In the most recent adaptation of War of the Worlds, strange lightning is seen striking the ground where the pods/capsules lie. How is this related to the aliens arriving to earth?

Do they Ride the Lightning directly, do they ride the lightning in pods? Or were they hibernating in the pods since they first landed? I don't fully understand.

  • There's an entire scene in the movie that explains that. It's while they're at the ex-wife's house, they run into a camera crew that has video of it.
    – user4963
    Mar 4, 2012 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Let me point out that the question and answer are from the 2005 movie adaptation.

It looks like the lightning itself is a way to:

a) make a hole in the ground

b) serve to carry / guide a capsule into that hole (and presumably into the tripod)

The tripods were already in the ground. (There is not an explanation of how long there tripods were buried, how they first got here, or how they escaped detection.)

The lightning first opens up a hole in the ground, and then carries the capsule down. It looks like the capsule changes size as it moves down the "lightning" bolt, but when the holes in the ground are first shown (before the tripod rises), they seem about the same size as the capsule, so it's likely that they never actually change size, and is merely an optical illusion.

As user13095 said, there are two explanations. One, when Ray (dad) is driving away from the first tripod, he mentions that the pods were underground. The other is when he stops outside his ex-wife's home, and meets the camera crew. There, they show the capsule inside the lightning in slow-mo (one tape).

  • So the aliens rode the lightning?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Mar 14, 2012 at 16:59
  • @Pureferret, yes in a sense, the bolt of energy is what carried the pods containing aliens into the ground. Mar 14, 2012 at 20:33
  • That's what I wanted to know
    – AncientSwordRage
    Mar 14, 2012 at 20:37
  • the tripods being built underground doesn't seem that plausible, I always thought that the lightning carried some sort of micro tripod that grows, if the aliens went in through the capsules, and somehow emerged full size in seconds, why couldn't the tripods be similar, although I don't like BBC's adaptation, I like the idea that the tripods are built using metal around them. Mar 24, 2022 at 14:38

In the book the Martians come from pods that were thought to be a shooting star. When the pods hit earth it took the Martians awhile to get because they were not used to earths gravity. In the book the narrator described them as being intoxicated.

  • 1
    The question is about the new adaptation, not the source book.
    – Valorum
    Sep 19, 2015 at 19:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.