[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/WildGuns http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Wildguns_9358.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:[[ComicBook/CowboysAndAliens Cowboys, and aliens,]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot and robots]], [[TheWizardOfOz oh my!]]]]

->''"In a matter of seconds, the plaza had gone from a ghostly quiet to a shoot out that would have been at home in a holodrama about the Old West."''
-->-- '''The Backwards Mask ({{TabletopGame/Traveller}} New Era Trilogy)''' by Matthew Carson

TheWestern '''[-[[RecycledInSPACE IN SPACE!]]-]'''. Basically TheWestern [[XMeetsY Meets]] WagonTrainToTheStars. The actual extent of this varies from series to series, as the term is often synonymous with "Science-Fiction Western." The idea is that the vast distances of space have formed barriers and difficulties similar to those faced by [[SettlingTheFrontier American settlers as they crossed and developed the continent]], forcing the people to become independent or even insular, with help from whatever central authority (if any) that laid claim to the land long in coming, and immediate protection once again becoming a personal matter. Technology will vary, usually being less and less high-tech the further out you go from the center of civilization. This causes a [[AnachronismStew curious mix of seemingly anachronistic elements]] such as robots and horses being used at the same time (of course, ''[[MechanicalHorse robot]]'' [[MechanicalHorse horses]] are a common option too).

Essentially, this is nostalgia, allegory, or pragmatism meeting the fact Space is [[TheFinalFrontier the last unexplored territory]], while ignoring that guns and anti-authoritarianism mixes poorly with fragile life-support systems.

Many settings end the similarities there, in spirit, while others seem to have the people [[InTheStyleOf deliberately aping the style]] of TheWildWest in response to the situation. Basically, the question is when the hero(es) comes riding/flying into town, how many of them are wearing cowboy hats.

Depending on how epic the story is, a SpaceWestern can also be somewhat of a SpaceOpera. May involve AsteroidMiners.

Compare NewOldWest, CattlePunk, SamuraiCowboy.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* ''CowboyBebop'', particularly the episode "[[CowboyEpisode Cowboy Funk]]" where the BountyHunter ''Cowboy Andy'' dress like a typical movie cowboy including a white BadassLongcoat and rides on a horse.
* ''OutlawStar''
* ''{{Trigun}}'', although the "space" bit isn't as evident until later on in the series.
* ''GalaxyExpress999'', especially the second episode in the almost deserted town in Mars resembles SpaghettiWestern.
* ''Anime/SaberRiderAndTheStarSheriffs'' (originally ''Anime/SeiJuushiBismarck'')
* ''Manga/SpaceAdventureCobra''
* The first scene or so of ''TransformersVictory''.
* ''GunXSword'', though more of a space SpaghettiWestern, with HumongousMecha.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Many of the ''[[ComicBook/TwoThousandAD 2000 AD]]'' strips set in the [[JudgeDredd Cursed Earth]] play out like {{Spaghetti Western}}s, including "Missionary Man" and "The Dead Man".
** The batch of early ''JudgeDredd'' stories set on Luna 1 were modeled especially as a western set on Earth's moon.
* ''JustAPilgrim'' is explicitly based on Western tropes.
* The story "Shootout At Ice Flats" in the 1996 ''{{Supergirl}}'' Legends of the Dead Earth annual was about a Kara-lookalike sheriff on an ultra-primitive frontier world. Forget laser guns, the people of this world didn't even know what a gun ''looked'' like.
* Traditional Western AntiHero ComicBook/JonahHex, for a brief time around the CrisisOnInfiniteEarths, was sent via TimeTravel to an AfterTheEnd future. The GenreShift was not well received.
* BronzeAge {{Superman}} foe Terra-Man was a human kidnapped by aliens in the 19th century. He grew up as their slave, eventually escaped, and became a successful SpacePirate. He eventually returned to Earth only to find that he'd spent so much of his life traveling at [[TimeDilation relativistic speeds]] that 100 years had passed. Despite all his high tech equipment, culturally he was a literal space cowboy, and he dressed appropriately. He even acquired an alien steed named Nova that looked like a winged horse.
