Jupiter in fiction

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Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is a popular backdrop for science fiction stories and films. Early works of science fiction used Jupiter itself as a location for stories, but modern science has shown that the planet has no solid surface one could land on and that its atmosphere, temperature, high gravity and intense radiation is hostile to human life. As a result, the Jovian system as a whole, including both the space around Jupiter and its very extensive system of moons, is a more common setting for science fiction.


On Jupiter[edit]

Written works[edit]

  • Micromégas (1752) by Voltaire. The eponymous hero and his Saturnian companion stop on Jupiter[1] for a year, where they "learned some very remarkable secrets".[2]
  • The Conquest of Two Worlds (1932) by Edmond Hamilton. Humans explore the solar system and discover intelligent life on Mars and Jupiter, and proceed to ruthlessly conquer and subjugate it. Jupiter is a humid jungle world with high gravity.
  • City stories (1952) by Clifford D. Simak. Most humans are eventually voluntarily transformed into creatures able to survive on Jupiter without life support. In this new form, Jupiter appears as a paradise.
  • Buy Jupiter (1958) by Isaac Asimov. Aliens purchase Jupiter to use as a giant billboard advertising their products to passing trade ships.
  • A Meeting with Medusa (1972), novella by Arthur C. Clarke. A journey into the depths of Jupiter's atmosphere, where vast, mile-sized floating life-forms have evolved. This is similar to a scene in 2010 in which Clarke posits that the heart of Jupiter is a diamond the size of Earth.
  • The Jupiter Theft (1977) by Donald Moffitt. A Chinese/American Jupiter mission is diverted to investigate five immense alien spacecraft headed towards Earth from the direction of Cygnus X-1. The survivors of the captured Jupiter Mission discover their true purpose in appearing in the Solar System is to raid our solar system of a Jupiter-mass planet to use as fuel. In taking Jupiter, the aliens leave behind the burnt-out husk of their prior Jovian-type fuel planet, which remains as the central core of a new mini-solar system in the past location of Jupiter.
  • Manta's Gift (2002) by Timothy Zahn. Jupiter is the home of the Qanska, intelligent lifeforms who dwell amid the layered atmosphere of the planet's equator. The brain of a quadriplegic human is transplanted into an embryonic Qanska, resulting in a transfer of human consciousness to a different species.
  • Larklight (2006) by Philip Reeve. Jupiter's moons are home to many races that once warred with each other, and are the outskirts of Earth's empire. Old Thunderhead, a sentient storm thousands of years old who has been worshipped as a God, lives on Jupiter along with other sentinent storms. The Jovians breed spores, which can affect minds. They were once used for war and now are only used for advertising.

Comics and manga[edit]

