Holography in fiction

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Holography is often used as a plot device in science fiction. However, very often, sci-fi movies and TV shows incorrectly present different 3D-projection technologies as "holography".

In books[edit]

(Alphabetical by author's surname)

  • In J.G. Ballard's book Hello America (1981), holographic technology is used by President Charles Manson to scare nomad peoples along the United States of America, showing images of American pop culture icons such as Gary Cooper, Mickey Mouse, or the starship Enterprise.
  • In R.M. Gonzales' novel Holo.Wars: The Black Hats (2014), chambers use "holostereoscopy".[1]
  • In V. Hanacik's script Expozium: The Secret (2014), the key technology uses "holointerféric" patterns.[citation needed]
  • In Paul Levinson's novel The Pixel Eye (2003), holograms of living and deceased people play a major role.
  • In Joseph Robert Lewis' novel Ultraviolet (2014), the heroine Carmen Zhao uses solid holograms projected from her clothing as tools, vehicles, and weapons.
  • The plot of 'Jules Verne's novel The Carpathian Castle (1893) revolves around prima donna La Stilla, represented at the times of the events as a projected * In J.G. Ballard's book
  • In Sujatha Rangarajan's novel En Iniya Iyanthira (1980s), a character named Jeeva, who is the president of the country, is not real but a holographic image.

Live-action films[edit]

  • Forbidden Planet (1956 film), ...
  • Star Wars (1977 film), makes use of the hologram in the movies and video games of the series to display people remotely communicating with each other. It is also present in each one of the films of the series, including The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to communicate across the galaxy.
  • Superman II (1980 film), Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) uses a hologram of himself and Otis (Ned Beatty) playing chess in their prison cell to fool the guards into believing they were still inside when in fact they had escaped.
  • Batman (1989 film), Batman (Michael Keaton) entered the batcave using a hologram.
  • Back to the Future Part II (1989 film), a giant projection hologram is used as an advertisement for the (fictional) 2015 film, Jaws 19.
  • Total Recall (1990 film), the main character uses a device, similar to a wrist watch, to produce a hologram[citation needed] of himself and deceive his foes.
  • Lost in Space (1998 film), June Lockhart (Maureen Robinson) appeared as Will's school principal "Cartwright" in a hologram.
  • Vanilla Sky (2001 film), a holographic projection of jazz musician John Coltrane appears in the main character's apartment during his birthday party.
  • The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002 film), computer geeks develop a $99 computer using a holographic projector as both the display and user interface.
  • Minority Report (2002 film), a holographic female store greeter is seen greeting customers by name who are entering a department store.
  • Resident Evil (2002 film), Red Queen, artificial intelligence which monitors the Hive and the Spencer Mansion above it, appears as a holographic avatar to communicate with other characters in the movie. It also made appearance in Resident Evil: Retribution (2012 film). White Queen, another artificial intelligence which runs the Umbrella facility outside Las Vegas, Nevada, also appears as a holographic avatar in the Resident Evil: Extinction (2007 film).
  • Paycheck, (2003 film) the character Jennings (played by Ben Affleck) uses hologram technology to create a miniature woman that projects on empty air.
  • Ocean's Twelve, the character of Roman Nagel (played by Eddie Izzard), recreates the Fabergé Imperial Coronation Egg using his holography skills.
  • The Island (2005 film), a holographic projector surrounded the military compound where clones were kept to give the illusion of a tropical environment; holographic displays are present on various terminals, including the MSN information terminal in Los Angeles and a futuristic version of the Xbox gaming console.
  • Iron Man (2008 film), Iron Man 2 (2010 film) and Iron Man 3 (2013 film), holographic displays appear in Iron Man's suit.
  • Avatar (2009 film), holographic displays are used extensively on terminals and HUDs.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009 film), Hawk, Destro, Baroness, and Storm Shadow appear as holographic projections.
  • Enthiran (2010 film), Chitti the robot can be telecommunicated with using a "virtual calling" where each caller can be seen as a holographic projection in front of the robot during the call.
  • Her (2013 film), A holographic video game is played that detects bodily gestures to control the game.
  • The Giver (2014 film) In the movie adaptation of The Giver, The Chief Elder woman often talks on the 3d hologram video phone with her holographic image projected.
  • A Hologram for the King (2016 film) In the movie adaptation of A Hologram for the King, Alan Clay arrives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in hopes of selling revolutionary Hologram technology to the King.

