When they engaged me to do a piece on Greatest Science Fiction Battles, I was not only honored but sweaty with fear. I eyeballed my anxiety meds, but knew that wasn't the answer. Rather, I asked for an extra shot of espresso in my coffee then texted a friend to chew her fingernails as my surrogate, since mine were cut too short, and then I asked for proof via Instagram that she was doing it (but she ignored me).
Then, I began. But how in the galaxy can one boil down thousands of epic clashes into one concise article?
And what, exactly, is a battle? We can call any fight between two creatures a "battle." Merriam-Webster does:
Definition of battle
a combat between two persons
a general encounter between armies, ships of war, or aircraft
Which, then, did the editor want? Did I have leeway to make the decision? If I picked wrong, would I be castigated?
Ah, frak it! I'm making the call and I'll stand by the consequences. Well, I'll sit by them, because the castigation, if it occurs, will occur online...
So here are the Greatest Science Fiction Battles of All Time, by which I mean the Greatest Combat Between Two Persons of All Time! Or we could just say "death matches." And as an added bonus, I decided to throw in the greatest online spoofs of these battles! Because parody is the sincerest form of flattery.
Star Trek "Arena" (Captain Kirk Versus the Gorn Commander)
Featuring a truly legendary fight for the ages, Star Trek, Episode 18 ("Arena") saw Captain James T. Kirk getting his beefy Starfleet butt zapped down to a rocky desert planet to battle the wily, thick-hided commander of a nearby Gorn vessel...all for the amusement of the persnickety Metrons, who didn't fancy having their little sector of space intruded upon by the Enterprise and Gorn ship. Boo-hoo. But their tantrum is our gain, because it pitted these two warriors against one another (for our sick amusement, as well. Are we no better than the Metrons?).
Of all the battles on this list, perhaps this one least requires a parody, since it sort of does the job as-is. But you decide! Watch a clip below, followed by the commercial spoof!
If you really love hokey sci-fi, head over the 6 of the Best "Worst" Science Fiction Movies You'll Ever See!
Star Trek ("Arena") Original Clip
Star Trek ("Arena") Spoof
Star Trek: The Original Series (on Amazon Video)
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Self-Explanatory)
These two best buds have been at each others' wide throats since as long as I can remember, and I'm old. The Big Blue Boy Scout and the Dark Knight Detective may fight on the same side in the Justice League, but they often have very different agendas and certainly utilize different methods. Bats simply hasn't got the luxury of being a godlike, nigh-indestructible superhuman. Most of us don't, frankly.
And indeed, at least in this version of their spat, Batman finally makes the call to try and end Superman before he gets out of control. Metropolis had already been casually wiped out by one single mega-fight between Zod and Superman. Clearly, the Kryptonian was too dangerous to let roam around in his blue alien fabric tights much longer, Bats determines. Only problem? How to get rid of a guy like that?
Well, we all know how, don't we? Little Lex Luthors, you! A wee bit o' Kryptonite to whittle down the hero's strength...plus, heck, why not--an uber-nifty new heavily-armored Batsuit, with pointlessly glowing eyes and all! Very faithful to the look of Frank Miller's version of the character in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
But the long-awaited fight scene certainly left room for parody, as we can see below...
For more on Superman's home world, see our bit on The No-Kidding Coolest Planets in Sci-Fi!
Or if you're more of a Batman sort of person (and we don't blame you there), check out Top Ten Classic Comic Batman Trivia Tidbits!
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Original Clip
Batman V Superman V Shia LaBeouf Spoof
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (on Amazon Video)
Star Wars: A New Hope (Darth Vader Versus Obi-Wan Kenobi)
No doubt this one was going to make the list.
A duel decades in the making, Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith and former Jedi Anakin Skywalker, finally gets reacquainted with the man who cut off his legs and left him to die--while on FIRE--on the lava planet of Mustafar!
Yes, Obi-Wan, after nearly two decades of goofing off and practicing his Bantha calls on Tatooine (as well as two decades wearing the same grungy outfit) finally gets up the gumption to wander out of his hovel and face his nemesis. Actually, wait--he didn't know he was going to do that!
But no matter. The circle is complete here, as Vader at last gets to confront the uppity Kenobi, little realizing--SPOILER ALERT?--that by striking his old master down, Obi-Wan would become an even more powerful Force Ghost!
For true Star Wars fans, you might like Star Wars 'Things I Have a Bad Feeling About...'
Star Wars: A New Hope (Vader Vs Obi-Wan) - Original Clip
Star Wars: a New Hope Parody with Chris Pratt!
