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The best spaceships of the movies and television:
The spaceships that have marked our childhood
Science fiction movies and shows have graced us with amazing spaceships over the past few decades, often becoming as iconic as the characters and stories themselves.
We take a look at some of the biggest and best spaceships that have appeared on the big and small screen.
Max (Flight of the Navigator)
In the 1986 classic “Flight of the Navigator”, a little boy named David is transported through space and time by an alien spaceship from the planet Phaelon, controlled by a robot named Max (short for “Trimaxion Drone Ship”).
David’s journey includes a trip through space to the ship’s home planet, located 560 light years away, and a transport through time, eight years later. During this time, his brain is used to store vast amounts of data, including star charts, alien technical manuals and more.
Max and his spaceship make our list because of the comedic value of the pilot and the fascinating journey David takes. We also can’t forget all the alien creatures he meets along the way. A great movie for kids of all ages!
Martian flying saucer (Mars Attacks!)
In the selection of famous spaceships discover now ; A slightly more comical, but no less deadly, threat to the human race was represented by the flying spaceships and their passengers from Mars in the 1996 film Mars Attacks!
Tim Burton apparently wanted the aliens and special effects to look as fake as possible for comedic reasons and as an homage to the alien movies of previous generations. The result is hilarious-looking beings and flying saucers that fit perfectly with the trading card series on which the film is based.
Cube borg (Star Trek)
It would be futile to resist the arrival of the Borg in this list. These monstrous spaceships dwarf most of the other ships on our list, apparently stretching 3,000 meters on each side.
They are the scourge of the Star Trek universe, assimilating or destroying everything in their path. Equipped with disruptor beams, high-output photon torpedoes, various tractor beams, and multi-adaptive shields, these ships have a heavy arsenal to fight any enemy.
Inside, the menacing Borg drones are ready to destroy or assimilate anyone they encounter. A force to be reckoned with.
The Death Star (Star Wars)
No list of fictional famous spaceships would be complete without a reference to the Death Star – the moon-sized battle station built by the Galactic Empire for the sole purpose of blowing up planets with a rather nasty super laser.
A pet project of the Emperor, it was comparable to Hitler’s miracle weapons, but fortunately for the Rebels, it had one weakness: an exhaust port that allowed a mischievous and well-directed proton torpedo to end the threat. See Rogue One to find out why it was there.
Heart of Gold (Galactic Hitchhiker’s Guide)
From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Golden Heart is a beautiful spaceship equipped with the infamous and revolutionary Infinite Improbability Engine, which allows it to travel anywhere in the galaxy in an instant. Unfortunately, it may alter reality in random and unfortunate ways.
Stolen by Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the galaxy and a man who has been voted the “worst-dressed sentient being in the known universe” no less than seven times, the Golden Heart was then used to accidentally save Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from an untimely death while floating unprotected in space. It also turned two missiles into a whale and a bowl of petunias. Practical.
It’s a fantastic ship if you can stand the playful mood of automatic doors with authentic personalities and the depressing buzz of Marvin the paranoid android.
Klingon Bird of Prey (Star Trek)
The Klingon Bird of Prey is a heavily armed warship from the Star Trek universe, first encountered by Starfleet and Captain James T. Kirk in 2153. Equipped with a cloaking device and an arsenal of deadly weapons, it is a menacing foe in the right hands.
It’s not the prettiest ship to look at, but neither is the crew. Though we wouldn’t say that to their faces.
The Milano (Guardians of the Galaxy 2)
In the original film, Star-Lord Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) used his ship, the Milano, to enter the Dark Star and save the Galaxy.
In the process, the Milano was severely damaged. In exchange for saving Xander, Nova Corps paid to rebuild and repair the Milano for Quill.
USS Enterprise (Star Trek)
The USS Enterprise has appeared on our screens, big and small, in various forms over the decades. It’s been destroyed, crashed, shot at, and taken on bold new missions into stretches of space where no man had gone before.
Indeed, Gene Roddenberry’s ship became so influential that NASA even named its first space shuttle after it.
Several versions of the Enterprise have been commissioned by big names in the Star Trek series, including James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard and Johnathan Archer.
The ship itself is quite special for a variety of reasons, including the presence of the holodeck in the Next Generation version and a wide range of offensive and defensive weapons and tactical capabilities, including photon torpedoes, ramming speed, and a detachable saucer for emergency situations.
The Space Cruiser (Rick and Morty)
The Space Cruiser looks like something someone’s drunken, crazy grandfather put together in his garage. In fact, that’s exactly what happened.
This UFO-like flying machine was created by mad scientist Rick Sanchez to help him in his crazy adventures around the galaxy with his grandson Morty.
There’s not much to see, but it has some pretty special gadgets, including a battery that houses an entire universe (in miniature form called the Microverse), artificial intelligence, and a vast array of hidden weapons that seem to protect his granddaughter Summer from any threat in an episode of the show.
The Space Cruiser has already done some crazy things and we expect the same in future episodes.
Thunderbird 3 (Thunderbirds)
Thunderbird 3 was the primary spacecraft in the International Rescue Team’s arsenal of vehicles. A true vertical launch reusable space rocket, it was used for space rescue missions and trips to Thunderbird 5, the team’s space station.
Equipped with chemical lift-off rockets and ion propulsion for use in the vacuum of space, Thunderbird 3 was an impressive spacecraft in many ways, not the least of which was its ability to be remotely controlled by a device attached to the wrist of pilot Alan Tracy.
