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Is there any kind of direct mention anywhere, (like in an interview or something) or at least strong indirect evidence, that the striking similarities between aspects of The Chronicles of Riddick and Warhammer 40,000; such as, for example, between the Necromongers and the Imperium of Man, are deliberate to any degree? This is something that's been bugging me for years.

It's well-known, of course, that Vin Diesel played tabletop games, and that he had some creative control over the series, (in fact, I remember hearing an apocryphal story somewhere that the character of Riddick himself was based on a Drow character that Diesel had played in a long-running D&D campaign) so it's not that outlandish to try to make this connection, but is there any evidence beyond just speculation?

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    I'd like to see anything mentioning or listing these similarities. I've seen Chronicles of Riddick numerous times and never got a 40k vibe from it. I certainly never equated the Necromongers with the Imperium. – Omegacron Feb 11 '15 at 15:45
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    @Omegacron Seriously? You don't see any similarities between two civilizations which both purport to conquer or, if not possible, exterminate, all worlds of man, both use extensive skull/death cult imagery and gothic-type architecture in their ships, armor, etc., both are highly religious Imperiums on a great crusade, both value martial prowess to an extreme extent, both have a tendency to hook partially-dead people up to their computers, both destroy planets they have no further use for, etc. etc.? They don't seem like almost exactly the same to you? Really? – Josh Zmijewski Feb 20 '15 at 16:27
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    Really. Aggressive civilizations from any number of sci-fi universes would fit a combination of those attributes. – Omegacron Feb 20 '15 at 16:39
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    @Omegacron No, not really. The Empire from Star Wars is certainly an aggressive civilization from a sci-fi universe, but fits comparatively very few of those attributes. The only other works that feature things really that similar are maybe Mutant Chronicles to an extent, Nemesis the Warlock from 2000 AD, and maybe Dune and Fading Suns a little bit. But not really. It seems obvious to me that the Necromongers and the Imperium of Man are really similar. – Josh Zmijewski Feb 20 '15 at 16:45
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    I got a definite 40k vibe from the Necromongers. Oversided weapons, lots of hand to hand combat, stylized armor. I think there may be some influence, but it isn't completely derivative of it. – JSM Mar 17 '15 at 18:24
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Works created within the same culture often have shared aesthetics and tropes (e.g. Japanese mecha anime of the same era often share many aesthetic similarities and motifs, likewise with works of American sci-fi or fantasy). But I don't think most people would connect the two franchises as you have, and based on my own research, I can't find any evidence of 40k influencing Chronicles.

Seriously? You don't see any similarities between two civilizations which both purport to conquer or, if not possible, exterminate, all worlds of man, both use extensive skull/death cult imagery and gothic-type architecture in their ships, armor, etc., both are highly religious Imperiums on a great crusade, both value martial prowess to an extreme extent, both have a tendency to hook partially-dead people up to their computers, both destroy planets they have no further use for, etc. etc.? They don't seem like almost exactly the same to you? Really?

  1. Expansionist/militaristic empires are a common trope (tvtropes warning) in fiction and in reality (the British Empire, the French Empire, the Nazis, Imperial Japan, the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, etc.). Star Wars alone contains several sci-fi examples of this: the Infinite Empire, Yuuzhan Vong and, of course, the Galactic Empire. Star Trek provides the Borg, Klingons, Romulans, Terran Empire, Dominion, etc. Most of these empires have policies of convert/subjugate or exterminate, and many are driven by pseudo-religious ideology and fanaticism.
  2. Many militaristic societies in life use dark/aggressive imagery, so that's not really a meaningful connection, either. Skulls and death heads are not unique to 40K. But, even if they were, skulls don't feature prominently in Necromonger imagery, if at all. Necromonger iconography consists primarily of sculpted faces, rounded and ribbed/grooved clamshell armor and a very "high fashion" look.
  3. Since writers naturally draw conscious or unconscious inspiration from the same notorious historical military empires, there are bound to be a few coincidental similarities. But the 40k Imperium of Man is a unique blend of crusader + Nazi + Roman iconography (though the Nazis themselves also drew heavily from the Romans, so it's hard to say what comes from where). Whereas, production interviews reveal that Twohy wanted to create something very unique, and the production crew ended up drawing inspiration from "the works of legendary sculptor and fashion illustrator Erte, one of the originators of the Art Deco style" and "the creations of Filippo Negroli (an Italian Renaissance armor designer), modified to reflect the stealth and post-modern technology of the Necromongers" (Cinema Review - Production Notes: The Chronicles of Riddick).

Others have also noted that Twohy seemed to be channeling Dune in Chronicles (whereas Pitch Black was clearly paying homage to Alien/Aliens), but this question is the first time I've come across anyone linking Chronicles with 40K.

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    Alright, well… that does actually answer my question in quite exquisite detail, so… I'm satisfied. The Necromongers and Imperium of Man do in fact draw from different sources of inspiration, so… I guess I'm just seeing things that aren't really there. Though they are both inspired somewhat by Dune… so, there is something to my question, you gotta admit… – Josh Zmijewski May 1 '15 at 7:50
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While I'd like to agree that they were the imperium of man lets look at the facts;

While they share a certain architecture both have distinct philosophical differences

  • the imperium of man does not like Xenos now while that doesn't mean much yet what we know of the Necromongers is that they are on eof the 4 ancient races (not necessarily man), yet they seem to take any humanoid who is both willing and worthy.
  • the imperium of man may be agressive in it expansion and it treatment of outsiders but it home rule is somewhat different; while you may be subjet to routine house searches have you data searched and maybe even burnt as a heritic (if your lucky) you know this isn't random infact the amount of paperwork needed to go through the ministerium before they do almost anything is ridiculous. so not a rule by might but bureaucracy.
  • while both are heavily religious one worships a man who has become a god (the god emperor of man) this man lives still (well certain people have seen that his life support has been shut down but the imperium as a whole doesn't know this) and is used as a rallying point to stay to what is human and breed an intense hatred to any who speak against them. whereas the Necromonger worship chaos and death.

Necrons maybe.... a primitive version

So in closing not the imperium of man maybe a cult of Korn with some slaanesh worship thrown in for fun.

And yeah on that note I'll say maybe but I've been looking closer at Necromunder the table top that takes place in a hive city with rival gangs whiles still in the 40k universe it seems to fit them better and may also explain the inspiration for the name.

  • How does that make any sense? The leader of the Necromongers (before Riddick killed him) was described as a “Holy Half-Dead.” If anything, that makes him sound even more like the God-Emperor, not less. You've kind of undermined your own argument. But whatever, @Lèse majesté gave a good answer. I don't see how the Necromongers are anything like Chaos, really… but I guess it's all in your interpretation, seeing as how they have been portrayed in rather different ways at different times… though still, Chaos was never a unified empire like the Necromongers, so… – Josh Zmijewski May 1 '15 at 8:01

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