My 5 Best SCI-FI Moments

When my jaw dropped
April 03, 2009

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Hi everyone! After my latest Joker article ( I decided to go back to my sci-fi routine and go with some of the best moments in sci-fi movies.

We all remember our favorite movie moments from our childhood. Some freaked you out, some WOWed you, some left you completely floored. Many of them we tried to recreate and reenact playing with our friends or with action figures, and many of them became the classic and iconic moments immortalized in American Pop Culture.
I'm sure we all have different picks and most likely there are favorite movie moments that we share. I don't want to do a TOP list, just simply like to point out five special moments that were and still are just Magic for me and ad some personal touch to it. So as much as I love and acknowledge monumental moments like the "I Am Your Father" in Empire Strikes Back or the ending of "Planet of the Apes", there are some moments that are more nostalgic and of bigger meaning for me.

As a hardcore scifi fan, my super five consists only of Sci-fi genre, and only of movies that were fairly recent while I was growing up. So in no particular order, here we go!

"Hasta La Vista, Baby"

The T-1000 Terminator is the ultimate killing machine and one creepy artificial creature. Composed of shape-changing metal, it's impervious to injury and can morph its body into any number of weapons or people. Even freezing it solid can't stop it. After the T-1000's frozen form is shattered, the heroes sight with unified relief. But before the group can start rejoicing, the terminator's remains begin to melt from the nearby heat and slide slickly across the ground to reform

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was an event. An event everyone had to see. Kids, parents, teenagers - all ages were extremely excited about this movie milestone that at the time of the release was unlike anything ever before. At the time of its release it was the most expensive movie ever made and one of the biggest movie phenomenons. It's really hard to describe how huge it was for someone who wasn't around at the time.
The minute it got released on VHS it was almost impossible to get it, but finally my family managed to rent it and we all watched it, my parents, my two older sisters, her friend and myself. It was so cool
In this movie it was impossible to predict the next move, you had no clue what's gonna happen next. And it seemed that there's absolutely no way of stopping the T-1000, one of the most original characters ever.
And AFTER we've already seen him morphing into other things, AFTER we've seen him becoming a floor, AFTER we've seen him going through the bars, AFTER we've seen him pouring into the chopper, we all thought all this ALREADY cannot be topped by anything ever. And then we have the best surprise ever. When the T-1000 gets frozen and shattered by the coolest guy ever, T-800, with a line "Hasta La Vista, Baby", we all think "wow, it's over", and then the biggest mouth opening, 'holy shit!' moment of them all - the small pieces melt and gravitate towards each other forming one big puddle that reforms into T-1000 again! Entire room went "WOW! Did you see that?!There's no way of stopping it!"

The scene quickly became iconic and appeared on numerous biggest/best moments lists. Since then, it's been an integral part of pop culture referenced in all kinds of media, like
Hot Shots 2...

The Simpsons...

Tiny Toon Adventures...

And many more. The sequence is also a part of animation for the Lucasfilm THX logo/intro, where a sphere explodes into tiny pieces that melt and reform together into THX logo...

And the same kind of animation is done for Artisan logo on some of the newer releases.
The phrase itself, Hasta La Vista, Baby became so iconic that even listing all the references would take an entire article. U2 even named their album after it

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T-Rex Breaks Free

Every few seconds there's a powerful thump, so strong that it makes the ground shake. With senses blinded by darkness of the night and the noise of the pouring rain, the main characters have no idea what originates the sound and what is just about to happen. Suddenly everything becomes clear - the king of the giant monsters, T-Rex, breaks free and unleashes hell on the park

Jurassic Park is one of those few epic adventure movies. Grand, fascinating, thrilling, emotional - BIG.
Back when CGI was brand new, and only featured in T2 as a fully developed technique, the then-new FX technique was breath taking. While T2 showed the world something it had never seen before with the liquid, shapeshifting villain, Jurassic Park took it even further and went all the way - dinosaurs were back!

Despite the movie being an instant classic and huge phenomenon, I didn't get to see it till '95. My older sisters, who were always renting movies for the family to watch, had seen the movie over their friend's house. Friends from school had seen it and everyone talked about it, but they didn't own it so they couldn't rent it to me. And my friends from the neighborhood weren't even allowed to see a PG movie, so I could never share my movie interests with this group, and I was never really a fan of family movies or movies targeted for young audience. Horrors, action movies, and most importantly, sci-fi - that was my turf.

