?Weapons of Mass Destruction are bad news. It’s a bold claim, but we stand by it. While WMDs can be used to strike fear in people and governments and deter other forces from attack, weapons of mass destruction are mainly made to kill a shit-ton of people. In science fiction, WMDs can be even more dangerous — they can destroy fleets, worlds and sometimes, universes. Here, in order of least to most destructive, are the 10 deadliest fictional WMDs we know of… by which we mean specifically from science fiction books, shows, movies and videogames. Nothing else. Can’t stress that enough.
12) Mega Maid, Spaceballs
Of all of the ways to die, suffocating would be likely one of the most unpleasant — right up there with being burned alive or getting anally violated by rabid wombats. But the Spaceballs are assholes, so that is precisely how they decided to kill the entire population of Druidia. To accomplish this, they brought out the secret weapon hidden aboard Spaceball One — its ability to transform into a giant mecha known as Mega Maid. With access to Druidia’s planetary shields and a frikking huge Hoover, Mega Maid proceeded to suck the atmosphere from the planet, leaving its population behind as air-starved collateral damage. That is, until Lonestar and Barf were able to sabotage the Maid, turning her from “suck” to “blow.” In the end, it is the stupidity of the Spaceballs which dooms Mega Maid, as they inadvertently trigger her self-destruct system.
11) Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator, Looney Tunes
While we have not yet seen an effective demonstration of the Explosive Space Modulator, we can assume that it is powerful enough to destroy an Earth-sized planet, as Marvin the Martian was so interested in doing. It generally looks unassuming, resembling a stick of dynamite, but when it’s attached to a telescope and detonated, it should be powerful enough to split the Earth in two in an earth-shattering kaboom.
10) Death Blossom, The Last Starfighter
When the Ko-Dan Armada decimated Rylos and the majority of the Star League’s defenses, it seemed that all was lost for the peace-loving citizens of the galaxy. All that was left was a single Gunstar, and its lizard-like pilot and na?ve human gunner. As Alex Rogan put it, “It will be a slaughter!” He was right, but not in the way he thought… because his Gunstar was equipped with Death Blossom. While hundreds of Ko-Dan fighters attacked the Last Starfighter and closed in for the kill, Rogan initiated the release of Death Blossom — opening up four large panels on the ship’s supports, and displaying a rather significant amount of armament. When detonated, DB caused the Gunstar to start spinning, turning, yawing and rolling, and most importanly releasing a shit-ton of ordinance like a heavily armed Tazmanian Devil on amphetamines. The ship basically went bat-shit crazy, and in doing so killed the bad guys deader then hell, leaving only the command ship behind. Now, Death Blossom does have its disadvantages, as it causes the ship to lose power for a short period of time, and it seems to be a one-shot deal, unable to be fired until the Gunstar is resupplied. Still, since it kills everybody in sight, that seems like a pretty reasonable price to pay.
9) Stone Burner, Dune: Messiah
?While nuclear weapons, or atomics as they are referred to in the Dune universe, exist in the real world, no real world nuclear weapon is quite as insidious as a Stone Burner. The unique aspect of the Stone Burner is that it is adjustable, in that it can be limited to have the power of a small tactical nuclear weapon, or can be set to a much higher yield. The dangers of this is that if a Stone Burner is left to detonate with its maximum amount of fuel, it could burn its way into the core of the planet, eventually cracking the planet in two. Another side effect of the Stone Burner is its emission of J-type radiation, or J-Rays; this form of fictional radiation specifically affects eye tissue, as Paul Atreides found out first-hand when a Stone Burner was detonated in Arrakeen. So if the Burner doesn’t immediately vaporize you, you’re still blinded by it Day of the Triffids-style. Kind of a douche move.
8) Genesis Torpedo, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
Thus far, the weapons on the list have all had one major talent: destroying things. The Genesis Torpedo doesn’t just destroy things, it recreates them afterwards. According to the project briefing, the Genesis Torpedo was supposed to be fired at a lifeless moon or planet, where it would completely terraform it into an almost instantly habitable world. In a universe where food supply is apparently an issue (at least according to Dr. Carol Marcus), this device could literally change Pluto into the universe’s largest Harris Teeter. Only one slight problem: if you fire it at an already populated planet, it’s going to switch into overwrite mode, erase all of the contents of the planet — include all the people — and replace everything with what it has been programmed to put there. So the Genesis Torpedo makes for a pretty bastard-y weapon. Not only does it eradicate your enemies in an instant, but then you could immediately move in and make yourself at home on their atomized remains. The Torpedo’s biggest problem is that occasionally it doesn’t work, and these new paradise planets just kind of fall apart, as Kirk’s son found out.
