May 16th, 2011

Top Ten Most Kick Ass Women In Sci-Fi 

Written By Bernice Watson

Long gone are the dark days when women in science fiction did nothing more than shriek and faint while the men did all the action stuff. No longer do our heroines exist only as eye candy for male viewers. No sir, today the ladies of science fiction are kicking ass with the best of ‘em and they’re doing it with style too. So, in tribute to these blaster-totting, ass-busting modern women Liberation Frequency has compiled an elite list of the most awesome, most kick ass of them all…

10. Captain Kathryn Janeway
Appears in: Star Trek: Voyager | Played by: Kate Mulgrew

Last, but by no means least, is the feisty captain of the starship Voyager. Star Trek has produced a number of kick-ass women over the years but when it comes to phaser rifle-toting, ass-busting action heroines Kathryn Janeway reigns supreme.

Fiercely protective of her ship and crew Janeway will stop at nothing to shield them from the dangers of the Delta Quadrant and get them all safely home. Come hell, high water or the Borg Queen herself, nothing is going to get in her way.



9. Max Guevarra (X5-452)
Appears in: Dark Angel | Played by: Jessica Alba

Leather jacket, tight pants, killer body, motorcycle – yup, there’s no denying that Max from Dark Angel (2000 – 2002) is a hottie but she’s not just a pretty face.  Genetically engineered and raised to be a super-soldier you have to be quick to get the drop on Max.

After escaping the clutches of the military facility that created her, Max tries to make a life for herself in post-apocalyptic Seattle while searching for her similarly enhanced siblings. Along the way she teams up with cyber-journalist Logan Cale to fight corruption and lay the smack down on assorted bag guys. Bravo!

8. Alice
Appears in: Resident Evil franchise | Played by: Milla Jovovich

Star of one of the most enduring sci-fi franchises out there, Alice has kicked ass through four Resident Evil films (with a fifth due out in 2012).  Even with amnesia Alice isn’t taking any shit and when she finds herself surrounded by the virus-infected undead she doesn’t hesitate to break some skulls. With her bare hands where necessary.



7. River Tam
Appears in: Firefly, Serenity | Played by: Summer Glau

She may seem like an emotionally fragile teen of questionable mental stability but when River lets loose nothing can stand in her way. Experimented on at a top-secret government research facility trying to create the perfect assassin, River is both a vulnerable, emotionally volatile individual and a weapon capable of delivering death with brutal speed and accuracy.

6. Number Six
Appears in: Re-imagined Battlestar Galactica franchise | Played by: Tricia Helfer

Now here’s a woman you really don’t want to cross…or encounter in the street even. While you’re ogling her perfect figure (usually barely concealed beneath skin-tight evening wear) she’s plotting the downfall of your entire species. Not only is she plotting it but, with the help of her fellow cylons, she’ll put her plans into motion with an efficiency and ruthlessness that will have you dead before you even know what hit you.

She’s not all good looks and dastardly plans either. Just ask Starbuck what it’s like to go toe to toe in a fistfight with the lovely Number Six. She packs a decent punch and she won’t hesitate to use it.

5. Trinity

Appears in: The Matrix franchise | Played by: Carrie-Anne Moss

Who could ever forget that lycra suit? But Trinity wasn’t just an impressive figure in a form-fitting cat suit. No sirree, the woman could kick some serious butt with the best of them.

Like all the women on this list she didn’t take any shit and certainly wasn’t looking for a helping hand from the boys. She gave as good as she got and put her body on the line to free humanity from the clutches of the matrix.

4. Sarah Connor
Appears in: Terminator franchise | Played by: Linda Hamilton (films), Lena Heady (TV show)

Like Ripley before her, Sarah Connor represents a new generation of action heroines who are willing to step into what would once have been a masculine role.  In The Terminator (1984) Connor finds herself in a one-on-one battle with a vicious machine from the apocalyptic future bent on her destruction.

Throughout the franchise she goes on to become a tough-as-nails fighter who is determined to protect her son and fight for humanity’s future. This is not a woman to be messed with and she becomes a legend among the human resistance.

3. Princess Leia Organa
Appears in: Star Wars IV – VI | Played by: Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia may not have piloted a fighter or singlehandedly defeated a vicious alien but she was never afraid of a firefight and always in the forefront of the action. You have to hand it to Leia, she had balls (figuratively speaking) whether it was giving Vader a piece of her mind or waltzing into Jabba’s palace to rescue her man, Leia didn’t hesitate to do what needed to be done regardless of the risk. Not only that but she was one of the original members of the Rebel Alliance and when you’re living under totalitarian military rule it takes courage to throw your lot in with a vastly outnumber band of freedom fighters.

Leia also represents a vital step in the evolution of the modern sci-fi heroine, just nine years before Leia was fighting for galactic democracy in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) the women of Lost In Space (1965-1968) spent most of their time preparing tasty snacks for the menfolk. Leia was part of a new generation of blaster-wielding action women who were just as capable as their male counterparts.

2. Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace
Appears in: Re-imagined Battlestar Galactica franchise | Played by: Katee Sackhoff

Interestingly, like Ripley before her, the character of Starbuck was also originally a man. Based on the 1978 character (played by Dirk Benedict) Starbuck is a cocky viper pilot with a cavalier disregard for the rules. 

Whether slamming back the liquor in the mess, taking a crack at a fellow officer in the boxing ring or blowing cylons out of the sky, Starbuck doesn’t take any crap from anybody. If you’re looking for a wing-man (wing-lady?) you can’t go wrong with Starbuck – as long as she isn’t cooling her heels in the brig for striking a superior officer!


1. Ellen Ripley
Appears in: Alien franchise
Played by: Sigourney Weaver

What could be more iconic than the moment Ripley delivers that immortal line in Aliens – “Get away from her you bitch!”

It is a well-known factoid that the character of Ripley was originally intended to be a man but in the end Weaver was cast in order to differentiate Alien (1979) from other, male-dominated science fiction of the time. Ripley was a landmark character for female action heroes and she helped define a new generation on women in the genre.

With grit and determination she out-lived every guy on the ship and showed that alien who was boss. Her supreme ass-kicking skills have earned her the top spot on this list.


Fortunately for all sci-fi fans everywhere there is an abundance of women in the genre who deserve recognition. Any top ten list is always going to be a subjective one bound to meet with disagreement. Here at Liberation Frequency there were days of internal wrangling, last minute suggestions and raised eyebrows over who should appear on the list. If you think we’ve missed someone vital or been criminally negligent in our selection, let us know on the forum!

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