Science fiction is a genre that has captivated audiences for generations. From classic films such as Star Wars to modern television series like Black Mirror, science fiction continues to be one of the most popular and influential forms of storytelling. The best sci-fi scenes are those that are memorable for making an emotional impact, for triggering a cathartic experience, or for offering thought-provoking visual imagery. Here is a curated list of the best sci-fi scenes of all time.
Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner is considered one of the most influential science fiction films ever made. One of the most unforgettable scenes from the classic movie is when Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) confronts Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). After delivering a moving monologue, Batty saves Deckard’s life as he dies, symbolizing the insight and humanity accessible to machines.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
For science fiction fans, the T-1000 Terminator’s liquid metal transformation scene is one of the finest moments in the franchise. The morphing technology applied to the eerie figure of Robert Patrick’s T-1000 made him the most iconic villain in the long-running series. The scene is spectacularly choreographed to hearth-stopping perfection, making it one of the best sci-fi scenes of all time.
The Matrix (1999)
The Wachowski’s groundbreaking sci-fi movie, The Matrix, had some remarkable scenes that blended incredible visuals with philosophical contemplation. Although there are plenty of must-see moments, the stand-out scene involves Neo (Keanu Reeves) stopping bullets in mid-air for the very first time. The slow-motion effect is both awe-inspiring and iconic, creating a moment of pure blockbuster fantasy.
Director James Cameron’s Avatar is inextricably linked to its unforgettable use of 3D technology. By combining a spectacular 3D backdrop with tremendous performances from its lead actors, Cameron offered a unique visual experience that became as integral to the movie as its dialogue. One of the greatest scenes occurs when Jake (Sam Worthington) links himself to his Na’vi avatar in a mesmerizing display of blue.
Ex Machina (2014)
The science-fiction drama Ex Machina features one of the most powerful scenes in recent science fiction. When Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) unveils Alicia Vikander’s robotic Ava, the character steals the show. By emphasizing the synthetic nature of Ava’s movements, director Alex Garland emphasizes her robotic nature, exposing a bridge between humanity and artificial intelligence.
Arrival tells the story of a linguistics professor attempting to prevent an alien invasion of Earth. The movie’s intense climax offers a profoundly humanistic scene when Amy Adams’ character Louise attempts to connect with the alien heptapods. With an emotionally charged score and a brilliant crescendo of visuals, the scene’s ambiguity leaves the audience in a state of awe.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
The Last Jedi is one of the most controversial sci-fi films in the Star Wars franchise. While some viewers were perplexed by the movie’s final act, there’s no disputing the impressive display of special effects when Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) interacts with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The resulting battle sequences are perhaps the finest in the entire saga, as Snoke’s immense power is visually realized by dazzling effects.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Alita: Battle Angel is a visually dazzling science-fiction epic that transcends its cyberpunk roots. One of the most mesmerizing sequences occurs when Hugo (Keean Johnson) attempts to protect Alita (Rosa Salazar) from cyborgs at a floating junkyard. Equal parts horror and beauty, the intense action images of Rosa Salazar performing acrobatics as she fights off cyborgs will stick in the mind of every viewer.
Black Mirror: San Junipero (2016)
Although Black Mirror is a television series, the Emmy-winning episode, San Junipero, stands as one of the most powerful science-fiction stories ever told. When the star-crossed lovers, Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) share their final kiss, the song Heaven Is A Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle creates an unforgettable moment.
Science fiction has a long history of captivating audiences with stunning visuals and powerful storytelling. While there are countless groundbreaking sci-fi movies and series, these 10 scenes stand out as the most memorable amongst fans. From Neo in The Matrix defying the laws of gravity to the tragedy of Roy Batty in Blade Runner, these scenes will be remembered for generations to come.