Sci-fi movies often dazzle and amaze audiences with imaginative interpretations of the future, mind-blowing visuals, and spooky, theory-forming twists -- but there's little to celebrate about the genre's onscreen mistakes. Or is there?
From a glaring date blunder in "Back to the Future" to a blatant continuity error in "Alien," here are a few movie mistakes from sci-fi classics.
As usual, all photos are courtesy of MovieMistakes.com
Article photo courtesy of Everett Collection
Gallery | Sci-Fi Movie Mistakes
- ‘Star Wars’ (1977)
We guess Darth Vader's uniform is always messed up. When Vader (David Prowse) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) are fighting in the original 1977 "Star Wars," Vader's chest plate and belt buckle are on backwards. However, that was due to the entire shot being reversed -- a technique often used in movies -- as the light grates and walls in the background are also switched around.
- ‘Inception’ (2010)
BRAAAAAHHHHMMMM. When the van the team is driving goes off a bridge, Arthur's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) headphones disappear and then reappear between various shots. Without headphones, Arthur wouldn’t have heard the kick music, which means he wouldn't have known when to synchronize the kick, meaning Arthur would still be in Limbo (did you get all that?).
- ‘Alien’ (1979)
In space, no one can hear you scream -- but we can watch you make mistakes. When the search party aboard the Nostromo goes into the boneship, they are all wearing full space suits with hoods under their helmets. However, when Kane's (John Hurt) helmet is cut off, he is no longer wearing the hood.
- 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' (1970)
When the Apes are attempting to break into the church, Mendez is wearing a purple sash on top of his jumpsuit. Later in the scene, however, the sash has disappeared.
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (2013)
Admiral Marcus's ship appears in front of the Enterprise after coming out of warp, and a set of doors begins to close over the main deflector dish. In the next shot, however, the deflector dish is fully visible!
- ‘The Fifth Element’ (1997)
In the shot before Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) jumps from the ledge, we see an elevator track running down the right side of the building. In the next shot, the elevator is gone and the buildings around her have changed completely.
- ‘Back to the Future’ (1985)
A mistake in "Back to the Future"? Great scot! (Sorry). In one shot where Einstein is strapped in the DeLorean, the yellow time circuits for the date label the month of October as "10.” In other shots the yellow time circuits read “Oct.” Get it together, Doc!
- ‘E.T.’ (1982)
When Mary (Dee Wallace) first sees E.T. lying on the bathroom floor, she panics and hurries everyone downstairs, leaving E.T. behind. Moments later, when one of the astronauts finds E.T., a bright pink bath towel that wasn’t there before is now draped over the bathtub's edge.
- ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968)
Stanley Kubrick was known for his attention to detail, but that doesn't mean his movies were mistake-free. In this scene, when the astronauts are approaching the monolith on the moon, you can see the cameraman in the reflection of the first astronaut's visor. (Fun fact: This shot was personally filmed by Kubrick, therefore the reflection is of him.)
- 'Aliens' (1986)
When Bishop reaches out to save Newt, you can see he's standing in a hole. The hole is suppose to give you the effect that he's cut in half, but, unfortunately, the hole is pretty much entirely visible.
- ‘Blade Runner’ (1982)
Near the beginning of the Ridley Scott classic, when Deckard (Harrison Ford) and the other officer take off to go to the police station, you can see the cables lifting them up in the air. Clearly, this wasn't the work of a replicant.
- ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ (1951)
In this 1951 sci-fi film, Gort (Lock Martin) picks up Helen (Patricia Neal) next to the flying saucer. However, if you look closely you can see the cables that are hoisting her up.
- ‘Godzilla’ (1998)
In Roland Emmerich's "Godzilla" remake, the first monster footprint we see has a wide center with three short toes. However, in later shots the other footprints look completely different and have only long, narrow toes. Of course, if you take into account the critical reception this movie received, this mistake was the least of Emmerich's worries.
- 'World War Z' (2013)
Right before the ambulance is about to hit Gerry (Brad Pitt) and his family's car, you can see that nobody is in the car and the ambulance driver -- clearly a stuntman -- is wearing a helmet.
- ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993)
Just before the Tyrannosaurus Rex escapes from its pen, it drops a goat's leg on Lex (Ariana Richards) and Timmy's (Joseph Mazzello) car. When the T-Rex comes back to attack them the bloody leg is gone (and there's no blood on the glass). I guess the folks on Isla Nublar were dealing with escaped dinosaurs and ghosts?
- ‘Minority Report’ (2002)
Anderton's (Tom Cruise) wristwatch is an Omega Speedmaster X-33, but when he looks at it for the countdown to the murder he is about to commit, it shows a Bvlgari display. In other scenes, like when one of the spyders is peeling off his eye bandage, the watch switches back to an Omega display. Might as well maximize your product placement where you can, right?
- ‘The Planet of the Apes’ (2001)
When Thade (Tim Roth) takes Leo's (Mark Wahlberg's) weapon away in Tim Burton's update on "Planet of the Apes," it is shown as a futuristic laser gun. Later, when Thade is firing the same weapon after being locked in the command center, the gun is a stainless steel Beretta brigadier model.
- ‘Robocop’ (1987)
“Robocop” takes place in Detroit, but it was clearly filmed in Dallas. In this shot, where Murphy (Peter Weller) chases Boddicker's (Kurtwood Smith) gang on the highway, Reunion Tower, one of Dallas's most famous landmarks, is visible in the background. Much of Dallas's skyline is also visible in the final scene where Robocop confronts Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) in the OCP boardroom.
- 'X-Men' (2000)
As young Magneto struggles with guards at the internment camp, his father's star switches from one side of his chest to the other.
- ‘Star Trek’ (2009)
When Nero (Eric Bana) is waiting for Spock (Zachary Quinto) in J.J. Abrams's first "Star Trek" movie, a very faint tattoo can be seen beneath Nero’s lower lip. However, in a later shot, the tattoo is much darker and extends up onto his lower lip.
- ‘Star Wars: Episode III’ (2005)
When Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is being transformed into Darth Vader, you can see the main part of his mask being lowered into place. However, in the first shot Anakin is not wearing the neck section that connects to his mask. In the next shot, the neck section is in place. Blame George Lucas?
- ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ (1992)
In a scene where the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is stabbed in the chest by a biker, he grabs the knife from the biker with his left hand and twists his arm around with his right. But in the next shot, when the Terminator stabs the biker, he does it holding the knife in his right hand and the biker's arm in his left.
- ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ (2003)
A glitch in the Matrix? At the beginning of this freeway chase scene, a "Maximum Speed 65" sign can be seen along the wall. However, the sign is facing in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic, therefore drivers would only be able to see it in their rear-view mirrors. Of course, it's not like anyone was following the speed limit in this scene anyway...
- 'X-Men: First Class' (2011)
When the young mutants are showing off their talents, they each have a glass of cola spread out around the table. When Banshee demonstrates what he can do, however, the glasses are suddenly all lined up.
- ‘The Thing’ (1982)
When Mac (Kurt Russell) is locked out of the complex, Childs (Keith David) uses an axe to chop open one of the doors, leaving a large hole in it. Later Childs returns to the same door and the hole is significantly smaller and in a completely different place.
- 'Men in Black' (1997)
When J (Will Smith) chases the farmer inside the jewelry store, the boots next to the wall are standing up in one frame and lying down in the next.
- 'A.I. Artificial Intelligence' (2001)
Chef Mecha wears a chef hat, and it is also a permanent part of his head. However, when the chef is searching for an eye among the pile of stuff earlier in the movie, he is not wearing his hat.