Talk:Battlefield Earth

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various discussions[edit]

I thought I saw this film listed on the IMDb's bottom 100 films list, but revisiting it, I see that the highest ranked film there has a 2.1, and this film is ranked 2.8. --KQ

Well, I found this, but I'll sub in an Ebert quote instead, since the ranking was in July 2001 and is slightly higher now. --KQ

Hey, I watched this movie on my VCR a year ago, & I wouldn't say it was that bad of a movie. Then again, I finished off a six-pack of beer watching it, so somewhere in the middle of my viewing I found all of the implausible parts simply funny. And I have to admit it had amazing special effects -- but special effects didn't save the Disney failure The Black Hole either. -- llywrch 02:06 Nov 23, 2002 (UTC), who drinks a lot less now.

Do we want to have the movie critic style reviews on an encyclopedic article? Dori 00:30, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, I maybe went too far... feel free to bring it towards NPOV. --Pakaran 00:33, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I gave it a shot at NPOV. I don't think the movie critic lines belong in there. If someone can find some links to reviews that will probably be fine, though we should find at least one good review (if it exists :). Also Scientology was linked many times unnecessarily. I hated the movie too (never read the novel), but there is no need for an encyclopedic article to make value judgements like that. That's my opinion. Dori 17:03, Oct 25, 2003 (UTC)

the book is VERY different than the movie. Gringo300 02:35, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

This movie was never going to win an academy award, but the way it was attacked was not really justified. Was Escape From New York really any better? What about that "Soldier" movie Kurt Russell made? What about all the crap movies Sylvester Stallone made? If it hadn't been written by Hubbard, and starred a scientologist, I doubt the movie would have been ridiculed the way it was. -- -- Commking 24 Apr 2005

Well, if movies that weren't written by Hubbard or starring Scientologists never got ridiculed, or only got ridiculed very rarely, that'd be support for that theory. However, I can name at least ten movies that have been widely panned without even breaking a sweat -- Gigli, Glitter, From Justin To Kelly, Santa With Muscles, Catwoman, just off the top of my head -- and I bet you can too. There seem to be two factors that cause the ridicule-meter to peg into the red, and Battlefield:Earth met both of them: first, it was highly hyped, with big prime-time TV ads telling us what an incredibly great movie B:E was. Even when a movie is merely mediocre, hyping it as really great is almost certain to get it ridiculed.
Second... well, it isn't just mediocre, in the mode of Stallone's crap movie Cobra (haven't seen Escape from New York or Soldier, sorry...) It is really bad. I say this as a student of bad movies -- even as I'm typing this I'm watching Double Agent 73. What makes it so bad? There's the use of silly vocabulary like "picto-cameras" (cameras) and "man-animal" (man) to make it more 'science-fictiony.' There's the laughably bad plot holes -- skipping over the question of whether cavemen could learn to pilot Harrier jets so fast, the plausibility that unscrambled Harrier jets would be in perfect flying condition after a thousand years without maintenance is ridiculous. So is the idea that Terl would notice that the cavemen who were supposed to be mining gold from the ground for him apparently managed, without any smelting equipment, to smelt it into perfect gold bars -- and would fail to investigate this impossibility just because he's told "well, we know a Psychlo of your refinement wouldn't have it any other way!" Then there's the quality of the direction -- why did Roger Christian think it was necessarily to film 30-50% of the film's scenes with a tilted camera? Why? And didn't anyone realize that by making the Psychlos so over-the-top evil, they were making them laughable, not frightening? I still can't think of the "cow legs" scene without laughing.
Is Battlefield:Earth the worst movie of all time? No. But in terms of how much money and talent was wasted to make such a bad movie, it's very impressive. -- Antaeus Feldspar 15:14, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I guess that is where we disagree. Why should a movie critique, take into account the preceding hype, and budget? Why not just review the movie as presented? If not, does that therefore mean a good movie suddenly becomes a great movie because it has a lot of hype and big budget? What garbage. The critique should focus on the movie itself, and the hollywood hoopla is not relevant. It was definitely a bad movie. A silly movie. Like many others before and after, it was bad. This one didn't really stand out as a glaring example against all the other films you mentioned. Then why was it attacked with such venom when the others were not? That I hadn't seen before.
For the record, I don't like Scientology. But here, I can only only assume Scientology or some sort of politics had somehow become an influencing factor to the critics, who then saw that as somehow relating to the quality (or lack of it) of this movie. Whether you like Scientology or not should not influence a film review. Until now I just thought film critics were out of touch, and didn't really relate to the man in the street. But now, they show themselves in a different light. Battlefield Earth is an important film, because it showed us what film reviewers are REALLY capable of. Commking 25 Apr 2005
Yeah, I think we need to agree to disagree here. Knowing now that you're talking about film critics in particular puts the matter in a different context -- but I don't see why it should be out of bounds or "garbage" to see a particular movie in the context of its advertising and its budget. And again, to return to your first point -- plenty of movies have come in for extra knocks because the advertising designed to sell the movie as a product was deceptive or excessive, or because the movie had a budget that would have allowed it to do wonderful things and did crappy things instead. A majority of these films have had no Scientologists prominently involved, so your theory that it only happens because of Scientology connections doesn't seem to hold up. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:15, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Psychlo & Catrist[edit]

