9 'final girls' of science fiction films

17 March 2023
Final girls have become a beloved trope in horror movies, but they have also made appearances in science fiction films, and their presence is just as important and significant. 

The term "final girl" refers to the last female survivor of a group of characters in a horror or thriller movie, who typically emerges victorious after facing off against the film's antagonist. 

It's become such a cliche, films now often try to subvert it. 

In science fiction, these characters often face off against alien creatures, robots, or other futuristic threats.

One of the most appealing aspects of final girls in science fiction movies is their strength and resilience in the face of impossible odds. They are often thrust into situations where they are outmatched and outgunned, but they manage to overcome their fears and emerge victorious. Whether it's Ripley in "Alien" or Mako Mori in "Pacific Rim," these characters prove that women can be just as capable and heroic as their male counterparts, if not more so.

Final girls in science fiction movies also challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes. They are not damsels in distress waiting to be rescued by a heroic man, but rather, they are fully realized characters with agency and power. They are not defined by their gender, but by their actions and their courage in the face of danger.

Moreover, final girls in science fiction movies often serve as symbols of hope and inspiration. They show that even in the darkest of situations, there is always a glimmer of hope and a chance for survival. Their victories inspire us to never give up, to always fight for what is right, and to never underestimate the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

linda hamilton terminator

Here's a list of 'final girl's in science fiction films

  1. Alien (1979) - Sigourney Weaver plays Ripley, a crew member on the spaceship Nostromo who becomes the final survivor when a mysterious alien creature begins attacking and killing her fellow crew members. Ripley's intelligence, resourcefulness, and determination allow her to outwit and defeat the creature, making her one of the most iconic "final girls" in horror history.
  2. The Terminator (1984) - Linda Hamilton plays Sarah Connor, a young woman who is targeted for assassination by a cyborg sent from the future. With the help of a time-traveler named Kyle Reese, Sarah fights to survive against the seemingly unstoppable killing machine. Though Kyle ultimately sacrifices himself to destroy the Terminator, Sarah emerges as the true hero of the film, having grown from a naive waitress into a fierce warrior who will one day give birth to the future leader of the human resistance.
  3. Predator (1987) - In this sci-fi action film, a team of commandos led by Arnold Schwarzenegger are sent on a mission to rescue hostages in a Central American jungle. However, they soon realize that they are being hunted by a technologically advanced alien creature known as the Predator. Despite their training and firepower, the commandos are picked off one by one until only Anna (Elpidia Carrillo), a local guerrilla fighter, and Dutch (Schwarzenegger) are left. Together, they manage to wound the Predator and trap it in a booby-trapped clearing, but Dutch is the only one to survive the explosion.
  4. Species (1995) - Natasha Henstridge plays Sil, a genetically engineered alien-human hybrid created by a team of scientists in a secret government lab. When Sil escapes and begins to mate with human men, a team of experts is assembled to track her down and stop her before she can give birth to offspring that could pose a threat to humanity. Only a few members of the team survive their encounters with Sil, but it is ultimately Marg Helgenberger's character, Dr. Laura Baker, who manages to kill Sil by tricking her into impaling herself on a piece of machinery.
  5. Resident Evil (2002) - Milla Jovovich plays Alice, a woman who wakes up in a research facility with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She soon discovers that the facility is part of a larger underground complex known as the Hive, which has been overrun by a deadly virus that turns humans into flesh-eating zombies. Along with a team of commandos sent to contain the outbreak, Alice fights her way through hordes of zombies and other monsters created by the virus, discovering along the way that she has been genetically enhanced to have superhuman abilities. In the end, Alice is the only one to survive the outbreak and emerges as the only hope for humanity against the evil Umbrella Corporation.
  6. Underworld (2003) - Kate Beckinsale plays Selene, a vampire warrior who becomes embroiled in a war between vampires and werewolves. When she discovers that the werewolves are planning to capture a human named Michael Corvin, Selene sets out to protect him, only to find that he has been bitten by a werewolf and is now a hybrid like herself. Together, Selene and Michael fight to uncover a conspiracy that threatens the future of both vampires and werewolves, ultimately triumphing over their enemies and becoming leaders of the new hybrid race.
  7. The Host (2006) - In this South Korean film, a giant monster emerges from the Han River and begins attacking and eating the people of Seoul. Among the victims are the family of Gang-du (Song Kang-ho), a lazy and irresponsible man who works at a food stand near the river. Gang-du's daughter, Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung), is captured by the monster and taken to its lair beneath the river. Despite being dismissed as a bumbling fool by the authorities, Gang-du sets out to rescue his daughter with the help of his family members. While most of the family members are killed in the attempt, Hyun-seo manages to outwit the monster and make contact with her father before ultimately sacrificing herself to kill the creature, making her the "final girl" of the film.
  8. Prometheus (2012) - In this prequel to the Alien franchise, Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw, a scientist who discovers evidence of an alien race known as the Engineers. Along with a team of researchers and explorers, Shaw sets out to investigate the origins of humanity and the universe itself. However, they soon discover that the Engineers are not the benevolent creators they had hoped for, and instead find themselves facing a deadly alien threat. Despite suffering from a variety of injuries and setbacks, Shaw manages to outsmart and defeat the alien, escaping the planet with the help of an android named David (Michael Fassbender).
  9. Pacific Rim (2013) - In this sci-fi action film, humanity is threatened by giant monsters known as Kaiju that emerge from a portal beneath the ocean. To combat the threat, massive robots called Jaegers are created to battle the Kaiju in hand-to-hand combat. When a breach in the portal allows for more powerful and intelligent Kaiju to emerge, a team of Jaeger pilots led by Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) set out to stop them. After a grueling battle, Raleigh and Mako manage to defeat the Kaiju and close the portal, with Mako emerging as the "final girl" of the film.
  10. Annihilation (2018) - Natalie Portman plays Lena, a biologist who joins an expedition into a mysterious zone known as "The Shimmer" after her husband (Oscar Isaac) disappears there. The team discovers that The Shimmer is a rapidly expanding area where the laws of nature are being warped and mutated, and that previous expeditions have all ended in failure or death. As the team members are killed off one by one by the strange creatures and phenomena of The Shimmer, Lena confronts her own guilt and trauma and ultimately faces off against a bizarre and otherworldly being in the final moments of the film.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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