Science fiction films allow us to explore new worlds on screen, from outer space to unknown planets. There’s a sense of wonder in the genre, as well as humanity, as science fiction can capture human emotion even when far across the galaxy. Science fiction helps us dream of the universe while reminding us of our place within it.
With such a vast universe to explore, sci-fi movies can vary wildly in their costumes – but for any movie that involves going to space, a spacesuit is involved. Many films feature the puffy white spacesuits we’ve come to expect from NASA, while others play with both design and color, creating a unique and memorable combination. Let’s look at some of the coolest spacesuits from sci-fi movies, in no particular order.
8 Sun (2007)
Sunshine is a 2007 film directed by Danny Boyle that centers on a group of astronauts on a mission to save the dying sun. The team accomplishes its mission in elaborate gold suits unlike any space suits we’ve seen. They’re chunky, with thin eye slits that look as much like medieval armor as space suits, providing protection for the dangerous mission to the sun. These costumes are probably the flashiest of all sci-fi movies and make this all the more memorable.
seven 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The 1968 sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of director Stanley Kubrick’s finest films, and for good reason. It’s a huge epic that shows the vastness of space, as well as a conflict between man and machine on a journey to Jupiter. The space suits are simply designed, but are brightly colored, unlike typical astronaut suits. In particular, the costume worn by Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) is in a striking orange that appears in the film’s visuals.
6 The Martian (2015)
Ridley Scott’s 2015 film The Martian stars Matt Damon as an astronaut struggling to survive and return home after being left behind on Mars. His costume is white with orange patterns and has a more realistic look than some costumes. The chest plate provides unique detailing with the mission name, Ares III. Rather than a pristine costume, it has a lived-in feel, becoming dirty and worn as Damon gets stuck on Mars.
5 Light year (2022)
Light yeara 2022 film directed by Angus MacLane, provides a backstory for Buzz Lightyear, the film character whose Andy figurine plays with in the toy story franchise. Although animated, the various spacesuits have as much detail as that of a live-action movie. Costume designer Fran Kalal and her team were inspired by NASA, but also wanted something “a little more funky.” The result takes the costume we all know and breathes new life into it. Along with the classic purple, green, and white colors, we also see new details of the costume, from his surrender button to his hidden pen.
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4 Prometheus (2012)
Another Ridley Scott Movie, 2012 Prometheus is a prequel to Scott’s 1979 film, Extraterrestrial. Prometheus centers on a starship crew at the end of the 21st century, who faces a deadly threat on a distant world. The suits are modern and sleek yet kept simple and classic, in a deep blue color that really sets them apart. The helmets are also unique for being entirely clear all around, making it easier to see each character. It’s a smart design that’s also stylish.
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3 Oblivion 2013)
Oversight is a 2013 film directed by Joseph Kosinski. It features Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, who finds himself battling an alien threat in a ravaged future world. His spacesuit is gray and light compared to most, making it look like a superhero suit. This works well for action, as it doesn’t weigh down the character. This hands-on approach is a fresh take on the classic spacesuit, with a style that many current sci-fi movies have channeled.
2 Moon Maker (1979)
Released in 1979 and directed by Lewis Gilbert, moonraker is another addition to the James Bond franchise, starring Roger Moore as James Bond. After the popularity of star wars in 1977, the film’s producers decided to revert to their originally planned release of Just for your eyes, and send Bond into space instead. Bond’s spacesuit is made of a sleek and stylish shiny silver material, fitting the character and his suave wardrobe. The Union Jack and name patches on the suit remind us how perfect it is for the iconic Bond.
1 Star Trek (2009)
2009 by JJ Abrams star trek The film brings a fresh take on the classic franchise. The film follows the characters from the original TV show, played by new actors, as they take on the Romulan, Nero. This new start for the franchise also makes it possible to review the costumes. While the crew shirts have remained close to the originals, the spacesuits bring a more modern approach. The suits match the crew shirts in colors and have slim profiles, with plenty of headroom in the helmets. The costumes in the show were fun, while these have a more serious effect. Yet they pay homage to the original while updating the design for modern times.