The Best Space Movies Of 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.
- Released: 1980
- Directed by: Irvin Kershner
In the wake of a game-changing space opera, this sequel took the galaxy by storm, solidifying its place in cinematic history. With an iconic twist that left audiences speechless, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford reprised their roles as the ultimate trio - Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. The film's darker tone and nail-biting cliffhanger ending left fans clamoring for more and cemented it as a pillar of science fiction storytelling.
- Released: 1986
- Directed by: James Cameron
This gripping tale of survival against all odds pits the fearless Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) against a terrifying extraterrestrial threat. The suspenseful atmosphere and pulse-pounding action sequences make this film an adrenaline-fueled roller coaster ride that has viewers clinging to the edge of their seats. This movie not only brought nightmares to life but also showcased powerful female characters in lead roles.
- Released: 1982
- Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
When vengeance becomes the driving force behind an adversary's relentless pursuit, a beloved crew must face their greatest challenge yet. Featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock respectively, this thrilling journey sees our heroes pushed to their limits as they grapple with morality and sacrifice. The film's enduring legacy is a testament to its compelling storyline and memorable performances.
- Released: 1983
- Directed by: Richard Marquand
The climactic conclusion to an epic space saga sees familiar faces joining forces with new allies in a desperate bid to restore balance to the galaxy. As with its predecessors, this film boasts awe-inspiring visual effects and unforgettable characters like Darth Vader (played by David Prowse). A timeless classic that continues to resonate today, it remains a benchmark for science fiction films across generations.
- Released: 1984
- Directed by: Nick Castle
A young man's dreams take flight when he discovers his destiny lies among the stars in this cult classic from 1984. Lance Guest plays Alex Rogan who finds himself thrust into an interstellar conflict upon discovering his unique abilities as a starfighter pilot. Filled with adventure and heart, this film is a testament to the power of imagination and the limitless potential that exists within us all.
- Released: 1987
- Directed by: Mel Brooks
A laugh-a-minute spoof that lovingly pokes fun at the space movie genre, featuring an ensemble cast led by comic genius Mel Brooks. This hilarious parody pays homage to classic science fiction films while providing a fresh spin on their beloved tropes. With side-splitting humor and unforgettable characters, it remains a fan favorite and serves as a lighthearted reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.