The Science fiction genre has interested film-makers since the earliest days of the cinema, though not often to the benefit of the film or of science fiction. Most such films have been adaptations of science-fiction literature and comic strips. But in a genre which has always been dominated by the male hero narrative, what role have women had to play? This work will discuss how the representation of women have changed, and perhaps more importantly stayed the same, in science fiction films. Firstly looking at a brief history of science fiction film, and what sorts of role women had in the films. The effects with be shown of the rise in feminist film theory in the 1970's which led to a shift in the female representation in films. Examples from other genres, such as westerns and horror, will help us to argue how the science fiction genre has helped to progress the now more equal role women play in cinema. .
The earliest film to treat fantasy, if not science fiction proper, was Le voyage dans la lune(A Trip to the Moon), created by the French film-maker and magician Georges Mélies in 1902. However Science-fiction cinema was, until the 1970s, increasingly focused on unnatural creatures, such as King Kong and Godzilla, giving rise to a subgenre known as horror or monster films. Films featuring other subjects such as alien beings, mutant creatures, or soulless humans were more often than not stereotyped melodramas. Now Science Fiction has five major themes which unites them under the one genre. They are; the fallibility of megalomaniacal scientists, the urgency of international cooperation against invaders from outer space or monsters from the earth, the rash hostility of people to anything alien, and the evil aspects of technology.
The recent growth of the internet, the advances in computer systems and telecommunications technology have been influential on recent science fiction films.