Follow TV Tropes


Standardized Space Views

Go To
A spinning planet, a launching rocket, and an orbiting space stationTop to bottom

"Cambot, give me Rocket #9!"

There exist some camera shots that quickly tell the audience that the current setting is the space and that they should be properly awed by it:

  1. A shot of a satellite orbiting the earth, with varying degrees of realism, often with a blinking light accompanied by a synchronized beep.
  2. A shot of a shuttle or other spacegoing vessel (starship, shuttlecraft, shuttlepod, space station) with audible engine sounds, which are almost always a low, almost subliminal rumble.
  3. A shot of the planet spinning.
  4. Shots of approaching spaceships will almost always be from slightly below, as this makes for better composition. By the same token, departing spaceships will be shot from slightly above.

There is almost never a shot of just the stars, unless it stems from—or goes to—a shot of somebody looking up at said stars from the ground or a spaceship window.

Expect to see these shots frequently by virtue of being Stock Footage. Often the effects crew would make a variety of standardized shots at the beginning of production and composite in the planet-of-the-week to save costs. Bonus points if they reference "The Blue Marble", the first-ever space view of our planet.

Sub-Trope of Establishing Shot. Compare Distant Reaction Shot, when an event is so massive that it can be seen from far away and the characters respond by doing a Take. If the rotating planet is our Earth, then a Hemisphere Bias is quite likely. Sister Trope of Standard Establishing Spaceship Shot —when this is done to show off cool spacecraft.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 


    Films — Live-Action 
  • Doctor Who: The made-for-TV movie begins with a detailed model of planet Skaro made to look as if it's been taken from outer space. It's a very dreamy, contemplative start.
  • Gravity: The film makes liberal use of breathtaking shots of Earth's satellite-filled orbit. Both as a way of showing the expanse of outer space—which serves to instill feelings of dread and awe—and of making pauses from the action.

  • Artemis Fowl: The graphic novel first begins with an orbital shot of the planet alongside an introduction from Artemis.

    Live-Action TV 

  • La oreja de Van Gogh: "Europa VII" has a doomed astronaut as a protagonist. As she ponders over religion, politics, and philosophy, there are times when she peeks at the slowly moving spacescape. The camera also pans to show a rocket-like spacecraft launching from a rocky planet and then flying through the stars.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: The opening starts with a satellite's orbital view of Earth while having several missiles guided towards it target.
  • SDI: Strategic Defense Initiative: Each stage has a background oriented in a way that you always see the Earth, the Moon, and/or asteroids at different angles that scroll past the screen. There is no shot of just the stars.
  • Super Adventure Rockman begins with a satellite in space getting directed towards the island where the ruins emerge.

    Web Animation 

    Web Video 
  • To Boldly Flee: The shaky-cam zoom on Terl and Zod's ship in the middle of the fleet is exactly like a standard space shot from a run-of-the-mill Sci-Fi series.

    Western Animation 
  • Winx Club:
    • "Mission to Domino" shows a shot of the frozen, devastated planet of Domino before the girls land on its surface.
    • "Battle on Planet Eraklyon": Bloom, Flora, and Brandon go to Sky's planet to help rescue Princess Diaspro. They travel in one of Red Fountain's Owls and the camera peeks through the ship's windows or pans to the space. When they are about to land, there's a shot of Eraklyon from afar.
    • In the third season, the other girls' home planets are introduced this way whenever they travel there by spaceship. Typically, an Owl will be approaching the planet's surface —the golden Solaria in "The Princess Ball", the aquatic Andros in "Sea of Fear" and "One Last Fluttering of Wings", and the nature-bound Lynphea in "The Black Willow's Tears". The inhospitable Omega Dimension is also presented this way in "The Princess Ball" and "In the Snake's Lair".
    • The fourth season's Title Sequence opens with a shot of a slowly rotating Earth (the American continent, to be specific). Then, the Winx fly right to where Gardenia is roughly located (the U.S.) while in their fairy forms. This is partially reclycled in "The Last Fairy of Earth", the episode where they move to that planet.

Alternative Title(s): Standardised Space Views