[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/RobotChicken http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/star_trek_wrath_of_khan_opera.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[VisualPun Le Wrath]] [[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan di Khan]]]]

->''"It'll be fabulous, believe me, Jerry. It's ''Literature/GrapesOfWrath'' in outer space! Oh, it's got heart, it's got laser battles, it's got a timely message of interstellar poverty--!"''
-->-- '''Lorne''', ''Series/{{Angel}}'' ("Life of the Party")

'''Space Opera''' refers to works set in a spacefaring civilization, usually, though not always, set in the future, specifically the far future. Technology is ubiquitous and secondary to the story. Space opera has an epic character to it: the universe is big, there are usually many sprawling civilizations and empires, there are political conflicts and intrigue. The action will range part of a solar system, at least, and possibly a whole galaxy or more than one. It frequently takes place in a StandardSciFiSetting. It has a romantic element which distinguishes it from most HardScienceFiction: big love stories, epic space battles, oversized heroes and villains, awe-inspiring scenery, and insanely gorgeous men and women.

Historically, it is a development of the PlanetaryRomance that looks beyond the exotic locations that were imagined for the local solar system in early science fiction ([[ScienceMarchesOn which the hard light of science revealed to be barren and lifeless]]) out into an infinite universe of imagined exotic locations. PlanetaryRomance was more or less HeroicFantasy [[AC:In Space]]. While works such as ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' by EdgarRiceBurroughs were pure PlanetaryRomance, ''ComicStrip/BuckRogers'' and its imitators had essentially codified the SpaceOpera concept in the popular imagination by the late 1930s, though the earliest strips took place on an AfterTheEnd future Earth. (''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'', at least in the classic Alex Raymond era remained resolutely PlanetaryRomance, tied to the planet Mongo.)

Expect to see a dashing hero cavorting around in a CoolStarship, {{Green Skinned Space Babe}}s, CrystalSpiresAndTogas civilizations full of SpaceElves, {{Wave Motion Gun}}s capable of dealing an EarthShatteringKaboom on a daily basis, and an evil [[TheEmpire Galactic Empire]] with a StandardSciFiFleet, including an entire universe full of [[UsedFuture beat-up mechanical objects]] capable of being resurrected with PercussiveMaintenance.

Note that this is quite different from the original definition of space opera, which was originally derogatory term, following "horse opera" ([[TheWildWest Western]] cheap westerns) and "SoapOpera" (so named because soap operas began as hour-long ads for soap), which requires no explatnion. The phrase was coined in 1941 by Wilson Tucker to describe what he called "the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn". (It's said that before 1975 or so, the only author who ever intentionally set out to write a space opera was Creator/JackVance, who wrote a novel, ''Space Opera'', literally about an opera company in space.)

Via semantic drift, well-regarded works such as the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series, are today held up as prime examples of SpaceOpera. As more authors and writers came to embrace the style, the term came to lose many of its negative connotations. Assisting that process were writers who regarded all tales of action and adventure in space as bad, and so tried to pejoratively label it all "space opera"; [[AppropriatedAppellation they succeeded with the label, but not with keeping it pejorative.]]

''Franchise/StarWars'' is inarguably the most famous modern example of space opera. (Indeed, ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' may have shifted "space opera" from insult to a more neutral genre descriptor, due to the involvement of veteran sf writer Creator/LeighBrackett.) In ''Star Wars'', technology is either [[MagicFromTechnology magic]] (the Force) or jazzier versions of today's gadgets ([[FrickinLaserBeams blaster rifles]], hovercars, space ships). Any ''Star Wars'' character ([[TheEmperor evil emperor]], {{farmboy}}, [[SaveThePrincess princess]]) would feel at home in a thick fantasy love, in part because editor-publisher Lester del Rey derived the "epic fantasy" template partly from ''Star Wars'' and partly from ''The Lord of the Rings'', though also because these works borrow from the same source of Jungian imagery.

The genre is useful for long [[StoryArc story]] and [[CharacterArc character arcs]] but also expensive to film, unless rendered you in animated form, like countless {{anime}} series.

