9 Visionary Sci-Fi Movies from the Past to the Present

Here are 9 fascinating sci-fi movies which shaped both the workings of our minds and the development of technology.
Nursah Ergü
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Since technology started to develop back in the day, it never failed to amaze us. We have seen many fantastic stories, such as time travel, interdimensional travel, invisibility, simulations, artificial intelligence, meeting aliens and more. And we always wish to see more! 

These stories always inspired real-life, led to other movies with a similar theme or made us question if we can actually manage to do these kinds of things. 

For now, we think that most of these technologies will remain as movie themes and topics that astonish us, but for the future, we can't be sure. Once, there were movies about landing on the Moon and a couple of years later it actually turned into a reality. So we just have to wait and see, who knows maybe it'll all become the reality one day!

As mentioned, the history of science fiction dates back to old times. Here are 9 science fiction movies from past to present.

1. Le Voyage Dans la Lune (1902)

Le Voyage Dans la Lune, or A Trip to the Moon, is accepted as the first science fiction movie ever. The movie's theme was inspired by sources such as Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon.

What happens in the movie is pretty enlightening for the period; a group of astronomers travel to the Moon, they explore the surface of the Moon, they encounter lunar inhabitants, called Selenites and escape from them, and took one of them back to Earth as a captive. 

Well, now this movie is quite foresighted when we consider that the first landing on the moon was in 1969. Of course, it was later discovered that there are no inhabitants on the moon. And probably with the logic of the early 20th century, of course, white men had to bring a captive from the land they newly discovered back to the Earth.

Anyways, it seems like the first sci-fi movie really led to future developments in technology, don't you think so?

le voyage dans la lune
Source: Georges Méliès/Wikimedia Commons

2. The Phantom Empire (1935)

In the Phantom Empire, Gene Autry, a singing cowboy who does daily live broadcasts is kidnapped by the inhabitants of a secret underground empire called Murania. Muranians make up the lost tribe of Mu, a legendary continent that went underground 100,000 years ago.

In the movie, Murania is a super-scientific and technologically advanced nation 25,000 feet below the surface. There are towering buildings, robots, laser-guns, advanced television and much more. So, as you can see, in a 1935 movie, all the limits of technology were crossed. 

With not really much of developed technology in hand, it must be hard to create this kind of scientifically developed universe but the human mind never stops dreaming and believing! Maybe we haven't discovered a well-developed nation under the surface, but we sure have started to use the robots in real life, and it seems like we'll do it more in the future. So maybe this movie was pointing to the reality, who knows?

the phantom empire
Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. Destination Moon (1950)

Another movie, another journey to the moon. In the movie, after a failure of the latest rocket, US experts start over again and work hard to make the first man on the moon an American citizen. Of course, if you check the date of the movie, you can see that it's a cold war movie and it naturally involves American patriotism.

The crew lands on the moon by spending too much fuel and they have to leave a man behind to have enough fuel to return to Earth. But between those two events, they get to explore the moon, and it gets pretty interesting since the movie was shot 19 years before the actual first landing on the moon.

Of course, the things that take place in the movie aren't really realistic and the landing on the moon wasn't exactly like how it was shown in the movie, but still, it takes a really creative mind to make this movie.

destination moon
Source: Fawcett Comics, George Pal Productions/Wikimedia Commons

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Well, of course, this movie is not fair to the others in the list (no offense!) since it's a Kubrick movie, and since it's one of the best sci-fi movies or maybe one of the best movies ever. In the movie, you see human evolution from the beginning until 2001.  

Even if the movie was made in the 60s, the space scenes were so close to the reality as we know it today. Also, you witness an artificial intelligence in the movie, HAL 9000, which may give you the creeps about artificial intelligence. It's actually the main antagonist in the movie. Well, after all, it's not that surprising, right? If you teach everything and everything to an A.I. you can never know the limits of it.

As you can see, A Space Odyssey offers a cinematical and visual feast, and it's definitely ahead of its time with the technology Kubrick puts forward in the movie. It'll never not be a classic!

a space odyssey
Source: Matthew J. Cotter/Wikimedia Commons

5. Alien (1979)

In Alien, a space tug called Nostromo is returning Earth with a seven-member crew. The spaceship's computer, Mother, detects a transmission from a nearby moon LV-426 and it awakens the crew. Following the signal, they find an alien ship, enter it, and they see egg-like objects. After touching the egg, a creature comes out, breaks through the helmet of a crew member attaches itself to his face.


After this, the movie gets scarier. In this movie, you see the aliens as terrifying creatures with no pity. Of course, it's one of the first alien illustrations in the cinematic industry, and back then aliens were indeed scary and mysterious creatures for humans.

We have never seen an alien yet, so we don't know if Alien was right or wrong but it's certain that the movie is and always will be one of the classic sci-fi movies.  

Source: Rosenfeld Media/Flickr

6. Back to the Future (1985)

Even if the whole script of the movie is proved wrong, we should say that Back to the Future is one of the most beautiful and fun science-fiction movies of all time. In the first movie of this film series with 3 movies, we see that the lead character Marty goes back in time to save the Doc. But back in the 50s, Marty causes some problems that lead to bigger problems in the future. 

The whole movie is based on the grandfather paradox, but it's actually not true at all. However; Back to the Future is one of the first productions that is about time travel. Even though it's certain that you can't go back in time according to science, we still love to think about it and we love Back to the Future for showing us how would it be.

back to the future
Source: theNerdPatrol/flickr

7. The Matrix (1999)

What would you do if you find out that all your life was a simulation? Sounds crazy, no? Would you fight against the authorities that keep you in a simulation? In the Matrix, we witness a man who finds out that his whole life's been a simulation.

If you stopped 10 people on the street, we're sure that at least 1 out of those 10 people will tell you simulation theories about real life are real and how we actually live in a simulation.

The Matrix is one of the first and most successful movies about simulations and artificial intelligence. It actually draws a successful image of how artificial intelligence can turn into a cruel monster that can extinguish the human race. So far, the biggest fear of humans was aliens, but it makes you think that maybe artificial intelligence is more dangerous than aliens.

the matrix
Source: designwebjae/pixabay

8. Wall-E (2008)

In a distant future, a robot named Wall-E wakes up on Earth, which has been turned into a wasteland full of garbage, in the 29th century. There are no humans left because seven centuries earlier all of them have been evacuated by the megacorporation Buy-N-Large(BnL).

Wall-E shows us a great picture of our possible future. No plants around, bad air, drought, garbage everywhere and so on. The movie is a great criticism about consumerism, corporatism, waste management and other careless manners of humans. Also, in the movie the humans who were brought to starliners to live, barely move and it can be seen that obesity is a big problem among people.

Wall-E sure is a great movie to teach your kids how they should act against society and their environment. 

Source: Ravi Shah/Flickr

9. Her (2013)

It seems like artificial intelligence has become a really important and big part of scientific and technological industries. Even if artificial intelligence is an entity to be scared because of the things it's capable of, people never stop to create and develop artificial intelligence.

In the movie Her, a man falls in love with his artificially intelligent virtual assistant Samantha. It can be seen that in the movie which takes part in the near future, everyone is all about their phones and everyone is portrayed as more depressive and introverted. 

While dealing with his impending divorce, the guy, Theodore purchases an operating system which has a virtual assistant with artificial intelligence. As time goes by, Theodore becomes more and more astonished by the emotional intelligence Samantha, the artificial intelligence, has and he falls in love with her and they start to date.

As you can see, artificial intelligence will probably develop more and more human-like characteristics and this actually can be dangerous, since this technology is much more powerful than the human mind.

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Annapurna Pictures/Wikimedia Commons
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