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Star Killing

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Maj. Samantha Carter: [exhales]
Col. Jack O'Neill: Something wrong?
Carter: No. [beat] I've just never... blown up a star before.
O'Neill: Well, they say the first one's always the hardest.

So you've got a star. Main sequence type, more or less middle of its life-cycle, nothing special. Probably has an inhabited planet or two orbiting it. Of course, the Evil (Space!) Empire wants the people on the planet(s) dead. They could just carpet bomb the planet or maybe even blow it up, but instead they decide to go for broke. When a faction or character goes Star Killing they go about ending a star's life in any of a variety of ways that dooms all life in the system to a Class X-2 Apocalypse How.

On the lower end of the scale, the sun may have the equivalent of food coloring added, changing the visible spectrum (and radiation) it emits, killing or weakening all life and/or sentients. This is the equivalent of changing Earth's sun from power-granting yellow to kryptonite green for Superman.

In the middle range of the scale, the sun could be "poisoned", such that it ages several billion years. This is frequently done by applying enough firepower to the sun to cause it to go supernova, but the other way—depleting the sun's hydrogen content and making it a cold dwarf star, or making it impossible for the sun to conduct hydrogen fusion—is also possible.

Finally, at the high end of the scale, the sun could be "collapsed" into a singularity (atypical for the mass of many suns) or "eaten" from the inside out by a singularity that is shot into it.

Interestingly, whatever means are used to kill the star might not harm any other stellar body it's aimed at. This is especially true for the "fusion-stopping" type poisons. If this poisoning takes long enough, the heroes may be able to apply a Magic Antidote, administer life-saving Solar CPR, or use an extremely powerful World-Healing Wave on the star. See also Unrealistic Black Hole.

Interesting: even though immediate aging of a star is extremely unlikely, it is theoretically possible to increase the speed of a normal star's aging. Usually, most matter within a star is a hydrogen/helium mixture, and most of the star's life cycle it fuses hydrogen into helium. However, a tiny part of the star's mass consists of carbon-nitrogen-oxygen, which transform into each other through the CNO cycle, catalyzing (i.e. accelerating) the burning of hydrogen. So, dump enough carbon or nitrogennote  into an average starnote  and it probably will age faster AND burn hotter.note  The effect won't be immediate, though. The mixing of star matter is slow, and distribution of additions will take many years, maybe even ages.

It is also theorized that there are additives that will catalyze proton decay or otherwise work faster in same way.note  And, if you talk about a civilization able to manipulate black holes, then by launching a small one into a star it can create an unusual object: a black hole in a dense cocoon of plasma, that will glow incredibly hot.