While [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness Hard Science Fiction]] defines itself, in part in opposition to space opera (and vica versa), in recent years, however, there has been a trend towards incorporating hard science fiction elements ''into'' space opera, as in ''Anime/StarshipOperators'', the 2000s ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and especially [[AlastairReynolds Alistair Reynolds']] ''Literature/RevelationSpace''. In fact, "New Space Opera" has gained some currency as a term referring to works that combine fast-paced adventure plots with some degree of hard SF rigor.

See also SpaceWestern, TwoFistedTales, PulpMagazine, and WagonTrainToTheStars. In many ways, this is the [[SciFiCounterpart science fiction equivalent]] of HighFantasy.

Note that while many more famous space operas go to the "ideal" side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, more recent ones are [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness harder]] and more cynical: ''Series/BabylonFive'', ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' and ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' being most prominent in LiveActionTV.




[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The classic works of Creator/LeijiMatsumoto.
* ''Anime/AngelLinks''
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop''
* ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars''
* ''LightNovel/CrusherJoe'' The first written by HarukaTakachio immediately after seeing ''StarWars''.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' gradually worked its way into this, starting with ''Dragon Ball Z''. Though the series initially concentrated on Earth-based stories, the Saiyan Saga was where things began to exhibit a more galactic scope.
* ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories''
* ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'': ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'' IN SPACE! (Quite different from the AlfredBester novel ''The Stars My Destination'', which does the same way, though not in a SpaceOpera way.)
* ''Manga/GingaSengokuGunyuudenRai''
* ''Anime/GlassFleet''
* The ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise, notable for its ([[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 usual]]) [[AbsentAliens lack of aliens]] and plausible space colonies.
* ''Anime/HeroicAge''
* ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor'', albeit PlayedForLaughs.
* ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', a large scale space opera set in the century old clash between an Empire and a Republic.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
* ''Manga/{{Outlanders}}''
* ''Anime/OutlawStar''
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman''
* ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry''
* ''Manga/SpaceAdventureCobra''
* ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato'', the first space opera anime and among the first space operas to use large scale battles between fleets of spacecraft. Among the first space operas to involve the legend Creator/{{Leiji Matsumoto}}.
* ''Anime/StarshipOperators'', notable for its extreme realism, one of the hardest space operas out there.
* ''Anime/StellviaOfTheUniverse''
* ''Anime/TenchiMuyoRyoOhki'' has many Space Opera elements despite taking place mostly on Earth, while spinoff ''Anime/TenchiMuyoGXP'' and the second half of ''Anime/TenchiUniverse'' are clear-cut examples.
* ''TowardTheTerra''
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (more so in the manga).
* ''LightNovel/{{Tytania}}'', the closest thing to an anime ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' and written by the same author as ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' though it is an independent story.
* ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'' (the vehicle one) / ''DairuggerXV''

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicStrip/BuckRogers'' and its imitator ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'' are the {{Trope Codifier}}s, though the former began as an AfterTheEnd story and only moved into space and the latter originally stayed on the planet Mongo, where Flash, Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkoff have gotten stranded. (The story takes place in the present day.). However, the popular image and later iterations of the strip have Flash Gordon adventuring in space. ''Star Wars'' began after Lucas failed to obtain the rights to ''Flash''. King Features, realizing their mistake, made the ''Film/FlashGordon'' film after the wild success of ''Star Wars''.
%%* ''{{Valerian}}''
* Creator/MarvelComics turned the cosmic part of their SharedUniverse into one giant SpaceOpera, since 2006. Starting with ''[[ComicBook/XMen X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi'Ar Empire]]'' and ''ComicBook/{{Annihilation}}'', we got one epic story after another -- ''ComicBook/AnnihilationConquest'', ''ComicBook/WarOfKings'', ''ComicBook/TheThanosImperative'' and adventures of many cosmic-themed heroes, like Comicbook/{{Nova}} and ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy between them.
* AlexandroJodorowsky's ComicBook/MetabaronsUniverse, particularly ''ComicBook/TheMetabarons''.
* ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' has a foot firmly placed in SpaceOpera, especially in CrisisCrossover comics like ''ComicBook/SinestroCorpsWar'' where Sinestro himself [[spoiler: set the war up so [[XanatosGambit he wins either way.]]]]
* ''ComicBook/XMen'' ventures here occasionally, in the ''ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga'', for instance.
%%* ''ComicStrip/DanDare''
%%* ''ComicBook/TheBalladOfHaloJones'', a borderline example in that it overlaps with MundaneScienceFiction.
%%* ''ComicBook/{{Saga}}''
%%* ''ComicBook/{{Prophet}}''
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' goes into Space Opera territory sometimes, such as for the Xadhoom Trilogy.
* ''ComicBook/{{Shakara}}'' is an incredibly {{Troperrific}} take on this genre, covering the RoaringRampageOfRevenge of a KillerRobot who was made to avenge the deaths of its species at the hands of the evil alien alliance. [[EarthShatteringKaboom Planets blowing up]], [[SpaceBattle spaceship battles]], and {{time travel}} ensue.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
%%* ''FanFic/UndocumentedFeatures''
* ''FanFic/SoldToTheHighestBidder'' is a rather [[DarkFic dark]] one of these, covering the political, emotional, and interpersonal complications of an intergalactic [[SexSlave slave trade]].

