Space Ship are as much a part of science fiction as lasers and robots. We all have are favorites – The Enterprise, Millenium Falcon, X-Wings, the Galactica.. the list goes on. But one of the most memorable, and sometimes painful, things to see in science fiction are when our favorite ships go to that great spaceship graveyard in the sky. Here is a list of what I consider the biggest and most memorable spaceship explosions ever. It may have been a self-destruct count-down, or a well placed proton torpedo in a badly designed ventilation system, but when these ships bought the farm, they lit up the sky.
10. ENTERPRISE (STAR TREK III: SEARCH FOR SPOCK) – It was the only way Kirk could turn death into a fighting chance to live. He had to use the only weapon he had available to take out some ambitious Klingons – his ship. Don’t worry Kirk, the Federation can crank out more starships than you can auto-destruct any day.
9. SPACEBALL ONE A.K.A MEGA-MAID (SPACEBALLS) – it wasn’t necessarily the biggest explosion, but the broken pieces landing on The Planet of the Apes was a memorable touch.
8. BATTLESTAR PEGASUS (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 2004-2009) – Apollo made the decision to sacrifice the Pegasus in order to save his father and the remnants of humanity that were left. What was thrilling about this was how the Pegasus, in its destruction, destroyed 4 Cylon bases in the process.
7. THE USS CONSTELLATION (STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES “THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE”) - Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise, while investigating a distress call, come across a planet chomping space thing they named The Doomsday Machine. A damaged USS Constellation had survived with its commander, Commodore Matthew Decker, crazed from the fight. Eventually, Kirk had to use the Constellation in another auto-destruct move, to destroy the Doomsday Machine from the inside. Though the explosion was vented out of the mouth of the machine, the implications of the power unleashed was impressive.
6. THE MESSIAH (DEEP IMPACT) – The spacecraft Messiah was sent to place a nuke on an asteroid heading towards earth. But the mission went wrong, and the only way to destroy the huge rock was for the crew to sacrifice themselves by using the ship as a nuclear missile. It was a large bang.
5. DEATH STAR (STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI) – Lando Calrissian and his boy completed the mission of blowing up the Emperor’s new Toy. It looked like Lucus put a little more money into the visual effects in this explosion, but it still wasn’t the best spaceship explosion ever.
4. THE HIVE MOTHERSHIP (INDEPENDENCE DAY) – I still think it’s incredible that Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum took down an advanced Alien Mothership with one nuke and an Apple Laptop (g3 at that).
3. DEATH STAR (STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE) – Luke took out the biggest, baddest spaceship, or space station if you will, in the galaxy. And he did it with just two proton torpedoes. Again, it seemed like Lucas didn’t apply much thought into the special effects of the explosion, even when he added the CG energy concussion ring to it to try to make it more dramatic. But as meager as it may have been, compared to other spaceship explosions, the destruction of the original Death Star is probably the most popular explosions of all time.
2. U.S.S. RELIANT (STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN) – This was the only time that I think a spaceship exploding resulted in a planet forming. Granted, it wasn’t the Reliant itself that exploded, but the GENESIS Bomb that was aboard it, but still, it was a great sight to see.
1. NOSTROMO (ALIEN) – Absolutely the greatest space ship explosion of all time. Not many people remember just how titanic this explosion was, but just watch the end of ALIEN again and tell me what spaceship explosion was greater.
That’s my list of the Ten Greatest Spaceship Explosions. Tell me which ones you would have included, or moved to number one.
Some Images: bruce-domain.blogspot.com