  • In the Battle Angel manga series by Yukito Kishiro, Jupiter has been colonized by humans and is now in the process of having a large artificial surface built over the clouds, having consumed all but a few of its moons for raw materials. The Jupiter Union, as they are known, are in conflict over control of the solar system with Venus, Mars and Earth.
  • Early issues of 2000 AD comic featured a version of the character Dan Dare. The first 11 issues contained a story in which Dare and his allies fought a malevolent alien race - the Biogs - who had set up a base of operations on Jupiter, apparently within the Great Red Spot itself.
  • In All-Star Comics #22 the JSA battle a group of creatures from Jupiter that absorb metal, and defeats them all.
  • In All-Star Comics #13 the Justice Society of America are gassed and sent to different planets by Nazi scientist Hans Goobsten. As Starman awakens from his gas-induced sleep, he sees the planet Jupiter looming before him. As his ship begins to crash, he is saved by several flying men of metal, who explain that, due to the cold and lack of oxygen, they wear metal clothes for protection. They show Starman what had happened to the JSA back on Earth and how Hitler had had the members rocketed to different planets. The metal men then tell him that they are doomed because some mysterious force is eating the planet. Starman flies out to investigate and is attacked as he flies over the mysterious red spot on the planet, which is the source of the problem. Starman then builds a giant "gravity rod" and uses it to fling the dangerous foreign matter into space. In gratitude, the men of Jupiter give Starman books that tell how to treat metal so it can be woven into cloth, or made transparent as glass or entirely invisible! Starman then uses the force of the giant gravity rod to propel his ship back to Earth.
  • In All-Star Comics #55 Jupiter was the first planet to be invaded by a race of green-headed aliens, who threatened to destroy the Jovians unless they assisted them in conquering the Solar System's other planets. Earth is the last planet left. The JSA travel to Jupiter, and are able to finally defeat the Invaders. The Jovians are 10 ft tall and telepathic.
  • As a boy, Clark Kent meets an eight-armed inhabitant of Jupiter publicly promoting an "Interplanetary Circus" (Adv No. 198, Mar 1954: "The Super-Carnival from Space").
  • In Marvel Family #5 Jupiter is shown to be inhabited by a race of cavepeople, with dinosaur-like creatures also on the world. They go to rescue astronauts whose spaceship is stuck there. They civilise the inhabitants, giving them fire, the wheel, knowledge of the production of iron, and the Alphabet. The ship is fixed and the Marvels leave the world, delighted at doing in one day what took thousands of years on Earth.
  • In Marvel Family #36 the Marvels go to Jupiter, which according to this story has gravity 300 times stronger than Earth (it actually has gravity nearly 2.3 times stronger). The Jovians resemble very short, stout humans. They are an advanced race, capable of interplanetary travel, and their scientific equipment helps the Marvels discover the nature of the Invaders from Infinity, which resemble giant fireballs, (see List of Marvel Family enemies). The Jovians are forced to evacuate after their fleet is defeated by the Invaders, but after the Invaders are contained and destroyed they get back to Jupiter, and tell the Marvels they will be their friends. They know of the Martians, calling them a treacherous race.
  • In the Manga/Anime Sailor Moon, released in 1992, Jupiter was inhabited in the Silver Millennium, but towards the end of the Millennium when Queen Beryl attacked, the planet suffered a massive gravitational upheaval, destroying most of the planet's surface, reducing it to the size (if any) of the modern Jupiter's core.
  • In the Tommy Tomorrow series of stories, Jupiter and the outer planets are giant worlds with solid surfaces and native life.[4]
  • In the Manga/Anime Martian Successor Nadesico, the antagonist faction is the Jovian Lizards, prisoners sent from Earth to colonize a Jovian Station and rebelled themselves against the Earth, sending robotic fleets against human colonized planets.

Film, TV and radio[edit]

  • Space Patrol (1962), puppet television series.
    • "The Swamps of Jupiter" episode. Captain Dart and his crew are sent to investigate the loss of contact with a scientific base on Jupiter and encounter Martian fur trappers who are killing the local Loomi creatures for their heat-retaining skins.
    • "The Walking Lake of Jupiter" episode. Scientists Dr Brown and Dr Smith discover that water from a Jovian lake has the power to cause inanimate objects to move as if with a life of their own. Dart arrives to witness the phenomenon. and ends up on the trail of the unfortunate Dr Brown, whose spacesuit has become energized by the Jovian water.
  • In Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965), a small planetoid is discovered in Jupiter's orbit, and duo of visiting astronauts meet a sentient alien race who live on the planet.

Games[edit]

  • The children's game Scholastic's The Magic School Bus: Space Exploration Game for the Sega Genesis (1995) features an exploration of the planet Jupiter to find Ms. Frizzle. Players take pictures of the Planet, its features and moons, and other various objects on the way. They then land the bus and search for Ms. Frizzle in the atmosphere of Jupiter. The expedition ends with a picture puzzle and card matchup which both have major points/features of Jupiter and the surrounding system.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Jupiter is the site of a vast orbiting shipyard where warships and other starships are constructed by the Imperium of Man.

Jovian system[edit]

See also Jupiter's moons in fiction.

Literature[edit]

  • Journey to Jupiter (1965) by Hugh Walters - the eighth in a series of juvenile novels chronicling the exploits of the (fictional) "United Nations Exploration Agency" - features the first mission to Jupiter, which, due to a miscalculation, risks crashing into the planet.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series, Jupiter is a major location. For the first story in the series, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the novel and film differ. In the novel, the spaceship Discovery One is travelling to Saturn, and flies close to Jupiter to accelerate via the "gravitational slingshot" effect. The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), simplifies the scenario, where Jupiter is the intended final destination, not a passing point. The sequel novel 2010: Odyssey Two takes place in the Jovian system: the core of the planet is discovered to be made of solid diamond (which is important to the plot of the two subsequent novels) and Jupiter is renamed Lucifer after being transformed into a star, by fictional technology employed by the alien Monolith (see also TV/Films). The Jupiter system is also the theater of much action in 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey.
  • The Golden Age trilogy (2002–3) by John C. Wright. Jupiter has been ignited to form a second miniature sun. A supercollider orbits the entire equator of this new star, and is used to produce stable, artificial transuranic elements. The supercollider and the moons of Jupiter are occupied by an industrialist named Gannis, who has apparently peopled it with copies of himself.

