If there’s anything the average moviegoer knows about the movies it’s the fact that the opening scene is what really hooks them and makes it possible to keep watching sometimes, since there are plenty of movies that simply can’t do this due to a very boring opener that doesn’t inspire anyone in any way. Science fiction movies with great openers are those that can either make a person think or will simply entertain them in a variety of ways that make it necessary to keep watching in order to find out what happens after a pivotal scene that might set the stage for what’s to come. Some of the best opening scenes are those that shock the living hell out of the audience by doing something that was totally unexpected or those that give a view of the world that people weren’t fully ready to handle but can thankfully acclimate to in a short time. Be it a lively opening or a more sedate experience the difference between a great opening and a mediocre one is that the audience will want to keep watching if it’s great, and they might think about what else is one if it’s just so-so.
With that in mind, here are some of the best openings from several science fiction movies.
Isolation and the loneliness it brings is the name of the game in this movie since being stuck on the moon to ride out a contract sounds like a tough job for anyone, especially when it’s discovered that you’re just one of many clones that have been kept in storage to be used for a duration of time until the next one is activated to take your place. The revelation that this brings is even worse than the isolation since not only is Sam Rockwell playing a clone, but the individual that he’s based on has already returned home and has no knowledge that he’s been stuck on the moon for so long.
4. Star Trek (2009)
Has anyone ever noticed how the Enterprise is so woefully outgunned so often when they’re out exploring? It might be an exploratory vessel with a few heavy-hitting weapons, but one would think that Starfleet, with the knowledge that there are violent species within the universe, might send their people out with something a little heavier. After all, the Enterprise, or any other ship for that matter, tends to get pummeled quite often in the show and in the movies since their enemies usually have superior firepower or some way of overcoming whatever a Starfleet ship can throw at them.
3. District 9
There’s something that’s just so grimy, dirty, and grungy about this movie that from the start, it feels as though it’s absolutely infectious just to look at it. But moving on from that, the idea is pretty sound since it takes off in a slightly different direction from a lot of movies. The aliens just want to go home, and in fact, one might get the feeling that the fact that they’re stranded on earth wasn’t a result of any well thought out plan. The movie was well-plotted though and while it stumbles about a bit in order to get its footing, the overall feel of it is that the movie is something that should be pretty familiar to those that were paying attention.
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
People were absolutely psyched to see this, then they saw it, and a lot of folks walked out of the theory wondering what in the hell they’d been so excited for. At some point, TFA turned into A New Hope since Starkiller Base was just a bigger version of a Death Star with a greater range and less mobility, as well as a slower recharge rate. Maybe it was the fact that Han Solo was killed by his own son, or maybe it’s the fact that we didn’t get to see Luke Skywalker for more than a few seconds, but walking into this movie was great since it was a promise that things were looking up again for the franchise. We’ve seen where that road goes at the moment though.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
This was a return to the wasteland that people were wanting, even if it meant a continually hard life for Max since he doesn’t tend to get a break in this movie as he’s on the run from start. Once he’s caught though things start to get kind of interesting and then take a turn for the mundane for a bit until the next car chase. The visuals and the action scenes in this movie were well done, but at the same time, it felt like it could have used a little bit more just to put it over the top.
Sometimes the best scenes in the movie are the opening scenes.