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The Best Moments in Sci-Fi and Fantasy History

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Jedi Merkurian , Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Rumor Naysayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    As a counterpart to [link=]the Worst Moments In Sci-Fi/Fantasy History[/link] thread, I figured there should be a place to gush about the best moments the genre has to offer.


    I'd like to start with "Gift of Fury" from Conan the Barbarian, so named for the title of the piece from Basil Poledouris' brilliant (even if it's a blatant ripoff of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevski cantata, but I digress) soundtrack.

    I've been slowly introducing my son to some of "the classics," and this is one we finally showed him, albeit in heavily fast-forwarded and "cover your eyes!" fashion. In re-watching this one, I was amazed by how much of the story was conveyed without the use of any dialog whatsoever, and I feel this scene is the best such example in the movie. It brilliantly showcases Thulsa Doom's power & casual cruelty (he doesn't even keep the sword for himself! It becomes a reward for a minion) while cementing the enmity that Conan has for him.

    Feel free to add & discuss your own favorites [face_coffee]
  2. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 13, 2001
    Well let's stay on the musical scores for a moment:

    2001 Theme

    The Opening to "Star Wars" (including the Fox fanfare.)

    Main theme for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

    The Prelude to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"

    Theme to "The Last Starfighter"

    "Bishop's Countdown" from "Aliens" (for those not aware, it's the escape sequence when the plant blows up.)

    The complete score for Disney's "The Gummi Bears"...yes, I said it!

    "Welcome to Jurassic Park"

    "Stargate" overture and "Entering the Stargate"

    "Duel of Fates"

    "Mist and Shadow"
  3. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 13, 2001
    Now back to best moments:


    Close Encounters of the Third Kind...when Richard Dreyfuss is just about to go off at the end and looks back at Melinda Dillon and you can hear in the midst of John Williams beautiful score the tune for "When You Wish upon a Star"'s an uplifting moment.


    "You failed your highness...I am a my father before me..."


    The Funeral for Spock


    From "Space: Above and Beyond"

    Priest: In times of war we must all make peace with our maker.
    Lt. Col. Tyrus Cassius "TC" McQueen: Well, I don't think our maker wants to hear from me right now. Because he knows I'm going to go out in this plane and I'm going to remove one of His creations from His universe. And when I get back, I'm going to drink a bottle of scotch as if it was Chiggy Von Richtofen's blood and celebrate his death.
    Priest: Amen.


    Sunrise at Helm's Deep


    Malcolm Reynolds: Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.
  4. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Rumor Naysayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    Absolutely. In one simple shot, we see the scale of just what the heroes are up against: a tiny craft fleeing a massive warship that just utterly dwarfs her quarry. Similarly, in ESB we see a shadow eclipse a Star Destroyer. Is it a planet? No. It's an even more massive Imperial warship. The Empire is about to strike back [face_skull]
  5. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    [link=]"I am a warrior.[/link] [link=]Let the battle be joined..."[/link]

    Crowning moment of awesome for Beast Wars, and possibly for Transformers as a whole.
  6. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon

    Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight star 6

    Dec 17, 2000
    The Genesis Countdown from Star Trek II. Not just Spock's sacrifice and the powerful score from Horner. One of my favorite parts is the series of wordless looks between David and Kirk.
  7. Galactica

    Galactica Jedi Youngling

    Apr 15, 2009
    I argue this, the Arrival to Earth scene in Transformers is brilliant, and accomponied by an epic score.

    I am suprised no one has mentioned the iconic Terminator scenes, namely Come with me if you want to live, and the T-1000 morphing through the gate, in Terminator and Terminator 2 respectively.
  8. Zebra3

    Zebra3 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 28, 2004
    Probably my favorite moment is the sunset scene in Star Wars. It's just Luke gazing into the distance. You see the longing in his face as he realizes his life is more than likely going to be... exactly what it has always been up until then: obscure, mundane. Then there's John William's score that catches the mood perfectly. The whole scene says volumes without saying anything at all.
  9. Jedi Vince

    Jedi Vince Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 2, 1999
    Star Wars moments deserve their own list, so here's a few sci-fi / fantasy ones that come to mind:

    - 2001. The body of work is in itself a moment.

