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Huge Holographic Head

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Eon: And what happened to your head? It looks ridiculous!
Kaos: WHAT?! My head is awesome, I tell you! Fear it! Fear my GIANT FLOATING HEAD!
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

When the alien Glorious Leader, Evil Overlord and Mad Scientist want the world to know about their nefarious doings, they will usually take control of every TV (and sometimes even computer screen) to give their Motive Rant and/or New Era Speech. However, if they have access to powerful Hologram projectors they may also/instead project themselves over every city as a Huge Holographic Head.

Needless to say it also includes a hidden sound system powerful enough most rock bands would kill for (and metal bands would sacrifice fans onstage for) in order to let everyone hear them. For some reason, subtitles under a big floating holographic head just aren't as impressive as a big booming voice.

If they don't have the tech to do this, they may substitute it by using huge screens on dirigibles or buildings, which is a favorite for dictators.

See also Hologram Projection Imperfection.


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    Comic Books 
  • In one Post-Crisis Superman story where Jor-El confronts the Science Council, the Council is represented as Huge Holographic Heads. Jor-El sardonically notes that even when you go to see them in person, you don't see them in person.
    • In a Starman issue, when the heroes are diverted to Krypton's past, Jor-El's father Seyg-El has the annoying habit of only speaking through these.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures, UNO, DUE and Omega Chamber Custodian all manifest as a Color-Coded for Your Convenience head in a transparent container (when they manifest at all). UNO and DUE are colored green and red respectively, with a spherical container, while Omega is blue and has a diamond-shaped container.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Equilibrium, messages from the leader of the totalitarianist regime, "Father", does this with massive screens throughout the city. However, the real Father died years before; DuPont has been impersonating him since then.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Emperor uses one of these to talk to Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back (in contrast to how other holograms are small full-body projections; the Expanded Universe says that the Emperor reserves the Huge Holographic Head setting for himself).
    • In The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke improves on this, with a Huge Holographic Full-Body projection. Snoke also a Huge Holographic Head to talk to Hux in The Last Jedi.
  • Things to Come: Theotocopulos addresses the people of Everytown with his Evil Luddite message via a giant full-length holographic image.

  • Babylon 5: As noted below Londo Mollari would use this when he needed to make a speech to the entire populace on Centauri Prime. His successor Vir Cotto also used this when exposing the hidden Drakh presence on Centauri Prime.
  • Subverted in the Star Wars Expanded Universe by the Hutts. As noted above under "Film," Huge Holographic Head mode is reserved for the Emperor himself by Imperial decree. It is mentioned at least once that many Hutts dislike how diminutive tiny-full-body mode made them appear and refuse to use holographic communicators, insisting on being displayed on large 2D viewscreens or by audio only so that they can appear more intimidating.
    • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Thrawn quietly lampshades this after C'baoth contacts him using "the Emperor's private hologram setting." Pelleon himself notices one of the flaws in the technique, namely that C'boath doesn't have the immaculate self control and confidence needed to pull this off, so the giant head setting means that little signs of uncertainty, surprise, and/or hesitations are amplified for everyone watching to see.
    • Wraith Squadron has Warlord Zsinj use an oversized holo of himself to talk to an admiral, who adjusts the size downward, saying that he's getting a crick in his neck, although Zsinj is not the bombastic, hammy type he appears as.
  • Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Partial example: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, having originated on radio, doesn't bother with the giant head and just has the alien menace speak through the hidden powerful sound system with no visuals. Still notable because the novel actually spares a paragraph to explain how the hidden powerful sound system was achieved.
  • In the Chung Kuo series, a surveillance system scanning random people in the lower City levels
  • A fantasy example in Codex Alera has powerful Watercrafters able to create lifelike images in pools of water.
  • A non-villainous example in The Pendragon Adventure. When Bobby first steps onto Veelox, he's greeted by pitch blackness and Aja Killian's giant, floating, holographic head. He eventually starts wondering whether the hologram reflects the physical reality in any way. Considering what he's been through, you can't really blame him.
  • Played for humor in Reach by Edward Gibson. The Pointy-Haired Boss has set up a holoconferencing call to establish what went wrong with their latest space probe. Everyone is shocked when one of the callers appears as a six foot head because he accidentally set his camera on closeup.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Wizard takes this form when speaking to Dorothy. The others, though, are treated to different illusions.
  • A barker in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas offers the opportunity to be one of these for only two bucks. Another fifty cents for a voice message! "Yell whatever you want, they'll hear you! Remember, you'll be TWO HUNDRED FEET TALL!" (In the movie, the barker in question was played by Penn Jillette.)
  • Wulfrik: The Chaos Dwarfs use a magical hologram of their god to keep their slaves in line. Wulfrik is the first to figure out it's a hologram after his men tackle him away from insulting it... because it didn't respond to his taunts, meaning he was fully ready to fight a god.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cowboy Bebop (2021). In "Sad Clown A-Go-Go", Super-Soldier Mad Pierrot LaFou hacks into Ein as an Animal Eye Spy to find out who the BeBop crew are. Meanwhile our heroes are puzzled as to why Ein suddenly has Glowing Eyes, then scream as the eyes project a holographic image of LaFou into their midst. Faye Valentine is more freaked out by the eye-projecting thing than the bloodcurdling death threats that follow.
  • Giant floating heads are common in Ultraseven X
  • The alien visitors in the remade V (2009).
  • Londo Mollari from Babylon 5 used such a system to speak to his subjects
    • And Sheridan borrowed Draal's system to do the same thing on B5 to announce they were seceding from the Earth Alliance.
      • Considering the TRON example above, one wonders if JMS wasn't indulging in a little Actor Allusion.
  • The Oz example gets a Shout-Out in Tin Man with the Mystic Man's cabaret show.
  • In an homage to the Superman example above, a season 8 episode of How I Met Your Mother has Barney using this in his apartment, first as training for Ted, then for fun, then Robin uses it to scare some people out of the apartment.
  • Although not evil, Red Dwarf has the titular ship's computer, Holly, use this as in interface to interact with the main character. Holly's not evil, but definitely mad.
  • Zordon, the main exposition source for the first 4 series of Power Rangers, exists solely as a floating head in a tube.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Nth Degree," an alien race called the Cytherians greets the Enterprise crew via a huge, presumably-holographic head manifesting on the bridge. Unusually for this trope, the Cytherians are benevolent.
  • Gideon in The Flash (2014) and Legends of Tomorrow is another Benevolent A.I. version, taking the form of a blue-skinned, bald, female head, floating above her control panel.
  • Quark: Quark's boss, The Head, appears to be nothing but a large disembodied head, floating in a black void.

