Everyone loves the idea of traveling to faraway planets and hanging out with aliens, right? Science fiction is such a cool genre — there’s spaceships and jet packs and lightsabers and sexy green women and a guy who travels through time in a phone booth! It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, though, when you start to actually think about the type of planets you see in sci-fi stories. Some of them are utopias, sure, but those places usually get blown up, like Krypton and Alderaan and the planet Vulcan from the new Star Trek movie. For every lush world full of hyperintelligent civilizations, there’s a crappy slime-planet that everybody hates living on (and some of the lush planets are pretty crappy too, actually). Don’t believe us? We’ve rounded up some of the worst places we could think of to build a summer home in the science fiction world, ranked from least to most awful. Check out our list after the jump, and tell us about your least favorite planet in the comments.
Well, the fictional version of Earth anyway. It gets attacked by aliens, planet-napped, blown up, enslaved, sucked dry of resources, and ridiculed constantly, and you can’t always expected Superman or the Doctor to fly in and save it, really. Plus, if Ford Prefect of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is to believed, it’s mindlessly dull compared to the rest of the galaxy — all of its major inhabitants have only two arms! Still, we rather happen to like it, so we’ll keep it at the bottom of the list.
Ursa Minor Beta
Speaking of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, why’s Ursa Minor Beta, where the guide is published, such an awful place? Well, as Douglas Adams notes, “although it is excruciatingly rich, horrifyingly sunny and more full of wonderfully exciting people than a pomegranate is of pips, it can hardly be insignificant that when a recent edition of Playbeing Magazine headlined an article with the words, ‘When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life,’ the suicide rate there quadrupled overnight.” Yikes. So sort of like Beverly Hills, then?
Miranda might have been sort of a nice place when it was first terriformed by the Alliance in Firefly and Serenity. But then the government decided to experiment with a chemical that was supposed to curb aggression in the planet’s population. What it did instead was make almost everyone so docile that they all stopped moving and slowly died of, well, all the things you die of when you can’t even make the effort to turn your head slightly. The people who weren’t “almost everyone?” They became horrifying monsters who mutilated themselves and raped, killed, and skinned people across the galaxy for no good reason. Not a fun time for anybody, if you ask us.
Sure, the double sunset must be nice to look at, but you know what two suns means? It’s twice as hot. That’s why the whole planet’s a desert. Seriously, it’s so hot that people have to harvest moisture on farms. Also, slavery is legal, anybody can shoot anyone else they feel like (which is fine when it’s Han shooting Greedo, but not when it’s someone shooting you), and then there are the Sarlaac pits!
The Wikipedia article for the planet from the DC universe (yes, of course it has its own Wikipedia article) calls its name a “play” on the word apocalypse. We would call it a ham-fisted misspelling, but whatever. It doesn’t get much better from there, as the planet is covered in fire pits, inhabited by bald “Lowlies” who have no self esteem, and ruled by Darkseid, an evil god who was inspired by Richard Nixon. Yeah, no. No to all of that.
First of all, you couldn’t really set foot on this gorgeous planet from the Doctor Who revival, because the sun emits a toxic radiation that vaporizes organic matter. Instead you’d have to live encased in three feet of glass, and even then you wouldn’t be safe from the terrifying unseen life forms that might possess you, steal your voice, and start echoing everyone around you. That’s the stuff nightmares are made of, man. It might be pretty to look at, but we’ll pass.
For the uninitiated, Arrakis from Dune is sort of like Tatooine in that it its weather is impossibly oppressive, to the point where there is no naturally occurring precipitation – water has to be imported. Also, GIANT SAND WORMS. The only reason anybody lives on it at all is to harvest Melange, a drug that can increase the life span of its user. You know what? If we had to live on a planet filled with sand worms for the rest of our unnaturally long lives, we’d rather just die young, thanks.
The Near Death Star
Technically this artificial environment from Futurama isn’t an actual planet, but it would still suck to live on it, because it’s where Earth stores all of their elderly above the age of 160, to keep them out of the way. Basically it’s an intergalactic retirement home where people live in booths hooked up to life support systems. Regular retirement homes are disturbing enough – we would hate to live on a planet full of people about to die.
The crew of the Star Trek Enterprise journeyed to a new planet on every episode, so there’s a lot to keep track of. The worst of these was Vargas II in The Next Generation. Picard leads his team to answer a distress signal and they find that the only form of life on the planet is this giant angry sludge bag who kills one of the major characters, Tasha Yar, before she got a chance to become awesome when the show greatly improved in Season 3. Imagine living on that planet with the physical manifestation of evil from an ancient race, though! No wonder everyone abandoned him.
Ego the Living Planet
As its title suggest, Ego from the Marvel Universe is a planet that’s alive. As its name suggests, Ego is sort of a dick. It does this thing where it likes to change its appearance into a lush, green environment to lure in settlers, which it then promptly eats. It was also able to read Thor’s mind during their first encounter, which would be the worst thing ever, wouldn’t it? Living with someone who could read your mind would suck, but imagine if the entire planet you existed on could do that? And could change its climate to piss you off? That doesn’t sound fun at all.