    - River vs. the Reavers in Serenity

    - Enter Indiana Jones -- Indy's first screen appearance

    - "You will travel far, my little Kal-El." The opening of Superman: The Movie

    - "I have been and always shall be your friend." Spock's "death" in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn"

    - "He said there's a storm coming." Sarah Connor rides off to her destiny

    - The opening of "The Fellowship of the Ring"

    - "He's all yours." Iron Man kills him some terrorists

    - "The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many -- and before this battle was over ... even a god-king can bleed." -King Leonidas in "300." Okay, it may be based on history, but it's a fantastical retelling of it.

    - "More than ever in our history, we cannot fail to pass these stories of courage to the next generation. We must capture their imaginations while paying tribute to all those willing to die for the preservation of our way of life."
    Stargate SG-1 Heroes, Part 2

    - "At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!" The final battle in Michael Bay's "Transformers."
  10. The2ndBib

    The2ndBib Jedi Youngling

    Feb 28, 2002
    (gotta post this under this sock, since that Thulsa Doom bmp keeps crashing my other browsers!)

    There's just so many to choose from- especially if one factors in TV series. I mean, Babylon 5 has half a dozen by itself, at least. Farscape another few, Stargate again, Galactica... any attempt shall be worefully inadequate, but I'll try for some of the cream of the crop...

    -Babylon 5: Battle of Babylon 5, Kosh vs Sheridan, Z'ha'dum, Intersections in Real Time

    -Battlestar Galacica: "33", the Adama Manuever

    -Conan the Barbarian: The Anvil of Crom. "Let me tell you of a time of high adventure!" With the forging of a balde and a most triumphant piece of music to kick ass to, it's hard for me to name a movie that has a greater opening moment.
    -Conan the Barbarian: The Wheel of Pain. As we see Conan grow from boy to man, set to Basil's spectacular score once more, this easily ranks as one of the best character introductions of all time.
    -Honorable score mention: The Battle of the Mounds pt. 1 cannot be played more often by a human being than I have managed. I mean, holy crap.

    -The Abyss: Special Edition- where to even start with this movie? The psuedopod? Bud on the Ledge and the NTI city? The tidal wave? The sacrificial drowning as Bud watches?

    -Aliens- the Queen revealed. Movie monsters could never be the same again. Or what about ::whirrrrr...thunk chss thunk chss.."Get away from her, you bitch!"

    -Armageddon- hate the movie if you want, but the shuttle launch sequence with that music is an amazing emotional moment. Shuttle launches have never been more exciting (other than, perhaps, the first in real life).

    -Notable score mention: Atlantis: The Lost Empire's "The Submarine".

    -The Crow: "Thirty hours of pain- all at once, all for you!"

    -Dark City: The tuning of the city. Never thought I'd see something like that on screen.

    -ET: all of it

    -Farscape: "One evil at a time.", "Talyn- starburst."; the last charge in Peacekeeper Wars as well.

    -Gladiator: the colliseum and the barbarian hordes!

    -ID4: The superbowl trailer- the art of trailers and summer movies was never the same again.

    -The Lost World Jurassic Park: the trailer/cliff sequence. Spielberg at his best

    -The Matrix- lobby shoot-out

    -Predator: The Predator unmasks

    -Stargate the movie: "I have an idea!"
    -SG-1: Reckoning's end of the Replicators, The Lost City's battle over antarctica, O'Neil playing golf through the Stargate, Prometheus's end in Ethon. Battle of the Supergate.
    -Atlantis: battle of Atlantis, taking back the control room from Michael

    -Starship Troopers: "BUGS!" Tango Urilla

    -Star Trek TNG- "The Defector"'s "I expected ore than an idle threat" "then you shall have it" moment; "I am locutus of Borg" "Mr Worf- fire!" "There are four lights!"

    -T2: Future War, the truck jump, the bike jump, the T-1000 bars scene

    -Transformers the animated movie: "One shall stand, one shall fall"- the last fight between Prime and Megatron, "I still function!" "Wanna bet?" Starscream wins.

    -Transformers live action: Arrival to Earth. Gorgeous sequence and music- so good, it almost validates the decision not to keep the existing transformer musical scores.

    -Willow: the two headed dragon

    And that's just scratching the surface- so many other shows and films have "that one moment" worth remembering regardless of the film itself
  11. Raven

    Raven Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 5, 1998
    For me, my favorite moment of that episode is when the man-ape picks up the club at the end. First, he surprises himself in how it can be used as a tool. And then, mirroring the first scene in the show, he uses it as a weapon... and the path of humanity is set. Or something epic like that.