* ''Franchise/StarWars'' is perhaps the most famous modern example (as noted in the main description), with its grand and fantastical tale of heroic rebels fighting against the evil Empire set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
%%* ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick''
%%* ''Film/FlashGordon'', though it does not technically count. It set out to emulate the success of ''Star Wars''.
%%** ''Star Wars'' was originally going to be a GenreThrowback of the original ''[[Film/FlashGordonSerial Flash Gordon]]'' serials.
%%* ''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars'', a fun B-Movie ''Star Wars'' clone.
%%* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' films, except for ''[[Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome The Voyage Home]]'', which [[OutOfGenreExperience was a comedy]] set on [[NextSundayAD then-modern]] Earth.
%%* ''Film/TheFifthElement'', a SpaceOpera with [[AtTheOperaTonight an opera in space!]]
%%* ''Film/TheLastStarfighter''
%%* ''Film/{{Barbarella}}''
%%* ''Film/TheIcePirates''
%%* ''Kai: Death of Dreams''.
%%* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' (although technically, it's a ''parody'' of SpaceOpera.)
%%* ''WesternAnimation/StarchaserTheLegendOfOrin''
%%* ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' (which also utilizes the genre of SF horror)
%%* ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE''
%%* ''{{Dune}}'' -- features a galactic jihad in a FeudalFuture containing Spacing Guilds and spice mines.
%%* ''QueenOfOuterSpace'', intended by script writer CharlesBeaumont as a StealthParody.
%%* ''The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy''
%%* ''TransformersTheMovie''. Some edits even have the OpeningCrawl.
%%* ''[[FollowTheLeader Star Odyssey]]''
%%* ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'' has a love story (Bower's wife), battles, a dashing hero (Mahn) and a insanely gorgeous female lead (Nadia).
* ''Film/CaptainEO'', a Ride/DisneyThemeParks 3-D movie, is less than 20 minutes long but clearly takes place in this genre: A dashing hero with a [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits crew of misfit alien creatures]] is sent on a mission to transform a grim, H.R. Giger-esque planet. There's a skirmish with the evil Supreme Commander's fleet of starships, and later the heroes are taken captive by her forces -- but they use ThePowerOfRock to turn into it a land of CrystalSpiresAndTogas and its people (including the ruler) into happy, Day-Glo dancers.
%%* The ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' film
%%* ''Film/JupiterAscending.''

