10 Most Famous Movie Skybeams
Imagine a climactic battle with alien forces filling the skies. Suddenly, a beam of blue light descends from the sky like the wrath of an angry god. Perhaps a symbol of a lost deity is unearthed, and its sanctity springs right up. These otherworldly lights mark a place as the true center of the action.
The sky beam dates back to biblical accounts, with the Hebrew god usually appearing as both a pillar of light and a descending flame. It doesn’t always mean the same thing, but it’s used often enough that the trope is worth studying as a symbol.
10/10 Love conquers evil in the fifth element
The fifth Element follows a former Earth Special Forces Major and current taxi driver Korben Dallas, and the mysterious Leeloo as they search for the Five Elements. The first four elements, earth, air, water and fire, are each represented by a small statue apparently made of sandstone. The nature of the fifth is revealed to be love, channeled through Leeloo.
All four statues, along with Leeloo, activate when exposed to their elements, and a giant beam of white light shoots into the sky. Love acts as the binding force combining the non-living elements into the ultimate weapon for good.
9/10 The company meets a false god in the final frontier
“Why does God need a spaceship?” This question, posed by Captain James T. Kirk at the height of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, runs through all the majesty of the false god his crew encounters at the center of the galaxy.
This nameless god apparently checks all the boxes people expect of a deity; he inhabits (or possibly is) a pillar of light, has the face of a bearded old man, and can punish unbelievers with beams of light emanating from his eyes. This glowing villain appears to be the end of the Enterprise crew until they seemingly destroy the creature with their ship.
8/10 The Rapture cuts the demons in This Is The End
It is the end could have easily been a simpler movie; a crazy celebrity party turns deadly when the apocalypse begins outside. However, for the first two acts of the film, it is only a meeting film. They laugh, smoke and push each other against a wall until they are chased out.
The first pillars of light come with the initial chaos. The ground begins to shake and pillars of blue light appear and quickly rip people into the skies. They determine this phenomenon to be the Rapture and, near the end of the film, are able to recreate it by committing acts of kindness and sacrifice. They are dragged into heaven as the sacred light pierces a gigantic demon.
7/10 Ark of the Covenant Melts Faces in Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Old Testament has some pretty strong examples of rays from heaven, especially as part of sacrificial rituals. Apparently, as the sacrifices were consumed by fire on the altar, a lion-shaped fire leapt into the sky, taking the offering with it.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arktook this flamboyant imagery and connected it to the Ark of the Covenant, which is said to kill all who look at it. When Nazi forces open the lid of the Ark, chaos ensues. First, ghosts fly through the air as faces begin to melt away. Then, a large flame bursts, creating a pillar of fire that pierces the clouds.
6/10 The Avengers blue beam of light signals a final battle
At the peak of The Avengers, Loki uses the tesseract to summon his army of Chitauri, signaling the film’s final battle. A massive hole in the fabric of space tears the heavens apart as a beam of blue light containing the force of an infinite gem shoots skyward.
From the hole emerge countless alien forces determined to conquer the Earth. The Avengers are tasked with defeating the army, closing the portal, and capturing Loki. This beam of sky is arguably the most iconic of the modern era. It is one of the most powerful images in a film that marked the first real step in the construction of a cinematic universe.
5/10 Man Of Steel’s Terraforming Sequence Aims To Create A New Krypton
Zod’s forces begin their assault on Earth, Steel man, activating their terraforming machines. These flying death lasers increase Earth’s mass while creating massive tidal, atmospheric, and geological shifts in an effort to turn the planet into a facsimile of Krypton, their homeworld. They also pick up and slam cars into the ground while making a “braam” sound effect.
The scale of this destruction is unimaginable. Without Superman’s efforts, all of humanity would have been destroyed. This event causes two major details in the DC Extended Universe; Superman resorting to killing Zod and Batman blaming Superman for the destruction.
4/10 The Romulans destroyed the Vulcan homeworld in Star Trek (2009)
In JJ Abrams 2009 star trek Reboot, the Romulans of the future destroy the Vulcan homeworld, Vulcan, with a laser-based space drill. The Romulan Ship is a mining ship on a misguided path of revenge, ending in its destruction in a black hole.
This celestial ray is unique in that it serves as the setting for one of the film’s most dynamic action sequences. Kirk, Sulu, and red-shirted space Olson jump onto the drill platform to fencing, shooting, and, finally, sabotaging. They fail to save Spock’s home planet, but the half-Vulcan is later able to destroy the drill himself.
3/10 The White House is the first target of aliens on Independence Day
The White House is a symbol of the power of the American government, and independence day makes great use of it by blowing it up. At the same time, other landmarks are similarly attacked, a beam of teal light begins to accumulate at the bottom of an alien ship. It swoops down, creating a spectacular explosion and a fireball throughout the city.
This weapon of mass destruction is the opening silo of an unnamed alien race bent on stripping planet Earth of all its resources. In a film filled with intense action and special effects that have stood the test of time, this image is top notch.
2/10 In The Lord of the Rings, Minas Morgul is an evil starting bell
In the film version of The king’s return, Gollum guides the Hobbits beyond the border of Minas Morgul down the path to the “Secret Staircase”, a path that leads to Shelob’s lair. Frodo becomes enchanted with the city of sorcery and begins to wander the path to it.
As Frodo is pulled back by Sam and Gollum, the ground begins to shake and a large explosion of sickly, smoke-like green fire shoots into the sky. This pillar of light is visible from Gondor. It signals the march of the city’s forces, led by the Witch King.
1/10 The Star Wars Death Star Is A Perfect Weapon
The Empire’s planet-destroying military base has long been criticized. Not that it’s horrible, but that its weak exhaust port is a massive oversight. The series addressed this issue in canon by making it a deliberate Achilles’ heel in RogueOne, but it was useless.
The idea that there is only one port, only two meters wide, can reasonably be considered a real flaw is ridiculous. It’s a moon-sized station that fires a green “superlaser.” It’s still the gold standard of planet-killing space weapons. Not even star wars can beat this one.
NEXT: 10 Old Sci-Fi Movies With Amazing Practical Effects