Ah Earth. Full of many Nations, Territories, Countries and Governments. And yet when Alien homeworlds are visited. We only get to see one government.
This is an Omnipresent Trope
in Science Fiction where inhabited planets not named Earth are shown to have only one government. The reasons range from someone succeeding in taking over the world
to being a mere Planet of Hats
to the fact that politics limited to one world are unimportant to stories with interplanetary settings
, or because Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale
and think that the planet would be akin to a town or city
instead of a large sphere that can hold hundreds of countries and billions of cities and towns.
Often this trope is justified by the fact that deep space travel requires more resources than any one country has. For such a thing to work would require the resources of the whole planet. And by the fact that interstellar colonies would form a government of their own some time after colonization.
is this. see One World Order
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Anime and Manga
- In Transformers Cybertron Gigantion and Velocitron are like this. The politics of Gigantion are not really looked at, but there is only a single city on the entire planet, presumably under one form of government. Velocitron is governed solely by who is the fastest racer. The politics of this position is not essential to the plot, so it was not looked at.
- Averted in Predators (and by extension, the rest of the series) when it's revealed the Predators have different tribes who have been at war with one another. We see at least two.
- In Man of Steel, the whole planet of Krypton is governed by a high council. This isn't explained in depth, though.
- Chris Moriarty's Spin Control series draws a specific contrast here. Earth's offworld colonies all have unified world governments under United Nations jurisdiction, but Earth's nation-states still exist and provide an unexpected wrinkle to any negotiations with the homeworld.
- This is nearly always true in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. One of the few exceptions is the planet Adumar in X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar, which contains several competing alliances of nation-states. The New Republic and Empire start out negotiating with the most powerful one without fully understanding this, leading to problems.
- Completely averted in the soft sci-fi book Through Space To The Planets as it is shown that the planet has at least three separate governments in three different places.
- Averted in the Chanur Novels by C. J. Cherryh. The hani homeworld is noted to have multiple countries and languages.
- Most of the nations, planets and Space Stations in the Vorkosigan Saga are this. The few exceptions are the Cetagandan Empire and Barrayaran Empires, which are nations made up of multiple planets, and Earth, which is still split up into a gillion countries like today.
Live Action TV
- Most Planets on Star Trek are examples of this trope.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Patterns of Force" a Federation sceintist decides to unite the planet he's observing under one government - unfortunately, he decides that Nazism is the best way to unite the planet.
- One episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had an aversion. The planet was ruled by two separate governments, the Kes(not to be confused with the character on Voyager) and the Prytt, who were engaged in a cold war with each other. The Kes were applying for Federation membership and Picard lampshaded this trope when he mentioned planets that join the Federation are usually unified. It's never said whether or not the Kes would be admitted but it's implied they won't be.
- Usually played straight in Stargate SG-1, although in most cases this is because there's really only one or two settlements of note (blame the Goa'uld). Two exceptions are Langara, which has at least three major powers, and Tegalus, which has two, and in both cases each are in a Space Cold War with their neighbors.
- Pretty much every planet in Doctor Who. Galiffrey being a prominent example. Its only shown form of government if a counsel that tried to get the Doctor on trial and much later try to destroy the entire universe.
- While single planetary governments are the norm in Traveller, balkanization is common enough that the Third Imperium has rules for intraplanetary warfare.
- Usually the case for human inhabited planets in Warhammer 40K. The Imperium is so large that any given planet is usually ruled by a single governor (how he's chosen varies from planet to planet). They're usually given full control of their planet and left alone, as long as they pay their tithes and don't show signs of sedition (and they don't call for help, although that's usually less effective at getting someone's attention).
- Taris from Knights of the Old Republic seems not only be a planet with one Government, it seems to be a planet of one city!
- This is a requirement to exit the Civilization stage in Spore to move onto the Space stage. Same goes for every other galactic empire out there, though they often have more than 1 planet; also Uprisings only happen for entire planets.