%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1302478740010564600&page=1
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:280:[[Series/TheColbertReport http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tek_jansen_adventures_9477.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:280:[-He's [[SavingTheWorld saved the Earth]], fought [[TheEmpire galactic empires]], and [[ReallyGetsAround obviously had hundreds of girlfriends]].-] ]]
%% The custom title is "Captain Space, Defender of Earth!" with the exclamation point, so don't put an exclamation
%% point after it, or there will be two!

->'''Dr Chaotica:''' Captain Proton!
->'''Tom Paris:''' Spaceman First Class, protector of Earth, scourge of intergalactic evil...at your service.
-->-- ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', "Night"

In TheFuture, when mankind has [[SpaceOpera explored the outer reaches of space]], the forces of evil threaten our peace. But never fear, for humanity is under the stalwart protection of the '''parody hero''' of {{Space Opera}}s and serials, known as '''''[[LargeHamTitle Captain Space, Defender Of Earth!]]'''''

Yes, his origins make him a DeadUnicornTrope, based more on [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Captain Kirk]] and Creator/AdamWest's portrayal of Series/{{Batman}} than of the old ComicStrip/FlashGordon or ComicStrip/BuckRogers stories, but that does not stand in the way of his quest ForGreatJustice! Okay, it might, but even if he is an arrogant {{Jerkass}} (meant to mock the [[ValuesDissonance old values]], or [[HollywoodHistory what we think they were]]), that won't stop people from admiring him (or {{Green Skinned Space Babe}}s from falling into his arms) due to his [[BadassBaritone deep, manly voice]], [[LargeHam larger than life mannerisms]], dedication to truth and justice, and some of his trusty gadgets (RayGun mandatory).

When our hero actually is heroic, although sometimes an {{idiot|hero}}, he leads the fight to stop {{Death Ray}}s, alien armadas, SpacePirates, and {{Evil Overlord}}s from destroying TheFederation! Furthermore, he does not need to do this alone, as he is always accompanied by a GirlFriday, a RagtagBunchOfMisfits, or a SpaceCadet, who may also be parodies of their respective archetypes or [[HypercompetentSidekick the true saviors of the day]]!

In animation our hero is often drawn with [[LanternJawOfJustice an exaggerated chin]], a [[TopHeavyGuy top-heavy body]], to show off his space manliness! In still art, he almost certainly will feature in a parody of a ContemptibleCover, most likely including a LegCling.

Compare TheCape, TheAce, RaygunGothic, CaptainSuperhero (which this can overlap if a character is a space hero and a superhero), ForGreatJustice, SpaceX.

'''Note that this is not merely parodies of space operas. This is about any character(s) acting this way.'''


[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* The eponymous ''Anime/SpaceDandy'', though you'd be mistaken if you ever thought he was in it ForGreatJustice.


[[folder: Comic Book ]]

* ''Comicbook/{{Nexus}}'' has more than a few elements of this, since he was based partly on WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost.
* The idealized Aryan hero Storm Saxon from the show-within-a-comic in ''ComicBook/VForVendetta''.
* ''Comicbook/TwoThousandAD'':
** In 1981 ''Dash Decent'' who was mostly a ''Comicstrip/FlashGordon'' parody, but whose name also suggested ''Comicstrip/DanDare''.
** Around this same time, a "ComicBook/ThargsFutureShocks" strip penned by Creator/AlanMoore centered around Rocket Redglare--"Golden-Haired Guardian of the Galaxy, Steel-Eyed Sentinel of the Spaceways, and Enemy of Evil Extra-Terrestrials." He's been living out his life as a washed up retiree, ever since he defeated his Meng the Merciless -styled arch enemy.
* ''Comicbook/{{Nova}}'' becomes a reconstruction of this in ''Comicbook/{{Annihilation}}''.
* Lance Blastoff, from Creator/FrankMiller's ''Tales to Offend'', is a parody with the sexist and racist elements turned UpToEleven.
* Rocket Raccoon of the ''Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' started as a very weird version of this trope plus FunnyAnimal. He later learned that the people he was protecting were actually abandoned mental patients; he'd been created to serve as the least-threatening asylum orderly possible. This leads to his modern characterization as a cynical, kleptomaniac bounty hunter.
** For that matter, the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy started on the very premise of deconstructing this trope, taking some of Marvel's forgotten characters who had played it straight and remaking them as severely flawed characters.
* DC has their own stable of space heroes: Star Hawkins, Space Ranger, Tommy Tomorrow, and so on. ''Twilight'' was intended to give an update to all of them, as was the New 52 story ''Threshold''.


