Friday, December 4, 2015


The first Star Wars film was released on 1977.  And it was such a huge hit that copycats were unavoidable.  Come on, who among us wouldn't want to hold on to a light saber.  Yeah, that's pretty much almost nearly all of us.  That's what I thought.  So there were a huge market for Star Wars related merchandise and programing.  And yes, there were lots of Star Wars copycats in the late 1970's and the early 1980's.  Take these fun b-grade film productions for instance.
Star Odyssey was an Italian film released one year after the original Star Wars Episode IV---A New Hope in 1978.  Earth was sold in an auction due to unpaid taxes without Earth knowing it and now we need light saber holding warriors to save Earth from being occupied by a dictatorship from beyond the stars
Starring Vic Marrow (Who famously died in a helicopter crash while filming the Twilight Zone---The Movie in 1983) and Sonny Chiba.  This Japanese Star Wars clone Message From Space was also released on the same year as the 1978 era Italian clone version.
Also released in 1978, the South American film Os Trapalhões na Guerra dos Planetas’ couldn't have been more blatant about being a Star Wars rip off.  They didn't even bother to change any character names or outfits when making the film.  No, it was never added to the Star Wars chronology though.  Most people don't refer to this film by it's actual title, but call it Brazilian Star Wars instead even though that title was never on the DVD case.
Oh where would we be without David Hasselhoff?  Well for starters, we wouldn't be having him play the role of Han Solo in this Star Wars clone from 1978 entitled Star Crash.  Still, Caroline Munro looks rather cute and she came close to becoming female sidekick to Doctor Who #4 Tom Baker in Doctor Who and the Scratchman theatrical motion picture film which died in film production purgatory.  The straw the stirs the drink regarding the film Starcrash was that Caroline Munro played the Han Solo role who did all of the work while David Hasselhoff was the man in distress patiently waiting to be rescued by an interplanetary warrior woman.
It's easy to see why the BBC would want to cast Caroline Munro as the sidekick to Tom Baker as Doctor Who #4 in the Doctor Who Verses the Scratchman film that never got off the ground.

Of course, Caroline Munro is also known as Naomi---The evil girl flying a helicopter against Roger Moore as James Bond and Ringo Starr's wife Barbara Bach as Russian KGB agent Anya Amasova before she and her helicopter was blown up by a missile that James Bond shot from his swiss army knife mobile in the classic James Bond film the Spy Who Loved MeThe Spy Who Loved Me was one of those rare films in which the female KGB Agent got to be the heroine and the female British Secret Service Agent got to be the villain. 
  Running for two seasons between 1978 to 1981 with a gab in between seasons, this is either a Star Wars clone or this is a Star Trek Clone.  Susan O'Hanlon aka Susan Pratt became a soap opera actress.  James Doohan is best known for his role on Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott on Star Trek.
Hawk the Slayer was another Star Wars clone from 1980 which could only afford a sword and sorcery atmosphere instead of an interplanetary atmosphere.  Still, there were lots of sword fights.
The Middle East loved to ban American films and then film blatant rip offs before passing the rip offs as the original version.  They did it to Jaws, The Wizard of Oz, Superman, the Godfather and E.T..  Turkey did it to Star Wars in 1982 with the film the Man Who Saved the World.  The filmmakers even used film footage with cheap Turkish film clone footage and even used John Williams entire film score without permission.  You might find this in it's entirety on  Watch it now before it gets sued for copyright infringement.  These type of films are never referred to their actual title, but instead are referred to as Turkish Jaws, Turkish the Wizard of Oz, Turkish Superman, Turkish Godfather, Turkish E.T. or Turkish Star Wars even though that's not the title on the DVD case.
Released in 1983, Krull is similar to Hawk the Slayer in which the Star Wars formula is applied to the sword and sorcery formula.  There's even a quest to find a kidnaped princess and everything.
 Oh I love this film.  Released in 1983, this is either a Mad Max clone or this is a Star Wars clone.  Space Hunter:  Adventures in the Forbidden Zone ripped off both Star Wars and Mad Max with equal enthusiasm.  This film stared Peter Strauss, Ernie Hudson and one of my favorite actresses Molly Ringwald.  I kept waiting for a sequel which sadly never came.  Gosh darn the luck.
Released in 1986, Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin’ is an animated cartoon from the United States and South Korea.  Yeah, the sword does look like a sight saber.  I'm not sure if anybody sings and dances in this animated cartoon film.  I always wanted to see singing and dancing Star Wars or Star Wars clone type of people.
Released in 1987, this is more of a spoof than a clone, but still, the Mel Brooks comedy film Spaceballs would never have been made if it wasn't for Star Wars.  We have Bill Pullman as a combination of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.  Joan Rivers as C3PO, John Candy as Chewbacca, Dick Van Patten as Bail Organa, Rick Moranis as Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader, Mel Brooks as Sheev Palpatine  aka  Darth Sidious, Daphne Zuniga as Princess Leia Organa and Mel Brooks as Yoda.  The comedy may be a mixed bag, but you have to admit that all the actors are perfectly casted for their roles.

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