A Compendium of the Most Iconic Vehicles From Science Fiction
The great thing about science fiction is that in the many universes we’ve grown to know and love, anything is possible. Through a seemingly endless amount of science fiction movies, books, and TV shows, we’ve been introduced to an array of amazing storylines, characters, and, of course, the impressive powers that these superheroes and villains wield. But one aspect of these fantastical worlds that we can’t overlook is the notable vehicles that take our favorite characters on their wild journeys from one world to the next.
We’ve watched these vessels soar through space at the speed of light, take deadly blows from their enemies, and even travel through time. But how much do we really know about the inner workings of these remarkable vehicles? Parts Geek decided to take a look under the hood of 50 of the most iconic vehicles from science fiction to find out. They looked into the max speeds that each vehicle was able to reach, the type of engine or power source that makes them run, and even the creator who brought each one to life.
In this compendium of iconic vehicles from science fiction, it’s no surprise to see that some of the most beloved rides from Star Wars made the cut. No list would be complete without the Millennium Falcon, the Imperial-Class Star Destroyer, and quite possibly the most iconic vehicle in all of science fiction: the Death Star. While the Death Star is able to reach speeds faster than light, it will never be able to outrace the Millennium Falcon, which is known to be “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.”
Never fear, Trekkies: Some of your most beloved space vessels have also made the list! Compare the size, max speed, and power source of the classic USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) from the original Star Trek series to newer starships like the USS Voyager (NCC-74656). Their max speeds are listed as Warp 9 and Warp 9.975 respectively, but just how much faster is the USS Voyager than the USS Enterprise? YouTuber EC Henry decided to do a warp speed comparison of these and other vehicles from the Star Trek universe. He found that due to The Next Generation’s use of a new warp speed scale, the difference in the speeds of these two ships is far greater than one would think. The USS Enterprise was found to reach 512 times the speed of light, but with the new scale, the USS Voyager reached incredible speeds of 4,354 times the speed of light!
If you’re now wondering who would win in an epic battle between starships from the Star Wars and Star Trek universes, you’re not alone. Torsten Adair with The Beat decided to compare a variety of factors between the USS Enterprise and an Imperial Star Destroyer to determine which would fare better in a fight against one another. With the hyperspace capabilities of the ISD as well as its powerful shields and mass weaponry, the Enterprise may not stand a chance if these two were to come to blows.
This compendium is full of classics like the aforementioned ships, but there were some unexpected, albeit iconic in their own right, vehicles that also make an appearance. One was Eagle 5, the 1986 Winnebago RV turned spacecraft from Spaceballs, with its “ludicrous speed” powered by secret hyperjets. You’ll feel nostalgic at the sight of E.T.’s round, almost cartoonish spaceship. Then, you’ll laugh once you notice that the Planet Express ship from Futurama found its way here; take a glimpse at its vibrant shade of green! Even the time-traveling DeLorean hit the correct speed of 88 mph to make it to 2020 and land on this list.
An interesting aspect of this compendium is how each section includes vehicles that are roughly the same size for a direct comparison. For instance, did you realize that Voltron is nearly the same size as the Heart of Gold from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Or that the Borg Cube from Stark Trek could fit roughly four Prawn Motherships from District 9 inside of its transwarp walls?
While the City Destroyer from Independence Day has a diameter of roughly 100,000 feet and looms over almost all of the vehicles on this list, it’s no match for the biggest of all, the Death Star. The Death Star is said to be 75 miles in diameter, which is plenty of room to house the 1.7 million military personnel and 400,000 droids it’s estimated to hold.
Next time you sit down to binge one of your favorite sci-fi movie franchises, see how many of these remarkable vehicles you’re able to recognize. You’ll be sure to impress your fellow moviegoers with your newfound knowledge of the power and speed behind these iconic rides.