TOP 5 WOMEN IN SPACE
We pay homage to our favourite actresses in space


Last week the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Gravity, hit screens nationwide. The box office smash, starring Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, has taken the top spot of October's highest-grossing live action film of all time.

 

In celebration of its success, we pay homage to our favourite actresses in space...

 

 

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1) Sigourney Weaver aka Ellen Louise Ripley

The tagline 'In space no one can here you scream' is one of the most recognised hooks in cinema, and sets the tone perfectly for the horror to come in the Alien saga...

 

Officer Ripley took centre stage in 1979, amidst an array of alien pods, spider-limbed face-huggers and an improvised chest-busting horror scene, to become one of the most recognised female protagonists of all time.

 

The historic battle Sigourney Weaver waged relentlessly against generation after generation of Alien still echoes on screen, with actresses such as Sanaa Lathan and Noomi Rapace stepping forward to uphold the mantle of the original female archetype.

 

 

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2) Katee Sackhoff aka Kara "Starbuck" Thrace

What could be better than a re-launch of Battlestar Galactica from the '70s? Re-launching Battlestar Galactica and recasting the lead role of Starbuck as a woman!

 

The original role, played by Dirk Benedict, was re-imagined by Ronald D. Moore and played by Sackhoff. During the run of the series, Starbuck gained notoriety for the complexity of her character, emotional range and her reputation as a 'fracking' badass, despite criticism from fans early on.

 

Kara Thrace is a cocky insubordinate fighter pilot to begin with, but as the fleet encounter the hardships of exile in the shadow of incessant Cylon intrigue, Starbuck becomes a messianic figure prepared to sacrifice her life for others.

 

 

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3) Zoe Saldana aka Nyota Uhura

An all-new cast is exploring the final frontier. The cult icon Nyota Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols, was important in promoting cultural diversity at a historically tense time. The reboot of Lieutenant Uhura was given a new twist; a relationship with Commander Spock gave new dimension to the Star Trek dialogue.

 

The Latin star leaped into mainstream box office charts on the back of a role in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), landing a leading role in James Cameron's Avatar (2009) and translating her way through Starfleet's academy to join the elite team aboard the USS Enterprise.

 

The sci-fi genre has not finished with Saldana, as she is set to play the character Gamora in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel and distributed by Disney, set to hit screens next year.

 

 

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4) Carrie Fisher aka Princess Leia

Star Wars is set to hit screens once more. In a galaxy far, far away Carrie Fisher is expected to make a comeback.

 

We were first introduced to Princess Leia Amidala Skywalker as leader of the Rebel Alliance, daughter to Darth Vader and sister to her twin Luke Skywalker.

 

Much talk has surrounded Fisher's role, her metal bikini, her contribution to feminism, and her pro-active approach in making a real impact on the silver screen.

 

Despite her critics, her role remains one of the most recognisable in the sci-fi genre, to date.

 

A true example of how influential Fisher's character has become is the almost identical draft of Padame Amidala, played by Natalie Portman, complete with laser pistol and continued style of calm, graceful determination.

 

 

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5) Sandra Bullock aka Dr.Ryan Stone

Gravity has been pegged as Bullock's finest work to date.

 

The tense sci-fi thriller has already received fantastic reviews and has been compared to masterpieces such as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

 

In complete contrast to her previous roles in Speed, Miss Congeniality and The Heat, Bullock has been praised for her ability to present a determined, intelligent but vulnerable character as she effortlessly maintains the one-woman show that is pegged to become a cinematic epic.

 

The movie has received 'universal acclaim' and despite her first inclination to turn the film down, we are glad that she didn't.

 

 

We pay homage to our leading ladies in space and recommend that if you haven't planned on watching Gravity, you should definitely reconsider!

 

 

 

Words by Darren Steer.


 

What do you think of our top picks? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section, below.

“Princess Leia remains one of the most recognisable roles in sci-fi.”

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