Science Fiction Movie Moments that Made Us Believe In Wonder

Illustration for article titled Science Fiction Movie Moments that Made Us Believe In Wonder

This past week, we've rekindled our sense of wonder, watching Curiosity land and explore a world millions of miles away. But the best science fiction and fantasy movies have a way of rekindling that same feeling of wonder, with amazing spectacle and powerful visions.

We've rounded up our favorite goose bump-inducing moments from science fiction. The scenes that gave us all chills, opened our eyes, and made us all believe in wonder!

Wizard Of Oz
Moment of Wonder: "We're not in Kansas anymore." After a harrowing tornado made out of nylon and dust, the sudden burst of color from Munchkinland is enough to knock any moviegoer backwards.

The Abyss
Moment of Wonder: Hero Bud is all but done for in the bottom of the ocean, despite his suit of liquid oxygen. But then he was saved by beautiful bioluminescent aliens. And even though we try to blow them up, they still help out.

Moment of Wonder: Robert Capa meets the Sun.

Moment of Wonder: A broken Earth. The juxtaposition of the jaunty "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," song with the utter devastation of our planet is horrifying. And it's doubled when you realize Wall-E has been building little piles of cubes for years and years. It's enough to make a person want to recycle.

Moment of Wonder: Lois and Superman's first flight. Just an alien boy in love, flying through the atmosphere.

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Moment of Wonder: Arthur Dent's Journey Through Creation — while the movie was so-so, this amazing universe making factory scene still makes us catch our breath.

Moment of Wonder: A kind alien sails the neighborhood boys into safety.

Star Wars
Moment of Wonder: There are so many moments we could have added, but the very first viewing of our very first spaceship in a universe unfamiliar to our own is just priceless.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Moment of Wonder: The desperate chase to keep one last memory is stomped out, in a beautiful, frightening manner. The visual representation of the idea that our minds could be vast caverns of memories and emotions, and yet easily erased like the collapsing of a Montauk home, will always stick with us.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Moment of Wonder: The full circle ending.

Moment of Wonder: The long and beautiful journey to meet a life form on the other edge of the universe — who looks just like Jodie Foster's Dad.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Moment of Wonder: The great, big, terrible backyard.

Close Encounters
Moment of Wonder: The music, the lights, the journey... Steven Spielberg's entire movie culminate in this one spectacular moment, and not a single red shirt has to die to deliver this sort of mouth gaping wonder. Spielberg heralded the kind-alien movement, which makes him almost the father of wonder. Now if only he had stopped the wonder abuse in Super 8.

Planet of the Apes
Moment of Wonder: At first you think this is all just a space mission gone terrible wrong. But the whole movie gets flipped on its head the second you realize that the planet now populated by super smart apes and mute humans is future Earth. YOU MANIACS!

Blade Runner
Moment of Wonder: Future LA! The future is neon, shiny and damp and as dirty as hell. It was the first time we ever saw the future of our cities through such grime colored lenses. And it certainly wasn't the last — countless movies have just straight up copied the world that Ridley Scott created. But we will always remember our first time.

Jurassic Park
Moment of Wonder: "Welcome to Jurassic Park!"

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Chip Overclock®

As a lifelong fan of motion picture and television scores, I just wanted to point out how much the background music contributes to the emotional rush you feel at these moments. In particular, can you really even read about some of these without hearing a magnificent John Williams theme playing in your head?

I've been lucky enough to have heard a lot of scores performed live. Most recently, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra performed the suite from JURASSIC PARK at Denver's Red Rocks open air amphitheater, with the audience surrounded by gigantic boulders with fossils in them

I get verklempt right now just thinking about it.