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Homeworld Evacuation

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"We always thought Earth would be our home. But we were wrong. And we had to leave."

"Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here."

Earth (or another species' homeworld) has fallen victim to some disaster and is no longer inhabitable. But fear not, we managed to get some people off before it was too late. The actual means of escape will usually be some form of The Ark. A common variant is one where Earth has become inherently hostile to a Humanity that lacks interstellar travel, resulting in the creation of a Die or Fly Colonized Solar System.

This serves two purposes: making the Earth unavailable helps to justify why humans have spread through the planets and/or stars, and it sets up a situation conducive to the evolution of a wide variety of odd new cultures.

Even though the Space Age had begun over half a century ago, it's clear that humanity is not going to leap off this rock we call home and emigrate into space in large numbers without a good reason any time soon. Science fiction fans are used to the idea that we're going to spread out and colonize the solar system, but space travel is just too expensive for that, at least with our current technology. So if the creator of a science fictional universe wants a civilization in which most people live in space, the easiest way to justify its existence is to take Earth out of the picture.

Losing the Earth also allows the imagining of unprecedented cultural variety. After such a disaster, the remaining humans become refugees and have to endure deprivation, isolation, and radically new environments and challenges to survival. With the Earth gone, there is no several-gig person "anchor" to hold back cultural changes, and this allows the evolution of strange new civilizations.

Always results in a case of Earth That Was, though in some cases of that trope the space colonies existed before the disaster. For when the survivors already happened to be in space for unrelated reasons, see But What About the Astronauts?. Compare and contrast Planet Spaceship, which includes cases of people fleeing a threat along with their planet.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Eureka Seven takes place over 10,000 years after Mankind was forced to leave the Earth due to unintentionally harmful alien life. Somewhere along the line, all of Humanity found a new place to settle down, completely forgetting and/or unaware that they just went back to Earth and live on a new surface that was created by the aliens. The real, perfectly inhabitable Earth, lay below the surface.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, when Namek is set to explode by one of Freeza's attacks, a wish is made on the Namekian Dragon Balls to save their lives by evacuating all the Namekians to Earth. They reside on Earth until they can summon Porunga again, then have him transport the Namekians to the newly discovered New Namek. Which looks just like the old Namek.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, when Earth is set to explode by the effect of the Black Star Dragon Balls, everyone is evacuated to the nearby planet Plant, which had just been placed on Earth's orbit. They use Porunga later to restore the Earth.
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet takes place hundreds or thousands of years after humanity evacuated Earth to escape an impending Ice Age. As it turns out, Earth has since thawed and is habitable once more, but most of humanity has forgotten where it is. It is instead populated by survivors of those humans who were left behind.
  • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters: To a limited extent. Only those chosen by a governing A.I. left on the colonization mission. And horribly deconstructed in Haruo's narration which he calls a hell worse then Godzilla. Due to the lack of space, resources, and energy, everyone is cold, hungry and miserable in their ship. It's only been 20 years but they still haven't found a planet they can colonize and it's gotten to the point that going back to Earth might be the only way to survive.
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Hyperspace Gate explosion fifty years prior to the events of the series blew the moon to pieces, and the chunks are still falling on Earth about as regularly as rain. It's basically a giant slum, and the most well-developed planet is Mars.
  • Shelter: Upon learning that a giant asteroid is on a collision course for Earth, Shigaru builds a spaceship for his daughter, one in which that would sustain her for the rest of her life. The spaceship we see leaving Earth's serve is carrying Rin.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross: About 3/4 of the way through the series, after fighting a losing battle against the giant alien Zentraedi, the vastly outnumbered humans witness the near-total sterilization of the surface of Earth. Unlike most examples, some of the survivors resettle the Earth and slowly rehabilitate it, with the planet shown to be reasonably thriving in later Macross series like Macross Plus.
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199: A major subplot revolves around "Project Izumo", a plan to create a new human colony out of reach of the Gamilas empire on the verge of destroying Earth. The plan was officially cancelled in favor of the Yamato's quest for Iscandar. However, several moles within the crew are waiting for a chance to mutiny and implement the Izumo plan.
  • Toward the Terra is set in an unspecified timeframe after humanity caused Earth's entire ecosystem to collapse and become uninhabitable. By the time of the series only the government even knows the location of Earth. The whole goal of the Mu is to return there and establish a new safe haven for themselves outside the reach of the government. When they finally find it it's revealed that all the intervening time has been spent by the government secretly trying to undo the damage and make it habitable once again - a painstakingly slow process.
  • Tweeny Witches: Grande plans to destroy the Human Realm through dark magic in hopes of making a new home for his species to escape the eventual destruction of the Magical Realm.
  • From Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, the ELS are eventually revealed to be Invading Refugees, having been forced to abandon their old homeworld after it was reduced to a sharred husk following the death of their sun.
  • Before Gundam 00, there was Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, where Char plotted to send the asteroid Axis to Earth to force mankind into space and evolve into the Newtypes he thinks they'll become.

    Comic Books 
  • The Authority do this in one arc, evacuating the planet's entire population so as to cause less collateral damage when fighting a superpowered villain.
  • Jor-El, the father of Superman, pushed hard for his fellow Kryptonians to prepare a plan for this when he discovered that Krypton was doomed. For various reasons in various continuities, he is either ignored or sabotaged. In the end, all he could manage was to launch a prototype escape craft that only had room for one: his son.
    • Power Girl's origin in the pre-Crisis pre-New 52 universe was also basically this, though unlike her cousin Kal-L, her rocket kept her in suspended animation for 60 years while she aged only 20 years during her travel to Earth.
  • In some continuities, Dev-Em, a neighbor of Jor-El, also built a vessel to survive Krypton's destruction in.
  • Earth 2: In issue #21, Superman's clone stops a space ark carrying the world's most wealthy and powerful individuals from leaving the Earth and rips the ship apart, sending the passengers plummeting to their deaths, with the caption reading, "And the one percent trickle down."
  • The second volume of Just a Pilgrim has the Pilgrim discovering about a dozen surviving humans from NASA and the San Diego oceanographic institute building a rocket to leave behind Earth, which has been ravaged by a solar flare. They plan to take all the genetic samples they can carry to another recently discovered planet to start over there. Their plan suffers constant delays due to an attack by Puppeteer Parasite mutants. In the end, the rocket does take those genetic samples to a new planet, but only two of the humans make it aboard.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth: Humanity evacuated Earth en masse prior to its destruction and were scattered across the galaxy.
  • Apparently a common occurrence in the Marvel Universe, thanks to Galactus. His herald is suppose to alert the population of the planet Galactus is planning to eat so they can have a chance to evacuate.
    • Nova (2007): One story arc of this volume has the titular hero help an alien species evacuate their planet as it's being consumed by Galactus. The task is complicated by the presence of Harrow, a psychotic (and psychic) spree killer who's taking advantage of the chaos to sow as much murder and mayhem as possible.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures planet Xerba had been overran by the Evronians in the first issue with apparently only one survivor, but it's later shown they managed to pull this: realizing their sun, that they depended on for most of their power needs, would die in just a few centuries, and realizing that while they had the technology to support themselves anyway but without their sun they wouldn't be able to power it, they started building colony ships to move their entire population on another world as soon as they had enough (assuming their efforts to find alternative power sources didn't pay), and by the time the Evronians tricked their way past their orbital defenses they had completed three, that they loaded with as many people as possible and launched. Of them the Xabra was intercepted in orbit and the Antra was caught near Saturn as they tried to warn Earth about the Evronian threat, but the Xenia managed to escape-and, due having been unable to fully fuel the ship before launching, had to stop and establish a temporary colony on a world without a sun while slowly rebuilding their power reserves.
  • The first three Alien miniseries by Dark Horse Comics saw a good chunk of Earth having to do this after members of a cult break a Queen free, they got facehugged, and then spread out, causing the Xenomorphs to spread out. This was later adapted to the Aliens (Steve Perry Trilogy) novels.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy: The planet Dac is poisoned with a deadly bioweapon, causing the Galactic Alliance Navy to fight their way past a Sith blockade to evacuate as many members of the four sentient species on the planet as possible. In the end, they save about two hundred million out of twenty-seven billion beings.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: By the time the "Gremlins" successfully revolt against the invading and enslaving Ytirflirks their homeworld has been made uninhabitable. The Gremlins take the Ytirflirks' mothership as their new home.
  • In DCeased, the remaining heroes are able to evacuate a few million people from Earth as it is ravaged by the Anti-Life Equation-infected humans and heroes and the infected Superman begins absorbing the Sun's energy to kill everyone.
  • In the "Five Years Later" era of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion have to help in the evacuation of Earth as it succumbs to toxic poisoning caused by the destruction of old abandoned containment sheds. Two billion are left on Earth after the evacuation ships and the specialized domed cities of Earth cities leave the planet and of those domed cities, only 94 of the surviving 102 (there were initially 480, but most of those were destroyed prior) are able to survive, becoming a space station of sorts.

