By Aditi Patwardhan. Posted on May 16, 2016
Genres in cinema can be tricky. We define a particular genre and then we see films not abiding by the set norms of genres, many times presenting to us a nice mix of little somethings from different genres.
The thing is, we segregate things simply for our convenience. That's how we like it- things put inside boxes with labels on it and stacked categorically in neat rows. So we have stacks of drama, fantasy, thriller, sci-fi, noir, mystery and many more in our mind. However, despite the categorical definitions, we often find ourselves grappling with the boundaries of different genres, hardly ever coming across one satisfying definition.
When we talk about science fiction, there's a wide range of films that we can bunch together under the genre. At one end, we have films like the Star Trek and Star Wars series, then we have films that focus on aliens like War of the Worlds and Monsters, and then there are films that explore the same from a rather humane angle in films like E. T. and Avatar. Then we also have these deeply philosophical films, which put forward existential questions through a sci-fi setting, like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Her or Interstellar.
It's very difficult to define the genre and even more so to put all these films in the same basket. However, we can still find some common points in all of them, which makes it possible to describe, if not define precisely the sci-fi genre broadly.
When it's so complicated for us as viewers, it could be even more confusing when we decide to write a science fiction. While I was struggling to find the best suited definition for the genre, I found this excerpt from an article by Yvonne Coleman and immediately thought that this could be the most fitting thing that's been said about the genre, albeit a little vague.
He says, "(To make a science fiction), Take a scientific fact or theory, add a futuristic or other-worldly setting, stir in an imaginative plot and fascinating characters, and a science fiction novel emerges from the cosmic mix."
And then he goes on to state the most important characteristic of sci-fiction.
The best authors of science fiction turn a 'what if?' into a 'why not?'"
The best way to understand how to explore this 'why not' is to watch, understand and learn how it's used by screenwriters. And reading screenplays is one of the best ways for writers to enhance their craft.
We have therefore, tried here to compile scripts of some of the best science fiction films. Of course, we know it's not the most holistic list, as the prerequisite is to find a downloadable script online. Also, we have left out the superhero films, considering that there are too many of them and we'd best do justice to them by making a separate listicle one them.
If you enjoy reading scripts, you might also want to check this out list of scripts out.
Go ahead and download these now. Let us know if you find more. We'd love to add those to the list!
One of the greatest science fiction films ever, 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered among the best films of Stanley Kubrick. Made way back in 1968, the film tells the story, where humans finds a mysterious object buried beneath the surface of the moon & with the help of an intelligent computer sets off on a quest.
The script of 2001: A Space Odyssey can be downloaded here.
The film is the very first rendition of the planet of the apes series and is still considered a masterpiece. It is a tale of an astronaut crew crashing and landing on a planet in the distant future, where they find intelligent talking apes dominating the planet and humans are oppressed and enslaved.
The script of Planet of the Apes can be downloaded here.
Another one of Kubrick's classic, the film narrates the story of a charismatic delinquent youth Alex DeLarge, who gets jailed in futuristic Britain and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government to deal with the rising crime problem. However, nothing goes according to plan.
The script of A Clockwork Orange can be downloaded here.
As Peter Bradshaw says, "It's the purity of the story that has made this film endure, the classic themes handed down through the ages." The beginning of one of the biggest film franchisee ever, in the George Lucas film, Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids, to take up the mission of saving the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, and also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
The script of Star Wars can be downloaded here.
Blade Runner takes place in year 2019, where LA has become a dark and depressing metropolis. A former police officer, Rick Deckard,is a blade runner, whose responsibility is to assassinate replicants, who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
The script of Blade Runner can be downloaded here.
In The Terminator, an indestructible cyborg, looking exactly like a human, time travels from 2029 to 1984. He is given the job to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son is predicted to lead the humanity in a war against the machines. A soldier from the war is then sent to protect her at all costs.
The script of The Terminator can be downloaded here.
Another one of the classic sci-fi films, Back to the Future is the story of a young man, who is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time machine invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.
The script of Back To The Future can be downloaded here.
Jurassic Park narrates the story of an ambitious experiment, where a theme park is planned and dinosaurs are cloned to be on exhibit. Aiming to bringing the era of the dinosaurs to life, the theme park, however, suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok and hell breaks loose.
The script of Jurassic Park can be downloaded here.
The Matrix has over the years gained a huge cult following. The film revolves around a computer hacker, who learns about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers from mysterious rebels.
The script of The Matrix can be downloaded here.
An extremely intriguing film, Donnie Darko is the story of a troubled teenager, who is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit, which manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.
The script of Donnie Darko can be downloaded here.
Exploring the humane side of the robotic artificial intelligence, AI is the story of a highly advanced robotic boy, who wishes to become "real" in order to regain the love of his human mother.
The script of AI Artificial Intelligence can be downloaded here.
There have been multiple versions of the film, the most famous being Tarkovsky's 1972 film. The 2002 film by Soderbergh is acclaimed critically as well. The film is about a troubled psychologist's journey, who is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.
The script of Solaris can be downloaded here.
The dystopian sciene fiction, Equilibrium takes place in a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal. It narrates the story of a man in charge of enforcing the law, who rises to overthrow the system.
The script of Equilibrium can be downloaded here.
The Island is the only place left in the world to actually live a life. Thousands of people stay at a facility waiting to go to the Island. However, the protagonist soon discovers that there's actually a sinister purpose going on at that facility and he needs to fight against the sinister plan.
The script of The Island can be downloaded here.
The acclaimed animated science fiction Wall-E is the story of a small waste-collecting robot from the distant future, who inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.
The script of Wall-E can be downloaded here.
The second highest grossing film ever, Avatar is the story of a paraplegic marine, who is dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission. Eventually he becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.
The script of Avatar can be downloaded here.
In Moon, astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
The script of Moon can be downloaded here.
One of Nolan's best works, Inception explores the world inside dreams, where a thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.
The script of Inception can be downloaded here.
A futuristic sci-fi thriller Looper takes place in year 2074. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is then sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits , who one day learns that the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
The script of Looper can be downloaded here.
A film combining the genres of romantic comedy with a twist of sci-fi, Her is the story of lonely writer, who develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need.
The script of Her can be downloaded here.
A lauded film of last year, Ex-Machina narrates the story of a young programmer,who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.
The script of Ex-Machina can be downloaded here.