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Top 10 Sci-Fi Movie Battles

VO: Rebecca Brayton
We have previously counted down the greatest movie battles, this time we're focusing on the battles that feature all the things we love the most! That's right, science fiction elements ranging from spaceships, to robots, lasers, and aliens filling the screen in a blur of action! Join as today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite sci-fi movie battles.

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Top 10 Sci-Fi Movie Battles

Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite sci-fi movie battles.

Disclaimer: Please be advised, this clip contains mature content.

#10 – Alien Encounter: “Independence Day” (1996)

Kicking off our list is the aerial battle that takes place beneath a massive alien saucer that’s preparing to decimate a military base. Featuring modern military jets engaging with alien attack vessels, this race to prevent the alien mother ship from firing its doomsday weapon is particular memorable for one reason: it includes cinema’s greatest moment of redneck heroism and self-sacrifice, courtesy of a missile launch malfunction.

#9 – Alliance vs. Reavers: “Serenity” (2005)

Faced with an insurmountable Alliance roadblock, the Serenity crew desperately decides to pick a fight with a fleet of space zombies called Reavers. The result is a frantic dash, where countless ships attempt to level each other. No other sci-fi battle has ships that lasso each other or a pilot who’s desperately trying to stay zen.

#8 – Battle in Chicago: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011)

No list of sci-fi battles would be complete without the Transformers! The standout action scene from the Bayhem-filled trilogy follows the Autobots and a handful of soldiers as they fight through a Decepticon-occupied Chicago in order to save the planet. Along the way, soldiers glide over Willis Tower, Shia LaBoeuf screams, buildings get cut in half, and Optimus fights his mentor for the right to all sentient life!

#7 – Zion’s Last Stand: “The Matrix: Revolutions” (2003)

When this trilogy started, no one expected it to conclude with a battle in the real world, or that the machines would try to end it all with a giant drill! While we would have liked more Matrix action, there’s something incredible about machinegun-armed mech suits taking on swarming pillars of sentinels. Whoa, that’s a lot of bullet casings…

#6 – Battle of Klendathu: “Starship Troopers” (1997)

What do you do when alien bugs called Arachnids fire asteroids into space in an effort to decimate the Earth? The only answer is to send a mass invasion force of soldiers to their planet, so they can take them on in close quarters – obviously! With its insanely high death count and gore, this battle points out how ridiculous war truly is. Just remember, on Klendathu, bugs squash you!

#5 – Battle for Pandora: “Avatar” (2009)

This flick is a not-so-subtle retelling of the aboriginals’ plight as they struggle against the destructive intentions of colonials. Represented as giant blue cat people, they launch a thrilling battle against the marines, who are armed with helicopters and mechs on loan from Zion! Though primitive, the Navi put up a terrific fight with spears, banshees and direhorses. What makes this skirmish extra cool? The floating mountains and proper 3D.

#4 – Borg Invade Sector 001: “Star Trek: First Contact” (1996)

“Star Trek” films aren’t generally known for sweeping space battles; however, when humanity’s most terrifying enemy arrives on Earth’s doorstep, it is on! Even with the entire Federation combating the Borg cube, the attacks come off as useless – which causes a tangible sense of hopelessness for our heroes. Luckily, the solution is simple: concentrated firepower! Though, you gotta wonder how many Federation ships got caught in those green, radioactive flames…

#3 – Resistance Battle: “Terminator Trilogy” (1984-2003)

Following a nuclear attack by a self-aware military defense computer, prospects for the future are pretty bleak – life is just a battle against the machines day in and day out. But somehow, the resistance uses laser-mounted trucks and bazookas to launch a terrific attack and cripple their enemy. How did they do it? Must be their skill with laser-mounted trucks and bazookas. Either way, these are some crushing visuals…

#2 – Battle of Endor: “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983)

Yes, the first Death Star strike is thrilling; but we’re giving this one to the Rebel Alliance’s all-or-nothing assault on the second Death Star! More than just a straightforward battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire, this fight also features cuddly Ewoks fighting Storm Troopers, Rebel ships one-upping the trench run and Luke working through his daddy issues. There’s no shortage of excitement on screen, and in several locations simultaneously!

#1 – Battle of Hoth: “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

Taking the top spot on our list is the Empire’s bombardment of the Rebels’ ice base, using what else but giant mechanical camels, we mean…Imperial Walkers! This crushing and shocking Rebel defeat sees the use of snow speeders with tow cables, while Luke hangs around and takes aim at robo-camel junk. Seriously though: who expects the bad guys to win? We’re still shocked, even decades after the fact!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite sci-fi movie battle? For more entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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