Updated: Jun 15, 2020

From calculating robot Ava to Alien fighting feminist Ellen Ripley and the iconic heroine Rey in Star Wars, we list our all-time favourite women in sci-fi, all of whom definitely defy gender norms. In honour of May 4th these are the seven ultimate female protagonists, superheroes and anti-heroes, plus where you can stream them to watch tonight.

Credit: Grazia

1. Ava in Ex Machina

Ex Machina explores how a tech-billionaire creates and controls female robots to satisfy his desires. But Alicia Vikander's oscar-winning portrayal of Ava proves that women are powerful, independent and more than able to overcome the patriarchy they might face.

Watch Ex Machina

2. Rey in Star Wars

Beautifully played by Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Rey is has become one of the most iconic women in sci-fi. It's up to her to master the force and save the fate of the galaxy.

Watch The Rise of Skywalker

3. Louise Banks in Arrival

Bonus points are added for having a female lead and Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams, is not only a mother but also a linguistics expert who is tasked with deciphering and alien language in Arrival. One of our favourites for its portrayal of a complex female character.

Watch Arrival here

4. Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games

Played by none other than Jennifer Lawrence, the cold and captivating hero of the dystopian Hunger Games series Katniss Everdeen became a beacon of feminism for an entire generation of young women. With her trademark bow and arrow, she is anything other than a damsel in distress.

Watch The Hunger Games here

5. Sarah Connor in Terminator

No list would be complete without Sarah Connor, a now legendary figure in the world of sci-fi. The leader of the resistance and the true star of the Terminator franchise.

Watch The Terminator here

6. Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft

With a cut-glass English accent Angelina Jolie is the adventurous action hero in the Lara Croft film franchise, adapted from the video-game series. Archaeologist, treasure hunter and Tomb raider Lara Croft plays the game by her own rules and performs death defying stunts. Despite a few arguably gratuitous scenes in the movies - she's still the ultimate superhero.

Watch Lara Croft: Tomb Raider here

7. Ellen Ripley in Alien

Nothing could sum up Alien more perfectly than this tweet from film critic Adam Shaftoe:

Watch Alien here

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