VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOU­SAND PLAN­ETS

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - NICK DE SEMLYEN

MEET DAN MAKTA — he’s kind of a big deal. An am­bas­sador usu­ally found at coun­cil meet­ings on Al­pha Sta­tion, aka the City Of A Thou­sand Plan­ets, he be­longs to just one of roughly 2,000 species of alien you’ll meet in Luc Bes­son’s sci-fi epic. “Most of the time when you see aliens in a film, they’re try­ing to de­stroy things,” says the di­rec­tor. “But Al­pha is the city of sci­ence and cul­ture: ev­ery­body is ex­chang­ing knowl­edge. It’s a very rich world.”

As cops Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Lau­re­line (Cara Delev­ingne) chase a case across the planet-sized space sta­tion, they’ll en­counter all man­ner of be­ings. Many are peace­ful, like the in­for­ma­tion-trad­ing Doghan Daguis and oceanic Pou­long farm­ers. Some are not. “The K-trons are the mer­ce­nary robots on Al­pha,” grins Bes­son. “If the light on their head is blue, you’re fine. If it’s red, they shoot.” Sounds like a job for Dan Makta, xeno-diplo­mat.

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