In Star Trek Beyond, there is a scene where the Enterprise enters the nebula. It is flying slowly and there is a discussion about the collisions disturbing the sensors.

When I saw this scene I had a strong association with the same scene in Titan A.E. and I had to watch it again to verify this.

The two scenes share almost everything for some seconds. The background with the colliding asteroids, the dialog and also the camera perspective are identical.

Can someone confirm my assumption and explain why they used this scene? Is it a wanted reference?

  • It's also similar to the Star Wars II asteroid chase scene, only without the chase. It's a common fantasy for free-flying spaceships - Treasure Planet also has a near Titan A.E. identical 'nebula-cloud-with-flying-space-creatures' moment. Aug 18, 2016 at 21:32
  • Actually Titan A.E. copied a Voyager episode. Remember at one point they lose the Valkyrie by hiding in an ice field with a ton of very clear reflections and horrible sensor penetration? That's "inspired" by the climax of Season 1, episode 4 of Voyager. The titular ship loses a rogue ship it's chasing inside an asteroid Millennium Falcon-style with a reflective interior that interferes heavily with the sensors. So this is just repaying the favor.
    – saichai
    Apr 16, 2017 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


Space is vast. Ridiculously so.

If you have a movie taking place primarily in space, you have the challenge of making the vastness of space interesting. Let's face it, what can you encounter in space other than the infinitely unprobable chance of approaching one of the sparse objects populating it? (Planets, Stars, Asteroids/Satellites)

This is where Hollywood (or any other monstrous entertainment industry) steps in. Navigating an asteroid field in a tiny free-flying spaceship is so outlandish and far from reality that it is laughable. If asteroids were clustered so close they would form planets or obliterate themselves into dust and there would be no asteroid field left. If they were small and numerous enough (like planetary rings) with a high enough motion to avoid them clustering, they would be impossible to spot and dodge (and shred you to pieces). So yeah, it's totally impossible. But it sure is fun to watch. Same goes for action movie car chases, plane movies with chases in canyons, ski movies outrunning avalanches, etc...

It's just a theme, and a very winningly entertaining one. And like any other, without plagiarizing, if you use it, you'll end up ridiculously similar to another of it's usage. This is what happened here. If you choose to have a space ship enter a very 'active' asteroid field (no matter how unrealistic it is) - what could be more exciting than having the asteroids crashing into one another, causing near misses to your protagonists space ship, and having it bob and weave through these immense rocks that constantly crash into one another. Think about it, pick any movie that has an asteroid field. Have the protagonist NOT gone in it? And NOT had a close call?

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    Well, I really like the movie although its plot is rather flat. And I also know that many scenes (also in other genres) may be similar to other scenes from other movies. But what called my attention is the fact that this specific scene is actually restaged from Titan A.E. - I just didn't understand why nobody watched that movie and had the same association. Even the dialog equals almost word by word. Aug 19, 2016 at 7:30
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    You could say the same of Treasure Planet and Titan A.E.'s nebulae cloud riding with space mammals scenes. Aug 29, 2016 at 15:15
  • Forget about dodging asteroids, the real trick is knowing you are in an asteroid field at all!!! In our own asteroid belt, the average distance from 1 rock to the next is about 2 million miles: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/26712/…
    – Dave
    Oct 10, 2016 at 19:07

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