Jor-El puts Krypton's DNA codex into Kal-el 's DNA. Jor-El seems totally against the idea of artificial birth from the get go of the movie. Kal-El fights with General Zod for the codex. Kal-El destroys the genesis birthing chamber

Hence my question, what was the point of putting the Kryptonian codex into Kal-El DNA if Jor-El never intended for Kal-El to use them? Rather than say.. destroy the DNA codex in the first place? Sure that would make for a quick movie plot, but was there an underlying reason for porting the codex to Kal-El?

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    Leaving this as a comment because I don't remember exact quotes, but IICR in the movie Jor-El states that he had hoped for Krypton to be "reborn" through a merging of Kal-El and humans.
    – NominSim
    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:36

3 Answers 3


Given the effort required by Jor-El to acquire, transfer and protect the genetic information of the Codex, as well as transferring some aspects of his scientific ability to a data-key, it should be assumed he had some plan for the information of the Codex, even if he never mentioned it during the movie.

  • Jor-El is a thoughtful individual and his world's premiere scientific mind. He understood both the perils Krypton faced and the ultimate fate of his people, for they were both hidebound and stubbornly traditional.

  • They were so bound by tradition, they abandoned their space colonies centuries ago and retreated to their world. They refused to leave that world even when it was at least a theory that Krypton might be unstable and potentially destroy them all.

With this as the premise, Jor-El steals the Codex, the DNA matrix of every Kryptonian trait and potential seed to repopulate the species if a birthing matrix can be found. He encodes this information within his son's DNA.

  • Given the existence of former Kryptonian outposts and gene-ships like the one found under the Arctic ice on Earth, it would be safe to assume Jor-El did indeed plan for Kal-El, once he reached adulthood and had the intellectual capacity to do so, take the Codex information and seek out a gene-matrix ship and recreate the Kryptonian species.

  • I base this supposition on the fact there was no other reason for Jor-El to take the time to gather the Codex in the first place. Despite his dislike of the genetic technology used by the Kryptonians, even he could see in this instance, it could have a place in saving their species, giving the Kryptonians a second chance.

  • Since there would be plenty of technology out there, all it would take was a data key like the one used to guide Kal-el's ship and store Jor-El's consciousness. The Phantom Zone criminals found such technology and even took some with them to Earth. The Krypto-forming World Engine was one such piece of technology. There appeared to be plenty of such technology available on the site the Zod raided.

With the loss of the key and Jor-El's consciousness, it is unlikely, that Kal-El will be able to command or control a gene-ship (assuming he could find one) in order to release the genetic information for a new generation of Kryptonians.

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    I agree with this and also believe that Jor-El intended the decision to rest completely on Kal-El's shoulders, as he believed his son to be free of chains (due to his natural birth) and also the best fit to make such an important decision, after being raised among humans. Jul 10, 2013 at 17:25
  • I'm going to take this a step forward: given the insane amount of screen-time eating, helicopter parenting Jor-El had, you would think at least ONCE he would have said so.
    – Broklynite
    Mar 25, 2016 at 13:59
  • Can it be that this should be a bit updated with what happened inside of a specific vessel at dawn of justice?
    – Thomas
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:37

The TV series Smallville interpreted Jor-El as being a bit of a Krytonian racist (the literal sense of the term racism), and so I could see that creating a new Krypton as being on Jor-El's posterity agenda. Also, Jor-El was so inclined to upload a facsimile of his persona for Kal-El. It's a very good moral question for the Superman mythology, and a case for judging everyone (i.e. creators) that seems to be a trendy popular culture theme fixation (e.g. the movie Prometheus).


The codex was a database for storing the everything about krypton including history,technology and their DNA. The Kryptonian's used the codex for artificial birth control. Jor-El planted the codex in kal-El's DNA not for Kal-El to use it to regrow kryptonians as they did on planet krypton(Birth control). But to save their species by using the data about their technolgy to find other ways. So even though Jor-El's consciousness was lost . Kal-El can still use the codex in his blood to save their species all he needs is to find out how to access the information in his blood. see this discussion

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