When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20 1969, it was one small step for man, but a giant leap for Hollywood. Science fiction had, of course, been a popular genre since the silent era, but the event fired up the industry’s collective imagination and sent it skywards. A golden age of space films followed, from the first instalment of Star Wars to Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There were major hits in the 1980s and 1990s – Flash Gordon, Apollo 13, Armageddon – and recent offerings like First Man prove its enduring appeal. The only downside? Depictions of space on film, as in reality, remain overwhelmingly male-dominated.
This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Vogue offers a corrective: eight women-centric, sci-fi films that are essential viewing, from those chronicling the early years of the Space Race to dystopian visions of the future and franchises set in a galaxy far, far away.