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My Favorite Lesser-Known Space Opera Films

Dennis Reynolds


For every Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar, there's a space opera flick that didn't receive a fraction of the attention of those films. Some of these are inspired by those films, other are blatants knock-offs. Some of these are good, some bad, some inbetween - but all are entertaining! jj2 


My criteria:

- I'm not counting anything like Dune or John Carter (both films that I like) that in spite of being flops are such notorious flops that they're still pretty well known.

- Just movies, not counting shows like Farscape or ShadowRaiders.




Barbarella, an astronaut from the 41st century, sets out to find and stop the evil scientist Durand Durand, whose Positronic Ray threatens to bring evil back into the galaxy.


This movie is just endlessly entertaining to me, and for a fun fact it's where Duran Duran (one of my favorite bands) got their name from.




A young farmer sets out to recruit mercenaries to defend his peaceful planet, which is under threat of invasion by the evil tyrant Sador and his armada of aggressors.


Notice that the ship is intentionally designed to look like a pair of tits...and it was designed by James Cameron!




A young man learns that he has to find a hidden Earth ship before an enemy alien species does in order to secure the survival of humanity.


I think the blend of CGI and traditional animation is pretty cool, and it really highlights just how alien the Drej are. 




A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.


Wolfman Channing Tatum clad in rocket boots fights a dragonman on the planet Jupiter. That alone makes this film great.




A video game expert Alex Rogan finds himself transported to another planet after conquering The Last Starfighter video game only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack.


A bit silly on the whole, but still a good time. Interesting for its (clunky) early uses of CGI.


...and that's all for now! Can't wait for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to (maybe) be awesome and (certainly) flop hard at the box office! 


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