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The Best Space Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Updated September 22, 2019 687 votes 151 voters 9.5k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite space films that were released in the 1980s.

When it comes to movies set in space, the 80s was the decade of the sequel. As this 80s space movie list demonstrates, sometimes it pays to stick with what works. Four Star Trek sequels, two Star Wars sequels, one Alien sequel and, just for good measure, a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey were all successful space movies from the 80's. What a great decade to be alive!
 

But don’t worry if you think the 80's was completely without originality. Among the top 1980s space movies you’ll also find The Last Starfighter, Dune, Flash Gordon, and The Transformers: The Movie—which has spawned a few sequels of its own.
 

So which do you prefer, Star Wars or Star Trek? Vote up your favorite space movies from the 80's, or add any that we might have missed.

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1
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1980

Directed by: Irvin Kershner

The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

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2
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Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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3
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1983

Directed by: Richard Marquand

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more

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4
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Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer adn directed by Nicholas Meyer.

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5
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Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart

Released: 1984

Directed by: Nick Castle

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in ...more

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6
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William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1984

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature film of the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is ...more

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7
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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

Released: 1986

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on Star Trek, and is a sequel to Star Trek III: The ...more

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8
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Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, James Cromwell

Released: 1985

Directed by: Joe Dante

Explorers is a 1985 family-oriented science-fiction fantasy film written by Eric Luke and directed by Joe Dante. The film stars Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix as teenage schoolboys who build a ...more

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9
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Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti

Released: 1980

Directed by: Mike Hodges

Flash Gordon is a 1980 British science fiction action film, based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film was directed by Mike Hodges, and produced by Dino De ...more

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10
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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

Released: 1989

Directed by: William Shatner

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a 1989 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fifth feature film based on Star Trek, and a sequel to the 1966–1969 Star Trek ...more

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11
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Sting, Patrick Stewart, Alicia Witt

Released: 1984

Directed by: David Lynch

Dune is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by David Lynch, based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides and ...more

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12
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Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, Candice Bergen

Released: 1984

Directed by: Peter Hyams

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13
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Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, John Ratzenberger

Released: 1981

Directed by: Peter Hyams

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14
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Orson Welles, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1986

Directed by: Nelson Shin

The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated TV series by the same name. It was released in North America on August 8, 1986 and in the UK on December 5, ...more

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15
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Joaquin Phoenix, Kelly Preston, Lea Thompson

Released: 1986

Directed by: Harry Winer

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16
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Kathy Griffin, George Peppard, Robert Vaughn

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jimmy T. Murakami

Battle Beyond the Stars is an American 1980 science fiction film directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and produced by Roger Corman. The film, intended as a "Magnificent Seven in outer space", ...more

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17
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Zooey Deschanel, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich

Released: 2005

Directed by: Garth Jennings

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18
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Hiromi Tsuru, Takeshi Aono, Hidekatsu Shibata

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tomoharu Katsumata

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19
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Molly Ringwald, Harold Ramis, Michael Ironside

Released: 1983

Directed by: Lamont Johnson

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20
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Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas, Harvey Keitel

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Donen

Saturn 3 is a 1980 British science fiction thriller film produced and directed by Stanley Donen. It stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel. The screenplay was written by Martin ...more

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21
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Klaus Kinski, Norbert Weisser, Don Keith Opper

Released: 1982

Directed by: Aaron Lipstadt

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22
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Alain Cuny, Yves Brainville, Sady Rebbot

Released: 1982

Directed by: René Laloux, Tibor Hernádi

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23
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Robert Englund, Erin Moran, Sid Haig

Released: 1981

Directed by: Bruce D. Clark

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24
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Dorothy Stratten, Rhonda Shear, Susan Kiger

Released: 1980

Directed by: William Sachs

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25
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Michael Jackson, Anjelica Huston, Tony Cox

Released: 1986

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

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