A good opening scene sets the tone and establishes the world of the film for the follow-up in a few minutes or less. This can be a daunting task Science fiction moviesbecause they often take place in strange, new worlds that need to be carefully prepared in order to be compelling to the audience.

The ’80s gave movie fans many of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, and most of those classics demonstrate their greatness from the first few frames. While there were countless iconic openers in the ’80s sci-fi pantheon, we’ve counted down the top 11 in the following list.

11 Escape from New York (1981)

AVCO Embassy’s photo

Escape from New York It was a career film for both director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell, and the sci-fi classic remains one of their finest contributions to cinema. The film is set during the then-future year 1997 after a 400% crime increase has prompted the United States government to turn Manhattan Island into a large maximum security prison. Russell plays ex-soldier-turned-criminal Snake Plissken, who is tasked with rescuing the President from Prison Island after Air Force One is hijacked.

A big part of what makes this movie so memorable is its meticulously detailed setup, which is masterfully crafted within the first minute of the picture. As the iconic musical score begins, a series of simple, colorful sketches are shown with accompanying narration that efficiently explains the intriguing premise. He then proceeds outside the prison walls, where the suave Plisskin is briefed on his mission. It’s almost impossible not to be instantly addicted, as Plissken gears up and prepares to defy the narrator’s ominous admonition “The rules are simple: once you’re in, don’t get out.”

MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

A highly sequel to the legendary legend 2001: A Space OdysseyAnd 2010: The Year We Connect is a brilliant work of cerebral sci-fi about a team of American and Russian scientists on a mission to recover the lost Discovery ship from the film’s first Jupiter mission.

The film confidently announces itself with a quick wrap-up of the first film via stills and text accompanied by foreboding music, before cutting to black and hitting the audience with one 2001 Author Arthur C. Clarke’s most obscure lines in the dialogue: “Oh my God, she’s so starry!” In less than two minutes, director Peter Hyams has brought his audience up to speed And It establishes the film’s central question – where is David Bowman, the lone survivor of the mission in the original film? Richard Strauss’ memorable “Too sprach Zarathustra” kicks off as the opening titles play, reminiscent of the original film, but once the first new Pictures fade on the screen, it is obvious that 2010 It has its own essence and style.

9 Aliens (1986)

Introduction Aliens
Twentieth Century Fox

Aliens is James Cameron’s action-packed sequel to the original classic Space Terror game, alienAnd one of those rare movies where almost every scene is amazing. Of course, the opening scene is one such great one, as it subtly reminds the audience of the events of the previous film while also establishing that there was a massive time jump (57 years!) while Ripley was frozen in stasis. Right from the start, as the rescue team scans the hazy Ripley space shuttle with a blue laser emitting device, it’s clear that the movie that follows will be loaded with stunning visuals and impressive suspense.

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8 Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the future opening credits
Universal Pictures

Back to the future Not only is it one of the best sci-fi movies of the ’80s, but it’s a cult classic that could top anyone’s list of the best movies ever made. It may not be a cerebral, serious, and thought-provoking sci-fi thriller like some of the others on this list, but it’s a well-made and exceptionally satisfying movie. The movie’s gorgeous opening perfectly delivers the tone, the world, and the hero in one fell swoop. In a long tracking shot, the audience sees a workshop filled with strange contraptions, followed by the first glimpses of our hero, Marty, who we learn is an aspiring rock star even before his face is revealed. What’s more, the comedic tone of the movie becomes apparent once Marty blasts off with a gigantic, hilarious guitar amplifier.

7 Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Return of the Empire Strikes Back
Twentieth Century Fox

It is considered by many to be the best movie in the world star Wars franchise, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is a worthy contender for the greatest part of all time, as well as a great standalone sci-fi movie. As with the first star Wars The movie, the movie opens with the brilliant score by John Williams and the legendary scrolling yellow script, which sets the scene. If any audience member can avoid falling into the scrolling script, the next scene is guaranteed to do so, promptly plummeting to the surface of the ice planet Hoth as a fearsome probe scans the horizon.

