.

    Comic Books 
  • The High Evolutionary created his own Counter-Earth. It took him six days, then he fell asleep and an evil creation of his tried to corrupt the world.
  • At one point the canonical source of the Marvel Universe was that Eternity sent Reed Richards back in time to design it. At other times it was caused naturally by a "Big Crunch" of the previous universe or by the Phoenix Force.
  • In Jack Kirby's The Fourth World the planets of New Genesis and Apokolips were created from the destruction of the planet Urgrund.
  • After the DC vs Marvel event the two universes were merged into the Amalgam Universe, then split back into the originals.
  • The Beyonder's "Battleworld" was built out of pieces from many different planets, including Earth, from which he took the suburbs of Denver.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman invokes this with the Genesis Wave, which turns Mobius into its video game counterpart.
  • Superman:
    • To fool alien invaders, pre-crisis Jor-El created an fake Krypton populated by androids.
    • In the non canon story The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue!, the two Supermen manage to make all the kryptonite in the universe rejoin to become a New Krypton. They enlarge Kandor and put it there.
    • In the New Krypton storyline, kryptonian scientists use Brainiac's technology to lift a newly enlarged Kandor into space and grow a planet underneath it.

    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 Novelization to Superman Returns says that Luthor's kryptonite island grew into a planet and settled into permanent orbit between Mars and Jupiter.
  • The Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie actually shows the magratheans finishing the Earth Mark II and using it to replace the destroyed Earth.

  • 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 Ilúvatar (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.
  • Terry Pratchett's Strata focuses on a planetary engineering company that builds replicas of Earth in the past and has colonists settle them in case humanities empire dies out. At the end we find out that the universe was created by a similar organization that creates universes and our Earth is strongly emplied to be one of the worlds built by the compamny.
  • 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.
  • Celestus gives us the satomisateur, a kind of energy-mass converter which can creates planets. Or stars. Or black holes.
  • 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.