* ''ComicBook/FearAgent'' hits this trope pretty square, with its big-buckle toting, hard-drinking, down-home wisdom spewing, alien exterminating protagonist.
* Jack T. Chance, the GreenLantern of Garnet, was a gunslinger-turned-lawman, tasked with with cleaning up the WretchedHive of garnet, armed with his power ring and trusty six-shooter.
* CharltonComics published six issues of a comic book actually titled ''Space Western''. ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, one issue even upped the ante with a story in which [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SpaceWestern_350_5628.jpg Space Cowboys fight Space NAZIS... in Space!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', a continuation of the TV show ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', is arguably an example of this. Though it contains more hi-tech elements than most of Firefly's episodes, it still has that Western vibe in places. Sadly, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCebemDzaSs&feature=related country theme song]] is not played until the end of the credits, and then it's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud83soZpEj4 a very de-countrified version]].
* ''Film/{{Outland}}'' has often been described as ''HighNoon'' in space, though it merely borrows some of its themes. However the basic concept of a gun-toting 'Marshal' in a corrupt frontier mining town, fighting a lone battle for justice, is definitely drawn from the Western genre.
* ''StarWars'' dabbles in this. Han Solo, for example, is a sort of Old West gunslinger, and the cantina in Mos Eisley is a western bar, complete with random brawling. Boba Fett walks with a sound resembling the jingling of cowboy spurs, too. Tatooine is pretty much the Wild West of Star Wars. Mos Espa spaceport is like a typical old western town with little law enforcement, [[TheSavageIndian savage]] [[SpaceJews natives]] wanting their land, farms, shady saloons, smugglers, all set on an endlessly sprawling desert.
* PeterDavid wrote a SpaceWestern called ''Oblivion''. With George Takei as an eccentric doctor who talked almost entirely in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' references, and [[Series/{{Batman}} Julie Newmar]] as [[MissKitty Miss]] [[CatGirl Kitty]].
* ''Film/MoonZeroTwo'' (a movie mostly known these days by having been featured on ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'') was actually advertised as "the first Moon Western".
* ''Film/TheAmericanAstronaut'' is a SpaceWestern musical! Now try to wrap your heads around that. Also ''StingraySam''.
* Ironically, ''SpaceCowboys'' wasn't a western at all. Despite the presence of Clint Eastwood.
* ''Film/CowboysAndAliens'' even though it takes place right here on Earth.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' as a whole is one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Many works by Creator/MikeResnick, especially ''Literature/SantiagoAMythOfTheFarFuture''.
* Creator/LRonHubbard's ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth''. Kinda sorta.
* Creator/PoulAnderson and GordonRDickson's first ''Literature/{{Hoka}}'' story features the Hokas cheerfully recreating the Wild West.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'' has a story ''The Tale of the Adopted Daughter'' which takes place on a frontier planet that is a Western in space-- but just barely in space; most of the elements could have been transplanted from Kansas with little modification.
* Parodied in ''[[http://www.spacewesterns.com/articles/1/ Bat Durston, Space Marshall]]'', a short story by G. Richard Bozarth.
* ''Dragonfall 5 and the Space Cowboys'', one of the sci-fi juveniles by Brian Earnshaw.
* "On The High Frontier" by MichaelFlynn deliberately transplants Western cliches into space and gives them a [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness hard-science]] spin.
* HBeamPiper's "Lone Star Planet" is something of an AffectionateParody - take a planet of [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texan stereotypes]] and add a courtroom drama (with a system based on working out whether the politician you shot had it coming, no less).
* HarryHarrison's ''BillTheGalacticHero''.
* AndreNorton's ''Beast Master'' and its sequel ''Lord of Thunder''.
* Bernard Schaffer's ''Guns of Seneca 6'' is a re-working of the Tombstone mythos, on a dry planet a far, far away. Other books in the series follow a similar theme.
* Andersons TechnicHistory series is a setting based on frontier development. It seems to be inspired more by Elizabethan traders then by the western per se.