    Fan Works 
  • Project Sunflower: An evacuation is attempted after a space-borne monstrosity dubbed the Black Tide, which is using nanotechnology to remake the planet into something hideously alien, crashes on Earth. They use two methods: massive space arks (which are subsequently sabotaged by the "Earth-First" terrorist organization, which is bent on forcing the government to continue fighting rather than evacuate, which they call the coward's way out), and Project Harmonics, intended to find a suitable alternate dimension that humanity can move to. Instead, they wind up finding new allies who, after two separate attempts, succeed in destroying the Black Tide and making it unnecessary to evacuate.
  • Deconstructed and averted in The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum, however. It's made abundantly clear at least three times (twice in the main story, once in Calm) that it's just not going to work. Mostly because of the radiation in space, limited resources (both for making the ship and helping the crew survive), lack of habitable planets, and, as Crowe pointed out, the few colonists that could escape would be nowhere near a match for Celestia if she eventually found them.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, this is taken up to the level of galaxies. When the Flood comes a-knockin' and you don't have anything strong enough to stop it, the only viable option is getting the hell out.
  • Bait and Switch (STO): As noted in "Shortest War Ever", USS Bajor security chief Dul'krah's species, the Pe'khdar, traded their post-nuclear apocalpyse homeworld to the Ferengi for a ticket off of it—having been reduced from a prewar peak of eleven billion people to only five hundred thousand. They later gained access to Federation records that showed the Federation was aware of them but declined to act under the Prime Directive, which initially led them to refuse to join the Federation after they got back to their feet.

    Films — Animated 
  • WALL•E: Humanity relocates to ships like the Axiom for 7 centuries.
  • In Titan A.E., the alien Drej vaporize Earth in the opening sequence while refugee ships try to escape. (pictured)
  • In Battle for Terra, Earth, Mars and Venus have all been blown up, so humans go to the eponymous planet to find a new home.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Evacuate Earth is a Speculative Documentary about what it would take for us to pull this off. The threat in this film comes from a rogue neutron star that will destroy our solar system in 75 years.
  • Oblivion (2013) has humanity attempting to escape a ruined Earth that has been wrecked during an Alien Invasion war, settling a new colony on Titan. But it's all a big damn lie.
  • In Transformers (2007), Cybertron was destroyed in the Autobot/Decepticon war and they search for the Allspark in order to rebuild it.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS's atmosphere being heavily polluted by the Earth-Shattering Kaboom of its moon Praxis. As part of a peace treaty with the Federation, the Federation agreed to help evacuate Qo'noS within the fifty-year time limit of the planet running out of breathable oxygen. However, given that later TV series showed Qo'noS no worse for wear and still the capital of the Klingon Empire eighty years later, it's implied they were either able to find some way of reversing the pollution or the Klingons named their new capital after the old one and (as they've been shown doing a few times with events they don't want to aknowledge) just rewrote their history to say it never happened that way.
    • In Star Trek (2009), the planet Vulcan kicks the bucket, and at the end of the move, Spock Prime considers it his mission to help the remaining Vulcans to establish a new home world. Star Trek Into Darkness reveals that New Vulcan has been established.
  • In Jason X, humanity left Earth due to pollution and has resettled on a new planet called Earth Two.
  • In IO, this is already well underway by the beginning of the movie, after the Earth's atmosphere has been ruined by pollution, although some have lingered due to the hope offered by a Sole Surviving Scientist. That scientist has recently died, and the film follows his daughter being torn between trying to complete his work, or journeying towards the final evacuation ship, which is due to leave soon.
  • At the start of Man of Steel, Krypton is about to implode. Jor-El's pleas to evacuate Kryptonians falls on deaf ears, as no one believes that their planet is dying. General Zod believes Jor-El but only wants to save the elite bloodlines. Jor-El, instead, decides to only save his infant son (but with the technology to clone more Kryptonians).
  • Mission to Mars shows a holographic recording of Martians evacuating their planet for a distant galaxy en masse after a meteor strike renders the planet lifeless, except for a lone ship heading for Earth to seed it with life.
  • Earth is polluted and overpopulated in Red Planet. Humanity's only hope is to terraform Mars and re-settle at least part of the population there. The mission is sent to determine why the ongoing terraforming is failing. In the end, it's implied that the terraforming and re-settlement project will be scrapped in an attempt to replenish the dwindling levels of oxygen on Earth using the oxygen-producing bugs found on Mars, for economic reasons.
  • Elysium: In the far future, rich people live in the titular space station, while the poor live in an overpopulated Earth.
  • Escape to Witch Mountain: When Tony and Tia get their memories back, they realize they came from a dying planet that shut down all of its industries besides spaceship production. Their ship crashed in the ocean after reaching Earth while the others landed at Witch Mountain.
  • After Earth, as the name implies, takes place in the distant future after humanity evacuated the now deadly Earth.
  • Interstellar has the remnants of Earth's government trying to find another habitable planet on the other side of a wormhole that opened in Saturn's orbit, as Earth's food chain and atmosphere is rapidly collapsing. "Plan A" intends to use data from a scout ship commanded by Joseph Cooper launched through the wormhole to create an Artificial Gravity drive to lift vast space stations into orbit, whereas "Plan B" assumes the data fails to create a drive and instead has the scout ship use its stores of seeds, sperm, and embryos to colonize a planet on its own. "Plan A" is revealed to be a sham to give people hope, but Cooper's daughter uses data given to her from a Stable Time Loop to solve the gravity equation. When the scout ship commander returns to Sol over a hundred years later, there are multiple O'neill Cylinders in orbit around Saturn, slowly heading for the wormhole.
  • Thor: Ragnarok ends with Asgard getting destroyed and its natives evacuating to Earth. Although the events of Avengers: Infinity War (Thanos attacking their vessel and later snapping half the universe out of existence) mean that only a quarter of them make it.

