Maria – Metropolis
One of the original movie robots has been remastered quite a few times on both DVD and Blu-ray. Even today, she still looks just as good as ever. Some of the robots on our list have had a revelatory moment, where their exterior human appearance is revealed to be a disguise for the robot underneath.
Like Maria’s design, everything about Metropolis is ahead of its time. It is one of the original sci-fi movies and yet, even today, the concept of a robot-in-disguise is all too common in contemporary cinema. Her pre-reveal personality shares the compassion and humanity that many of the heroes on our list share.
Optimus Prime – Transformers
Bumblebee may be the friendliest Autobot, but Optimus Prime is THE Autobot. He runs the show and he kicks some serious ass. Sure, Megatron and other foes have knocked him down a few times, but with a helpful human hand he continues to rise to the challenge and save the day. His strength and leadership are Prime’s most prevalent features – but when the battle ensues, his weapons are second-to-none. Get too close and he’ll slice you in half with his retractable sword, of which we hope to see even more of in Dark of the Moon.
Between television, movies and the toy line, Optimus has been everywhere. He is the face of the Transformers franchise and has been voiced by icons like Peter Cullen. Better yet is his propensity for memorable and inspiring quotes. Coupled with a perfect voice, his one-liners have carried his legacy across Transformers lore just as much as his battle-tested fighting skills.
Pris – Blade Runner
There are many great characters in Blade Runner. Roy Batty nearly made this list, but Pris tops him thanks to her unbridled sexuality. Many even consider Deckard to be a replicant (the movie’s terminology for androids), including director Ridley Scott, but the general uncertainty keeps him off the final list – feel free to debate this in the comments section. For now, the assassin Pris makes our list. She is wild and out-of-control, yet somehow seems like a beast that can be tamed. Her aggressive nature steals the scene every time she appears on screen – Daryl Hannah’s performance is mesmerizing.
While the FemBots may take the cake on pure sexuality, Pris is a femme fatale in every sense of the word. Her bizarre look is likely considered beautiful in the gritty world she lives in, but her attitude is still just as wild. Between her gymnast moves and primal mannerisms, few women onscreen are more intriguing than Pris. Fascination alone put her right in the heart of our list.
Robby The Robot – Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet had a lot of great things going for it when it hit theaters. State-of-the-art special effects, a cerebral storyline based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” the very first electronic soundtrack and Leslie Nielsen – all these helped make it a science fiction classic. But mostly what folks remember is Robby the Robot, who stole the scene every time he showed up on the silver screen.
Designed by MGM’s master production artist Robert Kinoshita (who also created the robot for Lost in Space), Robby was seven feet tall, nearly indestructible and generally well-intentioned – if a bit clueless. He became a pop culture icon after Forbidden Planet, making cameo appearances in dozens of movies and TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Wonder Woman. Robby’s distinctive appearance influenced fictional robot designs for decades.