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The Best Space Movies of the 1980s

Updated September 22, 2019 863 votes 157 voters 10.0k views26 items

List RulesVote 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
    The Empire Strikes Back
    51
    10

    The Empire Strikes Back

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
    40
    14

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1983

    Directed byRichard Marquand

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Aliens
    44
    19

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    39
    26

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Kirstie Alley, William Shatner

    Released1982

    Directed byNicholas Meyer

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Last Starfighter
    31
    20

    The Last Starfighter

    Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

    The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
    20
    12

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Released1989

    Directed byWilliam Shatner

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a 1989 American science fiction film released by Paramount... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
    29
    26

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1984

    Directed byLeonard Nimoy

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 American science fiction film released by... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    22
    21

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

    Released1986

    Directed byLeonard Nimoy

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    2010
    12
    9

    2010

    Helen Mirren, John Lithgow

    Released1984

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    2010 is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by Peter Hyams. It is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Outland
    13
    10

    Outland

    Sean Connery, Peter Boyle

    Released1981

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    Outland is a 1981 British science fiction thriller film written and directed by Peter Hyams.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Transformers: The Movie
    16
    16

    The Transformers: The Movie

    Orson Welles, Judd Nelson

    Released1986

    Directed byNelson Shin

    The Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 animated feature film based on the animated TV series by... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button

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  • 12
    Dune
    21
    24

    Dune

    Sting, Patrick Stewart

    Released1984

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Dune is a 1984 American science fiction film written and directed by David Lynch, based on the... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 13
    SpaceCamp
    12
    13

    SpaceCamp

    Joaquin Phoenix, Kelly Preston

    Released1986

    Directed byHarry Winer

    SpaceCamp is a 1986 American space adventure film based on a book by Patrick Bailey and Larry... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button

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  • 14
    Arcadia of My Youth
    10
    12

    Arcadia of My Youth

    Hiromi Tsuru, Takeshi Aono

    Released1982

    Directed byTomoharu Katsumata

    Arcadia of My Youth is an anime film depicting the origin of Leiji Matsumoto's seminal... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Explorers
    21
    28

    Explorers

    Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix

    Released1985

    Directed byJoe Dante

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  • 16
    Saturn 3
    9
    12

    Saturn 3

    Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas

    Released1980

    Directed byStanley Donen

    Saturn 3 is a 1980 British science fiction thriller film produced and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Battle Beyond the Stars
    8
    12

    Battle Beyond the Stars

    Kathy Griffin, George Peppard

    Released1980

    Directed byJimmy T. Murakami

    Battle Beyond the Stars is an American 1980 science fiction film directed by Jimmy T. Murakami... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Flash Gordon
    21
    34

    Flash Gordon

    Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow

    Released1980

    Directed byMike Hodges

    Flash Gordon is a 1980 British science fiction action film, based on the comic strip of the... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button

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  • 19
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    9
    15

    Released2005

    Directed byGarth Jennings

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 2005 British-American comic science fiction film... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Galaxina
    7
    13

    Galaxina

    Dorothy Stratten, Rhonda Shear

    Released1980

    Directed byWilliam Sachs

    Galaxina is a low-budget 1980 American comedy/science fiction film, best remembered for its... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
    4
    10

    Released1983

    Directed byLamont Johnson

    Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone is a 1983 pulp, action-adventure, science... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Captain EO
    6
    14

    Captain EO

    Michael Jackson, Anjelica Huston

    Released1986

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Captain EO is a 1986 American 3D science fiction film starring Michael Jackson and directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 23
    Android
    2
    9

    Android

    Klaus Kinski, Norbert Weisser

    Released1982

    Directed byAaron Lipstadt

    Android is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Aaron Lipstadt and starring Don Keith Opper... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Time Masters
    2
    9

    Time Masters

    Alain Cuny, Yves Brainville

    Released1982

    Directed byRené Laloux, Tibor Hernádi

    Les Maîtres du temps is a 1982 Franco-Hungarian animated science fiction feature film directed... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button

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  • 25
    Galaxy of Terror
    2
    10

    Galaxy of Terror

    Robert Englund, Erin Moran

    Released1981

    Directed byBruce D. Clark

    Galaxy of Terror is a 1981 science fiction/horror film produced by Roger Corman and directed... more on Wikipedia