  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells may be the Ur-Example: the Martians attempt to evacuate Mars en masse using fairly primitive space travel due to their planet being in the process of drying up. Unfortunately for humanity, they've chosen Earth as their backup (it is implied that they can't reach any other suitable planet, or else they might not have chosen the Earth, whose heavier gravity is uncomfortable for them).
  • One of the themes of the The Science Of Discworld books is that the next stage in the evolution of humanity should be a concerted attempt to get off the planet and find new worlds to colonise, so as to ensure the survuval of the human race. Terry Pratchett's co-authors jack Cohen and Ian Stewart point out that extinction events are so frequent in the history of Earth that sooner or later one will hit humanity and render the planet untenable for us - so we should be making preparations now.
  • The Last Days of Krypton: Jor-El gives No-Ton and the other councilors who believe his warnings about a cataclysm plans for a space ark. Despite their best efforts, building a fleet of evacuation ships from scratch in just three days is impossible, so they focus all of their efforts on finishing just one ship in the last seven hours. They don't finish it in time.
  • In Last and First Men the Fifth Men migrate to Venus when the Moon (destabilized millions of years earlier in the Martian/Second Men war) starts to crash into the Earth. And the eighth men design the ninth to colonize Neptune when the sun expands to cover the Inner System. But eventually, the sun goes nova too quickly for the Eighteenth Men to devise a means of escaping to another system, though they do manage to send out "seeds" of life that might eventually evolve into new humans.
  • In the "Homecoming Saga", a series of 5 novels by Orson Scott Card, the Earth was rendered uninhabitable by human warsnote  , and mankind departed for Harmony, as well as at least forty other planets.
  • In Walter Jon Williams' Aristoi, Earth was destroyed by Grey Goo, leading to the reorganization of society into essentially a confederation of feudal states, with each state's leader (the Aristoi in question) being the only ones allowed to use nanotechnology freely.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's Rescue Party has aliens coming to Earth in order to try saving at least a few humans before the Sun goes nova. In the end, it turns out the humans built a fleet and left already.
  • Robert Sheckley has a story with an amnesiac human waking up on a starship, apparently the last survivor after a nova. The ending reveals he serves as a Neuro-Vault for all of humanity.
  • Gianni Rodari has two short stories about aliens from a threatened planet settling on Earth.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Currents Of Space: The planet Florina needs to be evacuated because its sun is about to go nova. Characters suggest that Earth should be evacuated as well, but Rik disagrees, trying to claim his homeworld is also the homeworld of humanity.
    • Robots and Empire:
      • A robot allows a radioactive chain reaction which will slowly poison Earth, forcing the population to expand out into space. The robot justifies the decision by invoking the benefit of releasing humanity from the cultural chains of the "Settler" subculture's homeworld, in the novel that codified the Zeroth Law in Asimov's works.
      • The Solarians, introduced two books past, have mysteriously vanished from their world at the start of the story, leaving only robots behind. Not even the other Spacers know how or why they left.
  • Happens twice in the Noon Universe:
    • The premise of Space Mowgli is that Terrans intend to evacuate the Human Aliens of the planet Panta, whose sun is about to explode, to the planet Ark (named after Noah's Ark).
    • In Beetle in the Anthill, the scientists speculate that the entire population of Hope (the planet Abalkin explores in the flashbacks) was evacuated to another (unknown) planet by the Wanderers.
  • The Insects From Shaggai (AKA Shan) in Ramsey Campbell's Cthulhu Mythos stories. When their home planet was destroyed by a Mythos abomination, some of them fled to a succession of other planets, finally ending up on Earth.
  • In the backstory to the Gor series the Kurii destroyed their homeworld in intercine battles, so they went looking for a new home and found Earth & Gor. The Priest-Kings have waged a war against the Kurii to keep them out for millennia, all unseen by most humans.
  • The Yuuzhan Vong of the New Jedi Order series underwent a home galaxy evacuation, after massive wars of conquest and then internicine wars they started devastated so much of it that it was rendered incapable of sustaining their civilization (their actual homeworld was destroyed first, and it's speculated, though not fully confirmed, that they were the ones who did it). After traveling through the intergalactic void for millennia, they finally found the Star Wars galaxy - and decided to take over.
    • The Yuuzhan Vong trigger several homeworld evacuations during their invasion of the galaxy, (assuming the populace even has time to flee) before the planets are terraformed. Coruscant and Artorias are two planets where some of the populace has time to flee. It's implied that the moons of Yavin 8 and Yavin 13 may have been been evacuated offscreen. Sourcebooks claim that the Yuuzhan Vong razed both moons of all lifeforms, but a character who is living on Yavin 8 when the Yuuzhan Vong invade the Yavin system is killed somewhere else a few months later.
    • The cancelled and non-canon novel Alien Exodus from Robert J. Sawyer, would revealed on how the humanity fled from a computer-dominated future Earth, in the 25th century, and transported A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away... when your ship fell into a wormhole.
    • The Jedi Academy Trilogy has a nova-inducing super weapon doom the Imperial warlord planet Carida, leading to a hasty evacuation that saves a portion of the locals and soldiers, who depart in a The Elites Jump Ship order of priority.
    • The villains of The Corellian Trilogy have a weapon that can make stars go supernova and have released a list of targets. The first inhabited star system on the list, the Thanta Zilbra system, only had about 13,000 residents, but even with several days of warning, the New Republic is only able to evacuate a few thousand people with their own transports and some local ships. Wedge Antilles watches families being separated and people being forced to leave behind their few valuables to avoid taking up room on the transports, and bleakly notes that the next targeted system has almost a thousand times as many inhabitants. The failure to fully evacuate Thanta Zilbra proves that the only feasible option to save the people living in the next targeted system is to stop the attack beforehand.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • The day before Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspace expressway, the dolphins attempt to tell humanity "so long, and thanks for all the fish," and then disappear mysteriously in the night. The stupid ape-descendants, with two or three exceptions, aren't so lucky.
    • The colonists aboard the Golgafrincham B Ark were tricked into believing that they were part of one of these, though everyone had heard a different story of what doom was facing Golgafrincha, moon crashing into the planet, planet crashing into the sun, ravenous mutant star goat, etc. The reality was that the B Ark was composed of the "useless" third of the population (telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, middle managers...) and the rest of the planet was getting rid of them. Ironically, the remaining two-thirds were then wiped out by a plague caused by an unsanitized telephone.
  • In For Your Safety, the Earth is forcibly evacuated by the Groupmind, a distributed AI that determines that the only way to reverse centuries of environmental damage is remove all the humans and move them to a giant Ring World Planet style space station orbiting the Earth.
  • In the CoDominium, Earth was 'evacuated' over several decades as the One World Order CoDominium was going to collapse and everyone knew it. CoDom leadership forcibly deported as many people off-planet as possible before the bombs flew, ensuring that even after the Earth was rendered uninhabitable there would be enough human presence on other worlds to ensure humanity's survival.
  • Discussed and rejected in The War Against the Chtorr. Even if humanity developed the necessary technology, they'd only have their new homeworld until the Chtorr turned up and decided they wanted that world too.
  • Subverted in Cyril M. Kornbluth's short story "The Marching Morons". The titular "morons" are induced by advertising to board spaceships as part of one of these, but they're really being flown to mass extermination.
  • In the final third of A Canticle for Leibowitz, humanity is locked in a cold war between the Asian Coalition and the Atlantic Confederacy. When the standoff inevitably leads to a nuclear war, the Catholic Church escapes to huamnity's offworld colonies.
  • Technically applies in the Past Doctor Adventures novel City at World's End, Sarath is all-but-explicitly identified as a human colony that lost all records of its origin and had to start its space program from scratch, with the result that, by the time of the novel's events, they can only build a rocket capable of evacuating the inhabitants of the city of Arkhaven, which all evidence suggests is the last surviving city on the planet, and even their research is not able to create an engine large enough to power the ship in question.
  • In For We Are Many, the Bobs learn that the Others are on their way to Delta Pavonis, and they tend to wipe out any species that may resist their looting. As such, they send two colony ships to Delta Pavonis IV, so that they can save at least some members of a local sentient race, whom they dub the Pav. The Pav are roughly at the level of the early 20th century and are hardly in a position to resist the Others. The Bobs manage to save about 20,000 out of over a billion. Then, in All These Worlds, the Others are heading for Earth with an even bigger fleet. Luckily, two Bobs have managed to get their hands on a derelict Other transport ship, which has enough internal space for fifty times as many people as there are left on Earth. The problem is that, by the time the transport arrives into Earth orbit, only 6 million stasis pods have been built, and the Others are already here. Riker then has an epiphany and decides to load the remaining 8 million without putting them to sleep. The evacuation is partly successful - a stray shot from an Other "Death Asteroid" wipes out the Cuban enclave, killing all 150,000 people there. In the end, the Bobs win the battle, so the still awake humans are brought back to Earth, so that the Bobs can finish building enough pods for everyone to evacuate (Earth's environment is rapidly moving into a nuclear winter).
  • Happens in Stephen Baxter's Moonseed when runaway geological activity is turning Earth inhabitable and mankind, or better said what remains of it after massive worldwide earthquakes and volcanism, moves to a Moon that has gotten a breathable atmosphere.
  • In Zenna Henderson's stories of The People, this is what brings them to earth. The nature of the disaster is very much like Krypton in Superman, it's a natural event rather than a war or attack.
  • One short story involves humanity migrating from the Earth to the Moon so they can throw the Earth at hostile aliens.
  • In Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising, Thrawn learns that the Chiss homeworld of Csilla has a tiny fraction of the population it once did. The cooling of the planet a thousand years ago has led to some of the people moving underground, but the vast majority migrated to other Chiss worlds. It's a closely-guarded secret, however, as the Chiss maintain the illusion of population for any potential enemies.
  • Remembrance of Earth's Past:
    • Trisolaris is expected to be destroyed for good within a thousand years, hence their need to colonize a world outside its solar system. The fleet they're sending to invade Earth doubles as The Ark.
