Today I wanted to pay tribute to those ladies by talking about my favourite female sci-fi characters. Initially, I was thinking of including villains in this post, but then I realised that I couldn’t think of many other than the Alien Queen and supervillains. Whoops.
If you know me, you will know how protective I am of Lois Lane. Lois Lane is my ultimate hero because she got to be one of the top investigative journalists in the country on her own. She’s a fighter and the fact that she has gone from being a no-nonsense journalist to a nuisance damsel in distress to returning to her roots as a no-nonsense journalist shows her resilience.
My favourite Lois moments are those that show her actually doing her job interrupted, as it shows how committed she is to uncovering the truth and delivering justice in the best way she knows how which is through the power of journalism. But even though Lois is characterised as being tough, stubborn, and headstrong, she is still a kind person who only wants the best for other people. I feel like that’s what makes her a perfect match for Superman, even though she’s only human and doesn’t have the amazing powers that Clark does, they both share that incredible kindness and passion for helping other people. Lois Lane is just the best, man. Nobody compares to her.
Tally has a very special place in my heart because Uglies was one of the first YA books I ever read, and it’s the one that got me into reading as much as I do now. The thing that I love the most about Tally is that she doesn’t start out as being distrusting of the world she lives in, like a lot of YA dystopian heroines are. She starts off being excited about her Pretty surgery and is counting down the days until her sixteenth birthday, but ends up becoming more and more distrustful of the Pretty regime until she plans to take it down. So far, she hasn’t appeared in the Impostors series but I do hope she does because I want to see adult Tally being a badass.
Futurama isn’t the best in having a lot of female characters that appear regularly, but Leela is definitely my favourite because of how well-rounded she is. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself and kicking some serious butt, but she does care for other people and is more than a butt-kicking one-liner machine. Leela’s backstory is probably one of my favourites because of how we’re lead for so long to believe that she’s an abandoned alien when in reality she’s an abandoned mutant who now has to keep her heritage a secret or else she’ll be banished to living in the sewers forever.
Although I haven’t watched an awful lot of Star Trek: Voyager, I have to give a special mention to Star Trek‘s first female captain. My favourite thing about Captain Janeway is that although she is the captain, she does still have a warm personality and is able to take charge without coming across as an iron fist kind of captain that I’m always worried will happen when a female character is put in a position of authority. Arguably, she’s the captain that faces the most challenging mission because her ship is lost on the other side of the galaxy and has an integrated crew of Starfleet officers and Maquis officers, who aren’t exactly the easiest to negotiate with.
Sarah Connor is such a badass that it is almost impossible to put into words how awesome she is. The best thing about Sarah Connor is that she starts out as a timid damsel in distress who relies a lot on Kyle Reese to help and save her, which is understandable because anybody would act the same if they were being stalked by a killer robot. As the first movie progresses, she’s pretty much forced to become braver to the point that she becomes a wanted fugitive. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.
Ripley is a heroine who is sort of similar to Sarah Connor in that we see her become more badass as the movie she debuts in, but she doesn’t start out timid like Sarah does. Instead, Ripley is shown to be devoted to her job of science officer and is not afraid to take charge when Captain Dallas leaves the ship and also when he is killed by the Alien. I love that even though Ripley is the only survivor of the Nostromo, she isn’t a “final girl” because she wasn’t written to be one. And while I don’t particularly care for the movies that take place after Alien (fight me), I do appreciate that she never really retreats into a shell that never existed in the first place. She does show to be scared at times, but that’s a perfectly natural reaction to a weird monster.
I’m usually on the fence about whether or not Wonder Woman can be classified as sci-fi or not because pretty much everything about her is fantasy based: she’s the daughter of a god and an Amazon, she’s over 1000 years old, and her powers come from magic rather than anything science-y. But anyway, she does appear in sci-fi stories with the rest of the Justice League so I will also consider her to be a sci-fi heroine. I will admit that I’m not the most familiar with Wonder Woman, but I do absolutely adore her character. She’s another character who is not afraid to take charge and has incredible leadership and diplomatic skills. She refuses to let her gender hold her back, and she refuses to let other people hold her back because of her gender. But, like Lois Lane, she is ultimately one of the kindest heroes there, and that is an incredibly important part of her character.