In SciFi Movies, Spaceships Approach At Parallel Paths!?

We know that the universe is an unlimited open 3D space, right?  In SciFi movies and series, spaceships are always coming from somewhere else, like different solar systems, galaxies, etc. Have you ever wondered why when they meet, they always seem to be on parallel paths, facing each other?

SciFi movies, two spaceships

The most extreme example of this is Star Trek, where the ships always are shown on parallel paths. But it also happens in Star Wars, Firefly, and mostly in all SciFi space movies or series.


Let’s try to look at a couple of possibilities. When entering a solar system, would it be possible that these ships are orientated based on a beacon? Maybe it could be a natural or artificial beacon? Perhaps it could be a local star. Or it may be possible that they invented a technology that uses the shape of the galaxy when aligning the ships to specific paths to have a unique pattern by which all ships would settle in the same path in any solar system.

However, that would be logical within a single civilization or more civilizations that made contact and thus exchanged the necessary technology for orientation. But since we often have the case that ships encounter ships of completely unknown civilizations and be aligned in the same parallel paths, then all this written doesn’t have any sense because it is likely that this unknown civilization doesn’t use the same system of orientation.

Most logical explanation

The most logical explanation is that the film studios do this in such a way because it is so much easier for viewers. People are used to observing things in a 2D or gravity constrained 3D frame of reference. So, when things are near each other, but in different non-parallel paths of travel, it doesn’t look right to our minds. And it’s just a Hollywood style.

However, lately, we have had examples of some achievements in which physics is applied in a slightly more authentic form. And it looked good. Specifically, we are talking about the series The Expanse, in which ships behave more following the laws of motion in space. Most of the spaceships in that series do not settle in parallel paths when they meet. Perhaps this is a good indicator of some new trends in the world of SciFi films.

SciFi View

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