Ever since a very young age, I’ve been in love with science fiction. Okay, I know what you’re thinking – it’s not really your typical teen girl genre, but I’m always so drawn to the strong portrayal of girl power that commonly plays a huge role in sci-fi flicks! From ’80s musicals to British TV, strong female characters prove that being tough and kicking butt isn’t just a guy thing. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of my five favorite female characters in science fiction movies and television.
1. River Tam
River is a 17-year-old girl from the 2003 futuristic FOX series called Firefly. Despite being a little crazy due to the highly corrupt government messing with her brain, River is exceptionally intelligent and ends up saving her entire spaceship crew later on in the series – and again in the hit movie Serenity that was made a couple years after Firefly ended. I like River because she is loyal, artistic and has very fabulous values and opinions, and she always intends to do good for her friends and crew.
From one of my all time favorite movies, The Fifth Element, Leeloo is the funny and charming orange-haired element girl who spends thousands of years in an ancient Egyptian temple before being woken up by a group of 23rd century scientists. She ends up traveling the galaxies with a new league of friends to save the Earth from a giant meteor that is prophesied to hit at any moment. I love Leeloo because she’s witty and happy all the time, and indisputably has the best ending-fight sequence of any sci-fi movie ever.
3. Sarah Williams
Fifteen year old Sarah (who is the most stylish ‘80s teen ever, just saying) finds herself in an unearthly Labyrinth after wishing her baby brother away one night while babysitting. Sarah must journey to the center of the biggest and most complex maze ever to find her brother Toby, and she picks up a bunch of “creatures” as friends on the way, as well as dances in many fabulous ’80s musical numbers. I love Sarah for her determination, pure cleverness and maturity to handle such situations while keeping her head on straight (literally, you’ll understand if you’ve seen the movie). I love her authenticity, and she’s inspired me a great deal growing up.
Ofelia is a very free-spirited girl of the 1940s who lives on a Spanish manor with her evil stepfather and her mother during World War II. Through the terrible violence going on around her, Ofelia meets a faun who tells her that she possesses the spirit of an ancient princess who lived in the underworld. This movie has been commonly classified as a “fairy tale for adults”, but at about 10, I fell in love with the fantasy aspects of it. Ofelia and I are both very similar in that we find the good parts of every situation and run with them, no matter how odd they seem. She is wise beyond her years, and shows heroic loyalty and bravery, especially at the end of the film.
5. Rose Tyler
As a modern London girl growing up with her single mom, Rose is the most relatable character of the bunch. She has regular 21st century human problems and has a normal job, until she runs into a 900-year-old time traveling alien named The Doctor. On the world renowned television classic Doctor Who, Rose grows from just an ordinary shop girl to a heroine as she travels galaxies with the Doctor, putting justice where it belongs and very, very rarely using violence while doing it. I love that Rose is such a role model for all of us, helping us feel like we can become something more. She’s a go-getter and never backs down from a great adventure!