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Western Animation / Green Lantern: First Flight

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Green Lantern: First Flight is a movie based upon the poster child for the Green Lantern comics, Hal Jordan. The film is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

In the midst of flight training, Hal (Christopher Meloni) is forcibly summoned by a nearby alien who was near death, Abin Sur. Given the Green Lantern Ring, he quickly adapts to its powers, but discovers he is one of The Chosen Many of the Green Lantern Corps. Taken to Oa, the central hub of the Corps, he is given to Sinestro (Victor Garber) to be trained and attempt to prove himself worthy of the ring.

Hal is pulled into the intergalactic politics as he finds Abin Sur's murderer and a conspiracy involving the criminal Kanjar Ro. What he also discovers is that the mission was given a high priority because Kanjar Ro is searching for the dangerous Yellow Element, the only weakness to the Green Lantern powers.

The next animated Green Lantern movie, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights shares the same art style with this film, but is not part of the same continuity.


  • Adaptation Distillation: Most of the plot elements are taken right out of Emerald Dawn and Emerald Dawn II, especially in adapting the denouement of the first for the final battle with Sinestro, who becomes the main antagonist of the latter. However Sinestro is depicted with his iconic yellow and black Sinestro Corps uniform rather than his original blue and black outfit.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: While still a Green Lantern who turns renegade and obtains a yellow power ring, the circumstances of Sinestro's origin are changed for this movie. Rather than being banished to Qward by the Guardians as punishment for abusing his power and taking over his own planet as well as having the Weaponers of Qward make him a yellow ring afterwards, Sinestro had been planning a coup against the Green Lantern Corps and finds his yellow ring by conspiring with Kanjar Ro and persuading the Weaponers to give him the ring after traveling to Qward.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: A minor case with Tomar Re and Ch'p, who are both distrustful of Hal Jordan upon first meeting him, when in the comics they got along with him rather well from the start.
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
    • Abin Sur traditionally had the appearance of a bald human with red skin, while this incarnation has more wrinkles and vestigial protrusions on his chin.
    • Kanjar Ro is given a less humanoid appearance, lacking a nose, having tentacles below his mouth and a pointier head.
    • The Weaponers of Qward notably look less human than they did in the comics, complete with black eyes, pointed ears and multiple insectoid legs.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Boodikka in the comics is a loyal Green Lantern, whereas in the film, she's sided with Sinestro in his coup.
  • Adapted Out: As Hal Jordan is the main focus, the other human Green Lanterns Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner are left out (Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz and Jo Mullein didn't exist yet).
  • Agony Beam: Sinestro shows that a GL ring can work as one in a pinch.
  • Alien Blood: Abin Sur and several other of the Green Lanterns in the film have purple blood, meanwhile Kanjar Ro's species have orange blood.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Guardians don't want a human to become a Green Lantern at first because 'they're crude, fearful and untrustworthy'. Another Guardian pipes up with one more reason: "And then there's the smell."
  • Bar Brawl: Hal and Sinestro wander into a seedy alien dive and wind up slugging it out with the villains.
  • Big Bad: Sinestro turns out to be behind the conflict, intending to obtain the yellow power ring in order to destroy the other Green Lanterns.
  • Big Bad Friend: Sinestro. As in the comics, he's initially a mentor to Hal before becoming the Big Bad and trying to conquer the universe.
  • Catchphrase: Sinestro often talks about "incentive", often meaning things that really aren't good incentives.
  • The Chosen Many: The Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force dedicated to keeping the peace across the universe.
  • Crapsack World: Cadmendoh, the planet Hal and Sinestro go to to hunt Cuch, is a planet that alternates between crime-filled Wretched Hive city and garbage dump.
  • Cutting the Knot: Hal manages to destroy the yellow battery by crushing it between two moons.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to traditional Justice League fare. Characters are killed on-screen, and sometimes fairly violently.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Sinestro ends up killing Kanjar Ro, when the villain was still alive in the comics.
    • Boodikka winds up fatally impaled, when she didn't die in the comics until much later.
  • Death by Origin Story: Abin Sur, as in the comics. He's Hal's predecessor, and as such, must die before Hal can inherit the ring.
  • Defiant to the End: When the Guardians and the Green Lanterns surrender to Sinestro after he seemingly destroys the Centeral Power Battery, Kilowog still defiantly hangs on to his ring. Sinestro admits he always knew Kilowog would never accept his new order and prepares to kill him before Hal comes in for the rescue.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • The "Secret Origin" arc that came out about a year prior to this film established that Abin Sur was dying in the first place because of mortal injuries inflicted upon him by Atrocitus. In this continuity, he is instead mortally wounded by an underling of Kanjar Ro's named Cuch.
    • Tomar Re in the comics was killed by Hal Jordan's enemy Goldface, but here he is instead among the Green Lanterns slaughtered by Sinestro after Sinestro obtained the yellow power ring.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: At first it seems like the main antagonist is Cuch, the space criminal who killed Abin Sur. However, he's captured a half hour into the film and revealed to be working for Kanjar Ro, a warlord after the only power that can stop the Green Lantern Corps. However, ten minutes later, Ro is revealed to be working for traitorous Lantern Sinestro.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Sinestro switches to his then-recent Sinestro Corps outfit after he gets his yellow ring, though he was pretty far gone already.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Boodikka turns out to be in league with Sinestro's coup and goes down trying to kill Hal Jordan.
    • Sinestro, per usual, is a Green Lantern who ends up betraying the rest of the Corps.