    • The possibility of sending one or more Generation Ships to flee the solar system before the Trisolarans arrive is a recurring plot element in the second and third books. "Escapism" never ends up getting off the ground, not because of technological or logistical problems, but because the question of who gets to go quickly becomes the Berserk Button for humanity, and no politician is willing to risk a massive international backlash by endorsing it.
  • The Outside's backstory has a downplayed example. After global warming reduces Earth's carrying capacity by several orders of magnitude, the Gods move most of humanity to a few dozen terraformed planets, but they let a minority of people stay in the areas of Earth that are still livable.
  • Bounders: The Alkalinians' homeworld was almost destroyed in the last intergalactic war, partly due to the Alkalinians' greed and stupidity. It will be many generations before it's habitable again. In the meantime, the Alkalinians spent generations on a Colony Ship, occasionally stopping at friendly planets to refuel, before settling on New Alkalinia.
  • Unidentified Suburban Object: Chloe's parents are actually from a planet known to Earthlings as Tau Ceti Four, which was destroyed in some kind of solar event. Chloe's mom happened to be working in the astrophysics department of their equivalent of a university, so she and her husband were able to jump into an experimental spaceship and escape the planet that way. As far as they know, they're the only survivors.
  • Seveneves: After the Moon gets shattered by a cosmic event, humanity has only two years to evacuate Earth before a Hard Rain of moon pieces makes the planet uninhabitable for thousands of years.
  • Incandescence: The Splinterites, small insectoid aliens that live in tunnels in a small meteor, are descended from the inhabitants of a larger planet that was destroyed. Before their planet became uninhabitable, they were able to design a Small, Secluded World where they and their descendants could live in relative safety. They designed many similar environments whose inhabitants lived in ignorance of each other for many generations until they finally make contact at the end of the book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alien Worlds (2020): As Terra's sun comes closer and closer to swallowing it, its hyper-advanced natives terraform an outer-system planet and then move their habitation domes into orbit and onto vessels that move them to the new world. The narration states that the aging star will one day destroy the new world too, forcing the Terrans to evacuate again.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978) and Battlestar Galactica (2003): The twelve colonies of Kobol are being evacuated and searching for Earth, which is the "lost" thirteenth colony.
  • Doctor Who: A very consistent point of future history foretells the mass evacuation of Earth around the thirtieth century, to avoid solar flares. The Eleventh meets the Starship UK in "The Beast Below", but it comes up in other episodes as well. In addition the fourth Doctor encounters a wheel-type space station full of sleepers in "The Ark in Space", which is set 20,000 years in the future, implying that it happens more than once.
  • Evacuation Earth has as its premise a wayward neutron star heading towards Earth and attempts to build a Generation Ship to take 250,000 people to Barnard's Star.
  • Defiance: The Votan Collective came to Earth when a supernova destroyed their home system. Their sublight ships departed 5000 years ago. They knew Earth was habitable but thought it lacked intelligent life due to the lack of radio signals from it. They were really surprised to be proven wrong when they arrived in 2013. They also sent the Kaziri several thousand years ahead of the Ark fleet to prepare the planet for colonization. When the Kaziri arrives, the crew realizes the planet is populated. In order to prevent the destruction of humanity, several Irathient crewmembers stage a mutiny and crash the ship.
  • Stargate-verse: This happens fairly regularly.
    • "Lifeboat": On the Planet of the Week, SG-1 finds a crashed Sleeper Starship built by a human society called the Talthuns, who had evacuated as many people as possible before their planet was destroyed by a coronal mass ejection caused by a "dark star".
    • When the SGC first encounters the Tollan, it's as they are just completing an evacuation of their planet as it's experiencing a volcanic apocalypse. Bonus points for the Tollan being technologically advanced enough that the new world they were going to was "off the grid".
    • In "A Hundred Days" the SGC tries to evacuate the inhabitants of a planet that was about to be bombarded by a massive meteor show.
    • In "Scorched Earth" we see humans that the SGC has already relocated once, and the threat of the week means they may need to be evacuated again. Complicated by the fact that they require specific rare planetary conditions to survive.
    • "Red Sky" nearly necessitates an evacuation when the SGC accidentally "poisons" the planet's sun.
    • The Tok'ra have to evacuate anytime the Goa'uld discover their base of operations. Though that's not exactly a "homeworld".
    • The Ancients completely evacuated the Milky Way Galaxy after The Plague ravaged it.
    • They then had to evacuate their new home in the Pegasus Galaxy after they lost the war to the Wraith.
    • Season 9 reconned the Milky Way even being The Ancient's native galaxy and gave them the new backstory of being a science based splinter faction that fled an unknown galaxy to escape the fanatical religious sect. For the count that means The Ancients evacuated 3 GALAXIES, 4 if you count their ascension after returning to the Milky Way.
    • The Asgard had to evacuate several homeworlds throughout their war with The Replicators.
    • Atlantis had to flee the planet The Atlantis Expedition found it on after they pissed off the Pegasus Replicators.
    • After The Atlantis Expedition woke the Wraith in the series premier, they evacuated the Athosians to Atlantis' planet.
    • The Atlantis Expedition also evacuated a planet that was about to (and then did) experience the eruption of a super volcano.
  • Babylon 5 has multiple instances:
    • Most First Ones have long vacated their worlds and left the galaxy outright long ago. Only a few races stayed back, mostly for reasons unknown though the Vorlon and the Shadows remained to teach the Younger Races-though their methods are less than perfect. During the final Shadow War the Vorlon and the Shadows leave when Sheridan, as representative of the Younger Races, demand they "Get the hell out of our galaxy", as that signaled the moment their job had ended, and the other First Ones went with them.
      • The Shadows and their servants the Drakh pulled it in the distant past, the Shadows having abandoned their original homeworld and colonized Z'ha'dum to honor the Speakers (the most ancient of the First Ones, who evolved on Z'ha'dum) and the Drakh moving on nomadic fleets to better serve their masters.
    • In the show backstory the Dilgar tried a rather dark take on the trope: having discovered their homeworld's sun would go nova in a few years they realized they had to find a new one, and as they didn't have colonizable worlds available and being disturbingly similar to the Nazi (to the point the comparison had been made in-universe) they didn't ask for help from their neighbours but launched a genocidal war against the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to subjugate them and eventually colonize Mitoc. They were stopped thanks to Earth Alliance taking action once it was pointed out there were space Nazis coming close to their space, and once they were forced back on the homeworld and had all their spaceships confiscated the Dilgar saw fit to not tell anyone why they had done that, thus going extinct when their sun went nova. Side material reveals that some League members and Earth realized what was going to happen, and while the League left their would-be murderers to die the humans evacuated some Dilgar and spirited them away to an unknown location. Also, the Dilgar started launching sleeper ships between their defeat at Balos showing they couldn't win the war anymore and the invasion of their homeworld, though the fate of said ships is unknown.
    • Also in the show's backstory, the Battle of the Line was EarthForce's attempt to delay the Minbari fleet while as many civilians as possible were evacuated from Earth. Ultimately averted as the Minbari surrendered to the humans without explanation after destroying most of the human defenders, leaving 200 survivors out of a force of 20,000 men and women.
    • In "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", which flashes forward to different eras of humanity's future after the show's time frame, it is shown that humans evacuate Earth one million years in the future, before an impending mysterious artificially-induced nova explosion of Sol.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the episode "The Empath", the star of the Minarva system is about to go nova. A group of highly advanced aliens known as the Vians can save the population of only one of the planets in the system. They decide to determine which planet's population will be saved by putting a member of each population through a Secret Test.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Founders of the Dominion learn of a joint Romulan/Cardassian plot to attack their homeworld. By the time the fleet shows up, the Founders have already evacuated and left behind a Jem'Hadar ambush. A Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
    • Star Trek: Picard: Admiral Picard spearheaded the effort to evacuate Romulus before the planet was consumed by the Hobus supernova. However, not many were on-board with the plan to help out the Federation's enemies, so when a group of synthetics attacked the evacuation fleet and wrecked Mars, Starfleet broke its promise and refused to provide any more aid to the Romulans. No wonder Nero was so pissed!
    • Star Trek: Discovery: The fourth season's arc involves a massive Dark Matter Anomaly traveling around the galaxy putting ships and planets in its wake at risk. The complications involved are a recurring plot point:
      • In The Examples, the Radvek Chain is handily evacuated, but the crew learns at the last minute that the local government made no effort to evacuate the convicts of a prison, and they must brave the prison's automated defenses to break them out.
      • In the season finale, Coming Home, Earth, Titan, and Ni'Var must be evacuated, but the combined forces of Starfleet, the United Earth Defense Forces, and Ni'Var fleet do not have nearly the spacelift capacity needed to succeed at such an effort. Their only hope is to save as many as they can before the end comes, unless Discovery is successful in her mission to make First Contact with the 10-C and stop the DMA before it's too late.
  • In The Event, it's eventually revealed that the Human Aliens are planning on evacuating their 2 billion population to Earth, as their star is about to make their planet uninhabitable... and are willing to commit genocide to make space for their people.
  • In an early episode of First Wave, Joshua reveals that the Gua homeworld is dying, and the conquest of Earth is primarily meant to allow the Gua to re-settle here. Strangely, a later episode has Joshua reveal that at least one other planet (Nostradamus's homeworld) was conquered by the Gua prior to their arrival on Earth. So why didn't they settle there?
  • Firefly: It's not dwelt upon much in the series, but this trope is an important part of the background lore. The unnamed Colonized Solar System in which the show takes place was originally settled by Sleeper Starships and/or Generation Ships sent from Earth shortly before everyone started calling it "Earth That Was".
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): A small-scale example occurs in "Third from the Sun" when two scientists and their families steal an experimental spacecraft to flee their home world before a nuclear war that will probably kill everyone else on the the planet.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Voices in the Earth", most of humanity evacuated the dying Earth 1,000 years earlier after it became incapable of supporting life.

