In the 2011 film Green Lantern, we see Abin Sur in a space ship going to Earth.

But if Green Lanterns can fly through space, why would he need a ship?

  • 2
    Good question. I have a feeling that the Green Lantern film is going to generate a lot of questions mainly because it failed to explain so much. Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 17:12
  • @Bill the Lizard :) I had others!! but this was the main one, Keen's answer has given me some background information and looking at history of the comic books has answered a lot... I wish I had more time and read the comic books!
    – wilhil
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 18:26
  • 1
    You may also want to see this question if you're interested in getting in to the comic books.
    – user1027
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 18:43
  • @Keen, interesting - thanks... upvoted your answer and added to my read it later queue as there is a lot there!
    – wilhil
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 19:03
  • Would he also need a spaceship to transport passengers? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 15:49

4 Answers 4


In the comics, this is explained, but the movie didn't explain this at all. Abin was told a prophecy that his ring would fail him when he needed it most, and this would result in his death. As a result, he no longer trusted the ring for space travel and instead used a ship.

See Abin's Wikipedia Page for further details on the nature of the prophecy and how it ties into the larger Green Lantern mythos.

  • Brilliant, thanks for this! ... I have read a few bad reviews, but, I hope they make a sequel that can answer a few questions/go in to the background like this.
    – wilhil
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 18:27
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    What's really interesting is that it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. His mistrust in his ring lead to him questioning his own willpower, which lead directly to his ring failing him when he most needed it.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 19:51

I think he used the spaceship for the fight with parallax as he came crashing to earth fighting with parallax. He definitely needed one.


It could be a simple explanation. Just because I can run doesn't mean I want to run everywhere I go. I'd rather drive or ride especially if it's a long trip. Plus you never know what could happen so taking a spaceship was probably a wise choice overall. Maybe he was on a long mission that required him to have certain items, tools, etc. that he couldn't just carry.

It's a good thing he had the spaceship actually because after taking the shot to the chest, that escape pod was looking really nice!

  • Do you have any source backing any of this up? There's no indication in any of the media I've seen that ring flight requires significant exertion or is uncomfortable/unpleasant.
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 20:06
  • @Jeff - I thought the point about needing to carry tools and gear was quite a good one. It's the same reason Wonder Woman says she needs a plane despite being able to fly
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 20:07
  • @Richard: It would be if it weren't for the fact that we frequently see GL carrying dozens or more people (as well as large objects) with him when he travels, the rings can create almost any tool that could be needed 'on the fly', and we never see any sign of such tools or gear in the movie. Lacking anything like that, it's just rampant speculation.
    – Jeff
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 20:12
  • It was just speculation. I didnt mean for it to sound like he wouldnt do it because it was uncomfortable or required energy, but that he might have just simply prefered to travel by spaceship. I can see now that the running thing wasnt the best example.
    – user25316
    Commented Apr 21, 2014 at 20:13

Rings don't have unlimited energy. They do discharge. So, spaceship can either help saving some charge for upcoming fight or they can help survive in case ring go out of charge in the space.

Other than this, it'd be awkward to carry all your stuff (like Lantern or books) with ring field and drop them everytime you land on a planet to recharge.

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