See also The Stars Are Going Out, which is about what happens when someone on Earth watches stars getting killed. Compare Earth-Shattering Kaboom, Planet Destroyer and Detonation Moon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Ostensibly, Cell at the height of his strength had the power to do this. Of course, a bit of Power-Scaling and we reach the conclusion that Gohan can do exactly the same, seeing as he was able to utterly obliterate Cell the same way he tried to destroy the Solar System. Both of these are confirmed in official guidebooks, and Cell is also depicted doing this in a few video games.
    • Fat Buu does this in the anime flashback when Kaioshin first introduces him, exterminating all luminosity from a galaxy by destroying its stars.
    • Goku and Cooler's combined blasts destroy the Sun in Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, though it quickly gets put back (possibly by Kaio, since gods in this universe explicitly have the power to recreate celestial bodies).
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', Whis casually remarks on the time Beerus accidentally blew up his planet's own suns. (Whis had to rewind time to fix that boo-boo.)
    • We see at least one sun being destroyed from the clash between Goku and Beerus, which would have eventually destroyed everything in the universe, had it been allowed to continue.
  • In Doctor Slump, Arale once destroyed the sun with a shockwave from her punch while she was on Earth. Being a Gag Series, of course, there were no lasting consequences from this and the sun was back and good as new in the next chapter.
  • In Gall Force, a Lensman Arms Race results in the "system destroyer", which can trigger a supernova.
  • Gold Saints from Saint Seiya are supposedly able to do this with their fists. Hard to say if that specific act has ever actually been demonstrated, but they certainly have feats that put them on this level or higher.
  • In Toriko, there were legends of a "Demon King" that would someday eat the sun. While such a creature turned out to not actually exist (at least not in that form), the Appetite Demon NEO was a threat to the world and the entire universe.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: During Operation: Galactic Storm, the activities of the Kree and the Shi'ar result in the Sun going screwy. Binary manages to fix the damage, but at the cost of nearly killing herself in the process.
  • A key moment in The Dark Phoenix Saga has the title character eat a star. The result is a supernova that kills 5 billion people.
  • DC Comics: The Sun-Eaters are weapons of mass destruction created by an alien race known as the Controllers. As the name implies, they eat/absorb the energy of stars, which both destroys the star and empowers the Sun-Eater. Several of these weapons appear in various stories set during both the Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis continuities.
    • The first appearance of the Sun-Eater was in Adventure Comics #353: "The Doomed Legionnaire", in which the Legion Of Superheroes have to reluctantly team up with villains like the Fatal Five to stop it. Famously saw the death of Ferro Lad who pulled a Heroic Sacrifice in order to stop the Sun-Eater.
    • DC Comics Presents #43 saw Mongul unleash a Sun-Eater in an attempt to destroy the Earth. Superman is ultimately able to stop him with the help of the Legion of Superheroes.
    • In the Green Lantern installment of Final Night, a Sun-Eater was killing Earth's sun, Hal Jordan does a Heroic Sacrifice that saves it and restores the damage. In the process, it shone green for a day.
  • At the end of DCeased, Superman is infected by the Anti-Life Equation, instilling in him a burning hatred of all life. While he tries to destroy the colony ships escaping the doomed earth, he he is stopped by the Green Lantern Corps, who surround him and order him to stand down. Refusing to give up, Anti-Life Superman enters the Sun, absorbing it in its entirety and dooming the solar system to a slow death.
  • An early issue of Marvel's Epic Illustrated includes a story about an attempt to tap energy directly from the core of the Earth's sun. This goes horribly wrong, causing the sun to go nova.
  • Excalibur #50 has Rachel Summers, then host of the Phoenix, and Necrom in a rapidly-escalating battle in Space that starts by throwing asteroids at each other, but they're destroying stars. Phoenix realizes that at the rate things are escalating, it won't be long before they destroy the universe, so instead she allows Necrom to absorb her power and thus kills him via Phlebotinum Overload.
  • The Technarch Magus (in Marvel's X-Men titles) was an alien being who was physically large enough to rip a star in half with his bare hands.
  • One of Thanos' early plots involved gathering the Infinity Gems and using them to power a weapon on his ship that would systematically do this to every star in the universe. This was before he realized what the gems were truly capable of.
  • It's been shown that Galactus can feed on stars as well as planets, but he prefers not to (perhaps planets just taste better).
    • The Heralds of Galactus can also do this. At one point, Nova (Frankie Raye) destroyed a star that was being used to power a weapon created by the Elders of the Universe, after the Silver Surfer suggested said course of action.
  • Immortal Hulk: The Breaker of Worlds, an evil future version of the Hulk who has been completely taken over by the One Below All is capable of crushing stars like they were balloons. This has left the entirety of the Ninth Cosmos completely dead and dark.
  • In one What If? issue, the Living Tribunal did this to the Earth's sun in order to destroy Michael Korvac, but Death herself protected him. Apparently, this was the most extreme action that the Tribunal was allowed to take at the time, so he stopped interfering after that.
  • In The Metabarons the current Metabaron, No Name, had retired after collecting a massive payout. However, he still has an appetite for destruction and godlike power, so he indulges it by destroying asteroids, uninhabited planets and the occasional star.
  • In Starslayer, Torin uses the Starslayer Missile to collapse Sol into a black hole. This act earns him the nickname "Starslayer".
  • Superman:
    • In All-Star Superman: Solaris the Tyrant Sun turns the sun red in order to strip Superman of his powers. Later, the sun turns blue and it's revealed that Solaris poisoned the sun. Superman seemingly sacrifices himself in order to fix the sun.
    • In Superman: Brainiac, Brainiac develops a weapon called solar aggressor which can make a star explode. He blows a star up and later attempts to detonate the Sun, but Supergirl manages to stop and destroy the weapon.
      • In another instance, Brainiac actually deployed such a weapon and destroyed a solar system, catching Superman in the blast and knocking him out so he could be captured.
    • In the Silver and Bronze ages, Superman and other Kryptonians were capable of easily doing this with their breath... in space.
  • In Valiant Comics' version of Solar, Man of the Atom, the title character created a weaker but more battle-focused detachment/incarnation of himself known as Solar the Destroyer. Unlike the original, this incarnation lacked a limitless power source, so he periodically recharged himself by consuming suns as he traveled through space searching for Solar's enemies.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm notes that Surtur's Great Captains - his most senior and powerful minions - are comfortably capable of destroying stars at the height of their power. Since their power depends on how tight the seal on Muspelheim (and therefore their boss) is, they're often Brought Down to Badass... which is to say that they can 'only' destroy planets without too much effort, and 'only' (in the case of Jormungand) survive being thrown into a neutron star by Thor. Surtur himself destroyed a galaxy.
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Harry is prophesied to destroy the stars themselves, but not the people. When he hears this he points out that if he accomplishes his goal of developing Magitek, then to a culture with access to it the current stars are a giant pile of resources that some idiot set on fire.
  • In the Doctor Who fanfic The Last Great Time War, "stellar destructors" that blow up stars are standard weapons.
  • The MLP Loops:
    • Referenced. When Samantha Carter loops into Equestria, she is confused that Celestia is giving her a Death Glare... until Sam realizes she's the princess of the sun.
      Sam: You blow up one sun and they never let you forget it.
    • Not that Celestia has much of a leg to stand on. She crashed her loop at least once by doing experiments on the sun. She died too fast to be sure exactly what happened, but presumably it exploded.
    • It's also brought up during a game of "I Never", when Celestia says that "I have never intentionally blown up a star." Apple Bloom drinks while grumbling about how "You loop as Carter onetime..."
  • In the Mass Effect fanfic Inglorious Bosh'tets, the plot is kicked off by Tali's aggressively stupid crewmate Prazza accidentally using a mineral scanner on a nearby star and causing it to go supernova, causing a Negative Space Wedgie and sending Tali and her crew back in time to 2005 Earth.
    • In the sequel, Project Gethinator, Admiral Daro'Xen is revealed to have gotten her hands on a copy of the mineral scanner that Prazza used to blow up that sun in Bosh'tets, and when Shepard turns down her advances in the final chapter, she utterly loses it, turning said scanner on the star of Eta Carinae to make it go hyper-nova in a mad bid to destroy Shepard, Tali and the entire Normandy crew.
  • Because Science Marches On, modern fanfiction for The Night Land generally treats the death of the Sun in the Backstory as artificial instead of natural.
  • In the Magical Girl Crossover Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, Joker takes control of the Incubators' Hive Mind, and uses their technology to put out Earth's sun, just to make a point to Homura that he's not one to be trifled with. She gets the message, and beats a hasty retreat to the Void Between the Worlds with Madoka in tow.
  • In Thirty Hs, Dumbledore faggarts suns and sqewers them atwixt his fagpole. By the thousand!

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Trek: Generations revolves around stopping the use of a missile capable of stopping all fusion in a star, causing a near instant nova.
  • Star Wars:
    • The original name for the Skywalkers in early drafts of A New Hope was "Starkiller". This has popped up a few times in the expanded universe.
    • Starkiller Base from The Force Awakens is basically a planet-sized Death Star which powers itself by sucking the energy of a nearby star, thus killing it. The energy is then fired through hyperspace and can target and destroy multiple planets in another solar system. The First Order, despite naming the weapon after this trope, doesn't seem to realize the technology that powers the weapon up is perhaps even more devastating and dangerous than actually firing the weapon. At the very least, they could be using it to destroy the star in one hostile solar system and the planets in another at the same time.
  • The "Star Harvester" from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. The Fallen wants to use it to destroy the Earth's sun and leave the planet completely desolate.

