There have been thousands of unforgettable space aliens created in science fiction and horror over the last 150 years. The most famous aliens are from H.G. Wells’ TheWar of the Worlds written in 1898, which were immortalized with the radio program in 1938—these scary aliens caused a real panic—and then back into the limelight with Tom Cruise’s movie.
Picking the top 10 space aliens was tough, but I hope you have as much fun going through these as I did remembering all of the books and movies that brought these alien creatures to life:
Terl is my favorite alien villain. While his overwhelming size and strength and the gas he breathes are alien, he has all the everyday problems of humans. His primary drive is to be rich and to get back to his home on Psychlo—to be as happy as a baby Psychlo on a straight diet of Kerbango (alien food/spirits). But there is no doubt that he is vicious and devious. He is the security chief of Earth trained in espionage and blackmail. He is a madly efficient Terl—almost impossible to out-think. However, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler gives him a run for his money. I also want to mention two of Terlʼs accomplices: Ker and Chirk. Chirk is a female alien who wants to be with Terl and go back to Psychlo. And Ker, a midget Psychlo, who unexpectedly befriends Jonnie and possesses unique kindness.
If you have not read Battlefield Earth, read the first 13 chapters or listen to the first hour of the audio for free (one of the best sci-fi audiobooks ever—my favorite).
2. Spock from Star Trek: The most famous Vulcan
Leonard Nimoy as Spock was a beloved alien for nearly fifty-five years. He was my favorite of the Star Trek aliens. There have been numerous spin-offs of the original Star Trek and there is no sign of slowing down any time soon. Because of this one character, we have come to love many of the Vulcans.
3. The Arachnids from Starship Troopers
“Bugs!!!!!! Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?!” is my favorite line of the movie—iconic. The arachnids never speak a line of dialog in this cult classic movie. However, these aliens changed the face of alien films for many of us. There are many memorable characters straight from Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. The cast is led by Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, and many more!
4. The Colonists from the X-Files: Fight the Future
This is another alien (or alien species) that never speaks a line of dialog but kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. After several seasons of the X-Files, we get this monumental movie. We get up close and personal with this invading alien. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully get more than they bargained for as their admiration and love for one another get tested in new ways.
(Little known fact: The production company Rhythm and Hues created the visual effect of the alien ship lifting off at the end of the movie and the snow collapsing. They also worked on the Battlefield Earth movie to collapse the dome at the end. Great work by those guys!)
6. Yoda from Star Wars
We first meet Yoda in the iconic movie Star Wars:A New Hope. He is such a major force in these movies (no pun intended!). Of all of the creative Star Wars aliens and androids, Yoda has a special place. And when you thought you couldn’t like this character anymore, his
race introduced a new alien character in the Mandalorian series—Baby Yoda.
7. The alien from the original Alien movie
Another alien creature that never speaks but made cinematic history fighting our leading lady Ellen Ripley (played by the fantastic Sigourney Weaver). This alien changed the face of science fiction movies forever. I was on the edge of my seat, watching this all too realistic alien go after our favorite characters—honestly, one of the scariest aliens.
8. Leeloo from The Fifth Element
Leeloo is one of my favorite alien women played by another amazing leading lady, Milla Jovovich. She stole our hearts with this performance. Dallas, played by Bruce Willis, must save the world with the knowledge she possesses while keeping her safe.
9. Edgar from Men in Black
The Men in Black franchise have several humorous action movies with unlimited fictional alien characters (and we realize that the alien invasion has already happened, and they are everywhere). However, we can’t overlook the performance by one of my favorite actors Vincent D’Onofrio. He plays Edgar in the first movie, who is basically a giant cockroach. As funny as that sounds, he stands out and makes it very comical.
10. Both Gamora and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy
These movies combine the science fiction genre with superheroes—a unique and entertaining twist. Gamora, a beautiful and tough alien female, is played by another of my favorite actresses, Zoe Saldana. She really pulls it off. And I have to add Groot, voice by Vin Diesel—and now Baby Groot, who captured my heart, saying almost nothing at all!
As I mentioned, there are many famous aliens (scary aliens to just plain comical), and sharing my top 10 was almost impossible—I mean, who didn’t love the Na’vi from Avatar or hate the buggers from Ender’s Game, that is, until the end?
I do want to make an honorable mention: the Firefly series by Joss Whedon. While there are no aliens, it is a space Western going throughout the ’verse and never on Earth (the Earth that was). Every character is well done and you feel like you are out there with them. They get along with one another and love what they are doing—they get it. The show was perfect and will live on with the fans.
I’d love your thoughts on these. Also, did I miss any of your favorite aliens?
I grew up in Mobile Alabama. I am a father of four. I have spent 30 years in retail management.
I enjoy science fiction, model building, writing, and spending time with my family.
I first read Battlefield Earth in 2000. I am the self-proclaimed biggest Battlefield Earth fan there is and I enjoy anything associated with Battlefield Earth and L. Ron Hubbard.
I first read Battlefield Earth in the year 2000. I have personally read it over five times and I have listened to it on audiobook three or more times. One of the reasons I read it so much is that there are very few authors who come close to L. Ron Hubbardʼs way of writing. It is so very vivid.
I consider myself an expert on Battlefield Earth and enjoy doing anything that I can to encourage new readers to enjoy and explore the world of Battlefield Earth.