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Captain Space, Defender of Earth!

In The Future, when mankind has 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 Operas and serials, known as Captain Space, Defender Of Earth!

Yes, his origins make him a Dead Unicorn Trope, based more on Captain Kirk and Adam West's portrayal of Batman than of the old Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers stories, but that does not stand in the way of his quest For Great Justice! Okay, it might, but even if he is an arrogant Jerkass (meant to mock the old values, or what we think they were), that won't stop people from admiring him due to his deep, manly voice, larger than life mannerisms, dedication to truth and justice, and some of his trusty gadgets (Ray Gun mandatory).

When our hero actually is heroic, although sometimes an idiot, he leads the fight to stop Death Rays, alien armadas, Space Pirates, and Evil Overlords from destroying The Federation! Furthermore, he does not need to do this alone, as he is always accompanied by a Girl Friday, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, or a Space Cadet, who may also be parodies of their respective archetypes or the true saviors of the day!

In animation our hero is often drawn with an exaggerated chin, a top-heavy body, to show off his space manliness!

And to think that Captain Proton of Star Trek: Voyager was a more accurate portrayal of the old serials than this trope!

Compare The Cape, The Ace, Raygun Gothic, Captain Superhero (which this can overlap if a character is a space hero and a superhero), For Great Justice, SpaceX.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

Comic Book

Film — Live Action

Film — Animated

Literature
  • Honor Harrington has the 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 Robert A. Heinlein wrote The Rolling Stones in The Fifties: 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 universe, this is how Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) is portrayed. Whether he is or not in person is debatable.
  • Used as a joke in-universe in the X-Wing Series.
    "Elassar Targon, master of the universe!"
  • The Doctor Who New Adventures novel The Highest Science has the Doctor discover a triangular video cassette showing "Captain Millennium" battling "Libidia, Queen of the Virenies", which he considers to be So Bad, It's Good. (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 glamourised sort of way".)
  • Toby Frost's Space Captain Smith, hero of the British Space Empire, is Captain Space with a Stiff Upper Lip.

Live-Action TV

Newspaper Comic

Video Games

Web Original
  • Homestar Runner has "Space Captainface, pretender of the galaxies", Strong Bad's alter ego as head astronaut/poster boy for Strong Badia's space program, the Strong Badian Association of Some Aluminum Foil.

Western Animation
  • Atomic Betty, to add to the retro-futuristic appeal of the show.
  • Ben 10 and specially it sequels are known to play this trope straight. The Plumbers are a secret Space Police 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 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 Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien shows a very diverse set of Plumbers with many of them falling squarely on this trope.
    • With the increasing Space Opera elements in the series, this is seen as a logical progression, inter-planetary travelling became a standard of the series, and many of the villians in the show are classical sci-fi enemies that must be dealt with a regular space hero.
  • Duck Dodgers, in both the original cartoon and its TV series Spin-Off.
  • Major Courage of "Courage of the Cosmos", a Show Within a Show in the DuckTales episode, "Where No Duck Has Gone Before".
  • Zapp Brannigan of Futurama, although he is more explicitly a parody of Captain Kirk (his character was originally pitched as "What if William Shatner was captain of the Enterprise rather than Kirk?).
  • Commander Hoek and Cadet Stimpy
  • The "Starboy and the Captain of Outer Space" movie-within-a-show in Home Movies.
  • Crash Nebula in a Show Within a Show of The Fairly OddParents.
  • Space Ghost is a rare example that plays this trope completely straight.

Other


The Butler Did ItDead Unicorn TropeDroit du Seigneur
Busby Berkeley NumberStock ParodiesCharlie and the Chocolate Parody
Came from the SkyTropes in SpaceCasual Interstellar Travel
Black Best FriendImageSource/Live-Action TVCorpsing

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