Top 11 Hottest, Gun-Totingest Women of Sci-Fi

When ladies in sci-fi movies and shows aren’t pegged down as eye-candy or arm-candy, they get to kick some serious ass and wield some even more serious firepower. And we’d like to honor these unsung sci-fi heroine hotties with our (sure to be contentious) Top 10. Enjoy!

1. Ellen Ripley

Alien saga (Sigourney Weaver)

Long before Sigourney Weaver was preaching at blue cat-people, she was kicking some serious acid-blooded ass as Ellen Ripley in Alien. The character was initially written as a male part, but thank goodness the producers changed their minds and cast Sigourney Weaver. If it weren’t for her honest and nuanced portrayal of terror, bravery and heroism, Ripley could’ve wound up as just another throw-away sci-fi hardass. But instead, we have Ellen Ripley. The perfect heroine. The greatest science fiction heroine of all time. Yes, all time.

In the final installment of the trilogy, Ripley shaved her head and sacrificed herself by leaping into a furnace whilst a baby alien burst out of her chest (ew). Top that.

2. Sarah Connor

Terminator series (Linda Hamilton)

When T2 hit theaters, so did an entirely new spin on Sarah Connor. She spent her years locked in a mental institution preparing to protect herself and her son from Sky Net, where she luckily had time to do a lot of bicep curls for our viewing enjoyment. On the outside, Sarah Connor may be hard and stoic, but she’s driven by the love for her son and her will to protect him, hell or high water. This is maternal-instinct turned really, really sexy.

3. Alice

Resident Evil series (Milla Jovovich)

After waking up with amnesia and following a team of commandoes into the heart of the zombie darkness, so to speak, Alice finds herself surrounded by crazy undead people infected with the “T Virus.” While everyone else is too busy panicking, wasting bullets or getting chomped on, Alice is on the frontlines dispatching zombies by busting necks with her hands, fancy roundhouse kicks and her thighs. Repeat: her thighs. Needless to say, she was the last lady standing.

4. Kara Thrace/Starbuck

Battlestar Galactica (Katee Sackhoff)

2004’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica series flipped the gender of Starbuck, and thank everything holy that they did. When we first meet Starbuck v2.0, she’s boozing it up and gambling everything away while chomping on a cigar like a pro. Needless to say, the masculine energy of the original Starbuck isn’t lost, and we are gifted with Kara Thrace, the incredibly hot ace fighter-pilot who absolutely oozes butch machismo. Watching her character evolve from a trouble-making rogue to an interplanetary visionary is a tv-trip worth taking time and time again. BSG is a wickedly clever show, and the creators managed to queer Kara Thrace into one of the most fantastic dyke icons on television without even making her gay.

5. Dana Scully

The X-Files (Gillian Anderson)

Not only did Special Agent Dana Scully help us realize how incredibly gay we are, but she showed the rest of the world how a whip-smart woman can be a dead sexy too. Recruited right out of college by the FBI, Scully was assigned to the X-Files, often employing her medical talents as a forensic pathologist and her sexiness talents as a sexy sexbomb. Scully played the “man of science” to Mulder’s “man of faith” in a refreshing, if basic, gender role-reversal. But Scully was not without nuance; her impenetrable stoicism lapsed into existential vulnerability from time to time, and those moments of tenderness made all the rest even more worthwhile.

Also, I think we mentioned this, but she made us all gay.

6. Buffy Summers

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar)

While most teenage girls in suburbia spend their evenings hanging out with friends and sexting on their Kins, Buffy Summers was tasked with local demon-extermination to protect her community of good ol’ Sunnydale. Sure, she had her share of boy (and girl, in the season 8 comics!) troubles, but her duty as vampire slayer always trumped her more teenaged concerns. And Buffy kicked ass, heartily: she didn’t even get a gun, just some stakes and the occasional crossbow.

7. Sydney Bristow

Alias (Jennifer Garner)

Sure, action-packed government conspiracy dramas are a dime a dozen, but Sydney Bristow isn’t your everyday special agent. Bristow gets to play with her fair share of high-tech gadgets and dons an endless array of disguises, but she gets her entire world turned upside-down in the process. We’ve got a lot of respect for a lady who gets tortured, shot, brainwashed, watches her loved ones get slaughtered, becomes a mother, learns she was trained as a sleeper agent from childhood and still managed to keep her shit together most of the time.

8. Rose da Silva

Silent Hill (Radha Mitchell)

They say that a woman could lift a car singlehandedly if her child were in danger, and when Rose da Silva’s daughter Sharon wanders off into the foggy town of Silent Hill, we’re pretty convinced she could swing that, no prob. While she’s never tasked with lifting a Ford Taurus or anything, she does have to survive ultra-creepy monster Pyramid Head, and shit like that should really earn you a purple heart or two. When Rose’s ferocious motherly (MILF-erly) instincts kick in, she’s gotta got to hell and back to save her daughter. And in this case hell involves weapon-wielding nurse-monsters– yikes. They both make it out alive in the end, of course, and it’s all because of Rose’s willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for her daughter. We love a mom who can throw down– can you tell? Also, if you’d like to see Radha Mitchell get down, go watch High Art.

