Guardians of the Earth. Five best films about space heroes to watch on the Ukrainian Defenders Day

On October 1, the whole of Ukraine celebrates the Day of its defenders: brave people who sacrifice themselves and shed their blood day by day to defend our country from the invaders. Commemorating the holiday, The Universe Space Tech team has prepared a selection of five of the most iconic space action movies about fearless heroes who save humanity from the threat from the sky.


What is the movie about?

A capsule with Ellen Ripley is found by rescuers after years of wandering in space. She is informed that the planet where her crew first encountered the alien monster has been colonized and communication with it has been cut off. Ripley goes there with a group of marines. But now not just one Alien is waiting for them, but hundreds of them. Who can survive in this war: monsters who can only kill, or people who can think?

What makes it interesting

Released in 1979, Alien became an absolute icon of space horror. It seemed that any attempt to make a sequel worthy of the original was doomed to failure from the start. But James Cameron took on this seemingly impossible task. And he has achieved considerable success in this.
A still from the Aliens movie

Cameron radically changed the sequel genre. Of course, Aliens has plenty of tense and truly scary scenes that were appreciated by the audience. But first and foremost, it is a war movie, with an aptly named tagline: “This time it’s war”. And it is indeed a war — between soldiers armed with the latest technology and monsters with acidic blood who know no fear and never stop.

At the same time, the main characters of Aliens are not supermen at all. They are ordinary people with their own virtues and flaws. The movie can impress with a whole collection of memorable characters. Hicks, Vazquez, Bishop, Hudston, Gorman — these names stay with the viewer for a long time after the screening. You empathize with the characters in the movie, and their deaths make you sad.

But Aliens wouldn’t be Aliens without Ripley, played brilliantly by Sigourney Weaver, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie. Cameron radically changed her character, turning her from a victim into a brave warrior and making the ending of the film a battle between two mothers, and the very fate of humanity depends on its result. I could go on for a long time about why Aliens is a truly benchmark movie, but to be honest, you should just watch it. Even almost forty years after its release, it is still one of the best films in its genre.

Independence Day.

What is the movie about?

An alien fleet arrives on Earth with the intention of conquering it. Humanity needs to find a way to defend its planet from a much more technologically advanced enemy.

What makes it interesting

If you ask the average moviegoer to recall a big and high-profile movie about an alien invasion of Earth, they will most likely name Independence Day.

A still from the Independence Day movie.

Yes, Roland Emmerich’s film cannot boast of any innovative plot or complex script. Yes, it focuses on the scenes of aliens destroying the main symbols of the United States, which have long become iconic. But, despite this, Independence Day was and still is a movie that really fulfills its task of entertaining the viewer. It can boast of an impressive scale, beautifully staged episodes of air battles and the presence of still young and charming Will Smith in the frame.

Another significant advantage of Independence Day is the overall message of the film, which is that only by uniting can humanity survive. Of course, it is embellished with a quite an amount of pathos and patriotism, but this does not make it any less relevant.

Starship Troopers

What is the movie about?

The distant future. A race of giant intelligent beetles from the distant Klendathu system threatens all of humanity. Three school friends enlist in the army to go to war with countless flocks of insects.

What makes it interesting

“Starship Troopers is perhaps the most controversial film in our selection. Formally, it is an adaptation of the cult novel by Robert Heinlein. But in reality, it is a satire. It’s no secret that director Paul Verhoeven considered Heinlein’s book to be fascist propaganda. And he did everything in his power to argue with the author’s point of view.

