10 Movies and Shows like Star Wars you must watch

By Kieran Burt
Published: March 15, 2023 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)

We discuss 10 movies and shows like Star Wars that you must watch. Add these well-recommended series and films to your watch lists.

Star Wars is a hit franchise, first launching in 1979. It’s since garnered worldwide fame and has been spun off more times than a ball of yarn. The original trilogy of films followed farm boy Luke Skywalker as he took his place as a Jedi but now spans multiple eras, with deep dives into politics, cute aliens, and everything in between.

If you’re looking for movies and shows similar to Star Wars, here are ten!

10 Movies and Shows like Star Wars you must watch

The Expanse (2015-2022)

The Expanse is a sci-fi thriller based on the book of the same name. It’s set 200 years into the future and follows a young woman, a hardened detective, and a rogue captain as they race across the solar system to expose the greatest human conspiracy. It has a much darker tone, featuring war crimes, child experimentation, and attempted genocide. But fans of the Star Wars animated shows and Andor will know that the franchise has its moments of darkness, making The Expanse a must-watch.

Battlestar Galactica (1978-2009)

The original 1978 TV show Battlestar Galactica shows futuristic humans at war with a race of robots called Cylons in a distant star system. A Cylon sneak attack forces the survivors to flee and find a new home. The show was rebooted in 2004 with political commentary about the Iraq War. Star Wars is no stranger to politics, with George Lucas criticizing what he saw as American imperialism. This sentiment has continued in shows like Andor.

Dune (2021)

An adaptation of the 1965 book by Frank Herbert, Dune is one of the many properties that inspired Star Wars, with Tatooine bearing similarities to the planet Arrakis and the drug spice having an important part in both franchises. Warner Bros. Discovery adapted the first half of the first book in the saga with Denis Villeneuve directing and turned it into a visual epic with striking visuals and a compelling story. The second half will come out in October 2023, with a prequel TV show on the way.

There was also a film adaptation released in 1984, but let’s not talk about that ever.

Altered Carbon (2018-2020)

Altered Carbon is a show set in the future where humanity has managed to upload their consciousness to a digital stack in their spine so that their memories can be downloaded to a new body when they die. It follows prisoner Takeshi Kovacs in a new body after 250 years as he tries to win his freedom by solving a murder. The show has intense action and thought-provoking themes, something that Star Wars is no stranger to.

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek is a franchise all of its own, but the best place to start for new viewers is the 2009 Star Trek film. The reboot follows Captain Kirk and Spock as they fight the Romulan Nero as his plans threaten the United Federation of Planets. J.J Abrams, the director of the film, has explained that he wanted to make a Star Trek film with the feel of Star Wars, making it a great entry point for Star Wars fans.

Doctor Who (1963-present)

Doctor Who is a franchise that follows the titular Doctor as he goes on adventures, protecting the Earth against all kinds of threats, but the most well-known are Daleks and Cybermen. The franchise also has a tradition that the Doctor will regenerate into new people with different looks, giving the franchise an in-continuity reason why multiple actors can play the Doctor. It offers a profound story for those that follow, and with its 60th anniversary fast approaching, it’s never been a better time to give it a try.

Firefly (2002)

Firefly is a western space show set 500 years into the future, following a renegade crew as they try to survive, avoid warring factions, and ultimately try not to be caught by the authorities. The themes of friendship, hope, and freedom are much the same as those found in Star Wars, and the western space genre is something that the franchise has dabbled in.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Adapted from the book of the same name, Starship Troopers follows humanity as they come into contact with a vicious alien species known as the Arachnids, leading to war. The film critiques the nature of militarization, fascism, and warfare, something that Star Wars has in spades.

Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

Babylon 5 is a show set in the 23rd century and follows Commander John Sheridan as he and his crew protect the space station Babylon 5. They face off against threats both inside and outside of the station, such as rogue telepaths, ancient beings, and warring factions. Its rich characters and intricate storytelling will be sure to wow new fans.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an adaption of the book of the same name by Douglas Adams and follows simpleton Arthur Dent as he tries to survive the galaxy after the Earth is blown up. What follows is a hilarious adventure, with Stephen Fry narrating the titular guide and Alan Rickman voicing a depressed android called Marvin. It’s a humorous take on science fiction and its tropes, so it is a must-watch.

Do you have any other recommendations for movies and shows like Star Wars? Let us know in the comments below. 

Lists, RSC Originals