  • A novel by Barrington J. Bayley included a weapon which worked by eliminating all of the electrons in a star, thereby rendering fusion impossible. A star hit by the weapon would lose about 0.05% of its mass and instantly go out. In Real Life, making the electrons spontaneously disappear without something else changing as well would cause the star to blow itself apart due to the immense repulsion between the protons.
    • This is rather unrealistic, in that the electrons “disappear”. In reality a collapsing star causes such pressure that protons and electrons are converted into neutrons and neutrinos. The outgoing neutrinos blast away a good fraction of the mass. Forcing this would effectively kill a star. It would be collapsed into a single tiny sphere (comparable to an asteroid). Planets orbiting the star would be blasted away.
  • Mentioned in passing in All Tomorrows, where humanity develops weapons capable of "nova-ing stars" when preparing to face a potential alien invasion. Unfortunately, even these are ineffective against the Qu.
  • Aurora Cycle: The leader of one of the factions in the Syldrathi civil war is known as the "Starslayer" for an incident that took place a year before the beginning of the series where his faction somehow managed to cause the sun of the species' homeworld to collapse in and become a black hole, destroying the planet and killing over ten billion people.
  • In Competitors, the Seekers get their hands on Matter Replicator plans for an Extinguisher, a missile capable of blowing up a star that the creators of the Platform have, for some reason, left in the station's databanks. The weapon requires a certain rare metal and must be carried by a sufficiently large ship. After replicating the Extinguisher, the Seekers mount it on their largest ship, a Prime, and threaten the people on the Platform with it. The Seekers believe that they are not in Space but are Inside a Computer System. They hope that destroying a star will cause the "game" to crash and wake everyone up. In the end, they are proven wrong, when the Seeker fleet is forced to use the Extinguisher on a star later revealed to be Rigel to escape a large Bug fleet (the Extinguisher creates a "tunnel" of sorts through the core of the star as a side effect of the explosion). Many of the smaller ships with inadequate shielding are still lost. The Bugs then communicate with the Seekers and force them to return to Platform Space by threatening Earth with an Extinguisher. One of the Seekers notes that astronauts back on Earth will be pissed at the loss of Rigel, which is used in Space navigation, but another person points out that Earth won't know about it for another 800 years, since Rigel is that far away.
  • An appendix to Consider Phlebas summarises the vast interstellar war the novel was set in, with a casual mention that among the tally of destruction was six stars. In a later book, we learn that one of them harboured an inhabited planet.
  • Creatures of Light and Darkness has The Hammer That Smashes Suns. In addition to its star-killing powers, it's one of the few weapons that's truly effective against a God.
  • Vasili Golovachov's novel The Devil's Fire Extinguisher involves a race of Starfish Aliens from the future using Time Travel to eliminate potential rivals by sending a device back in time that starts the process of shutting down a star. Humans receive a warning from another race facing extinction and start planning a mission into the Sun's core to stop the device from activating.
  • In Down the Bright Way by Robert Reed, the UnFound are wiped out on each separate Earth via star killing. Since the UnFound inhabit every planet, and thousands upon thousands of asteroids and comets in each Earth's solar system, making the sun burn away most of its mass in a miniature supernova becomes the most effective way to kill the UnFound.
  • Empire from the Ashes: Enchanach drive, one of the two types of Faster-Than-Light Travel, is effectively a kind of warp drive that causes a massive gravitational disturbance in realspace, particularly when the drive is starting up or shutting down. For this reason, ships travelling by Enchanach drive have to de-FTL far out from any stars they're travelling to, because any closer and they can make the star go nova or supernova. In the second book, just six planetoids activating their Enchanach drives is enough to make Zeta Trianguli Australis go supernova and wipe out an Achuultani fleet.
  • The Eschaton Series: The "iron-bombing" of Moscow's star in Iron Sunrise. Not an "iron bomb" in the USAF sense of the word, the process involves sending the target star's core into a Pocket Dimension with a vastly accelerated time flow. As quintillions of years pass in the mini-universe, the superheated hydrogen cools and eventually transmutes through quantum tunneling into a solid iron crystal. When the now-shrunken core is returned to the center of the star, the outer layers fall toward it, bounce off (iron doesn't like to be fused) and rebound explosively. The entire process is a fair approximation of what actually occurs in a Type II supernova (apart from the pocket dimension, anyway).
  • In "For White Hill" by Joe Haldeman, hostile aliens make Earth's sun go nova. The plot is about making a memorial for Earth.
  • In the Larry Niven short story "The Fourth Profession", the Monks are a species of alien traders who travel from star to star. Normally they travel using light sails pushed by launching lasers built by intelligent races in the systems they visit. If there's no intelligent race in a system or the race refuses to build a launching laser for them, they use a device on their ship to make the system's star go nova and use that for propulsion.
  • In the Galactic Center series by Gregory Benford, it is implied that the mechs are the cause behind a number of recent novae.
  • The History of the Galaxy:
    • It's revealed that the Delphons, unable to escape the oncoming Forerunner swarm (their only means of Faster-Than-Light Travel was via a Portal Network), the Delphons chose to sacrifice their entire race to allow younger races (including humanity) to evolve. How? They used the Forerunners' natural attraction to starlight to allow them to get close before triggering nova reactions in their own stars. Three million years later, humanity is spreading through the galaxy and discovers dead stars in the so-called Sleeve of Emptiness, dozens of dead systems in a roughly linear shape. A human is then imprinted with the memories of a frozen Delphon, who discovers the fate of their race (and also their status as Ancient Astronauts). It's not clear why the Delphons didn't attempt to evacuate using STL ships, as the swarm also moved at STL speeds.
    • In the same novel, a Corrupt Corporate Executive nearly unleashes the Forerunners on the galaxy yet again. Luckily, humans have Anti Matter technology and can use it to blow up planetoids with enough energy release to wipe out any Forerunners nearby.
  • Life, the Universe and Everything has at the heart of the plot a bomb that would cause every sun in the universe to go supernova at once, resulting in complete annihilation.
  • In The Killing Star, some of the survivors of an alien attempt to exterminate humanity use "absorbic bombs", which turn energy into matter. It's theorized that enough such bombs can make the sun implode.
  • In the final Lensman novel, Children of the Lens, the sun of the Ploor system is destroyed by firing a planet from another universe whose intrinsic velocity is always faster than light into the star.
  • In Valeriy Yantsev's short story "A Million Years Later", The Captain and Number Two of an FTL-capable ship sent to investigate a newly-discovered hostile alien race discover that the aliens are building an armada at Altair to invade Earth, which has been at peace for centuries and wouldn't be able to prepare a meaningful defense in time despite the fact that humans have FTL capability and the aliens don't. The two officers make the decision to use a little-known side effect of the FTL drive. Basically, if a ship exits subspace in close proximity to a large stellar body, it results in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Hard-wired safeguards involve opening a tiny tear through subspace with a wire-guided probe that scans the exit point and transmits the data back. If the ship's computer detects the presence of anything big on the other end, the wire is cut and the tear is closed. Otherwise, the tear is expanded to allow the ship to enter. The officers secretly circumvent the safeguards (not telling the rest of the crew) and direct their ship to exit at the core of the star Altair. The tearing of space-time results in a supernova that destroys the entire system and the aliens. A million years later, human astrophysicists are still baffled by the strange destruction of the star. The Heroic Sacrifice is either unknown or classified by the government.
