The shadow play in the Heart of Gold described the Earth-that-was... The excerpt from the script offers a hint into the calamity that caused humanity to abandon Earth.
A CIRCULAR SHADOW representing Earth-That-Was fills the frame.
NARRATOR (Chinese): Little by little, the tribes used the Earth up. Barren, she had little left to offer them.
Silhouetted shapes appear. SPACESHIPS. They radiate out from the shadow sphere, scatter in all directions. Leave it behind.
NARRATOR: Swollen of her, they left. And for the first time since the Great Burn that birthed her, she was alone.
The ships are gone now. A wisp of SMOKE wafts off the sphere, creates a snake of shadow.
NARRATOR: The Earth cried, and terrible were her tears. Acid and caustic, the spawn of the tribes' rape. They flowed a century.
The smoke INTENSIFIES, becomes shadowy FLAME.
NARRATOR: The fire that finally came did so as a blessing.
The sphere SMOLDERS now, bits of it breaking up and disintegrating under the intense heat.