  • The tours of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds gives Sir Richard Burton this treatment. It went through two variations: the first, from the 2006 tour, was a large, papier-mache "head" over which the hologram was projected. The second, from the 2010 tour, was a full-on CGI recreation of the actor.
  • Kilroy Was Here: In the short film which accompanied the tour, Dr. Righteous gives a speech in this manner during a record-burning bonfire.

    Video Games 
  • In DC Universe Online, true to tradition, Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude does this.
  • Doctor Breen in Half-Life 2 has his "Breencasts" to broadcast messages around City 17. The Rebellion pull down one to shut it up in Anticitizen One. In Episode 1, your ally Doctor Kleiner hijacks the system to warn everyone to evacuate the city before the Citadel at its center self-destructs.
  • Zachary Hale Comstock first appears in Bioshock Infinite on a projector screen mounted to a zeppelin, with a deep echo to accompany his voice. In the particular scene, the soldiers who were initially about to shoot Booker DeWitt are asked to stand down by Comstock. Then they start praying to him and the Founding Fathers. Daisy Fitzroy makes a similar scene later in the game, while having hijacked the First Lady Zeppelin to rally the Vox Populi deeper into Finkton.
  • Another full body example: in the civilization stage of Spore, religious attacks on a city will include a giant hologram speaking to the city trying to convert it.
  • The second Hero of Sparta has the magic version, when Hades creates a skyscraper-sized magic hologram of his face to taunt you in the opening scene, and telling you NOT to return to Sparta or suffer the consequences.
  • In the Mass Effect 2 Kasumi DLC, Donovan Hock addresses the player using one of these that fills half the (rather large) room. And the acting is at least as over-the-top as the presentation.
    • At the end of the Arrival DLC, Harbinger himself pops up as one of these to vent his annoyance at Shepard for delaying the Reapers yet again, along with the usual "we cannot be stopped" monologue.
  • In the first Space Quest, you encounter one of these as part of a puzzle. In the fourth, Vohaul is resurrected as one.
  • In Dm C Devil May Cry, Bob Barbas' true form is a giant holographic head seemingly made of data.
  • As shown in the quote above, this is how Kaos portrays himself in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. This is mostly a way to intimidate people, since his real self isn't that scary. Sadly, his hammy tendencies usually ruin it. He basically trades it in for a Humongous Mecha in the second game.
  • In StarCraft II, this is Arcturus Mengsk's favorite way of talking to his son and Sarah Kerrigan. It's monochrome green and marred with lines.
  • Also from Blizzard, in Act 3 of Diablo III Azmodan's giant head (actual size) periodically appears in a ball of flame to taunt the player, usually after they've achieved some mighty deed that's crippling to his campaign. His invective becomes increasingly pathetic as the player mows through his elitest forces.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei II, the Rabbi enemy is a Spider Tank projecting a large holographic preacher.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, King Kenji's demon form is a gigantic head of data, with energy streams violently arcing along it surface.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: When Revan makes his triumphant return in the "Legacy of the Rakata" flashpoint, it's courtesy of a building-sized holographic projection of a masked, cowled head.
  • Gehn proudly uses this trope in Riven to convince the people of the titular Age that he is their God. Among other contraptions, he uses a cleverly hidden chair to project his entire head in a huge holographic imager within a temple dedicated to him.
    • A smaller example does this with a creepy twist in the original Myst. Achenar installed a holographic projector within an altar that eats its sacrifices, to intimidate and eventually slaughter the Tree Dwellers.
  • Towards the end of the first dream world of Obsidian, the leader of a rebel group appears inside the Nexus Face's light fixture, after you unscrew its giant light bulb.
  • In his boss fight in "The Algorithm" mission, the giant robot body of ISIC from Battleborn has his holographic skull in a huge LED-like glass container in an Oracular Head-like fashion akin to the preserved heads from Futurama. As such, his holographic skull is huge. During the last phase of the boss fight, his robot body implodes and he's reduced to to simply a huge holographic head.
  • In the early Crash Bandicoot games (and, naturally, in the remakes), this was the preferred method of communications for Cortex and his minions whenever they needed to relay messages to Crash.
  • In the Borderlands 3, The Handsome Jackpot's Spendopticon has a giant holographic head of Handsome Jack looking down on everyone.
  • Starbound: The boss of the Apex artifact quest is the giant holographic head of Big Ape. It is projected from four devices circling it, which you need to destroy; each device lost causes the head to lose resolution and finally crash.
  • Destiny: In The Taken King expansion, your first in-game sight and sound of the eponymous Oryx, the Taken King, is of a huge magical/psychic projection of his visage manifesting in front of you as his Taken teleport in to kill you.
    Oryx, the Taken King: LIGHT! GIVE YOUR WILL TO ME!
  • Destiny 2: In The Witch Queen expansion, Oryx’s sister, the eponymous Savathûn, the Witch Queen, demonstrates the same ability, although she prefers the Dramatic High Perching look as she smugly comments on your progress through her throne world.

