Name That Intro Planetscape Challenge


It’s the one year anniversary of! On 18 July 2012 I posted the Overview to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. So let’s take a little break from the review of Ghost in the Shell to celebrate with a challenge.

Both while coauthoring Make It So and here at, I spend a lot of time looking at of sci-fi for patterns and waiting for that moment when my brain tells me, Hey, You’ve Seen This Thing Before.

While posting The Fifth Element review to the blog, I had another of those moments: As the camera pans away from the empty starfield of the opening title, we’re treated to a first view of a planet. Could be Earth, could be Alternate-Earth, could be Exoplanet X572. This most beloved trope acts as an establishing shot to tell you, yes, you’re in the right cinema or on the right channel. Enjoy your popcorn. This is where you want to be.

Still, over a long time they can start to look similar. Can you identify all of these intro planetscapes? Some were sent in by readers of this humble blog responding to a post back in March. And to Compost Creative, Pete Williams, Paul Thompson, and Al Taylor (though that was technically a starscape), and all of my regular readers, thanks so much for making this first year so awesome.

The Challenge

Find below 10 intro planetscapes from movies and television shows. Drop your enumerated guesses into the comments. Be sure and use the full title of the film or television program. The first commenter to get all 10 right will win a free copy of the book to read or give to a friend.

  1. rfFqyKLv
  2. nz2Sh8Uw
  3. UZY8qCGu
  4. jygXhHUR
  5. GUwShC6J
  6. QmMNpQDL
  7. m4dGsjtP
  8. nS3Wvp83
  10. XWALjV2X

4 thoughts on “Name That Intro Planetscape Challenge

  1. 1) Waterworld
    2)Star Trek: The Next Generation
    5) Armageddon
    7) Aliens
    8) Avatar
    9) Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
    10) The Fifth Element

    (dang – waiting for the reveal!)

  2. adding to the above:
    3) Star Trek Voyager

    So there’s only the 6th left.. Looks like showing some sort of network on Earth like in Resident Evil or Terminator.

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