In 1977, Star Wars – A New Hope, was released. The world was never the same. As you can imagine, the success of that movie spawned countless rip offs at the time. With Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi coming out soon, I had to see at least one of these ripoffs. I found a doozy of one through poking around on the internet. It was released in 1979. It is called Starcrash.
Well, that looks pretty damn blatant of a knock off. Let us watch it!
The movie starts off with a ship trying to scan for life forms on a planet, but then the planet attacks the ship with red dots…umm… I think? That is when everyone goes crazy.
Then we cut to a ship with our two starring characters for most of the film, Akton and Stella Star. They are the “two best smugglers in the galaxy” and can fly anything. Akton is an alien of some sorts, but nothing is explained about his origin or pretty much anything he ever does. He just does it because… REASONS.
Akton goes on calculating the odds of making it through some celestial storm, and Stella is all like “10% chance of making it! I like those odds.” Umm… the only time you should be excited about 10% of making it is in the state lottery. Then Akton is like “Actually… it is less than that.” Stella snaps back like “Hey! …… Don’t tell me the odds!” after literally just discussing the odds.
They make it and then are immediately captured anyway by a bald green man named Chief Thor who does not wield a hammer unfortunately.
He is accompanied by his robot Elle. Elle, for no reason whatsoever, talks like Yosemite Sam. However, disappointingly, he never says “I’ll get that rabbit!” in this movie. Damn you Starcrash!
Stella Starr and Akton are now on trial for their “crimes” and face this random floating head. It is not given any explanation who this head is or why it sentences people for its crimes, but that is ok because they are basically sentenced to life to hard labor! (Sad Trombone Sound)
It is at this point, our heroine, Stella Starr, changes into a bikini for absolutely no reason whatsoever. She remains in the bikini for almost the entire movie. Why? I don’t know. She is even handling radioactive materials in the scene. I guess a bikini is the appropriate attire for hard labor involving harmful materials.
Anyway, after 12 hours into her LIFE SENTENCE, Stella is like “fuck this shit” and starts immediately plotting an escape. She gets in a fire fight with the slavers and immediately escapes. Ummm…ok?
Then she is immediately, get this, captured by Chief Thor and Elle again. Only, they reveal, it was all a ruse to get her to work for the Emperor? What in the fuck is going on?
Introducing Christopher Plummer For a Hot Minute
They all act like buddies as we are introduced to the emperor, who is played by Captain Von Trapp himself, Christopher Plummer.
The Emperor appears via Hologram and informs the team, “Our galaxy is split into two warring factions: our own and the one ruled by the evil Count Zarth Arn from the League of the Dark Worlds.”
The League of the Dark Worlds? Damn, so… that’s the name Count Zarth Arn went with? Obviously a lot of brainstorming went into naming this faction.
Apparently the Count has one of the most destructive weapons in the universe, and it is concealed by a whole planet! They must find this planet and destroy the weapon. So it is up to Han and Luke to destroy the Death Star. Wait….no I mean, its up to Stella and the gang to destroy “the weapon.”
By the way, Christopher Plummer totally acts in circles around the rest of the cast in this scene. Damn, how’d they get an actual good actor for this movie?
Planet of the Amazons
Then, for whatever reason, Starcrash decides to take our plucky cast down to visit a planet with Amazon women. This is where we get a lot of gratuitous shots of ladies in bikinis. Why? Because REASONS… I can’t quite articulate how “amazing” this scene is, so here’s a video I found on YouTube of it…
Stella Starr, the best smuggler in the galaxy who always gets caught, gets caught by the Amazon Queen who reveals she’s in cohoots with the Count. Then, she is rescued by her buddies and then that’s it. No more Amazons. At one point in this part of the movie, we get treated to this…
I don’t think anything more needs to be said here about this. We can let that speak for itself.
To the Ice Planet
Yosesmite Sam and Stella Starr now visit a random Ice Planet. Stella Starr changes out of her bikini for this one into a semi-practical onsie outfit. This is when Chief Thor tries to kill Akton and steal the ship. He reveals he is in cohoots with the Count.
So Stella and the robot are trying to signal the ship and are going to be left for dead. Stella might die but our plucky robot has some sort of psychic powers to keep her heartrate going while she is frozen. Akton then wakes up and gets in a battle with Thor with freaking lazers. He then reveals he is telekinetic or some shit…some sort of force is guiding him.
Then he comes out rescues Stella who is Frozen in Ice.
Now Empire Strikes Back always gets praised for the ingenious part of freezing smuggler Han Solo in Carbonite. Sorry Star Wars fans, Starcrash was freezing their smugglers before then…
Akton uses the Force…err… his “powers” to unfreeze Stella. Next scene, Stella, and, I kid you not, changes back into her bikini. Nearly dying of hypothermia be damned. Gotta include that cleavage, I guess.
They visit a 3rd planet which immediately attacks them with the floating red dots that we saw from the beginning. Yup, this is definitely the weapon planet, and what a lame weapon. Stella and Yosemite Elle land on the planet. Stella this time is wearing some protective fabric BUT, and again, totally not kidding, its a see through space suit where you can see her bikini.
I got a sound byte from one of my favorite video games of all time to describe the wardrobe department on this one. The game series is called Worms.
Of course, they get on the planet for like 30 seconds and immediately get attacked by Cavemen.
Stella Starr is the best smuggler in the galaxy, so naturally she gets kidnapped AGAIN.
Not only that, but they KILL ELLE! What in the fuck is this shit?! Starcrash kills my favorite character?! He was a robot who talked with a Texas accent because why the fuck not?! DAAAAMMNN YOU MOVIE AND YOU TUGGING ON MY HEART STRINGS!
