The film was conceived by Todd Farmer, and was the only pitch that he gave to the studio, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the film series, while the crossover film Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell.
Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) is captured by the United States government and held at the Crystal Lake Research Facility, finally captured in seven years. In 2010, government scientist Rowan LaFontaine (Lexa Doig) decides to place Jason in frozen stasis after several failed attempts to kill him. While Private Samuel Johnson (Jeff Geddis) places a blanket on Jason, Dr. Wimmer (David Cronenberg), Sergeant Marcus (Markus Parilo), and a few soldiers hope to further research Jason's rapid cellular regeneration and try to take Jason. They pull off the blanket covering his body, but find Johnson dead, instead. Having broken free of his restraints, Jason kills the soldiers and Wimmer. Rowan lures Jason into a cryogenic pod and activates it. Jason then ruptures the pod with his machete and stabs Rowan in the abdomen, spilling cryogenic fluid into the sealed room and freezing them both.
445 years later, in 2455, Earth has become too polluted to support life and humans have moved to a new planet, Earth Two. Three students, Tsunaron (Chuck Campbell), Janessa (Melyssa Ade), and Azrael (Dov Tiefenbach), are on a field trip led by Professor Braithwaite Lowe (Jonathan Potts), who is accompanied by an Android robot, KM-14 (Lisa Ryder). They enter the Crystal Lake facility and find the still-frozen Jason and Rowan, whom they bring to their spaceship, the Grendel. Also on the ship are Lowe's remaining students, Kinsa (Melody Johnson), Waylander (Derwin Jordan), and Stoney (Yani Gellman). They reanimate Rowan while Jason is pronounced dead and left in the morgue. Lowe's intern, Adrienne Thomas (Kristi Angus), is ordered to dissect Jason's body. Lowe, who is in serious debt, calls his financial backer Dieter Perez (Robert A. Silverman), of the Solaris, who notes that Jason's body could be worth a substantial amount to a collector.
While Stoney and Kinsa are having sex, Jason comes back to life and attacks Adrienne, then freezes her face with liquid nitrogen before smashing her head to pieces on a counter. Jason takes a machete-shaped surgical tool and makes his way through the ship. He stabs Stoney in the chest and drags him to his death, to Kinsa's horror. Sergeant Brodski (Peter Mensah) leads a group of soldiers to attack Jason. Meanwhile, Jason attacks and kills Dallas by bashing his skull against the wall after breaking Azrael's back. He then tries to attack Crutch, but Brodski and his soldiers save him. Jason disappears, and after Brodski splits up his team, Jason kills them one by one.
Lowe orders Pilot Lou (Boyd Banks) to dock in on Solaris. As he is talking with the Solaris engineer, he is hacked apart by Jason. With no pilot, the ship crashes through a nearby space station, destroying it, and killing Dieter Perez and everyone else on the Solaris. The crash damages one of the Grendel's pontoon sections. Jason breaks into the lab, reclaims his machete and decapitates Lowe.
With the ship badly damaged, the remaining survivors head for Grendel's shuttle, while Tsunaron heads elsewhere with KM-14. After finding Lou's remains, Crutch (Philip Williams) and Waylander prepare the shuttle. Rowan finds Brodski, but he is too heavy for her to carry, so she leaves to get help. Waylander leaves to help with him, while Crutch prepares the shuttle. Jason kills Crutch by electrocution. On board the shuttle, Kinsa has a panic attack and launches the shuttle without releasing the fuel line, causing it to crash into the ship's hull and explode, killing her. Tsunaron reappears with an upgraded KM-14, complete with an array of weapons and new combat skills. She fights Jason off and seemingly kills him, knocking him into a nanite-equipped medical station and blasting off his right arm, left leg, right rib cage, and, finally, part of his head. The survivors send a distress call and receive a reply from a patrol shuttle.
The survivors set explosive charges to separate the remaining pontoon from the main drive section. As they work, Jason is accidentally brought back to life by the damaged medical station, rebuilt as an even more powerful cyborg called Uber Jason. Jason easily defeats KM-14 by punching her head off. As Tsunaron picks up her still-functioning head, Jason attacks them but is stopped by Waylander, who sacrifices himself by setting off the charges while the others escape. Jason survives and is blown back onto the shuttle. He punches a hole through the hull, blowing out Janessa. A power failure with the docking door forces Brodski to go EVA to fix it.
Meanwhile, a hard light holographic simulation of Crystal Lake is created to distract Jason, but he sees through the deception just as the door is fixed. Brodski confronts Jason so that the rest can escape. As they leave, the pontoon explodes, propelling Jason at high speed towards the survivors; however, Brodski intercepts Jason in mid-flight and maneuvers them both into the atmosphere of Earth Two, incinerating them. Tsunaron assures KM-14 that he will build a new body for her.