Film and TV[edit]

  • In the Doctor Who (1963 to date) story "Revenge of the Cybermen", Jupiter is the setting for the Nerva Beacon, a fictional space station that monitors its fictional new moon (Voga - the Planet of Gold) which was formed from the remains of the original Voga, which once more brings the Cybermen into our Solar System as gold can be used to kill the Cyberman which is why they destroyed Voga. The Vogans are humanoid.
  • In the Star Trek universe (1966–...), Jupiter is home to Jupiter Station.
  • In the 2001 absurdist film The American Astronaut Samuel Curtis meets with the owner of Jupiter, a mining planet, to exchange The Real Live Girl for The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast.
  • In the finale of the TV series Night Court, Bull is visited by aliens from Jupiter and offered a job, which he accepts: The Man Who Can Reach the Top Shelf.

Animation[edit]

  • The anime Planetes (2003) features a planned seven year trip to explore Jupiter and its moons, using a ship powered by a Tandem Mirror Engine.
  • One episode of Ellen's Acres, titled "Jumpin' Jupiter", features Ellen traveling to said planet.

Games[edit]

  • In the Super Robot Wars series of games, Lune Zoldark is said to be from Jupiter.
  • In the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Earth and Beyond (2002), the Jupiter system is colonized by the explorer race of the Jenquai. Jove City rests in orbit around Jupiter, and was the second most populated station in the known galaxy before being devastated by the Progen Warriors.
  • In the PC game Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, the game begins with several missions situated around Jupiter and its moons.
  • In the PlayStation RPG Final Fantasy VII, Jupiter is destroyed by a comet during Sephiroth's super nova spell sequence. The comet darts through Jupiter, creating a large hole, and causing the planet to implode.[5]
  • In the video game Descent, many levels take place in the jovian system.

Other mentions of Jupiter[edit]

Written works[edit]

  • In Jules Verne's Hector Servadac (Off On A Comet (1877)), the comet Gallia approaches Jupiter at its aphelion, and the protagonists worry "that the comet, being irresistibly attracted, might be drawn on to the very surface of the planet, and there annihilated".[6]
  • In C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength (1945), Glund, the Oyarsa of Jupiter, is the last of the five major Oyéresu to descend upon St. Anne's. Like the other Oyéresu, his characteristics are reminiscent of the mythology surrounding his planet; his presence immediately fills everyone in the house with a sense of lordly festivity, in obvious reference to "the jovial spirit".
  • In the Lensman series by E.E. Smith (1940s-1950s), the evil spiritual entity Gharlane of Eddore inspires Gray Roger to become the Chief Devil (leader) of the Adepts of North Polar Jupiter, a group of space pirates.
  • Larry Niven's A World Out of Time (1976) tells the story of a man who died in the 1970s who is awoken from cryonic suspended animation, hijacks the ship and visits the galactic central core and a vast black hole. When he returns, at least 4 million years have passed due to relativity effects, the sun has undergone a transformation into a red giant, and the Earth has been moved into orbit around Jupiter.

Comics and manga[edit]

  • In the Dragon Ball manga, Bulma and Mr. Popo reach Jupiter in less than a minute using Kami's spaceship, which they needed to reach the Planet Namek, which was impossible to reach with the technology available at that moment in the series. One month later Bulma's father completes a spaceship model capable of making the journey.
  • In the Marvel Comics title Guardians of the Galaxy, Charlie-27 is the last survivor of an Earth colony on Jupiter in the 31st century. His people were engineered to have 11 times the mass of an average human to withstand the higher gravity of Jupiter. The Jovians lived on giant anti-gravity ships in Jupiter's atmosphere before it was devastated by the Treen during their invasion of the Solar System, although Charlie escaped using a teleportation tube after he returned from a space mission. The Solar System is finally freed from the Badoon.
  • In Planet Comics the stories of Auro, Lord of Jupiter, took place on Jupiter. A couple's ship crashed during the late 21st century and the child was raised by a sabre-tooth tiger. The native species resemble apes.
  • In DC Comics title Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #32, Olsen is transformed into a Jovian by Jovian scientists for one Jovian week (5 Earth days). He gains telepathic powers and a reptilian appearance.