  • Fantastic Drug: The "Moon Ball", a strange orb that gives a high to anyone who touches it. Sinestro puts this to chilling use by forcing a hapless informant to nearly overdose with the Moon Ball unless she gives him the information he needs.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Green Lantern Corps (and by proxy, the rest of the galaxy) doesn't think too highly of humans, and most Guardians (except Ganthet and to lesser extent Appa) protest when they realize that Hal, a human, was chosen by the ring because they think all humans are primitive savages who commit atrocities on a daily basis. Which comes off as hypocritical because Hal and Sinestro go to what can be best described as a planet-wide Wretched Hive that would make humankind look like saints in comparison.
  • Fingore: After Sinestro's defeat, Kilowog decides to destroy the yellow ring by stomping it — while it's still on Sinestro's finger.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Hal is treated as an outcast by the entire Corp merely because he's a human.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Hal and Sinestro, respectively. Hal is heroic and easygoing, while Sinestro is a fanatical Knight Templar who wants to bring order to the universe by conquering it.
  • Hero Killer: Sinestro ends up slaughtering tons of Green Lanterns after getting his yellow ring.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Boodikka. Hal uses Kanjar Ro's staff to cause a small explosion which impales her on a hydraulic arm used for medical purposes.
  • Interrogating the Dead: Sinestro finds out where the yellow ring is by using his ring to reconnect the synapses in Kanjar Ro's corpse.
  • Kick the Dog: Sinestro to Labella. He forces her to nearly overdose on a "Moon Ball" unless she gives him the information he wants.
  • Knight Templar: Sinestro.
    "Kadmandur was a pustule of a planet. A breeding ground of criminal scum. One time I suggested we clean it out with a meteor shower. The Guardians thought I was kidding."
  • Mighty Whitey: Hal Jordan is an interstellar variant, being a white male human who becomes a great hero among various alien races.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The powered armor used by Kanjar Ro's dragon looks to be themed after the Blue Beetle.
    • Kilowog tells Hal he's a brave and bold Green Lantern. "The Brave and the Bold" is an often-used title
    • Sinestro implies he’s going to create his own army, nodding to the Sinestro Corps.
    • Hal Jordan absorbing the Central Battery; thank goodness Parallax isn't in the film. And it makes him resemble Ion.
  • Noodle Incident: the opening dialogue between Hal and Carol indicates a weekend when they got drunk together and...the noodle incident kicks in
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Sinestro tries to compare himself and Hal.
  • Not So Stoic: Ranakar cheering for Hal as he fights Sinestro. Plus his Sophisticated as Hell moment below.
  • Obviously Evil: Would you trust a guy named Sinestro?
  • Pinned to the Ground: After Hal refuses to join Sinestro, Boodikka captures him in a tight force field and pins him down with her foot on his chest while he slowly suffocates.
  • Puny Humans: What everyone thinks of Hal Jordan.
    Boodikka: (her last word) Humans...
  • Possession Implies Mastery:
    • Hal seems to have no problem adapting to his new powers.
    • Sinestro is likewise very confident in his control over the yellow power ring, despite being warned about it.
    Weaponer of Qward: The weapon is a mighty force. The most powerful and absolute in your universe. With one exception. One… slight… imperfection. The imperfection every weapon has. Its user.
  • Power Echoes: After Hal absorbs the Central Power Battery, he speaks with a slight echo.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The film focuses a little on Hal's origin, before spending the rest of it developing his rivalry with Sinestro.
  • Rabid Cop: Sinestro, who essentially wants to bring order to the universe by conquering it. The filmmakers compare him to Alonzo Harris in the DVD extras.
  • Recycled In Space:
  • Replacement Scrappy: Hal Jordan is an In-Universe Replacement Scrappy for Abin Sur to Kilowog and many other Lanterns who knew Abin Sur personally.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Hal Jordan. Very new guy joining a very old group. "Very new" as in "less than a month." "Very old" as in "since the beginning of time." In the end, it is Hal Jordan who defeats Sinestro in single combat.
  • R-Rated Opening: The first scene shows Abin Sur bleeding from a gut wound.
  • Shout-Out:
    • one of the Lanterns is apparently moonlighting as a Sailor Scout.
    • The gratification device mentioned earlier is essentially of the same design as the Orgasmatron, except it glows.
  • Slasher Smile: Boodikka is clearly enjoying suffocating Hal.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The response of Ranakar, most rigid of the revered and venerable Guardians, when Sinestro demands they submit to him?
    Ranakar: "Like hell!"
    Ganthet: "For once Ranakar, we agree!"
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Ch'p doesn't suffer his comic counterpart's fate of being run over by a yellow truck and is notably among the Green Lanterns who survive Sinestro's decimation of the Corps.
  • Super Hero Origin: Subversion, while they do show how Hal got the ring, they decided to skip this and move straight on to the plot. Though the reason for the subversion is because of both the live-action Green Lantern (2011) movie was expected to cover it, and Justice League: The New Frontier covered a good deal of it in animated form and was done by much of the same crew as First Flight.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The Yellow Element powered battery/Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Transformation Sequence: Hal gets an extremely Sailor Moon-esque one of these the first time he puts the ring on.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Averted mostly. Sinestro doesn't have one directly, but he is very much on the verge of one during the end fight with Hal, where he decides to kill him and steal his ring "for insurance", but when he starts getting knocked around, his face gets very angry and twitchy.
  • Visual Pun: Hal using giant fly swatters and shoes to squash the bug mooks, and various bats to hit the ball-shaped Yellow Element weapon.
  • We Can Rule Together: It turns out Boodikka is trying to get Hal on their side.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sinestro, who just wants to make the galaxy a peaceful place. ''By any means necessary''.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Hal uses his ring to create a folding chair to hit people with during the Bar Brawl scene.
  • Wretched Hive: Cadmendoh. As Sinestro puts it;
    Sinestro: Cadmendoh is a pustule of a planet. A breeding ground of criminal scum. One time I suggested we clean it out with a meteor shower. The Guardians thought I was kidding.