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. 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 Emmet Asher-Perrin as River Song, being abducted by Madame Kovarian at New York Comic Con 2011)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.