7) Death Star, Star Wars
Often mistaken for a moon, the Death Star is one of the most iconic WMDs in all of science fiction. While this technological terror is massive, with the first version one being 160 kilometers in diameter and Death Star 2: Electric Boogaloo being 900 kilometers, it was still mobile thanks to countless ION engines for sub-light speeds, and a network of 123 hyperdrive field generators used to send this behemoth into hyperspace. But the heart of this mean mother-frakker is its directed energy superlaser, capable of wiping a planet out of existence in a matter of seconds. Combine that with the thousands of turbolaser batteries, and you have one badass indestructible son of a bitch. Oh wait, did I say indestructible? What I meant to say was, almost indestructible. See, the Death Star wasn’t without its flaws; according to its specifications, its first flaw was that it needed to recharge its laser for 24 hours after a single planet-killing blast. Now I know what you are thinking, it fired more than one in Return of the Jedi; apparently it was able to scale down the power of the weapon and fire it multiple times until exhausted, hence why it was able to pick off so many poor Rebel capital ships. Now, the second and more important flaw is that the thing has a tail pipe. Now, normally this little wamprat-sized hole wouldn’t be an issue, so long as no starfighter piloted by a wanna-be Jedi tossed a proton torpedo down it. I mean, what are the odds? Well, after the destruction of the first Death Star, the Empire tried to rectify this by augmenting the Death Star 2 defenses with an impregnable energy shield…. er, an almost impregnable energy shield. Apparently all it takes to do pregnante the shield generator was a shit-load of poorly armed teddy bears and a handful of Rebel soldiers.
6) Shadow Planet Killer, Babylon 5
Destroying a planet is a pretty screwed-up thing. But if you want to destroy a planet and strike fear in the hearts of your enemies, your weapon of choice should be a Shadow Planet Killer. From a distance, the Planet Killer looks like an innocuous cloud of dust and gas. However, its target probably wont see it until far too late, asit can phase in and out of hyperspace at will, like other Shadow vessels. It then proceeds to envelope its victim plane; underneath the cloud is a vast network of beams, with each connecting point containing incredibly large missile launchers. Once the Planet Killer has completely encircled the planet and the network of beams is complete, it begins to rain down missiles at every point around the globe… and this is where it gets really sick. Instead of just detonating on the surface, killing all of the inhabitants and destroying all of the structures, the missiles instead burrow underground, exploding near the core of the planet. This doesn’t tear the planet apart or cause it to explode in a giant Michael Bay orgasm, but instead completely annihilates the planet’s ecosystem. Massive earthquakes, mega-volcanoes, tidal waves and other events eliminate all of the life on the planet and render it completely uninhabitable. Way to send a message.
5) Galactus, Marvel Comics
Originally a mere mortal from the planet Taa who joined with the Sentience of the Universe and cooked for a billion year or so, Galactus is a demi-god with a bad case of the munchies. With no 7-11 open in his corner of the galaxy, he decided to go for the next best thing,: eatin’ planets. But like Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t eat just one, so Galactus continues to travel the universe, making it his all-you-can-eat buffet. He is a polite glutton, however, as he sends his herald to announce his coming, presumably to allow some of the innocent citizens of his next appeteaser to escape. But all said and done, he’s still consumed countless worlds and the people on them. Galactus has been defeated several times by different heroes, including the Fantastic Four, which is why he’s not higher on this list.
