Fortnite's Galactus live event was an epic sci-fi shooter with flying space buses

Fornite launched players into space on laser-firing buses to fight the giant Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, in an epic live event to end Chapter 2, Season 5 on Dec. 1, 2020.
Fornite launched players into space on laser-firing buses to fight the giant Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, in an epic live event to end Chapter 2, Season 5 on Dec. 1, 2020. (Image credit: Epic Games)

For a few blissful minutes, players of the popular Fortnite battle royale game finally got to fly, sci-fi style, in a fight to save reality itself.

The game's Chapter 2, Season 4-ending live event Tuesday (Dec. 1) saw players take control of Fortnite's iconic Battle Bus, which drops users onto the playing field at the start of every game, and fight the planet-eating Galactus in an epic battle to save reality.

Marvel characters Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Storm and others gave players an assist in the battle against Galactus, a cosmic entity that needs to consume energy to survive. (Galactus has been hurtling through space toward the Fortnite island the entire season.)  Here's a look at how it looked in game to YouTube Fortnite streamer TaborTime (and to yours truly and editor Tariq Malik).

Related: Fortnite goes galactic with space skin for new subscription service

Iron Man instructed players to shoot down robotic assistants to Galactus to reduce the enemy's energy, before allowing Galactus to eat all the Battle Buses to blow him up.

This cued a fun sci-fi shooter situation where you were killing drones in three dimensions with a flying bus, zooming through corridors of a spacecraft similarly to Luke Skywalker's X-Wing in the climax of "Star Wars: A New Hope." 

Thank you Iron Man for the awesome space bus. Yes, it has laser blasters. (Image credit: Epic Games)

The movie reference is from 1977, quite old for Fortnite's core Generation Z audience, but it's likely your kids know who Skywalker is thanks to all of the "Star Wars" sequels that just wrapped up in 2019.

Related: Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 3 is packed with astronauts. We're thrilled

In Galactus' last moments on screen, a Saturn-like planet floated in the distance while the enemy appeared to imploded from the energy of the Battle Buses he swallowed and slip through an interdimensional rift. Then the view suddenly cut to black.

Players logging into Fortnite in the coming hours won't be able to see anything, as the server is under maintenance for the new season. It's supposed to come online again around 4 a.m. EST (0900 GMT) on Wednesday (Dec. 2).

Fortnite has been heavy on space content in recent months, including a multi-week chase of an ancient astronaut, and releasing numerous skins and gear with galactic and "Star Wars" themes. The new season will launch a subscription service for $11.99 monthly. Each month will bring 1,000 V-Bucks or Fortnite currency for players (equivalent to roughly $7.99 USD), access to the current season battle pass, and a new skin; the debut outfit tomorrow is a starry wonder called "Galaxia."

The real-life battles of Fortnite dominated the summer of 2020, when creator Epic Games took on Google and Apple in a bid to reduce direct payments for mobile apps. Earlier this month, as Apple faced a new Fortnite lawsuit, the tech giant announced smaller developers will only pay 15% commission rather than the current 30%, starting on Jan. 1, 2021.

Here's another look at the Galactus Devourer of Worlds event without commentary from our friends at Games Radar.

As for what players can expect next, it's hard to predict since the effort to stop Galactus wiped out everything within view during the event. But we do hope for more space themes when the next season starts tomorrow.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: