Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is just around the corner, and in honour of that, we’ve decided to make a list of some of our favourite space operas, not including anything from the Star Wars franchise, because that would just be too easy!

7 Essential Space Operas

Guardians of the Galaxy

The most recent entry on this list, I don’t think there’s ever been a film that better epitomizes the term ‘space opera’. It’s fun, it’s loud, and it’s unapologetic, Guardians is simply one of the best space films ever made.

7 Essential Space Operas

Flash Gordon

Recently having some exposure thanks to the Ted filmsFlash Gordon is very much a product of another era. It’s one of the most famous cult films of all time, and who doesn’t like seeing Brian Blessed as a flying, golden space warrior?

7 Essential Space Operas

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

We said no Star Wars, we didn’t say no Star Trek! It’s one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time, and Wrath of Khan is widely considered to be the best instalment within that franchise.

7 Essential Space Operas

Dune

This film truly splits audiences, and while everyone agrees that it’s way too long, a lot of people (myself included) think there’s a lot to like about it. There’s got to be a reason so many people want a remake!

7 Essential Space Operas

The Fifth Element

This film was Guardians of the Galaxy before Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a lot of fun, but knows when to get serious, it has an incredible cast, and there are more interesting sci-fi ideas in this film alone than in most long running franchises.

7 Essential Space Operas

Aliens

This one barely makes it onto this list, as it’s more of an action / horror film, but being one of the best space movies ever made, we’ve given it a spot. It’s also one of the few times that a sequel was better than the first film, and when the first film was as good as Alienthat’s saying a lot.

7 Essential Space Operas

Serenity

Not as well like as the TV show it was adapted from, Firefly, Serenity is still a great space adventure. It features the great Joss Whedon’s writing, and has one of the best on-screen villains of all time, in the form of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s ‘The Operative’.

Are there any essential Space Operas that we missed? Which is your favourite on this list? Share any thoughts in the comments.