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What happens when a species' homeworld becomes uninhabitable? Simply pack everything up and leave.

In fiction, this generally (sometimes unintentionally) serves one of two purposes:

  • It's a way to take the homeworld out of the story. If your story is about humans flying through the galaxy looking for a place to settle, then take Earth out of the picture.
  • It justifies massive culture changes. With no ideological baggage, the species is free to change in any way the creator wants.
Examples of Homeworld Evacuation include:


Comic Books

  • In some Marvel Comics stories, inhabited planets have a Galactus protocol which is essentially this.
  • It's a staple of the Superman mythos that Jor-El wanted this to happen but, for whatever reason, was rejected. He only managed to launch an experimental pod containing his infant son.
  • Discussed but never actually occurs in several Star Trek comics.
  • Up to Eleven in the old Star Wars Expanded Universe where the Yuuzhan Vong fled their galaxy due to a machine uprising and a series of wars.
  • Happens three times in Transformers: Unicron. First when Unicron devours Elonia, Space Bridge technology is used to evacuate 3/4ths of the population. When Unicron eats Caminus, the natives flee via Space Bridge. And when Cybertron is ripped to shreds, the Spectral Knights use their magic to teleport everyone off the planet and to Earth.
  • An unusual example occurs in the Valerian story, Welcome to Alflolol. The uninhabited Death World of Technorog is a mining colony for the Terran Galactic Empire only for it to be revealed that the long-lived inhabitants merely took a 4,000 year holiday. In the end, the natives decide to leave the planet rather than be bound by Earth's binding rules and regulations. The whole thing was an allegory for the treatment of Native Americans under the rule of Western colonizers.

Fan Works

Films

  • The Skrulls in Captain Marvel fled their world when the Kree began an orbital bombardment that eventually destroyed Skrullos.
  • In the climax of Thor: Ragnarok, what little remains of the Asgardian race boards a spaceship to leave the deserted Asgard to be destroyed by Surtur so Hela can be killed.
  • The opening scene of Titan A.E. depicts this as refugee ships try and escape.
  • As per tradition, Cybertron has been abandoned in Transformers.
    • The Bumblebee reboot depicts only the Autobots as leaving Cybertron simply because the Decepticons have chased them off the planet through sheer conquest.
  • In WALL-E, pollution grew to such high levels that everyone up and left the planet. The exodus was only supposed to last five years but the toxicity levels were so high that it took 700 years for the planet to become habitable again.

Live Action TV

  • A staple of Battlestar Galactica. In both the classic and the RDM series, what few survivors of the Cylon attack fled the Twelve Colonies when their worlds were irradiated to the point of being unable to support life.
    • The backstory also features a mass-exodus from humanity's original homeworld, Kobol.
  • An oddly consistent aspect in the future of Doctor Who features the Earth being abandoned on account of solar flare activity.
    • The Day of the Doctor mentions that the Zygons fled their world when it was destroyed in the early days of the Time War.
    • The Daleks likewise abandoned Skaro for a while as the Time War ravaged it but eventually came back and cleaned the place up.
  • Star Trek:
  • Supergirl:
    • When chunks of Krypton rained down on their planet, the Daxamites fled. Unlike most examples, Daxam is still there and slowly healing itself, with the Daxamite fleet intending to resettle at some point.
    • In Hour One of Crisis on Infinite Earths, three billion people flee Earth-38 for Earth-1 as their home is destroyed by the anti-matter wavefront.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Done by the Gourmands (Upchuck's people) in Ben 10: Omniverse. Done, not because the Incursean Empire actually conquered their planet, but simply because the Gourmands felt compelled to destroy their world before it could be conquered and then began the migration for a new one. There's a reason the planet was called Peptos XI.
  • The Fully-Absorbed Finale for Challenge of the Go Bots, told through the pages of Transformers Timelines, reveals that the eponymous cyborgs fled their universe when another reality, the world of Transformers Classics, began encroaching on their space in the multiverse and overwriting their reality.
  • In the backstory of Solar Opposites, a hundred adults and their replicants fled their doomed homeworld to preserve their culture and terraform a new home for their species.
  • Superman: The Animated Series has a practical take on this. Jor-El would shunt the entire population of Krypton into the Phantom Zone and fly to a new world where he would bring everyone out and they'd rebuild their civilization. It doesn't happen because, aside from no one wanting to go into the Phantom Zone and Jor-El detecting the explosion, at most, a day before it's going to go off (meaning there's not enough time to save everyone), Brainiac doesn't want this to happen because he feels preserving Krypton's knowledge (namely himself) is more important than its people.
  • A staple of Transformers fiction. After millions of years of war, Cybertron is too drained of energon to support its population.
    • Actually downplayed in the G1 cartoon. Cybertron is still habitable but it's not at 100% power until the Grand Finale.
      • Repeated in Transformers: Cyberverse. Cybertron is still habitable, but there's not enough energon to support the whole population.
    • Surprisingly, Transformers Cybertron is the only instalment of the Unicron Trilogy to do this, not because Cybertron is uninhabitable but simply because of the massive black hole bearing down on the planet. In Armada and Energon, people only left Cybertron simply because they had business elsewhere.
    • Averted completely in Transformers Animated. Cybertron is a thriving planet, even being the capital of its own commonwealth. The only reason the main cast wind up on Earth is because they were on a deep space mission and went through a malfunctioning Space Bridge while being targeted by Decepticons.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • In the Whole-Episode Flashback, the Galra homeworld of Daibazaal was destabilized by a trans-reality comet. As the inter-dimensional rift began threatening the solar system, King Alfor evacuated the planet before destroying it. Zarkon, now Drunk on the Dark Side, pays him back by destroying Altea, without giving anyone the time to evacuate.
    • The Taujeer's planet undergoes a period where it sheds its skin like a snake, so the natives set up a habitat on their moon to wait out the changes.