Ellen Ripley, ‘Alien’ Franchise
20th Century Fox
She’s often found at the top of the most iconic sci-fi characters – male or female – of all-time. Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley is as inspiring and heroic as it was when she made her debut in 1979, creating a brand new character that influenced the future of the sci-fi genre. The rest of these kick-a$$ ladies owe a lot to Ripley.
Dr. Dana Scully, ‘The X-Files’
The brilliant partner of Fox Mulder, Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully is a sci-fi icon. Originally meant to serve as the show’s eye candy, Anderson’s reading for the part made creator Chris Carter argue for her to be so much more.
Leia, ‘Star Wars’ Franchise
The late great Carrie Fisher became an icon to multiple generations as Princess Leia, who as the “Star Wars” series progressed, became more and more of a sci-fi hero, ditching her title as princess to become the highly-respected General Leia Organa in “The Force Awakens”, proving time and time again she’ s a force to be reckoned with.
Lt. Nyota Uhura, ‘Star Trek’
Fluent in multiple languages, the multi-talented Lt. Uhura was a pioneering character for women of colour in 1966. Martin Luther King famously confessed to actress Nichelle Nichols his fondness for the series, asking her to stay on the show. She later broke further barriers when Uhura and Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) became TV’s first-interracial kiss.
Sarah Connor, ‘Terminator’ Franchise
Sarah Connor got tired of being more of a traditional damsel in distress in the first “Terminator” film, returning as the buff and fiercely loyal mother in the sequel.
Millie Bobby Brown, 'Stranger Things'
The breakout star of 2016, Millie Bobby Brown's powerful performance as Eleven in "Stranger Things" solidified herself as one of sci-fi's most beloved female characters.
Whether she's battling demogorgons, curbing her Eggo cravings, or just busting out some sick rhymes (fingers crossed for a rap scene in "Stranger Things 2") Bobby Brown proves that as a sci-fi bada**, you're only as good as your death stare.
She may be more eye-candy than feminist icon, but Jane Fonda’s 41st century astronaut and sci-fi queen Barbarella oozes sex appeal in the cult classic. The character has influenced everyone and everything from Duran Duran and Kylie Minogue to fembots and fashion design.
Michonne, ‘The Walking Dead’
Our introduction to Michonne (Danai Gurira) came in the season two finale of “The Walking Dead” when her katana sword sliced through what would become one of many zombie kills.
Not all the cool women of sci-fi are real. The one-eyed Leela is the pilot of a space crew of men – and sort-of men – commanding respect, exuding competence, and acting as the voice of reason during far-flung intergalactic adventures.
Xena, ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’
Lucy Lawless’ Xena is a fierce warrior who paved the way for a new generation of “strong female characters” in TV sci-fi/fantasy series, becoming a lesbian and pop culture icon along the way.
Katniss Everdeen, ‘The Hunger Games’ Franchise
Teenage rebel Katniss Everdeen is the face of a revolution in “The Hunger Games” franchise. Smart, quick with a bow and willing to sacrifice all for the greater good, Katniss is a Millennial icon.
Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace, ‘Battlestar Galactica’
The TV reboot of “Battlestar Galactica” had a stroke of genius when they cast Katee Sackhoff as “Starbuck”, a role that was originally written for a man.
Hermione Granger, ‘Harry Potter’ Series
Loyal, logical, intelligent, Hermione Granger is at the top of her class and the top of her game. She’s the best kind of pal to have around, getting Ron and Harry out of trouble more times than they probably deserved in the beloved sci-fi/fantasy series.
Zoe Washburn, ‘Firefly’ & ‘Serenity’
The quick-witted soldier played by Gina Torres is the First Officer of the Serenity and has proved time and time again, she always has her captain’s back. While her actions may not always be on the up-and-up, Zoe is the epitome of bravery, willing to fight until the very end.
With “Avatar”, “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and the “Star Trek” reboot, Zoe Saldana has appeared in some of the most-prolific sci-fi movies of the past 10 years. She started making a name for herself as a sci-fi go-to in James Cameron’s 2009 epic, “Avatar” as the agile, intelligent and battle-ready blue Neytiri.
Buffy Summers, ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’
Inspired by X-Men’s Kitty Pryde, Buffy made her big screen debut in the very ‘90s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” with Kristy Swanson, but it’s the much-loved TV series with Sarah Michelle Gellar that has made Buffy such an enduring character. After seven seasons, fans saw Buffy grow and mature as she accepted her destiny.