PacificRim

The Science Fiction genre has been through a lot over the past few decades. Back in the 70s and 80s, Sci-Fi was king, with films like Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and more re-defining the genre and garnering both mainstream and critical acclaim – all three of those films mentioned received Oscar Nominations for Best Picture, something as good as unfathomable for Science Fiction films today.

But after the rapid rise of the Blockbuster, the Studios began to dumb down material to the lowest common denominator, and the age of intelligent Sci-Fi and Space Opera was all but over, save for the occasional anomaly such as The Matrix, Contact, Gattaca, Minority Report, and a handful of others. Over the past ten or so years, Science Fiction films were mostly lowbrow affairs or Comic Book movies.

Recently, though, there has been something of a renaissance for smart, original Sci-Fi films, including intelligent Sci-Fi in the vein of Blade Runner as well as quality Space Opera, continuing the legacy that began with Star Wars. This resurgence can be traced back to 2009 with the release of Moon and District 9, two brilliant, original Sci-Fi concepts that have paved the way for many subsequent films. Now, with the announcement of the return of the Star Wars saga, it looks as tough this Sci-Fi renaissance is hear to say.

2012 gave us Looper, one of the best Sci-Fi films in years, and 2013 is shaping up to be an even more seminal year for the genre, with more Sci-Fi films being released than in any other year in recent memory. The following are ten of the most exciting, interesting, and original of the films slated for release this year. Hopefully they will live up to expectations and combine to create one of the most seminal years in Science Fiction history.

 

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This article was first posted on February 28, 2013