With the spotlight firmly on gender roles and equality right now, it’s only fair that we take a look at some of the greatest kickass female leads in cinema history. With the upcoming release of Alien Covenant, we take a look at 5 of the greatest movie badasses, from master hackers, to Princesses, to former waitresses.
Ellen Ripley (Alien Franchise)
The lead character in the Alien franchise, Ellen Ripley turned the idea of gender roles on their head, as previous to the films debut (1979), little to no females had starred as leads in an action film, let alone a sci-fi film. She is introduced as the warrant officer of the Nostromo, a spaceship returning to Earth. Having been placed in stasis, the crew is awakened when the ship receives a transmission of unknown origin. Ripley appears in four of the Alien films, and also features in the video games Colonial Marines and Isolation.
Sarah Connor (Terminator Franchise)
Initially following the typical damsel in distress trope, Sarah Connor became a hardened warrior and determined fighter throughout the films and series. Featured in the first installment as a college student and part time waitress, eventually developing into a wanted fugitive living off the grid. Although not the only actress to play the character, Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of Sarah Connor is considered to be highly influential, and was welcomed to critical acclaim, by both fans and the press.
The Bride (Kill Bill 1&2)
Codenamed Black Mamba, The Bride is the central protagonist of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies. Originally a part of a secret group of assassins named the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she is a talented and dangerous fighter trained under martial arts master Pai Mei and served at the right hand of her boss and lover, the infamous Bill.
Lisbeth Salander (Millenium Series)
Author Stigg Larsson stated that he wrote the character on what he imagined Pippi Longstocking might have been like as an adult. She first appeared in the 2005 novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and featured in three Swedish language film adaptations of the series, and the American remake in 2011. A world-class computer hacker, she works under the code name “Wasp” and is a prominent figure in an international hacker collective known as the Hacker Republic.
Leia Organa (Star Wars Franchise)
Star Wars is one of the most loved franchises in the world, expanding from the silver screen, to merchandise, cartoons and even slot games! Princess of the planet Alderaan, a member of the Imperial Senate and an agent of the Rebel Alliance, Princess Leia is one of the most well-known characters in both sci-fi and cinematic history. After her home planet is destroyed, she joins forces with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star, a planet sized space station used to wreak destruction.