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Could Bungie blow up a planet to save Destiny 2?

Some Destiny fans think a planet may be in danger this fall, and we agree with them

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two Vex robots in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie

It’s been a weird few years of Destiny 2. With Bungie’s split from Activision and a host of Director’s Cut posts from game director Luke Smith, players are uncertain about where the series is going. But one rumor has been circling around the Destiny community for a few weeks now: Bungie may blow up a planet.

While there hasn’t been any kind of official announcement, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to imagine. Let’s look over the evidence to see why fans are speculating about one of the well-known planets in Destiny 2 getting Alderaan’d.

[Warning: This story contains potential spoilers and data mining around Destiny 2’s future.]

Will Bungie blow up a planet?

Destiny 2 - Vex cave, Nessus Image: Bungie

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen videos from YouTubers like Rick Kackis and comments on Reddit suggesting Bungie may blow up one of the game’s major planets before the presumed-but-unannounced fall 2020 expansion. That said, there is no official leak or evidence suggesting that a planet will disappear in Destiny 2.

This is a complete fabrication by the Destiny community — but I think there’s some credibility to it.

A few major items point toward possible in-game destruction in the coming months. Let’s start with the out-of-game reasons first.

In a pre-Shadowkeep interview, general manager Mark Noseworthy told Polygon that Bungie “can’t really just grow the game infinitely, forever.” The duo of Noseworthy and Smith explained to us that Destiny 2 is a large game that takes up a lot of space on its players’ hard drives.

Smith later wrote in a Director’s Cut post about removing some content from the game — specifically, choosing one version of the Gambit mode over the other. This kind of philosophy — that Destiny is getting too big — is now a central part of Destiny 2’s seasons. Every three months, Bungie adds new rewards and content to the game. And at the end of the season, that content leaves to make way for something fresh and new.

Destiny 2 Season of the Worthy Darkness tease
A scan of our solar system showing The Darkness inching closer to planets we know.
Image: Bungie via Polygon

So if Bungie’s developers can do this for seasonal content — to keep the game’s file size from bloating out of control — why can’t they do it to an old planet?

That brings us to the in-game reason that a planet may get blown up. The Darkness is on our doorstep as of Season of the Worthy. Players can now see blinking lights in the shape of pyramid ships — likely representing The Darkness — flying into our solar system, displayed on maps found on Mars and Io and in the European Dead Zone on Earth. A recent data mine also revealed a cutscene of a pyramid ship hanging out around Jupiter. The threat is real, and it’s here.

The power of The Darkness is mostly unknown to players, and Guardians have waited to face The Darkness since the original Destiny launched in 2014. While we don’t know if Death Star-like destruction is within its capabilities, it’s easy to imagine.

Maybe Bungie won’t destroy a planet, but it’d be cool if it did

Like I said earlier, any thinking that Bungie will destroy a planet in Destiny’s solar system is pure speculation. But personally, I think it would be cool as hell.

We all know that Bungie can’t grow Destiny 2 forever, and we also know the developer is likely to add a new location (or two) with its next major expansion. Introducing locations this fall without taking anything away compounds the storage problem, so something has to go. What better way to make the story feel like it matters, and to raise the in-game stakes, than deleting a place that longtime players have spent hundreds of hours getting to know?

There are, of course, drawbacks to blowing up a planet. What about the existing quests, Strikes, and campaign missions on these locations? As Kackis points out in his video, Io would be a good candidate for destruction, but what about the mission “The Whisper”? If Bungie blows up Mercury, where would players go after a Flawless Trials of Osiris card? There are workarounds to almost all of these issues, but they’re still things to consider. If I were to guess, Nessus, Mars, and Titan seem to be the locations in the most danger, with the Moon and the EDZ being the safest.

Destroying a planet may be a theory from out of nowhere, but it starts to make a lot of sense when you dive into the possibilities. It’s the ultimate kill-two-birds-with-one-stone move from Bungie — making The Darkness seem threatening while simultaneously reducing the game’s file size.

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