Huge Holographic Head

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
So, just to recap: I come in peace, I mean you no harm, and you all will die. Gallaxhar out.

When the alien Glorious Leader, Evil Overlord and Mad Scientist want the world to know about their nefarious doings, they will usually take control of every TV (and sometimes even computer screen) to give their Motive Rant and/or New Era Speech. However, if they have access to powerful Hologram projectors they may also/instead project themselves over every city as a Huge Holographic Head.

Needless to say it also includes a hidden sound system powerful enough most rock bands would kill for (and metal bands would sacrifice fans onstage for) in order to let everyone hear them. For some reason, subtitles under a big floating holographic head just aren't as impressive as a big booming voice.

If they don't have the tech to do this, they may substitute it by using huge screens on dirigibles or buildings, which is a favorite for dictators.

See also Hologram Projection Imperfection.

Not to be confused with Floating Head Syndrome. Not even the "screens on dirigibles" version.

Examples of Huge Holographic Head include:

Anime and Manga

Fan Works


Live-Action TV

  • The alien visitors in the remade V.
  • Londo Mollari from Babylon 5 used such a system to speak to his subjects
    • And Sheridan borrowed Draal's system to do the same thing on B5 to announce they were seceding from the Earth Alliance.
      • Considering the Tron example above, one wonders if JMS wasn't indulging in a little Actor Allusion.
  • In Burnt by the Sun, a giant poster of Stalin appears at the end.
  • The Oz example gets a Shout-Out in Tin Man with the Mystic Man's cabaret show.


  • Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Partial example: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, having originated on radio, doesn't bother with the giant head and just has the alien menace speak through the hidden powerful sound system with no visuals. Still notable because the novel actually spares a paragraph to explain how the hidden powerful sound system was achieved.
  • In the Chung Kuo series, a surveillance system scanning random people in the lower City levels
  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Thrawn quietly lampshades this after C'baoth contacts him using "the Emperor's private hologram setting."
    • Wraith Squadron has Warlord Zsinj use an oversized holo of himself to talk to an admiral, who adjusts the size downward, saying that he's getting a crick in his neck.
  • A fantasy example in Codex Alera has powerful Watercrafters able to create lifelike images in pools of water.
  • A non-villainous example in The Pendragon Adventure. When Bobby first steps onto Veelox, he's greeted by pitch blackness and Aja Killian's giant, floating, holographic head. He eventually starts wondering whether the hologram reflects the physical reality in any way. Considering what he's been through, you can't really blame him.
  • Played for humor in "Reach" by Edward Gibson. The Jerkass boss has set up a holoconferencing call to establish what went wrong with their latest space probe. Everyone is shocked when one of the callers appears as a giant head because he accidentally set his camera on closeup.
  • Like the Film example above, the Wizard takes this form when speaking to Dorothy. The others, though, are treated to different illusions.

Video Games

  • Doctor Breen in Half-Life 2.
  • Another full body example: in the civilization stage of Spore, religious attacks on a city will include a giant hologram speaking to the city trying to convert it.
  • Happens in Sonic Adventure 2 when Dr. Robotnik announces his plans for world domination, shortly before blowing up the moon.
  • In the Mass Effect 2 Kasumi DLC, Donovan Hock addresses the player using one of these that fills half the (rather large) room. And the acting is at least as over-the-top as the presentation.
    • At the end of the Arrival DLC, Harbinger himself pops up as one of these to vent his annoyance at Shepard for delaying the Reapers yet again, along with the usual "we cannot be stopped" monologue.
  • In the first Space Quest, you encounter one of these as part of a puzzle. In the fourth, Vohaul is resurrected as one.

Web Comics

  • Narbonic treats the idea with its usual irreverence:

Madblood: PEOPLE OF EARTH, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! I choose to address you as a 300-mile holographic projection against the ionosphere solely to secure the attention of Helen Narbon, whom I regret I am unable to join for dinner this evening. I apologize profusely and assure Miss Narbon that when Earth is brought under my heel, she, the planet's loveliest blossom, may have the continent of her choice. Except Europe. Mother dibsied it.

  • The Order of the Stick does this with a magical image of Lord Shojo's head when Belkar activates his Mark of Justice.
  • In Bob and George, the leaders of the Soviet Union consult the projected giant floating head of Josef Stalin whenever Communism faces a crisis. Later on, the leaders of the United States consult the giant floating head of Joe McCarthy when faced with a communist threat.
  • In Schlock Mercenary has AI commonly using "holographic head" avatars. And then Chinook figured out that she may occasionally show her status in "size matters" way - she runs a space installation larger than common habitable planets, after all.

an Esspererin: We've seen holograms before. Does that Goddess thing actually work on people?
Chinook: ask while sitting submissively and listening.

Western Animation

  • In Futurama one episode features Jorel, MASTER OF SCHEDULING who uses this to make mundane announcements about the stock market.
  • One of these pops up on Mars in Invader Zim, leading Zim to believe that the long-dead Martians were a race of holographic instruction manuals.
  • In Beast Machines, Megatron's face appears as this inside the even huger Megatron head that is his base. (He's got something of an ego, yesss.)
  • During the big finale in Storm Hawks, Master Cyclonis uses one of these to speak to all of Atmos.
  • This is how The Sovereign likes to appear in The Venture Brothers. Although given his shapeshifting powers, he could actually make himself look like this.