* The ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series by Creator/EEDocSmith is generally given as the [[UrExample defining example]], along with its predecessor and spiritual twin the ''Literature/SkylarkSeries''.
* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' and other PlanetaryRomance novels contain elements of SpaceOpera, making it an UnbuiltTrope.
%%* ''Literature/{{Dune}}.''
* ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'', by Creator/IsaacAsimov, an extremely influential series inspired in part by Gibbon's ''Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'' and which in turn partly inspired ''StarWars''.
%%* ''Literature/AncillaryJustice'' by Ann Leckie.
%%* ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' series (over more than 2500 books that span from 1971 to 5050).
%%* The ''Literature/HyperionCantos'', by Creator/DanSimmons
%%* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', complete with an in-story Space Ballet.
%%* Creator/AlastairReynolds' Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries actually ''does'' consider seriously how changes in technology would affect culture and even language.
* The [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] books by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]], although again it does have a society changed by technology - in particular near-perfect medicine and a lack of the need for money due to massive technological advances.
%%* ''Literature/{{Lacuna}}'' is firmly in the "New Space Opera" (space opera with hard science) genre.
%%* Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' universe.
%%* The ''[[Literature/TowerAndTheHive Rowan]]'' series by Creator/AnneMcCaffrey.
%%* Most of Peter F. Hamilton's books, though technological advances have significant societal and cultural impacts.
%%** ''Literature/PandorasStar''
%%* ''Literature/TheSagaOfSevenSuns''
%%* [[ChurchOfHappyology Scientology]] founder Creator/LRonHubbard's opus ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth''.
%%* DavidWeber has an extensive one in ''Literature/HonorHarrington''. As well as everything else he's written.
%%* Creator/WalterJonWilliams' trilogy ''DreadEmpiresFall'' is space opera on the fairly hard science side.
%%* Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''HumanxCommonwealth'' series. It adopts many SpeculativeFiction tropes but plays them for SpaceOpera themes.
* Stephen R. Donaldson's ''Literature/TheGapCycle'' is this, as it's Creator/RichardWagner's ''Theatre/RingOfTheNibelung'' cycle InSpace. Newer editions of the first volume have a cool author's note explaining how the dramatic elements (and thus, tropes) of {{Opera}} work in a sci-fi setting.
%%* Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' series.
%%* Creator/DavidBrin's ''Literature/{{Uplift}}.''
%%* Creator/CJCherryh's enormous Literature/AllianceUnion universe. Probably the "[[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hardest]]" of all SpaceOpera, with FasterThanLightTravel being the only deviation from known physics.
%%* Greg Egan's ''Literature/SchildsLadder''. Probably even harder than Literature/AllianceUnion, with no FasterThanLightTravel whatsoever.
* Parodied and lampshaded in Creator/JackVance's ''Space Opera'', which is a space opera about - yes - a touring {{Opera}} company.
** Many of Vance's works - such as ''Literature/TheDemonPrinces''- are more straightforward examples.
%%* Parodied by Creator/HarryHarrison in his ''Literature/BillTheGalacticHero'' and ''Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers''.
%%* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' derives a lot of its humor through parodying space opera conventions. The unrealistic elements typical of the genre are either {{lampshaded}} or replaced with [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum even sillier ideas]].
%%* The ''Literature/SpaceCaptainSmith'' series by Toby Frost is a very tongue-in-cheek version.
%%* Simon R. Green's ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' books.
%%** The ''Literature/{{Deathstalker}}'' series is both a parody and an homage to more traditional Space Opera's and exaggerating or taking various tropes to their most extreme conclusion.
%%* Karin Lowachee's ''WarchildSeries''.
* John Maddox Roberts' ''Space Angel'' has larger-than-life characters, epic space battles, exotic worlds, and an alien species that inhabits the cores of galaxies. Not a planet in the core of a galaxy, mind you - the ''whole core''.
%%* Julie E. Czerneda's ''Literature/SpeciesImperative.''
%%* John Barnes ''Occitan'' series.
%%* Philip Reeve's ''Literature/{{Larklight}}'' series, which combines SpaceOpera with SteamPunk.
%%* Stephen Baxter's ''Literature/XeeleeSequence'' may well be the ultimate example in terms of scale, as well as being much harder sci-fi than the average space opera.
