As new installments of Star Wars come and go, remaining now and forever on the forefront of humanity's collective consciousness, you are probably waiting in agony for the next cycle's offerings. In the meantime, it might be nice to get your mind off the wait and have some entertainment options similar enough to George Lucas's universe.
There are, of course, dozens of sci-fi shows and movies for people who like Star Wars. Some of the best space movies aren't even creations of Lucas, even though he's often regarded as the king of the genre. Then again, not all movies and shows have to take place in space to qualify for this list.
Instead of just arguing about which Star Wars episode reigns supreme for the next year, here are 18 movie and show recommendations for Star Wars fans of both sci-fi and action movies and shows to fill the black hole.
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Firefly is perhaps best known as "that show Fox never should have canceled." A Joss Whedon creation, this western sci-fi was as funny as it was exciting, a truly great space opera. Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) is Han Solo and then some, captain of a space pirate crew with just enough morals to be lovable. The comedy's provided by all parties, but especially Alan Tudyk, who delivers no shortage of memorable lines as Wash. Best (and worst) of all, there's only one season of this show, so it's extremely accessible to anyone looking for a space adventure quick fix.
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The Fifth Element did its darndest to match the more fantastical elements of the Star Wars universe, and it didn't disappoint. This movie is colorful and loud, building a rich universe in just a single installment, with Bruce Willis growling and kicking alien ass to boot. The Fifth Element is pretty much non-stop action with a surprising amount of humor as the movie never takes itself too seriously in just the right way. It's a fun, quick space opera fix.
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There are obviously quite a few Star Wars-alternative options in the Star Trek universe, but 1982's The Wrath of Khan is pretty much at the top. It's one of Leonard Nimoy's best performances, but what's really so special about it is how human it is despite the sci-fi setting. Captain Kirk is essentially dealing with a mid-life crisis as the movie opens, and it's that decidedly human center that grounds this movie, making it a great story first, and a spectacle second.
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Krull is a 1983 film released the same year as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and as a result has always been viewed as that movie trying to be Star Wars... if it was even recognized at all. However, Krull actually does have a lot to offer. It's a British space opera with fantastical elements like a cross between Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. In fact, Fernando Croce of CinePassion called it "richer stuff than anything by Lucas before it, or Peter Jackson after it." That review is eyebrow-raising enough to make the movie worth a watch.