The Horror Honeys: The Baddest-Ass Women of Sci-Fi: A Honey Switch Month List!

The Baddest-Ass Women of Sci-Fi: A Honey Switch Month List!

A Honey Switch Month List with January Sci-Fi Honey Linnie

Unlike most genres of film, one that is never for want of strong female role models is science fiction. Like many of the Honeys, I grew up on science fiction films, and to this day, they are still where I turn when I want to be reminded that Hollywood doesn't always get it wrong in its portrayal of fierce ladies. From as far back as the original Star Trek series, sci-fi has always known that women are just as smart, just as capable, and just as badass, as any male hero out here.

That's why for my first Honey Switch Month post, I decided to share my favorite kick-ass ladies of sci-fi! With the exception of the Star Wars series, I narrowed it down to one woman per franchise, which in the cases of Firefly, Orphan Black, and Battlestar Galactica wasn't easy. And realistically, these are just a handful of my favorites!

Not Included: Anyone that crossed over into fantasy, comic books, or horror.

In no particular order! (So don't get your space panties in a twist) and advance apologies to Doctor Who fans... I don't know the series well enough to do it justice, so please tweet at me with your Whovian entries!

Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) ~ The Star Wars Saga

Princess Leia Amidala Skywalker Organa Solo (and I thought my name was long) is one of the first sci-fi role models many of us grew up with, and that's because she was so much more than a slave in a metal bikini. Leia was a brilliant leader, an expert political negotiator, and a skilled fighter. She was strong, smart, and brave, and did the saving as much as she needed to be saved. In The Force Awakens, we saw that she remained ever the leader, now a General in the Resistance at the forefront of the fight against The First Order. If this list were in a particular order, Leia would always be first.

Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) ~ Fringe

Even when JJ Abrams' Fringe got a little... hinky... Anna Torv's Olivia Dunham was a badass FBI agent investigating the strangest cases that the universe had to offer. Later, as Torv pulled double duty as Olivia, and the alternate universe Fauxlivia (don't ask, just watch), Fringe fans were reminded that no matter where we were in the complex parallel worlds at the heart of the show, Olivia was a certified ass-kicker.

Rey Last Name Withheld (Daisy Ridley) ~ The Force Awakens

Pardon my Galactic Basic Standard, but fuck anyone who thinks Rey is anything but the role model a new generation of sci-fi fans have been waiting for. Daisy Ridley's (still fairly mysterious but come on... we all know she's a Skywalker) force-imbued pilot is one of the most important sci-fi characters of the last fifteen years. She doesn't need saving, but she isn't perfect. She is brave, but she isn't fearless. And even in the face of her own internal conflict, she stands up for what is right. Rey isn't just a hero for little girls; she's a hero that shows little boys how strong girls can be. And in times like these, Rey is exactly the hero we need.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) ~ The Alien films

Obviously, no list of kick-ass women in sci-fi would be complete without Ellen Ripley, the woman who stood up to the xenomorph four times and, more or less, lived to tell the tale. While everyone has there favorite (and least favorite) Alien film, you can't argue that Ripley's arc throughout the original four films is one of the most interesting in sci-fi history. And whether she's protecting a little girl or a ship full of burly space marines, there is no one more capable of saving your life when the goo hits the fan. 

Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) ~ Battlestar Galactica

And here we have the true love of my life, the woman who, in a time when I was questioning whether or not sci-fi had forgotten women, reminded me that it hadn't: Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. In the original BSG, Starbuck was a man, and actress Katee Sackhoff received death threats when it was announced she would take over the role in the new show. But all it took was the pilot episode to prove Sackhoff's Starbuck had more balls than her male counterpart ever dreamed of. Starbuck was flawed, conflicted, cocky, ambitious, and at the end of the day, absolutely everything. I will love her until my dying day, and if BSG is right about things... long beyond. So say we all.

Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) ~ Star Trek

As Lt. Uhura, the communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise, Nichelle Nichols is easily the most groundbreaking woman on this list. Nichols was one of the first African-American women to appear on television as something other than a maid, at a time when racial tensions were high in America. Nichols proved that women could be just as capable as men, and as a black woman, her strides were that much more important. The sci-fi world will forever be indebted to Nichelle Nichols, as will the female gender as a whole.

Leela (Katey Sagal) ~ Futurama

In a show full of chuckleheads, Leela was a cartoon version of Ripley, a woman who had no patience for bullshit, and who was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. But as much as I loved Leela's ass-kicking ways, I will always remember her in the finale, in which she and Fry find a way to go back to the beginning, and love each other all over again. All the ugly crying.

Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) ~ Firefly/Serenity

Picking a favorite woman from Firefly was next-to-impossible, as we all know Joss Whedon's skill at writing amazing female characters. And as much as I love Kaylee, Inara, and River, Gina Tores' Zoe will always be my fav. Zoe is the woman by Captain Malcolm Reynolds' side at all times. She is a war veteran, and in her husband Wash's words, a "warrior woman," who knows how to handle herself in combat. She loves fiercely, and is loyal beyond measure, especially to those aboard the Serenity. I will always love Zoe for her strength, and I will always tear up over her relationship with Wash. CURSE YOU WHEDON! CURSE YOU!

Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) ~ The X-Files

If you're looking for a lady to prove women can succeed in the sciences just as well as any man, look no further than Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully. As a doctor and a skeptic, Scully was the logical foil to Mulder's truth-seeking believer, and she ably represented the skeptic in all of us. But more than that, Scully showed a generation of girls that we could be anything we wanted to be: a scientist, a doctor, an FBI agent, a truth-chaser, or all of the above. And we can't wait to see what Scully is up to when she comes back this year.

Cosima Niehaus (Tatiana Maslany) ~ Orphan Black

How do you even begin to pick a favorite clone as played by Tatiana Maslany on the exceptional Orphan Black? For me, it came down to the clone I responded to most right away, despite my love for Helena and her insane antics. Cosima is a PhD student evolutionary developmental biology, which means she is able to understand exactly how she and her fellow clones came to be. I also love her for being complex and curious, while occasionally a little bit lacking in common sense, which isn't unusual among people so smart. While Cosima is my favorite, thanks to Maslany's performance, you could pick any clone and put her on the list, because she's that amazing.

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) ~ Terminator 1 & 2

In Terminator, Sarah Connor was a survivor, but by the sequel, she was a warrior. Sarah no longer needed to be saved, instead now completely capable of saving herself, and by extension, the future of humanity. She set the standard for all future women in sci-fi action films: stop behaving like a damsel in distress. Be your own hero.

Who is YOUR favorite lady of sci-fi?
Tell Linnie on Twitter: @linnieloowho