Royalty and its ruling heritage aren’t reserved for merely our earthbound monarchies. If sci-fi movies have taught fans anything, it’s that many alien races maintain sprawling, royalty controlled empires. And though some galaxies far, far away – such as Star Wars from George Lucas – utilize raging, psychopathic Emperors, more than a few employ a matriarchal societal system headed by a female, or a Queen.
From a spoiled brat Princess who lusts after cryogenically preserved earth men to bizarre, sexually complex, limbless cybernetic rulers, alien Queens intrigue and endlessly fascinate hardcore sci-fi fans. Although other worldly kingdoms may indeed have its share of kings, often it’s the queen who is so memorable.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – 1979
Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley) may not have been an acting Queen, but sometimes it’s just a matter of a proper title. When she antagonized Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard) it may have seemed petty and beneath her, but as a Princess, she was destined to rule all of Planet Draconia.
Through many first season episodes, Ardala tried her very best to defeat, and thereby take possession of Buck – as if he was up for grabs like one of her royal toys. The fun for fans was seeing Ardala – time after time – go for Buck, and fail – only to try again the next time.
Flash Gordon – 1980
Like Ardala, Princess Aura hadn’t taken the throne and assumed the monarch of Mongo, but she oozed Queenly royalty nonetheless. The movie does contain a queen in the rock band, Queen – who composed and performed the soundtrack.
Aura may have been the daughter of Ming the Merciless, but she displayed far more mercy than her father ever could.
Aliens – 1986
“Get away from her, you bitch!” – Ripley to Alien Queen.
Director James Cameron (Titanic) upped the ante with his sequel to Ridley Scott’s iconic 1979 sci-fi horror romp. Instead of one acid spitting alien bug to contend with, he gave us dozens for space marines to battle.
Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Ripley deals with the horrific nightmare of being the sole survivor from her first alien encounter. That heavy psychological burden, plus being thrust into the battle once more, sees Ripley rise to the challenge. She’s one of our favorite cinematic alien hunters. By the time she straps herself into the cargo exoskeleton machine to do battle with the Alien Queen, we know we’ll follow Ripley anywhere. And fans did, for two more sequels. Cameron designed his Alien Queen to shock us as an enormous, egg laying monstrosity. She is both fearless mother and alien queen to her enormous brood.
Species – 1995
Sil (Natasha Henstridge) wears no crown nor holds a scepter, but her powerfully realized Queen mother instincts are on full display.
The alien Sil fascinates us as a kind of intergalactic science experiment gone wrong. Through the decoding of an alien message, an alien DNA is created and spliced with a human’s genetic information. The result, Sil, grows rapidly into a young girl – and then a gorgeous and sexually dynamic young woman. Artist HR Giger designed Sil – as he created the basis for the look of the Alien movie franchise.
Star Trek: First Contact – 1996
“I bring order to chaos.” – Borg Queen
She enigmatically describes her purpose to the android, Data. When the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) confronts Captain Picard, she reveals she transformed or Borgified him into Locutus, during his first encounter with her cybernetic empire.
Although infinitely creepy and cool looking, the Borg as a villainous enemy can be a limited foe. After all, their drone like look and behavior can only go so far in challenging Starfleet crews and the audience who love them. It is with the coming of the Borg Queen that sees the Borg become one of the most intriguing aliens in all of Star Trek.
Stargate SG1 – 1997
Hathor challenges primitive races, as the ‘god’ Ra’s wife – keeping with the Stargate TV show’s mythology.
Like other Goa’uld, she is a combination of a humanoid body – a host – and a parasitic creature living within her. The creature takes full control over the humanoid body, which can easily be repaired and life sustained over centuries. Hathor overwhelmed the Stargate Command Center and used mind control drug to bend the males to her will.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace – 1999
Alien Queen Padme Amidala, played by Natalie Portman (Black Swan), aka Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia’s mom and lover to Anakin Skywalker – the future Darth Vader – impresses all as a Queen for all loyal royal watchers to emulate.
Amidala wears her royalty exceedingly well, and when first seen, exotic, royal robes drape over her. First as Princess of Theed, then as Queen of Naboo – and later as Senator and freedom fighter. Amidala is one Queen who isn’t content to simply sit on her regal throne.
Independence Day: Resurgence – 2016
The original Independence Day opened in theaters in the summer of 1996. It took a full twenty years for the sequel, and although Will Smith’s take charge character is missing, many of the original characters – including Jeff Goldblum’s amusing scientist – come back to save the Earth once again.
The predatory aliens converge into a hive like mind with an enormous Queen as their leader. By isolating and destroying the alien queen, it is theorized her drone subjects will be neutralized and become harmless. Though some may say the sequel came a bit too late, the rousing ending – complete with a slam bang Queen confrontation battle – delivers more than enough bang for your sci-fi buck.
Honorable Mention – Queen of Outer Space – 1958
Starring Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hollywood magazine Variety calls this film “a good-natured attempt to put some honest sex into science-fiction”.
Forbidden Planet and Star Trek fans relish it as a treat, as many props from the feature film are employed, while the Queen’s guards use the blue, gold and red uniform colors, which would later be seen in Gene Roddenberry’s classic science fiction show.