The Deadliest Planets In Sci-Fi Movies

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

Not an Aloe Vera plant

Exploring new worlds is a key premise in science fiction. Unfortunately for the bold souls making the trips, new planets do not often turn out to be vacation destinations. Sometimes characters find themselves on a deadly planet, and a great story usually follows. Here is our list of the deadliest planets ever featured in sci-fi movies.

M6-117 – Pitch Black

Human beings are afraid of the dark for a reason. On the planet M6-117, that is not usually a problem. 

Sure, it is an arid wasteland, but its three suns make sure that daytime never ends. That works out since the planet is infested with horrifying underground creatures that are hypersensitive to light. But they stay out of the sun, so this is not such a deadly planet. Right?

Unfortunately for the survivors of a crash landed prison transport vessel, M6-117 is also subject to solar eclipses that allow monsters to roam the surface and kill anything on it.

In Pitch Black, the only hope of survival is Riddick, a convict with modified eyes that are super sensitive to light, allowing him to see with precision during the darkness of the eclipse. With Riddick on your side, you might stand a chance, but that doesn’t stop this place from being a deadly planet for the sci-fi movie pantheon.

Hoth – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Hoth is a frozen wasteland fit only for the scum of the galaxy. Rebel scum, that is.

No one has any reason to go to Hoth, which is exactly why the Rebellion made it a key base. It is no wonder why Han Solo was so eager to leave at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. The place he was staying was literally carved out of ice.

In Star Wars, the temperatures on Hoth become deadly once the sun sets on this ice planet. If the cold doesn’t kill you, the wampas will. The wampa is the creature that attacks Luke Skywalker at the beginning of Empire and drags him back to its ice den. It is basically an abominable snowman that eats tauntauns (sad).

If you manage to avoid bites, both frost and wampa, you still have to avoid getting stepped on by AT-ATs or running into a very angry Darth Vader. All in all, Hoth is a deadly planet best avoided – catch me on Naboo, instead.

Klendathu – Starship Troopers

Klendathu is the homeworld of a species of giant, vicious, and intelligent bugs. So, yeah, it is a pretty deadly planet.

The soldiers in Starship Troopers learn that lesson the hard way. When human forces descend upon Klendathu, they get a taste of just how tough the Arachnids are. The battle ends in a defeat that decimates hundreds of thousands of human soldiers.

Many of the Klendathu scenes in Starship Troopers were shot at Hell’s Half Acre in Wyoming. The location was not as deadly as a planet populated by murderous bugs, but it was not exactly hospitable. 

The crew was plagued by blistering hot days, freezing nights, extreme wind and rain, and mud that swallowed equipment and vehicles. Maybe Earth should go on this deadly planet list…

LV-223 – Prometheus

deadly planet

Prometheus is a prequel to Alien that explores the origins of the Xenomorphs and their biological predecessors. It is not pretty.

For starters, LV-223 has so much carbon dioxide in the air that a human being would be dead after two minutes of breathing without protective gear. But let’s be honest, the air is the last thing to worry about on LV-223.

The real problems are the weird creatures and mutagenic ooze. A snake-like alien, eerily reminiscent of a facehugger, kills two people. Black ooze infects others and results in a woman being impregnated with horrifying alien squid.

Then there are the engineers, the alien species said to be the creators of humanity. They are a race that likes to play god, but they suffer deadly consequences for their actions.

If you ever find yourself with an invite from your purported creator to visit LV-223, maybe embrace mystery instead.

Pandora – Avatar

james cameron

If you look past the carnivorous creatures, territorial natives, and colonizer-instigated war, Pandora from Avatar looks like a fantasy land. Keeping all of those things in view, Pandora looks more like an extremely deadly planet.

That does not stop Jake Sully from falling in love with it. This human man takes on the form of a native Na’vi in a bio-engineered avatar, and in doing so, integrates into their culture and finds a new home on Pandora.

Acceptance by both Na’vi and humans is a challenging task, and the movie proves many times over that Pandora is a deadly planet for all who inhabit it, native or not.

Arrakis (Dune) – Dune

deadly planet

Arrakis is a beautiful planet to look at. Its shimmering sands, breathtaking sunsets, and rich culture give this far-off world an attractive veneer, but beneath the beauty of its dunes, Arrakis is a mighty deadly planet.

In the world of Dune, the desert heat of Arrakis punishes all who brave its sands. Speaking of sand, Arrakis’s dunes also contain spice, a valuable substance used to fuel interplanetary space travel, that also happens to be a hallucinogen.

The value of spice attracts a lot of visitors to Arrakis that are not there to make friends. Consequently, the natives of Arrakis are not big on visitors. Not to mention the giant underground sandworms waiting to engulf weary desert travelers.

This deadly planet and the creatures on it probably want to kill you, and are very capable of doing so, making Arrakis one of sci-fi’s most hostile environments.

Mustafar – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

deadly planet

Even on the high ground, Mustafar is a pit of danger. The planet is basically one big volcano, characterized by smoldering heat and violent bursts of lava. This deadly planet also becomes the place Darth Vader goes for “me” time.

In Revenge of the Sith, Mustafar is the last place Anakin Skywalker gets to look in the mirror and see the handsome face of Hayden Christensen smiling back at him. He catches fire on the bank of a lava river after Obi-Wan relieves him of his limbs. Anakin burns to a crisp before getting fitted for the last suit he would ever wear.

Darth Vader returns to the deadly planet to live in his very own castle, which is super cool, but it does not make Mustafar any more appealing to those scrolling through Galactic AirBnB.

LV-426 (Acheron) – Aliens

deadly planet

It seems no one who has ever visited LV-426 has had a good time. To start, it is a dark, rocky planet with violent winds. What makes it a truly deadly planet, however, came from somewhere else.

LV-426 is the dwelling place of a Xenomorph queen that has laid thousands of eggs containing facehuggers. That is, until Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) shows up.

In Aliens, Ripley returns to LV-426 decades after her initial visit to the planet saw one of her crew members impregnated by an alien creature that burst out of him and systematically killed every member of her crew. This time, she is ready for the threat, and she blows every last one of the creatures away in a fiery hellstorm.

LV-426 does not really exist afterward, but when it did, it was perhaps the most deadly planet you could ever have the misfortune of visiting.