Trope A Day-Used Future

Used FutureHIGHLY adverted, mostly because of magic, nano-machines, and repair technologies.  Even something like the Serenity would look as good as if it had just came off the assembly line.  It’s not just for aesthetic reasons, but practical reasons.  The five races are fairly conservative, so ships and equipment tend to be around for a long time.  They don’t have the same “always need to get something new” that humans have, so a lot of hardware is built to last, and gets handed down if nobody is using it anymore.  It’s bad form to give other people junk, so you keep your stuff in good shape just because.  There’s also a cultural aspect to keeping up appearances-pride in the ability to keep your stuff clean and running is deeply ingrained in all the races.

(It doesn’t hurt that if you don’t keep your hardware good and working in space, space will kill you in a heartbeat.)

It’s fun to model the visual effect of the classic space-going tramp freighter, which looks like it has quite a few light years on it but it’s otherwise clean as a whistle.  A good visual idea for this is “wearing it’s scars proudly, but polished to a high shine everywhere else.”