  • In The Night's Dawn Trilogy, there is a star-killer called the "Neutronium Alchemist" which has two modes. The "humane" setting basically shoots a small black hole into the star which slowly siphons off fusion mass: eventually absorbing the entire star but slowly enough to evacuate the system. On the other hand, "violent" ends up compressing all matter that comes into contact with the weapon into neutronium, releasing lots of energy in the process. This extra energy leads to the star or gas-giant to go nova.
  • Perry Rhodan has the occasional weapon or plot device that can do this — including but far from limited to the subtly-named "Death Satellite" whose thankfully comparatively slow attempts to destroy our sun and unassailable position within the sun's atmosphere itself prompt the time travel shenanigans of the Cappin arc in the first place —, as well as at least one species of what amounts to hyperSpace-dwelling animals that drain stars of their energy to feed and cause supernovae in order to reproduce. (The latter aren't even really aware of what they're doing because their senses no longer extend into 'normal' Spacetime and wouldn't be intelligent enough to care anyway.) Needless to say, when such things appear or get used, everybody sits up and takes notice.
  • Revelation Space Series:
    • The Inhibitors "sing" Delta Pavonis apartnote  in order to destroy the local human colony: having already wiped out one species native to the system millennia ago, they're determined to do the job for good this time. It's also offhandedly mentioned that they know fifteen different ways to destroy a dwarf star.
    • Not only do they kill the star, but they do so by first building a gigantic machine to take apart the system's gas giant, then use the material they recovered from that to produce the star-killing weapon — which is so large and so massive that a character notes it shouldn't even be possible for it to exist without collapsing in on itself. When they fire their weapon at the star, it doesn't just kill the star — it turns it into an astronomically huge Flamethrower.
  • Space Academy: The purpose of the SKAMM missiles is to trigger supernovas in healthy yellow stars within a matter of hours.
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel The Last Stand, a pre-warp civilization is on the verge of being destroyed by their ancient enemies (also pre-warp). As a last resort, they have been working on a doomsday device that would cause their star to go nova. The device? A warp field generator placed within "one Cochrane radius" (as Picard put it) of the star. It's safe to say that this novel is the only place where this concept is used, especially since we see many times ships warping from and to a star's corona.
    • Rihannsu:
      • The Romulan Way states that the capital of the Inshai Compact, an interstellar civilization active when the Vulcans were in the Information Age (roughly the time of ancient Greece's heyday on Earth), was destroyed by a sunkiller bomb, which allowed the progenitors of the Orion pirates to rise to prominence and begin raiding Vulcan. This eventually led to the Sundering between the Vulcans who followed Surak and the proto-Romulans who followed S'task.
      • In The Empty Chair Scotty attempts to create a technobabble link between two uninhabited stars, allowing him to technobabble one star to defeat use of a Romulan solar flare-generating technology called Sunseed against the other. He accidentally causes both stars to prematurely collapse into red dwarfs. One of the book's other plotlines concerns a Romulan attempt to blow up Sol and cut the heart out of the Federation, which is defeated by Scotty getting it right and forging a link between Sol and the Romulan sun Eisn.
    • The Q Continuum suggests the supernova that destroyed the homeworld of the Tkon Empire (as seen in the TNG episode "The Last Outpost") was caused by an omnipotent being that Q unleashed. This would answer the question of why a technologically advanced civilization with the power to move entire star systems could have been taken by surprise by a supernova.
    • The Ascendants in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch have a weapon capable of destroying stars, as seen in Worlds of Deep Space Nine: The Dominion.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Jedi Academy Trilogy introduces the Sun Crusher, a superweapon that does to stars what the infamous Death Star did to planets (Wedge Antilles theorizes in I, Jedi that its creator believed it would be used to eliminate beta stars from binary systems to provide system stability or clear uninhabited systems from navigational routes). Whereas the Death Star was the size of a moon, the Sun Crusher is the size of a starfighter. At first, the Republic has it buried in Yavin's lower atmosphere where they thought nobody could reach it, but Kyp Durron, possessed by Exar Kun, extracts it and goes on a rampage against the Empire, destroying the solar system containing an Imperial training academy, before he regains enough of himself to drive it into a black hole, cramming himself into a message torpedo to escape.
    • The Corellian Trilogy features Centerpoint Station, which turns out to be capable of producing a hyperspace tractor beam that can open a portal through hyperspace and drag a planet or star into whatever system it's in (though it has to tap into the gravitational centers of other planets nearby to do so). The villains of the trilogy figure out how to use this energy as a weapon, one that can trigger stars to go supernova, and it's used twice before being stopped.
  • The glossary of The Sun Eater mentions that there was a historical event during the Crusade where the Gododdin system was destroyed by protagonist Hadrian Marlowe. Howling Dark, the 2nd book of the series, has a character Suzuha give Hadrian some information about her famous father Kharn Sagara. She mentioned that in the distant past humanity created A.I. called the Mericanii and it reached a point where they far exceeded human intelligence. The Mericanii created star killing weapons far beyond human capacity - weapons that created cold, weapons that actually destroyed matter and weapons that tore the fabric of reality. Her father Sagara liberated humanity from the Mericanii scions, the Extrasolarian exultants, and is the sole keeper of these weapons.
  • The Three-Body Problem: Dark forest strikes usually do this by shooting a star with a "photoid," which is essentially just a rock...fired at speeds just under the speed of light, so that its relativistic mass is a fraction of the star's mass. The impact literally blows the star open, spewing its contents onto surrounding planets before the star ultimately collapses. This is what happens to Trisolaris due to the dark forest broadcast.
  • Happens completely by accident in Randall Garrett's short story "Time Fuze". Humanity invents an FTL engine that, as a side-effect, induces a supernova in the system's local star. They don't find out about this until they reach their destination... and on their return trip, they discover that they accidentally blew up our own sun as well.
  • The aliens that live inside stars described in Frederik Pohl's novel The World at the End of Time have the nasty habit of attacking each other, causing the stars where they live to go nova without any regards to the people that could live in the planets orbiting them, as occurred with the humans on Earth. However, it does not totally qualify since the affected stars "heal" after some millennia.
  • Xeelee Sequence gives us the Starbreaker rifle — that's right, a handheld gun that can destroy stars. They were reverse-engineered from Xeelee technology, and fire powerful gravity beams that are capable of ripping through any kind of material, even the Xeelee's spacetime construction material, which is all but indestructible against conventional matter and energy. A handheld Starbreaker requires a continuous beam to destabilize the core of a star and eventually cause it to explode, but the larger ship-mounted versions can destroy stars (even neutron stars) in a single shot.
  • The Lone Power of the Young Wizards series can both cause a star to suddenly stop radiating light (by presumably supernatural means), and also cause a star to go nova (by presumably more scientific means). This gives It one of Its many names, "Star Snuffer".