  • Peter Schilling's "The Noah Plan": The Earth's orbit decays as it drifts towards the sun, and the people on Earth prepare for evacuation by "returning to the universe".
  • "The Final Countdown" by Europe, talks about how humans are leaving Earth, because its no longer habitable, with the hope of found a new place to live and new things to discover.
  • The Ayreon album The Source tells the story of a small group of survivors who flee their planet just before the rest of their population is wiped out, and the planet itself is possibly destroyed by a massive nuclear meltdown. They must then overcome the challenges of settling on the planet they've chosen as their new homeworld.
  • Jonathan Young's "Final Frontier": Humanity has so wrecked the Earth that its core has become unstable (along with mass flooding and high radiation) so they build a ship to find a new homeworld, hoping that they won't make the same mistakes twice.
  • The Secret Chord's Concept Album Fermi Paradox chronicles the story of a band of refugees, including the singer's character, leaving aboard an interstellar ark to seek out a new homeworld after the rest of mankind has rendered Earth uninhabitable and destroyed themselves.


    Tabletop Games 
  • During The Fall in Eclipse Phase millions of people uploaded their Egos to the sparsely-populated colonies in other parts of the solar system (uploading being the easiest means of space travel), while some others crowded the Space Elevators and crammed aboard ships.
  • Classic Traveller, Double Adventure "The Chamax Plague/Horde". In the Back Story, the alien population of a planet was close to being wiped out by a Super-Persistent Predator species called the Chamax. They decided their only chance was to build a fleet of Sleeper Starships to carry all of the remaining aliens to other star systems.
  • In the history of Hc Svnt Dracones, during the last days of the Corporate-Terra Firma nuclear war MarsCo evacuated some refugees from Earth who agreed to use the living mutation procedure to become Hemivectors, which helped with the radiation damage. But they stopped after a sleeper agent detonated a nuke on one of the shuttles and destroyed Mars' spaceport. Still, most of the war's survivors were already on Mars, either colonists or having been decanted there.
  • Earth in Nova Praxis had to be abandoned after a nanotech weapon turned out to not be as easy to deactivate as its designers thought it would be.