Films and television[edit]

  • In the series Red Dwarf, the titular ship belongs to the Jupiter Mining Corporation, and there are many references to Jupiter and its moons (for example Arnold Rimmer is originally from Io).
  • In the television series Babylon 5, in the third season episode "Message from Earth", a Shadow vessel was excavated from Ganymede and was subsequently activated by merging the ship with a human. The ship - because its human core was "unprepared" - was "insane" and thus was unable to function at full capacity. The Whitestar took advantage of this and tricked the ship into pursuing the Whitestar deep into Jupiter's atmosphere. The Whitestar outmaneuvered the Shadow ship and was able to escape while the latter plunged deeper into the atmosphere and was subsequently crushed by the pressure and the terrible winds. Later on, to escape an Earthforce vessel, the Whitestar opened a jumppoint inside Jupiter's atmosphere. Lennier described the effect of doing so as "explosive".
  • In Men in Black, Agent J mentions he used to think one of his teachers was from Venus, to which Agent K informs him that person is actually from one of Jupiter's moons.
  • In the series Stargate SG-1, in the episode entitled, "2010", the Aschen intend to turn Jupiter into a second sun. Note that the titles of the two episodes in which the Aschen appear (2010 and 2001, in the order that the two episodes aired) make clear that this is indeed a reference to the seminal Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke.

Animation[edit]

  • In the anime Gunbuster (1988), Jupiter is used to create the Black Hole Bomb, a massive weapon larger than a small planet, and capable of destroying part of a galaxy. (In fact, a Jupiter-mass black hole would be barely 6 m across, and no more of a threat to the Galaxy than it is right now)
  • In the TV show Futurama the planet is revealed to smell like strawberries, an out-of-order monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey is in orbit around it, and Amy mentions Jupiter State University.
  • On an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Shake sells Meatwad to a circus run by Randy the Astonishing, the Prince of Jupiter sent to infiltrate the human gene pool and enslave the planet.
  • In the anime Heroic Age, Jupiter is destroyed when a high-powered energy gun is used to knock the moon Io out of orbit. Io plummets into the atmosphere and ignites it, and intervention by the Silver and Bronze fleets leads to a cataclysmic explosion.
  • In the Martian Successor Nadesico Anime Series created by Kia Asamiya, the evil race known as the 'Jovian Lizards' were claimed to be from Jupiter. Late in the series, it is discovered that the Jovians are humans exiled from Mars, returned to take revenge upon Earth, and the people that exiled them.
  • In the anime The King of Braves GaoGaiGar, Jupiter is the source of the mysterious energy called The Power, which is a mysterious, highly unstable energy with tremendous energizing and destructive potential. It is known to restore fossilized material, generate time-space wormholes, temporarily restore damaged computer programs, preserve human souls and provide nearly unlimited practical energy.
  • A component critical to the construction of genuine GN Drives, the semi-perpetual generators designed by Aeolia Schenberg for Celestial Being's Gundam mobile suits in Gundam 00, can only be manufactured in Jupiter's gaseous upper atmosphere.

Games[edit]

  • In the shoot 'em up Darius II developed by Taito, the final level has the player encroach Jupiter's atmosphere where the final boss of the chosen zone awaits.
  • In the Sega Saturn shoot 'em up Metal Black, the player eventually flies closer toward Jupiter and its asteroid fields where a large boss awaits and a battle ensues near the Great Red Spot.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kragh, Helge; Pedersen, Kurt Møller (2008). "The Moon that Wasn't: The Saga of Venus' Spurious Satellite". The Moon that Wasn't: the Saga of Venus' Spurious Satellite (Springer): 28. Bibcode:2008mwsv.book.....K. ISBN 3-7643-8908-7 
  2. ^ Voltaire; Cuffe, Theo; Mason, Haydn Trevor (2002). Micromégas and other short fictions. translated by Theo Cuffe. Penguin Classics. p. 24. ISBN 0-14-044686-9. 
  3. ^ Bould, Mark (2009). Sherryl Vint, Adam Roberts, ed. The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction. Taylor & Francis. p. 20. ISBN 0-415-45378-X. 
  4. ^ "The Chase Through Space!" Action Comics 128: 7/2, 4 (Jan 1949)
  5. ^ "Sephiroths Super Nova"
  6. ^ Off on a Comet, by Jules Verne; Book II Jupiter Somewhat Close Page 1 at www.pagebypagebooks.com

See also[edit]

  • Jovian, for examples of natives of Jupiter in fiction