For those of you who thought that the only important science fiction heroes in the world are Captain Picard, Captain Kirk, and Luke Skywalker. Here are five other science fiction heroes who will change the world.
“The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”
From: The Dune Mythology.
The young Duke Paul Atreides is the main protagonist of Frank Herbert’s Science Fiction Novel “Dune”. He starts out as a naïve, yet very intelligent 16 year old, being groomed to become head of house Atreides, who have just been placed in charge of the most important planet in the empire- Arrakis. Also known as Dune. Why is it so important? Because only on Arrakis can be found the spice mélange. The spice is a mystical substance that causes… changes in people. It also allows the navigators to use their powers to bring ships across the universe. Without the spice there is no space travel, no empire.
So naturally, House Harkonnen who had control of the planet previously decide to take it back (in fact leaving it in the first place was an elaborate trap). As the Harkonnen spring their trap, the young Paul is forced to live with the desert dwelling tribes; the Fremen. There he takes on the name Muad’Dib.
A combination of the spice, Fremen life, and a unique breeding program Paul was born of, plus mentat training he received, turn him into a force of nature. He is a military genius, a master knife fighter, able to appear in two places at once, ride and control giant kilometer long sandworms, and is worshipped as a Messiah by the Fremen. Oh and to cap it all off he becomes the emperor. Not bad for someone who’s not even hit 25 by the end of the story, and is set in a world best described as “Dark and Gritty”.
Hero Rating: Eight out of ten Sand Worm Teeth.
“The Fremen control the spice.”
“Do I really have the right? I cross these two wires and an entire race has never existed…”
From: Dr Who, A British TV series.
To put it short, a 900 year old time lord who wonders around the entirety of creation and time in a blue phone box called the TARDIS ( acronym standing for Time And Relative Dimension In Space) which is larger on the inside than the outside, picking up random strangers and saving everything from himself to the universe. His real name is never told, he simply always refers to himself as “The doctor” or “A doctor”. He has been portrayed by many different actors over the years (ten to be precise, not including spin offs), and unlike James bond his changes of appearance are explained by his “regeneration”. In short, when he dies he comes back to life but in a slightly different form. Each actor then adds their own little touch to the character, and everyone in Britain has a favorite actor who played Dr Who (Mine’s probably either Peter Davidson or Christopher Eccelston).
First off is the series itself. The Dr Who saga is arguably one of the best written TV shows in history. Recurring villains are well done, with stories that always provide plausible explanations as to why they keep coming back. This was even born out in the newer series when the Daleks (Arguably the most recognizable sci-fi villains of all time) where brought back.
The doctor himself is a very interesting character, passionate and driven with a compassion for all life. Yet many people who only started watching Dr Who after it’s “rebirth” with Christopher Eccelston as the doctor will be surprised when they realize he is no angel. In the past the doctor has been directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions, possibly billions of souls, a fact that seems to weigh heavy on his mind. He’s also pretty much psychotic, and seems to get more and more crazy the older he gets. If this is imply actors portrayal or actual dementia in the character, we do not know. But later incarnations of the Doctor are… unstable. One minute he’s happiness and smiles, joking and laughing, then one mention of the Daleks later and he turns into a rage fuelled machine with a desire to do nothing but kill.
Aside from regeneration and the ability to travel though time, the doctor has two hearts and a massive collection of knowledge on just about everything. Always quick witted, the doctor thinks his way out of and around situations rather than going in all guns blazing like many science fiction characters. But his true awesome is subtle. Watch the series to find out.
Hero Rating: Nine out of ten Cybermen.
“The Dalek fleet, ten thousand ships! The entire Dalek race! ALL burning! I watched it happen! I MADE IT HAPPEN!”
“There are three men dead in here, three more outside. All armored, all armed… combat warriors. Do you really want to mess with the man who killed them?”
From: The Eisenhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett
Gregor Eisenhorn is an inquisitor of the imperium of man, in the far dark future of the 41st millennium. His job is simple; root out threats to the imperium, and eliminate them. No one is beyond reproach of the inquisition, and Gregor has the political power to bend entire worlds to his will if needs be.
However on one mission on a strange planet called Hubris, he becomes entangled in a web of intrigue that will lead him and his close knit band across the galaxy, into alien worlds, battling the daemons of chaos, and even upturning corruption within the imperium itself. Gregor is hard bitten, no nonsense dime detective kind of guy, who always calls a spade a spade. Unfortunately as the trilogy wears on, Gregor’s sense of right and wrong change dramatically, and he doesn’t even realize.
Gregor is an excellent marksman, a world class swordsman, a powerful psychic and has a band of followers who complement his skills excellently. He also has own person VTOL attack craft called the Gun Cutter, access to a colossal intergalactic ship called Essene piloted by a guy called Tobias Maxilla and massive political power- worlds can live and die on his order. He also has other more… unusual weapons in his arsenal which are revealed as his quest goes on. Oh, and by the end of the first book the space marines (Genetically engineered 9 foot tall super men who spit acid and can survive the vacuum of space) – are afraid of him. Plus look at the guy! Is that image badass or what?
Yet despite all of this, Eisenhorn is not infallible. In the end, it is his own purity of purpose and absolute loyalty that brings him down. His charm is, that despite all his training, all his gear and all his awesomeness, Gregor Eisenhorn is sadly, still only human.
