Fathers and daughters have a special relationship in the movies, sentimentalized to the extreme in movies like the original Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy doting on Elizabeth Taylor. That movie came out in 1950, just as the first great decade for science fiction cinema was getting started. Every monster / space flick of the era seemed to feature a brainy but befuddled scientist with a beautiful daughter, waiting to be kissed by the police officer / brave citizen / gun-toting hero. The fathers were protective; the daughters needed to be protected.
As the decades have passed, the idea of "Daddy's Little Girl" hasn't progressed very much. Women have played more warriors and have safeguarded their own daughters, but when it comes to the father / daughter dynamic, very few relationships have been portrayed with much subtlety or depth. For a mainstream comparison, take a look at Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness, in which Mel Gibson plays a Boston police detective seeking vengeance for the murder of his daughter. The film is a tight thriller featuring an abundance of dramatic flavor. What drives the narrative forward, however, is Gibson's memory of his lost adult daughter as a little girl, the darling child with shaving cream on her face, shaving with a comb in imitation of her loving father.
Here are the top sci-fi fathers and daughters, the highlights and low lights of the genre's least appreciated family relationship.
1. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Darth Vader doesn't have any kind of relationship with his daughter as his daughter -- he thinks she's the enemy -- but it's the mere threat that he will have one that whips Luke Skywalker into a frenzy. Surely the blood shared by Darth and Leia informs the entire series.