%%* MargaretWeis' tetralogy ''Literature/TheStarOfTheGuardians''.
* Creator/EdmondHamilton: Has big love stories, epic space battles, oversized heroes and villains, awe-inspiring places, gorgeous women, and they usually rule the universe - or at least a star kingdom to boot.
%%* The ''Literature/{{Stardoc}}'' series has elements of both this and MedicalDrama.
%%* ''Literature/SpaceVulture'', a GenreThrowback to the original pulp SpaceOpera, by Gary K. Wolf and Archbishop John J. Meyers.
%%* The Commamder Toad picture books by Creator/JaneYolen are a parody of space opera.
%%* MichaelFlynn's ''Literature/SpiralArm'' series
%%* JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToTheEschaton''
%%* ''Literature/TheSiranthaJaxSeries'' by Ann Aguirre.
%%* ''Literature/TheFlightEngineer'' trilogy by S.M. Sterling and JamesDoohan.
%%* ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'' by TimothyZahn.
%%* Hugh Howey's ''Molly Fyde'' series is a Young Adult version.
%%* ''Literature/TheStarsMyDestination.''
%%* ''Literature/FutureHistory'', a novella set in this genre.
* ''Literature/TheirsNotToReasonWhy'' is firmly in SpaceOpera territory, with PsychicPowers, EnergyBeings, multiple types of FasterThanLight, etc.
* ''BALADA'' by Solea Razvan, the first book's tagline is: When the universe is at war, which side are you on?; nuff said.
* Adam Christopher's ''The Burning Dark'' uses a Space Opera setting for what is basically a haunted [[strike: house]] space station story, [[spoiler: Throwing in Eldritch Abominations in towards the end for flavor]]
* ''Literature/SpacePirateCaptainMacTaggart'', a humorous {{Funny Animal}} take on the genre, with the title character, the Epic Hero, a female sword-wielding raccoon. Part of the larger Franchise/{{KGC Universe}}.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', perhaps the most famous example in television, with its grand tales of interstellar exploration, romance, intrigue, and war. Though there is (some) serious consideration of how technology and science would change society (not surprising, given that creator Creator/GeneRoddenberry originally envisioned using the setting to address social issues that could not have been dealt with in a normal drama back in the [=60s=]). Coincidentally, there was in fact a Star Trek Opera performed on stage in New York.
%%* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''
%%* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978'' and ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' are at opposite ends of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism
%%* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}''
%%* Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy is one of the clearest examples in the franchise. ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' had begun to to drift this way before the season ended.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', which has the unusual distinction of being both a SpaceOpera [[SpaceWestern and a]] [[TheWestern Horse Opera]].
%%* ''Series/BabylonFive''.
* The Franchise/StargateVerse is a borderline example. Technically the center-of-operations is on a single planet (Earth in ''Series/StargateSG1'', the Atlantis base in ''Series/StargateAtlantis''), but with the instant wormholes provided by the Stargate, the bases function like a spaceship or space station in a standard Space Opera, as far as most story purposes go. Both series also have the Big Universe, Big Empires, Big Heroes, and Big Villains elements in spades, and it gets bigger yet once Earth has a space fleet. However, many individual episodes, especially in early seasons, feel more like PlanetaryRomance. ''Series/StargateUniverse'', the second spin-off, is probably closer to a traditional Space Opera.
%%* ''SpaceCases''
%%* ''{{Lexx}}''
%%* Although ''Series/{{Doctor Who}}'' is not Space Opera in itself, some individual stories make use of the subgenere.
%%** ''Mission to the Unknown'' and the epic twelve part ''The Daleks' Master Plan''. Oddly, "Mission to the Unknown", the prelude episode feels like an Unbuilt Trope version of the sort of stories ''Star Trek'' popularised. "Mission to the Unknown" has the Space agent Marc Cory discovering the Dalek plot to invade Earth's solar system [[RedShirt but dies before]] he can even send a message of warning. Earth's central government, which encompasses the whole system also has a subtly [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] feel to it.
%%** ''The Space Pirates''
%%** ''Frontier In Space'' and ''Planet of the Daleks'', which taken together form a twelve part story like the earlier ''The Daleks' Master Plan'', though of a very different kind.
&&** ''Earthshock''.

