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The Heroes of SciFi and Fantasy After 2000

Previously we took a look at some of the heroes that have graced the big screen before the year 2000. Now we’ll look at those that are more recent.

We start off with a man who is more anti-hero than strictly hero, as we begin the 2000 movie “Pitch Black” with Richard B. Riddick in chains. Played by the always yummy, Vin Deisel, Riddick along with 9 others are “shipwrecked” on a planet where it is mostly dark – and there are things in the dark. Luckily Riddick has surgically enhanced eyes, so he can also see in the dark, but the other passengers have to decide whether they can trust him or not.

Hugh Jackman has had huge success in playing the almost feral Wolverine in the “X-Men” franchise. His role started in 2000 with the first “X-Men” and he has had movie-goers hooked ever since. Wolverine is a bit of a nomad at first, opting for his own company, but once he meets Rogue/Marie his heart finds room for others. He finds kindred spirits in the other mutants that make up Professor Xavier’s X-men.

In 2001 the theaters were blown away by the first movie in the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”. It was highly anticipated, and highly successful. Although the little hobbit, Frodo was technically the main character, people (especially women) came to love Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson). He was everything a king should be; courageous, strong, loyal, majestic. He had the love of not only one, but two women (not counting those of us in the audience). Frodo could not have made his journey without the strength and courage of Aragon behind him.

In 2005 TV fans of the SciFi show “Firefly” rejoiced to see their favorite crew hit the big screen in “Serenity. Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) was a site for sore eyes since the show had been cancelled. Mal falls somewhere between Riddick and Aragorn in level of goodness. He’s technically a fugitive from the Alliance, but he goes out of his way to help people in need. His joking manner hides a deep heart that cannot bear to see injustice done.

Transformers introduced us to a new type of hero in 2007– robots. Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) burst onto the big screen in a grand manner, falling out of the sky. He is the commander of a whole group of robots called Autobots, and they come to Earth searching for a cube known as the “all spark”. In doing so they befriend and protect a teenager by the name of Sam Witwicky. Optimus is a strong leader whose interest is not only in retrieving the all spark, but in making sure the human race survives as well.

Finally we come to the year 2008 and Marvel releases another blockbuster hit “Iron Man”. Tony Stark/ Iron Man played by Robert Downey, Jr. shows us the good and bad sides to being a superhero. In the beginning Stark is a selfish, self-centered, billionaire, play-boy. Then he is captured by a group of terrorists and is shown how the weapons he produces are really being used. He manages to escape and vows that his weapons will never be used for such again. In the process, he comes up with the idea of Iron Man to protect people.

Thus finishes our list of heroes. Be sure to join us in the forums to chime in on who your favorite Scifi/Fantasy hero is!

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