Monday, June 17, 2013


I have a non-political question about science fiction cinema.

There is no up or down in space. Why is it, then, that every space battle involving starships situates those ships on the same plane, as if they were at sea? Whenever the Enterprise faces off against a Klingon ship, both vessels are on the same axis, in terms of top-to-bottom. Yet if such a face-off were to occur in real life, the Klingon ship might be upside-down or at a 90 degree angle, from the Enterprise's point of view.

Can you think of a scene in a major science fiction film which depicts two large spaceships "off-axis"?


Anonymous said...

Possibly Wrath of Khan, in that hide and seek plasma cloud encounter toward the end of the movie?

But maybe that was just 'height' differences on the z-scale?


Stephen Morgan said...

Wrath of Khan was just height difference. 2010: The Year We Made Contact, comes to mind. There's also an episode of Deep Space Nine, where the Defiant fights an Excelsior-class ship and they arrive on different planes. Which actually makes less sense, as the Defiant was being intercepted. It just doesn't normally look as good, so the only time you get an off-axis ship is when it's disabled and derelict.

Anonymous said...

A: Could you comment new movie "Vampire sucks again"
B: Action fast but unrealistic. Vampires do not behave like that.

b said...

How bad does it get? Is it just that the up-down axes of each ship are parallel (when they still might approach each other at any angle), or are their directions of motion also always parallel?

Aeryl said...

Serenity's final space battle had ships all over the place.

That opening scene of Revenge of the Sith showed a fairly hectic space battle.