When a gear head fantasizes about cars, people really don’t think too much of it. Even though many road vehicles you see in film and television aren’t obtainable due to technological or legal restrictions (KIT from Knightrider or the Delorean from Back to the Future for example), many others can conceivably be owned and driven legally on the roads (the original 1966 Batmobile or the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard). Those who dream of owning their dream vehicle could very well live out that dream with enough money and a good custom mechanic.
On the opposite side of the coin, there are many who like to go a little further with their day dreaming and escapism. Enter the world of science fiction films and television. With modern advances in special effects technology we have been able to see space vessels that at one time would have been relegated to only our imaginations. While the idea of owning and operating vehicles and vessels of this nature is relegated to the very distant future (if at all), we do have enough of a visual basis that debates on which ship is the coolest can carry on with only the slightest possibility of sounding ridiculous. Okay, it still sounds incredibly silly, but that won’t stop us from considering these ten intergalactic vehicles among the absolute coolest spaceships of all time.
10. The Milano – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The Milano is probably the most recent ship on our list. Heck, it may even be one of the most recent ships in sci-fi period. The Milano is the vessel owned by Peter Quill AKA Star Lord of this past August’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Outside of just looking very cool, the ship has a 1980’s audio cassette tape sound system that pumps out a mix tape that recently became a certified gold record.
A fun fact: The Milano is named for Alyssa Milano, Peter Quill’s celebrity crush before he was whisked away from planet Earth.
9. The Millennium Falcon – Star Wars Films (1977 – ????)
She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts. She’s also the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
Walk into a room of ten people and ask them what space ship they would most like to own. At least half of them are going to give you the answer, “The Millennium Falcon.” This was the ship owned by Han Solo and Chewbacca in the good half of the Star Wars saga and will definitely have a big role in the upcoming installments directed by JJ Abrams. It’s also the ship that consistently saves the day in chapters 4-6.
8. The Satellite of Love – Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988 – 1999)
This ship makes the list purely for commodity. For all intent and purpose, this ship was essentially a torture device for its crew, but boy did viewers get a kick out of watching the torture!
In an interesting take on old monster movie programs like Elvira and Svengoolie, the crew of Joel (and later Mike), and robots Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, have been sent to the ship to watch horrible movies by the mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester (and later Pearl Forrester). Instead of breaking their sanity like Forrester hopes, the crew mercilessly tear into the films with hilarious riffs. Thanks to another robot stationed on the ship named Cambot, us Earthlings get to enjoy their quips and jabs that almost make the cheesy films watchable.
7. Serenity – Firefly (2002), Serenity (2005)
Let’s all shed a tear for the show that was never given the opportunity to reach its full potential. One of the great things about Serenity isn’t the ship itself, but its diverse and interesting crew members and the ships place in the show’s universe. You would never have a boring day aboard Serenity.
Firefly takes place in a distant future where Earth was essentially used up and over-populated. Humans are dropped on newly terraformed planets with minimal resources to start new civilizations. Most of these planets are at a place equivalent to the American Old West. This creates a richly imagined blend of the past and the future.
6. The TARDIS – Doctor Who (1963 – present)
The TARDIS may not look like much on the outside but the Doctor assures you it’s much bigger on the inside. In fact, from what we’ve learned through the show’s history, it could very well be infinite on the inside.
The TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space, which means it not only travels through space, but time as well. Its appearance is that of an old British Police Call Box. The Doctor explains that this is a malfunctioned “chameleon circuit” that became stuck. At one time the TARDIS would turn into anything that blended in with the era and place the TARDIS landed.
5. The USS Enterprise – Star Trek Series and Films (ambiguous)
Outside of the TARDIS, the Enterprise in all of its forms may have been used in film and television for the longest period of time. Granted, a number of Enterprises have been destroyed and future versions were just new ships that shared the name, but the Enterprise was always the top of the line and always had the same essential look.
The ship was essentially a giant floating city for its crew, complete with barbers, bars, schools, and even children conceived and born on the ship as opposed to a planet. Despite its size, the ship was great in combat and the saucer section (which was essentially the “city” portion) could be separated to preserve the lives of non-essential crew in battle.
4. USS Cygnus – The Black Hole (1979)
Disney’s The Black Hole wasn’t all that great of a movie. The USS Cygnus itself wasn’t nearly as impressive as the other ships on the list. The Cygnus makes the list for one reason and one reason only: It looks really awesome when lit up!
In fact, it looks so cool when lit up that we’ll ignore the problems that a ship made almost entirely out of windows would face.
3. The Heart of Gold – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
There have been a number of versions of The Heart of Gold throughout film and television. We won’t favor any particular design since the best parts of The Heart of Gold is its hardware.
It comes with a clinically depressed and cynical android helper and the doors are programmed as almost the exact opposite. The doors consistently thank you every time you use them and they throw you a few compliments to boot!
The best part is probably the ship’s engine, known as the Infinite Improbability Drive. It allows passengers to travel to any destination in a “nothingth of a second” by making the improbable probable.
2. Battlestar Galactica – Battlestar Galactica Series (1978 – 1979, 2004 -2009)
The Battestar ship known as Galactica is another ship that has survived the passing of decades in the entertainment world.
Galactica has served as a home for its crew since their homes were destroyed in a seemingly never-ending war with the Cylons. It’s the premier military ship in the show’s history (granted the two versions had many differences). In either incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, unless you’re a Cylon, this is probably the place you would most want to be.
1. The Borg Cube – Star Trek: TNG (1987 – 1994) and Various Star Trek Series and Films
What we do know about the Borg Cube is that it’s massive. Look at the size of the thing compared to the Enterprise NCC 1701-E from Star Trek: First Contact, and keep in mind that the Enterprise is essentially a city. Despite this massive size the ship is more than capable in battle, with a seemingly endless array of weaponry. The ship is also capable of incredible warp speeds despite its unwieldy shape and size.
The outside of the ship and its capabilities are pretty cool on their own, but what is most intriguing about the Borg Cube is how little we know about the inside. You get no sense of where anything is or what life in the hive mind of the Borg is like. All you can do is have a blast speculating. The only way to know for sure would be to give up your identity and allow yourself to become assimilated into the mind of the Borg.