Ah space, it’s the final frontier and all that jazz. However, what you may not really think about on a regular basis is all of the great spaceships that have graced our media. Whatever you think about space, or sci-fi as a whole, you can’t deny that the vast quantities of planets out in pop culture can only be explored with the help of our giant metal vessels. So, without further adieu, here is our Top 10 Spaceships!
10) Death Egg – Sonic: the Hedgehog
For the bottom of our list, let’s start a little bit unconventional in our thinking. See, when you think of spaceships, you typically think of a vessel which can contain multiple people in space. You don’t really think of a giant mecha machine trying to poke a hedgehog to death, but then again you don’t really think of a hedgehog taking to space with emeralds which give it super powers.
The Death Egg requires those emeralds, so he can fly off to space and do… Despicable things, I guess? A low list entry as it’s only really a spaceship by technicality only, however it’s definitely worth the nod. If only it was a bit more spaceshippy and a whole lot less mecha-robotty!
… Those are words, I promise.
9) Benny’s Spaceship – Lego Movie
One of the most memorable things to have been born of the Lego Movie (other than the Lego Batman Movie) is Benny, the 1980’s spaceman complete with slightly broken helmet. Charlie Day brings an oddly tragic enthusiasm to the character who is desperate to do one thing and one thing only, and that is build a spaceship. When his moment comes at last his creation is glorious, but it pales in comparison to the furious energy he pours into it.
Convulsively screaming “Spaceship” he conjures a triangle of pure 80’s nostalgia and retro Lego splendour. Blue and grey, laden with luminous green satellite dishes, simple “cone and stick” missile launchers, the hatches, the painted on control panels and a couple of drop pods to boot. It screams through the air at breakneck pace, obliterating the forces of Lord Business in the process, and in the end they have to leave Benny to calm down for a while during the final stand-off.
8) Moya – Farscape
The renegade Leviathan Moya is a living ship, a masterpiece of bio-engineering and technology complete with symbiotic pilot, a creature possessed of higher intellect and reasoning than the bestial vessel, tasked with monitoring her every function and maintaining her various systems. Moya and Pilot between them may even be the most developed characters in Farscape.
Jim Henson’s masterpiece sci-fi was filled with incredible characters and brilliantly original ideas, and being born of the greatest puppet studio in the world made for some far more “alien” looking alien species than one might find in other science fictions (looking at you Star Trek, blue paint and antenna does not an alien species make) but none moreso than the living ship and her crustacean-like pilot.
7) Heart of Gold – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
To cross interstellar distances in a short amount of time, a spaceship needs to use something called an Infinite Improbability Drive, of which was first used by the Heart of Gold spaceship. In fact, this drive is the very reason the ship gets its name – Right in the centre of the ship, the Infinite Improbability Drive sits as a golden box. Once the ship reaches infinite improbability, it can appear anywhere in the universe. There, that’s a fun fact for you!
The ship was commandeered by the Big Z, Zaphod Beeblebrox, a former president of the galaxy. Once the ship used the Infinite Improbability Drive, it picked up Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, giving us the story we all know and love! The design of the ship was through human ingenuity – oh and a super intelligent shade of blue, because of course it was!
6) Battlestar Galactica
Never has a single ship meant so much to so many, and it’s crew been looked upon with such reverence by all of humanity. The Battlestar Galactica is the last remaining warship fighting on the side of a species that has already lost its war, and can only hope to fight for survival, and a fleet of civilian ships fly alongside it across the galaxy in hopes of finding a new home, a refuge for a dying species.
It’s symbolic bulk becomes a symbol of hope to the people of the fleet, only forty thousand human beings looking to the relic of wars past as a saviour, a shepherd through a forest of wolves. Equipped with a collection of nuclear warheads, heavy gun batteries, and a fleet of Viper fighters crewed by the most desperate jockeys ever to fly them, she’s still faced with an armada of immortal machines, and nowhere to go but forward.
5) The Bebop – Cowboy Bebop
Arguably the titular point of the show, Cowboy Bebop is about bounty hunters known as Cowboys, who travel through space to stop crime. With the Earth being uninhabitable and with many of the rocky planets having been colonised, it’s down to the contracts that our protagonists on The Bebop to take us between these worlds and through space as a whole.
With an interesting cast, featuring the main protagonist Spike Spiegel, a talented bounty hunter who studied Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, the ship plays second fiddle at times. However, it doesn’t stop the fact that without the Bebop, we really wouldn’t be going anywhere through this series. Sometimes the best vessel is one that’s simply reliable.
4) Red Dwarf -OR- Starbug
Tough call. Do we opt for the eponymous mining leviathan, with all its various nooks and crannies, sprawling complexes and support crew of adorable repurposed desk lamps, or perhaps the better remembered green and blobby short range transport vessel that becomes home to the gang while the Dwarf is rebuilt?
The last man in the universe has only himself for company, the ship’s wonky AI, the hologram of his old boss brought back by aforementioned AI, and the humanoid descendant of his old cat to keep him company in the city-sized monster of the Jupiter Mining Corporation. It may have seemed less lonely on Starbug, especially once you throw in the neurotic android and ex-girlfriend from an alternative reality, but at least the pipes on the Dwarf don’t ‘squrlookal’ when they should be ‘nureek’ing.
3) Serenity – Firefly
Of all of the ships on this list, above and below, perhaps only Moya has as much character as Serenity. Named for the Battle of Serenity Valley during the unification war, Mal and Zoe have already pinned their hopes and fears to the hull before they’ve even picked up a pilot. Wash and Kaylee talk to the ship like they’re comforting and encouraging a pet, and real emotion is poured into her, along with a whole host of blood, sweat, tears, and beef.
Maybe it’s the dopey horse-head style of the cockpit that gives it the feel of beloved companion, or perhaps it’s the little personal touches dotted around the place, like the paintings in the galley, the toys litering the control panel, and the sofas outside the med-bay. Certainly the familial nature of the crew make you feel more at home, with Mal watching over Kaylee and River in the cargo hold like a father on the porch watching his kids in the garden, the family meals in the galley, and the confined spaces where you cannot help but walk into one another. When Jubal Early enters it feels more like a home invasion than a ship boarding, and when Alliance inspectors poke around it feels oddly personal and uncomfortable, even to the viewer.
There’s plenty of more awesome ships in the verse, but there’s not one that feels quite so much like home.
=1) Millennium Falcon – Star Wars
It’s big, it’s round and it’s hella iconic, yes the Millenium Falcon had to at least make it to the list and if we were being honest – It might be the most important spaceship to feature on this weeks Top 10. When you think Sci-Fi, your mind automatically goes to Star Wars, like it or not. As such, it’s hard to imagine this list being without this particular ship – and it’s with this in mind that it had to jump straight to our number one spot.
It’s most iconic for being the ship used by Han Solo and Chewbacca in their space smuggling adventures. It can avoid detection, to where supposedly most Stormtroopers don’t even know of its existence. Without the Millenium Falcon, they may never have saved Princes Leia. Without the Millenium Falcon, we probably wouldn’t have the greatest ‘bromance’ in all of Star Wars.
However, just because the Millenium Falcon is iconic doesn’t mean it’s the only ship that deserves the top spot…
=1) Enterprise D – Star Trek
It’s big, it’s round, and it’s hella iconic…
There’s plenty of options from Star Trek, and while people may debate TNG vs. original, Picard vs. Kirk, I’ll hear no arguments about which captain commanded the better ship. The Galaxy Class Enterprise-D is over twice the size, over twice the speed, and twice the ships. As the setting for almost the entirety of The Next Generation it may be the most iconic space ship in science fiction, but we’re always happy to acknowledge the competition.
The bridge has been a stage for some of the century’s greatest actors, some of the most stirring speeches, and some of television’s finest moments – sci fi or otherwise. The engine room is a hub of prime technobabble, the bar tender is an ancient super-being, and the teleporter platform may well be the location of the funniest webcomic in circulation.
We cannot and will not ask you to vote to choose between which of these ships deserves the top spot on our list, not are we interested in starting the Star Trek vs Star Wars fight.
… because Babylon 5 was better… all of their ships are cool…
Not all space ships are in the media; some sci-fi is reality. But also, some reality is grim. As such, these are two more picks for our Top 10 Spaceships list, which just didn’t quite make the cut.
The Event Horizon
A lot of thought went into the design of this ship. It blends the gothic architecture of a cathedral with hard industrial structure and subtly organic designs. Note that the engine room stands at the end of a long aisle, and has an altar-like quality beneath all of the spikes and black iron, in addition to the moat of water and the “beating heart” like nature once in motion. There are hints at stained glass structure, pillars and pulpits, not to mention of course the crucifix layout. Amongst the scaffold-like frame outside there is supposedly an X-Wing hidden in an antenna array.
Not to mention that no other ship in the list has been to Hell and back, none of the others are haunted, possessing the minds of any fool who crosses its threshold and filling their minds with scenes that might pique the interest of even the bleakest of Cenobites. For a film that was rushed together, and that made its cast suffer almost as heavily as their characters (but all apparently enjoyed working on it) the Event Horizon is well deserving of a mention, and is only knocked from the list by sheer quantity of great spaceships.
The original – The real deal – This is Apollo 11, the ship that was sent to space in the real world. I mean, it’s hard to have a Top 10 Spaceships without including the most famous real spaceship out there, isn’t it? Even if you think this was a bit of a weak answer, we felt it at least deserved the nod in an honourable mention. Without this ship, perhaps all this talk of space travel won’t be so real.
There’s really little else to say, other than godspeed and all that jazz!
We’ve got liftoff! Let’s take off to another world and see where we end up today. As ever, our Top 10 has finished, which makes us think about what new ventures, what new planets, what new worlds will we explore next week? We look over to you, our fine astronautical audience, to help us determine where we end up for our next Top 10.
Now that we’ve reached our destination, it’s time for you to consider where we’ve come. Bring some data back to Earth and let us know what you thought of this weeks list. Has your favourite entry made the cut, or have we forgotten any? Is our order the right way to you? As ever, let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.