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Genesis Effect

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"What, exactly, is Genesis? Well, put simply, 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, as an exaggeration of Terraforming. 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.

Has nothing to do with effects caused by listening to the band or playing games for the 1988 console. Contrast Earth-Shattering Kaboom and Apocalypse How. The next step down is the World-Wrecking Wave or World-Healing Wave (destroying or restoring a world's surface), while the next step up is In Their Own Image or "End of the World" Special (remaking a whole universe).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Earth has been destroyed and re-created multiple times, usually wished back into existence with the titular Dragon Balls.
    • The Kais, Gods of Creation, are charged with periodically creating new planets and living things to inhabit them.
    • 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 

    Films — Animated 
  • Titan A.E.: The titular 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. Plus, the ship comes with DNA samples of Earth's plant and animal life.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dante 01: Saint-Georges sacrifices himself at the end, and the creatures inside of him terraform the planet Dante in seconds.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) shows the Magratheans finishing the Earth Mark II and using it to replace the destroyed Earth. This is a downplayed example, since we see the Magrathean engineers constructing the planet by hand.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Genesis Device is 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...
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: The Klingons learn about Genesis, and understanding its potential as a weapon (and the wealth and power it would generate for the Federation if it works as advertised), try to acquire it themselves.
  • Superman Returns: The Novelization says that Luthor's kryptonite island grew into a planet and settled into permanent orbit between Mars and Jupiter.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy has Magrathea, where planets are custom-built. Slartibartfast in particular is rather proud of his fjords. It's playing with the trope a little: not only are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens able to construct worlds from nothing, but they do it so cheaply that they flood the market, destroy the galactic economy, and trigger a million-year galaxy-wide Dark Age.
  • 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.
  • The Silmarillion: In the first part, 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!"
  • Terry Pratchett:
    • The Light Fantastic: Seen, rather literally, at the end where we see the hatching of four new little Turtles, complete with elephants and little worlds on their backs.
    • Strata focuses on a planetary engineering company that builds replicas of Earth in the past, and has colonists settle them, just in case humanity's 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 implied to be one of the worlds built by the company.
  • Xeelee Sequence: A spaceship carrying the last refugees of our universe exits to another, and its AI looks for a planet to settle them on. Not finding a habitable world, it spends about a chapter creating one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor takes Donna back in time to witness the formation of the Earth.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "In the Blood", Dr. Callie Whitehorse Landau's sacrifice in trans-space results in the creation of a new planet in the normal universe.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Rimmerworld", Rimmer does this to a barren planet.
  • In the Stargate Universe episode "Faith", the crew encounters a star and planet that according to their logs shouldn't exist. Rush soon determines that a race of Precursors created the planet, Eli even name drops the Genesis Device. Rush doesn't stop there however, and notes that this race must have also created the star.
    Eli: That would make them the number one all-time advanced civilization.
    Rush: That would be an understatement.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • The Bible: The first book is the Book of Genesis. God creates the heaven and the earth in the book's first chapter. It's the Trope Namer for the Trope Namer. The Book of Revelation, however, just has the mention that God had created "a new heavens and a new earth, for the old earth had passed away" without going into specific detail of how this "new earth" was created, which led certain Bible students into believing that this "new earth" is actually a recreated earth that is stripped of all its works and just restored to its original Edenic beauty (with the exception of there being no sea).

    Video Games 
  • Celestus gives us the satomisateur, a kind of energy-mass converter which can creates planets. Or stars. Or black holes.
  • Master of Orion II: Planets 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.
  • Ratchet & Clank (2002): 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.
  • Space Empires: It's almost as easy to create planets in the 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 World of Warcraft, the Genesis Effect is part of the natural life cycle of a cosmic entity called a Titan. The ethereal soul settles into orbit around a star, and over eons the weight of their power attracts passing debris that eventually forms over the soul and creates a planet. For billions of years, the world-soul will passively absorb the Life Energy of all that exists on this planet until they finally mature and become a true Titan.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: The ending reveals that an experiment by some humans erased our entire universe from existence and created the game's universe in its place. The Big Bad, the Big Good, and the enigmatic mentor are all that remains of the original.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: Artificial planets exist, although they're very expensive to make. One method is to simulate natural planet formation by gathering lots of rocky and metallic material in one place, but this requires a huge amount of material and energy, and the resulting planet takes a long time to cool down. Another method is to create an artificial black hole and then build a hollow shell around it to live on: the black hole acts as a gravity source and can be made using hydrogen and helium (so this method can be used even in systems where there isn't enough rock and metal for the first method).
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-1795, dubbed the "Star Wombs", are a species of immense creatures capable of creating new planets within themselves. All the planets they create are uniquely suited for human habitation, and are in fact deliberately intended to be inhabited by us. Turns out humans aren't originally from Earth and were forced off our home planet due to genocide, so the Star Wombs kept making planets for us hoping that we'd find them.