May 4, 2015
Whether it is the old science fiction movies with low-budget special effects or today’s movies that lean on CGI, there should be some message behind the dazzling visuals. Apes, aliens, and humans, among others, have all delivered classic science fiction monologues.
The following are nine of the most memorable classic science fiction speeches.
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
This movie was a pioneer of the science fiction genre. It included a robot and a flying saucer, which were interesting special effects for the time.
Michael Rennie played Klaatu, a visitor to Earth who warned the population to change to a less warlike society or risk destruction. Klaatu’s classic science fiction speech concludes the film and reveals its message.
Here is Klaatu’s speech:
“Blade Runner” (1982)
His classic science fiction speech is short and simple but all about the memories that will be lost with his death.
Here is Batty’s speech:
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
The intelligent and murderous computer HAL been staving off deactivation. But astronaut Dave managed to find a way to pull HAL’s cord, and the computer is winding down. HAL, voiced by Douglas Rains, begins a slow, surreal, and rambling classic science fiction speech that reveals an inanimate object’s fear as he drifts off into “death.”
This is HAL’s speech:
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“La Jetée” (1962)
This movie is different, even for films that might be considered part of the science fiction genre. It runs less than 30 minutes, consists almost entirely of still photographs, and there is narration throughout. The style of filmmaking was seen more than 30 years later in “Twelve Monkeys.”
The French film is about time travel in the aftermath of World War III. A man is sent back in time to see if there are ways to help the survivors.
For anyone who has seen “La Jetée,” the final lines of the film are among some of the most memorable. The main character, the man, is sent back through time again, at his request, and heads to a rendezvous with a woman he met on one trip to the past. But at that point, he recognizes a man. He is shot by the man, an event he actually witnessed as a child.
At that point, the narrator, follows with the final lines.
Here’s a link to the narrator’s speech from the English version of the film:
“Independence Day” (1996)
The aliens have attacked. Mankind is facing disaster, outgunned by weapons humans have never seen. But human beings from all nationalities are fighting back. Just before the big attack is launched, President Whitmore, played by Bill Pullman, gives his stirring speech to rally the troops.
This is Whitmore’s speech:
“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)
What Trekkie, or even regular movie-goer, wouldn’t get a lump in his or her throat during Spock’s death scene? While this movie is full of unforgettable monologues, from Ricardo Montalban’s wrath-and-vengeance speech as Khan to Spock’s eulogy, the most poignant part comes when the logical Spock reveals just a touch of emotion. He tells Admiral Kirk he would always be his friend.
Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, has just saved the Enterprise but is dying of radiation poisoning he received in the process of doing it. He bids goodbye to Kirk, William Shatner’s character, in a short but classic science fiction speech. In it, he references the Kobayashi Maru, a test of character given to prospective Starfleet officers.
This is Spock’s speech:
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“The Matrix” (1999)
“The Matrix” was mind-blowing in its complexity when it was released in 1999. But one classic science fiction speech from it has a very simple theme: Humans are like a virus.
Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving, captured Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus and is detailing his disgust with the human race and why they must be checked.
This is Smith’s speech:
“Planet of the Apes” (1968)
The recent versions of the “Apes” franchise have the old ones beat hands down when it comes to special effects. But the older one pushed the message across that man was endangering himself.
The ending to the 1968 classic science fiction film delivers that message when Charlton Heston’s Taylor character sees the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. Before that finale, Roddy McDowell, in the role of chimpanzee scientist Cornelius, puts that message into words, reading from the sacred scrolls.
This is Cornelius’ speech:
Terminator Salvation (2009)
While this was not the most famous of the “Terminator” films, it does have one classic speech. John Connor, portrayed by Christian Bale, delivers a stirring message to the resistance.
Unlike many of the others on this list, Connor’s speech emphasizes the humanity of people. He compares them positively to the cold and calculating machines.
This is Connor’s speech: