As a self-professed science fiction geek, I am always on the lookout for the next big sci-fi event.  As much as I appreciate a well-done sequel or remake, it is original content that gets me excited.  Since the "Star Trek” sequel and “Superman” reboot are making headlines, here are 3 science fiction movies coming in 2013 that are flying under the radar…and they look amazing.

Oblivion – opens April 19, 2013

I admit – I am a huge Tom Cruise fan.  Every science fiction and action movie that he has made is sitting on my movie shelf.  From the trailer, it looks like writer/director Joseph Kosinski took the best action scenes from “Minority Report” and the vulnerability of Cruise’s character in Spielberg’s underrated remake of “War of the Worlds” and constructed this offering.  Cruise plays a drone repairman assigned to Earth, which has been nearly destroyed by evil aliens; during a repair assignment, he finds evidence that the causes him to question what he believes.  This has the making of a well-acted science fiction morality tale, and I’m all in.

Possible Hidden Strength – Morgan Freeman co-stars.  Enough said.

Possible Weakness – This is only the second film that Kosinski has directed, following the ambitious but underwhelming “Tron: Legacy.”  Without the all-consuming CGI of his first film, is Kosinksi up to the task?

After Earth – opens June 7, 2013

Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has become a punch line for bad comedians when they refer to one-hit wonders of the entertainment world.  The critical acclaim he received for “The Sixth Sense” has yet to be eclipsed, but this movie has the potential of helping him break through once again.  Mega-superstar Will Smith and rising star Jaden Smith co-star in this sci-fi survival movie; these two actors have a strong following that will do nothing but help give Shyamalan his next hit.

Possible Hidden Strength – through all of the action sequences and special effects, will Shyamalan use his go-to themes of family and sacrifice could add depth to an otherwise typical big budget summer blockbuster?  It looks like it.

Possible Weakness – Will Smith can carry almost any movie he’s in, but it looks like his son will be playing the main character (portraying children as strong characters is another Shyamalan staple).  If so, is Jaden Smith up to the task?  The movie will hinge on his performance.   

Pacific Rim – opens July 12, 2013

 Writer/director Guillermo del Toro has given us a few genre offerings over the years, from the bizarre fantasy world of “Pan’s Labyrinth” to the underrated “Hellboy” series.  “Pacific Rim” looks like his most ambitious film yet, and the movie trailer looks like he is up to the task.  The sweeping battle sequences between the enormous aliens and giant robots piloted by Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy”) and Idris Elba (“Thor”) will put people in the seats for this potential summer blockbuster. 

Possible Hidden Strength - the smart humor and strong storytelling that del Toro has brought to his previous works could put this in a class above a typical Michael Bay offering

Possible Weakness – when people see this trailer, will they assume that this is a cheesy Transformers vs. Godzilla homage and stay away?

Science fiction seems to be the genre that Hollywood is going after in a big way, on both the big screen and TV.  Get these 3 science fiction movies on your radar for 2013!