[[folder: Film -- Animated ]]

* Uncle Art in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'' (voice, appropriately enough, by Creator/AdamWest) is a subversion--his spaceship is a conveyance for delivering pizza.
* Zig-zagged by [[TheLancer Buzz Lightyear]] of ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'', which plays up the parody factor because we see so little of the in-universe Buzz Lightyear franchise that it wouldn't stand out otherwise. The {{spinoff}} cartoon ''WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' is more of a straight SpaceOpera for kids once it had room to stretch its legs.
* Captain Sternn from ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal'', although we don't get to see his [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking exploits]], just the trial.


[[folder: Film -- Live Action ]]

* The Prince of Space from ''Film/PrinceOfSpace''.
** Also his CaptainErsatz Space Chief from ''Film/InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen''.
* Bronco from ''GentlemenBroncos''
* Buckaroo Banzai from ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossThe8thDimension''.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' has the [[ShowWithinAShow series within a series]] ''Preston of the Spaceways'', often mentioned in the context of warning against stupid heroics. To be told one is "playing Preston of the Spaceways" is ''not'' a compliment.
* The parody was firmly entrenched by the time Creator/RobertAHeinlein wrote ''Literature/TheRollingStones'' in TheFifties: Roger Stone and, later, Grandma Hazel help support the family by writing a deliberately over-the-top three-vee serial in the Captain Space Defender mold.
* In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} universe]], this is how Literature/CiaphasCain ('''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!''') is portrayed. Whether he is or not in person is [[UnreliableNarrator debatable.]]
* Used as a joke in-universe in the Literature/XWingSeries.
-->"Elassar Targon, ''[[LargeHam master of the universe]]''!"
* The ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''The Highest Science'' has the Doctor discover a triangular video cassette showing "Captain Millennium" battling "Libida, Queen of the Virenies", which he considers to be SoBadItsGood. (And when it ends on a cliffhanger with the Captain's assistant being threatened by an evil robot, he concludes it's "almost like real life, in a glamorized sort of way".)
* Toby Frost's Literature/SpaceCaptainSmith, hero of the British Space Empire, is Captain Space with a StiffUpperLip.
* In ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'', Oscar Hoffa's work as a television producer includes watching an episode of ''The Adventures of Crunch Crandall, Spaceman'', whose titular hero fights to "save the fair Skarlotta, a Martian lass from the foul clutches of 'It,' the nameless monster of Ursa Minor." Oscar's executive complaints include not seeing enough cleavage on Skarlotta and the monster needing to be recast on the grounds of being "a faggot."


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Tek Jansen of ''Series/TheColbertReport'' is a ParodySue who is [[HerCodeNameWasMarySue written by Colbert himself]].
* "Ace" Rimmer ([[CatchPhrase What a guy!]]); Arnold Rimmer's AlternateUniverse self from ''Series/RedDwarf''. [[CatchPhrase Smoke him a kipper, he'll be back for breakfast.]]
* ''Series/CaptainVideo'', the original TV space hero, was PlayedStraight in his billing as an "electronic wizard! Master of time and space! Guardian of the safety of the world!" All this while being the face of the NoBudget Creator/DuMont network. His future space uniform was made out of an Army surplus uniform, and one of his weapons was made out of car parts.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. The holodeck program ''Film/TheAdventuresOfCaptainProton'' was an AffectionateParody of this trope, even if downplayed compared to most examples.
-->'''Tom Paris:''' (making a DynamicEntry as the hero) Captain Proton: Spaceman First Class, protector of Earth, scourge of intergalactic evil... at your service.
* ''Captain Zoom'', a MadeForTVMovie, deconstructs this trope pretty thoroughly. Note that Captain Zoom is a parody of ''Series/CaptainVideo'', above - Captain Zoom is set on the [=DuMont=] network, which ''Captain Video'' really ran on.


[[folder: Music ]]

* ''Music/DevinTownsend'': Captain Spectacular in Ziltoid the Omniscient is a parody of Star Trek captains. By the Z2 he became much more similar to Captain Space trope.


[[folder: Newspaper Comic ]]

* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'': Calvin's Spaceman Spiff persona, who doesn't defend Earth so much as get randomly captured and shot down on faraway planets.
* Comic strip character ''ComicStrip/BrewsterRockitSpaceGuy!''


