Battlefield Earth: the Scientologist nanar who wanted to dethrone Star Wars and Dune

Battlefield Earth: the Scientologist nanar who wanted to dethrone Star Wars and Dune

Between its gamy Scientologist origins and its chaotic production, a look back at the happy nanar Battlefield Earth with John Travolta.

Often considered as one of the worst movies ever made, Battlefield Earthaka earth battlefield, proves that sometimes karma has a certain sense of humor. Originally, this competition nanar is a science fiction novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Already, we know that we will pay a slice. In the year 3000, Earth is a field of ruins where humanity has returned to a savage state (either Hubbard is a visionary or he saw The Planet of the Apes… You choose). A thousand years ago, the alien race Psychlo invaded the planet, and spread the horrible fashion of dreadlocks on all species that had the misfortune to survive mass extinction. Obviously, the resistance is born the day when Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, a young hunter, develops a new (and superior) intelligence in contact with the Psychlos who reduced him to slavery.

A certain idea of ​​Scientology

Blade Boomer

As we can guess from this collection of rubbish and badly arranged shots, Battlefield Earth brings to the screen, through its hero, a lot of the precepts of Tom Cruise’s favorite sect. Man is invited to a spiritual awakening that would allow him to transcend himself and become the chosen one of a humanity in perdition, no doubt to better cling to planes in full flight or to jump on a motorcycle from a cliff.

Released in 1982, the book Battlefield Earth immediately led L. Ron Hubbard to consider an adaptation, but it was not until 2000 that the project finally hit the screens, well after the guru’s death in 1986. Estimated at a substantial budget of 44 million dollarsthe feature film is from the start thought of as the start of a trilogy capable of competing with the greatest space operas (The Phantom Menace coming in addition to experiencing a resounding success).

But the power of “religion” (in big quotes) is not everything, and Battlefield Earth turns into a necessarily jubilant mega-crash (28 million dollars in worldwide receipts), no doubt because it was convinced of being a great messianic film as relevant as the scam it promotes.

Battlefield Earth - Battlefield Earth: photo, Barry PepperNot Tom Cruise

Like many others before us, we could dwell on the final result, the ridiculousness of the scenario is equaled only by that of its staging, entrusted to the poor Roger Christian. For someone who started his career as the artistic director ofAlien, the eighth passengerand as second unit director on The Phantom Menaceit stings a bit.


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