The story of Heroes have been around since ancient times. They were considered to be the children of gods and man in Greek and Roman mythology. Today the word Heroes is defined as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/heroes?s=t&ld=1147) Regardless of either definition, scifi and fantasy movies would not be the same without our heroes.
I’ve come up with a baker’s dozen of my favorite heroes in scifi/fantasy movies. We’ll cover the first half this in this article, and cover the remainder in a subsequent article.
First we start off with the epitome of scifi movies “Star Wars” released in 1977. We are introduced to a young, and extremely handsome Harrison Ford who plays Han Solo. This is who all the girls swooned for (poor Luke Skywalker).Han was a bit of a rogue, seeming to do nothing without getting paid, but in the end of the movie we find out that he really does care about his friends and is willing to risk his life to protect them.
A year later and we come to the ultimate superhero, Superman. I am talking about the original movie starring the late Christopher Reeves. Reeves was perfect in this role both as Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent (although I could never figure out why a pair of glasses was supposed to fool us.) This Superman was charming, caring, and equally swoon-worthy. The world greatly misses the talents of Reeves.
Now we come to the only woman on our list, Ellen Ripley from the “Alien” franchise. The first movie was released in 1979. It blew everyone away, and is considered a classic to this day. Played by Sigourney Weaver, Ripley faces both the alien monsters and the uncaring android, Ash, aboard her ship. There is no better example of her bravery than when she goes back into the ship, infested by the alien, to retrieve her cat.
Also in 1979, “Star Trek” leapt from the TV onto the big screen. Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) looking a little older, none the less was still able to inspire the Enterprise’s crew into going after an alien disturbance that threatens to destroy Earth. Kirk gets an update in 2009 when the “Star Trek” universe is re-imagined and the role is played by Chris Pine. In this version we get to see Kirk grow into the great captain that he becomes. Both versions are worth checking out.
Harrison Ford makes it onto our list twice, this time with a little film called “Raiders of the Lost Ark” released in 1981. Ford plays the archeologist Indiana Jones. We first find him trying to take a small golden statue from a cave, which doesn't go very well. He winds up being chased in the iconic scene by a huge rolling boulder. After he gets home he is soon sent on his way again to track down the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. Unfortunately he will have to face down an army of Nazis to retrieve it.
We close out this week’s article with the 1996 Film “Independence Day”. Played by the ever youthful Will Smith, Capt. Steven Hiller is a fighter pilot in the US Air force. He is tasked with the mission to fight down the alien ships that have suddenly landed all around the Earth. He gets lucky in a one on one firefight and manages to take down one of the smaller ships, and delivers the alien’s body to the nearby air station, which happens to be area 51. With the help of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) they ready one of the small ships to go into space to take on the mother ship.
Be sure to check back for a look at the heroes in films after the year 2000.