In honor of the remake of Day the Earth Stood Still, I thought it would be quite appropriate to do a top ten of some of the greatest individual extra terrestrial characters of pop culture. I tried to pick a fair amount of characters from both television and film but I mostly ended up with just characters from cinema. So there’s no confusion, this list is specifically individual characters no alien races. If I had done that then I’d basically of been up to my ears in Klingons and Wookies and that’s just far too overwhelming. It was hard enough for me to sort through the Star Wars universe and pick specific characters but I think I managed a fairly respectable list. I’d like to thank Sean for significantly helping me decide on upon certain characters worth inclusion and I hope I don’t disappoint to many. Without further ado here are some of our favorite intergalactic individuals.
10. Marvin the Martian (Looney Tunes (1948)
Portrayed by: Mel Blanc
Greatest Moment: His appearance in that Duck Dodgers short was pretty good. I can’t remember anything specifically but I always enjoyed that as a kid.
Background: Marvin the Martian may not be as notable or relevant as he once was, but with his snappy little outfit, short fuse and stuffy little voice you can’t ignore his greatness. Though only appearing in five original Looney Tunes shorts, Marvin has developed a strong following over the years and is probably the most memorable cartoon alien of all time. I mean who’s he gonna compete with? That stupid little green dude from The Flintstones? That guy was a total douchebag. This Mars native’s plans of destruction were always foiled by the likes of Bugs Bunny and Duck Dodgers but they’ll never be able to stop the determination of this little martian.
9. Klaatu (The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Portrayed by: Michael Rennie
Greatest Moment: His arrival on Earth
Background: The peaceful Klaatu was wise beyond his years and actually quite charming. Some of his best moments were his interractions with Helen Benson and her son, but we all remember his iconic arrival on Earth. Klaatu had a lot of personality and you can thank Michael Rennie for his memorable performance in perhaps the best sci-fi film of the 50s and certainly one of the best of all time. I don’t have high hopes for the remake that opens tomorrow but I loved the original so I’ll probably still take a peak.
8. Jabba the Hutt (Return of the Jedi (1983))
Portrayed by: Larry Ward (Voice), David Alan Barclay, Toby Philpott, and Mike Edmonds (Puppeteers)
Greatest Moment: When Leia was choking him in and his huge tongue was flapping all around and he was making gross noises.
Background: Jabba was a disgusting morbidly obese jerk, but you got to respect that fact that the guy didn’t seem to have any trouble getting what he wanted. Whether it was having Han Solo in Carbonite or a scantily clad Leia by his side, Jabba was the ultimate gangster of the Star Wars universe. His grotesque appearance and booming voice has forever stuck itself into the minds of movie goers and has been parodied all over the place. I mean if it wasn’t for Jabba than we wouldn’t have Pizza the Hutt from Sapceballs.
7. Predator (Predator (1987)
Portrayed by: Kevin Peter Hall
Greatest Moment: His final confrontation with Arnold.
Background: Before he became the subject of a dozen mediocre comic books and novels, not to mention the underwhelming AVP franchise he was the lead villain in John McTiernan’s 1987 Sci-Fi classic. An intelligent and elusive warrior, the Predator was a force to be reckoned with and as Arnold so memorably put it “One Ugly Motherfucker.” He didn’t seem to have much trouble wiping out most of Arnold’s squadron but his final battle with Arnold was damn memorable. Even though he was eventually defeated look at how he ended it all, he freaking blew himself up laughing with his own self destruct mechanism! The Predator was instantly shot into alien superstar status with this action packed adventure.
6. Alien (Alien (1979))
Portrayed by: Bolaji Badejo
Greatest Moment: It was pretty scary when he killed Harry Dean Stanton. The finale was good too.
Background: In space no one can hear you scream and that’s a damn shame cause this thing literally scared the shit out of everyone back in 1979 and still does today. A sleek and vicious creature you have to give props to H.R. Giger for dreaming up this nightmarish creation. From the moment it burst out of John Hurt’s stomach to it’s demise of being sucked into space. This alien made for the perfect sci-fi villain in Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi feature. It dripped acid, had superhuman stamina and basically had everything you could ever want in a monstrous extra terrestrial, the Alien was legit.
5. Chewbacca (Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Portrayed by: Peter Mayhew
Greatest Moment I liked it when he was all pissed after losing that weird monster chess game.
