After what seems like years of waiting, we finally get an official trailer of the upcoming science fiction epic, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  Although listed as a teaser, it gives us our best look yet at the Luc Besson space opera.

Rooted in the graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline, Besson promises to take the, arguably, dated material and make it into a “contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga”.  Valerian and Laureline, also known as Valérian: Spatio-Temporal Agent, was first published in 1967 in France and has influenced some of our most popular science fiction, including Besson’s Fifth Element and our beloved Star Wars.  As a fun note, you can see one of the covers of the original comic printed on the back of Luc Besson’s jacket in the above photo.

While the series concluded in 2010, it has been translated into several languages, including English, and collected into trade paperbacks.  You can purchase them through Amazon in both physical and kindle formats, and while I did check Comixology, it looks as if you can only purchase the last few volumes through them.

The original series focused on the adventures of spatio-temporal agents, Valérian and Laureline.  Yes, you read that correctly, spatio-temporal agent, meaning they are time traveling agents who’s entire job is to maintain the stability of the timeline.  Valérian is originally from the 28th century while Laureline is from 11th century France.  After helping Valérian on a mission, she discovered his time travel secret and is spirited away to the future to undergo her own spatio-temporal agent training.

SG1 – ALPHA The breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha is an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of their citizens. From visionary writer/director Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Photo courtesy of EuropaCorp © 2016 VALERIAN SAS – TF1 FILMS PRODUCTION

Let’s be fair, the time traveling agent is a bit of a cliche at this point, but remember when the original series was published, 1967.  So while it’s a bit of a cliche now, it wasn’t quite so much then.  The question remains, how much of the original comics will make it into the movie?  From the official synopsis, it seems like the time travel aspect may be completely removed.

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe.

Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.

Even if time travel has been completely removed, I’m dying for another good space epic and I love Luc Besson so I can’t wait for this to hit theaters.  I do have some reservations, however, while it looks gorgeous and I hope Besson delivers, we all remember the debacle that is Jupiter Ascending.  So here’s hoping the movie lives up to its promises and gives us a good story, good visuals, and good characters.

 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets blasts into theaters July 21, 2017.

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