There’s the Star Wars rip-off that did Star Wars with a Playboy Playmate. There’s the Star Wars rip-off that almost created a weapon as cool as a lightsaber. There’s the Star Wars rip-off that you probably still have toys from somewhere in your garage. But what is the biggest Star Wars rip-off of all time? By the end of this article, you’ll know all that and more.
“That’s a Star Wars rip-off”. As an author you hear that a lot. Especially when you’re a mad Star Wars fan, as I am.
Star Wars is one of the best movies of all time. So it’s obviously inspired hundreds of other movies.
But being inspired by a movie and blatantly ripping off a movie are not the same thing.
Inspired: You send a teenage protagonist on an adventure in space.
Rip-Off: You write, “I am your father…”
Being inspired is great. And I’m sure George Lucas is happy to inspire. Ripping off? That’s “scum and villainy” [ha ha].
Here are 10 Star Wars rip-offs that went too damn far. And if you know of any other blatant Star-Wars rip-offs, holler at me and leave a comment.
Video Version. Article continues below.
- The Last Starfighter
In The Last Starfighter, a teenage boy dreams of becoming a star pilot and of going on a journey of good versus evil. Kinda like Luke on Tatooine.
But the only flying The Last Starfighter’s protagonist has done is playing a video game called The Last Starfighter. Then a mysterious alien visits him and tells him that The Last Starfighter game is actually a test to see who would be the best pilot in the universe. He subsequently gets whisked away to an interplanetary war, very similar to Star Wars.
There are lots of parts of The Last Starfighter that are not overtly Star Wars rip-offs (it’s set on Earth, for a start). And it is a great movie. But the idea of a teenager dreaming of becoming a pilot and getting caught up in a galactic war? Now that is pure Star Wars, isn’t it?
- Battlestar Galactica
Do you remember Battlestar Galactica?
Battlestar Galacica is actually a TV series that ran for a single season back in 1978. But despite being TV and not a movie, it’s nevertheless one of the most blatant Star Wars rip-offs of all time.
The TV series was actually pretty damn good and definitely worth watching. But it was also such a Star Wars rip off that it wasn’t even funny. And now they’re working on a new Battlestar Galactica movie which will likely be very similar to The Force Awakens. I will admit, though, that I am most definitely going to see it regardless.
- Masters Of The Universe
Alright. Hands up who still has their Masters Of The Universe toys?
Masters Of The Universe should have been one of the most loved movies of all time. It had absolutely everything going for it. It looked like a dead certainty that Masters Of The Universe would be a movie release, especially given the gargantuan popularity of the toys. But for some bizarre reason that boggles my mind to this day, Masters Of The Universe was made into a TV series before the movie, and it was a total rip-off of Star Wars.
Were you alive in the 80s? And if so, did you have a crush on Galaxina?
Galaxina came to fame because it is the sole starring role of Dortothy Stratten, the Playboy Playmate. She was murdered shortly after the release.
Galaxina has pretty decent production values thanks to a healthy budget. That led to it having some excellent alien costumes and special effects. But the screenplay is absolutely stuffed full of clichés, like the spaceship being called Infinity. Then again, this is a movie starring a Playboy Playmate so it’s not like people watched it for its dramatics.
Dorothy Stratten provides precisely the sort of sexiness you would expect, a level of sexiness that would make even bikini-Leia jealous. And it achieved what it set out to do: it drove male teenagers wild.
- Hawk The Slayer
Hands up everyone who has dreamed of being Han Solo.
Hawk The Slayer is actually a sword & sorcery flick but it’s so full of Star Wars rip-off scenes that it will make you laugh your ass off. Jack Palance plays a character whose Helmet is so obviously a knock-off of Darth Vader that it sent tremors through The Force. The only saving grace was that Hawk The Slayer didn’t go full-rip-off and avoided the father-son relationship that would probably have seen the movie studio sued. But make no mistake, everything else about this flick is a complete Star Wars clone, from Hawk’s Han Solo clothing to lightsaber-style final battles with swords. The combination of fun characters and Star Wars elements actually makes Hawk The Slayer worth watching.
What is the biggest flop ever? My choice is Waterworld. Yours? Leave a comment.
One movie that totally flopped was Saturn.
Saturn was released in 1980 and was one of the biggest flops of the year. Surprising, given it had an A-list cast. Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel led alongside Farrah Fawcett. You can’t get much more star-studded than that. Except for the cast, however, everything about this movie was total pants. The special effects look like they were made by a toddler. And the script makes less sense than Chewbacca living on Endor.
Thankfully, I’m personally a fan of crappy movies, which I call “Craptacular”. And for people like me who enjoy hilariously pants flicks, Saturn is a must watch.
Does that makes sense to anyone else? That a movie can be so bad that it become “craptacular” and therefore must be watched because it is so comically awful?
According to the makers, Starcrash was actually conceived and released prior to Star Wars. But if that’s the case you would have thought these guys would hire a lawyer to take George Lucas to court. Because everything about Starcrash is a Star Wars rip-off.
Released in 1978, Starcrash stars man-god David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plumber, who plays, basically, Emperor Palpatine. Starcrash is so blatant a Star Wars rip-off that it will have you crawling on the floor in fits of laughter.
Krull should have been the single greatest movie of all time. Why? Because it’s inspired by both Dune and Star Wars, which are two of the absolute best movies ever.
Krull came out in the 1983 and at the time was very popular mostly because it gave the world the Glaive, the coolest non-lightsaber weapon of all time, which looks like a ninja star and comes out of a volcano. Pretty damn awesome.
If you watched this movie back in the 80s, watch it again. Honestly, the level of nostalgia is off the charts.
- Battle Beyond The Stars
The name itself makes it pretty blinking obvious that Battle Beyond The Stars is a Star Wars clone. But to be fair to it, it is a blood good Star Wars clone. Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond The Stars is an awesome rollercoaster-ride of a flick that Star Wars fans will love. With special effects by James Cameron, a script by John Sayles, and music by James Homer, you can imagine how good this is.
- Space Raiders (1983)
The movie that was inspired by two of my favorite movies of all time: Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars.
You know how Serenity became immensely popular because it satisfied everyone jonesing for a Star Wars spin-off? Well Space Raiders was the same thing back in 1983.
If you love B movies and you’re a Star Wars fan you will absolutely love this movie. It’s full of the bad special effects that make b-movie sci-fis so entertaining. And the characters and conflicts are over the top and fun.
In Space Raiders a 10 year old boy is stowed away on a spaceship and taken to a galaxy far, far away, where he meets a band of space pirates kinda like Han Solo.
The best thing about Space Raiders is that it’s a spiritual successor to Battle Beyond The Stars. That means you can put the popcorn on, put your feet up, and watch both Battle Beyond The Stars and Space Raiders back to back. Ahhhhhh… now that’s the life.
I’ve probably missed some flicks here. But you probably know tons about movies yourself. So go ahead and leave a little comment below. I love reading your comments. Why not comment just the name of the movie you think is the biggest Star Wars flop ever? Go ahead. Type it below. And if you’ve enjoy this article, remember to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.