* The ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series is for the most part Literature/HoratioHornblower...[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE]], and as such its atmosphere is mostly [[WoodenShipsAndIronMen old-school British naval fiction]]. The planet [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]], however, [[PlayedStraight plays this trope]] ''[[UpToEleven even straighter]]'' than ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.
* ''Shining Armor'' by Dominic Green. CoolOldGuy pilots a GiantMecha against a "[[HiredGuns Persuasion Consultancy]]" attempting to run some farmers off their land so it can be used to mine radioactive materials.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' - Probably the most obvious Space Western. After all, people say "ain't" and "I reckon", carry weapons that resemble six shooters, and live in small towns with wooden buildings and one street.
** Not to mention TheWestern [[{{BGM}} background music]], the cowboys hats, and, in one of their bigger jobs, actually transporting cattle from one planet to another. Space cowboys and proud of it, [[FutureSlang gorram]] it...
** Watch "Our Mrs Reynolds". You're several minutes in before you see anything outside of the 19th century.
** Take a look at some of their guns. One is using a Le Mat revolver, and another is using a cut-down lever action. WordOfGod says it was the same prop used in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr.''
** And then in Series/{{Castle}}, [[NathanFillion Nathan]] wears his Mal Reynolds outfit from Firefly, for Halloween, only for the idea of a space cowboy to be seen as ridiculous. "Where are you going to find cows in space?"
** In-universe, the SchizoTech elements of this setting were explained as the result of more-or-less deliberate suppression of the backwaters by the (substantially less Western-themed) Alliance. You could tell whether a given planet was a Core (Alliance) planet or Rim (Independent) planet by whether it looked like a western where everyone happened to own spaceships, or a space opera where everyone happened to use cowboy slang.
* The old ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'' had many episodes that were take-offs to classic westerns.
** If you consider the fleet's search for Earth analogous to the Mormon migration (in keeping with the whole [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Space Mormon]] theme that infused the entire show) then old BSG entirely fits the mold. ''BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' trades Mormon allusions with the more accessible ''Book of Exodus'' allusions.
* Gene Roddenberry pitched ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' to the networks as a "WagonTrainToTheStars" (naming that trope.)
** Almost every Franchise/StarTrek series had at least one Western episode: the original series had "Spectre of the Gun", ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' had "A Fistful of Datas", and ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' had "North Star".
** Although not a SpaceWestern per se, ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' does draw on Western tropes: the sheriff (Odo), the bar/brothel (Quark's, with Dabo girls and Holosuites of Ill-Repute), the frontier town (the space station) near a strategic pass (the wormhole), and so on.
*** The producers stated that ''Deep Space Nine'' was ''Series/TheRifleman'' InSpace. ''Gunsmoke'' would work just as well.
* ''Earth 2'' is a pretty straight Wagon Train ripoff, just one set on a different planet.
* ''Series/TrueJackson'' has a SpaceWestern [[ShowWithinAShow in it's universe]] called ''Space Plantation''.
* Series/RedDwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E4ColonyInSpace "Colony in Space"]]. As ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' puts it: "Bullets richochet through this story of [[DeterminedHomesteader stouthearted frontiersmen]], [[MagicalNativeAmerican inscrutable natives]], and [[CorruptCorporateExecutive ruthless claim-jumpers]]".
** [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/DoctorWhoS10E3FrontierInSpace "Frontier in Space"]] also qualifies.
** Not to mention the new series episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy "A Town Called Mercy"]], which is ShowdownAtHighNoon in a small western town with aliens and {{cyborg}}s.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E6TheSpacePirates "The Space Pirates"]]", despite sharing a name with [[SpacePirates another trope]], also qualifies. The TARDIS Wiki [[http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Space_Pirates_%28TV_story%29 says]] "Indeed, the character of Milo Clancey wasn't even an ''allusion'' to a western stereotype; he was a wildcat {{prospector}} who dressed as if he'd just walked off the set of ''Series/{{Bonanza}}''."
** The audio drama "Return of the Rocket Men" is a space SpaghettiWestern starring Steven.
* Referenced on an episode of SesameStreet when Ernie watches a TV show called ''Cowboys in Space''.
