Sure, when it comes to the genre of science fiction, there are not many things more important than a futuristic look or an outer space setting or robots versus humans, or apes versus humans, or giant mutated ants versus humans, or some sort of socially moral tale of dystopian dread.
Oh yeah, and then there are the hot babes.
Any red-blooded American boy, or any red-blooded American girl who likes girls for that matter, or any girl-loving humanoid around the planet, knows full well of what and whom I speak.
There have always been sexually attractive women in movies, and this was never any different in the sci-fi genre.
One could easily add Maureen O’Sullivan (Mia Farrow’s mother) as Jane in Tarzan and his Mate, if one were to consider the film science-fictiony in a way. Okay, perhaps it is more adventure story than sci-fi, but the 1934 film was one of the last films to be released before the Production Code hit Hollywood and dried up all the sex and violence for the better part of the next three decades. The film was banned for the scenes involving a nude Jane and Tarzan getting it on.
I would even include Elsa Lanchester’s Bride of Frankenstein in that sci-fi babe list. Maybe that is just me, but seriously, that put together lady was really put together – and she had some great hair too. But then, it really wasn’t until the late 1950’s that what we know as the rather misogynistic term of sci-fi babe came around.
The film was Forbidden Planet and the babe was Anne Francis.
1956’s Forbidden Planet was notable for being one of the first films showing man traveling to another planet (before this, it was the aliens that came to Earth), and it was also the film that put the iconic Robby the Robot onto the cinematic map, but let’s face it, no matter how many times we debate the ideas of knowledge and power and the corrupting forces of both, or the power of the id over the ego, or how influential the movie was on future generations of sci-fi writers, directors and fans, we never quite get that vision of Anne Francis in those mini-dresses, or out of those mini-dresses, frolicking around the swimming pool, or allowing those crewmen to show her the ways of the world out of our minds for even a second – even a yoctosecond. Not that I’m complaining though.
After Anne Francis, came other such notable space babes like Raquel Welch in those skin tight outfits in Fantastic Voyage, French sex bomb Anna Karina in her ex-hubby’s sci-fi classic Alphaville, Linda Harrison as the scantily-clad mute Nova in Planet of the Apes, and, of course, Jane Fonda in her fur bikini in Barbarella.
Thanks to the Late Late Show, these are the films, and the women, that I grew up with.
There was also Star Trek and Lt. Uhura, not to mention Yeoman Rand during the first season, and let us not forget Captain Kirk’s liaison with a green-skinned alien babe. Then we have 1976’s Logan’s Run and Jenny Agutter in her slip of a frock, but it was the following year, the iconic (sci-fi-wise) 1977, at the tender age of 10, that my first real dream girl hit the big screen. That dream girl was, of course, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.
As I watched Star Wars on the big screen about a dozen times (my mother was prone to indulging her spoiled only child) my ten year old mind was mesmerized by the space battles and by that big walking carpet of a Wookiee, and on how cool Han Solo was, but somewhere in the back of my youthful mind was something strange stirring around whenever that girl in the long white robe and the funny cheese danish hairstyle came on screen.
Granted, she was an older woman (she was 18 and 19 during filming of Lucas’ film), but hey, what did I care?
And that attraction just grew over the next half a dozen years. In 1980’s Empire Strikes Back, I was old enough to know exactly what those stirrings meant, and now I really wanted to be Han Solo. By the time of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and Princess Leia’s forever-iconic gold bikini in Jabba’s Palace scenes, this then sixteen year old Star Wars fan was right in line to know exactly what he thought. Pretty much any male of my generation knows what I’m talkin’ ’bout here.
But I digress, for there is more to the hotter side of sci-fi than just Princess Leia. Right?
The late 1970’s and the 1980’s would give us Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley (no matter how tough and/or hairless she would become) in Alien, Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science, and, and maybe I’m the only one on this one, Persis Khambatta in Star Trek the Motion Picture.
There was also Blade Runner and a two-fer. We got the punk tough Daryl Hannah and the sultry noirish Sean Young. The best of both worlds.
In more recent times, sci-fi cinema would give the world such smokin’ hot space ass-kickers as Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element AND Resident Evil, Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld films, Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux, and Natalie Portman in those “other” Star Wars films.
One should of course add Zoe Saldana as the “new” Lt. Uhura to this list. Maybe even WALL-E‘s EVE if one is so inclined. Hey, she’s sexy to WALL-E.
Then there is Firefly.
The obvious mention here goes to Summer Glau as River Tam, and believe me, she is a rightfully obvious choice, but I must admit that I was always a Kaylee kinda guy.
Jewel Staite was the one for me.
Now, all of this hot girl watching may seem like mere misogyny to the casual reader, and I suppose, in a way, it probably is, but c’mon people, many of these hot space babes (yeah, that one may be a bit in bad taste) are also major ass kickers.
Princess Leia took a back seat to no scruffy looking space pirate.
But yeah, they are hot too. What can I say, I’m a guy.