Science fiction has made a big splash on the silver screen, pushing technological advances for special effects and painting pictures of where human civilization could possibly go. Here are five flicks you need to see to get ready for the future.

Star Wars (all of them). George Lucas changed the world of movies with this blockbuster set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Equal parts heroic myth and corny space opera, it still holds up.

The Matrix. Cyberspace becomes the next frontier in the Wachowski Brothers’ parable of a life spent in ignorance of another world all around you. Avoid the sequels.

Aliens. Ridley Scott’s balls-out action adventure made Sigourney Weaver one of the hottest action heroes of the decade, with equal parts adrenaline and horror.

WALL-E. Pixar’s animated take on humanity’s future as a species of obese, helpless drones drowning in trash is remarkably advanced for a kid’s movie.

2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick uses science fiction as a vehicle to give the viewers a truly cosmic trip.