Apple’s new Foundation trailer has some serious ‘Game of Thrones but in space’ energy

Apple has released a new trailer for Foundation, its upcoming epic sci-fi show for Apple TV Plus based on Isaac Asimov’s series of novels, and I’m getting some serious “Game of Thrones but in space” energy from it. There are vast (space) vistas, a sweeping soundtrack, numerous shots of people making very serious faces, and dramatic proclamations that wouldn’t be out of place in an early episode of Game of Thrones:

And you know what? That’s fine with me. For me, nothing has replicated the excellence of the first few seasons of Game of Thrones. Their gripping action, shocking twists, and captivating power struggles made every episode feel important, and I eagerly anticipated each one.

Based on this trailer and the last one, Apple seems to be going for a similar vibe with Foundation, and I’m looking forward to watching the show for myself to see if it recaptures that Game of Thrones magic. (If you’re looking for a short explainer about the Foundation novels, we’ve got one in this article.)

Foundation premieres on Apple TV Plus on September 24th.


Wars will be endless.

Makes me think more of Fallout.

With that said, what does "a long half-life" mean?

Seems like a very weird turn of phrase.

I think it refers to how long something takes to decrease it’s value (both numerical and metaphorical) to half.

A martyr having a long half-life means that their influential properties will last for a long time before it starts to diminish. It’ll take x number of years for it to diminish to half of what it was, and then the same number of years before it gets to half of that.

It’s just an awkward way to use the concept of a half life.

(Usually, when people talk about half-life it’s talking about a not very long half-life.)

Seems like an overly-written way to just say "his influence will outlive his sacrifice."

Totally fair!

I’m guessing that since this is sci-fi, maybe there will be something contextual that’ll make it make more sense.

There isn’t but foundation is very interested in events which span a lot of time (like nuclear decay).

Half-life is used to indicate the length of decay for radioactive material.

In the case of Foundation, which is heavily sci-fi, it makes sense for them to use "half-life" to indicate the decay time of a person’s influence/movement.

I know what half-life is.

Your explanation doesn’t make the quote feel any less overwrought to me.

Perhaps in context it will make more sense or feel less obviously written (by which I mean it sounds like something someone might right but no one would ever say) but as a standalone phrase it sounds like something someone says to sound smart rather than to make sense.

Are you implying people never say things to sound smart?

I’m implying they never sound as smart as they think they do when they say it and it virtually never comes across as believable dialogue.

I think you’re really thinking too much about a line with little context given

I made a one line observation about it. Like six words. HOW DARE I!

People then keep asking me to elaborate, and in one of those elaborations I specifically said context might change my mind. It’s almost as though you didn’t need to tell me that!

I just love it when people arrive to challenge my take (which is fair!) and in one case specifically ASK me what I’m implying and then a random new person shows up to complain that I’m overthinking things by answering questions.

Understood but it felt like you were asking why a joke was funny so everyone had to then explain the joke which makes it no longer funny. But then again, you started it.

But it wasn’t a joke. And no one’s explanation was anything more than "it’s sci-fi so maybe something something…"

There is some level of overthinking going on here, but it’s not coming from me.

Also, and now I’ve been annoyed into further elaborating — but Martyrs don’t have a half-life at all. They’re dead.

The IDEALS of Martyrs might have a long half-life.

I’m doubling down: It’s a dumb turn of phrase.

Such a long thread arguing about a snippet of dialogue.

This is both one of the reasons why I come to the Verge, and why I’m sometimes frustrated when I do.

Agreed, It is entertaining in an oddly irritating way

I know people that talk like that in real life so it didn’t phase me at all, especially when used in a sci-fi trailer.

Uranium 238 has a long half-life of 4.5 billion years. Radium has a short 1600 years. It seems he’s saying a Martyr’s influence would be beyond lifetimes.

I’m a huge fan of Asimov, and I really liked reading Foundation.

Sadly, this looks boring, overproduced and full of these Hollywood clichés I hate so much.

I like the cast, I get it’s an adaptation, but this should air on the CW or SyFy

I know it’s just a trailer, but I barely recognize any of Asimov’s story beats in here. Aside from Hari Seldon’s narration.

Neither CW nor SyFy has this much money.

I’m so hopeful they’ve done justice to the books. I know it’s not going to be a direct adaptation exactly, but I enjoyed the books so much years ago. Hoping I’ll enjoy the show just as much.
Also, I’m wondering about the rating and if I’ll be able to watch it with the kids. I don’t recall much in the books that would have been inappropriate for them but it’s hard to tell from the trailer.

Agreed! I have read the Foundation series multiple times and always enjoy it and would like to have this new way to share it with the kids. This comparison to Game of Thrones has me nervous…

Yeah, but that seems mostly based on those quotes from the trailer and general epic feel, not anything specific that could be objectionable. They could absolutely do something in the range of a Marvel movie or Lost in Space as far as suitability for the family. No need to get too gritty with this story.

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