Live-action television series[edit]

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994 television series), uses the holodeck extensively; beginning with this series, various episodes and films throughout the Star Trek series feature holographic characters and ships.
  • Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001 television series), introduced the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH), a realistic simulation of a human doctor designed to serve as a replacement medical officer. The series also used a similar holographic environment as in the aforementioned The Next Generation.
The Emergency Medical Hologram (Star Trek: Voyager); simply known as "The Doctor".
  • Red Dwarf (1988-2012 television series), after a catastrophic radiation leak inside the Jupiter Mining Corporation spaceship Red Dwarf, crew member Second Technician Arnold Rimmer is resurrected as a hologram. Because he is a "soft-light” hologram, he cannot touch anything and objects just pass right through him. However, much later - in series VI - the Red Dwarf crew meet 'Legion', a being with advanced technology, who upgrades Rimmer's light bee – the small object that projects his hologram by hovering around inside him – changing his projection to what is called in the show "hard-light" giving him a hologramatic equivalent of a physical body.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995 television series), Inside the command center Zordons head is a hologram who's in charge of giving orders and advice to Alpha 5 the robot and the Power Rangers.
  • Power Rangers Time Force (2001 television series), their chrono morphers use holographic communication
  • Stargate: SG-1 (1997–2007 television series), various characters appear as holograms in various episodes: The Asgard masquerade themselves holographically as Norse gods to the primitive peoples under their protection, Morgan le Fay in "The Pegasus Project" and Myrddin as a Merlin in "Avalon" and "Camelot" as a holographic sentry; Heliopolis "Book"; the puddle jumper starship has a holographic HUD. After the Goa'uld leader Anubis probed the mind of Asgard leader Thor, he was able to acquire their hologram technology and he used it frequently.
  • Stargate: Atlantis (2004–2009 television series), the Atlantis city-starship features a hologram room that allows access to the Ancient database in the form of holograms; an Ancient Control Chair contains holographic projectors; in the episode "Rising", Melia (a member of the Atlantean High Council during the first siege of Atlantis some ten millennia ago) is first seen as a hologram describing the history of the Ancients in the Pegasus Galaxy; Aurora-class battleship can project holograms remotely for communication purposes
  • Aaron Stone (2009-2010 television series) In this Disney channel TV show, a hologram video phone of S.T.A.N.s head can be seen.

In Animation[edit]

  • Astroblast! (cartoon), A Sprout cartoon of animals that own a diner in space hows that they are a little bit in the future so a couple times I have seen holograms, for example one episode they find a lost pet then the owner hologram chats the animals.
  • Treasure Planet (2002 film), Jim as a little boy reads from a 3D hologram book the story about Captain Flint and Treasure Planet; later, Jim as a teenager finds a sphere map and uses it to look at the galaxy map to Treasure Planet
  • Pinocchio 3000 (2004 film), Mayor Scamboli owns a 3D hologram map on his table; Cabby and Rodo change channels on it; later, at Scamboland, Mayor Scamboli welcomes kids as a giant 3D hologram version for Scamboland carnival opening.
  • Meet the Robinsons (2007 film), Bowler Hat Michael Goob Yagoobian has a discussion with the Bowler Hat Robot about getting revenge and Bowler Hat robot shows him a 3D hologram image of a flying car-plane time machine
  • Wall-E (2008 film), Inside the spaceship, there are hologram video phones used by the people in hover chairs.
  • The Jetsons (1962-63 1985-87 television series), holograms used as entertainment devices, replacing the television in many episodes
  • ReBoot (1994 - 2002 television series) There are hologram projectors in the city of Mainframe.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series (1974 television series) episode "The Practical Joker", the holodeck is introduced
  • The Simpsons (T.V. series), Lisa is angry at a company that uses Bleeding Gums Murphy and other deceased celebrities' holographic projections as an advertising method.
  • Jem and the Holograms (1985 television series), Jerrica Benton, the lead singer of a band uses hologram projections to help create her alter-ego persona, Jem; micro-projectors in her earrings allow her to project a hologram over herself and produce hologram objects and images in her surroundings.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! (1996–present manga, film, television series, video games), use of holographic[citation needed] technology used in order to make a game called Duel Monsters appear to be more life like; Duel Monsters is a game where players using a wrist mounted Duel Disk summon monsters and cast spells and traps in order to bring a players life points to 0 or diminish all the cards in a players deck; used throughout the entire series.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward (2007-2008) In season 6 When the 4 mutant turtles visit the year 2105, holograms are often used in video phones and electronic tablets and in holodecks and virtual reality video games.