Through impressive stop-motion special effects, we see Luke Skywalker riding across a snow-swept frontier on the back of an alien. Skywalker is then attacked by a large and terrifying creature and dragged away, which announces the darker, more mysterious tone of the sequel.

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6 Blade Runner (1982)

Immersive environment of Blade Runner
Warner Bros.

Ridley Scott Blade Runner It is known for its incredibly detailed atmosphere and perfect world building. The film’s opening scene is a great example of this, as it does its best to present its futuristic setting in Los Angeles in all its mist, neon, and rust-covered glory. After soaring across the captivating skyline and introducing the melodic sounds of Vangelis’ soundtrack, the film transports the audience to a room in the pyramid-like Capitol Building where a robot is being interrogated. Things heat up quickly, and the film’s dark, contemplative tone is crystal clear.

5 Robocop (1987)

Kurtwood Smith at RoboCop
Orion Pictures

Robocop It is a sci-fi masterpiece beloved for its wry tone and biting social commentary, which elevates it beyond your typical ’80s shoot-em-up. From the outset, the film’s rotten Detroit setting and its critique of American culture are established, launching into an in-universe newscast full of wry jokes and subtle exposition. In just a few minutes, the movie announces exactly what it’s going to be, offering a unique premise that couldn’t be put forward better.

4 The Thing (1982)

Thing opening scene
Universal Pictures

thing is one of John Carpenter’s greatest and most important films, and perhaps the scariest movie of the ’80s. As one might expect from a master of horror, suspense is evident from the start of the film, though the intro scene is carefully choreographed no Let anyone know the secret of the movie’s shape-shifting monster. Instead, the audience drops right into the middle of a frantic chase between a Norwegian helicopter crew and a runaway sled dog. This bizarre scratching works in the opening due to the eerie music that accompanies it; Ennio Morricone’s simplistic, blood-curdling score creates an atmosphere of mystery and dread that’s undeniably intoxicating.

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3 Repo Man (1984)

The opening of the repo man
Universal Pictures

repo man is a dark, irreverent sci-fi comedy about an average slacker who joins a team of eccentric recovery agents who hitchhike on the trail of a Chevy Malibu with a mysterious cargo that may be from outer space. The opening scene does a great job of establishing both the offbeat tone and premise of the film, depicting Malibu’s owner driving down the deserted highway in a sweat-soaked panic.

If that wasn’t enough to pique one’s interest, it would be the next few moments, as a Malibu cop pulls up and insists we take a look inside the trunk. He opens it, to the car’s owner’s reluctance, and instantly vaporizes it to whatever other presence glows green inside.

2 Akira (1988)

Introduction by Akira Toho

Akira It is one of the greatest animated science fiction films of all time. As Screen Rant describes it, “Katsuhiro Otomo’s impressive storytelling skills are on display Akira, a complex story that goes beyond other science fiction works. This anime film has deep characters that explore real-life realities, such as excessive military force, making the production one of the main Japanese animation films.” Moreover, the film has an introductory scene that makes a great statement. In the first few seconds, Tsui Tokyo’s bomb explodes in moment and in absolute silence.

We are then transported to the desolate future – “31 years after World War III” – and dropped into the hellish metropolis of Tokyo, where vicious biker gangs roam the streets.

1 The Terminator (1984)

Introduction The Terminator
Orion Pictures

One of the best James Cameron movies, position or terminator is a science fiction masterpiece that hasn’t lost an iota of its greatness since its first release in 1984. As Collider explains, “While initial reactions to the science fiction film were somewhat mixed, it has stood the test of time and remains one of the most original and effective films of its kind.” . Indeed, the film’s originality is evident from the start, instantly throwing its audience into the hellish landscape of war-torn 2029 Los Angeles. With explosions, brittle skulls, and purple lasers, this premise is one of the most memorable in all of sci-fi.


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