  • Narbonic treats the idea with its usual irreverence:
    Madblood: PEOPLE OF EARTH, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! I choose to address you as a 300-mile holographic projection against the ionosphere solely to secure the attention of Helen Narbon, whom I regret I am unable to join for dinner this evening. I apologize profusely and assure Miss Narbon that when Earth is brought under my heel, she, the planet's loveliest blossom, may have the continent of her choice. Except Europe. Mother dibsied it.
  • The Order of the Stick does this with a magical image of Lord Shojo's head when Belkar activates his Mark of Justice.
  • In Bob and George, the leaders of the Soviet Union consult the projected giant floating head of Josef Stalin whenever Communism faces a crisis. Later on, the leaders of the United States consult the giant floating head of Joe McCarthy when faced with a communist threat.
  • Emperor Cruz of Drive (Dave Kellett) favors these, as his actual stature is less imposing.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama one episode features Jorel, MASTER OF SCHEDULING who uses this to make mundane announcements about the stock market.
  • One of these pops up on Mars in Invader Zim, leading Zim to believe that the long-dead Martians were a race of holographic instruction manuals.
  • In Beast Machines, Megatron's face appears as this inside the even huger Megatron head that is his base. (He's got something of an ego, yesss.)
  • On South Park, Moses in "Jewbilee" and the Prime Minister in "Christmas in Canada".
  • During the big finale in Storm Hawks, Master Cyclonis uses one of these to speak to all of Atmos.
  • This is how The Sovereign likes to appear in The Venture Brothers. Although given his shapeshifting powers, he could actually make himself look like this.
  • In the Australian satire Go to Hell! (1997) by Ray Nowland, G.D. uses this to convince the primitive Earthlings that he is a God. They get less impressed over the centuries, so he has to resort to more physical interventions, like giving King Ramses II a nuclear reactor. Eventually G.D's rebellious son Red (who bears a physical resemblance to Satan) nicks the reactor and uses its holographic projector for more mundane purposes, like scaring away bandits from the Israelites or Flipping the Bird to G.D.
  • Twice in the Teen Titans (2003) Origins Episode, "Go!", with the Gordanian leader Trogar projecting a skyscraper-sized hologram of himself into the skies to demand the citizens of Jump City not to interfere with their invasion.
  • In 'Tiny Toon Adventures, the Great and Powerful Principal of Acme Looniversity is first depicted as a parody of The Wizard of Oz'', but is later revealed to be controlled by Bugs Bunny, who admitted he stole the gag from the movie.
  • In The Smurfs episode "Smurfette's Dancing Shoes", the spirit that guards the ancient Treasure of the Trolls appears as this.


The Wizard

Dorothy and her companions finally gain an audience with the Wizard of Oz.

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Main / HugeHolographicHead

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