  • BIONICLE: In the Kingdom Alternate Dimension, Matoro fails to revive the Great Spirit Mata Nui, leaving the Matoran Universe in danger and prompt mass exodus onto the island of Mata Nui. Not all beings made it safely, but while many made it to the island, it is only a temporary refuge. The survivors settled quickly and also planned on how to leave the island for the stars.
  • In the Transformers series, the Autobots and Decepticons are often forced to leave their home planet of Cybertron for various reasons:

    Video Games 
  • Biomutant after Toxanol Corporation's polluting caused some great apocalyptic disaster, humanity took to the stars in massive space ships to try and find a new home. The game is about the life that sprung up after we left — the cute, furry, kung-fu wielding mutant life.
  • Destiny:
    • The human faction Dead Orbit believes an exodus from the Solar System is the only way to ensure humanity's survival, as the human race was at the height of its power when the Darkness destroyed civilization and will likely go extinct entirely when it returns for round 2. Dead Orbit and its supporters officially lifted off after Season of the Splicer, but has not yet left the Solar System and remains in contact with the Last City.
    • The Hive got their start trying to figure out how to escape the God-Wave, an imminently forming Giant Wall of Watery Doom that would sweep their entire homeworld of Fundament clean of all surface-dwelling life. Their experiences turned them into omnicidal maniacs convinced that the universe runs on death and violence, and when they escaped (by turning Fundament’s moons into warships), their goal had changed from saving themselves to killing everything besides them.
    • The Fallen, a species of vicious Space Pirates, were once a peaceful interstellar civilization like humanity, but a cataclysm called the Whirlwind (caused by the Hive and/or their patron, the Darkness) forced them to abandon everything and flee across space. Their homeworld, Riis, is implicitly no longer habitable, as no one has ever considered returning.
    • In the backstory for Destiny 2‘s Season of the Chosen, the Cabal are forced to abandon their empire's capital planet, Torobatl, after it gets overrun by a Hive invasion led by Xivu-Arath. Once she accepts that her homeworld will fall, Empress Caiatl has the Cabal's civilian populace evacuated from Torobatl and orders all her remaining forces to retreat to the Sol System.
  • Final Fantasy franchise:
    • In Final Fantasy IV, the Red Moon is revealed to be an ancient Colony Ship for an even older space-faring species called, appropriately, Lunarians. Their homeworld used to exist in the orbit between the "Red Planet" and the "Great Behemoth", but, as it neared destruction, the race built this titanic lifeboat to migrate to a new home, the "Blue Planet." However, upon arrival, the Lunarians realized that humanity was still primitive and cohabitation was not possible yet. Rather than overrun the native population, the Lunarians decided to turn their vessel into a second moon and fall into a deep sleep, waiting for humanity to catch up so contact could be made.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker reveals that one of the backup plans for handling the Final Days bringing an apocalypse upon the world is to evacuate large portions of the global population to the moon, which is actually a giant spaceship, and fly through space in search of another planet with suitably high aetheric density. A substantial chunk of the 6.0 main story revolves around how much effort various characters should put into this plan, since any effort put into fleeing the danger is effort that can't be put into stopping it, and a bad division could well result in failing at both tasks and dooming everyone. Two major problems pointed out in the story is that it realistically can't save everyone, so the one doing the evacuation have the privilege of being selective on who is 'worthy' to ber saved; the second is that, even if successfull, it would ultimately be a temporary response as the Final Days are not a natural occurence, but a targeted action by an outside force. In the end, you do end up stopping the Final Days, and the moon remains — at least for now — firmly in orbit around Ethierys.
  • Homeworld: The Mothership was meant to be a colony and exploration ship to their ancestral homeworld Hiigara before the Kushan even were aware of the threat to their existence, but when the Taiidan incinerated Kharak's atmosphere it became necessary to their survival as a species. Later on, they discover that they were descendants of the losers in a massive war who were forced into one of these. In a variant, the Kushan were preparing to evacuate their homeworld... Because they had realized Kharak was slowly becoming uninhabitable, hence the construction of the Mothership to try and find Hiigara, planning to eventually moving their entire population there.
  • Earth, or Lost Jerusalem as it's called, is referred to often in Xenosaga. Humans had to leave it because of a mysterious space-time disturbance. Its location has been long lost. At the end of the third game a chunk of the party goes off searching for it, and we're left wanting another sequel.
  • The backstory for Xenogears, is similar. Humans left Earth in AD 2510 due to a space-time anomaly. The only reference to Earth in the game, though, is in the intro, and it is called "the main planet."
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X starts with humanity flying off on massive Ark Ships to escape an alien war. Very few of them even make it out of Earth's atmosphere before being shot down by the alien forces. The game proper follows one of the surviving ships in the months after it's begun colonizing a new planet.
  • In Outpost the human race has fled from an asteroid-doomed Earth and colonized a new planet in another star. The plot of the second game (Outpost 2) revolves around the earthling colonists of a new planetnote  and how they destroy themselves all over again.
  • Another non-Earth example: The D'ni of the Myst series originated on a world called Garternay, which became uninhabitable when its sun began growing dim. Their ancestors fled into a succession of other worlds via their linking books, and have since lost all contact with their abandoned homeworld.
  • In SimEarth, if the sapient civilization develops past the "nanotech age", an event called "the exodus" is triggered. All cities, regardless of tech level, are fitted with engines and take off into space. The planet is declared a preserve and left alone, possibly allowing a new sapient species to evolve. The motivation for the exodus is unclear.
  • In the RTS Earth 2150, this is the ultimate goal of all three factions, on account of the imminent Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Throughout the campaigns, you not only have to complete missions to cripple your rivals, but stockpile your excess resources in order to build a colony ship to carry you to another world before the countdown expires. According to the sequel, all three endings are canonical, which is strange given that it was clearly stated in Earth 2150 that there weren't enough resources to evacuate every faction. The Lost Souls expansion does indicate that a good number of people were left behind, though, and had to find alternative means of escape.
  • In Mass Effect:
    • This is a common last resort for species attempting to survive a Reaper invasion. Of particular note is a Side Quest to save the elcor, whose homeworld is being assaulted, in Mass Effect 3. However, this only serves to delay the inevitable, because the Reapers are patient enough to spend centuries exterminating every last trace of all sapient life, no matter where they hide.
    • Before the series proper, the quarian race escaped their homeworld, Rannoch, after a robot race they created known as the geth, rebelled against their creaters and started committing genocide against them killing almost 99% of the quarian population before the survivors manged to flee.
    • As Thane Krios explains during his conversations in Mass Effect 2, the drell were rescued from an overpopulated homeworld by the hanar sometime prior to the first game. Although only about 300,000 managed to be saved, these remaining drell felt indebted enough to the hanar to work as their agents, laborers and assassins, of their own free will. The only downside is that moving to the hanar homeworld, Kahje, has had terrible effects on their health due to evolving on an arid world, while Kahje is a very humid world where 90% of the planets surface is covered in ocean. This has resulted in many drell suffering from a respitory disease known as Kepral's Syndrome. Though Thane does mention that the hanar have recently begun a research program to both cure the disease and genetically adapt the drell to Kahje's enviroment.
    • As Mass Effect 3 proceeds, despite an epic display of resistance by the turians that costs the Reapers quite a lot of time, resources and ships, they are eventually forced to withdraw their surviving military from their homeworld, Palaven, and concentrate on the Crucible. Other races would have been evacuating civilians throughout this, but the turians - as Proud Warrior Race Guys - don't have civilians or even really understand the concept, and so military withdrawal is the closest to an evacuation they'll ever get.
  • Freespace: The Vasudan homeworld starts an evacuation partway through the game as the Shivans draw near. Though quite a number escape, the Shivans arrive before they're done and four billion Vasudans die when the homeworld is subjected to Orbital Bombardment. In the sequel, Vasuda Prime is still uninhabitable.