Video games[edit]

  • Space Quest I, After Roger Wilco bypasses the traps in the cave, a hologram alien appears to Roger Wilco and tells him to kill Orat and bring back the part as proof so he can enter the computer lab.
  • Space Quest IV, Under the sewers of the ruined city Xenon, if Roger Wilco pushes a button on the table, a hologram human named Professor Lloyd appears to Roger Wilco and tells him the story of what happened to Xenon.
  • Mega Man X, For Super Nintendo Entertainment System, In the Mega Man X series X, X2, X3, a hologram of Dr. Light can be seen once Mega Man approaches the upgrade capsule and Dr. Light will explain the upgrade before turning off and X can jump into the capsule to receive his upgrade weapon or armor or special move.
  • Final Fantasy VII, There are holograms projectors featured inside the Shinra Headquarters, also at Gold Saucer, a holographic game called 3D battler features a hologram version of Cloud fighting his hologram opponents. Also at Cosmo Canyon an old man named Bugenhagen has a 3D hologram projector of a solar system in his Astronomy room.
  • Final Fantasy VIII, There are hologram projectors used in Final Fantasy VIII, in Galbadia Garden there are hologram screens in the auditorium, in Deling City during the parade of Sorceress Edea the hologram clowns can be seen dancing, during the riot of Balamb Garden a hologram image of Headmaster Cid is used to in the parking lot area to trick the facility member. In the port town Fisherman Horizons, the Master Fisherman shows Squall a hologram recording of Mayor Dobe in his robe costume in Esthar City. In Shumi Village a hologram image of Shumi is used during the elevator ride to the village. Also in the City of Esthar Laguna tricks Sorceress Adel with a hologram image of Ellone to seal Adel up. also hologram images are used in the shopping mall of Esthar.
  • Final Fantasy XIII, There are hologram projector screens seen in the cities of Nautilus, Bodhum, Lindblum.
  • F-Zero GX, Hologram projectors can be seen in Mute City, Casino Palace and Aeropolis.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and its expansion, the Mirage Tanks used this principle to disguise as trees.
  • Half-Life (1998 video game), the scientific research company Black Mesa is known to use holograms as recorded messages in their facility.
  • Halo: Combat Evolved (2001 video game), uses "holotanks" to display the avatar of an artificial intelligence construct called Cortana; in Halo: Reach (2010 video game), an armor ability called the "hologram" allows the user to create an identical decoy. Several systems in the whole game franchise use holographic projections as a main working method; such as cartographers, communication systems and control panels. Also, a holographic related technology known as 'hard light' is introduced, which allows systems to project structures such as walls, bridges or shields made of solid light rays.
  • Mass Effect (2007-12 video game series), computer GUIs are explained in the codex to consist of a projected holographic display, combined with the use of force feedback gloves that allow the user to experience simulated tactile sensations when manipulating them; the game's "omni-tools" are holographic user-interfaces that act as a cell-phone-like device, serving as a port between computers, tablets, and other devices, giving the user many capabilities, including the ability to transfer information via wireless technology to others with an omni-tool.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Gamecube, There are hologram projectors called Luminoth Holoprojectors that playback hologram messages.
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007 game), Red Queen, holographic artificial intelligence first introduced in the Resident Evil (film) (2002 film), was featured in this game also as holographic avatar.
  • Dead Space (2008 video game), to replace the player's HUD, a holographic display shows up in front of the player's character.
  • Pokémon X and Y, a communication device known as the "Holo Caster" is used by the games main characters as a means of communication through holograms.
  • Star Trek Online, a holographic environment is used in at least one mission, and if you want to replay a mission, the mission contact is a holodeck.
  • Fallout: New Vegas, holograms appear in the Sierra Madre Casino. These holograms are positioned as security personnel and greeters.


Pizzanelli, David. "The Evolution of the Mythical Hologram". Proceedings of the SPIE, The International Society for Optical Engineering, 1732 (1992). Pages 430 to 437.