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File:Star-wars-opening-shot 9246.png

So you want to establish your Cool Spaceship's power and destructive potential? Easy! Just have it enter the screen (usually from the top) and sloooooowly crawl forward. For extra drama have the ship suddenly appear in the distance with a small flash of light after coming out of hyperspace and THEN slowly crawl forward.

Examples of Standard Establishing Spaceship Shot include:


  • The Trope Codifier is Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which began with a Star Destroyer chasing Leia's much smaller ship.
    • Later Star Wars movies used these as well. The Super-class Star Destroyer Executor in Episode V, the Rebel flagship Home One in Episode VI, the Jedi transport in Episode I, the Naboo ambassadorial ship in Episode II, and the Republic Venator class star destroyer in Episode III.
      • The Episode III one is actually a subversion, as the long panning shot ends to reveal hundreds of warships fighting the Battle of Coruscant in the distance, showing that this ship isn't particularly special. Yes, George Lucas loves this trope.
    • Spaceballs parodied this by having the Big Bad's ship's introduction stretch on and on and on for well over a minute.
  • Used for the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey in a famously drawn-out fashion.
  • The beginning of Event Horizon is the camera slowly exploring a space station, with such costly CGI that it reportedly took up a third of the film's budget.
  • At the beginning of Avatar.
  • Used to show off the shiny new Enterprise in Star Trek the Motion Picture.
    • ^ Turned up to eleven, half the movie is just shots of the Enterprise receiving a fly-by shot, or doing a fly-by over V'Ger.
  • Also used for the U.S.S. Kelvin in Star Trek.
  • Alien opens with the camera panning over the Nostromo.
  • The opening shot of Independence Day.
  • Parodied by Spaceballs, with a Spaceball-1 so enormous that just keeps scrolling into frame for several interminable minutes.

Live Action TV

Video Games

  • The Lindblum in Final Fantasy XIII makes its first appearance by slowly emerging from a huge cloud.
  • The first game in the Halo series opens with the Pillar of Autumn floating by. Most of the games do this at least once, such as the assault carrier and In Amber Clad in Halo 2, and the Long Night of Solace supercarrier in Halo: Reach.
  • The first scene after the Illusive Man's office in Mass Effect 2 is the Normandy exiting hyperspace and flying towards the camera. The first game mixed this with shots of Shepard walking through the interior on his/her way to the bridge.
  • The Opening Sequence of the first game in the Galaxy Angel gameverse features the Elsior crawling upward.
  • Free Space 2 does this numerous times, the most noteworthy being the intro. At the end of the scene, the camera pans out above the planet, where a fleet of GTVA ships flies in, including the GTVA Colossus.
  • The ship database of Infinite Space does this when viewing ship information. It's also the victory screen after battles and the "Press Start" screen when the game starts up.
  • Bowser is actually introduced this way at the very beginning of Super Mario Galaxy.
  • The orgina login menu of Starcraft II had the hyperion over the screen and then go off to hyperspace,
    • Apparently it goes right behind the screen and does it again
      • Turns into a overly long gag if you stay on the login screen for a while

Web Original

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