  • Starbound has this as the justification as to why humans are traveling the stars. Something took over the earth, and the whole species had to haul ass and find new planets to settle in.
  • A variation in the Freelancer backstory. The Alliance evacuation is only partial and not from Earth, since Earth has been in the hands of the Coalition for many decades. By that point, the Alliance only controls a single moon and is about to be crushed by a huge Coalition strike fleet. The five Sleeper Starships manage to break through and jump away, while the remaining Alliance forces try to hold the line. The original trailer for the game also had an alien ship arrive after the exodus and blow up the Sun, making this trope true. Whether this remains a part of the canon is unclear. 800 years after the exodus, Earth and the war that caused the exodus are barely mentioned. People are more concerned with the present.
  • The Pilgrims of Endless Space can load up the majority of their population and system infrastructure onto a massive ark, the Fleet Errant, which can then set up a new colony in a separate system. The Fleet leaves behind one population on each planet in the system it departs from, allowing it to rebuild. When the Fleet Errant settles down, it starts off a golden age in the system which massively boosts the production of food, industry, Dust, and science. However, it's generally used more for extremely rapid expansion rather than fleeing danger.
  • In Endless Legend, the eight empires of the Lost Colony of Auriga are in a desperate race to get off the planet as its climate collapses; the longer the game goes on, the longer its brutal winters become, until the world is plunged into an Endless Winter at turn 300. Canonically, the Vaulters are the only ones who make it off the world wholesale, appearing in as a playable faction in Endless Space, while other races receive minor roles as Hero Units.
  • The backstory to Civilization: Beyond Earth (as the name rather implies). After an unspecified catastrophe known as the Great Mistake, humanity's best and brightest determined that the planet, while still habitable, had passed the "inflection point" and entered a terminal decline. Thus, the Seeding: a venture to launch Colony Ships to a number of alien worlds in hopes of somehow, someday managing to come back and make things right. The Purity victory involves building a portal to Earth to start the flow of evacuees to the new planet. The sequel Sid Meier's Starships takes place in a 'verse where the Seeding is successful.
  • According to the manual for Pandora: First Contact, Earth is forcibly evacuated by the AIs appointed to watch over it in order to try to restore the planet to its pre-industrial state. All those who did not leave to colonize Nashira stay in the Solar System.
  • In Chaos Rings III, the Satellite Base Theia was originally part of a fleet of ships meant to evacuate as many humans as possible when a Planet Eater made its way to Marble Blue. Due to the Entity deciding to lay its egg on Theia instead since the appearance of the Incarnati made Marble Blue too dangerous, Theia was unable to leave Marble Blue's orbit. Unable to fulfill its original purpose of finding a new home for the humans onboard, Theia instead became that home. Chancellor Steiner reveals that they lost contact with the rest of the fleet a long time ago. For all she or anyone else knows, the people of Theia are all that remains of humanity.
  • After civilization collapsed in The Flame in the Flood, many people left the planet in space ships, like the one you find at Angel Yard. Those left behind were forced to eke out a living from what remained. Some failed (like the various people mentioned in the quilts you find), while some succeeded (a few of the NPCs, and the citizens of the Kingdom.)
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The backstory describes the Romulan effort to evacuate their homeworld and several surrounding star systems in advance of the Hobus supernova. They expected to have six weeks before the shockwave reached the Romulan system. Instead, the shockwave breached subspace and hit Romulus in twelve hours, because of a Star Killing weapon employed by Romulan lackeys of the Iconians.
    • While the Lukari were not the result of a deliberate evacuation — they left their homeworld of Kentar because they were exiled by the majority culture for following the scholar Lukar's ideals — they eventually find Kentar again, revealing that in their absence it was reduced to a dead rock by environmental disasters and internecine warfare, with no Kentari in sight. Slightly later, it is revealed that some fraction of the Kentari managed to evacuate and found a New Kentar — which they promptly began ruining as well.
  • In Colobot, the game's plot revolves around the fact that the Earth is deemed doomed due to pollution, and the humanity needs to find itself a new home to colonize.
  • Galactic Civilizations 2: The Iconians lost their homeworld when their AI servants suddenly became sapient and Turned Against Their Masters. A tiny remnant survived on Sleeper Starships to found the "Iconian Refuge" on a planet they named New Iconia. The AIs claimed Iconia as their homeworld, where they developed into the Yor Collective of Absolute Xenophobe Mechanical Lifeforms.
  • Injustice 2's opening scene shows the fall of Krypton in all its tragedy. We are put into the shoes of Kara Zor-El as she escapes from Brainiac's deadly forces, watches her mother die, and then is separated from her cousin Kal-El. And to make things worse, this is the Injustice universe, where Superman went evil after a horrible tragedy.
  • Stellaris has the Doomsday origin. In exchange for significantly increased resource generation at the start of the game, the player's homeworld will be destroyed within a few decades. The player must quickly locate a suitable planet to colonize and relocate as much of the population as possible before it implodes.
  • The Dinaurians in Fossil Fighters are a species of dinosaur-like people who fled their homeworld before a giant space monster could eat it. They had intended to seed Earth with primordial life forms from their world, which would then develop into Dinaurian life, and are quite taken aback when they reawaken in the modern era and discover that humans have become the dominant life form instead.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land has this as the reason why the titular forgotten land has been abandoned. Thirty years ago, the inhabitants of this world used advanced technology to visit a new world described as "a land of dreams", leaving all the flora and fauna behind. As well as a horrible alien creature named Fecto Forgo, whose ability to summon portals is what allowed the previous occupants to leave in the first place.
    • Shiver Star, the fifth planet visited Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, is a snow-covered planet heavily implied to be post-apocalyptic Earth. Outlines of Earth's continents can be seen on its world map model, and its levels include a shopping mall, an abandoned factory, and a fight against a robot in a giant cityscape. According to Word of God, the inhabitants of Shiver Star left long ago for unknown reasons.
  • Some background lore for the Splatoon games states that once humanity realized the Earth was doomed, one group constructed a huge interstellar starship called the Ark Polaris to carry at least some of themselves and a number of animals to a new world. Unfortunately, they failed; the ship was damaged by space debris and forced to return to Earth, where it ran out of fuel and became locked in orbit for eons. Eventually, the ship's orbit decayed and it hurtled back to the planet's surface, where all onboard where killed in the violent re-entry. All except one, a brown bear who had gained intelligence during his conscious cryo-sleep, and awoke in horror to discover himself now apparently the last mammal on Earth.
  • At the start of Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, Colonel Blair is listening to a news report that mentions rumors of a doomsday plan for an evacuation of Earth despite Confed claiming officially that the war against the Kilrathi is going well. In the novelization, Blair scoffs at this as an Urban Legend the press keeps bringing up. After all it's not like the Kilrathi can't follow them anywhere that Humanity can go.
  • This happened 1000 years ago in Solasta: Crown of the Magister. The humans of Tirmar left their world to enter the world of Solasta. They were fleeing their sworn enemies, the Soraks, who unfortunately, have followed them in their new world .
  • SteamWorld Dig 2 features a minor character in the Hub City building an escape rocket because of the ominous quakes going on during the game. By the end of the game, the main character Dorothy and the townsfolk have to board the rocket to escape the exploding planet, along with rockets built by other towns. This establishes the new status quo for SteamWorld Heist, another game set later in the same universe which was released before Dig 2.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Monkey Wrench episode "Lythop Liberation", a kindly scientist hires the protagonists to help her evacuate the lythops—a species of minuscule and very durable rock people—from their doomed home planet before it implodes. But the scientist is lying. The planet isn't going to implode, and the scientist wants to grind the lythops up so she can make an Absurdly Sharp Blade and an indestructible armor from their remains.

