Solar eclipses in fiction

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This is a list of fictional stories in which solar eclipses feature as an important plot element. Mere passing mentions are not listed.

Written works[edit]

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Novels[edit]

Films[edit]

There is a body of films featuring solar eclipses. Compared to other astronomical events featured in films, such as full moons and asteroid strikes, solar eclipses are less commonly seen. When they have featured in films, they often drive the plot and have a portentous presence.[2] NPR's Glen Weldon said that films use eclipses "to signal to audiences that the normal rules have temporarily lifted, and things are about to get weird." The first film to feature a solar eclipse was the 1907 silent film The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon, which featured a solar eclipse as a fantastical consummation between the sun and the moon.[3] Eclipses have been seen as bad omens throughout history and filmmakers leverage that belief "as visual cues or key plot points", according to The Oregonian's Amy Wang.[4] The most accurate depiction of a solar eclipse in film is seen in the 1961 religious epic film Barabbas, which included film of an actual solar eclipse during a crucifixion scene.[5]

1984 eclipse and Witness[edit]

While director Peter Weir was filming Witness (1985) in the Amish region of Pennsylvania, a solar eclipse occurred on May 30, 1984. Weir filmed several of his actors in costume, responding to the eclipse, with the vague intention of revising the film's plot to include a solar eclipse.[citation needed] The eclipse footage was not included in the final edit.

Television[edit]

  • An episode of the 1980s science fiction comedy/drama The Edison Twins, where the twin siblings foil a bank robbery attempt at a major city bank while employees are focusing on the solar eclipse.
  • Sailor Moon. In season four, two eclipses grant power to the villainous Dead Moon (Circus).
  • Heroes features eclipses prominently within the continuity and symbolism of the show. The title card and logo, for example, both feature an eclipse. An eclipse occurs in the pilot episode, "Genesis", described as a "global event" and commonly understood to be the catalyst that activates the characters' abilities. Another eclipse appears in the first episode of season two, during which Hiro Nakamura teleports to 1671 feudal Japan. The two-part season three episode, "The Eclipse", deals with the consequences of a third eclipse which removes all the characters' abilities as well as the unknown connection between eclipses and evolved humans.
  • The Recess episode, "Outcast Ashley", partly revolves around Gretchen's attempts to view the solar eclipse occurring that afternoon, and with whom she views it.
  • In one of his cartoons, Bugs Bunny accidentally travels through time to the Middle Ages. While there, he tricks everyone into believing that he has put out the sun with a spell. This was a parody of and homage to Mark Twain's novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
  • In an episode of Darkwing Duck, the titular character accidentally travels to the Middle Ages and is about to be executed as a warlock when he remembers that his execution is timed exactly with an eclipse. He threatens everyone that he will black out the sun unless released and begins to speak gibberish, pretending to put a spell on the sun. However, he has misread the date of the solar eclipse by one day, and stands on the gallows for 24 hours, continuing the gibberish until the eclipse happens.
  • In the 1993 first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, evil witch Rita Repulsa causes a solar eclipse to drain the Megazord's power in the five-part episode, "Green With Evil".
  • The opening credits of Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001) feature a CGI-generated solar eclipse.
  • The 2001 TNT miniseries The Mists of Avalon features a solar eclipse during the death of Viviane, suggesting the Mother Goddess' grief at the event.
  • In the 2001-4 Samurai Jack animated series, Aku is able to escape the tree he is sealed in due to an eclipse.
  • In Heroes, on October 1, 2006, a solar eclipse is observed by several strangers around the world. Similar eclipses occur in 1671, 2007, and on June 13, 2014. The eclipse has an effect on people's abilities.
  • In the 2007 Avatar: the Last Airbender episode, "The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse", Aang and his allies plan for the day of the invasion of the Fire Nation capital on the day a solar eclipse would occur, leaving the firebenders without firebending for about 8 minutes. The plan was expected to end the war. The plan fails because Azula, the princess of the Fire Nation, learns of the upcoming invasion beforehand.
  • The 2007 Sci-Fi channel miniseries Tin Man is centered on a "double eclipse" which will give power to one of the two princesses of the O.Z.
  • The CSI: Miami episode "Sunblock" features a murder in which the killer struck during a solar eclipse due to an allergy to the sun.
  • The final two episodes of Berserk, "The Great Eclipse" and "Time of Eternity", take place during a solar eclipse, which in the series universe happens only once every 216 years and marks the birth of a new member of the Godhand. During these episodes, Griffith, once the leader of the Band of the Hawk, betrays and sacrifices his men in order to become the fifth member of the Godhand, Femto.
  • The Mad Men episode "Seven Twenty Three" features the solar eclipse that occurred in July 1963.
  • In the final three episodes of Raven the Island, an eclipse allows the warriors to enter Nevar's fortress.
  • In the third season of House of Anubis, a ceremony to re-awaken someone cursed by Anubis to sleep for eternity can only be performed during a total solar eclipse. Robert Frobisher-Smythe, who is central to the series' backstory, has been cursed by Anubis in this manner. As an eclipse approaches, an attempt is made to re-awaken Robert. One of the people who performs the ceremony, Caroline Denby, is impure of heart and causes Robert to be re-awoken evil.
  • Episode 61 "He Who Would Swallow God" in the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood empowered stone fragments are activated by the eclipse's umbra.
  • In the sixth season of The Vampire Diaries, episode 4, "Black Hole Sun", an eclipse is present in the missing dimension in 1994 where Damon and Bonnie are trapped.

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Illegal Alien Reading Guide - The Official Website of Robert J. Sawyer". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Hickman, Matt (August 8, 2017). "9 movies starring solar eclipses". MNN. Mother Nature Network. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  3. ^ Weldon, Glen (August 17, 2017). "In Movies, A Solar Eclipse Means Change Is Coming". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Wang, Amy (August 6, 2017). "15 movies that include eclipses (not always accurately)". The Oregonian. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  5. ^ White, Amy (August 18, 2017). "Solar eclipses have been a science fiction theme for thousands of years". Vox. Retrieved September 11, 2017.