Forbidden Planet (1956)
Admittedly, it’s an older film, but Forbidden Planet is one of those older films that holds up nicely, even half a century later. It’s heroic, not too scary, and it’s a great forerunner to George Lucas’s epic. Robbie the Robot will be a big hit.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Galaxy Quest is a film with a classic comedic trope: a case of mistaken identity. Galaxy Quest is one of the funniest science fiction spoofs out there, and it’s a great space adventure with plenty of thrills and zany laughs.
The Last Starfighter (1984)
This is a fun adventure that brings a lonely teenager far into the depths of space when he’s recruited to help an alien species fend off an invasion. It’s every nerdy kid’s fantasy come to life: getting so good at a video game that you can save the universe. Plus, while the effects are a bit dated, they’re quite a bit of fun to watch.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Planet of the Apes a classic that you can’t miss as a kid. A team of astronauts find themselves on a planet inhabited by apes, and must find a way to prove that they’re people, rather than animals. The juxtaposition of apes and people is a fun one, and it’ll get them thinking.
Silent Running (1972)
Silent Running is an entertaining space drama that predates Star Wars by several years about an astronaut who decides to disobey orders to save a biosphere on his ship. The real draw here though is Huey, Lewie and Dewie, his small robotic companions that’ll give R2-D2 a run for his money.
The pinnacle of science fiction comedies, Spaceballs is one of the best sendups of Star Wars out there. It’s goofy enough for kids to really enjoy it, with another level of gags for adults to really enjoy it as well.
Superman: The Movie (1987)
Richard Donner’s classic adaptation of the Superman comics is a bright, heroic and exciting film that’s held up well in the ensuing years. It shows off a wonderful heroic journey for Superman that’ll keep them at the edge of their seats.
Stargate has a really exciting premise: step through a portal and arrive on another world. Oh, and the aliens who live on the other side live under Egyptian-like gods. This film is exciting, and it’s got a great set of heroic characters to carry the movie.
Titan A.E. (2000)
This animated science fiction adventure follows Cale after Earth is destroyed by aliens. When he grows up, he finds that his father left behind something: a way to rebuild humanity’s home. First, he has to find it, and along with a ship with a great cast of characters, the fate of humanity is in his hands. The visuals alone are worth watching this over and over.
Star Wars (1977)
While you’re waiting to watch The Force Awakens, why not start where it all began?