The 10 greatest space adventures!

Space: the final frontier. And it will be for a looooong time. Because let’s face it – human kind will never be able to explore the infinite depths of the universe (let alone all those other universes, such as the man-car universe, and the universe where you can only practice law whilst juggling … naked).

With such infinite possibilities, it’s no wonder that there are such vastly different movies tackling the beyond. Seeing as Star Trek opens this week, we thought we’d put together our 10 favourite space adventures! Boldly go forth, and let us know your thoughts! (Oh, and an honourable mention must go to the television show Battlestar Galactica – just in case you thought we forgot!)

Joss Whedon’s beloved and short-lived television show Firefly was resurrected for one final moment in the stars with Serenity. Although Nathan Fillion and Summer Glau haven’t become the superstars they deserve to be, they share some electrifying action sequences in this thoughtful space-western.

Andrei Tarkovsky would probably resent his haunting, slow-burn meditation of life, death and the inbetweens being described as a “space adventure”. But his film, often regarded as the Russian 2001, is a groundbreaking and beautiful look at outer space, and the even more frightening depths of the soul.

Since I was a child, I’ve had an irrational fear of cockroaches. Therefore, you understand it’s been difficult for me to commit to sitting down and watching a film about giant space roaches that eat puny humans. Of course, I eventually ‘manned-up’ – and I’ve never looked back. It’s an exhilariting and eviscerating satire of fascism, and features some brilliant gory effects. Sadly, it’s done nothing to eleviate my roach-fears… the invasion is coming people!

Ridley Scott’s classic flick has become THE archetypal space-thriller, while the Nostromo has become THE archetypal movie spaceship. I remember watching this movie as a kid in installments; turning it off every time it got too intense. It took me weeks to finish the thing. To this day, I can’t climb into an air-conditioning vent and not feel nervous. Actually, that’s probably a normal reaction.

Why, do you ask, is the second Star Trek considered the best of the series? Well, of course it featured the Kobayashi Maru simulation, a sexy Vulcan-Kirstie Alley and some premium Shatner. But the big reason is down to Mr. Ricardo Montalban as the eponymous, and totally cut villain named, ahem, KHAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN!!!!

James Cameron turned Scott’s slow-burn psychological thriller into a full-blown war movie of apocalyptic proportions. Aliens is one of the most riveting action films of all time, and features Sigourney Weaver in an Oscar-nominated performance that redefined female heroes for all time.

Before Danny Boyle took on Slumdogs, he painted the Sunshine. An impeccably paced film with startling performances, Sunshine is one for the ages. Some don’t like it’s ending – and sure, it does stray a little from the philosophical themes raised earlier on – but you can’t deny the bravura filmmaking.

“Listen lady. I just blew up Alderaan. I BLEW UP A MO*********** PLANET! How’s that for intergalactic badassery!” Yeah, do I actually have to say anything about why this is here?

Much like Khan, Episode 5 is widely considered to be the best of the Star Wars trilogy. It features the battle of Hoth, Luke’s training under Yoda, Cloud City, frozen Solo, that big final twist and Lando Calrissian. More importantly, it raised the bar for space dramas – the cosmos was no longer simply the avenue for philosophical quandaries. It could sustain a real narrative. If Star Wars reminded us that space could be fun, The Empire Strikes back tells us that it’s really freaking depressing too.

1. Jason X

An intense, intelligent space adventure that asks the question “What are the depths of the human soul?” PSYCH! The real number one is………

Ah, could it have been any other? Kubrick‘s masterpiece (well, one of them) is the most thought-provoking, terrifying, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, and thigh-slappingly incredible movie ever to venture into the final frontier. Difficult to penetrate and almost impossible to comprehend in one sitting, 2001 takes us into the future that never was, yet may still be inevitable. From Ape to Man to Computer to God to Giant Space Baby, Space Odyssey speaks volumes about human kind, even when its characters say nothing at all. It may not be the fun-loving kind of adventure we saw in Star Wars or Serenity, but it represents the horrific terror of the great unknown, the endless vastness of space, and the lengths man will go to conquer the unconquerable.


4 Responses to “The 10 greatest space adventures!”

  1. Nice list, not a lot that I would argue about, but some other great space movies worthy of mention:Apollo 13 – great movie that has better than any other portrayed what being in space is really like. Despite us all knowing how the story ends, Ron Howard keeps the drama and the tension going until the end.The Right Stuff – maybe a bit too long and over indulgent, but there are some iconic images it takes us all on a ride into the early days human space travel.Marooned – 1969 movie about three astronauts stranded in orbit and unable to return. Minimalistic, with no musical score but some great performances from Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna and Gene Hackman. Iconic moment for me was Peck angrily yelling “Hold” as an approaching hurricane prevents the launch of a rescue mission. Chilling.

  2. Your list is very worthy (except for Serenity). Sunshine, Alien, Aliens, Star Wars IV & V and… the new BSG totally & truly rock. Keep these lists coming…love it.

  3. Nice list bro. I personally prefer The First Star Trek Movie over the 2nd, cos the sheer scale of it and then the final twist totally blew my mind, but I cant refute that Khan was also a mighty fine movie.Having been a a disappointed Firefly fan (I still think it’s Joss’s best series to date), I’m glad you put Serenity in there.I haven’t seen Jason X, but it surprises me to see it even in the list at all; hmmm might havta check it out.And yes, Battlestar ROCKS!!!!

  4. Not bad candidates but I thought Silent Running and Enemy Mine might have made it into the Top Ten.

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