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the TV Series Andromeda, Commonwealth warships had a complement of 40 NovaBombs — missiles designed to destroy a star by cancelling out any gravitational forces, literally, pulling it apart and causing it to explode. In the pilot the Andromeda Ascendant uses up her entire complement canceling out a black hole's gravity.
    • A short while later, an old Commonwealth Space station is found manned by kids. Thanks to Dylan's access code, they are able to open the station's hangar, which reveals dozens of slipfighters, each of which is armed with a Nova bomb. At least one inhabited star system is blown up by the fanatical kids in a suicide run, but Dylan ends up safely detonating the rest and confiscating one from a recovered fighter.
    • When Tyr first sees these, he tells Dylan that he could have his Commonwealth back today. Dylan responds that it wouldn't be a Commonwealth but an empire held together only by terror.
  • Babylon 5:
    • It's implied that the far future, but way too early, dying of our Sun is caused by future humans intentionally once they've finished moving to "New Earth".
    • During the Dilgar War, the Earth Alliance helped the League of Nonaligned Worlds to beat back the Dilgar forces until they had all retreated to their home system. Then the sun went nova. Word of God says that there was no natural reason for their sun to do that when it did. The obvious suspects in hindsight are the Vorlons, who are revealed during the series to have planet-killing ships in their fleet.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Pyramids of Mars", the Doctor comments that the dead Earth that was destroyed by Sutekh in 1911 in the Bad Future is "circling a dead sun".
    • From the classic series there's the Hand of Omega, a remote stellar manipulator that the Time Lords use to tinker with stars to make them do as they wish; in "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Doctor uses it to destroy the Skaro solar system.
    • "Doomsday":
      • According to the Doctor, if Mickey (who, as a time traveller, has been imbued with temporal energy) hadn't touched the Genesis Ark, the Daleks would have gone so far as switching off the Sun to try and open it.
      • The Doctor uses the energy of a supernova to talk to Rose the first time she got dumped into another dimension, although he doesn't actually say he caused it.
    • "Blink": The Doctor says that if the Weeping Angels got access to the TARDIS, switching off the Sun would be the least of the damage they could do.
  • In Lexx, Mantrid unleashed a self-replicating swarm of flying drone arms upon the universe. Near the end of the season, their number had grown to such an extent that they were able to consume entire stars as raw material by virtue of having greater mass than the stars themselves. The drones would simply park themselves near the star and their gravity would draw surface material away from it. The material cools as it passes through space, and is made into new drones once it reaches the swarm.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures serial "Revenge of the Slitheen", the Slitheen attempt this on Earth's sun, both so they can sell off the dead planet's remains afterward and as revenge for the deaths of the Pasameer-Day Slitheen who previously came to Earth.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • "Remember that time when you blew up a sun?" An oft-referred-to incident in "Exodus" where the team basically just dropped an open Stargate (connected to some far-off world orbiting a black hole) into a star, causing a fatal instability and immediate supernova, in order to wipe out an incoming armada.
    • SG-1 also once poisoned a sun accidentally ("Red Sky") when a wormhole's trajectory passed through it and dropped superheavy elements as it passed. They (or the Asgard; they never actually clear that up) manage to fix it by the end of the episode.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Half a Life", an attempt at Solar CPR has the opposite (and explosive) effect.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "By Inferno's Light", a Changeling infiltrator posing as Bashir had planned on dropping a protomatter weapon into Bajor's star to wipe out a combined Klingon/Federation/Romulan taskforce (how useful that would have been in doing that is questionable, since the ships could easily go to warp, but it would wipe out Deep Space Nine and Bajor, and allow the Dominion to come out after the wake of the supernova and secure the Alpha Quadrant side of the wormhole). It's been previously established that going to warp inside a solar system is a high-risk move, and reiterated within the episode itself (Kira only does it because if they don't, there won't be a solar system left). Some novels seem to indicate that activating a warp engine too close to a star can cause serious problems for the star, which also falls under this trope, so....
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Q and the Grey", a civil war in the Q Continuum has the Q therein using weapons which cause stars to go nova as a side-effect of their use.