A still from the Starship Troopers movie

Starship Troopers is unique in that it is a multi-layered movie. Under the spectacular outer wrapper, there is a statement on militarism, in which one can find many intersections with our reality. Its main characters are young people who, living under a military dictatorship, pretend that nothing is happening and live a carefree life, ignoring all the signs of impending conflict. Then they get caught up in a small, victorious war, where they quickly find out that things are not at all as propaganda says they are. The beautiful (and suspiciously fascist-like) uniforms in which they march so well are only good for parades, the armor does not protect against bugs at all, the samples of miracle weapons exist only on TV, and the command radically underestimated the enemy

Fortunately, Verhoeven never leans towards direct moralizing and does not try to teach the viewer the truth of life. Although his Starship Troopers is riddled with many allusions, it is also an extremely entertaining film that can be watched without knowing the hidden subtext. Some of the film’s special effects still look better than most modern blockbusters, and it is full of memorable images and scenes that have long since become iconic. What about the episode with the red button and the knife? Or the branded propaganda videos? So, although the approach chosen by the Dutch director can be treated in different ways, it cannot be denied that he has created a bright and unique movie that worth spending couple of two hours of your life and you`ll get something to contemplate about later.

Edge of tomorrow

What is the movie about?

A race of aliens is trying to take over the Earth. Even the combined forces of the entire planet cannot resist them. Major William Cage dies in battle, but the impossible happens: he gets caught in a time loop. Time and time again, he finds himself in the same battle, fighting and dying over and over again. And each repetitive battle brings him closer to figuring out how to defeat the enemy.

What makes it interesting

What happens if you combine the plot of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, about soldiers fighting aliens in exoskeletons, with the setting of Groundhog Day? We will get Edge of Tomorrow, which surprised the audience in 2014.
A still from the Edge of Tomorrow movie

The popularity of Edge of Tomorrow is due to several factors. Firstly, the movie can be proud of its large scale, impressive special effects and design. Secondly, despite the overall seriousness of the plot, the film also has a place for humor, which helps to catch your breath between battle scenes. And thirdly, Edge of Tomorrow is characterized by surprisingly well-developed characters.

Tom Cruise played the main role in the movie. It is no secret that Tom Cruise usually plays Tom Cruise in his films. But in this case, he appeared in a rather atypical image. The main character of the movie, Bill Cage, is not a brave warrior ready to defeat everyone and everything. He is a rather cowardly man who is frankly afraid of going to the front. Throughout the plot, we follow the evolution of his character and see how he gradually turns from a coward into a hero, ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of victory.

Another significant plus of the movie is Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt. She is brave, determined and ready to do anything to achieve her goal. But under this outward mask of fearlessness lies a completely different person who once lost everything and now keeps a distance from the world around her so as not to experience the pain of loss anymore.

By combining all these elements together, director Doug Liman has given us one of the best examples of action fiction in the last decade, which fully justifies all its high praise.

Guardians of the Galaxy

What is the movie about?

The brave traveler Peter Quill comes across a mysterious artifact belonging to the powerful and ruthless thief Ronan, who is making insidious plans to take over the universe. Peter finds himself in the center of an intergalactic hunt, where he is the victim. The only way to save his life is to team up with four reclusive outcasts: a belligerent raccoon named Rocket, a humanoid tree named Groot, the deadly Gamora, and Drax, who is driven by a thirst for revenge.

What makes it interesting

Today, the Marvel cinematic universe includes more than three dozen films. Of course, every fan has their favorites among them. But if we were to conduct a general survey on the best of the best, one of the highest places would certainly be taken by Guardians of the Galaxy.
A still from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie

The movie is centered on a group of eccentric characters who have to forget about their differences, learn to work as a team, and actually create a new family. Of course, such a plot is far from new. But in this case, the main thing is not novelty, but the overall performance. And it is beyond praise here. Guardians of the Galaxy has very colorful characters, exciting action scenes, humor, and touching moments. It is not surprising that among all Marvel films, James Gunn’s film has become one of the most popular.

Another significant advantage of the movie is its “autonomy”. The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy is part of the vast Marvel cinematic universe should not scare anyone. After all, the film is specially created in such a way that it can be watched as a self-sufficient product that does not require special knowledge of other superhero films.

In 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy received a sequel, in 2022 — a Christmas special, and in 2023 — the third part. Considering general decline in viewer interest in superhero movies, it performed very well, demonstrating that viewers are still willing to follow the adventures of their favorite four characters who are so different from each other.