* ''The Amory Wars,'' a {{metafiction}}al SpaceOpera comprised of five {{Concept Album}}s by CoheedAndCambria.
* {{Ayreon}} is one of the most prolific examples of this and NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly ProgressiveRock in one package. The most prominent examples include... pretty much everything. The notable exception is ''The Human Equation'' album, [[spoiler: up until the very end]].
%%* Music/IronSavior is this too. Their first five albums (and a EP) are almost entirely the story of the titular starship.

%%* The long-running ''The Stars My Degradation'', (a parody of the Alfred Bester classic SF novel ''The Stars My Destination''), a cartoon strip that ran in the ''Sounds'' music paper in the 1970's-80's:
%%--> ''Dempster Dingbuster is my name, Sputwang is my nation;''
%%--> ''The depths of space gob in my face,''
%%-->''The stars, my degradation.''
%%* It was drawn and written by a then-nearly-unknown Creator/AlanMoore. Examples may be seen '''[[http://sequart.org/magazine/8899/alan-moore-the-stars-my-degradation/ here]]'''

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'': the backstory and novels put the [[SoapOpera Soap]] back in SpaceOpera.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is overloaded UpToEleven with adventure, battles, intrigue, and fantasy (including SpaceElves, [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orks]], and even Gods), all in a setting where mankind possesses a galaxy-spanning empire with planet-spanning cities and a population in the trillions. However it's also overloaded with about as much cynicism, grimness, and darkness as you can ''get'' (hence the common description "grimdark").
%%* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech''. The RPG, as distinguished from the series below.
%%* ''TabletopGame/StarFrontiers'' was TSR's attempt to do D&D in a space opera setting
* ''{{Traveller}}'' was the first RPG set in the Space Opera genre, and set the standard for those that followed. It's in the harder end of SpaceOpera and a lot of work went into the {{Backstory}} including fairly realistic science and social science. ''Traveller'' is flexible enough that a wide variety of flavors of SpaceOpera can be played, since the setting is one designed for the telling of stories.
* The forgotten board game ''Imperium'' was used as a source for some of the ''{{Traveller}}'' universe. In it, a young and expansionist [[TheRepublic republic]] on earth, conquers a VestigialEmpire in space. There are a number of other SpaceOpera board wargames, but this one is notable for historical reasons.
%%* ''FadingSuns''
%%* There was a RPG '''named''' ''Space Opera''.
%%* The Cathedral setting in ''TabletopGame/BigEyesSmallMouth'' is intended for this kind of adventure.
%%* The TabletopGame/StarDrive setting originally made for the TabletopGame/{{Alternity}} system and later reused for TabletopGame/D20Modern.
%%* Pacesetter's 1980s ''TabletopGame/StarAce'' RPG, in the spirit of ''Franchise/StarWars', but set in an original universe with fewer mystical undertones.
* ''{{Rifts}}'' has the Three Galaxies setting, a Space Opera with the same blend of magic, technology, and plain weirdness as the main setting. As may be expected, it's way way down on the hardness scale, but it has pretty much all the elements of the StandardSciFiSetting.
* ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' only covers our solar system but the epic themes and intrigues of space opera are definitely there. Just replace TheEmpire with actual Nazis.

[[folder:Video Games]]
%%* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' has some of this. It's mixed with South Asian Mythology.
* The ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' series is a blend of this and more conventional MilitaryScienceFiction, with the games mostly set on the exotic and ancient artificial worlds created by the [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]], whose own technological feats [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien border on the outright fantastical]]. Additionally, the franchise as a whole has shown plenty of the intrigue, mystery, and adventure to be had in a multi-species setting spanning the Orion Arm and beyond, filled with LostTechnology and complete with a galaxy-threatening EldritchAbomination.
* Creator/{{Bungie}}'s next IP ''Videogame/{{Destiny}}'' is a more direct example, set in a distant, fantastical future where intrepid Guardians [[TheChosenMany wielding the power of "The Traveler"]] seek to reclaim humanity's lost empire from "The Darkness". The creators themselves [[http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-18-bungie-destinys-scifi-fantasy-setting-gave-us-this-freedom described the setting as]] "mythic science fiction" and a "mix of science fiction and fantasy", with the game being something of a throwback to the idealistic HighFantasy roots of the genre.
* The ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series could be seen as putting the Opera back into Space Operas, with lavish and often dreamy environments, exotic cultures, and tales of great personal tragedy. At the same time, it ranks suprisingly high on the [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness Scale Of Science Fiction Hardness]], is quite serious in tone, and takes place in the relatively near future (2180s to be precise). Like many other newer Space Operas, it also has LovecraftLite elements thanks to the series' main antagonists, the Reapers.
* ''VideoGame/SentinelWorldsIFutureMagic'' can be seen as a spiritual predecessor to ''Mass Effect'': you play as a BadassCrew of a CoolStarship sent to a remote star system to deal with enigmatic [[SpacePirates space raiders]] who keep attacking civilian freighters. Along the way, you may get into space dogfights, explore strange planets in an all-terrain vehicle, and blast away enemies on-foot with lasers and other futuristic guns.
%%* ''VideoGame/StarControl''
%%* Many a science fiction TBSG (turn based strategy game) - most prominently ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion II''
%%* ''VideoGame/WingCommander''
%%* ''VideoGame/StarFox'' mixes {{Funny Animal}}s with SpaceOpera.
%%* ''VideoGame/EveOnline''
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Freespace}}''
* The ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series, although this slides more towards AfterTheEnd PlanetaryRomance in the context of individual games. Played straight with ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters'' and ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'', as they are the only games in the franchise that internally take place on multiple planets, and the latter shows a bigger interaction with [[TheFederation the Galactic Federation]].
%%* ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation''
%%* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: DawnOfWar''
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}''
%%* ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' gameverse
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''
* ''VideoGame/AdventRising'': You play as the SoleSurvivor of a human world that has been destroyed by aliens. Another alien race takes pity on him and helps him develop his latent psychic potential to basically become a demigod and take the fight back to those other aliens who destroyed his homerworld, getting involved in epic space battles all throughout.
%%* ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace''
%%* ''VideoGame/ColonyWars''
* ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'', a space opera with a hefty dose of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes [[XMeetsY thrown in]].
* The ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' series, when you aren't exploring underdeveloped planets.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'s'' Space Stage.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Otherspace}}''
%%* ''VideoGame/MechQuest'' and ''VideoGame/WarpForce'' by Creator/ArtixEntertainment.
%%* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', depending on the plot and series involved.
%%* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfAThousandSuns''
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}''
%%* ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire''
%%* {{VideoGame/Zigfrak}}
%%* ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}''
* ''[[http://www.moddb.com/mods/grand-theft-auto-anderius GTA Anderius]]'' a.k.a Alien City. A [[CloudCuckooLand very wacky]] [[GameMod total conversion]] of ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'', although only available in Russian.
* ''VideoGame/CrisisOfTheConfederation'', a GameMod based on ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'', retains the original game's focus on dramatic character actions and interactions and [[RecycledInSpace transplants it to an outer-space setting]].
* The ''Franchise/WingCommander'' franchise, which was conceived by its creator Creator/ChrisRoberts as being "UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo in space". It also has elements of Film/TopGun as well (with main character Christopher Blair's [canon] callsigh "Maverick" being a direct shout out).
** Chris Roberts' current project, the MMO game ''VideoGame/StarCitizen'' is also an example. Furthermore, it has been conceived as a persistent online universe that's constantly evolving. In addition, there's also its single player campaign "Squadron 42", described as a SpiritualSuccessor to the above mentioned Wing Commander franchise.

