In this spoiler filled article I want to discuss the times when writers of Sci-fi really surprised me. It’s rare that movies or television take risks and defying the expectations of your audience is a huge risk. It is far easier to tell the story they are expecting and have the special effects solve everything.
5. The Matrix Reloaded/ Matrix Revolutions
I didn’t say good moments. These movies were unexpected to me mostly because they were giant balls of horrible. There were a couple of good moments in them but the bad outweighs the good by enough that I have completely rewritten the story in my mind. In my story Neo finds out that the “real world” is really part of the Matrix as well, made unpleasant for the same reason that the first matrix isn’t perfect. Upon realizing this he wakes up in the real, real world. This even makes sense with him having powers in the “real world”.
(check out How it should have ended for more like this)
4. He’s been a ghost the whole time
I had the sixth sense ruined for me multiple times before I watched it, but this was certainly a great moment. A moment so great in fact that it has just about ruined M. Night’s career as he tries to put a moment like this in every one of his movies.
3. William Shatner sings for George Lucas.
While not in a movie this took one of the longest running rivalries in Sci-fi and played off it perfectly. If you haven’t’ seen the youtube video you have to watch it.
2. Luke, I am your father
I wasn’t watching all that many science fiction movies when this moment happened, but I can’t imagine anyone was expecting it. This moment has been watered down by 30 years of star wars talk, prequels and other silly coincidences in the Star Wars Universe( Robot chicken parody’s this perfectly) but at the moment it was perfect.
1. Serenity – Watching Serenity I wasn’t surprised to see someone die. You have to expect it from Joss Whedon who has always been willing to kill off characters, which was why it was so brilliant of him to lull people into a false sense of security by having Sheppard Book die. Ok, he’s done it, the rest of the characters are.... Bam… Dead.
There are people who hate this, but that is how it should be. Death is supposed to be hard and pulling back from that too much in a movie is a problem. This moment is #1 for me not because it’s better than others but because I experience it personally.