* ''Series/{{Defiance}}'' takes place on earth after an apocalyptic alien invasion, but it has many Western tropes. Nolan is the sheriff in all but name with Irisa as his [[MagicalNativeAmerican psychic Irathient]] cohort, you got land disputes with hostile tribes, highway banditry, and Arkhunters looking to find the big one.
* The short-lived British SF series ''Series/{{Outcasts}}'' didn't indulge in stetsons and mock-Western dialogue, but it was otherwise completely in the genre, with an isolated fortified human colony on an alien planet, philosophical disputes between adventurers and homesteaders, and enigmatic hostile aliens.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "Music/KnightsOfCydonia" by Music/{{Muse}}.
* Steve Miller's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5lRXB39Zd8 Space Cowboy]].
** Not to be confused with "The Joker," which has a line [[ContinuityNod referencing]] the earlier song.
* Kenny Rogers' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa6evJIBAVo Planet Texas]].
* The ZZTop album ''Afterburner''.
* John Yager's "Benson, Arizona", as used in ''Film/DarkStar'', might technically be covered under this trope by dint of being a Country and Western ballad with sci-fi themes.
* Music/TaijiSawada's work with D.T.R. combines the trope with WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs, occasional HardRock / HeavyMetal fused with countryish sound, and even the occasional ProtestSong or HorribleHistoryMetal in his first two albums, ''Daring Tribal Roar'' and the self-titled ''Dirty Trashroad.'' The acoustic version of ''Daring Tribal Roar'' is pure western soft rock remixes of some of the songs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:New Media]]
* [[http://www.spacewesterns.com/ Spacewesterns.com]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* ''LEGORockRaiders'' is basically a combination of this and the AsteroidMiners trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''{{Rifts}}'' features a number of SpaceWestern themes in the "New West" setting, although they're more limited in scope (pretty much the same places as the ''old'' WildWest.
* The D20 game ''Dinosaur Planet: Broncosaurus Rex'' is a space western on an alien planet with dinosaurs.
* ''{{TabletopGame/Traveller}}'': The default setting is The Spinward Marches, a semi-civilized place with constant low-key mayhem going on in between wars. Traveller has plenty of room for [[TheEpic epic]] [[TheQuest quests]], gigantic SpaceBattle s and secrets that ManWasNotMeantToKnow. But it also has low-key adventures for when the players are in a lighter mood.
* ''Lost Colony'', the final setting produced for the ''{{Deadlands}}'' system.
* NewHorizon is generally a western [[RecycledInSpace ON A WHOLE NEW PLANET!]], but nowhere is this more evident than Trapper Town.
* While not a huge part of the setting, BattleTech did feature a few planets that definitely had this vibe, right down to some fiction featuring cattle ranchers fighting off Comanche raiders.
** This is the basic feel the novels and campaigns that involve the 17th Recon Regiment, AKA Camacho's Caballeros. They're a RagtagBunchOfMisfits consisting troublemakers, roughnecks, rancher families, and cowboys, and yet are one of the most tightly-knit mercenary regiments in the game. They basically ''make'' situations into Space Westerns, even when they end up having to deal with Space {{Yakuza}} (and literal ancient secret society conspiracies). This is because the Regiment's home planets were colonized by people from Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. As they put it "We ''are'' Cowboys and Indians."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Music/SamShepard's ''Tooth of Crime'' is pretty much SpaceCowboy [[XMeetsY meets]] ThePowerOfRock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Natsume's ''VideoGame/WildGuns'' for the Super NES.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' is set on a lawless desert planet where everyone has a Texan accent.
** And on a planet that's filled to the gills with alien tech and giant fuck-off rocket launchers, the best weapons are [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]], natch.
** In [[Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}} the sequel]], Jakobs guns exemplify this, being anachronistically Western-themed guns. There's also the town of Lynchwood, an anachronistic town ruled over by the corrupt Sheriff Nisha.
** ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'' seems set to continue this theme.
* The ''GunmanChronicles'' commercial total conversion for ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' purported to have a Western theme.
* The old {{Mac}}-originated lightweight FourX game ''VideoGame/SpacewardHo'' is notable for its cutesy frontier ęsthetic, including the distinctive be-Stetson'd planet pictured at the top of its page.
