[The latest trailer for the Wachowski’s *Jupiter Ascending*](http://awesomefriday.ca/2014/03/jupiter-ascending-trailer-2-ok-im-sold-now/) is vivid and ridiculous enough to give us hope that we might get to experience a bona fide space opera later this year.
This makes me very, very happy.
The last few years have shown a tendency to err on the side of reality in big-screen stories (which can be brilliant – see *Moon* and *Gravity*), but I’ve always loved the more fantastical space epics that featured heavily while I was growing up. So, what better way to prepare for *Jupiter Ascending* than to return to the other classics in the genre? (Some handy Amazon.ca links included)
Campy, wooden, garish, and just so delicious. You’ll be surprised how many quotes you remember. “GORDON”S ALIVE!” indeed.
Vin Diesel’s breakout role and arguably the best Riddick movie. A crash on an alien planet, a psychotic killer, a bounty hunter, and hundreds of hungry monsters in endless night. It’s still Radha Mitchell’s movie, though.
STAR WARS EPISODE IV –
The archetypal space opera, and two hours of perfection. Yes, *Empire* is a better movie, but you won’t find a better example of the intergalactic hero’s journey. My all-time favourite movie.
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
This film perfected the movie formula of the TV show. William Shatner’s Kirk as resourceful rebel versus the endlessly watchable Ricardo Montalban chewing scenery as Khan is just fantastic. Watch this, then never ever watch *Star Trek Into Darkness*.
It’s much, much darker than *Firefly* but still exhibits the magic that FOX was blind to when they cancelled the series early. Joss Whedon’s amazing skill in ensemble casts is in full effect, and it has some great (if sad) moments.
Paul Verhoeven’s razer-sharp staire of modern military practice also has some fantastic scenes of man versus bug. Look out for Neil Patrick Harris’ amazing straight-faced lines near the end. Great, great film.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
Probably the closest in visual tone to that shown in *Jupiter Ascending*’s trailer due to a Jean Paul Gaultier wardrope and Luc Besson’s vivid directing style. A great romp with good against evil (one of Gary Oldman’s standout roles) with some genuinely funny moments.
So, that should keep you going. Get buying, dream of space and stars this weekend and you’ll have a great line-up for the next. Full disclosure: these are affiliate links so, if you were going to buy any of these, please use them so we can buy our own spaceship. Thanks, and have a great weekend!