As with any genre, sci-fi has evolved over time. This is especially true for movies, which often take years to make and can be considered a barometer of popular culture. Here’s a timeline of some of the most significant sci-fi films that have come out in the last 50 years or so—from Alien to Terminator 2: Judgment Day—and where they fit into the larger canon. The list of movies is divided into sections, each representing a certain time period or genre in sci-fi film history. This way you can jump to the part of the timeline that interests you most and skip over any information that isn’t relevant to your interests. The timeline is not complete; there are many more sci-fi films out there than what I’ve included here. However, this is by far the most comprehensive list I could find online – so if anyone knows of other great sci-fi movies from these eras that aren’t on this list yet (or even better: if they know how to make one yourself), please let us know!
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) as well as Billy Dee Williams in his first credited movie role. The story focuses on Luke Skywalker who discovers that there is a powerful Force controlling all things after being rescued from Tatooine by Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi; together they seek out rescue from Alderaan Princess Leia Organa–who along with her brother has been captured by Imperial forces–and Han Solo whom he meets up with at Mos Eisley Spaceport on Tatooine; they then travel together aboard “Millennium Falcon” where they run into trouble when its owner Jabba Desilijic Tiure refuses payment for passage through hyperspace lanes controlled by Jabba’s domain…
Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young. The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in which genetically engineered replicants are virtually indistinguishable from adult humans. The story follows Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a veteran police officer who reluctantly agrees to hunt four runaway replicants hiding in LA: Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Pris Stratton (Daryl Hannah), Leon Kowalski (Brion James) and Zhora Salomee (Joanna Cassidy). During his investigations he encounters Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel), an old friend who leads him on a quest to find their creator while they try to avoid being detected by the authorities themselves.
Aliens is a 1986 science fiction film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and Carrie Henn. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien, but begins about 57 years after its predecessor left off. The story follows Ripley (Weaver), who has been in hypersleep for 57 years since expecting to find out what happened to her missing crew members on LV-426 (a planet where they found eggs belonging to an alien species). When she arrives at their intended destination, she learns that only one member of her crew survived: Corporal Hicks (Biehn). They go down onto LV-426 with Lieutenant Gorman (William Hope) and a team of colonial marines where they discover that there are now aliens who can breed faster than ever before – which means they’re going to have their hands full trying not only survive this new breed of creature but also get out alive!
Robocop is a 1987 American cyberpunk action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier, based on the character of the same name who first appeared in the 1982 film, directed by Neumeier. The plot revolves around police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), who is brutally murdered by an evil corporation and subsequently resurrected as a cyborg law enforcement agent; thus getting revenge on those responsible for his death while trying to get his old life back. Robocop was released on July 17th, 1987 in 1,200 theaters across North America where it grossed over $8 million on its opening weekend ($17 million today). At that time it was one of only four films released during summertime (along with Predator 2 which came out two weeks prior on June 20th) so this helped boost its box office numbers considerably when compared against other movies released around Christmas time or early springtime when there are usually fewer theatres open due to weather conditions making travel difficult at best
The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. The story takes place in an underwater laboratory called the “Deep Core” where scientists are studying an alien race called “The Others”, who had been found near Titan (a moon of Saturn). The Others’ home planet had been destroyed by nuclear war centuries earlier but they survived by going into hibernation for thousands of years until their arrival on Earth. While running tests on one of their craft recovered from the ocean floor near Puerto Rico, something goes wrong with its reactor causing it to explode which kills several crew members including the captain who then transfers his consciousness into another body so he can continue his mission from inside the ship’s computer system while also giving him complete access over all systems within range including those at Deep Core itself so as soon as possible after entering this new vessel called “Virgil” – named after Dante Alighieri’s poem Divine Comedy written between 1308-1321 CE – he orders it back down towards Bermuda Triangle where there once existed another outpost similar in design but much smaller than today’s version; however before reaching its destination something happens again:
Total Recall (1990) is a sci-fi action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s based on the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick, who also wrote The Minority Report (2002). The story follows Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger), an ordinary working man who decides to use a memory implant service to give himself one last chance at happiness with his wife Lori (Sharon Stone). But something goes wrong during the procedure, and soon Doug finds himself on Mars fighting for his life against corrupt government officials trying to brainwash him into believing he’s actually someone else–a spy named Hauser who works for Mars’ police force!
This is just a short list of some of the best sci-fi movies ever made. Of course, there are many more great movies in this genre that we didn’t have time to include here. If you think we missed something important or would like to share your own favorite sci-fi film, please let us know in the comments below!