Scifi Moments – When Machines Die

Science fiction films being what they are can give unique personalities to machines of different kinds, be they computers, robots or spacecraft. The moments when these machines are killed off are moments of sadness. These are some of the most memorable sad moments from science fiction movies. If you can think of others that are more memorable then let me know!hal - Copy

2001 A Space Odyssey- Hal

Hal was the killer computer from 2001, highly intelligent and able to run the entire discovery spacecraft by himself. HAL mysteriously malfunctioned, killing a crewman Frank to get Commander Dave Bowman out of the spacecraft so he could kill those hibernating by evacuating the atmosphere from it.

Dave manged to get back to the Discovery and shut him down. Despite his calm and maniacal voice, you can’t help but feel for HAL as he is gradually deactivated.

Terminator 2


Time, time travel and paradoxes always seem to cause problems and put many heroes to a sticky end. This is very well demonstrated in Terminator 2 when Arnie’s character after having been nearly smashed to pieces allows himself to be lowered into molten steel in order to destroy all trace of Skynet’s Terminator technology to stop Skynet’s creation in the first place.

As Kryten once said: “Today’s been a bit of a bummer really!”

Shame it didn’t work.

The Black Hole – BOB


BOB was the bashed up little droid from the Black Hole, with a southern accent he brought out the love of the underdog in the audience. His memory banks clocked their last cycles after he crossed the formidable Maximilian. His buddy Vincent had to say a sad goodbye to BOB after the fight with the spacecraft disintegrating around them.

The Starship Enterprise


After the death of Admiral Kirk’s son, Kirk had to surrender the Enterprise to his Kingon enemy. But not before he set the ship to self destruct. This created a scene that audiences were nothing less than stunned at.

Drone 3 (Luis) from Silent Running


A little known (I nearly forgot this film too) called silent running saw a crew member defy orders to destroy the lifedomes they were carrying, kill his fellow crew members and go rogue and silent in order to protect the life in the dome that he loved.

In this were three drones, 1, 2 and 3 later renamed to Huey, Dewey and Louie. Louie came to an unexpected end while outside the spacecraft and his foot got stuck.I couldn’t find anything on YouTube on this scene. But this is a very different SciFi flick, it’s a mix of beauty, death and sadness with an ending you don’t expect.

I hope you liked this, I’m planning on making more SciFi film moments as there are so many. Any suggestions welcome.

Planet Simon


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32 thoughts on “Scifi Moments – When Machines Die

  1. These are great choices, Simon. I would second the motion above, that Roy Batty’s speech at the end of (the first) Blade Runner be added. From what I understand, Rutger Hauer (sp?) improvised some of that. It’s always given me tears (in the rain and not!). Also, I’d have to watch it again, but I feel like there are some really good dialogue moments in Bicentennial Man, from both Robin Williams’ android and Sam Neill’s character on life and death, even if or despite it’s being billed as a kind of sci-fi comedy-drama.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was very much part of the show. When you think about it the first lines say these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Not the crew… So I see where you’re at.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly. There was a sense that the poeple would come and go, but the symbol of exploration, the enterprise, would always continue. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. 😳 The dangers of being a literature student. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Optimus Prime in the original Transformers animation movie. The scene where he dies always tugs at the heart strings! I have never seen Black Hole before, but after watching that clip, I am off to watch the whole thing now! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had forgotten about Optimus in that original. The only time i ever saw it was a rare trip to the movies.
      I remember it was pretty big at the time though. Thanks for that trip into nostalgia 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s amazing how attached you can get to non-human characters, isn’t it? I know he doesn’t die, but that scene in Short Circuit 2 when Johnny Five gets beaten up completely traumatised me as a kid. I still can’t watch it! 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I was thinking about putting that in but of course he doesn’t die. I love Short Circuit when I was a kid too and they should have done more with number Jonny 5

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Terminator 2 scene was my favourite.
    I know he didn’t actually die, but ‘Bishop’ in Aliens had a good ‘exit’


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