Background: Everyone’s favorite furry sidekick comes in at the next spot and you just couldn’t have a list of alien life-forms without him. Equipped with his lucky Bowcaster and possessing one of the most memorable howls in film history, Chewbacca was an excellent partner to the freewheeling Han Solo and one of the most memorable critters in the Star Wars Universe. The 7 foot 4 first mate of the Millennium Falcon won over the hearts of movie goers in the sci-fi classic and has popped up all over the place since then. Possibly most memorable for being somewhat of comic relief in the original trilogy one thing is for sure is that his home is where his spirit goes and if you dare taunt him he’ll rip your arms off and kill your friends.
4. E.T. (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Portrayed by: Pat Welsh (Voice), Tamara De Treaux, Pat Bilon, Matthew De Meritt, Caprice Roth (costume)
Greatest Moment: Remember when E.T. got drunk? That was bomb dot com.
Background: Next is the friendly little extra terrestrial that warmed our hearts in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster and shot into pop culture as everyone’s favorite intergalactic traveller. Stranded on Earth after being ambushed by government agents, E.T. befriends the young Elliot forming a heartfelt friendship and going through plenty of both humorous and emotional escapades. He wears women’s clothing, goes trick or treating, eats Reeses Pieces all while on the run from the guva-ment people. Not to mention that he has sweet healing powers and a telekinesis. You have to be a sick, twisted heartless monster if you can’t warm up to this friendly little alien.
3. Spock (Star Trek (1966-1969)
Portrayed by: Leonard Nimoy
Greatest Moment: Sacrificing himself to safe the Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Background: No one ever though this pointy eared Lieutenant would catch on but in just a short amount of time, he quickly became one of the most popular characters on the show and possibly one of the greatest sci-fi characters of all time. Born on the planet Vulcan to a Vulcan father and a human mother, Kirk’s level headed first mate always keeps his cool. What’s great about Mr. Spock is that even though he was raised by a cold calculating species he still has that human touch of emotionality. Whether he’s spouting his trademark phrase “highly illogical” or giving some douche the Vulcan neck pinch, Spock’s always hip in my book. I can’t say I’m that educated on Star Trek but one thing is for sure is that I respect Spock.
2. Yoda (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1981))
Portrayed by: Frank Oz (Voice/Puppeteer)
Greatest Moment: I’m really more of a Yoda in the original trilogy kind of guy, so I liked it when Yoda was all crazy and hitting R2-D2 with his cane.
Background: Wise beyond his years, masterfully skilled in the Jedi arts and a funny little puppet, Yoda played a large part in what’s often considered the best Star Wars installment. Living on the harsh swamp of Dagobah in a little hut you’d never expect that a senile creature like him would be a Jedi Master. That’s part of what I like about Yoda, he seems like the most unlikely candidate for a jedi master with his size and funny appearance but looks can be deceiving. He’s easily become one of the most memorable characters in the franchise but I’ll always love him best in his first appearance. Speaking in a strange almost backwards pattern, voiced by the multi talented Frank Oz (Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster and a talented director) Yoda speaks of infinite wisdom and is the ultimate philosopher of the Star Wars universe.
1. Kal-El a.k.a Superman (Action Comics #1 (1938)
Portrayed by: George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, Brandon Routh… Uhh Dean Cain and more.
Greatest Moment: Duking it out with General Zod (Terrence Stamp) in Superman II (1980.
Background: Perhaps one of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture. Known throughout the world as the definitive superhero, Superman has done basically everything in his 70 year existence and continues to entertain the masses in various outlets today. He’s been in comics, radio shows, cartoons, television, movies, toy lines, crappy video games and more! He stands for truth, justice, the American way and will probably always have a place in our ever changing go-go gadget world. Born on the planet Krypton, the young Kal-El was sent to Earth during his planet’s demise landing on Earth, where he would forever make his mark. A classic fish out of water story, Superman would end up disguising himself as mild mannered reporter Clark Kent. Breaking out of his seemingly normal life to save helpless souls, duke it out with Lex Luthor or battle mean tempered aliens Superman is timeless. He is a completely selfless, moral and heroic character that will always have a place in the hearts of many.
Kang and Kodos (The Simpsons (1990)
The Blob (The Blob (1958)
The Thing (The Thing From Another World (1951) and The Thing (1982)
Edgar (Men in Black (1997))
Mo-Ron (Freakazoid (1995))