Two years later, I saw a new Jurassic Park comic book and my interest in the movie was reborn. I asked my Mom to rent it for me and then I finally saw it, and it blew my mind. It was everything I expected and more.

T-Rex is the monster you wanna see ever since the beginning of the movie. It's teased throughout with the cuts showing the skeleton, the dialog ("you've got a T-Rex?!") and the movie logo itself. And man, what an entrance it makes.
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"Get Away From Her You Bitch!"

Just when the survivors of the war of the species, Ripley, Newt, Bishop and resting Hicks thought it's all over, suddenly a gigant monstrous Queen Alien appears on the ship. While she's raging terror aboard Sulaco, Ripley's quick thinking and the aid of the powerloader save the day in the tense and fascinating climax of the story

My first encounter with the alien series was heavily postponed. While it was all over the place and known to everyone by the late 80's , after seeing the teaser trailer for Aliens I thought that's too much - it's way too scary for me and I was scared at night even after seeing that teaser. That creepy screaming/howling sound throughout, cutscenes showing Hicks, Newt or Ripley scared, sweaty and running, and ending with a quick shot of Alien Queen, that was intense.
So that was THE scariest movie for me. It was a judgement I passed on the movie even without seeing it. My real introduction to alien franchise was the first 1989 Alien vs Predator comic book. I was scared to even open it and read it at first, and kept it hidden from my parents since they knew alien movies aren't for me and there was a lot of gore in the comic book. Either the same year when I read the comic book or year later, Alien 3 came out. I grew up in Europe, and as some may know, Alien 3 was a huge hit over there, so the media coverage was quite big. I watched it when it first came out on VHS and it scared the living crap out of me!
But most importantly, just like the teaser trailer and the '89 comic, it made my interest in Aliens even bigger: what those people in the beginning were survivors of? what kind of horror they've been through? Who were they? And so I finally saw Aliens, which of course, completely blew my mind.
James Cameron is a master showman, he's just master at it. Just when you thought you've seen it all, the moment Ripley looks up and sees the Queen for the first time it's like youre looking up with her. And when the camera slowly goes up and reveal the giant, with the slow camera move you slowly go : "Hoooo...Leee....Shiiit.."
And the fight on Sulaco topps it all. One on one, the Queen and Ripley. You were so much into it, partially because of the tension and atmosphere Cameron created, and partially because of Weaver's strong performance : "c'mon!!!"

The scene became an instant classic, referenced and parodied in all kinds of media. Recreated in

video games...

toy sets...

and lifesized displays all over the world in S-F museums

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The Bike Scene

At the climax of the film, the two try to escape their pursuers, scientists who want to study them with little regard for E.T.'s life. They make a getaway on Elliot's bike. When they come to a dead-end and all hope seems lost, something amazing happens: E.T. causes the bike to gently lift into the air. The plot's climax quickly turns into an emotional climax, thanks to Elliot's glee and John Williams' score, and the two enjoy a magical ride set against a bright, beautiful moon. It is the triumph of childhood and friendship, and it will never be forgotten.

I was born in '85, so E.T came out before me. I didn't get to experience the intial hype with it, but obviously I was aware of this monumental movie because just like other iconic movies, it was firmly placed in pop culture. Saw it in the late 80's and it was fantastic. It's one of those feel good, family movies with some emotional scenes. Spielberg is a master at it! This is such a great classic that shows everything that was great in 80's movies that everyone could enjoy.
The scene with the bike is such a recognizable, iconic image. Not only it symbolizes the movie, but a friendship as well.

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Vader's First Reveal

The officer stares with both curiosity and disguist, as his dark lord is resting unmasked in his meditation chamber

Darth Vader is one of the best, if not THE best movie villains ever. Part of his appeal, aside from the intimidating presence, darkness and power, was the mystery surrounding his real visual appearance - what was behind this mask? What kind of evil lurks there? A monster? what is it? Then in the middle of the movie we got a small tease that absolutely fired my imagination. I actually asked to rewind that scene about three times!

What we got in the last movie was cool, but I think Kershner's vision was far more interesting and creepy. Kershner had a different vision of unmasked Vader, much more hideous and more R.
"I imagined that beneath the mask Vader was hideous; his mouth was cut away and he had one eye hanging low." Production art would be produced for Vader's hideous face but, as Kershner describes above, it was decided that "less is more" and the character is seen only from behind. As great as the tease was, if we'd see the whole thing, Irvin's vision would become canon. What we have left from that is that production art

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Hope you enjoyed that little article of mine. See you next time
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