Star Wars was a huge success in 1977, immediately starting a wave of more or less successful copies imagined by producers looking for the easy money. A brief overview of the worst of them.
The Battle of the Stars (1978)
Directed by Al Bradley who actually hides the Italian Alfonso Brescia, The Battle of the Stars was released in 1978 in Italy, but very aptly distributed in 1983 in France, a few months before the release of Return of the Jedi. Here, no Death Star, Darth Vader, or Luke Skywalker, but rather zero means, few ideas and the story of an alien invasion by a declining species seeking humans to serve them. hosts. Barbing! From the same director and in the same genre, discover (or not): The robot war (1978) and Star Odyssey (1979).
The Humanoid (1979)
In 1979, actor Richard Kiel did not only play the role of Requin in Moonraker, he also lent himself to a science fiction film: The Humanoid, directed by Aldo Lado. Second Italian production of this selection, it copies this time entirely Star Wars: from the scrolling text at the beginning to the costumes of the villains, through a robot-dog with the sounds of R2-D2 and the pseudonym of the director who becomes George B. Lewis! The most unexpected: Ennio Morricone provides the soundtrack. A curiosity at all levels.
Mysterious Planet (1982)
A spaceship disappears without a trace and lands on a … mysterious planet, populated by monsters. Produced, written, directed, edited, filmed by Brett Piper, which also provides special effects, Mysterious Planet has no money and as a result, ends its subject in 1h10 while allowing itself digressions to lengthen the time. If he does not really seek to copy Star Wars, Piper draws a lot of inspiration from the visual ambience of the first film of the Lucas saga with the means he has at his fingertips, that is to say that it uses the same types of clothing for the heroes, and leaves out the expensive ships and lasers.
Star Warriors (1984)
A title font copying Indiana Jones, an Emperor modeled after Jabba the Hutt version 77, a Mad Max-style hero and vehicles, a cute little creature, a bow-tie Boba Fett … the poster clearly eats everyone. racks but it’s not her fault, because the film she is inspired by does exactly the same. So much so that the producers will change the lens of Star Warriors along the way to make it a comedy / parody, no doubt to avoid plagiarism problems. Max von Sydow appears as a cameo (the same year, he will shoot another space adventure, Dune, and will appear decades later in Star Wars 7), and we also find in the credits Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman, John Matuszak and John Carradine.
Starcrash / Turkish Star Wars
Out of competition, we have Starcrash, Clash of the Stars (1979) and Turkish Star Wars (1982), two surrealist nanars. The first is an Italian production whose kitsch is such that it pushes back the known limits, the second comes from Turkey and uses outright stock shots (“borrowed” images) from the Star Wars saga, in all illegality. In both cases, you have to see it to believe it as the failure (and therefore, the pleasure) is complete. To savor with friends.
More info: Roger Corman, still on the right track, will distribute Starcrash in the United States, with an English dub.