by Jim Gibbons
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, they may not have had Movember—the men’s health charity event where blokes grow mustaches to raise funds for the Livestrong and Prostate Cancer Foundations—but they certainly had facial hair. And where razors are needed, there are brave and bold gentlemen willing to take their whiskers where few dapper, masculine men have gone before.
From the far-flung future to the other side of the universe, here are some of sci-fi’s finest mustaches.
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy
You can’t have a list of great sci-fi ’staches without lauding the luscious upper lip hair of the smoothest guy in the Star Wars galaxy! Lando Calrissian—a gambler turned administrator turned military general—was one of the greatest heroes the Rebel Alliance had in the fight against the Galactic Empire. A notorious ladies’ man as well, flashing that mustachioed smile could melt hearts of women from Coruscant to the Outer Rim.
Edward James Olmos as Admiral William Adama in “Battlestar Galactica” and Gaff in “Blade Runner”
Sporting a fuzzy caterpillar in one of science-fiction’s most celebrated films and one of its most beloved television series (albeit infrequently as Adama) is cause for praise. That’s a ’stache-sprouting face with some serious longevity in the medium! Be it as the fedora-sporting, origami -folding future cop Gaff in “Blade Runner” or humanity’s last and best hope against the Cylon menace as Adama, when you see EJO’s mustache, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride.
Tom Selleck as Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay in “Runaway”
This 1984 flick, written and directed by Michael Crichton, about household robots going renegade and running amuck is pretty abysmal and would be forgettable if it weren’t for one of the greatest mustaches in men’s facial hair history. Jack Ramsay is, essentially, only on this list because he was brought to life by Selleck’s ’stache in its prime: “Runaway” was filmed between seasons of “Magnum P.I.” That said, the movie does feature Selleck going up against Gene Simmons and his army of killer robots, so it’s got something going for it besides that killer ’stache.
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek franchise
Compiling this list without including one of the finest engineers in Starfleet history, grower of one of Starfleet’s finest mustaches, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, would be a crime against the entire genre. Working alongside Starfleet greats like James T. Kirk and Spock, Scotty saved countless lives with his adept transporter and engineering skills. The man (and his mustache) even managed to save his pattern in a transporter beam for almost 75 years, making his the only mustache on this—or any Movember list—to be on duty for nearly a century.
Sharlto Copley as Wikus van de Merwe in “District 9”
Moving on to a more modern sci-fi classic, but one that also features an accent that whispers through the whiskers of a wondrous ’stache, “District 9” put its mustachioed protagonist through the paces and then some. As Wikus’ ’stache remained steadfast, his view of the oppressed prawns changed as drastically as his physiology, helping to reaffirm the genre as a prime place for social commentary alongside mind-boggling special effects.
Carl Weathers as George Dillon and Jesse Ventura as Blain Cooper in “Predator”
Two former professional athletes turned actors playing two hardcore, camo-clad bad asses that a Predator would travel across the universe to hunt, these manly mustaches went head-to-head with one of the greatest hunters in the galaxy. You get double your mustache buck with this classic! Sure, they met their demise, but to one of science-fiction’s greatest alien monsters. Getting shaved like that ain’t a bad way to go out for an action hero!
Sean Connery as Zed in “Zardoz”
The first Bond’s finest role it is not, but “Zardoz” is a crappy cult classic that’ll leave your jaw hanging about as far from your mustache as possible in disbelief. Those who have seen it love it or hate it, but just look at that ponytail! That diaper! That ’stache! You can debate the merits of the film, but you can’t mess with that mustache.
Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore in “Ghostbusters”
This mustache… (A) Ain’t afraid of no ghosts. (B) Knows that if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “Yes!” (C) Loves Jesus’ style. (D) Busts specters for a steady paycheck. (E) Enjoys science explained in terms of Twinkies. (F) Loves New York City. (G) All of the above. If you answered “G,” well… ’nuff said, right?
Jim Gibbons is an assistant editor at Dark Horse Comics and a third year Movember participant. You can follow his mustache growth progress and donate to his Movember efforts at http://mobro.co/jimgibbons, and follow him on Twitter at @EnemyOfPeanuts.