9. Juliet Burke

LOST (Elizabeth Mitchell)

Juliet was a fertility doctor recruited to the Island to help solve some mysterious LOST-type phenomenon or another. And while she certainly got off-track in that endeavor, Juliet brought compassion to the camp of “the others.” Most of the female characters on the show were defined by the men they loved or fluttered between, but Juliet retained her tough individual spirit even when she and Sawyer paired up, in alterna-retroworld. Juliet was smart, tough, composed and even brave enough to detonate an atomic bomb (literally) by hand.

10. Rose Tyler

Doctor Who (Billie Piper)

Don’t let the pink head band and shapely eyebrows fool you: Rose Tyler does not mess around.  Rose started out as little more than a wide eyed shop-girl when the Doctor came storming into her life, but evolved into one of his most capable and intelligent companions over her two seasons. Instead of spending all of her time being cheeky or fawning over the Doctor, she made herself useful and faced off with some of his worst enemies without batting a well-mascaraed eyelash. With intelligence enough to outthink her ancient alien escort and bravery enough to cross time dimensions (that shit is tough), Rose is exactly the type of sidekick you’d want to have around in a tough, inter-dimensional spot.

11. Trinity

The Matrix trilogy (Carrie-Ann Moss)

No list could be complete without the poker-faced Trinity, played by Carrie-Ann Moss in the Matrix trilogy. While many of our hot sci-fi babes have a kind of rugged appeal, Trinity is a master-hacker who looks like she got dipped in a pool of molten leather. Trinity is super hot, has a semi-alternative lifestyle haircut, and not only does she pack heat, she can also just pwn your face using only 1s and 0s.


So that’s our top 10! What does your list look like? Tell us in the comments who you’d choose as the ultimate bangin’ sci-fi heroine. I have a feeling this is gonna turn into the British House of Commons in no time flat.

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Rachel B

living in southern california with a heart that belongs someplace colder and a wonderful girlfriend who loves the sun.
here are some important things:
favourite beatle is george. sara > tegan. coffee enthusiast. bookworm. tattoo collector.
@lasthonestlook @wordpress

Rachel has written 3 articles for us.


  1. Two things: This was nice to start the morning with, most def. Secondly, is this the Spinal Tap version? The list of ten goes to eleven. Not that I’m complaining…Were you blinded by the hotness of your own list and briefly lost the ability to reconcile ten and eleven? Yes, that must be it.:)

  2. Yay!

    But Buffy didn’t like guns.

    Sarah Connor… T2 came out when I was 14. And it was very confusing…like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.

    I would add Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) from Firefly/Serenity.

    I guess Lt. Tasha Yar doesn’t qualify as she technically used a phaser.

    • Yeah, but once she shot the hell out of a demon with a rocket launcher. I’d say that counts!

    • Heh, if I had done this list on my own it would have been ALL Joss Whedon/JJ Abrams ladies and most people would have been like, wtf man? ;)

    • Gina Torres in Firefly… I didn’t watch that series until a year ago so it doesn’t towards made-made-me-gay so much as made me a happy gay.

      Gina Torres also played Anna Espinosa in Alias. Anna was Sydney’s archenemy in the first season. Hot, hot hot. hot.

  3. Argh, it’s like you took my top 10 and made it an article on Autostraddle! ;)

    I’d have to add Faith (from Buffy, obvs) – though like Buffy she’s not so much gun-toting, as stake-toting (and mega weapons like axes and crazy sh*t like that)

  4. Starbuck is like groinal kryptonite to me, such is her ability to turn my insides into complete mush whenever she appears on screen.

    I’m not usually one for such flights of fancy, but I think she provokes that feeling that can happen with same-sex attraction where you can’t quite tell if you want to fuck them or be them, or most probably both, which would require, like, a transporter accident or something.

    • Absolutely! I simultaneously want to be THAT AWESOME (cigar smokin, gun pullin, ass kickin) and also she is HOT as HELL. (caps are needed here to indicate the extent to which I feel this)

        • Truer words were never spoken. I may be butch, but no one in their right mind would say they could be the butch to Kara’s femme. She steamrolls everyone. You know you shouldn’t date her, but you’d happily frak her (before her drama fraks your head).

  5. I would definitely vote Samantha Carter from Stargate SG-1 played by Amanda Tapping into my top 10.

  6. Remember that one episode of Alias that aired right after the Super Bowl where they made Sydney dress in various super slutty outfits to trick men into watching a smart kick ass woman? That was a good episode. The red outfit was the best.

