Trailer Tuesday: The Wandering Earth (2019)

This week I found another Chinese film I hadn’t seen advertised yet — The Wandering Earth (2019). This one got a nice write-up in The Verge. Though the subtitles aren’t very clear, the ideas are interesting. What if the Sun prematurely expanded and we had to flee the Earth?

IMDb has the summary as:

“The sun was dying out, people all around the world built giant planet thrusters to move Earth out of its orbit and to sail Earth to a new star system. Yet the 2500 years journey came with unexpected dangers, and in order to save humanity, a group of young people in this age of a wandering Earth came out boldly and fought hard for everyone’s survival. “

The concept of strapping giant engines to the Earth to move it out of the way of impending danger is fascinating and the trailer tosses some other fun ideas into the mix.  

Sun vs. Earth, the Sun will win!

Environmental disaster is nothing new in science fiction, but the idea of strapping giant engines to Earth is definitely a new one by me. Long ago the idea of Space:1999 was a moon blown out of orbit and into space with a small contingent of people on board… this takes it to a whole new level!

  • Frozen, abandoned cities. Huge orbiting platforms…
  • Using heavy fusion to propel a planetary body through a worldwide effort…
  • 10,000 engines pushing Earth out of the way of impending destruction…
  • And of course something goes wrong…
  • We get pulled into Jupiter’s gravitational well…

So what would I do with that?

Planetary Ships

When the going gets tough, the tough move their planets and moons to other locations. Relocating billions would take too long and too many ships, so it definitely makes a lot of sense to save the most people possible.

The planet Sillon was a lost cause, but they new that more than a century ago. Millions of people fled to the stars to seek homes elsewhere before their worlds was destroyed by the predicted solar flares that would strip their atmosphere and leave them open to cosmic radiation.

A few million were left, collecting whatever they could of Sillon cultural artifacts and knowledge. They would abandon their posts as late as possible to ensure the survival of their planet’s collective intelligence and history for the last million years.

When the time came, those few million boarded huge ships and headed to the moons Madus, Endil, and Canan. The trio of moons would follow the generation ships to one of nearly a hundred possible places discovered by the Sillonian people and thousands of probes.

Madus and Endil made it out ok, but Canan suffered a catastrophic failure that accelerated the moon past the intended target on the way to their target. It is directly on a course for Proxima Centauri and the flourishing Dominion population there.

The Dominion has no choice but to send hundreds of missiles to intercept the oncoming moon before it hits the surface. Your job is to land on Sillon and rescue as man as you can before setting it to explode.

A few notes…

  • This could be a diplomatic mission, a mission of investigation, or a full out assault dedicated to knocking it off its course.
  • If the PCs go in to destroy the moon, they will face an aggressive and overwhelming force of Sillonians ready to defend what’s left of their home. Can they convince them to escape and join them?
  • How do you relocate nearly a million aliens? What are the aliens like? Do they breathe Earth-like atmosphere? Can we speak to them? Are they simply in fight or flight mode with nowhere left to fly to?

This could be an interesting adventure idea to flesh out!

Looking for more creatures for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the articles about the system! What other movie trailers would you like to see explored in this manner? Leave a comment below or drop me a message via e-mail or on social media!

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