After the huge success of Star Wars, space opera films were all the rage. A whole slew of imitators attempted to cash in on the popularity of the film, and create their own quickie. The master of quickie films himself, Roger Coreman got into the act tying some inspiration from Seven Samurai (and The Magnificent Seven) with classic space opera adventures of yesteryear. This was the result.
Lord Sador (John Saxon) has to be evil because of his name. So he arrives on the planet Akir and threatens them with servitude or annihilation, as is his way. But the people of Akir decide they want to defend their homes, and they send Shad (Richard Thomas) on a quest to find mercenaries who will defend them from Sador and his fleet. Shad jumps into his starship named Nell (voiced by Lynn Carlin) and seeks out some help.
Along the way he meets the Cowboy (George Pepard), Gelt (Robert Vaughn) a cold merc, Saint-Exmin (Sybil Danning) a voluptuous valkyrie, Cayman (Morgan Woodward) a reptilian being with a score to settle, and a group of aliens called Nestor. Rounding out the group is Nanelia, a scientist who falls for Shad and uses her knowledge of computers to help the cause. But do they have any hope in destroying Sador in this Battle Beyond the Stars?
- Moves at a brisk fun pace
- Some creative visual design and effects
- The cast seems to be having a good time
- You can point to just about any element and call it derivative
- Those looking for serious sci-fi will be disappointed
- Ends rather abruptly
This is one entertaining movie. It knows that it is basically trying to cash in on the Star Wars craze, but it also tries to spin some things in a new direction. There is a real spirit of fun in all the performances and execution; it really carries over into the whole film. James Horner’s score is big and bold. The movie moves at a brisk pace and while the ending it kinda abrupt, the whole thing is well worth checking out or revisiting if you haven’t seen it in a while.
Scores (out of 5)
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