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9 Movies Which Jumped On the Star Wars Bandwagon

Shagufta Yamin



The Last Starfighter image
Warner Bros.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope became the hottest ticket in town when it hit cinemas in 1977. People were in love with the dynamic chemistry between the different characters. Everyone wanted a piece of the action. So much so that many movies jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope broke records on the box office, and paved the foundation for a new era of science fiction movies. Sci-fi movies were considered ‘risky business’ back in the mid-’70s. But, Star Wars shattered through those perceptions and showed a revamped form of cinema to the audience.

From Han Solo to Chewie, from Luke to Leia, every character was loved by the audience, and they wanted more. This is why there was a rush to create a series of movies that tried to capitalise on the success of George Lucas and Star Wars, to jump on the bandwagon. They tried to step into the arena to claim some of the ongoing buzz for sci-fi movies.

Yet, there were those who tried to get on the bandwagon and claim some of the fame to their names as well. Here are our top 9 movies that jumped on the success of Star Wars in the hopes of gathering the same response as Star Wars did. There will probably be some you’ve NEVER heard of.

1. Starcrash (1978)

This movie wasn’t just inspired by Star Wars. It was Star Wars. Well, Starcrash was a cheap rip-off of Star Wars. The director, Luigi Cozzi, claimed that he actually dreamt the idea of this movie long before Star Wars even began production.

The plot was about a dynamic duo of an outlaw smuggler and her alien companion who are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son. Well, upon a cursory glance, everything gave a Star Wars vibe. From costume design to spaceship models, from dialogue delivery to the climax, it was a watered-down version of Star Wars. 

Marjoe Gortner played the main role, and Caroline Munro was his alien companion, dressed in somewhat Leia-like costumes. Christopher Plummer played the Emperor, and David Hasselhoff played his son. The Starcrash end title was written and directed by John Barry at the time.

Caroline Munro later appeared on the cover of the science fiction fantasy magazine Starburst. In the same issue as Mark Hamill and Kirk Douglas.So, we can say ‘mission accomplished’. But, the audience didn’t like the movie, and it was taken off the cinemas just one week after its release.

2. Message from Space (1978)

Director Kinji Fukasaku jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon with one of his movies as he offered up ‘Message from Space’. It tanked immediately and received rather negative feedback from the audience.

The original plot of the movie was based on Japanese mythology. But, when Star Wars raced to the top of the box office, the Director ordered a re-write of the screenplay. It then incorporated elements from Star Wars to jazz up the mythology aspect.

The plot begins with the peaceful planet of Jillucia being terrorized by Ganvas, a terrible emperor. The king of this planet then chooses eight defenders to fight against the terror of Gnavas. The rest of the movie is basically a cheap CGI reiteration of sci-fi action scenes from Star Wars.

Viv Morrow played General Garuda in this movie, and the role of Prince Hans was played by Shin’ichi Chiba. The audience didn’t appreciate this movie at all. As the director tried to mix some of his style into the action scenes with flying monkeys and magical costumes.

3. The Humanoid (1979)

The Humanoid was yet another movie that tried to capitalise on this situation in 1978. 

Moreover, the director, Aldo Lado, also directed this movie with a new moniker, George B. Lweis. This was to trick people into believing that this was a sequel of the original Star Wars trilogy. Well, people did fall for it, but immediately realized their mistake, and the movie was taken off cinemas within weeks of the first premiere.

The movie began with a similar style as Star Wars with a distant shot of our galaxy. In the movie, an evil alien Graal befriends an insane Dr Kraspin in hopes of taking over his brother as the ruler of the planet Metropolis.

Ivan Rassimov played the role of Graal, whereas the role of Golob was played by Richard Kiel. The estimated budget was around $7,000,000, and the movie did not even get a rating of 5 stars. It received mainly negative feedback from the audience and was shut down pretty quickly.

4. Star Trek: The Motion Picture 1979

Did you know that the release of the Star Trek movie journey was inspired by the success of George Lucas and Star Wars? The first picture in a long line of successful science fiction movies was released two years after the first Star Wars instalment, they jumped on the bandwagon.

Director Robert Wise was inspired by Star Wars and wanted to take a brand-new approach towards the Enterprise tale. So, he introduced a unique element of a futuristic world USS Enterprise and our beloved James T. Kirk.

William Shatner returned to the role and was accompanied by Leonard Nimoy playing Spock, and Sulu was played by George Takei.

The movie became an instant hit with the audiences, and thus began a life-long battle between the two fandoms. The estimated budget was $35,000,000, and the movie claimed $82,604,699 in the USA alone.

5. Battlestar Galactica (1978)

Battlestar Galactica is yet another big name that surfaced after the success of Star Wars. The movie was split into three parts forming the first three episodes of the TV series.

