If I say the name, Superman, we all recall the man from Krypton flying and lifting cars. Eighty-one years old and to this day, the Kryptonian still captivates our imagination. After numerous incarnation, Henry Cavill hit the big screen with the CGI cape. Here we are, six years later.
Man of Steel Summary
With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child’s spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat. — Google
Kryptonian Civilization Is Backwards?
One thing that is interesting with Superman is that unlike Batman, Krypton is a subject that doesn’t have much information. What we know is little, therefore, can be whatever someone decides it become. All we know is that Krypton faced destruction, and that is the reason why Kal-El arrived on Earth. Not much of a backstory aside from his parents trying to save their firstborn.
The movie Man of Steel presents Krypton as an ancient civilization dating back 20’000 years. They expanded their reach by sending out ships to colonize other planets. The species itself being quite advanced has an architectural distinctively resembling—in my opinion, a fit to a dystopian book.
The planet is on its last mile, running on fumes. Jor-El, part of this “high planetary council” tried to convince everyone about leaving Krypton, but alas, no one hears him.
The reproductive system of the Kryptonian is artificial, using the DNA of its people to procreate and each baby is therefore born in artificial amniotic liquid on vines kept in a sort of laboratory vault below the surface.
Lucky for Jor-El and Lara—who we never know if she is simply Lara, La-Ra, or Lara-El. No, wait! She does have a full name never mentioned, Lor-Van, seems to make sense, right?
So, those two love birds were capable of procreating, organically, a male Kryptonian they named, Kal-El. Horrible timing, in any case. His home planet is just about to blow, and weirdly enough, the only pod available can only contain a baby.
Bad Parenting 101
We’re talking about a civilization that survived 20’000 years, that spread throughout the milky way in every direction, even Earth! Seriously, at that point, for all we know, they could be our ancestors or the missing link!
For such an advanced civilization, why wouldn’t they be capable of evacuating their planet? Suddenly no more starship worked of all those they used to colonize other planets? There is no other rock where Kryptonians survived?
So advanced that they are not listening to their lead scientist who says the planet is about to go kaboom? No meteorologist, geologist, astrophysicist, or any job finishing with a ‘gist’ on that planet can support Jor-El’s theory?
So, let’s accept the fact that everyone on that super advance planet—clearly working through a form of aristocratic system. This analysis comes from the fact that the planetary council works with prestigious Houses such as El and Zod, that they’re all ignorant.
Why didn’t Jor-El build a ship capable of sustaining his wife, baby and himself? Can someone explain that to me? It just happened that a pod could support Kryptonian life and an auto-drive to Earth?
Again, the planet is about to go kaboom, and the first organically born child’s life relies on an automated pod leading to Earth. That pod is so sophisticated that we assume it can deviate from comets, asteroids, space debris, alien attacks, among many other possibilities, and end up on a planet the parents “think” is suitable for their only child.
I’m not a parent, but please, do not launch your newborn baby in space! It’s a bad idea.
Of course, following the launch of Kal-El in space, Jor-El dies at the hands of the El enemy, General Zod. However, that is when we learn a bit more about Krypton and the history of his house. Zods are bred to protect Krypton and its DNA at all costs.
You would think that biological birth would be something he welcomes, but instead, he considers it a form of treason to the Kryptonian tradition. It makes total sense I mean, it’s not like mammals are to reproduce by giving birth to a stranger through a vagina!
After the murder of Jor-El, here comes the Phantom Zone.
Something About Black Holes?
So, this mysterious Phantom Zone that Zod must pay as a punishment of his treason, quite a story if you ask me. Following a tribute to the original Superman II, Zod has two goons with him, a giant male one and a female who is quite skilled. They stand, all three of them, before the council and are ready for punishment.
General Zod explains the functionality of this Phantom Zone. So, the prisoners are facing a plane of existence of which location is in subspace. The only way in or out is through the Phantom Zone projector which, poetically, came from the scientific mind of Jor-El.
Sadly, after Krypton went “boom” General Zod and his loyalist followers worked together to morph the Phantom Zone into an engine, creating the Phantom Drive alongside a scientist.
How effective, this house of Zod. Also, he can hold a grudge for a long time. It took him thirty-three years before finally locating a Kryptonian signal leading to Earth itself! Thanks to Kal-El who decided to activate a 20’000 years old spacecraft frozen in the arctic.
Ah, Dear Krypton
This backstory of Krypton is full of potential if you take aside the plot holes. I mean, with what we are aware of now, an ancient civilization may move from planet to planet. However, with such advanced technology, do not make them doubt the word of their lead scientists.
Suggestions? Krypton is a planet, if as massive as Jupiter, imagine the population itself? They could first lose contact with their other planet. They are in a panic to try and save all the data they can. Evacuation of an entire civilization is undergoing.
Why could it be so quick and out of the blue? Instead of years in the making, why not an experiment that went wrong like creating an unstable singularity? Oops, we just gave birth to a freaking black hole! No time to explain, let’s evacuate.
Why would Kal-El be alone, again, a newborn? Why not have him in a safe module, the ship has his parents in stasis not to arrive at Earth at 300 years old or something.
But then it went wrong, their life support cut off and they died before reaching Earth while Kal-El, because he was on his life-support module due to needs being different because he was a newborn, survived.
Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Like I said, the idea, its foundation, and choices for actors, absolutely impeccable. The execution and frosting, a little too sweet and a little too naive.