To the moon and back: space themed movies stand the test of time


What do students look for in their space movies? Action, adventure, and a lot of sci-fi.

From epic space battles to missions to Mars based in real technology, space-themed science fiction films have captured the imaginations of audiences young and old for over a hundred years. Le Voyage Dans La Lune, or A Trip to the Moon was released in 1902 and is widely recognized to be the very first science fiction movie and one of the first portrayals of space on the big screen. The silent short film depicted a space capsule landing in the eye of an anthropomorphized moon, and a group of astronauts exploring the moon’s surface and running into an alien race.

After that, space movies just kept coming. Flash Gordon in 1936, The War of the Worlds in 1953, 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977, and the list goes on and on. Here’s what space-themed movies students recommend.

Humza Murad recommends The Martian

“I’ve always been into robotics and tech stuff. So I thought it was really cool how they show technology being used. Like, obviously the technology doesn’t exist yet, but I think it’s cool how even though it’s fiction, in a way, it’s a realistic feeling because one day, that could actually happen,” Murad said.

Emily Gisser recommends the original Star Wars

“It’s very comforting to me to have a kind of standard plotline like the underdog, good guys, the bad guys. That’s comforting and I like having characters that are cliche but reliable. But then also if you go deeper into it you can come away with so much more… One of the beautiful things about Star Wars is that you can pick up whenever, and even though kids like it, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily geared towards kids.”

Evan Thissen recommends Insterstellar

“It is complicated enough where you can watch it multiple times and still notice new things every time you watch it. It also has great acting and cinematography… I would recommend it because it makes you think about concepts that you probably hadn’t thought about before. It is also based on real research so it is not fully sci-fi. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about space’s relationship to time or just someone who wants to see cool cinematography.”

This story was originally published in the December issue of The Rubicon. To read the staff recommendations, look in the print issue.