10 HILARIOUS STAR WARS RIPOFFS AND FILMS IT INSPIRED - UPDATED
The trailer to the upcoming 'Star Wars Episode VII' film, 'The Force Awakens', released last Friday to great acclaim by sci-fi fans all around the world, has prompted us at SWAG to reminisce fondly about the impact the various 'Star Wars' movies have had on our lives.
However, with most of us being old enough to (vaguely) remember the very first film coming out and breaking so much new ground in 1977 (1978 by the time it got to Malta), we've decided to go beyond the galaxy far, far away and explore some of the hilariously bad (and some of the not so bad) movies that were rushed into production by rival companies to jump onto the sci-fi/fantasy craze bandwagon it created.
Some of them are obvious ripoffs... others simply feature aspects popularised by the Star Wars universe, such as massive space battles or mindless storm troopers ready to be gunned down at the slightest opportunity - but with cheaper, less effective special effects. Others took, shall we say, a slightly more... erotic and even perverted approach. Some, such as 'Galaxy of Terror' and 'Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity' were so bad we decided not to include their trailers here as they are quite offensive. But there's plenty of cheese left over to enjoy below...
1. STARCRASH - Like a very bad mash up of 'Star Wars' and 'Clash of the Titans', this film blatantly steals SW prop ideas such as the light sabre... although we don't remember SW having so many scantily clad women...
2. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - This actually started off as a TV movie, followed by a series, produced by Glen A. Larson, the man behind 'Knight Rider' (Supercar). The red stripes on those X-Wing fighter clones look suspiciously familiar, among other things...
3. THE BLACK HOLE - This was Disney's entry into the Sci-Fi genre once the floodgates had been opened by SW... it failed at the box office, but ironically, Disney is now the studio financing the new Star Wars films.
4. MESSAGE FROM SPACE - Captive planets, pleas for help, robots, masked soldier drones, spaceships flying through canyons... you know the drill.
5. STAR ODYSSEY - We don't know who upgraded this trailer or why, but the voice over, new sound effects and rock soundtrack have done nothing to a) disguise any blatant SW influence and b) make it seem watchable.
6. SPACEHUNTER - ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE - This one might have been made in 'state of the art, quality 3D', but it was still a bunch of poo.
7. STAR MAIDENS - Admittedly, this came before 'Star Wars', in 1975 to be exact. And it's a TV series, not a movie. And it has very little in common with Star Wars. We just put it in here to give SWAG readers nightmares... sleepless nights about what it would be like to live on a world ruled by women. Wearing boots and with a stripe in our hair.
8. THE ICE PIRATES - One of two 'Star Wars'-inspired comedies: this one terrible...
9. SPACEBALLS - ...and this one brilliant. Mel Brooks rules!
10 - Battle Beyond the Stars - George Peppard (from the A-Team!) Robert Vaughn (from The Man from UNCLE!) That actor who always played the bad guy guest star on TV in the '70s and '80s! (John Saxon). Music by James Horner! Produced by Roger Corman! And it's still awful!
Bonus - STAR TREK - THE MOTION PICTURE - We have included this trailer purely because it is a known-fact that 'Star Trek' became a movie-franchise thanks to the success of 'Star Wars'. Had SW never happened or been a flop, 'Star Trek' would have returned only as a second TV series called 'Star Trek Phase II' in 1979. As it were, the film was rather disappointing (as well as having the most unoriginal title ever), but it paved the way for the fantastic sequels that followed such as 'The Wrath of Khan'.
STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS - And here's the trailer that started us on this odyssey. We're going to have to wait a year for the film, folks.