There's something about a good space battle that's just more satisfying than anything else that could be put onscreen. But the best space battles in film and television are more than just spectacle. In order for an action sequence space (or really any action sequence) to work, you need the right amount of character, tactics, and preparation to make sure the drama plays effectively.
A space battle can be anything from massive fleets to two ships fighting it out in a submarine-esque engagement. Sometimes you don't need thousands of lives on the line for great drama, but rather two people out to prove something to themselves. Of course, if we're talking something like Star Wars... having thousands of ships throwing themselves at each other really helps.
Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek, and more have given us some of the best interstellar conflicts on the screen, so check out the list below if you want to see these epic battles in outer space firsthand!
Battle of Coruscant - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
It may not last long, but the Battle of Coruscant is incredibly impressive while it lasts. The first one-take shot of Anakin and Obi-Wan's fighters as they round a Star Destroyer into a massive war zone is probably the best opening shot of the saga. It also shows you Anakin and Obi-Wan at the height of their friendship along with Anakin's famous piloting skills.364129Is this epic?
Battle to Retake Deep Space Nine - Star Trek Deep Space Nine, 'Sacrifice of Angels'
Deep Space Nine has a number of strong battles, but their finest hour was the battle at the end of the of the Dominion's occupation of Deep Space Nine. While there were plenty of ships and fighting involved, the real fun was in the strategy of the fight. The Federation is outnumbered and outgunned, so Captain Sisko has to rely on pure strategy to win the day. His adversaries know this, so the game of tactics and desperate maneuvers that ensues is mesmerizing.19857Is this epic?
Battle of Sector 001 - Star Trek: First Contact
Finally, we got to see a big Star Trek fleet battle on the big screen. It may be brief, but we see a ton of new classes of Federation starships take on a Borg cube. Adding in the Defiant almost getting blown away is just a cherry on top that sells the drama.22071Is this epic?
Battle in the Mutara Nebula - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Wrath of Khan's run silent, run deep space battle is a master class in tension and character. The cat-and-mouse game between the Reliant and the Enterprise in a nebula that negates sensors and shields forces the strengths and flaws of each of the ship's commanders to rise to the surface. Khan's final suicide attempt also leads to one of the most emotional endings in the history of film.282111Is this epic?