With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes proving to be a massive success with critics and audiences it looks set to join that illustrious group of science fiction sequels that are better than the first instalment. This raises a good question, what are the best science fiction sequels of all time. Well wonder no more because these are my top five best science fiction sequels.
5: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Before Mel Gibson became… well you know, he starred in this brutal apocalyptic film about a man named Max who is Mad and drives about destroying things. That’s all the information you should need to start watching this film. Road Warrior was what the original should have been with a bigger budget, scope, cast and everything else. Fearlessly exciting and intense, the Road Warrior helped define the entire genre, it is petrol fueled classic.
4: Aliens (1986)
Ridley Scott’s original Alien was a claustrophobic masterpiece, but when James Cameron took the reins of the franchise and injected it with a shot of action by introducing more aliens and Space Marines, creating years of inspiration for both films and video games. The only survivor of the first film is now thrown into an all-out war between humans and aliens. As well as being thrilling and terrifying at the same time, it cemented the Xenomorph as one of the most iconic film creations.
3: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
He said he would be back. Interestingly, the concept for T2 was originally made for the first, but James Cameron’s idea was not physically possible with the effects of the time. Several years later he reinvented the concept for this sequel that proved to be brutal and shocking with one thrilling chase after another as well as containing a larger than life Arnie as the ultimate anti-hero.
2: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)
Improving upon the first Star Trek film was not hard, with shell suits and their voyage to confront… a cloud? But Wrath of Kahn is considered as the best of the franchise for a reason. Not only did it have the best villain of the series but excellent pacing, epic space battles, more mature themes and a heroic death. Interestingly Kirk and Kahn never meet face to face in person, but it still works beautifully, their duel through space forms the backbone of a great film.
1: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The film that cemented the concept that sequels have to be darker featured the ruthless Galactic Empire return to, well, Strike Back. It built upon, and was better than, the original in every way. It featured a much more rapid pace and a far more complex story. the internal struggle and emotional depth of every character was increased as well as the action and humour that made this film dazzling to watch. Not forgetting of course, cinema’s greatest twist, in one of its greatest films.