    I'm going to add the destruction of the Kelvin in Star Trek XI. George Kirk seeing autopilot is offline and knowing he has to see the ship to the end by himself, the Kelvin shooting torpedoes off the escaping shuttles, and upon seeing shields and weapons are completely offline, piloting the dying ship directly into the enemy. I firmly believe that it's the best fifteen minutes of Star Trek to date.

  12. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    I'm sorry, but you're arguing the Autobots arriving-which was good-with Dinobot seizing control of his destiny, deciding to sacrifice himself to save humanity-and the Great War-and kick ten kinds of butt along the way in one of the best damned solo fights of TF-dom, eclipsed perhaps only by Prime's charge in the 1986 movie? o_O

    Yes the arrival scene had good music and was uplifting... but 'Code of Hero' capped off Dinobot's story, brought it full-circle and in a time when death was still pretty damned taboo in animation had his soul exiting his body, followed by-as raven pointed out-humanity taking that next step.

    Not to mention the lines!

    "What can you possibly do?"

    "... Improvise."

    Hell, the entire script of that episode is leagues above almost all other TF. And a lot of other stuff as well.
  13. Jedi Vince

    Jedi Vince Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 2, 1999
    There's too many Star Wars moments to mention, so I'll give it a try. Besides some of the givens (star destroyer flying over screen, Luke looking into the sunset ...) here's some of my favorites:

    - Battle of Coruscant / opening of "Revenge of the Sith": This is the longest single shot in the entire saga, and drops you right square in the middle of the conflict. The "Force" music played by military drums is UNREAL. This is filmmaking at its best.

    - Battle of Geonosis: I believe this is one of the greatest action scenes ever filmed. Just after we've been put through the arena battle, we're launched outside, where this gigantic war is being waged. The intimacy of the gun battles channels a lighter Black Hawk Down, and the wider battle is handled with every single camera shot available. It's a masterpiece.

    - Anakin drops to his destiny: In one single shot, David Tattersal conveys every drop of symbolism of Anakin's descent to the Dark Side. The camera pulls back to reveal Anakin sitting on a plateau among the stars with burning fires below him. He then drops down, and we knows what happens from there.

    - Qui-Gon Jinn: The idealistic Jedi is my favorite character in the prequels. His presence gives depth to the entire saga.

    - "Obi Wan Kenobi ... meet Anakin Skywalker." It still gives me chills.

    - Luke returns home: This is straight out of the Joseph Campbell playbook -- the hero returns to see gangsters and criminals all over his birthplace. His gear is more spiritual, a clear indication of where Luke is in the journey.

    - Hoth: No setting is more symbolic of where the characters are at this point in the story. The rebels have scored a huge victory against the Empire. Now what? Luke knows his destiny. Now what. Everything is temporarily frozen, and the setting obviously conveys this.

    - Palpatine's machinations: Seductive and fatherly, Ian McDiarmid flawlessly plays this role. From sowing the seeds at the opera to the final maneuverings when Anakin discovers him, this is brilliantly written and performed.

    - Vader summons Luke through the pain of his friends. This is pure genius in screenwriting -- creative, provocative, and -- maybe most importantly -- cool.

    - Yoda vs. Palpatine. Everything you can imagine it would be -- and in the perfect setting.
  14. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It was a very good episode- though when I finally watched Beast Wars a couple years ago, I found that episode to be a little overhyped, so i can't help but think a degree of nostalgia has leaked into the general analysis.
  15. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

  16. ThrawnRocks

    ThrawnRocks Jedi Master star 6

    Apr 10, 2004
    Agent Smith's monologue.

    EDIT: Also Roy Baty's monologue.

    And speaking of Blade Runner, I was alway a big fan of Edward James Olmos' last little moment in that film.