On the planet, two teens beside a lake see what they believe is a falling star as Jason's charred mask sinks to the bottom of the lake.Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees / Uber Jason
Lexa Doig as Rowan LaFontaine
Lisa Ryder as Kay-Em 14
Chuck Campbell as Tsunaron
Melyssa Ade as Janessa
Peter Mensah as Sergeant Brodski
Melody Johnson as Kinsa
Derwin Jordan as Waylander
Jonathan Potts as Professor Brandon Lowe
Phillip Williams as Crutch
Dov Tiefenbach as Azrael
Kristi Angus as Adrienne Thomas
Dylan Bierk as Briggs
Amanda Brugel as Geko
Yani Gellman as Stoney
Todd Farmer as Dallas
David Cronenberg as Dr. Wimmer
Robert A. Silverman as Dieter Perez
Marcus Parilo as Sgt. Marcus
Boyd Banks as Fat Lou
Development of Jason X began in the late 1990s while Freddy vs. Jason was still in development hell. With Freddy vs. Jason not moving forward, Sean S. Cunningham decided that he wanted another Friday the 13th film made to retain audience interest in the character. The film was conceived by Todd Farmer, who plays "Dallas" in the film, and was the only pitch he gave to the studio for the movie, having suggested sending Jason into space as a means to advance the film series.
The film score was composed and conducted by Harry Manfredini. It was released on Varèse Sarabande. Jason X's theme song is "Bodies" by Drowning Pool from their album Sinner. The song, while used in the film's theatrical trailer, does not appear in the film, itself.
The film made $13,121,555 in the US and earned $3,830,243 overseas for a worldwide gross of $16,951,798. The film was released on DVD on October 8, 2002. It was released on Blu-ray in 2013, with all of the films in the Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection set.
The film received unfavorable reviews, holding a "Rotten" rating of 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 104 reviews, with the consensus being that "Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past." Metacritic shows the film as having "generally unfavorable" reviews based on 23 critics, with a score of 25/100. American film critic Roger Ebert wrote a scathing review of the film, quoting one of the film's lines: "This sucks on so many levels."
However, the film was better received in the United Kingdom, gaining positive reviews from the country's two major film magazines, Total Film and Empire. Empire's review by Kim Newman in particular praised Jason X as "Wittily scripted, smartly directed and well-played by an unfamiliar cast, this is a real treat for all those who have suffered through the story so far."
Despite the initially negative reception from critics, the film has recently seen a retrospective growth in popularity, particularly among younger fans of the series. Praise has been directed at the film's ability to poke fun at itself and the film series as a whole, as well as inventive death scenes; Adrienne's death in particular (head frozen in liquid nitrogen, and then shattered against a table) is often singled out as a highlight, and was even tested on an episode of MythBusters in 2009.
The film's continued popularity among fans has led to a series of spin-off media.
Beginning in 2003, Black Flame began publishing a series of novels based on Friday the 13th as part of a larger licensing deal with New Line Cinema; a sub-series inspired by Jason X saw publication starting in 2005, and revolved around the further adventures of Uber Jason. The first, a novelization of the film, was written by Pat Cadigan and retold the events of the film. Cadigan returned to write the first follow up, The Experiment, which chronicled a government experiment to exploit Jason’s regenerative abilities to create an army of super soldiers. The third novel, Planet of the Beast was written by Nancy Kilpatrick and follow a scientists attempt to clone Uber Jason. Alex Johnson took over for the fourth novel, Death Moon, which follows Uber Jason after he crash lands at a camp for girls located on the moon. Kilpatrick returned for the final novel, To the Third Power, which sees a Jason clone discovered underneath a prison. In 2006, Black Flame closed and the novels subsequently went out of print. Today, they are highly sought after collectibles among fans.
In addition to the novels, a series of comic books were also published by Avatar Press starting in 2005. The first is a one-shot, also titled Jason X, that acts as a sequel to the film, and follows a bioengineer who attempts to use Jason’s regenerative abilities to save her own life from an incurable disease. A two-issue mini-series called Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Jason X followed in 2006 that saw Uber Jason fight a resurrected version of the original Jason Voorhees. Like the other Friday the 13th comics from Avatar Press, these issues were never collected into trade paperback and the individual issues, as well as variant covers, are valuable among collectors.
In 2017, a video game based on Friday the 13th was released by Gun Media. Though Uber Jason does not appear in the game, actor Kane Hodder, who played Jason Voorhees in Jason X, provides the motion capture for multiple incarnations Jason from the series. Early in the game’s development, an online poll was held by the developers to determine the different incarnations of Jason that would appear in the game, with Uber Jason being one of the possible choices; the character did not receive enough votes for inclusion. However, Gun Media has not ruled out the possibility of including the character later as DLC; shortly after the game's launch in 2017, Ronnie Hobbs, a producer for Gun Media and one of the game's co-creators, asked fans on Twitter for help locating high quality Uber Jason masks and costumes.