For decades, the science fiction genre has been one of the most thrilling and intense genres in film. From the heart-racing scares of Alien to the exciting action of the Star Wars franchise, science fiction films have captivated audiences with thrilling stories, but more importantly, awesome women. Many of the best actresses in sci-fi have engrossed audiences with multiple characters in various science-fiction films, while others only needed one perfect role to be remembered forever.
With Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 has just released, Zoe Saldaña has further cemented herself among the great actresses to star in sci-fi movies. From Amy Adams to Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, here are the biggest and the best sci-fi queens of all time.
10 Alicia Vikander
In 2014, Alicia Vikander starred in Ex Machina, a film where a young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) arrives at a retreat and must interact with the world’s first true A.I., which is housed in the body of a robot girl named Ava (Alicia Vikander). Critics universally praised the film upon release, and was also a modest box-office success.
Ex Machina is Vikander’s only science fiction film, but it left a lasting impression on audiences. In a time when many science fiction films were sequels or reboots, Ex Machina served as a breath of fresh air for audiences that were looking for an original and captivating film.
9 Amy Adams
Amy Adams has one of the most expansive careers of pretty much any actor in Hollywood. From big-budget superhero films to visceral dramas, Adams has done it all. One of her greatest roles, however, is in the 2016 science fiction film, Arrival. In the film, Adams plays a linguist who must work alongside the military to decode an alien language after twelve alien spaceships appear worldwide.
At this point in her career, Adams has given several critically acclaimed performances and has been nominated for six Academy Awards. Despite Arrival being one of the few sci-fi films Amy Adams has done, her incredible performance in the film has shown that she is one of the greatest sci-fi actresses of today.
8 Natalie Portman
Appearing in the long-awaited Star Wars prequels, Natalie Portman has built a career playing interesting and awesome sci-fi characters. Following her performance in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Portman provided her talents to several Thor films and 2018’s Annihilation.
Natalie Portman has given incredible performances since she was a child, but her role as Padme has left a lasting impression not only in the lore of Star Wars but science fiction lovers across the globe. With a career as incredible as hers, it would be no surprise if Portman starred in yet another captivating sci-fi film.
7 Mila Jovovich
In 1997, Mila Jovovich starred in The Fifth Element and proceeded to have a career centered around the genre. From her role as Leeloo in the film to starring as Alice in the Resident Evil franchise, Jovovich has been a dominating force in the genre for over 20 years.
Jovovich has had a long career in science fiction and helped make the Resident Evil franchise one of the most financially successful franchises around. With Jovovich attached to the sci-fi film Hummingbird, it appears as though her time as a sci-fi queen is far from over.
6 Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh captured audiences’ attention with 2022’s science fiction film, Everything Everywhere All at Once, but Yeoh has starred in more science fiction films than audiences might think. Yeoh has appeared in two MCU films, including a prominent role in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Yeoh has gained a lot of recognition recently, having just won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Michelle Yeoh’s science fiction filmography will grow even larger soon, with her joining the cast of the Avatar sequels.
5 Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson is one of the biggest actresses in the world today, having starred in a wide range of films and receiving acclaim for her incredible performances. From playing Black Widow in the MCU to providing her talents in films like Her and Under the Skin, Johansson has shown a deep love for the genre.
In terms of both quantity and quality, Scarlett Johansson has built a career playing captivating characters. While her time in the MCU may or may not be done, there is no doubt that Johansson will be involved in many more incredible sci-fi films.
4 Linda Hamilton
In 1984, audiences were introduced to The Terminator, where Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) as she evaded a T-1000 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a killing machine from the future, with the help of Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a freedom fighter sent from the future to protect her. After the events of the film, Hamilton returned in the sequel prepared for war.
Following the release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, moviegoers were enamored by Linda Hamilton’s role and the transformation she underwent. Hamilton reprised the role in 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, showing once again just how strong she was.
3 Zoe Saldaña
Making her first appearance in a sci-fi film in 2009’s Star Trek, Zoe Saldaña has spent her entire career portraying awesome and badass sci-fi characters. From her time as a Na’vi in Avatar to her empowering performance as Gamora in the MCU, Saldaña has made a name for herself in sci-fi cinema.
Zoe Saldaña has spent over a decade starring in a variety of films and has already cemented herself as one of the greatest sci-fi actresses of all time. With Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 both set to release shortly, Saldaña has a chance to be considered the greatest sci-fi queen of all time.
2 Carrie Fisher
In 1977, audiences were introduced to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars. Star Wars tells the story of a band of rebels battling against their oppressors, hoping for a freer Galaxy. One of the leaders of that fight is Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), whose smarts and unwillingness to back down from a fight help turn the tides of war and secure victory.
With a career spanning over 50 years, Carrie Fisher was an accomplished writer and actress. Fisher appeared as sci-fi icon Leia Organa in six films and left a lasting impression on audiences worldwide. To many fans of sci-fi, there is no one more fitting for the mantle of sci-fi queen.
1 Sigourney Weaver
In 1979, a science fiction film was released that changed the landscape of sci-fi and horror. That film, Ridley Scott‘s Alien, featured Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) fighting to survive against a vicious killing machine known as a Xenomorph. The performance in that film, and later films, has often landed the character as one of the critic’s top choices for best sci-fi characters.
Following her appearance in the Alien franchise, Weaver contributed to science fiction films, notably starring in 1999’s Galaxy Quest and 2009’s Avatar. Sigourney Weaver has spent her entire career bringing incredible science fiction characters to life and cementing herself as arguably the greatest actress ever to do it.
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