I'll be focusing on mostly strategy space games: 4X, RTS, etc. But really, all realistic space games fall into a sort of sameness.
I know there are exceptions, but there are so many that just seem more of the same. Especially on the detailed side. It seems there are hardly any space conventions than realistic, gritty ships in space with flashy shields.
For example, can you guess which game this is from?
Beautiful, yes, but all the same.
Solutions? There are other design aesthetics I know that probably can't be pulled off well in space. A cartoony style seems campy. Maybe a monotone aesthetic would be new. Or more abstract sometimes, but not as exciting.