Hero Rating: Eight out of ten Heretic’s heads on spikes.
“Engineer, get this train moving. I’d hoped to travel incognito, but I’m an imperial inquisitor and I’m damn well going to start acting like one.”
“Look I’m a curry-a-holic! I’ve only got two taste buds that work… I NEED CURRY!”
From: Red Dwarf, a British Sci-Fi Comedy
Dave Lister is the lowest ranking member of the mining ship red dwarf. He was put into suspended animation for 6 months as punishment for smuggling an un-quarantined cat on board the ship (Found out as he sent photos of himself and the cat to be developed in the ship’s lab). Unfortunately, while he was held in stasis, the ship suffered a catastrophic radiation leak which killed the entire crew, bar Lister, who was held safe in stasis.
After three million years have passed and the radiation has reached a safe background level, the ship’s AI (Holly), releases Lister. Now all he has for company are a hologram of his dead bunk mate Rimmer (Who he hates with a passion), the cat (a self centered narcissistic fashion obsessed lazy idiot who evolved from Lister’s original cat), and Kryten (a series 4000 mechanoid trained to clean lavatories). Together they bumble their way back to earth, Lister desperate to fulfill his dream of opening a small farm on Fiji.
It’s not very often you have a science fiction character you can relate to. Most of them are heroic, courageous damn the danger types with laser guns and attitude. Lister, wasn’t. The fact that red dwarf was more of a sit-com in space than your standard sci-fi show meant that in many ways the references and jokes where built around more contemporary themes. And Lister himself was a representation of what many people in Britain actually are (for the most part): A lazy slob who spends his days watching TV, drinking larger, chain smoking and eating curry.
Lister is a well written character, and easily one of the most entertaining of characters in all of the science fiction genre. He’s Douglas Adams crossed with the Royale Family. The series explores his relations with the other crew members (In episodes such as marooned), which can be extremely interesting, and hilarious at the tame time. It also goes the other way with slapstick and crude humor, usually with Lister as the main agent. Plus he’s a scouser, I mean come on? A space scouser? How can you get cooler than that? Turn around for five minutes and your ships’ on bricks…
To view some clips of Lister’s antics, check this out
Hero rating: Seven out of ten Wicked Strength Lagers.
“Have you ever thought of it this way? Human beings eat the flesh of animals and vampires feed on human blood. So maybe, somewhere, there’s something that feeds on vampires. I am a Crusnik.”
From: Trinity Blood, a Japanese Anime
Abel’s story is one of the key points of the anime “Trinity Blood”, so I won’t spoil it for you by giving away too much detail. But here’s a summary.
The setting is the far distant future. A massive apocalyptic war has blasted the world back into a strange society, the kind of gothic future that Gregor Eisenhorn would be at home in. In Western Europe, the Vatican rules through faith with an iron fist and advanced weapons technology. The United Kingdom has fallen, replaced by Albion, who posses the most advanced technology currently known. And in the east, occupying the former Baltic States and Russia, lies the New Terran Empire- the domain of the vampires. For Those in the know, it’s like Warhammer 40,000 meets Trigun and World of Darkness.
Abel Nightroad is an agent of the Vatican special forces division, dispatched all over the world to deal with vampires and other threats to his holiness, the pope. But Abel is no ordinary human, or vampire for that matter. He is a Crusnik, a blasphemous scientific experiment that has produced a being of great power, a “natural” predator of vampires. As Abel’s adventures continue, he discovers a plot by a group called the Rosenkruez Orden who want to bring around the destruction of the world, humans and vampires alike. And leading this group is a man who Abel has a personal vendetta with- Cain. Cain and Abel? Get it?
Well, for starters he’s one step above the food chain from vampires. For another, when pissed off he can activate the Crusnik to an approved activity level and gain massive amounts of power including a dirty great big scythe made of blood, the ability to attract blood to himself for feeding, wings that allow flight and double up as shields, generating massive amounts of electricity within his body, and if he decides to approve a 100% activation… well…
Abel is also a pacifist and only fights when either seriously provoked or left with no other choice. He tries to avoid killing whenever possible, yet shows no pity or sympathy when other Vatican operatives kill near him. Considering he’s powerful enough to take on pretty much anything the New Terran Empire, Vatican or even Albion could throw at him, this is quite a thing. But like everyone, Abel can only be pushed so far before he cracks. And crack he does, in fact there is an argument for Abel being driven insane by his life and the things he has seen. Watching the anime, it’s a strong possibility.
Oh and before Armageddon, Abel was supreme commander of the UN armed forces.
Hero Rating: Nine out of ten paths of torn, bloody vengeance.
“You are… my food. I’m going to eat you now.”
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please share this article with your friends, after all, we all need heroes!
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy, 5 great science fiction villains.
Evis T is a resident of Wales, UK. He writes many articles on subjects that interest him, and some articles on subjects that do not. His hope with publishing his work on the internet is to create a greater understand and peace in the world, aiding the dream that one day we may all live in peace and happiness together. Also, he likes the money.
All Photographs and quotes in this article were used with the permission of the copyright holder, or are allowed under fair usage policy. Please don’t sue me.