This weekend, Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters and the common consensus among reviewers seems to be that JJ Abrams‘ adaptation of the beloved series is even better this time around. The thing we’re most excited about, of course, is Zoe Saldana‘s return as a young Nyota Uhura. Apparently Saldana’s role is much bigger this time around, which means the Star Trek sequel is a can’t miss for us!
Of course, lesbian and bisexual women are not strangers to the world of science fiction. In fact, we often find better representation in the fantasy realm than in any other genre. And even when we don’t find queer women to swoon over, we find powerful women to root for. So, in honor of Star Trek, we’ve made a list of the Top 40 Kick-Ass Female Sci-Fi Characters from some of our favorite TV shows and movies.
(For those of you looking for the fine women of Lost Girl here, please note that they weren’t included on this list because that show is considered fantasy, instead of sci-fi, because of magic and mysticism. It’s also why Hermione Granger isn’t included. Don’t worry, we’ll keep them in mind when we make our list of favorite fantasy women!)
Nyota Uhura, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness
In the Star Trek films’ alternate timeline, Nyota was a strong-willed cadet who rebuked the drunken advances of James Kirk and then refused to let Spock keep her off the Enterprise just because she was his girlfriend. Once they were in space, she quickly rose to the position of communications officer on her own merit.
River Song, Doctor Who
Conceived in the TARDIS, born partial Time Lord, kidnapped and brainwashed and set on a mission of epic assassination, but every time you thought River Song was going to zig, she zagged. She was a whip-smart, justice-loving, gun-wielding, building-diving adventurer who also had time to drop lines like, “Well, I was on my way to a gay gypsy Bar Mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, ‘Gosh! The Third Reich’s a bit rubbish. I think I’ll kill the Führer.’”
Agent Sarah Walker, Chuck
She was a CIA special agent who scaled buildings and danced tangos and commandeered sports cars. One time, she disarmed and arrested a man with her hands literally tied behind her back (wearing nothing but lingerie!). Her mission was to protect the asset Chuck Bartowski, whose brain had been transformed into a super computer housing all of the government’s secrets. In her spare time, she worked at a frozen yogurt store.
Zoe Washburne, Firefly
She was second-in-command on Serenity and one of the deadliest fighters in the history of space.
Astrid Farnsworth, Fringe
Astrid was an FBI Junior Agent whose technological savvy saved everyone from Observers more times than we can count. She also spoke five languages, enjoyed cryptology as a recreational activity, and started taking apart computers when she was six years old.