The best science fiction stories capture our imaginations with clever worldbuilding, cool visuals, and interesting ideas. But sometimes the most powerful thing of all can be just a person speaking eloquently.

Nothing else can get the heart pounding or blood pumping more than words. No more so than when they are uttered in the form of memorable speeches given in some of the greatest movies in science fiction.

Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike in Star Trek (2009)

Not so much a speech as it is a kick in the gut lecture. The reckless and young James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) had a lot to learn before becoming the captain of the Enterprise. Good for him then that a friend of his father – Captain Christopher Pike – was there to keep him in line.

Pike’s short chat with a beaten-up Kirk following a bar brawl is an insightful probing of someone’s in-built motivations in order to inspire them to greater heights.

— “Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother’s, and yours. I dare you to do better.”