I love a good space opera. From Star Trek to Serenity, I've always loved reading, and watching, stories set in the stars. Even though there will be butt-ugly aliens, political intrigue, daring escapes and swoony romance, these stories always seem to be about one thing: the human condition.
Things in space don't seem to be that different from things here on Earth, except that Earthlings are universally reviled. We're weak, young, arrogant, carbon-based bags of water that are far beneath the notice of superior species- but those species wrestle with the same things we do.
One thing I always appreciated about Star Trek: it was hopeful. We didn't push the button; we didn't drop the bomb. And I personally love the fact that network honchos were worried about the original Trek's diversity, but the public didn't march in protest as was feared. We all loved the crew, even the Russian. I hate that female writers like Dorothy Fontana had to use her initials, D.C., to get scripts to air, but at least she still got to write.
And of course, there are plenty of stories that have nothing whatsoever to do with Earth- but they still have our challenges. Vonda McIntire is a personal fave of mine; who do you like to read (or watch) when you feel planet-bound?