4) Unicron, Transformers: The Movie
What do you get when you cross Galactus and Megatron? Mother-frakking Unicron, that’s what. This enormous (the Marvel Comic estimated him to be the size of Saturn) planet-shaped Transformer traveled the universe, soothing his intergalactic hunger on any poor unsuspecting planet that happened to cross his path. First, he hit his desired dinner with what looked like a tractor beam before plunging two enormous fangs into the sides of the doomed world, and pulling it into his gaping maw. Say Unicron gets confronted by something like the Death Star, a weapon specifically designed to destroy planet-sized objects. One would think that with no obvious external defenses, Unicron could be susceptible to another massive planet-killing object. But wait! That’s when Unicron transforms from a big-ass planet to big-ass robot. In his robot form, he can wreak physical havoc with any force in his path, so long as they don’t have the Matrix of Leadership. Additionally, Unicron makes for the coolest Transformer of all time, due to being voiced by Orson Fucking Wells. In fact, Unicron was so badass, that Wells died during the film’s production, knowing his career had peaked. True story.
3) Sun Crusher, Star Wars Expanded Universe
?If the Galactic Empire was a bit of an underachiever with the Death Star, they sure tried to make up for it with the Sun Crusher. A secret pet project run by Grand Moff Tarkin and overseen by Admiral Daala, it was mainly forgotten after the destruction of Tarkin and the first Death Star, but work secretly went on until its completion. About the size of a small starfighter with all of the visual aesthetics of a snow cone, it would be easy to quickly discount it. That would be a bad idea, however. First, it’s comprised of a Quantum-crystalline armor which makes it pretty much impregnable. Just how impregnable is it? Well, in a display of substandard piloting, Han Solo literally drove it through the bridge of a Star Destroyer, and it was even able to withstand a flesh wound from a fucking Death Star. But what really makes the Sun Crusher special is its weapons, specifically its 11 Resonance Torpedoes. When fired into a sun, they bore down through the star’s surface, releasing all sorts of funky energy, causing the core of the star to break apart, and initiating a fucking supernova. Why destroy one planet, when you can blow up an entire solar system?
2) Halo, Halo
?Of all of the weapons on the list, at least Halo has the common decency to think about the big picture. This enormous structure, so large that it actually contains its own ecosystem, complete with an atmosphere, plants and animals, was developed by the Forerunners as a weapon of last resort to combat the Flood. The Flood are a parasitic race whose sole purpose was to propagate by infecting any sentient living creature it encountered. Since the Halo universe is teaming with sentient life, the Forerunners decided to make a weapon that kills all that life, just to spite the Flood. When triggered, the Halo Array releases some form of energy wave that targets and kills any sentient life form it encounters in its limited range of 25,000 light years. But wait, there’s more! Because when one Halo is triggered, it also activates numerous other Halo devices in the universe to create a universe-wide purge of sentient life. With no more sentient life in the universe, the Flood has nothing to eat, and eventually starves to extinction. Sounds far-fetched right? Well, according to the story, it already happened, about 100,000 years before the start of Halo: Combat Evolved. And obviously it didn’t work too well, because as if on cue, the Flood reappear about midway through the first game to start munching on people again.
1) Reality Bomb, Doctor Who: Journey’s End
?The Daleks have tried multiple times to become the dominant power in the universe, but only once have they attempted to become the only power in the universe. The Reality Bomb was that attempt. It’s not an easy weapon to use, because for some reason the reality bomb requires twenty-six planets and a moon to get going, and even then it needs to be powered by the Dalek flagship the Crucible. Once that’s done, however, the bomb releases an energy wave that neutralizes the electrical fields between atoms, basically breaking all atomic bonds, making everything in the universe fall apart in an instant on an atomic level. But of course, the Daleks have grander ambitions that just killing the universe! You see, the Daleks set the Reality Bomb in the Medusa Cascade, a place that contains a rift in time and space. When the bomb is detonated, not only would all life cease in the universe, but all parallel and alternate universes, at all places and times, too. The only ones who aren’t affected would be those on board and nearby the Crucible, leaving the Daleks as the sole residents of all reality. Now that’s a scorched universe policy.
A fan of video games and science fiction from the moment he discovered his father's Atari 2600 and Star Wars, Jason Helton has been contributing to The Robot's Voice since 2011. Prior, he wrote for the UK's Den of Geek and was the producer and host of Iron Otaku Radio on XM's UPOP 29 channel. A die-hard fan of Battlestar Galactica (both old and new), Doctor Who, and pinball, you can follow him on Twitter @Razgriz1138.