As a sci-fi writers, I've always been interested in the backstory and/or history of the fictional worlds that are created. Recently, I've become interested in the backstory to the Will Smith's big 2013 summer sci-fi epic After Earth, and I thought FWS would devoted a small blogpost to this interesting world that has already been expanded upon prior to the film's June 7 release data...and Will Smith didn't give me any cash for this. My only worry about the film is the director, M. Night Shayamalan. His track record is not good lately, and there better not be any mind-fuck ending that this is all some dream, or Will Smith playing Legos with his kid! I have to say, this world looks interesting, and the movie could work...could. Here some interesting elements of the world of After Earth.
Toxic Earth and the 750,000
In 2025, Earth is on a crash-course to environmental collapse, and it appears that off-world colonization is the only answer. The original plan was for ten 'Ark' FTL colony vessels would take 125,000 each to the new homeworld of humanity. However, conditions on Terra collapsed at a much faster rate than predicted and only six could be completed, cutting down the 1.25 million that would make the trip, to 750,000, which works out to 0.0000625% of the entire human population. I would have originally believed that the Ark FTL Colony ships were designed to freeze the 125,000 guests, but it seems from the art, that these were 'live-in' modules, complete with spinning sections, and Earth-like green zones. What information we have does not detail how Nova Prime was discovered, or if the ships were launched prior to discover.
The Light-Stream Drive
Nova Prime and the battle to keep our new home
In 2066, six Ark colonial vessels leave Terra bound for Nova Prime, that lays 100 years away at FTL speed. Around 2166, the ships find and begin colonizing Nova Prime. 143 years after the founding of the colony, the Nova Prime settlers met the Skrel. According to this alien race, Nova Prime was holy ground to them, and the humans were defacing it. War soon came, and the Skrel believed they could easily win against the remains of mankind, but they thought wrong. Attacks came and went, and the human colony on holy ground remained. In 576 AE, the Skrel released an genetic engineered species, called the Ursa.
The United Ranger CorpsOriginal developed by the UN during the days prior to the Ark ships leaving, these 1,000 handpicked best-of-the-best from each nation were used to control the violent natural outbreaks from the dying world. These were elite team of first responsers that helped save thousands and left with the Ark ships in 2066. Once the new colony was established on Nova Prime, the Rangers became the military of the new society, and over a thousand years of traditions and alien wars, the Rangers are the solution fro preserving humanity.
The C-40 'Cutlass' Combat Model
According to the After Earth entry on Facebook, the Life-Suit worn by the Ranger Corps is able to adapt to weather and environmental conditions, offers protections, and can change color and texture based on the local conditions. There is a few seconds of footage of the Life-Suit having 'Flying Squirrel' suit abilities. At the moment, I'm unsure if the Life-Suit is standard combat issue, or if it drawn out for hazard, off-world duty, or even if it is part of the life-pod equipment. No word if it recycles sweat and urine for drinking water.
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