- X 2019
Battle Beyond the Stars
Ed Carlin, Roger Corman (executive) for New World
directed by Jimmy T. Murakami
starring Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Darlanne Fluegel, Sybil Danning, Sam Jaffe, Jeff Corey, Morgan Woodward, Marta Kristen, Earl Boen, John D.Gowans, Steve Davis, Lawrence Steven Meyers, Lara Cody, Lynn Carlin, Julia Duffy, Eric Morris, Doug Carleson, Ron Ross, Terrence E.McNally, Galen Thompson, Whitney Rydbeck, Tom Henschel, Richard Davalos, Nate Esformes, Lanny Broyles, Rob Reece
story by John Sayles, Anne Dyer, screenplay by John Sayles, music by James Horner
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Outer space, sometime in the far far future: The evil Sador (John
Saxon) wants to conquer the world Akira, which is inhabited by a
peaqce-loving tribe that doesn't even have any means of defense. And thus,
a young Akiran, Shad (Richard Thomas) is sent to outer space in the
Akirans' only spaceship to collect mercenaries from all over the galaxy.
Eventually, he returns with a small collection of men and women who are
willing to help, the ruthless Gelt (Robert Vaughn), the weapons expert
Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel), the female warrior Saint-Exmin (Sybil
Danning), the self-explanatory cowboy (George Peppard), the
clone-collective Nestor and the alien Cayman (Morgan Woodward). Of course,
this small gang of mercenaries is hopelessly outnumbered by Sador's army,
but they figure they got one chance: To seperate Sador's mothership from
his fighter jets, then wait for him to lower his shields to use his
ultimate weapon, the Stellar Converter, and then put the converter
and hopefully the ship with it out of commission.
After an extended
battle, the converter is destroyed even, but all but Shad and Nanelia have
been killed in fight, and even without the converter, Sador poses a threat
to Akira - thus Shad lets Sador captor his ship in Sador's tractor beam
and pull it back to the mothership, then puts the ship on self destruct
and leaves by escape pod ... and boom!, Sador is history.
of the many films produced in the wake of George Lucas' original Star
Wars series, Battle Beyond the Stars is actually one of
those movies that comes off as more original and more entertaining than
Lucas' films. Deliberately quoting The Seven Samurai and its remake
The Magnificent Seven while not taking itself too seriously, this
is a very likeable space opera full of cheap but effective special
effects, colourful (if caricature-like) characters and an onslaught of
action. Only Richard Thomas from The Waltons in the lead
seems a bit out of place in this film, but I guess they just needed
someone who could portray an as wet-behind-the-ears character as Mark
Hamill did in the Star Wars movies - unfortunately. Still,
the film is good, harmless fun.