* ''VideoGame/{{MULE}}'', to some extent.
* Blizzard's ''Franchise/StarCraft'' franchise heavily favors this trope, especially with the DeepSouth-flavored Terran faction. Cut off from Earth, the Terrans of the sector have had to make do and forge an existence for themselves. Much of their technology is cobbled together and has a rough, industrial look to it, resulting in frontier saloons where soldiers in power armor go to drink.
** Notably, this trait increases in ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}'', where the {{Dixieland}} aesthetic is replaced for a grungy, pseudo-''Series/{{Firefly}}'' one, complete with saloons, revolvers, and Western-style musical cues. The single-player campaign for the first installment, ''[[VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty Wings of Liberty]]'', even has a cantina on a starship where [[Music/LynyrdSkynyrd "Sweet Home Alabama"]] plays on a jukebox. Not to mention [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome "Free Bird"]].
* ''Billy Frontier''
* ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' lifts a fare bit of the western genre, including character archetype and setting (and a soundtrack with a decent use of harmonica), but is clearly futuristic in setting. Also, it includes the cowboy fashioned "Rider" trainer class.
* ''VideoGame/{{Awesomenauts}}'' has a very literal one in the form of Sheriff Lonestar. An [[ArtificialHuman Artificial Cowboy]] created by a band of cow-people in the image of their boogeyman, he was initialy intended as a tourist attraction, to show how cowboys live their life. But then he got out, and [[GoneHorriblyRight the cow-people got a hands-on demonstration of how a cowboy wrangles cattle]]. One wrangled planet later, he grabbed a space vessel, [[RidingIntoTheSunset rode off into the sunset]] and joined the Awesomenauts to earn Solar and live like the Western stereotype he is.
* ''VideoGame/WildStar'' has this, MagiTek, and an ongoing war between a RagTagBunchOfMisfits Faction and TheEmpire.
* ''Videogame/{{Starbound}}'' has a race of western-themed CelestialBody aliens called the Novakid, who make their clothing and technology like literal space cowboys, even carrying revolvers as weapons, and distilling nebulae to make moonshine. Oddly enough, this is more of an average than being stuck in an era, as they have both high intelligence and a very short memory and attention span, both as a race and individually, so they can swing from stone age to space age and back in the span of a couple centuries.
* ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' has humanity sending homesteaders and settlers to colonize an area of space called The Frontier, creating some very Western-esqe towns and settlements. These settlers and colonists have banded together along with assorted mercenaries,pirates,smugglers and ex-military members to throw the corrupt [[MegaCorp IMC]] out of the Frontier. The menu music also has a distinctly western feel to it, mixing Firefly with Pacific Rim, which pretty much sums up the entirety of the game itself.
* Nearly all of the ''VideoGame/{{Wild Arms}}'' RPG games are this, though the sci-fi elements all tend to be ancient technology found in bits and pieces by prospectors, not part of the player's experience until several hours in. The first two games even have {{Ennio Morricone}} "inspired" musical scores.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* In ''Webcomic/FarOut'', robots are living out TheWildWest. Some of them apparently come down from the sky.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://thewikia.deviantart.com/art/Northern-Legend-Chapter-1-Of-Men-and-Murder-355198474 Northern Legend]] is a different take on the genre in an effort to avoid the usual cliches or take them from new angles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Where the Buggalo Roam." Not to mention the cowboy hat-clad parallel universe.
* ''WildWestCOWBoysOfMooMesa'' features alien [[FunnyAnimal "cattle" men]]. The tie-in merchandise stated that the characters were the result of a weird radioactive meteor mutating Earth's animal life.
* ''WesternAnimation/JayceAndTheWheeledWarriors'' combined SpaceWestern with ''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'', ''Series/BattleBots'', and demolition derby. Weird, but awesome.
* An episode of the ''SuperFriends'' from the 4th season -- that's the season '''after''' ''Challenge of the [=SuperFriends=]'' -- takes place on planet Texicana. It ends with GreenLantern drawing two green laser pistols while sporting a green cowboy hat.
[[/folder]]

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