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Apr 12 2013 10:00am
The 8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction

Contrary to popular belief, the fastest way to convince someone you are a dangerous person is not to sport a bizarro-world Spock goatee, but instead, get yourself an eyepatch. Did ancient pirates really all have eyepatches because tons of eye-gouging went on in those times? Well, perhaps not. Some might say it was because they would have one eye permanently adjusted to the dimly-lit below-decks areas of their ships because they would occasionally have to pop down there at a moment’s notice to quickly and fire off cannons.

But no matter the reason the following sci-fi folks have eyepatches, we know they are dangerous just for being eyepatch-rockers in the first place. Which is your favorite? Don’t wait for the translation! Answer us now.

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction

8. Madame Kovarian

The creepy evil midwife who works for the Silence has possibly the most useful eyepatch in science fiction. Not actually something that obscures a missing eye, this gizmo is actually called an “eyedrive,” which allows Madame Kovarian and (and anyone else who has one) to externally store a memory of having seen the elusive aliens known as the Silence. Though other characters wore eyedrives later on in the show, Madame Kovarian rocked hers the creepiest and best. (Bonus: Tor.com’s Emily Asher-Perrin as River Song, being abducted by Madame Kovarian at New York Comic Con 2011)

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction Nick Fury Avengers Samuel L Jackson

7. Nick Fury

How the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D lost his eye has had numerous explanations throughout the comic books, but we like to believe that maybe Nick was just born without one eye. Or perhaps he just wants to be as intimidating as possible. Either way, many might believe Nick should be higher on a list of badass eyepatch-rockers, but he oddly has a lot of competition. And while his eyepatch is dope, Nick Fury’s slow clapping is his truest, coolest skill.

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction NTSF:SD:SUV

6. Kate Mulgrew’s Kove in NTSF: SD: SUV

Perhaps not technically science fiction, and maybe discounted simply because it’s a comedy show, we nonetheless believe Kate Mulgrew looks totally sick in an eyepatch on NTSF: SD: SUV. Mostly, we’re unabashed Captain Janeway lovers at Tor.com, so any kind of reimagining we can get where she’s even more dangerous than she was on Voyager, we’ll take. And seeing Mulgrew in this eyepatch truly makes us wonder why Captain Janeway never got an eyepatch, not even in an alternate timeline/future. Come on Voyager, the delta quadrant was rough!

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction Klingon Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country

5. General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

A Trek villain quoting classic literature wasn’t merely the domain of Khan Noonien Singh, because Shakespeare fanatic General Chang served up more lines from the Bard than perhaps any character in all of Star Trek. And though Bones would give real money for him to shut up, we feel a little robbed that we didn’t get more movies with this character. Christopher Plummer and William Shatner acted together in Canada, making Star Trek VI their Shakespearean reunion. Wondering how Chang got that eyepatch? The video game Klingon Academy explains. Further, this is probably the most hardcore eyepatch on the list by virtue of the fact that it’s screwed into his face. And yes, there are little Klingon insignia on the tips of the screws.

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction Col. Tigh Battlestar Galactica

4. Col. Saul Tigh in Battlestar Galactica

Though eventually revealed to be a 1000-year original Cylon, when Col. Tigh was taken captive on New Caprica and tortured by Dean Stockwell’s Brother Cavil, they at one point removed his eye King Lear-style! Apparently synthetic lifeforms like Cylons can still have their eyes taken out. It’s a bummer Tigh never got to download into a new Cylon body, because then he might have been able to get his eyes back. In any case, the one-eyed Col Tigh actually drank a little less and was more responsible than the two-eyed Col. Tigh. The eyepatch itself always looked a little rubber-bandy to us, but Col. Tigh is still a serious person who you don’t want to mess with.

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction James Bond Sean Connery Thunderball

3. Largo in Thunderball

When Austin Powers or Archer does a guy with an eyepatch, they’re referencing this guy. In fact, when you think of a Bond villain, you think you’re thinking of Blofeld, but really, it’s Largo. Cause he’s the guy with the nuclear bomb and the ransom. He also is the guy with the sharks. In short, he’s got it all. How did he lose his eye? Laser shark?

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction Angelina Jolie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

2. Angelina Jolie as Franky in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

This is included mostly because this movie simply does not get enough love. Franky is also a kind of faux Nick Fury, seeing as she has her own flying aircraft carry complete with planes that turn into submarines. (This means someone on the Valiant from Doctor Who, should have been wearing an eyepatch. Right?) No matter what you think, this is Jolie’s best role, and the scene when Sky Captain first lands on her ship is awesome. Just stop hating and love Sky Captain.

8 Essential Eyepatches in Science Fiction Snake Plissken Escape from New Yor Escape from LA Kurt Russell

1. Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.

Though the original Escape film is better, Escape from L.A. contains the most truly terrifying scene in any movie ever: Snake Plissken shuts down the entire world’s technology. This is a blackout the world would never wake up from! And Snake is the “good guy!” Essentially, he completed the scheme Sean Bean wanted to do in Goldeneye, only without any monetary gain. Snake’s eyepatch lets you know that not only does he live in a post-apocalyptic world, but is also willing to make it even more post-apocalypticy.

All right badasses, was your favorite eyepatch rocker left off?


Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com and wears five eye-patches.

25 comments
Eric Saveau
1. Eric Saveau
"Don’t wait for the translation! Answer us now."
As fans, we are responsible for all the eyepatches in our fandoms.

:-P
Eric Saveau
2. Nanci
I'm partial to Beka Rosselin-Metadi as Tarnekep Portree in Mageworlds.
JoeNotCharles
3. JoeNotCharles
Please. If there can only be one Doctor Who eyepatch on this list, surely it belongs to Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart:

Eric Saveau
4. Johnny Zombie
I agree with Snake at number one. Kurt Russell has extreme levels of badass. There is one roughneck conspicuously missing. While not a sci-fi character, The Governor from The Walking Dead rocks a patch!

He's evil, he's seductive, and he has no conscience. Plus, David Morrisey (the actor who plays him) once guested on Dr. Who.

Great work with the list. Keep it up!
Eric Saveau
5. falx
Mat Cauthon. Best use of eyepatch ever
David Levinson
6. DemetriosX
The list is missing Space Commander Travis from Blake's 7. He may be the first to have his eyepatch bolted to his head. Stephen Greif's version was far superior to Brian Croucher's.
S Cooper
7. SPC
DemetriosX beat me to it. Travis' bolted eyepatch was the first one I thought of.
Rob Rater
8. Quasarmodo
Robert Wagner's Number Two in Austin Powers. He could see through cards.
David Levinson
9. DemetriosX
And moving away from video, but sticking to bolted eyepatches, there is also Cutter Edgewise from Kris Straub's webcomic Starslip.
M Sharp
10. Acyn
Becase there's no anime like an 80s anime, I'm going to pick Captain Harlock from Galaxy Express 999. (And also not quite Scifi - Ray Bradbury's "The Watchful Poker Chip of H Matisse").
Marie Veek
11. SlackerSpice
Fuhrer King Bradley from Fullmetal Alchemist; a badass eyepatch covering an even more badass eye.
Eric Saveau
12. Fenric25
I agree with three of the posters above-Brigade-Leader Lethbridge-Stewart's eyepatch from the alternate world of "Inferno" should be on this list, especially seeing as his eyepatch was the inspiration for Madame Kovarian's and the scene where everyone wears the eye-drive (based off of an anecdote where Nicholas Courtney turned around while wearing it on set and everyone else was wearing eyepatches, if I recall correctly). Secondly, Furher King Bradley, also known as the Homunculus Wrath (or Pride, if you go by the first anime, which isn't as good as the manga or Brotherhood, in my opinion) is an incredibly deadly and dangerous man with an eyepatch (he takes out a tank with a sword, for goodness sake!) And, lastly, Mat Cauthon from the Wheel of Time now wears an eyepatch, how can he not be on this list? The rest of the list is good, but these three should definitely be on it as well, a shame that they're missing.
Eric Saveau
13. Gerry__Quinn
Everyone knows pirates have eyepatches because they often accidentally put out their eyes with their hooks. Why do they have hooks? Well, swinging swords and cutlasses without proper 3D vision is just that dangerous!
Theresa DeLucci
14. theresa_delucci
Where is Xander Harris' eyepatch?! Nathan Fillion took his eye in season 7 and they even made a Nick Fury joke about it.

Also, I would've put Tigh higher because it led to a favorite emoticon among friends, used when you're stressed beyond your pay grade, drinking too much Scotch, and so frustrated you can only gape with a confused look on your face. Behold, Tighface: x.O

But I agree with Snake as #1, so I'll simmer down now.
Marie Veek
15. SlackerSpice
@13: "You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?!" "Well, it was me first day with the hook..."
Mike Conley
17. NomadUK
Well, how about Thomas Leighton, Kirk's old friend in the OTST* episode, 'The Conscience of the King'? He not only had an eye patch, he had an entire side-of-his-face patch, courtesy of Kodos the Executioner! Top that!

* One True Star Trek
Eric Saveau
19. wingracer
Another half face patch, Breetai the Zentraedi comander from Robotech.
Eric Saveau
20. roid
All I got is Cats from Zero Wing but I don't know that it's a true eyepatch. Totally agree with the number 1.
Sandy Brewer
21. ShaggyBella
I just never know what the topic of the day will be! Eyepatches... Thanks.
Eric Saveau
23. David Birkett
Has any being mentioned Zaphod Beeblebrox?
Eric Saveau
24. LurkerWithout
No later season Bab5 and G'Kar love?
Pernilla Leijonhufvud
25. Therru
I'm adding my weight to DemetriosX and SPC on Stephen Greif's Commander Travis from early Blake's 7. Greif was great, much better than Croucher.
Eric Saveau
26. Elizabeth S
Fantasy, not scifi, but I think there should be an honorary prize for Aunt Lily from the TV show "Pushing Daisies" who managed to turn losing her eye after getting sand in it while cleaning a litterbox into a fashion statement, constantly matching her eyepatch to her outfit.

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