Sci-fi movies–One image to define them all

Science fiction on the big screen may be like no other genre.  The seemingly impossible comes to life as filmmakers predict the future–sometimes positive and exciting, sometimes bleak and full of unspeakable horrors.  Whether these movies show us how humans may live in the future, or who else may be sharing our galaxy with us, or what galaxies we may never confront, science fiction takes storytelling and gives us a vision of the future.

So if you had to select one scene, or even better, one image, that best defines the science fiction genre in movies, what image would you choose?  Select your choice from these iconic images in the below poll and see if others agree.  If you think we’re missing an iconic image, let us know by posting a comment.

Dave confronts Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey
Our first look at where the creature has been hiding in Alien
Ripley confronts the queen alien in Aliens
Marty McFly sees the time machine work in Back to the Future
Deckard is taken to the police station in Blade Runner
The mother ship arrives at Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Daniel Craig gets to use an arm gun in Cowboys & Aliens
Gort arrives on Earth in The Day the Earth Stood Still
The slave ship hovers above South Africa in District 9
Snake Plissken shoots up the place in Escape from New York
Eliot and E.T. take a ride across the moon in E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial
Leeloo arrives in Corbin Dallas's cab in The Fifth Element
We get our first look at Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet
The aliens zap the White House in Independence Day
Donald Sutherland is finally taken in Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Tony Stark test drives the Iron Man armor in Iron Man
Alex Rogan gets to be a Starfighter in The Last Starfighter
J makes these look good in Men in Black
The robot is revealed in Metropolis
John Anderton shows us some cool new technology in Minority Report
Charlton Heston in the big reveal from Planet of the Apes
Johnny Rico takes down a bug by himself in Starship Troopers
Our first look at the Enterprise refit in Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Admiral Kirk screams at Khhhaaaan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The death of Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Kirk and Spock return to 1980s San Francisco in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Worf's promotion ceremony is interrupted in Star Trek: Generations
The Star Destroyer appears overhead in Star Wars
Our first look at Darth Vader in Star Wars
Luke dreams of space on Tatooine in Star Wars
We get to marvel at Yoda--a muppet that looks real--in The Empire Strikes Back
Luke, I am your father -- from The Empire Strikes Back
Sarah Connor beats the Terminator in The Terminator
We meet the new liquid terminator in Terminator 2
Arnold takes another guy's leathers in Terminator 2
The creature appears in The Thing from Another World
Arnold reveals his disguise in Total Recall
The rocket arrives at the moon in A Trip to the Moon
Flynn is zapped into the Grid in Tron
Quorra hangs out at Flynn's place Tron: Legacy

C.J. Bunce


  1. Brilliant post and incredible pics! You’re right, science fiction is absolutely like no other genre, and is best experienced on the big screen! It’s great to see directors like Duncan Jones coming out with strong modern sci-fi work!

    Cool blog as well, I’ll be sure to return!

  2. These are great images – each capturing a specific emotional moment. I liked the ‘Connor Kills Terminator’ pic but couldn’t find it on the list. It captures the sense of fear yet the string of hope that does the best of Sci-Fi justice.

    Thought about the Starship Troopers pic but that particular image (especially the Troopers face) seemed too victorious. The same with the Ripley (Alien) image. ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ produces (another great image) a sense of hopelessness for me. Even against an apocalyptic background, you still want too feel that there’s hope (Mad Max for example). Again, great job at capturing a different feeling for each of the images.

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