    Also, is Alias sci-fi?

    • There was definitely a lot of sci-fi to it like how (spoiler!!!!) whatshisface was looking for immortality the whole time).

      But what sums it up is the giant red ball of death liquid. (still not happy with the giant red ball making a comeback at the end).

      • You’re right! I had forgotten about all that Rambaldi stuff. Also there were clones.

        I get easily distracted by the undercover outfits.

        • Yeah, it’s often called a ‘spy-fi’ because of the Rambaldi prophesies/inventions and the tech/gadgets that Marshall came up with that just weren’t possible! AND yes, the clones/real-life polyjuice potion! Since watching a bit to refresh my memory for the blurb, I’ve become sucked in all over again and I’m almost done rewatching season 1 again.

  7. And had I, it would’ve been all Doctor Who ladies, apparently. Haha. Hooray teamwork!

  8. Taylor, my favourite part of your contributions is “her sexiness talents as a sexy sexbomb.” I lol’d. Several times.

  9. i might even go out on a limb and say i like sydney bristow better than buffy. she’s just so badass!

  10. No, it’s not. Sarah Jane is a BAMF. And I haven’t even seen her Classic!Who journeys.

    I wanted to add River Song but we all agreed one lady per show/movie was enough.

    • Totally with you on the River Song thing. I never really found Alex Kingston attractive, but she is super hawt as River Song – I think it’s the way she talks to the Doctor.

      • And her hair. Her wild and amazing hair. Have you watched The Big Bang yet? There is an amazing, priceless scene with her and a Dalek. WHOOOOAAAA. SO GOOD. I’ve liked her ever since she first showed up in The Silent Library but that moment totally solidified her as an ultimate favourite.

  11. Her character is a bit more obscure than most of the women on the list, but Mace (played by Angela Bassett), from Kathryn Bigelow’s underrated movie Strange Days was awesome.

    Also, no list of gun toting sci-fi women has any business omitting Aeryn Sun from Farscape.

  12. I like that top 10 is now top 11. Or was it always… I can’t remember.

    Whatever, I’m going back to searching for you tube videos of Sydney Bristow dressed in almost nothing.

  13. Ohh I love this list. I saw The Matrix in theaters when I was 9, I remember every time Carrie-Ann Moss was on the screen I couldn’t stop thinking how good she looked in that leather. She is the very first lady in the movies that had me staring like that. Seems that hot sci-fi ladies certainly know how to bring out the little lesbian in us naive, unsure young selves. Love it.

  14. No Leia? WTF. Critical oversight and sci-fi fandom fail. She kicked ass in a gold bikini… a GOLD BIKINI made of GOLD.

  15. When I think of guns and hot women only one person comes to mind, she;s not on the list, but I will let it go.

    I have a whole gallery of women with guns. I sent it to someone at AS a long time ago. Would you like it again?

    • I know you mean Angie, right? So obvs ;) Lara Croft Tomb Raider was considered, but I don’t recall why she didn’t make the cut. This list could have easily been a Top 20 or 30, but the we would be here forevs and you guys couldn’t chide us in the comments.

    • Like Elli said, Angelina as Lara Croft was definitely considered but man, we were trying super hard to keep this business narrowed down. But if it were a list of Best Usage of Low Slung Hip Holsters, she would be number one with a bullet. Obviously.

    • Oh Elli you know me so well! As I said I am not going to chastise you all. Even though she she should be there but its okay! Making a top list is very hard. I did it once. I was trying to be an ambitious over achiever and go for 50 but that got reduced to 8. lol

      Rachel-She just kicks ass with weapons; kendo sticks, knives, guns, swords, etc. Angelina with a gun is poetry in motion. Esp since she is one of the few actresses who is really in to weapons in real life.

      Of that list I am going with Linda Hamilton! I love T2! Can we do an all weapons list next?!?!:D

  16. Linda Hamilton cocking that shotgun with one arm in T2 is one of the hottest scenes EVER.

  17. OMG, totally forgot about Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine on star Trek The Next Generation. Hot yet cold, smart and sexy. And those skin tight suits….

  18. If we’re talking Whedon, I’d pick Summer Glau as the amazingly lethal River Tam in Serenity.

    In movies, I’d add Jenette Goldstein, who played Vasquez in Aliens. While Ripley was the survivor, Vasquez was totally badass. Loved her!

    • “Hey Vasquez.. have you ever been mistaken for a man?”

      “No. Have you?”

      She was hardcore with her biceps and bandanna.

  19. Aeryn Aeryn Aeryn Aeryn Aeryn! from Farscape. I could never have left her off this list. LOVE her.

    Like everyone else on the planet I would have added Zoe and Faith, and maybe Leia too. Also, my personal feeling is that Martha is the hottest of the companions, amirite?

