When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on the 20th of July 1969, it may have been one small step for a man, huge step for the scientific community, and a giant leap for Hollywood. We take a look at the best films with female space explorers.
A former NASA pilot is recruited to find other habitable planets when dust storms and famine threaten the Earth in the mid-21st century. Matthew McConaughey is an engineer, Joseph Cooper, but the film is underpinned by two other strong performances: Anne Hathaway as astronaut Amelia Brand and Jessica Chastain as Cooper’s scientist daughter Murphy. Whether they are traversing frozen planets in search of life or studying black holes back on Earth, the pair are integral to the mission and the fate of humanity rests on their shoulders.
Alfonso Cuarón’s high-octane thriller is a perfect vehicle for Sandra Bullock, who plays a mission specialist Dr Ryan Stone. Lost in space after a collision caused by a Russian missile strike, she has limited time and dwindling oxygen supplies to reach the International Space Station. George Clooney (glorious actor combination!) appears as veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski, but the focus remains on the inscrutable, isolated Dr Stone. Despite the sweeping cinematography and dazzling visual effects, the film is at its most powerful when the camera is pressed against her helmet, listening to the sound of her breathing as she watches the Earth drift out of sight.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
The 3rd and the final Star Wars saga opens with an action-packed instalment that has a female character at its centre. It’s the lightsaber-wielding, Jedi-in-training Rey, played by rising star Daisy Ridley. After rescuing BB-8 and stealing the Millennium Falcon, she escapes Jakku, meets Han Solo and battles the First Order to return the droid to the Resistance. 2017’s follow-up The Last Jedi shows her convincing Luke Skywalker to return from exile, while this year’s The Rise of Skywalker will mark the end of the millennia-long conflict between the Jedi Order and the Sith.
What do you think of these legendary films with female space explorers? Let us know in the comment section below.
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