Someone wrote that the species name "Psychlo" 'may be' derived from "psychiatrist". I think it's just about irrefutable. "Psychlo" and "Catrist" from a writer with a famous bee in his bonnet about psychiatrists? not exactly hard to figure out. =)

Second, the description confuses me, because it seems to use "Psychlos" and "Catrists" as synonyms for the same thing. I was under the impression that the "Psychlos" are the alien race, and later in the story than the movie gets to, it's discovered that the Psychlos are being manipulated by a medical cult called the "Catrists". Can anyone confirm this? -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:34, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In the book Carists are an elite group of Psychlo's who are essentially a hidden hand or secret government. -- Commking 24 Apr 2005
Irrefutable? What about the theory that "Psychlo" is derived from "psychrometrist"? Knowing the relative humidity more precisely than the average joe is a pretty easy way to take over the world, after all. Eh? What do you think of that? :P --Joel 00:22, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
ooooh! What a great theory! I'm sure that's exactly what R. Lon Hubbald must have had in mind! -- Antaeus Feldspar 01:28, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
in the book, ORIGINALLY the species wasn't called "psychos", nor was their planet, and "psyclo" and "catrist" were pretty much synonymous, but then they named the whole species and the planet after themselves, and then the catrists started pretty much using that name (catrists) for themselves, rather than "psyclos". Gringo300 02:32, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the book states that the species was originally named after whomever happened to be emperor at the time (and so the name changed each reign). -- Pakaran 19:52, 7 January 2006 (UTC)


Is there any poor bastard who's actually read the thing all the way through without sporking their eyes out who could do a plot summary? - David Gerard 17:15, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I have read the whole book. But judging from the date on your comment, it's taken more than a year to find someone. 12:13, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Attempts to place on bestseller list[edit]

The last paragraph under heading "The Book" suggests that copies sold at retail might have made their way back onto store shelves, thus inflating sales numbers. Is the statement as-is a little too subtle in its insinuation? Basically, I'm not sure that readers should have to connect the dots, as some might not get it.

The section stating that Scientologists were told or ordered to buy the book so that it would be a bestseller is ridiculous. Enemies of the Church have been spouting lies like this for decades. Notice that the only link of any evidence for this claim is a small-circulation rag that reads like a frothing-mouth lunatic wrote it. --unsigned comment by (talk · contribs)

While someone posting from a Delphian school might not want to believe it, it's fairly common knowledge in the publishing industry and I've heard two first hand accounts of people at book stores who received "recycled" shipments of books. That's original research on my part, of course, but I'll keep a look out for other published accounts. AndroidCat 04:54, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't mean to "vandalize." I honestly believe that the sections on Scientology in this article are not NPOV. They seem pretty biased to me.


I have a copy of this book which is printed by 'New Era Publications International' - not a publisher included in the list. That's probably a minor issue I guess it is a scientology publisher as those other ones are listed?

Anyway, the real point, part way through the book is an advert for a 'BattleField Earth Soundtrack' - composed by Hubbard himself. It would be nice to add details of that. Sadly my google-fu is weak and I can find nothing authorative about it online. Anybody have any details to add? user:skx

New Era Publications is the european counterpart to Bridge Publications. With the split of the publishing of Hubbard's fiction and Scientology writings, Galaxy Press's web site is probably the place to look for it. AndroidCat 05:06, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I held the soundtrack you mentioned in my hands just a few weeks ago in an used records store, but the 40 euro price tag won over my love for totally obscure relics of crap pop culture items.
what i do remember about though is that it was advertised as featuring "state of the art use of the moog synthesizer" on the sleeve an allegedly used samples of classical pieces which I can't remember...

disputed paragraph[edit]

The following paragraph has been repeatedly added to the article:

"While this book had been released many years before Hubbard founded Scientology (earlier in the piece someone wrote that the book was first published in 1980--this time line does not jibe), the storyline of Battlefield Earth and the Story of how the Thetans came to be on Earth are almost identical. It was once rumoured that Hubbard started the Scientology cult as an attempt to raise revenue for his book."

The first claim, that the book had been released many years before Hubbard founded Scientology, is completely untrue. The book was written and first published in 1980. This makes the last claim, that Scientology was started to raise revenue for the book, even more ludicrous than it is on the face of it (since when did one need to raise revenue to write a book??) The remaining claim, that the storyline of Battlefield Earth and the story of how thetans came to be on Earth are "almost identical", is also quite obviously false to anyone who is reasonably familiar with both; one can stretch for similarities but they cannot in any reasonable analysis be considered "almost identical". There is no true content in the entire paragraph; do not re-add it. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:09, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


There may be, unfounded, links between this MOVIE and scientology. However, whether these links are true or not, dose not determine this movie's inclusion in the Scientology Series.

