Is there anything more sci-fi than planet-destroying weapons? The stereotypical sci-fi superweapons do one of two things: They destroy a planet (or multiple planets) and/or reality itself. Causing obliteration on a massive scale is what we go to science fiction for, people! The most timeless sci-fi franchises are always dealing with weapons of this magnitude and for good reason: It's hard to beat the narrative tension of mass extinction.
Star Wars goes into this well time after time with fans even debating between the likes of Starkiller Base vs Death Star/s. Star Trek and Doctor Who, two of the most celebrated sci-fi properties in popular culture, have their own versions of the doomsday machine trope, and everything from Ender's Game to Chronicles of Riddick has its hand in the proverbial honeypot. Even superhero films aren't immune to the lure of the superweapon, with the Infinity Gauntlet being one of the most powerful sci-fi weapons ever shown on film. So go ahead and vote up your favorite legendary weapons in the annals of sci-fi history!
- Photo: Star Wars: A New Hope / 20th Century Fox
Here it is. The icon, the legend, the crème de la crème. There probably isn't a more famous superweapon in all of popular culture than the Death Star itself. When Tarkin and the Empire use the Death Star to blow up Alderaan in the very first Star Wars film, your jaw hits the floor. This is a space station that can destroy an entire planet at the flick of a switch.
So what if stormtroopers can't hit the broad side of a barn? When the Empire can destroy whatever it wants, whenever it wants with basically no effort at all, there really is no need for stormtroopers, period. What does the Empire do after Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star in A New Hope? It starts building another Death Star! Because, of course! It is the ultimate trump card in the fight to control the galaxy. Well, it was until the First Order one-upped the Empire with Starkiller Base, at least...Powerful device?
What constitutes a powerful device? The qualifications vary from film to film, but it is safe to say that when you can snap your fingers and erase half of all life across the entire universe, that device is pretty darn strong. Both Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet from Avengers: Infinity War and Tony Stark's Iron Gauntlet from Avengers: Endgame are just tools that give the wearer the ability to utilize the untold power of the Infinity Stones.
And while wiping out half of all life in the universe is certainly an incredible showing of strength, the Infinity Stones - when collected together - give the user the power to do pretty much anything they wanted. Thanos could've used the Stones to double all the resources in the universe and become a hero! Instead, he decided to "mercifully" eliminate half of all life because, well, he didn't think about that other option, okay? Don't worry about it; he's a giant, purple madman.Powerful device?
The Little Doctor From 'Ender's Game'Photo: Summit Entertainment
Don't let the name fool you, the "Little Doctor" is an extremely dangerous armament created by the International Fleet that is capable of massive destruction at a molecular level. The real name for the device is the "Molecular Detachment Device." Do you get it? MD? Little Doctor? It may lack the gravitas of names like "Death Star" or "Reality Bomb," but it is no less dangerous because of it.
During the climax of Ender's Game, Ender and his crew of child soldiers use the Little Doctor to wipe out the home planet of the Formics in one fell swoop. Unlike other superweapons that would destroy the planet entirely, the Little Doctor creates a molecular chain reaction on the planet that burns its entire surface and wipes out every living thing on it.Powerful device?
- Photo: BBC Studios
Never let it be said that Davros, creator of the Daleks, wasn't a madman dedicated to his craft. Not content with the traditional method of extermination by nonstop slaying and unending global conflict, Davros created the Reality Bomb. And with a name like "Reality Bomb," you can guess that this thing is no joke. In the mood to destroy all of reality, across every parallel universe in existence? The Reality Bomb is the armament for you.
Unsurprisingly, the Doctor stops Davros from using the Reality Bomb, but we get this glorious monologue beforehand:
People and planets and stars will become dust, and the dust will become atoms, and the atoms will become nothing. And the wavelength will continue, breaking through the Rift at the heart of the Medusa Cascade into every dimension, every parallel, every single corner of creation. This is my ultimate victory, Doctor! The destruction of reality itself!
Talk about counting your eggs before they hatch.Powerful device?