    Web Original 
  • Orion's Arm: Old Earth suffered a Grey Goo outbreak known as the Nanodisaster, but that's not why it was evacuated. The outbreak was nullified by an AI named GAIA and it decided humans were the worst threat to Earth so it told us to leave, before it sicced its nanoswarms on us. It was considerate enough to build a fleet of ships first though. In modern times (10,000 years later), Earth is essentially a giant nature preserve, and only a small number of humans are permitted to live on it, subject to GAIA's draconian rules and limitations on their development. GAIA has softened its stance somewhat though, and allows a number of tours to the surface by offworlders.
  • Serina: To save the sea stewards from the extinction event caused by cataclysmic coal fires, the Observer moves them off of Serina and to a planet that's been terraformed to resemble their old home, and in the process alters their memories so that they do not realize that any transition occurred. Notably, this only extends to the sea stewards — Serina's other sapient natives, the woolly wumpos and the icefishers, are left behind on their dying world and go extinct shortly afterwards.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Men in Black: The Series, when the Fmecks plan to destroy Arquilianote  fails because Kay and Jay redirect their planet-destroying blast back at them, they are forced to evacuate their planet before it's destroyed.
  • DuckTales (1987): The Plant Aliens had to flee their planet during a devastating ice age, with the scene subtly implying that many of them had to stay behind to make room for their children. Since then, they have traveled the universe, trying to find a new home and enslaving people to help them subsist until then.
  • The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror has a worldwide calamity that results in two spaceships bringing various famous people off of Earth. One ship (filled with the best and brightest) goes to Mars to colonize it, while the other ship (filled with certain celebrities) goes to the Sun.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, Jor-El had a practical plan to evacuate the entire population of Krypton before it exploded: have everyone relocate into the Phantom Zone, send someone to travel to a suitable planet, and then release them. However, the thought of being stored with the worse criminals of Krypton and Brainiac's self-serving lies - Jor-El figured this out less than a day before the end, so there wasn't enough time to do so while backing up and evacuating Krypton's archived data (QED Brainiac himself) - made sure it wouldn't be used.
  • The Smurfs episode "The Comet Is Coming" pays homage to Superman's origin by having Handy build a rocket for Baby Smurf so that he could escape the Earth's destruction on the night that a rare comet appears in the sky. Fortunately, they find out in time from Papa Smurf that the comet is just simply passing by and Baby Smurf remains with the Smurfs as the empty rocket launches and falls back to Earth, exploding in Gargamel's house.
  • In season 2 of Shadow Raiders Planet Fire's world engines are too damaged for it to escape from the Beast Planet so the population hurriedly evacuates to Planet Rock's Battle Moons. Prince Pyrus waiting until everyone else was off before leaving himself, except the Vizier who volunteered to stay behind and try to ram the planet into the Beast.
  • Wakfu: The alien variation. It's revealed in Season 2 that the Eliatropes aren't originally from the World of Twelve: they were forced to evacuate into space from their original homeworld onboard the Zinit due to the war against the Mechasms driving them out, draining wakfu from planets they passed by to fuel their ship. The Council of Twelve ultimately decided to settle on the World of Twelve and make it their people's new home, although Qilby wanted their people to remain Space Nomads cruising the Krosmoz. It's later again revealed that Qilby wanted the Homeworld Evacuation to occur so that he could explore the Krosmoz.


Video Example(s):


"Dunkirk, not the pyramids"

"Remembrance". A reporter compares the Federation's effort to evacuate the Romulan core worlds against the 2387 supernova to the construction of the pyramids of Giza. Admiral (retired) Jean-Luc Picard disputes that comparison, calling the pyramids monuments to the vanity of kings, and instead points to the summer 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk.

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Example of:

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