Top 10 Sci-Fi Loners

Space, where no one can hear you scream. Or in the case of this bunch of sad loners, no one chose to stay around and listen. We celebrate the top 10 science fiction characters who vant to be alone. All together now “All by myself, don’t wanna be…”

#10. Dr Chris/Kris Kelvin (Solaris)

One of the more inventive loners in space, clinical psychologist Kelvin almost fails the loner test by re-imagining his dead ex-wife (who he has conveniently forgotten has just killed herself to escape from his minimalist decorating style and boringness) to keep him company within mere moments of finding himself on his tod. If only he wasn’t such a loser he might have conjured up a swimwear model or some giant Jenga to pass the time. Only in contact with mirages, bodies that bleed through air-vents and his dead wife nagging him to take his medication, Kelvin gets pity points for believing that he can find his way home and rebuild his crappy life.

#9. Dr Robert Neville (I Am Legend)

Although post-apocalyptic zombies have taken over the known world (i.e. NYC), technically, Neville is never completely alone, as he develops an inappropriately close relationship with his German Shepherd, Samantha. But when he’s not doing pull ups to impress the dog, Neville turns his loner status into a lot of fun; burning it up in flash cars and inventing some nice little zombie traps. He unfortunately loses points for getting himself caught in a sealed plexiglass room with about 200 of his new darkseeker friends, who just want to come and give him a lovely great big throat-ripping hug.

#8. Leeloo (The Fifth Element)

Speaking a language entirely of her own with no discernible syntax, bandaged babe Leeloo was never going to be the first person in the queue when it came to handing out friends. Probably on the run from a homicidal hairdresser who obviously hated her, she’s disillusioned to discover that humans love a bit of warmongering, and only orange-vested Bruce Willis is worth saving. But she makes a good choice, as Chris Tucker’s intensely annoying Ruby Rhod is an example of why Earthlings don’t always deserve to be saved.


Listening to Hello, Dolly! on a continuous loop for thousands of years is enough to drive anyone bonkers, and without it, cleaning robot Wall-E would have been perfectly happy on his own in Earth’s junkyard, trying to work out what a bra is used for. Perhaps the happiest sado-masochistic Sci-fi loner on this list, he counts cockroaches as his closest friends, and easily falls in love with modern babe EVE even though she soundly electrocutes him every time they kiss.

#6. Sam Bell (Moon)

Don’t feel too sorry for Sam Bell; if he will agree to work on the moon for 3 years with only a computer called GERTY voiced by one of film’s best known psychos for company, he’s asking for trouble. Why he didn’t watch the astronaut training video that is 2001: A Space Odyssey (alternative title: ‘What Not To Do or Say When It’s Just You and A Computer’) is beyond me. However, when Bell discovers that’s he not the only ding-donger out there, and GERTY only allows him to go outside if he puts his coat on first, he cottons on that man and machine aren’t proper friends.

#5. Wikus Van de Merwe (District 9)

Half-man, half-prawn, completely buggered either way, District 9’s Wikus becomes an alien in his own town as punishment for being a glorified Council Inspector. He is hunted by the Government and rejected by his wife, so pitifully resorts to making roses out of tin cans and developing a liking for catfood. He then tries to show off his ‘special’ arm to his new Intergalactic friends, who promptly disown him too, and he realises that he’s better off on his own.

#4. E.T. (E.T. The Extraterrestrial)

After getting lost on the way to Budgens to pick up his bimillenial supply of Reese’s Pieces, E.T. is an accidental loner. He unfortunately lands on Earth right in the middle of a hotbed of arguments, schoolwork and screaming dungaree-wearing children, then gets thrown in a cupboard. Nevertheless, he really does try to make friends and ensures that his time on Earth doesn’t go to waste, developing a knack for cross-dressing, nurturing some fine horticultural powers and inventing the first ever Speak and Spell iPhone, before finally returning to his own kind.

3#. Marvin the Paranoid Android (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

The Universe’s saddest robot, Marvin’s career as a sci-fi loner was assured from his creation. Although having to deal with dull Arthur Dent (whose best weapon for defeating evil overlords is dressing-gown fluff) would lead anyone to want to slash their wrists, no one thought to tell him that “I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed” is not a valid opening gambit at cocktail parties. He gets extra points for discerning when to turn himself off.

#2. Darth Vader (Stars Wars Trilogy – the first 3 films do not count)

Proving that spending far too much time on one’s own leads to dark thoughts, a penchant for shiny black gimp masks and a preoccupation with murdering one’s own kin, in at Number 2 is Lord Vader. With heavy breathing talents that really could have gone to better use, Vader is pretty much the loneliest of evil overlords. Far, far away in a distant galaxy he’ll blow up a planet for you if you ask nicely, as long as he doesn’t get confused between the death grip and the handshake again.

#1. Ellen Ripley (Alien Quadrilogy)

Big it up for (probably) the scariest space lady in the Universe and my number 1 Sci-fi loner, the delightful Ellen Ripley. When Ripley decided that she was gonna kill the bitch, she hadn’t considered that she would be getting rid of her last good girlfriend. No more staying up all night drooling over the latest alien girlchat, wondering whether red bandannas are ever a good idea or getting into heated arguments on subjects such as cats: friend or food? for Ripley and her gorgeous galpal. Ripley wins because she truly prefers being alone. She doesn’t have a decent conversation with another human being in four films, and chooses stasis over company. Luckily for her and us, she would rather throw herself into a huge fiery furnace than spend any more time with other people. No commitment issues there then…

Have we missed any sci-fi loners who should have made the cut? Let us know below.

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