Star Wars: A New Hope (on Amazon Video)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (T-800 Versus T-1000)
Talking Terminator timelines is a fast way to develop a migraine.
Doesn't mean it isn't worth the effort. Just means, it is better done in person, so the applicable fans can banter back and forth, feeding off the nerd energy generated by the conversation. In any case, I think we all know this story.
In the original film, a T-800 (or Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, as he calls himself) was sent back in time to assassinate Sarah Conner, the mother of John Conner, leader of the human resistance against the killer machines who'd taken over the world of the not-too-distant future. But Sarah, together with John's best friend from the future, Kyle Reese, are able to terminate the Terminator... Well, the first Terminator.
But--in the sequel, since these guys can travel in time, the machines just send another one, the more advanced, "liquid metal," shape-shifting T-1000. Typical killer robot behavior, always thinking ahead.
So John Conner sends back a reprogrammed T-800 to protect his younger self from the more sophisticated assassin-bot. Yes, I told you--migraine city... But the clash between these two unfeeling yet somehow "good" and "evil" things still gives me an adrenaline rush!
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (T-800 Versus T-1000)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day Japanese Parody
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (on Amazon Video)
Doctor Who (The Doctor Versus The Master)
I know, I mentioned Batman versus Superman as one of the longest-running rivalries in the genre, but actually I would be extraordinarily remiss not to throw these two into the mix. The two Time Lords from Gallifrey are the penultimate representations of good versus evil.
The rascally Doctor has been dueling with his nemesis in both of their numerous, ever-regenerating forms for centuries, so it is difficult to pen down their penultimate battle.
If you are into photo-heavy fluff pieces about Doctor Who, might I suggest my Top TARDIS Trivia Tidbits? Actually I'm teasing; for such a short (some might say easily readable) piece, the article's got a lot of pretty intriguing nuggets packed within its deceptive brevity... Almost like it is bigger on the inside...?
Doctor Who (The Doctor Versus The Master) Compilation
Doctor Who (The Doctor Versus The Master) Parody
Doctor Who Season 8 (New Series)
Peter Capaldi debuts as the Twelfth Doctor alongside Jenna Coleman as Clara in a series of twelve adventures beginning with a feature-length episode set in Victorian London. Also featuring four Doctor Who Exclusives where Steven Moffat, Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi give an insight to the world of making Doctor Who, as well as two guides to the world of Doctor Who hosted by Peter Davison.
If you love epic death matches as much as I do, give my Amazon Kindle novel a try! Need a scintillating blurb to entice you? Oh, okay...
The Government lied to you. The Military controls you.
An Artificially Intelligent virus is stalking you... Your stepfather keeps trying (sometimes successfully) to kill you!
Your DNA is being rewritten by nanobots!! And your grandfather Paris? Yeah. He's probably the spy behind it all.
WELCOME TO THE CONSPIRATORIAL WORLD OF HECTOR HAVECK.
Like most young heroes he was born from catastrophe...
All California teen Hector Haveck wanted for the summer was to get closer to his attractive Robotics classmate, Yésica Brick. Instead he's forced to figure out his seven new lame superpowers. Each one only works for one day a week...
·Sundays: Glowing in the dark (Wow).
·Mondays: Bending spoons with his mind (Big deal).
·Tuesdays: Growing eyes anywhere on his body (Gross!).
·Wednesdays: Cooking objects with the heat of his mouth (Pointless...).
·Thursdays: Seeing the family tree and history of any person he meets (Kinda cool?).
·Fridays: Instant healing after two minutes (Now we're talkin'!).
·Saturdays: Manipulation of dreams and reality(Uh, that's weird. And spooky...).
...and these 'useless' abilities quickly become dangerous and out of Heck's control. He soon learns that a side effect of his last two abilities is the power to cross dimensions...which is exactly what he was built to do by 'The Fin,' a secret society obsessed with locating Oannes ReHav-Marre,the immortal king of ancient Atlantis. The problem is Oannes and his mermen legions will do anything to return home, even if it means erasing 10,000 years of human history!
With an intertwining story arc of Nikola Tesla, Godfather of the Electrical Age, and extended cameos by Rasputin the Mad Monk (personal healer to the last Tsar of Russia), Napoleon of France, Jack the Ripper, Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, and many others, this original, genre-bending tale tackles every global conspiracy conceivable--from Men in Black, the JFK assassination, the lost city of Atlantis, CIA and KGB mind control programs,trans-dimensional 'aliens,' and secret elitist cabals plotting world domination from Bohemian Grove, 'Haveck' finally sheds light on the puppeteers behind it ALL!