The Multitude of Space Operas

With Edge of Tomorrow releasing in a couple of days away and its alien aspect got me thinking about space operas. Sure, Edge of Tomorrow may not be a space opera, but there are a number of visual portrayals of space operas at this point that people are far more accepting. Heck, the mother of all space operas, Star Wars is returning to the big screen. While I enjoyed the original trilogy as a child, and when I was little I embraced episodes 1-3 without major issues, Star Wars is not my favorite. I’ll talk about that later though. Space operas have been on the forefront of people’s minds since we first knew what space was. And space operas began to flourish even more after we first reached the moon and space had become an eventual attainable goal.

What is a Space Opera?

Tatooine

Tatooine

A space opera is a grand story based out in space. It is very much like an epic fantasy in the sense that a space opera is sprawling and tends to have a major effect on those not just concentrated on one planet. It isn’t uncommon for a space opera to hop from planet to planet as the story unravels. Like I mentioned before, these stories tend to be big and sprawling with a widescope similar. That doesn’t mean there aren’t extremely personal journeys that occur in a space opera, but it does mean there is a bigger story as well.

Science Fiction or Fantasy?

One of the things that can get blurry with space opera is what genre space opera inhabits. Yes, space operas are included within Science Fiction. This is mainly because a space opera inhabits something that is almost universally lumped with science fiction, space. However, many space operas are creating entire new worlds, with new customs and inhabitants in ways that second world fantasies are often created. With us currently locked here on Earth and no outside communication, we know nothing of what is really out there so we make things up. We great grand worlds that if it weren’t tied to the ominous space that we all know is out there, it would be considered fantasy.

My Favorite Space Opera

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Now, there are all sorts of space operas, there’s Star Wars and Star Trek. There was the space western Firefly and it’s movie counterpart Serenity. There’s the Ender’s Game series and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. There are the TV staples, Doctor Who, Stargate, and Babylon 5. And then there is my favorite, Battlestar Galactica.

Admittedly, Battlestar Galactica can be a hard series to first get into. The show is weighty and it begins delivering from the start. However, once you get past the rough patch of getting in to it, Battlestar Galactica is a highly rewarding show that displays the human struggle as people do their best to survive against their own creations. Sure, themes can be laid on thick some times, but there is still something organic that emerges from the show that many shows never reach. You feel a connection to these people and even the cylons that you were meant to dislike. It digs its claws into you.

What is your favorite space opera?

3 thoughts on “The Multitude of Space Operas

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