Discovery One (2001: A Space Odyssey)
With its sleek and graceful design, Discovery One first appeared on our screens in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This nuclear-powered interplanetary ship is particularly interesting because it is piloted by HAL 9000, the heuristically programmed algorithmic computer that controls the ship’s systems and interacts with the crew.
When HAL goes awry and decides to kill the crew to prevent them from disconnecting their cognitive circuits, things get interesting. Another one of the human’s journeys in AI gone wrong, the movie is great and the spaceship is also a corker. Unless you’re a passenger, of course.
Moya is the name of another unusual spaceship on our list, as it is a partly organic sentient being. As if a living, breathing spaceship wasn’t impressive enough, Moya also includes a four-armed pilot who is physically linked to it and acts as a navigator, operator and companion, as well as a link to the crew.
Moya has no weapons and its only defensive maneuver is to activate a “stellar blast” that allows the ship to travel through space-time at incredible speeds.
Moya appeared in the cult science fiction series Farscape, which unfortunately ended in 2003, but remains in our hearts.
The Tardis (Dr Who)
Although not a spaceship in the traditional sense, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) is on our list because of its originality.
Larger on the inside than the outside and capable of traveling anywhere in space and time at the touch of a button, it allows the Doctor to explore the universe and deal with everything from Daleks to Cybermen.
Best of all, the interior of the TARDIS is equipped with all sorts of rooms and even has a swimming pool and an art gallery.
Dark Aster (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Dark Aster is on our list for being one of the most menacing alien ships on the big screen.
Dark, angry and ominous, this mammoth corkscrew-shaped ship was taken by Ronan the Accuser to destroy every citizen of Nova in its path, with the ultimate goal of destroying the planet Xander. But first, he had to get rid of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Serenity is a spaceship from the TV series “Firefly” which only ran for 14 episodes before being cancelled (much to the chagrin of its fans).
The ship housed nine people who lived and fought on the losing side of a civil war in what is essentially a space western in a universe where Earth had been abandoned many years before.
The Serenity is a basic ship, with simple equipment and facilities, and there’s not much to say about it. But it is a place of life and a ship of salvation for the crew as they perpetually try to stay out of trouble. Unarmed, the Serenity is another spaceship on our list whose only defense is escape.
The Apollo 13 rocket was brought to the big screen in the form of a film of the same name. It tells the true story of the seventh manned space mission and the third rocket launch to land on the moon.
The real spacecraft was launched in 1970 and suffered an oxygen tank explosion 205,000 miles from Earth, resulting in the abandonment of the lunar mission and an incredible and desperate struggle to bring the astronauts home.
Apollo 13 makes the list, not because it was a great spacecraft (after all, it went a bit off the rails), but because of the heroic mission and safe return of the crew.
Planet Express (Futurama)
The Planet Express animated ship was a ship designed and built by Professor Farnsworth, the mad scientist and owner of the Planet Express delivery service.
There’s nothing particularly special about the ship itself, as it’s armed with only a single cannon and has no cloaking device, but it’s on our list because of its crew.
An eccentric, theft-prone robot named Bender, a down-on-his-luck cryogenic delivery man named Philip J. Fry, and the ship’s captain, the one-eyed mutant Turanga Leela. With this cast of characters on board, the ship gets into a lot of trouble, scrapes and accidents, but it always comes back in one piece.
Prawn Mothership (District 9)
In the movie District 9, above the Johannesburg skyline was the mothership of the Prawns, an insectoid race of alien creatures that landed on Earth in the late 20th century.
This alien spaceship is unusual and is on our list because it is probably one of the only alien spaceships in a movie that did not come to Earth to invade, destroy or colonize. No, the crew of the mothership simply wants a place to live and eat cat food.
Starbug (Red Dwarf)
Starbug is the designation for the small, green, insect-like shuttles of the Jupiter Mining Corporation’s Red Dwarf mining vessel.
These small, rugged, abused but beloved spaceships house the hapless crew, consisting of the last surviving member of the human race, Dave Lister, his hated holographic companion Rimmer, the mechanized service droid Kryten and their friend who evolved from a house cat.
Starbug itself is nothing special to look at, but over the course of the episodes and series of Red Dwarf, it gets many upgrades, including a cloaking device, the ability to travel underwater, upgraded laser cannons and a super tachyon engine.
Crashed on many planets and damaged, Starbug proves to be an extremely formidable ship.
Razor Crest (The Mandalorian)
The Razor Crest was owned and piloted by the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin in the hit TV series The Mandalorian. It’s not the most impressive ship on our list, but its cargo certainly was. And it managed to steal and disarm link fighters, which makes it quite impressive to us.
The Gunstar (The Last Starfighter)
The 1984 film The Last Starfighter broke new ground by using CGI for much of the film. This included the Gunstar spaceship, which was the first to be fully computer rendered and therefore quite special just for that.
The Ranger (Interstellar)
The Ranger was designed to be a reusable, high-performance, single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) reconnaissance spacecraft built by NASA.
This spacecraft is from a great movie and deserves to be on the list for that alone, but it’s also a thing of beauty with clean lines and an intriguing frame.
Heighliner (Dune 2021)
From Dune come gigantic cylindrical ships capable of folding space and allowing people to travel vast distances in an instant.
A wonderful work of science fiction that would change the future of humanity in unimaginable ways.