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10 Iconic Weapons From Sci-Fi Movies & TV

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The advanced technology and the alien worlds are but a few of the attractive traits that draw audiences closer to science fiction. The speculative imagination that fuels the genre has given us innumerable TV shows and films, which push and balance the boundary between what might be possible and what is not.

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But every adventurer has their tools and every warrior has their weapons. Sci-fi movies and TV shows have blessed us with incredible conflicts and civilizations, and many advanced and powerful weapons that genre fans won’t soon forget.


Lightsaber (‘Star Wars’)

There is no doubt that the most iconic sci-fi weapon is the lightsaber from the Star Wars series. First appearing in the 1977 sci-fi adventure classic, Star Wars: A New Hopea lightsaber has appeared in every medium under the sun, from comic books to Disney+ shows and even blockbuster video games.

Lightsabers are the iconic weapon of the Star Wars‘ franchise’s Jedi knights, as well as their more malevolent counterparts known as the Sith. They have been brandished by the many actors who have featured in the franchise throughout the years, including Samuel L.Jackson (Django Unchained), Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) and Daisy Ridley (Murder on the Orient Express).

M41A Pulse Rifle (‘Aliens’)

Even though it didn’t feature in this iconic series’ debut film, the M41A Pulse Rifle has since become a staple weapon of the Alien franchise. It first appeared in james cameron‘s Aliens as the primary weapon of the futuristic colonial marines.

While not as nearly as iconic as the terrifying but exquisitely designed Xenomorph, the pulse rifle has also been seen in the franchise’s various multimedia tie-ins.

Phaser (‘Star Trek’)

You’d be hard-pressed to watch the star trek series and miss out on the iconic handheld phasers. In every iteration of this long-running franchise, the adaptable handheld phaser is the trusted sidearm of Starfleet’s uniformed personnel.

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Though often considered a rival franchise to the equally-popular Star Wars series, the star trek shows and expanded media have amassed acclaim and commercial success. The series has featured actors like Patrick Stewart (Logan) and Chris Pine (wonder woman), to name a few.

Plasmacaster (‘Predator’)

Every 80s action fan knows the kind of damage this weapon can deal. The shoulder-mounted plasmacaster is one of the many weapons of the deadly Yautja, an alien race of hunters that first appeared in 1987’s action classic, predator. These creatures stalk and kill their prey using advanced alien technology, with the iconic plasmacaster being the most devastating of the lot.

In 2018’s The Predator, this unforgettable alien weapon was actually used on-screen by humans for the first time in franchise history. A rudimentary version of the weapon debuted recently in Dan Trachtenberg‘s Prey.

Identity Disc (‘Tron’)

While also vital to storing memories for the digital programs of the Grid, the identity disc of the tron film franchise is quite the weapon to behold. It is often used in disc wars, wherein its deadly cutting edge allows video warriors to engage in life-or-deletion duels.

The discs’ capabilities were best portrayed in Tron Legacythe underrated, action-packed sequel to the original 1982 film.

Proton Packs (‘Ghostbusters’)

Even if you haven’t seen any of the films, you’ve heard its unforgettable theme. The titular heroes of the film ghostbusters are recognizable at a glance, thanks in no small part to the memorable gear the team employs in its ghost-hunting work.

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The proton packs are an essential part of the ghost-busting toolkit of the films. An energy-based capture device, composed of a backpack and particle-throwing wand, is used for capturing phantoms and ghosts in every entry of the ghostbusters franchise.

Tripod (‘War of the Worlds’)

The Martian fighting machines, or tripods, are some of the genre’s oldest weapons. They first started in The War of the Worldsan 1897 novel by HG Wells. They have appeared in all the story’s adaptations, the most recent of which was released in 2019 as a three-part miniseries called War of the Worlds.

A devastating weapon, the tripods are complex machines piloted by the alien invaders who arrive on earth. Each machine is capable of heat ray attacks, which disintegrate its targets in the blink of an eye.

MA5B Assault Rifle (‘Halo’)

This iconic video game weapon made its way to TV with the release of the Paramount+ series based on the popular Halo games. The 2022 sci-fi action series depicts the war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, a theocratic alien alliance hell-bent on destroying the human race.

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The MA5B assault rifle represents the human side of the conflict. It is the weapon of choice for the protagonist, a mysterious futuristic super-soldier, the feared and respected Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber).

Noisy Cricket (‘Men in Black’)

Men in Black, the unforgettable 90s sci-fi action comedy, introduced unsuspecting audiences to an array of gadgets and alien weapons. Capable of making onlookers gasp and laugh uncontrollably in equal measure, the Noisy Cricket was a tiny handgun that, if you used it, would literally and figuratively blow you away.

Comically wielded by Will Smith‘s Jay – one of the best characters of Smith’s career – the Noisy Cricket is an unassuming firearm that launches an orb of destructive power.

Iron Giant (‘The Iron Giant’)

The most imposing weapon in The Iron Giant is the giant himself. Central to the 1999 animated film is the criticism of warfare and human conflict, and the giant’s role in overcoming his destructive nature is a pivotal pillar of the movie’s themes. Directed by Brad Bird for Warner Bros. Feature Animation, The Iron Giant is an adaptation of the sci-fi novel The Iron Manwhich was written in 1968 by English writer Ted Hughes.

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Originally capable of incredible destruction and equipped with advanced alien weaponry, the metal man from The Iron Giant learn to protect and value life. The character has gained legendary status within various sci-fi fandoms, and was recently honored with a cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg‘s Ready Player One.

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