In the 1986 film Aliens we saw Ripley, Hicks and the rest of her merry band of marines huddle around a laptop, watching with bated breath as their two hastily erected sentry guns kept the tide of incoming xenomorphs at bay. As the sound of distant gunfire reverberates through the room, sounds of critical ammo loss keep the team, and us the view on the edge of our seat.

Why we like it

Over three decades later the stark simplicity of the interface, combined with shrieking alert tones have become as iconic as the scene itself. Faux 3D and visual gimmicks in later films during the 80’s and 90’s pushed too hard to feel futuristic, but have aged poorly. Look at the interface in a modern day F-35 and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was inspired by this sparse yellow and black screen even now.

Further Reading