Building a civilization on another planet was once thought to be infeasible – a story plot out of a sci-fi movie, rather than an actual possibility. Yet with the advent of modern technology and commercial space travel companies, such as Virgin Galactic, the idea suddenly doesn’t seem so outlandish. Erik Wernquist, a digital artist and animator hailing from Sweden, even shows us what it could be like in his film, Wanderers.
Viewers get a glimpse into the future of human civilization on Mars, in asteroid belts and on the various moons of the planets. The short film utilizes special effects, as well as computer generated imagery – yet, Wernquist’s depiction of these “space cities” may not be too removed from reality.
Inspired by the Red Mars Trilogy and 2312 by sci-fi author, Kim Stanley Robinson, Wernquist set out to depict the foreseeable future by mixing together data with scenes created in CG. Thus, all the locations in the film are recreations of actual places seen in outer space, based on real photos and map data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the European Space Agency, and various other scientific institutions.
In just under 4 minutes, viewers will encounter the appearance of a sunset in space, images of Saturn’s moons (Titan and lapetus), and the O’Neill cylinder colony – a space settlement design proposed by American physicist, Gerard K. O’Neill.
The title Wanderers was adapted from the original meaning of the word “planet.” In ancient Greek, visible planets were jointly referred to as “aster planets” or wandering star. The title also doubles as a reference to humans: “the wanderers of the Earth.”
“The idea is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds – and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there,” states Wernquist.
So while we might be “wanderers of the Earth,” Wernquist hopes that humanity can eventually “take the leap off the ground and permanently become wanders of the sky. Wanderers among the wanderers.”