Bounty Hunters are a staple of popular science fiction. Bad-ass, tough as nails, guns for hire who don’t take crap from anybody and only looking to get paid, they capture our imagination. But who are the worst of the worst in this elite club of galactic rogues? Here are my picks for science fiction’s best bounty hunters.
Samus Aran (Metroid)
Samus Aran is without doubt the most bad-ass woman in video games. It should come as no surprise then that she’s also a bounty hunter. Inspired by tough as nails heroine Ripley of the Alien films, Samu Aran didn’t have the easiest childhood. After Space Pirates raided her home and killed her parents, Samus was taken in by the mysterious alien race known as the Chozo. Infusing her with their DNA and training her in the art of combat, the Chozo granted her one final gift – a powersuit. Samus then set out to join the Galactic Federation. Samus didn’t particularly like how the Federation did things, and decided she would be better served working alone and becoming a bounty hunter. Now she traverses the galaxy taking on various jobs, her most famous involving the Space Pirates and their biological weapon the Metroids. Oh, and yes, she has a laser cannon arm.
Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)
Any character portrayed by Harrison Ford becomes instantly awesome, and Rick Deckard is no exception. Coming from the Ridley Scott masterpiece Blade Runner, inspired by the classic Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Rick Deckard is the best of the best. Laser pistol at his side, he is the epitome of detective/bounty hunter as he tracks down and “retires” Replicants (androids) that have escaped to Earth. He may even be a Replicant himself. If that’s the case, it just makes Rick Deckard that much cooler.
Jubal Early (Firefly)
Even though Jubal Early is only in one episode of Joss Whedon’s cult TV show Firefly, he definitely leaves a lasting impression. The eccentric and psychotic bounty hunter is out for the bounty on Serenity crew member River Tam, and is willing to do anything to get to her. Early infiltrates the ship silently and efficiently, cornering ship mechanic Kaylee. As he rambles on about philosophic matters, viewers realize that Early is a pretty messed up guy, eventually threatening to rape Kaylee if she didn’t do as he said. Even though Early is likely dead after being jettisoned out into space with only a small supply of oxygen, he will always be remembered as the character who closed out Whedon’s short lived series, uttering the shows final words “Well…here I am.”
Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop)
A laid back, sarcastic, and proficient killer, Spike Spiegel is just one of several bounty hunters that make up the crew of the spaceship Bebop, of legendary anime Cowboy Bebop fame. A skilled marksman and martial artist, Spike once was a member of an infamous crime organization known as the Red Dragon Syndicate. After falling in love with his partner’s girlfriend Julia, he fakes his own death to escape the Syndicate and create a new life with her. Things don’t go exactly as planned after Julia bails on him and Spike eventually partners with ex-cop turned bounty hunter Jet Black to catch various fugitives. Bang.
Boba Fett (Star Wars)
Boba Fett is THE bounty hunter of science fiction. When moviegoers first met him in The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett instantly cemented his place in galactic history as the bounty hunter all others are based on. Who is the mysterious man behind that killer looking helmet, sporting a no nonsense attitude and making off with Han Solo, who next to Boba Fett is the next baddest dude in the Star Wars universe? Every one of Boba Fett’s traits, from his trademark gadgets to the helmet, would all become a staple of bounty hunter characters to come. Even though George Lucas gave him the shaft literally in Return of the Jedi (Boba Fett!? Where!?) and ruined some of his mystique by revealing him as a kid in Attack of the Clones, Boba Fett still reigns supreme as the most notorious bounty hunter in all of science fiction.
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