  • The protagonist of Jonathan Young's "Army of Tigers" wants nothing less than to kill the Sun itself for causing skin cancer, blinding people, and drying out crops and rivers, and so plans to destroy the Sun with his army of tigers. According to the music video, he succeeds by having the tigers stack up and essentially form a Combining Mecha tiger as large as the sun and slicing it in half with its stellar-scale claws.
  • Steam Powered Giraffe: About three-quarters of the way through The Vice Quadrant: A Space Opera, the character Ravaxis Starburner reveals that it's not just a cool nickname.

  • Friends at the Table: Stellar combustors are weapons of mass destruction that not only cause stars to explode, but also amplify the force of the explosion so that it obliterates the nearest several dozen star systems as well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dark Nova. One of the weapons mentioned in the history section is a nova bomb used to destroy a star by causing it to go nova. The developers have revealed that these WMDs will appear in their second expansion WAR!, and actually come in two models- one that uses a super-sized antigravity generator to remove the effects of gravity, causing the star to explode, and another that dumps a tremendous amount of a hyper-dense derivative of iron called turine into the star, causing the rebound effect.
  • Star Fleet Battles: In one scenario a Sun Snake will approach and try to dive into a star. If it succeeds, the star will go nova.
  • StarForce Alpha Centauri. The Xenophobe race can cause stars to go nova, incinerating the planets in the system.
  • Traveller. The Darrian race has the Star Trigger: a device that can cause a star to give off solar flares which devastate planets and destroy all electronic devices. The flares are powerful enough to affect planets in nearby solar systems. It was discovered by accident, nearly destroying one of their home systems; they have since re-created it to use as a deterrent weapon of mass destruction. Actually, they haven't — this is just a bluff.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Talismans of Vaul (aka the Blackstone Fortresses), six gigantic Space stations equipped with Wave Motion Guns designed to rip a hole between reality and the Warp. Just one of these things is capable of seriously hurting the largest starships (and even planets), but they were intended to work together to destroy stars. Well, star god-infested stars at least (the C'tan are vulnerable when it comes to the Warp).
    • This is mentioned as something the Aeldari could do at the height of their interstellar empire.
      Aeldari: The very stars once lived and died at our command, yet you still dare to oppose our will?
      Human: Once.
    • The background material for the Drukhari Kabal of the Dying Sun mentions that they still possess powerful relics of the ancient Aeldari empire capable of destroying stars. The Kabal rarely deploy these arcane weapons however, due to them being almost as dangerous to those who use them as they are to the enemy, leading to many rival Kabals doubting whether they actually exist.
    • Necrons:
      • The Mephrit Dynasty were once famous for sun killing super-weapons that could cause a star to wither and die or to explode into a supernova, wiping out its planets and their populations. Many of these weapons have been lost or malfunctioned over the course of the Great Sleep however, and now the Dynasty is looking to rebuild their former strength with more mundane force of arms.
      • The Celestial Orrery of the Oruscar Dynasty is an arcane machine that maps the location of every star in the galaxy. Should a star be erased from the Orrery, however, then the physical star itself will explode into a supernova. As such, the Orrery has become the target of a number of warlike factions and alien races.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath: During the lead-up to the Final Battle, Chakravartin upgrades from throwing planets to hurling stars at Asura, even causing a star to go supernova.
  • In Destiny 2, the invading Cabal Empire deploy a massive starship known as the Almighty to prepare to destroy Earth's Sun. It's said that the Red Legion, the fleet that has invaded the Solar System, makes it a policy to destroy the sun of a star system once they've finished conquering all resistance and stripped the system of all useful resources, to seal their victory and remind everyone else they fight of the price for resistance. The player Guardian eventually has to disable the Almighty's main weapon (destroying the whole ship is out of the question because it would take the sun with it), since without it being taken out any victory elsewhere against the Cabal is meaningless. Years later, the Red Legion remnants try to crash the now-neutered Almighty into the Last City in one last act of spite, before the player Guardian once again foils them and destroys the ship for good.
  • In the opening cutscene of Disgaea: Dimension 2, Laharl claims to have "Destroyed every star in the sky", as a testament to his position as Overlord. Etna disparages him by claiming that any demon worth their salt could easily do the same.
  • In the North American version of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth's infamous Super Nova attack sends a meteor careening through the solar system (wiping out multiple planets along the way) before it plunges into the sun, causing the sun to go nova, which causes half of the surface of the planet to get burned and does all sorts of nasty things to Cloud and company. And he is able to perform this attack multiple times somehow (with the most common theory being he teleports everyone to a pocket dimension ala a summon to pull it off, since otherwise what was the point of getting Black Materia to call down Meteor to destroy the planet if he could do so without it?).
    • The extended animation was added to the International versions, the original Japanese version being a much shorter attack. According to some sources, the attack is a powerful illusion.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also has a briefer version of this as Sephiroth's Final Smash, with only one planet getting destroyed before the sun goes supernova and breaks Earth apart.
  • The Shivans of FreeSpace wind up destroying the Capella system in a massive supernova at the end of the second game. Well over a decade after the games' release and the franchise's abandonment, there are still no clear answers as to why or how they accomplished this.
  • Galactic Civilizations: Both the first and second games you to build a (painfully slow) ship that can detonate a star, and turn all planets around it into asteroid fields. Of course, it's a great example of Awesome, but Impractical. In the first game, the Terror Star can be upgraded to make it a mobile fortress with economy-boosting and influence-spreading effects. The sequel prevents Terror Stars from being upgraded, meaning they're defenseless unless protected by a fleet (you can set an option in the "Settings" if you want the Terror Star escort ships to run the fuck away from the explosion, although why anyone would choose not to do that is difficult to imagine).
  • Supplementary material in the Halo universe reveals that the Forerunners attempted to fight the Flood with "premature stellar collapse". It still wasn't good enough to stop the parasite.
  • The Exalaser super weapon from Infinite Space is capable of causing a red giant to go supernova. It's used twice to prevent enemy fleets from pursuing the player character and his allies, each time requiring the sacrifice of a Schneizer brother.
