1. Caprica and Gemenon
Two of the twelve planets that make up the world of Battlestar Galactica and Caprica. The planets are twin planets who trade places with one another in their orbit every 28 days. We see far more of Caprica than Gemenon; much of the action in the TV show Caprica occurs in Caprica City, pictured above, which is a sparkling, futuristic metropolis where citizens travel by hovercar.
Midnight is the resort planet in the Doctor Who episode of the same name. Most of the crystalline planet is rendered uninhabitable by X-tonic radiation. However, protected buildings have been lowered to the planet’s surface. Travelers to the leisure planet can take in the gorgeous views while enjoying the anti-gravity restaurant and spa treatments. Oh, and this is another fictional planet that could exist. Astronomers found a dead star made of pure diamond that they are calling pulsar J1719-1438.
As a kid, I was fascinated with Etheria, She-Ra’s adopted planet in the animated series She-Ra: Princess of Power. The Whispering Woods where the rebel camp was located looked like a fantastic place for an adventure. The dark, smoky factories of The Fright Zone figured in a nightmare or two.
While most Star Trek planets would be edifying to visit, few would be as relaxing as the pleasure planet Risa. Risa’s atmosphere is artificially controlled to give the formerly blustery, rainy and earthquake-prone planet consistently amenable weather. Attractions include a subterranean forest filled with bioluminescent creatures and a restaurant on the deck of a boat that serves just-caught seafood. Risa is considered the most peaceful planet in the Federation. Weapons are banned and the only threat is the occasional pickpocket or petty thief.
This alien home world from Avatar is a moon, not a planet, but, its lush forests earn it an entry on this list. Pandora revolves around a gas giant which, in turn, revolves around a sun, leading to a sky that is a different hue from every altitude. Mountains made of a hyper-conductive material levitate in the valleys. The planet is covered almost from pole to pole with lush, tropical rain forests.
Better yet, scientists say that a habitable moon is completely possible. If the gas giant planet it circled was in the habitable region of its solar system – where it is neither too hot nor too cold – such a satellite could conceivably sustain life. Since one of James Cameron’s goals was to make the planet’s plant and animal life as scientifically plausible as possible, we could just find bioluminescent six-legged creatures on some distant moon.
6. The Library
An entire planet of books! This planet, from the Doctor Who episodes Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, features a planet where a copy of every book ever written is archived. The Library was assembled (will be assembled?) sometime in the 50th century. Its architect is Felman Lux, who created the computer at the library’s core for his granddaughter, Charlotte. Above the digital core – the largest computer in existence – were paper copies of all of the books.
It’d be best to schedule a visit sometime before the infestation of Vashta Nerada arrives.
7. The Disc
What if the world really was flat? Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is set on a flat planet supported by four elephants living on the back of a turtle that swims through space. The enormously complex world of the Discworld series has prevented many adaptations from being made. However, a Kickstarter-funded fan movie based on the short story Troll Bridge is currently in the works. The trailers look pretty awesome, and the project has the blessing of author Terry Pratchett, who says he is delighted.
Just because the movie wasn’t the greatest of the Star Wars episodes doesn’t mean the planet isn’t worth visiting. Naboo’s scenery includes rolling hills, dense swampland and wide plains. There are cities, but most of the population lives in quiet farmland. The underwater cities of the Gungan would be fascinating to visit, as well. They can’t all be like Jar-Jar.
9. Rogue Planets
Rogue planets that cruise through the galaxy outside the gravitational pull of any larger body have long been the stuff of science fiction. In the original Star Trek series, the crew winds up stranded on a rogue planet that shouldn’t support life, but is inhabited by a man who introduces himself as “General Trelane, retired.” In the Marvel Transformers comics, Cybertron is a planet that’s been deliberately thrown out of its orbit so Decepticons could use it as a giant warship. And now, scientists have found a rogue planet that is roughly four times as large as Jupiter floating near our solar system. Known by the catchy moniker CFBDSIR2149, the planet is likely a gas giant. No one knows exactly why it isn’t being pulled apart by the gravity of the larger bodies it passes. Hopefully the answer isn’t malevolent alien robots.