This is a movie. It is not a significant part of scientology.

This article is part of the movie series of wikipedia articles. Not part of the scientology series.

AS such, since the scientology claims to this movie are disputed, the scientology series template CANNOT be used. However, hypothesised links between this movie and scientology can be written about within the article, as long as the spirit of the article is on the movie itself and is not lost in a debate of scientology.

As an anology:

The article on The Passion of the Christ, does not include the "Chirsitanity Series" wiki template. Even though its connections to christianty were much more evident then this movies connections to scientology.

The debate here is not whether this movie was influenced by scientology. The important fact is, this article IS NOT suitable for inclusion in the scientology series wiki template.

Please do no place a Wikipedia scientology series template on this movie article. Bmgoau 13:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Please sign your comments. Personally, I'm not sure that the Scientology template belongs on this book article. (It's primarily a book after all, and probably part of a few book series as well.) There are connections between BE and Scientology and these are well founded, justifying links in the article. I just think that the full template is overkill. AndroidCat 04:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
This is pretty much my conclusion as well. Bmgoau does seem to be forgetting that there was a book as well as a movie, and the fact that the book lays a very thin veil over its Scientology content does not make that content only "hypothesized". But with that being said, this simply isn't a "core" article on Scientology; if we place the template on every single article with some connection to Scientology it simply duplicates what the category system is already doing. So I support removing the template. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:48, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Thankyou for your considerations, i did indeed forget the importance of the book, though my conclusion remains the same. Thankyou for the comment. I appreciate that we can now conclude that although this movie is related to the cult of scientology, it is not an article directly needing the scientology template. Bmgoau 13:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

A whole lot of POV[edit]

There a a LOT of POV in this article. I'm no scientologist but I think there is a HUGE anti-Hubbard slant to this. In keeping with wikipedia's standards, this article should have a major overhaul or else get a NPOV tag. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I'd be interested in knowing why you think that, by Wikipedia's standards, there is a "HUGE" anti-Hubbard slant to this. What do you think is missing? -- Antaeus Feldspar 19:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about anything missing but I agree that there is a large slant to this article. I am going to put a cite needed tag on everything that should either be removed or cited. --User:98percenthuman

I actually like the book, meandering pulp fiction nonsense as it may be. The complete lack of a plot section is rather worrisome. POV tag it is. Chris Cunningham 23:09, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I came across the article a few days ago and have been filling out the infoboxes, but it certainly needs more work. -- ChrisO 23:16, 16 August 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone support Vossman (talk · contribs)'s undiscussed decision to split this article off into two separate articles? I don't, frankly. Since the film is an adaptation of the novel and a fairly faithful one it makes more sense to discuss the two together. If the novel and the film had had less connection, or if the article had been an unwieldy size, a breakup might have made sense, but neither of those was the case. Unless someone has some really good reasoning to present, I'll be recombining the articles soon. -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually this does seem to be standard practice for films-of-books. Compare e.g. Atonement (novel)/Atonement (film). I don't think it's an unreasonable split, and it does stop the individual articles from getting too long - shorter is better. -- ChrisO 18:12, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The fact that the film is so loosely based on the film as to feel like it was written first and then rebranded is also a consideration. That said, a split is a bit premature right now. Chris Cunningham 20:38, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I am a split artist. When I find pages that get so freaking long about unrelated material, I split them up. That said, I firmly believe in be bold policy. Yeah, I could have posted a do you want me to break this up? But by the time the votes were in I'd quit caring. I felt that the book and film though sharing the same story are completely unrelated the film dives into its production, poor box office, bad critic reception, and worst film ever status while book covers the plot, its relation to scientology, and its literary aspects. I just didn't feel they have alot of overlap. If you disagree, be bold and switch it back. --vossman 21:32, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the length of each article, combined with the fact that the movie is actually quite divergent from the book in significant ways, combined with precedent (In Cold Blood gets separate articles for book and for film, for example), all point to Vossman's edit as doing the right thing. wikipediatrix 00:13, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
In that case I'd definitely like to see more added to the account of the novel explaining what was actually different, rather than just skipped for time. Obviously even covering only the first half of the book they were still going to have to gloss over stuff (especially stuff that's already mentioned in the article, like Johnny teaming with the lamas and highlanders) but if there's any truth to the claim that the two are so different it feels like the movie was "written first and then rebranded" then we really need much more about the book. I'd always heard that it was a very faithful adaptation considering that they could only turn about two hours' worth of book into a movie. -- Antaeus Feldspar 01:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Battlefield Earth (novel) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 16:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)