  • In Marathon, the Pfhor's ultimate weapon is called the trih xeem, and is capable of blowing up stars - according to the manual for Infinity, it was previously used to end a rebellion by the Drinniol (or "Hulk") species. They are gearing up to use one on Lh'owon's sun at the end of Marathon 2: Durandal, but Durandal is certain he can evacuate before it happens. Marathon Infinity reveals that the star was in fact a seal on an Eldritch Abomination called the W'rkncacnter, and by blowing the star up, the Pfhor have inadvertently released it. Bad news for everyone.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2, recruiting Tali has her investigating a sun which is dying too quickly to be natural and giving off harmful radiation. Her loyalty mission confirms that dark energy is reducing the mass of the star's interior, and no-one knows who or what is responsible. It screams foreshadowing, but became an Aborted Arc — nothing came of it in the third game due to a change in writers. According to the original writer, the cause would've been revealed as the widespread use of mass-effect technology by Spacefaring civilizations, with the purpose of the Reaper cycle being to simply limit the damage by removing said civilizations every so often so the galaxy could go on without mass-effect technology seeing any use.
    • Javik reveals in Mass Effect 3 that the Protheans had a weapon that could trigger a star to supernova.
  • In RPG Shooter: Starwish, Bamboo's sun was turned into a black hole by accident before the game. It happens again during the game, but the star killer just wants the star, and surrenders her power so the orbiting planet and its inhabitants may be saved.
  • In the finale of Sonic Battle, Dr. Eggman uses the Wave-Motion Gun on his new Death Egg to destroy a cluster of stars, as a means of taking control of the robot Emerl by showing him that he was the strongest being in existence. It backfires. Horribly.
  • In the Space Empires series, blowing up a star destroys everything in the system. If that's not enough, you can turn it into a black hole, which also destroys the raw materials you can use to recreate planets.
  • The first Space Quest game involves trying to stop Space Pirates from using a device meant to rejuvenate a dying star to destroy said star.
  • In the backstory of Star Control II, the Shofixti blew up their own sun note  to stop the advancing Ur-Quan fleet. It was a futile effort, though; while the Ur-Quan lost about a third of their fleet, they still won the war while the Shofixti were effectively driven extinct. It is possible to repopulate them, however, much to the delight of the last surviving male. Later, a similar bomb is used to destroy the Ur-Quan Sa-Matra.
  • The Ancients in Starflight are causing stars to flare up (but not completely explode) to kill sentient life in the galaxy, since the biology of the Ancients leads carbon based life to regard them as rocks, and use them as starship fuel.
  • The indie 4X game, Star Ruler allows you to blow up stars (and anything else). It's possible to destroy a star using tens of thousands of tiny ships, or one ship that's comparable in size to the star itself. Destroying a star causes it to go supernova and quickly kill anything in the system, which usually includes your star-killer unless your shielding, armour and ship construction techs are high enough. Around a trillion health will do the trick.
  • Star Trek: Bridge Commander begins with a star suddenly going supernova. The main plot of the game involves figuring out how this happened while navigating between several sides who are both investigating the event themselves and at the same time blaming each other for causing it.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The game reveals that the Hobus supernova that destroyed Romulus and Remus in 2387 was caused deliberately by a rogue faction of the Romulan Tal Shiar acting in service to the Iconians. The nature of the weapon used caused the shockwave to propagate through subspace, reaching the Romulan system in a mere 27 hours. (This is the game's way of explaining the completely nonsensical destruction of Romulus in Star Trek (2009) and done years before Star Trek: Picard's canonical explanation.)
    • The Tholians do this to the Na'khul as part of a Cycle of Revenge and Stable Time Loop, killing their star in retaliation for the eradication of a generation of young Tholians in retaliation for killing their star and so on and so forth...
  • Stellaris:
    • The Stellarite Devourer is a mysterious creature of some kind, looking like a planet-sized tick, that eats stars. It takes it a very long time to fully devour one (centuries at least) but the star will gradually cool down to a brown dwarf while the Devourer is doing its thing. Killing the Devourer gives you the opportunity to attempt to re-ignite the star with the Devourer's remains, which isn't guaranteed to succeed but may result in new habitable worlds to colonize if it does.
    • If a civilization attempts to Become the Crisis, at the highest Crisis level they will gain access to a super-weapon called a Star Eater. This thing... well, annihilates stars. Upon doing so, it obliterates all other celestial objects in the system and turns the star into a black hole, extracting massive amounts of dark matter from it. The Crisis civilization needs astronomical amounts of dark matter to fuel the Aetherophasic Engine to become gods (and destroy the galaxy in the process), so they will need to destroy dozens of stars with the Star Eaters if they are to succeed.
  • In Sunless Skies, this is the reason the skies are now sunless - the stars aren't just going out, they're actively being hunted down and destroyed in a cosmic revolution. The game's tagline includes the phrase "murder a sun".
    • You yourself can murder the sun of the Blue Kingdom; the Garden-King (the sun of the Reaches), the sun of Albion, and half of Eleutheria's binary system died through various non-natural means before the game starts. Ambition: Truth gives you an explanation of what's going on. Turns out this is the natural state of suns - they're constantly plotting to kill one another, and have set up a system to cover up this fact to every other being in the universe. It's really hard for humans to kill a star, but it's not all that difficult for the stars themselves to murder each other.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • At the end of Super Mario Galaxy, Bowser's sun, or his molten planet next to his sun (it is presented strangely), actually explodes shortly after he is defeated by Mario. The sun then causes the universe to implode, until it is recreated by the Lumas jumping into the black hole and sacrificing themselves.
    • One level of Super Mario Bros. 3 actually involved killing the Sun with a Koopa shell!
  • Warframe: The climax of "The New War" has Ballas attempt to use the Sentient Mothership Praghasa to consume the Sun.
  • XCOM Interceptor eventually has your research culminate in the development of the Nova Bomb, which, when fired, slowly accelerates to faster-than-light speed, at which point it strikes the star and causes it to go, well, nova. The intended purpose of the weapon is to cross beyond the black hole to get to the secret alien staging area for their Earth-killing superweapon that is completely immune to conventional weapons, and blow up the sun of the pocket universe (hopefully escaping before it blows you up too), but there's nothing stopping you from blowing up stars, except, of course, the cost of the bomb itself. By the time you have the weapon, you're close to the end-game, but you can use it to blow up the stars the aliens are exploiting as a big middle finger to their plans. Notably, the bomb is completely vulnerable while it's accelerating, requiring you to protect it from alien UFOs until it hits critical speed and disappears. That's usually the point at which you want to hit the "go to hyperspace" button.