The movies focus on the destruction of the last twelve colonies of mankind. The movie shows the epic journey of how the last major fighter carrier helped humans find a new home, Earth. Richard Hatch played Captain Apollo, and Dirk Benedict was seen as Lieutenant Starbuck.

If you didn’t know, Universal Studios was sued by 20th Century Fox for this movie. 20th Century fox claimed that this movie had precisely 34 ideas from Star Wars. They claimed that the movie had shot-by-shot remakes of Star Wars, and the story was re-proposed with minor adjustments.

The estimated budget for the movie was $3,000,000, and it immediately gained a fan following among the audience. Moreover, it gained a somewhat cult-like following. People still talk about the original Battlestar Galactica being better than the sequels.

6. Space Raiders (1983)

Another one to jump onto the bandwagon was Director Howard R. Cohen who offered up Space Raiders. While the movie played poorly at the box office, the role of Hawk played by Vince Edwards was praised. The movie went on to gain a strong following in the coming decades.

In the movie, a 10-year-old boy is accidentally kidnapped by a spaceship filled with space pirates.

This movie was a rather sensitive approach to sci-fi and didn’t offer as many action scenes as other movies of the time. It was a rather sentimental tale between a young boy and a band of space pirates.

7. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Battle Beyond the Stars would have been a good movie if it wasn’t just another rip-off.
In this movie, a young farmer enlists the help of mercenaries to help his peaceful planet against an evil tyrant, Sador, and his armada of aggressors.

Roger Corman, the director, did not have any success until then, and this is why he tried to hitch on the bandwagon of Star Wars. This movie was a weird mix of three different movies: Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, and Seven Samurai. Well, too many cooks spoil the broth. This movie managed to gain only an average response from the audience, which later turned to other sci-fi movies and left it behind in the dust.

Moreover, the plot and cast for this movie were close to Star Wars. The plot followed the same story, and the allies of the main protagonist were also quite like Chewie, Leia, and Luke. Star Wars had Han, Yoda, Leia, C3PO, and this movie had a space cowboy, an elderly ancient warrior, a beautiful heroine, and a couple of robots. Do you start to see the similarities?

Richard Thomas played Shad, and Robert Vaughn played the role of Gelt. Yet, one good thing came out of this movie. Future director James Cameron and future producer Gale Anne Hurd met, and later gave us the amazing “Terminator.” The movie’s estimated budget was $2,000,000, and it only managed to gain one-third of the total budget before it was taken off.

8. The Man Who Saved the World (1980)

It was marketed as the Turkish Star Wars. Well, it literally was as it blatantly stole scenes from The New Hope and spliced them together to make new scenes. Moreover, this film borrowed from multiple movies to jump on the bandwagon, it took the score from Star Wars and mixed it with a native theme to make it look original. It also stole scenes and music from Battlestar Galactica.

This movie is about two space cadets who are on a desert planet, where an evil wizard is trying to take over the world. This movie had Kung-fu, monsters, ninjas, and telekinesis, and still failed to grab any attention from the audiences across the globe.

9. The Last Starfighter (1984)

The movie’s production was inspired by the success of George Lucas and Star Wars.

The movie plot is about Alex, who beats the Last Starfighter video game and is taken to another universe to beat an evil dictator. The game was just a test to see if he was fit for the recruitment. This movie also inspired the modern series ‘Future Man’, which is a rather comedic take on the plot.

The movie was not going to see the light of the day. The screenplay was shelved, but when Star Wars did so well on the box office, auditioning was resumed and this movie was fast-tracked due to Star Wars.

With an estimated budget of $15,000,000, this movie made $28,733,290 and became a hit at the box office. It is still remembered as an amazing tale of that era.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Every now and then, there are some directors and movies that set the tone of the industry and pave the way for a new era of cinematic experiences. Star Wars was such a movie. George Lucas gave us a story a universe and characters to root for. This is why Star Wars is as one of the best, if not the best, science fiction movies of all time. It’s not a suprise that other studios wanted to grab a slice of the pie.

And that’s our list. Did we miss any you think should’ve been on there? Any you’ve seen, what do you think of them? Leave us a comment below.

Read more of our movie articles HERE.

IMDB information about the Starcrash movie HERE.

Read IMDB information about the Message from Space movie HERE.

See IMDB information about The Humanoid movie HERE.

Read IMDB information about Star Trek: The Motion Picture HERE.

Find IMDB information about the Battlestar Galactica movie HERE.

Read IMDB information about the Space Raiders movie HERE.

IMDB information about Battle Beyond the Stars HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Man Who Saved the World movie HERE.

Check out IMDB information about The Last Startfighter movie HERE.

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley



Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.

The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.

The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.

The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.

So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.

Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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