    And speaking of Edward James Olmos, Adama beating Leoben to death with a flashlight in the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries was one of coolest things ever.
  17. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    Well, I just watched it and I have to disagree. I thought it was exactly what a lot of people say it is-the best damned BW episode and possibly the crwoning moment of awesome for the franchise.
  18. Jedi_Reject_Jesse

    Jedi_Reject_Jesse Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Aug 26, 2004
  19. Chancellor_Ewok

    Chancellor_Ewok Chosen One star 7

    Nov 8, 2004
    Here are mine in no particular order:

    The Siege of Gondor

    The Siege of Helm's Deep

    The Battle of the Pelenor Fields

    The Battle of Hoth

    The Battle of Yavin

    Roy Batty's Monologue

    Agent Smith's Monologue-The Matrix Revolutions

    The Burly Brawl-The Matrix Reloaded

    Luke vs Vader-Ep.V

    Qui-gon/Obi-wan vs Darth Maul

    Anakin vs Obi-wan

    The Opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark

    The Battle of the Resurrection Ship

    The Battle of New Caprica

    The Battle of the Cylon Colony

    The grave yard sequence from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    The dragon sequence from GOF

    Kong vs the bi-planes

    All of Pan's Labyrinth
  20. DRHJ9

    DRHJ9 Jedi Master star 4

    May 19, 2003
    Optimus Prime fights Megatron- Tansformers The Movie (Animated)

    Obi-Wan Sacrifices himself- I think we all know the film:p

    Riker gives the order to fire on the Borg ship, with Picard on board.- Star Trek: TNG

    Merlin unleahes the Dragons Breath- Excalibur

    Yoda duels the Emperor- ROTS

    The Ending of Angel "Lets go to work!"- Angel

  21. Merlin_Ambrosius69

    Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 4, 2008
    "YOU!" from Conan the Barbarian.


    (It's in the above-depicted sequence, inside the Temple of Doom, when Rexor arrives and sees Conan after having nailed him to the Tree of Woe and expecting him to be vulture-bait. Conan's eyes go wide inside their black-painted mask, and he brings his hands together to clutch the Atlantean sword. Awesome, awesome moment of high drama, gives me a rush every time.)
  22. Hernalt

    Hernalt Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 29, 2000
    Contact, 1997: sound design, pacing, dialogue when Ellie Arroway is contacted by S.R. Hadden and he asks "Want to take a ride?"

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978: last scene with Donald Sutherland.

    Forbidden Planet, 1956: When the beast begins burning through the thick door.
  23. KamSolusar

    KamSolusar Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Mar 8, 2001
    [link=]Blade Runner[/link] - "All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain. Time to die."

    [link=]The Gamers[/link] - Nimble backstabbing the large guy with a ballista

    [link=]Ghost in the Shell 2[/link] - the big japanese procession in the middle of the movie

    Ghostbusters II - the statue of liberty walking through NYC

    The 13th Warrior -when the vikings [link=]begin to pray[/link]

    Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack Sparrow standing atop his sinking ship and stepping onto the pier
  24. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Rumor Naysayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    It's a rare thing to say such a thing, but this episode of ST-TNG literally changed my life. It drove the point home (pun intended) that even your "mistakes" make you who you are today. Seeing as I like who I am, then it made me re-think my past and forgive myself of my past mistakes. IIRC, this episode won the polling for best of Sci-Fi.

    "Mr. Worf...Fire."
    Best. Cliffhanger. EVER!!! Patrick Stewart was in contract negotiations towards the end of this season, so it was genuinely in doubt as to whether or not Picard would live.
  25. Koohii

    Koohii Jedi Master star 5

    May 30, 2003
    Here are a few of my favorites. Since most of the big ones have already been mentioned, I'm going to switch to the more obscure or less popular that I enjoyed.

    The releases of Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back. Flawed as they are, they set the expectations for generations and rewrote/revitalized the rules for music and special effects.

    STAR blowing a circuit and the bridge fight from The Black Hole. One for comedy, the other for timing and effect.

    Prince Charming vs Malificent in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Great early dragon depiction, with very little to rival it, even with modern CGI

    The heroes flying off in Dragon World. I don't care if it was a cheezy movie by an independant company with mostly low-budget standards--it was a great scene in a movie that was way better than it deserved to be.

    First head explosion in Scanners. Well, this movie is going to be different...

    First flashback in Highlander (slightly better in the extended "european version"/director's cut.

    Ending of Evil Dead 2

    Ending of Planet of the Apes

    the cancellation of BattleStar Galactica (seriously, have you watched the old show? after the first 4 or 5 episodes, it's just horrible! and Galactical 1980 was even worse, if you can believe that)

    The official announcement that the star wars prequels were being made (the announcement was great. the products... well, they had some technological accomplishments)

    Daniel Jackson's death in StarGate SG1

    Spock's death in Star Trek 2
    End credits for Trek 6

    Death of Dinobot 1 in Beast Wars
    Discovery of The Ark in Beast Wars
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