    Web Animation 

  • Homestuck: Destroying the Green Sun, a star with the mass of two universes and the source of the powers of First Guardians (and by extension Jack Noir), was one of the three means by which the kids intend to deal with how fucked up their Sburb session is; Rose and Dave travelled to the Sun with a bomb of sufficient power to destroy it with the intent of doing so. Inverted in spectacular fashion with the reveal that they were tricked into literally creating the Sun. Much later, it's played straight when the Green Sun is actually killed by an alternate-timeline Calliope conjuring a black hole right next to it.
  • In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, the Empire of the Seven Systems (the good guys, FYI) used a stellar lance on the Kvrk-chk as a deterrent.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • The Pa'anuri tend to react to the use of gravitics (which are painful to them) by snuffing out the stars of inhabited worlds where the use occurs. If prevented from doing so, they'll find a nearby undefended star and make it go supernova.
    • In an earlier arc, a sun which used to harbor a Dyson sphere is induced to go nova by destabilizing a wormhole at its core. Particularly impressive in that the death of the star was not the end goal, but a mechanism to kill every single ship in the system with a planarly focused blast wave.
    • A group of archaeologists discover evidence that a Precursor civilization destroyed a few stars in a battle, throwing off estimates of stellar drift.
      Hioefa: We didn't really destroy stars. We just... inhaled them. You know, for parts.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: If Incubus and Solomon David are to be believed (the former is a liar, the latter usually too proud to lie), the Demiurges are able to use their powers to destroy or steal suns. Solomon makes a Blasé Boast implying that he moved and/or created a pair of suns to replace one that was destroyed.

    Web Original 
  • Starwalker: The side effect of the star step drive. It doesn't help that it turns out that stars are alive and sapient, too.
  • Whateley Universe: Several of the innumerable ghosts which Stygian summoned to harass Tennyo accused her of destroying the stars which their home worlds orbited. Given what is now known of the Star Stalker's history, this is entirely plausible, but being forced to confront it was one of the things which sent Billie into an extended Heroic BSoD.
  • Dingo Doodles: In the distant past, the world had two suns. The Foreclaimers used their technology to tear the second sun, Stella, out of the sky and proceeded to render its magic down for use in creating their light crystal technology and Xanu, who contains half of Stella's magic.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: "Eclipsed" centres on the ghostly remnants of a race of Lizard Folk who were Weakened by the Light trying to take revenge on humanity for wiping them out. They end up discovering a device that can halt nuclear reactions, and possess members of the Justice League to use it on the Sun.
  • Legion Of Superheroes: The finale of Season 1 is an adaptation of the Legion storyline, "The Doomed Legionnaire", in which the Legion have to reluctantly team up with the Fatal Five in order to stop a weapon of mass destruction known as the Sun-Eater. Just like the original, the two-part finale ends with Ferro Lad pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Sun-Eater.
  • Mighty Orbots: In the final episode, SHADOW had developed a new weapon called the Sun Smasher which they used once to show it lived up to its name. This would be SHADOW and Umbra's undoing as Mighty Orbots was able to cause the Sun Smasher to backfire and blow up the Shadow Star system that Umbra is housed in.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The Core Problem", Kaz and Poe discover a star system with a missing sun, causing Kaz to speculate that the First Order is somehow responsible. And given that they're the same people who built Starkiller Base...
  • Tigtone: In The Begun of Tigtone, Tigtone kills a miniature talking sun by saying "NO SUN!" Saying "SUN!" brings it back. No, it doesn't make sense.
  • The Transformers: In "Changing Gears", the Decepticons' Solar Needle nearly causes this by accident when they use it to harvest Energon by draining energy from Earth's Sun, but the process threatens to cause the sun to explode.

    Real Life 
  • An astrophysicist will giggle and say if you want to kill a star, you have it in your kitchen: iron. When a star starts fusing material into iron, the game is up. Iron absorbs energy, so the outward force of energy will cease and gravity will take over, causing the core to collapse and making the star go supernova from the resulting implosion. (Heavier elements are created by supernovae, which have enough energy to get over the hump.)
    Gravity always wins.
  • Want to destroy a star that obstructs your view of a distant galaxy? Hurl a white dwarf, or better, a neutron star, into your target star and watch how the former rips apart the latter. This has been theorized as a possible explanation for some pulsars with orbiting planets: the planets were orbiting the star before it was destroyed in the collision.
  • An even more dramatic example of the latter is the tidal disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole, such as those existing in galactic centers. The poor star gets compressed and pancaked before being destroyed, liberating a tremendous amount of energy.


Video Example(s):


Shivans destroy Capella star

The Shivan Sathanas fleet uses its subspace weapons to make the star Capella go supernova

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Example of:

Main / StarKilling

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