Explosion on the left: a Michael Bay orgasm. Fire. Sound. Fury. That's the Earth-bound one, obviously. Explosion on the right: disappointingly subdued. A gentleman's explosion. That's how it would really play out in space.
Now, none of this is to say that space explosions aren't completely and totally terrifying. It's just the visual element that's lacking. The same lack of atmosphere that prevents fireballs and sound from wreaking 360 degrees of awesomeness also allows for a lot more destruction. Unlike an Earth-bound explosion, you can't nonchalantly walk away from a cosmic car bomb while donning your sunglasses. Just like an atmosphere-restrained explosion, you've got tons of shrapnel to deal with. But unlike terrestrial explosions, space shrapnel hurtles out in every direction, and it does not slow down or stop until it encounters something. That X-Wing zooming away from the exploding Death Star? Hope it's got a lot of fuel; as soon as it stops, it's getting shredded like cheese. Well, we suppose it could just, like, turn off to the side and dodge the shrapnel or something, but Prometheus has told us that sort of thing is impossible everywhere but Earth.