%%* ''Webcomic/{{Angels 2200}}''
* [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20090725.html This]] story arc in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is explicitly identified as a Space Opera, complete with [[StandardStarshipScuffle spaceship battles,]] [[LoveDodecahedron love dodecahedra,]] [[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry space politics,]] StarfishAliens, [[{{Kaiju}} giant monsters,]] [[OurDragonsAreDifferent space dragons,]] a CardCarryingVillain, and the requisite [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses beautiful princess.]]
%%* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt''
%%* ''Webcomic/LegostarGalactica'', which is essentially a satire of SpaceOpera.
%%* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''
%%* ''WebComic/{{Terinu}}''

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/NatOneProductions'' has the ''Denazra'' story-line, where the protagonists are members of an interstellar Marshall service tasked with catching intergalactic political refugees and criminals. Then the [[AIIsACrapShoot titular machines show up]]...
* ''Literature/SPARKOfTyranny'' is a SpaceOpera with an AntiHero Captain and his RagtagBunchOfMisfits, struggling against the [[EvilPlan behind the scenes machinations]] of the [[HumanoidAliens Kilon]] [[TheEmpire Federation]], which has created a VichyEarth.
%%* ''TheEndlessNight''
%%* ''OrionsArm'', a [[{{Transhuman}} transhumanist]] SpaceOpera.
%%* ''Literature/ArtemisNeo''
%%* ''Literature/CaelumLex''
%%* ''Literature/TheLastAngel''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
%%* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/BenTen'' falls into this sometimes.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad''
%%* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainSimianAndTheSpaceMonkeys''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries''
%%* The french cartoon ''Once Upon A Time.....Space''.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/WingCommanderAcademy''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles''
%%* ''WesternAnimation/JayceAndTheWheeledWarriors''
%%* ''ComicBook/BuckyOHareAndTheToadWars''
%%* ''Anime/{{Ulysses 31}}''
* The page image comes from a skit in ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' which makes ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' into [[ExactWords an actual opera]] [[GratuitousItalian sung in Italian.]]
%% * ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers''