The only people who don’t like humanoid robots are, ironically, people who are actually humanoid robots in disguise. Robots are one of the most visual representations of human skill and ingenuity, and to have our creations be fashioned in our image is one of our proudest achievements.

Hence the gamut of humanoid robots in films. Do they have genders? Do they garner sympathy from the audience? Do we even consider them as sentient beings? The best robots are those who fulfil all three criteria.

So here are the five most famous humanoid robots in film. If you don’t know them… you might secretly be a robot.

1. The Terminator from the Terminator film series

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Guardian in Terminator: Genisys. (Universal Pictures)

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Guardian in Terminator: Genisys. (Universal Pictures)

The T-800 is one of the most iconic humanoid robots around, partly because of the imposing stature of his actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), partly because he went from villain to hero over the course of two movies. Although he might have reprised the role a few more times in subsequent instalments, it can’t compare to his Terminator 2: Judgment Day appearance.

Also, none of his opponents really feasibly look like they could defeat him too, but that’s movie logic for you.

2. C3PO from the Star Wars film series

C3PO from Star Wars. (Star Wars Databank)

C3PO from Star Wars. (Star Wars Databank)

C3PO’s distinct golden colour (did you notice his red arm in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?) and perpetual fretting makes him one of the most memorable droids, even outstripping BB-8. True, BB-8 is cuter, but he doesn’t have as much character as C3PO does. And isn’t that ultimately what we remember about robots – their character?

Fun fact – C3PO wears a red arm in Star Wars: The Force Awakens because it’s in memory of another fallen droid in a one-shot comic.

3. Ultron from Avengers: Age of Ultron

Ultron from Avengers: Age of Ultron. (Marvel Movies WIkia)

Ultron from Avengers: Age of Ultron. (Marvel Movies WIkia)

Ultron appeared in a year when every movie seemed to be “Age of” something. Although frankly, Ultron didn’t really stay long enough to usher in any age. James Spader imbued Ultron with this creepy, petulant childishness that contrasted greatly with his immense power, making him a villain that was birthed out of naïveté and ignorance, rather than yet another megalomaniacal desire to rule the world.

But we have Vision now! He’s so much more charming.

4. Optimus Prime from the Transformers film series

Optimus Prime from Transformers: Age of Extinction. (YouTube)

Optimus Prime from Transformers: Age of Extinction. (YouTube)

He transforms from a big strong truck into a big strong robot, and his red and blue colour scheme makes him the most recognisable robot there is. Despite hailing from a distant planet, he and the other Transformers are oddly humanoid in appearance, which is perhaps why we like them so much. Noble, brave, and voiced by the deep baritone of Peter Cullen, Optimus Prime is the humanoid robot that every child wants to be.

Including me.

5. Morgan from Morgan

Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) from Morgan. (Golden Village Cinemas)

Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) from Morgan. (Golden Village Cinemas)

Morgan is incredibly violent even though she shows signs of contrition after the assaults. But when your tantrums end with you stabbing someone in the eye, those are some really psychopathic tendencies that need to be quelled. Being bio-engineered, she doesn’t quite have the mechanical aspects of a humanoid robot. But since robots are defined as artificial agents (and she’s definitely artificial), Morgan remains as a haunting reminder of what robots in the future might be.

Plus, most female Morgans are evil (remember Morgan le Fay?).

Morgan. (Golden Village Cinemas)

Morgan. (Golden Village Cinemas)

For a thought-provoking film about what it truly means to be human, catch Morgan as the eponymous character is hunted down by all manner of human adversaries. She may be powerful and destructive, but she also oddly has empathy and remorse. What do you do with a character like that – kill her or keep her?

That’s the dilemma that the protagonists of Morgan have to face.

 

Credits: Universal Pictures, Star Wars Databank, Marvel Movies Wikia, YouTube, Golden Village Cinemas