Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (spoilers) Adoption Movie Review

Valerian and Laureline are special agents of the human police force in the distant future, in a time when many alien races live together on a large space station. In a dream, Valerian saw than an idyllic world was destroyed by warfare. The world possessed items of great power, and Valerian and Laureline have been charged with retrieving the items for the human government. When they return to their space station, they find things amiss: there is a mysterious radioactive area in the station, several soliders have gone to investigate but have not returned, and it seems that the race that lived on the idyllic world may have come for revenge.


The Adoption Connection

There is no adoption theme. The spirit of one alien has chosen to reside for a time in the body of Valerian. The alien’s mother is able to recognize the spirit of her daughter in Valerian, and finds peace in seeing her again, after seeing her daughter die some time earlier.

Strong Points

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a visually beautiful film.

The aliens that the humans fear are not out for revenge; they are only trying to recreate what the humans were responsible for destroying.

The film shows the power of forgiveness. The young heroes are courageous.


It is hard to see the alien princess stuck outside of the shelter when space war debris is falling on the planet. Her parents look on grieving as she turns to face her inevitable death.

One of the aliens is being tortured; the government official who ordered the destruction of their planet is trying to cover his tracks so that no one learns that he gave an order to decimate a populated planet. To protect this secret, he is willing to kill all of the surviving aliens and any humans who know what he did.
A life form has been held in slavery and forced to perform seductive dances. Valerian frees it.
A large alien intends to kill and eat Laureline. He prepares to sever the top of her skull, before he is violently killed by Valerian. I found this scene disturbing.


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is an imaginative science-fiction story that seems more likely to appeal to fans of Star Trek than fans of Star Wars. It doesn’t seem likely to appeal to very young viewers, but should be OK for kids 12 and up, so long as they’re not disturbed by some of the violence, and the scene where a young woman was almost eaten by an alien or the scene where a young adult alien faces her death.

Questions for Discussion

Which character was the bravest?

How do you define love?

What makes it possible for people to forgive?

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