NASA is first and foremost a pioneering cosmic photographer and aerospace researcher, but it is also a fan of Bethesda. At least, it would look that way after a brief interaction between the US space agency and Starfield’s official Twitter account.
Professional astronomers and casual lovers of stunning cosmic images were collectively impressed recently after NASA published several stunning color images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Starfield’s Twitter account was among them, retweeting a photo that showed our distant universe in unprecedented detail.
NASA followed suit, responding to the tweet with a link to the full image gallery (opens in new tab), alongside an apt quote taken from an older Bethesda game. Even longtime fans of the studio might have trouble recognizing this one:
“We once heard that ‘the skies are marked with countless sparks, each a fire and each a sign,’” NASA tweeted (opens in new tab)following with a wink emoji.
The space is beautiful. We can’t wait to see what’s out there… 🌌 #UnfoldTheUniverse https://t.co/HSr2U6wd0rJuly 12, 2022
NASA knows its stuff
It’s certainly a deep cut. The line is spoken by Emperor Uriel Septim VII during the opening tutorial mission in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. After going through a series of underground tunnels to protect the Emperor from the assassins, he stops to briefly chat. That’s where the quote comes in.
“I have served the Nine all my days, and I trace my course through the cycles of the heavens,” Uriel tells the player. these stars well, and I wonder… which sign marked your birth?”
It serves as a useful transition to the final part of Oblivion’s character creation menu, as you choose your character’s Birthsign to gain new buffs and abilities. It’s also a lot smaller and is more of a passing comment than a beloved quote. Whoever is running NASA’s social media accounts must really like Oblivion.
It’s quite strange to see NASA interacting with a video game studio. It’s not often that the worlds of federal space exploration and fantasy RPGs collide, but it’s quite fitting. Bethesda previously said it took ideas from contemporary space agencies to create Starfield, borrowing ideas from SpaceX to design the look and feel of its sci-fi setting. The game’s art direction was also previously described as “NASA-punk”. Perhaps we will see Starfield being thrown aboard the ISS one day.