Enter The Hoff
We are about 48 minutes into this hour and a half movie, and I recall there being one cast member in the credits whose name I recognized that I haven’t seen yet. As Stella, our bad ass smuggler who always needs rescued, is literally hanging there waiting to be cooked, a man comes wearing a mask THAT SHOOTS FREAKING LAZERS. He takes Stella to safety in a cave that he says is “safe” and takes off his mask.
YUSSSS!!! You know how much we love David Hasselhoff’s music career whether it be bizarre music videos or album covers. Here he is, gracing us with his acting chops, and in a Star Wars-like movie no less!
They are “safe,” so naturally more cavemen try to kidnap them, and then out of the shadows, a mysterious figure comes brandishing a weapon…
IT IS AKTON! And he has what appears to be some sort of weapon. It has no name, but lets face it people. This is a fucking lightsaber. I’m sorry. He rescues The Hoff and Stella (because she needed rescuing AGAIN). Believe, when I complain about Stella getting rescued all the time in this movie, it is because it has happened almost a half dozen times!
Destroying the Weapon
Akton takes The Hoff and Stella to the command base of this planet to try to figure out how to destroy this weapon. Stella looks at the command center and says
“Automated computers?? Like this, they can run forever.”
Not if they were built by Microsoft, Stella.
Anyway, as they are trying to figure out how to stop this, COUNT ZARTH ARN ARRIVES!
Now I haven’t mentioned any of Zarth’s scenes. But that is because his performance is awe-inspiring. It is so hammy. I found a video that sums up how amazing he is in this movie…
Fucking amazeballs, if you ask me. Damn, I want that guy in every movie!
Anyway, there is something else I haven’t mentioned. Zarth Arn has two androids who movie slower than molasses in January. I mean, it is really ridiculous effects. So naturally, Akton gets in fast action lightsaber duel with them.
Not only that, BUT AKTON FREAKING LOSES THE BATTLE! I’m not even kidding! How did these guys get the jump on him?
So The Hoff takes over. Now… this what we all really wanted.
It exists people… The Hoff in a Light Sabre movie in a cheap sci-fi flick. You know you wanted to watch that…
Yup, Akton finally figures out “Hey, you can literally just push this robot over.” Then Akton, for some reason, DIES?! WHY?! Why did he have to die STARCRASH?! NOOOO!!! He was about as useful as the Jedi were during Order 66. Come on, it was just a scratch. A scratch never stopped The Black Knight.
Wibbily Wobbly Time Wimey
Count Zarth revealed that he is going to destroy this planet so he can finally get rid of Stella Starr. You know, because nobody else can one-up her. So as the planet is about to explode, in comes, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER!
It is revealed that The Hoff is the son of Christopher Plummer. Maybe this means The Hoff is secretly Kurt Von Trapp. Just don’t ask him about deer.
Emperor Von Trapp reveals that, as the planet is about to explode, he can half the flow of time.
See, I was not kidding. Thus, The Emperor rescues Stella (again) and The Hoff. They leave the planet and plan for the final battle.
The Space Battle
Stella changes outfits while on the The Emperor’s ship. She is finally out of the bikini, and for the rest of the movie. I guess you gotta step up the thread count around royalty when you’re battling evil.
The Emperor then sends all of his “best men” to Kamikaze their way into Count Zarth Arn’s claw ship and try to take him out. That seems like strategically-sound and totally someone with military background would do. Totally.
So naturally, they ALL DIE. Every single one of them. The Emperor looks mildly bothered by this. But then Count Zarth Arn reveals his next plan is to destroy the home planet of the Emperor, Alderann… or whatever, I forgot what the name was at this point. He plans to do it with his weapon, which is…
THE DOOM MACHINE!
YUSSS!!! Seriously the best fucking name I’ve ever heard in my life.
The Emperor sends his son and the best smuggler in the galaxy to Kamikaze a floating city into the ship. Somehow, this will destroy the ship and Count Zarth Arn.
One Final Attack
So now the REAL final task. Stella tells The Hoff to stay behind. Hey! Nobody puts Hoff in a corner! But maybe she has a good reason. She says, and I’m totally not kidding, “I will need you to rescue me.”
The Hoff says, “I ain’t letting you go alone” and who comes back into the picture?
IT IS ELLE! Yosemite Sam is back. WOO HOO! He’s back, and it is Count Season for Elle.
They fly the city into the ship with little difficulty and destroy the count. Now Stella is left floating in space with Elle until The Hoff picks them up. We get treated to this amazing moment of cinematography and special effects from the film known as Starcrash…
Christopher Plummer gives us a closing monologue for Starcrash like nobody can.
“Well, it’s done. It’s happened. The stars are clear. The planets shine. We’ve won. Oh. Some dark force, no doubt, will show it’s face once more. The wheel will always turn; but for now it’s calm. And for a little time, at least, we can rest. ”
Starcrash: Final Thoughts
Well, Starcrash e is easily one of the best worst movies I’ve ever seen. Great for a MST3K or B-Movie party. Honestly, I was more entertained by this movie than Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Maybe it was for the wrong reasons, but you aren’t weighed down with trade route discussions or Jar-Jar Binks.
You can find this amazing work of cinema available out there I’m sure. You can even buy Starcrash, believe it or not, on BluRay on Amazon.
The only drawback is we didn’t see what THE DOOM MACHINE was. We never will. I google Image Searched “Doom Machine” and this is what I found.
All month long on Geek With That up to the premiere of Episode VIII, we are having The Last Jedi Month here. Keep checking back for more content!