[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* Masked {{legacy|character}} wrestler Astroman, primarily seen in the Dominican Republic, though Astroman III wasn't particularly heroic, suffering from ChronicBackStabbingDisorder to the point "The Betrayer" was his RedBaron.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Named for '''CAPTAIN GORDON, DEFENDER OF EARTH!''' of ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness''.
* Captain Qwark of ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank''
* ''VideoGame/ChibiRobo'': Drake Redcrest is an action figure from a ShowWithinAShow.
* ''VideoGame/CaptainCommando'' mixes this with {{Tokusatsu}} tropes.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/{{Blasto}}'' (not to be confused with the arcade game of the same name).
* Ace, AKA Dexter, from ''VideoGame/SpaceAce''.
* [[VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRadGravity Rad Gravity.]]
* ''Captain Cosmos'' from ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. Posters even showed the time slot of his show to be identical to the original air time of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''. In the fifth DLC, one of the major {{NPC}}s is a big fan.
* [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is a modern {{Reconstruction}} of this trope, alongside the myriad of other space sci-fi reconstructions that Mass Effect is famous for.
* Captain Falcon of ''VideoGame/FZero'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' fame is this trope as seen through Japanese eyes, particularly in the latter where he is voiced in [[LargeHam overly hammy]] and [[TerseTalker terse]] FakeAmerican [[IntentionalEngrishForFunny Engrish]].
* ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim'' was a deliberate parody of space heroes plus the MascotWithAttitude.
* Captain Jethro from ''VideoGame/Planet404''


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' has "Space Captainface, pretender of the galaxies", Strong Bad's alter ego as head astronaut/poster boy for Strong Badia's space program, SBASAF (the Strong Badian Administration of Some Aluminum Foil, pronounced "sbace-aff"). His missions include CameraSpoofing an Italian spy satellite and attempting to turn fifteen bucks into a million dollars through a "vague understanding of the theory of relativity".


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty'', to add to the retro-futuristic appeal of the show.
* ''Franchise/{{Ben 10}}'' and especially it sequels are known to play this trope straight. [[TheMenInBlack The Plumbers]] are a secret SpacePolice that deals with different inter-planetary issues, they travel between planets fighting against the bad guys with a different set of weapons or alien superpowers. It's clear that Ben wants to be like this, as he wanted to join in the first series a special organization that was mostly a lighthearted parody of this (They were portrayed as rather cartoonish but still capable and useful) and in the flashforward episodes he is seen as a straight example of this trope. The sequel series ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'' and ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' shows a very diverse set of Plumbers with many of them falling squarely on this trope.
** With the increasing SpaceOpera elements in the series, this is seen as a logical progression, inter-planetary travelling became a standard of the series, and many of the villains in the show are classical sci-fi enemies that must be dealt with a regular space hero.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'', in both [[WesternAnimation/DuckDodgersInTheTwentyFourthAndAHalfCentury the original cartoon]] and its TV series SpinOff.
* Major Courage (a parody of Shatner's Kirk) of ''Courage of the Cosmos'', a ShowWithinAShow in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' episode, "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E4WhereNoDuckHasGoneBefore Where No Duck Has Gone Before]]".
* Zapp Brannigan of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', although unlike most examples he is explicitly a parody of [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Captain Kirk]] (his character was originally pitched as "What if Creator/WilliamShatner was captain of the Enterprise rather than Kirk?").
* The "Starboy and the Captain of Outer Space" movie-within-a-show in ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies''.
* [[AwesomeMcCoolName Crash Nebula]] in a ShowWithinAShow of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost'' is a rare example that plays this trope completely straight.
* The Vindicators, and especially Vance Maximus (Renegade Starsoldier), from ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'', seem to be a more modern take on this, with Maximus himself being a clear nod to the film portrayal of [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Star-Lord]]. This contrasts with Rick and the various sci-fi beings he usually interacts with, who are based more on cheesy eighties and nineties cartoons.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', Lars helps the Off-Color Gems steal a CoolStarship in an OffscreenMomentOfAwesome. He then becomes the ship's commander, and gets fully into this trope when making decisions (while posing heroically).

[[folder: Other ]]

* ''Website/TheOnion'': Crash Comet, Space Commander From The Year Two Thousand, nemesis of EvilOverlord opinion columnist [[http://www.theonion.com/personalities/gorzo-the-mighty,1026/ Gorzo the Mighty.]]