by Nolan James – Staff Reporter
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) – An absolute masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick, “2001: A Space Odyssey” defined science fiction for all films of the genre released after it. 2001: A Space Odyssey stars Kier Dullea and Gary Lockwood, who play David Bowman and Frank Poole, astronauts aboard the Discovery One, a spaceship bound for Jupiter, along with a crew of astronauts in cryogenic sleep. The ship is controlled by artificial intelligence HAL 9000, who the crew affectionately refer to as “Hal.” HAL, however, soon starts malfunctioning, leading Bowman and Poole to decide to shut HAL off. Unbeknownst to them, however, HAL reads their lips, and starts terminating the crew in panic. Bowman soon finds out that HAL has been keeping their true mission a secret to them that their mission is to find and research a strange black monolith that has appeared multiple times throughout history. With a complex story chockfull of symbolism, and revolutionary graphics that are better than that of most modern movies, if any movie is to be selected to represent the science fiction genre, it should be “2001.”
“Blade Runner” (1982) – The king of the cyberpunk genre, “Blade Runner” is a phenomenal science fiction movie directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed the famous Sci-Fi-Horror movie “Alien”. “Blade Runner” stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, an ex-bounty hunter who killed androids for a living. The movie takes place in Los Angeles in 2019 in a gritty, polluted world overrun with poverty. Androids, or “replicants,” as they are called, have been forbidden from living on earth, and are forced to migrate to Mars. Deckard is hired to kill, or “retire,” four rogue replicants who have come to earth. “Blade Runner” has a very morally complex story, dealing with themes of what it truly means to be human, as Deckard begins to question whether androids really are just machines that he should be able to retire, and the replicants try to find a way to extend their four-year life span. There are many different versions to watch, the best of which are probably the Director’s Cut and Final Cut, due to the many changes the studio forced Ridley Scott to make. No matter which version you watch, though, “Blade Runner” still proves one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time.
“Star Wars” (1977) – While some may point to this film’s sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back,” as the superior film, which is probably true, there’s no movie that has had as much of an impact as the original “Star Wars,” especially within the Sci-Fi genre. “Star Wars” features a memorable cast of characters, most of whom have become cultural icons, and a classic, albeit rather clichéd, story about a rebellion fighting back against the tyrannical Empire. While the movie’s writing and dialogue is rather dated and corny, “Star Wars” was a milestone for the Sci-Fi genre. It has a detailed, creative world and impressive visual effects, standards for any great science fiction movie. “Star Wars” is definitely amongst the great classic movies.