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This may be a question that can't be answered but I figured it may be a little fun to try anyways. I know the rules that are established about the dragonballs:

  1. 1 (original earth) /2 (later on earth) /3 wishes (Namek) depending on which version you have.
  2. Wish can't exceed the creator's power
  3. If the earth dragonballs then can't make the same wish twice

So in rewatching the series with my wife recently, when they are on Namek she asked if they could just take the balls into space to hide them which is a great question IMO. Freiza, or Vegeta for that matter, could have just parked their space ship floating over Namek or on some moon or close by planet and had it come get them every so often to deposit found dragon balls, or in Freiza's case where he doesn't need air to breathe he could just fly away with them.

So are there any rules about the dragon balls leaving the planet to which they were created on? Would they turn to stone? Would they just not work?

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You made a small mistake, with regard to the rules of the earth's Dragon Balls, they can be used to grant up to 3 wishes. However, if one of the wishes involves reviving a large number of people, it can only be used to grant up to 2 wishes.

With regard to your main question, as to whether the Dragon Balls would work on another planet, the answer is Yes, at least in case of the Namekian Dragon Balls. We know this because they were used to revive Krillin, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu on earth which you can see here.

Hence, to answer your wife's question. Yes! It would've been certainly possible. However, there are reasons why that wouldn't work with the narrative

  • The first is Frieza's character. Frieza was considered to one of the strongest fighter in the Universe. A Universal emperor and it would be very unlike him to take the dragon balls and hide it when he could take it from anyone he pleases simply because of how powerful he was. The Frieza then didn't fear anyone. Although the Frieza in DBS would do something like that, the Frieza in DBZ wouldn't simply because of how strong he was.
  • Now with regard to Vegeta, he began collecting the Namekian Dragon Balls when he heard about Frieza wanting to collect them. So ideally, Vegeta would want to collect the Dragon Balls immediately before Frieza does and make his wish. At the same time, Vegeta had absolutely no intention of confronting Frieza or engage in combat with him. If Vegeta spent time taking every single Dragon Ball he had to another planet, came back and repeated the process, Frieza would've most likely found a Dragon Ball during this period of time. This would require Vegeta to confront Frieza and engage in battle with him which is something he clearly wanted to avoid at that point in time. So on account of the situation, it would have been impractical for Vegeta to do this fast enough to be able to get all Dragon balls and wish for immortality.

  • I like this answer. Makes sense to me! – Eric F Jan 29 at 16:38
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What we know it's that the namekian dragon balls were made by taking pieces from the super dragon balls. The super dragon balls are scattered through universe 6 and universe 7, and they work, so we could assume that since the namekian dragon balls are made of the same material or substance, they would have the same general properties than the namekian dragon balls (granting less powerful wishes though) . So I'd say if they are taking to another planet they still would work just as the super dragon balls do.

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