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Walt Disney Company (The) (NYSE:DIS), New York Times Company (The) (NYSE:NYT) – 10 Weirdest Star Wars Rip-Offs Of All Time



Final week, the Walt Disney Firm (NYSE: DIS) introduced that manufacturing on “Rogue Squadron,” the Star Wars function challenge that was attributable to be directed by “Marvel Lady” filmmaker Patty Jenkins, has been delayed and won’t transfer ahead in 2022 as beforehand introduced. This was imagined to be the primary new function within the franchise since 2019’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

However moderately than revisit the earlier Star Wars flicks once more (and repeatedly) till the brand new flick arrives, here’s a probably harmful thought: Why not spend a while with the wildest and weirdest of the Star Wars rip-off style. Ever because the unique movie got here out in 1977, there was no scarcity of loopy works that attempt to fly with George Lucas’ creativeness however inevitably take an Icarus-worthy plummet from heights the place they may not journey.

To your viewing pleasure (or ache, relying in your masochism tolerance), listed here are the ten weirdest Star Wars rip-offs of all time.

1. The Donny & Marie Star Wars. Lengthy earlier than anybody imagined Luke and Leia had been brother and sister, singing siblings Donny and Marie Osmond performed the characters in an prolonged musical comedy sequence on the Sept. 23, 1977, episode of their common selection present. Lucas enabled the present to license a number of of the Star Wars characters – R2D2, C3PO, Chewbacca and Darth Vader (who was undoubtedly not voiced by James Earl Jones) turned up, however so did Kris Kristofferson (in mirrored sun shades) as Han Solo, Redd Foxx as “Obi Ben Okefenokee,” Paul Lynde as a frazzled imperial officer and a showgirl squadron referred to as the “Ice Angels” as Stormtroopers.

Evidently, this makes “The Star Wars Vacation Particular” appear like “The Empire Strikes Again” compared. You have got been warned.

2. “The Carpenters…House Encounters.” When the Nineteen Seventies’ different huge brother-sister music act wished to traipse by that galaxy far, distant, Lucas did not license his characters to them. Thus, Karen and Richard Carpenter created their very own intergalactic surroundings with an alien spacecraft that got here with its personal disco ballroom. (Hey, it was the 70s, in any case.)

Whereas Richard Carpenter soloed because the pianist performing a “House Encounters Medley” symphonic quantity (a mash of the “Shut Encounters of the Third Form” and “Star Wars” themes with different vaguely basic compositions), Karen Carpenter stole the present in a horny duet with Suzanne Somers doing the Calypso basic “Man Sensible, Lady Smarter” and along with her rendition of the brilliantly off-kilter UFO ode “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.”  

3. “Message from House.” The primary feature-length ripoff of Star Wars was this Japanese romp, which lassoed Vic Morrow and Sonny Chiba into a loud and frenetic journey that featured a few of the shoddiest particular results in film historical past – which was odd, since at $6 million it was the costliest Japanese movie made up till that point.

New York Occasions’ (NYSE: NYT) movie critic Janet Maslin opined that the movie was “so horrible it has a sure comedian integrity” whereas the Los Angeles Occasions’ Kevin Thomas believed “babies will in all probability be entertained by it – if they’ll determine what is going on on.” See for those who can determine what’s occurring on the display:

4. “Battlestar Galactica.” ABC plumbed the Lucas surroundings for this tv sequence, which ran for a single 24-episode stretch within the 1978-79 season and is primarily remembered immediately for the lawsuits introduced by twentieth Century Fox towards Common Studios and that Lucas introduced towards the FX-house Apogee Inc. The sequence’ pilot episode could be re-edited for a 1979 theatrical launch, the place it managed to show in a revenue regardless that American audiences already noticed the motion on tv months earlier.

“Battlestar Galactica” could be efficiently rebooted in 2004 for a five-season tv run, however the unique late 70s providing is extra enjoyable for the sheer copycat aspect of its plotting and design.

5. “Starcrash.” Italian filmmaker Luigi Cozzi helmed this low-budget / high-camp 1978 area opera involving a pair of area pirates (frizzy-haired ex-evangelist Marjoe Gortner and Hammer horror diva Caroline Munro), a prince carrying a golden masks (David Hasselhoff, years earlier than “Baywatch”) and the royal’s father, the Emperor of the Galaxy (Christopher Plummer – sure, that Christopher Plummer).

Extensively ridiculed when it first opened, “Starcrash” has taken on a cult following that fortunately overlooks its a number of flaws and celebrates its zany can-do spirit.

6. “Star Odyssey.” One other cheapjack Italian area journey, this 1979 providing from filmmaker Alfonso Brescia finds a depraved despot who purchases a planet in an intergalactic public sale and tries to enslave its inhabitants, solely to discover a full-throttle riot on his palms.

“Star Odyssey” was handed off on audiences underneath completely different titles together with “Captive Planet” and “Metallica” – and whereas the title’s odyssey reference is designed to spur a Kubrick-worthy hyperlink, this mad mess would encourage HAL to maintain these pod doorways closed.

7. “H. G. Wells’ The Form of Issues to Come.” This 1979 Canadian effort has nothing to do with Wells’ basic novel, which had beforehand been filmed in a 1936 landmark science-fiction movie. As a substitute, it provided one other poverty-level area epic with slumming stars together with Jack Palance, Carol Lynley and John Eire in a confused story of interplanetary conflicts and robots run amok.

The one unique facet of the movie is having a lot of the motion happening on Earth moderately than on the opposite facet of the universe. In any other case, it’s strictly been-there/done-that. 

8. “Battle Past The Stars.” This 1980 manufacturing has a bit extra star energy than different flicks within the rip-off style: Legendary budget-conscious filmmaker Roger Corman produced the movie from a screenplay by future director John Sayles that was impressed by Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and its Western remake “The Magnificent Seven.” Plus, the forged included well-regarded actors similar to George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, Richard Thomas, John Saxon and Sam Jaffe, and a newcomer named James Cameron who was concerned within the particular results creation.

At $2 million, it was Corman’s costliest movie so far and the producer reduce corners by recycling footage from earlier outer area movies – though that dishonest was identified by many critics. Whereas the movie paled in depth and scope towards “The Empire Strikes Again” throughout the 1980 film season, it earned an honest revenue, and it additionally enjoys a wholesome cult following.

9.Spacehunter: Adventures within the Forbidden Zone.” This 1983 3Dproduction was in theaters one week earlier than the discharge of “Return of the Jedi,” however this rip-off journey of an intergalactic bounty hunter making an attempt to rescue three luscious ladies on a hostile planet had a killer opening weekend however promptly died as soon as Luke Skywalker and mates confirmed up in theaters. 

In the present day, the movie is primarily remembered as an early starring function for Molly Ringwald, who would return to Earth-bound initiatives and reign because the 80s teen queen in movies together with “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Membership” and “Fairly in Pink.” 

10. “Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin” This function movie was among the many first productions to combine conventional and pc animation, and Atlantic Releasing put it into U.S. theaters within the 3D format. As one of many few non-Disney animated options in theatrical launch on the time, it was in a position to harvest a kiddie viewers that was not that choosy over its too-frequent lifting of storylines from the Lucas epics.

The movie was animated in South Korea by the identical studio liable for animating “Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.” Small world, is not it?

Picture: A scene from “Message from House” (1978), courtesy of Toei Studios.

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