Fighter interceptors, lightsabers, guys in rubber masks, ancient civilizations, tractor beams, mysterious crystal artifacts, antimatter, Van Allen Belts, two-fisted brawling, fencing, telepathy, mysterious planets, lost scientific outposts, the future of the human race, the dangers of tampering with nature, the stagnation of a once-proud Empire, loyal sidekicks, androids, smooth-voiced computers, teleportation, rayguns, capital ships, reversing the polarity, improbable cross-breeds, expendable ensigns, faceless goons, brilliant but eccentric scientists, crash landings, distress calls, pirates, rebels, secret police, torture chambers, “Eject the core!”, hidebound alien mentalities, the triumph of humanity over technology, Guy Fridays, civilizations who once commanded the very powers of Creation but destroyed themselves through hubris, ethnic aliens, cruel overlords, captive princesses, secret entrances, much Faster Than Light travel, “I need all energy to the forward shields!”, force field generators, mecha, antigravity, rogue researchers unwilling to confess their grave mistakes, ships with no seat belts, honorable warrior aliens, dangerous navigation, red-blooded military men, alien princesses, Good and Evil, furious chase scenes, running gun battles, the redemption of broken men, rebellion against a force of law that threatens to extinguish all that is good in the universe, “I’m beginning to understand their language,” border outposts, mines, black holes, weird astronomical phenomenon, signal interference, “Procedures be damned!”, amazing landscapes (skyscapes, oceanscapes, hyperscapes), amazing aliens, huge explosions, impregnable fortresses, “Captain, he refuses to speak to anyone but you personally,” fast-talking space merchants, the art of love and seduction, future Paradises marred only by the criminal actions of malcontents, photons (protons, positrons, tachyons, bullcrapions), strange frequencies, “The sensors are picking up something unusual,” bigger tailfins, aliens evolved from some animal similar to an Earth animal that is not an ape, flesh wounds, and sinister traps.
Evil space empires, HAWT Space princesses, starships, kewl space backdrops (ringed gas giants, electrically charged nebulae, dense asteroid fields), Space Fighters, Giant Robots, Giant Robots that can turn into Space Fighters, Implacable enemies, humanoid aliens (no, I don’t have any problem with "humans with funny ears and/or foreheads), spiffy uniforms, kewl hardware/toys, The total absense of “grittiness”.

Imperial dawn