Here is a list of sci-fi weapons from novels and movies which we all hope never come to fruition inside an evil scientist’s lab. Science fiction has long been an inspiration for things to come, both evil and wonderful, for example: mega-bombs, submarines, paralyzing devices, spaceships, good and bad robots, self-driving cars, portable communication devices, and many many more. And of course, things yet to come—I’ve been waiting on my flying car since I was a kid!
As L. Ron Hubbard said in the introduction to Battlefield Earth, “Science fiction does NOT come after the fact of a scientific discovery or development. It is the herald of possibility.”
Choosing only ten from the enormous list of futuristic weapons (some scarier than others) was tough. So these are my favorites—from the alien pistols and sci-fi guns to weapons of mass destruction. It is not that I am hoping these will come to be—quite the opposite! But each one in its own way has made me wonder what if we were confronted with something like this…
Let’s hope scientists are inspired NOT to create any of these!
1. Planet Buster
Battlefield Earth has a planet-buster wapon. When government emissaries from other planets descend upon Earth to discuss treaties and Intergalactic law, some are less than honorable. So Johnny Goodboy Tyler is forced to show them that the Earth has weapons and will not be bullied. Using a planet-buster weapon he obtained from Terl (the Psychlo Security Chief), he teleports the tiny weapon to a Tolnep moon secretly used by the greedy race as a hidden military base. For the first several seconds, no one believes anything has happened. But then the moon frazzled into dust-sized particles, slowly disintegrating in front of everyone’s eyes. A spacecraft trying to leave the disintegrating moon is also caught up, “Before the fixated eyes of the delegates, the vast space vessel was eaten up from tail to nose, its massive metal turned to gases.” Needless to say, we don’t want this sci-fi weapon anywhere near our planet!
You can read the first 13 chapters or listen to the first hour of the audio for free (this is one of the best sci-fi audiobooks). Some of the Battlefield Earth weapons, including a futuristic tank, sci-fi assault rifle, and other cool weapons, are on the site.
2. The Death Star
No list of detestable science fiction weapons would be complete without the most iconic and hated weapon of all—the Death Star from Star Wars. At over 75 miles in diameter, and 357 levels, this object appears more like a small moon when approaching it. This weapon carried over 2 million personnel, including 25,984 stormtroopers. The immense power of the Death Star’s super laser was used to destroy Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, and the billions of people on it. Luckily, plans of the weapon were stolen and gotten to the rebel forces so that Luke Skywalker was able to take a small fighter in against it, to make the almost impossible shot that destroyed this weapon.
We have long feared machines taking over all the jobs, leaving humans to die piled in heaps, starving and unemployed. Terminator took that one step further where an artificial intelligence defense network known as Skynet achieved consciousness. When humans tried to deactivate it, the machine struck back with a nuclear attack, followed by sending out machines to hunt down the survivors. But Skynet didn’t stop there. They sent a terminator robot back in time to hunt down and kill the mother of the current resistance leader, John Connor.
4. The Crystal Weapon
Men in Black
The Men in Black series had several futuristic weapons, and we rarely knew what to expect from them (nor did the weapon’s user in some cases). The Crystal Weapon, which opened up into an alien gun powered by a star, was the most powerful of all. At its lowest setting of .001, shooting it into the desert sand created a ravine the size of the Grand Canyon. A clip of it being fired can be seen here:
5. Genesis Device
Of course, the Star Trek franchise had several futuristic weapons we would never want to see fall into humans’ hands or any alien enemies. The Genesis Device was marketed as a life-creating device. It would reorganize the matter, creating a living breathing planet capable of sustaining whatever life forms they saw fit to deposit on it. While this device would reorganize all of the matter, no one ever mentions that this process would completely destroy any life already there. Enemies certainly saw this potential and attempted to steal it. And because this device used proto-matter in a subatomic transformation to build with, the life created by the Genesis Device was unstable. The planet thus created would suffer from wildfires, winds, and volcanoes. So what the Federation believed would create life, was actually a weapon of mass destruction.
6. Thought Machine
What could be a more evil weapon than one’s subconscious mind? In Forbidden Planet, the civilization built a machine that could create anything from thought alone. However, the creators had not considered that the machine could read thoughts from a man’s subconscious mind. The machine went forward building creatures to attack others based on a person’s baser instincts. Besides giving us this futuristic weapon, the movie also gave us one of the most iconic robots for several decades. In this video, we get a look at the robot:
No list of terrible science fiction weapons would be complete without including something from James Bond. The GoldenEye was an electro-magnetic satellite developed by the Soviet Union and hijacked by a syndicate to ruin England’s economy. The weapon worked by deploying nuclear warheads into the upper atmosphere, creating an energy pulse, which destroyed all electronic devices within a 30-mile radius. Given that all modern cars, planes, phones, computers, home appliances, traffic switch controls, and many more, have chips in them, it’s hard to think of anything that could be more devastating to current society than this weapon. Maybe the Amish could survive, but imagine explaining to your teenager that their phone will never work again. It could take years to put everything back in place before any communication or streaming device could work again! Egads, THE HORROR!
8. The Caps
The Tripods series
In The Tripod novels, a rite of passage for all 14 year-olds was capping, fusing a metallic mesh to the scalp. The aliens used a TV show to lightly hypnotize large masses of people so they could ultimately cap everyone. This alien weapon used the cap as a form of mind-control, making the humans obedient and docile. The aliens built glass domes to live within to provide the thick green air that they breathe, which is harmful to humans. Young, strong teenagers were selected every year during Olympic-like games and the winners were taken to the domes to serve the aliens. The youngsters typically wore out, dying within a year due to the harsh conditions and poor treatment. And worst of all, the aliens’ long-term plan was to turn Earth’s environment into their own, forever ridding Earth of humans in the process. Here is a short clip from the television series of someone receiving a cap:
9. Mega Maid
Even though this was a humorous science fiction movie, we wouldn’t want this maid pulling up to Earth anytime soon and sucking off every bit of air! Of all of our concerns about the environment, such as water quality, temperature, and forest fires, having breathable air is the one which immediately affects life. If the planet goes into another ice-age in the future, you can put on an extra sweater and have a decade to migrate towards the equator. But if the air is suddenly gone, you won’t even have time to walk to your closet!
10. Poisonous Fog
The Hunger Games
On an hourly schedule, the Gamemakers would release different weapons against the players. A swift-moving poisonous, corrosive fog was the worst. With just a touch of the mist, the tributes’ skin would erupt into gross pustules. Drops of the fog mist would cause muscle atrophy and a twitching death. There was no way to escape unless you could keep outrunning this unstoppable mist. It’s potential to take out anyone in its path ranks it high on my list of things I hope to never encounter!
At one time, it was thought that bigger and badder weapons would end war because using such weapons against people would be too horrible to conceive. It only took until 1945 for man to prove that thought wrong after the bombing of Hiroshima. Solving mankind’s battles will take all of our compassion and intelligence. Until then, I sleep better knowing these futuristic weapons are still in the realm of science fiction, or on some alien’s planet 100 million light-years away.
The brighter and more USEFUL science fiction inventions are what I am looking forward to. I’m still waiting for that flying car which sci-fi promised me when I was 10! Here is one that looks promising:
John Carey has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science from Texas A&M University which paid the bills while he crafted his writing skills at nights and weekends. Of all of his writing, John’s non-fiction articles on the overmedication of children have been the most circulated. John has just published his second book, Not Worthy of the Air you Breathe set in the future where nations have taken a cue from the business world and terminate their low performing citizens at the end of each year.
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