“Man of Steel” dives deeper into the mythology of Superman’s home world than ever before, but with the new perspective comes a hell of a lot of words we don’t understand. The Genesis Chamber? What’s a Codex? We’ve done our best to define some of the more confusing concepts in “Man of Steel.” Check out our glossary of terms below.
Note: Some of the details in these definition could be considered SPOILERS. Tread carefully.
Citadel: The name of the structure that Jor-El, Lara and the very recently born Kal-El (Superman) as General Zod and his forces attempt to retrieve the Codex.
Codex: An ancient Kryptonian artifact that decodes the genetic makeup of the artificially incubated babies on the planet. It translates a child’s genetic attributes before his or her birth. Zod was born to be a soldier, as dictated by the Codex. Zod needs to codex in order to shape the genetic future of a reborn Krypton population.
Genesis Chamber: A system of artificial wombs where the infants of Krypton develop according to the Codex. Kal-El was born outside of the Genesis Chamber, making him the first natural birth on the planet and first outside the rule of the Codex in a century.
Kelor: An artificial intelligence system comparable to Jarvis in the “Iron Man” movies. Voiced in “Man of Steel” by “Sin City” actress Carla Gugino.
Phantom drive: Originally used as a method for sending prisoners to the Phantom Zone, Zod repurposes it as a hyperdrive.
Phantom Zone: An alternate dimension of sorts used for incarceration on Krypton. In “Man of Steel,” the unstable nature of Krypton allows Zod and his followers to escape their captivity there.
Terraforming: A long-standing trope of science fiction that involves taking an otherwise uninhabitable planet and through various means turning into one that can sustain life. In “Man of Steel,” Zod attempts to do this to Earth via the world engine. (See: World engine.)
World engine: A piece of Kryptonian technology sent with scouts thousands of years ago to the outposts established to possibly one day support life. When Zod attempts to use the engine on Earth, the first step would essentially destroy the planet as we know it.