    Anyone else annoyed by the blood on Buffy’s stake in that picture? NOT HOW IT WORKS, jeeze.

    • My personal feeling is that Martha was a terrible companion and if you wanted to talk looks Amy’d be number one.

      I totally referenced Martha though, did you see? “..spending all of her time … fawning over the Doctor.”

      I hope we can still be friends even though I don’t like Martha Jones.

  20. Only on autostraddle could Ripley take top spot. Ilu, autostraddle even if you picked Buffy ahead of Faith. FIVE BY FIVE!

  21. Sydney Bristow is at the top of the list for me: she’s smart and kicks ass. Looked really cute in jeans, a sweater, and glasses, while ALSO looking HOT HOT HOT in tight outfits and heels.

    Also, hands down, for some reason, I thought she and Vaughn looked so hot when they dressed “goth” or “vampire goth” or something. Can’t remember the episode exactly.

  22. Lord almighty, Sydney Bristow! We MUST start with her. Girl is tough, smart, can speak a gazillion languages (super sexy skill) and can memorize 45 numbers running across a screen before she has to run for her life from Anna Espinosa!

    I won’t get into the stupid decisions ABC made with this show in the final seasons, but I will get into some of the positives: (besides Sydney of course, duh)

    1. Mia Maestro (hello!)
    2. Amy Acker (so hot as the bad girl in this)
    3. Rachel Nichols

    When Amy and Rachel came on the show I prayed for Sydney to have a little lez in her or possibly be bisexual so they could all just hook up, lol. I mean, I know Vaughn and Syd forever, but please. Don’t tell me you weren’t thinking the same thing!


    I CAN’T be the only one who wished Mia Maestro’s character Nadia wasn’t Sydney’s sister. Too much hotness on that screen when they were together.

    • For what it’s worth, Jennifer Garner kisses Natassia Malthe’s character in that horrible movie Elektra. That scene is kinda creepy actually. There’s also Season 3 bloopers of Alias where she jokingly leans into Lauren played by Melissa George, who apparently played a bisexual on Grey’s Anatomy for a short time. I know, I’m a little obsessed with all the Alias characters.

      I also have an irrational hatred of Ben Affleck.

  23. This is a very, very good list. Possibly the best list ever. I’m going to bookmark it and revisit anytime I need cheering up.

    Milla Jovovich! Elizabeth Mitchell! Billie Piper! Carrie-Ann Moss! BUFFY!

    A very, very good list.

  24. As much as I love River Tam, I have a big ol’ crush on Kaylee Frye. Whenever she gets a-talkin’ about all them shiny parts of the Serenity, I can’t help but get all giggly and blushy. hehe.

    P.S. Can I just say that Amy Pond MIIIIGGGGGHHHHHT be my new favorite companion on Doctor Who? Sorry, Martha. I still love you.

    P.P.S. He’s not a lady, but Jack Harkness is likely the only man I’d ever want to run away and make lots of sweet, sweet love to. Amirite?

  25. I would have me some Samantha Carter from SG1 and Max Guevera from Dark Angel, but there’s nothing wrong with these lovely ladies!

  26. Yeah need to add Eliza Dushku. I always felt guilty for preferring Faith, but I just loved her kick-ass attitude.

    Jeri Ryan too.

    And…Is anyone else here old enough to remember Wilmma Deering? One of the earlier Sci Fi gun-toting hotties from Buck Rogers? (if not, google her girls!) I was only a tot, but I can still remember thinking how awesome she looked when she was in that uniform that they had to wear for ‘official’ occasions – anyone, anyone?
    Or am I alone in outerspace on this one?

  27. Jennifer Garner; aka~ Sydney Bristow, totally for me! She is gorgeous in any disguise, and still kicks major butt, and did mostly all of her own ‘stunts’!

  28. I know we don’t get many POC ladies full stop so I’ll forgive the lapse of their inclusion… so long as I get to list my top ten hottest sci-fi LOC.

    In no particular order:

    1. Zoe Washburne (Firefly)
    2. Dr. Martha Jones(Doctor Who)/
    Amanika (Sense 8)
    3. Melinda May (Agents of SHIELD)
    4. Mako Mori (Pacific Rim)
    5. Nyota Uhura (Star Trek: TOS)
    6. Jessika Pava (Star Wars: TFA)
    7. Alisha Daniels (Misfits)
    8. Zula (Conan The Destroyer)
    9. Capt. Trudy Chacon (Avatar)
    10. Dr. Olivia Benford (Flashfoward)

    aaaand a spare Sierra from Dollhouse to make it 11. I will note that I struggled a bit thinking of more than 7. Just a sad reflection of the industry. :(

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