Let’s face it, one of the things that makes sci-fi movies and TV shows so exciting is that there’s constantly some sort of doomsday weapon or ultimate nullifier that threatens to wipe out humanity and other civilizations in the blink of an eye. So, in honor of these fantastic and high-tech devices that tend to bring destruction, we’ve put together a list of what we believe to be the ten most powerful objects in all of science fiction.
10. The Lightsaber
Easily the most iconic weapon in all of sci-fi, the Jedi/Sith lightsabers from Star Wars are basically laser swords that seem to come in increasingly varied shapes and sizes. Not only do they look and sound like the coolest thing in the galaxy, they also gracefully deflect laser fire and have the power to slice through just about anything from flimsy human appendages to high-security blast doors. Truly an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
9. Arc Reactor
The mini Arc Reactor invented by Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie is essentially a pure energy power core capable of producing the equivalent of four million horsepower, or, the energy output of about 10,000 space shuttle engines. The device was originally created to power the first Iron Man suit and protect Tony’s heart from some pieces of life-threatening shrapnel; however, he later refines the design using vibranium (the same material used to make Captain America’s shield) to make it even more capable. The Arc Reactor also powers mega structures like Stark Tower and Stark Industries, and it was utilized by Loki in The Avengers movie to indirectly create a wormhole so he could bring a Chitauri invasion force to Earth.
Etched onto Thor’s mighty war hammer, Mjolnir, is the inscription “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” That power consists of a wide range abilities such as unearthly strength, supersonic flight, and control over the elements—especially channeling lightning. While it’s hard to imagine anyone other than The God of Thunder himself wielding Mjolnir, the mythic hammer has been handled by a few others in the Marvel Universe, including Beta Ray Bill and Captain America.
7. Warp Drive
Warp Drive is the hypothetical Star Trek technology that allows the Enterprise to travel at speeds faster than light. It works by bending spacetime to propel the starship throughout the universe, but, in order to achieve this feat, mass must be converted to pure energy. This conversion takes place in the ship’s warp core where small amounts of matter and antimatter annihilate to produce enough energy to power everything on earth for an entire year. Warp cores also serve as the main power plant on starships and, if breached or detonated, produce massive explosions.
6. The Death Star Superlaser
This moon-sized destroyer of worlds is the pride and joy of the Galactic Empire. By focusing energy into a powerful beam, the Death Star’s superlaser can blow peaceful planets like Alderaan to bits in a matter of seconds. Theoretically, a laser with that kind of power would be like focusing over 8,000 years of our sun’s energy into a single beam. Too bad the original Death Star designers left that one thermal vent leading to the main reactor core exposed; otherwise the entire battle station, along with its 1.7 million military personnel and 400,000 droids, might not have been obliterated by a couple of puny proton torpedoes.
5. The Little Doctor
Also known as the Molecular Detachment Device, the Little Doctor from Ender’s Game is a powerful weapon capable of destroying an entire planet. It’s described as a laser-style weapon used to create an atomic state in which electrons cannot be shared. In this state, molecules split into separate atoms, which causes a chain reaction inducing a similar splitting state in the surrounding mass. This means that the larger the target is, the greater the destructive potential of the weapon—perfect for taking out fleets of starships or troublesome alien homeworlds.
4. Trilithium Warhead
In Star Trek: Generations, one of the most cataclysmic acts in all of Trek history occurs when the evil scientist Dr. Tolian Soran uses trilithium-containing missiles to destroy two stars along with their entire planetary systems. The star-destroying effect of the missiles is made possible because the trilithium acts as a nuclear inhibitor, stopping all nuclear fusion within a star and resulting in a supernova-scale explosion. When the shockwave produced by the destruction of the Veridian star reached the inhabited world of Veridian III, the planet was completely destroyed over a period of about seven seconds.
3. The Tesseract
One of the most powerful artifacts in the Marvel Universe, the tesseract is actually a vessel for one of the six infinity stones, which are known to be sources of great power and conflict throughout countless worlds. Its power is thought to be limitless as it has demonstrated that it can open rifts in space, power weapons of mass destruction, and even display visions of the future. The tesseract is one of those items with capabilities that only seem limited by the imagination of those who possess it.
2. The Moment
In “The Day of the Doctor” episode of Doctor Who, it’s revealed that there exists A Time Lord doomsday weapon so powerful that even they were too afraid to ever use it. The Moment is the final creation of the Ancients of Gallifrey and is theoretically capable of trapping entire galaxies in a single moment in time. At one point, The Doctor believes he’s used the Moment to wipe out both the Daleks and his own race, however, it is later revealed that this is not the case. The device is so sophisticated that it makes use of a telepathic interface capable of determining whether or not it will allow itself to be used.
1. The Infinity Gauntlet
In the Marvel Universe, the Infinity Gems are six enormously powerful gems, each of which gives its owner total control over one aspect of the multiverse. In the Infinity Saga, Thanos captures all six gems and fuses them into a gauntlet that makes him virtually omnipotent and omniscient. Of course, once he gains his newfound powers, Thanos does what any guy would do and uses them to impress the ladies. The only problem is that the woman of his affection happens to be the embodiment of death itself, so the only way he thinks he can show his love for her is by wiping out half of all the living things in the universe. Too bad he didn’t try a bouqet of roses first.