Welcome to 50 first times; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate films that I’VE NEVER SEEN. I aim to work my way through 50 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.
This collection of posts is a follow-up to 90 from the ’90s. However, while I previously focused on films from the 1990s, this time around I’m widening the field to cover any movie from any decade.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Today I’m watching…
Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)
Full disclosure: I have seen a very small portion of this movie. However, I have never watched the film in full and the part I have seen (the opening ten minutes) was viewed way back in the mid-80s.
So what gives?
OK, so at some point during the 1980s, my dad rented Starchaser: The Legend of Orin from the local video shop (the same video shop I would work in from 2000-2003). He rented the movie for me and my brother to watch, as it looked like something we would enjoy – a sci-fi fantasy similar to Star Wars.
Star Wars was huge when we were kids and both of us loved anything to do with Jedi, Wookies and the like. So I think my dad thought this movie would be perfect.
Erm… yeah, he was wrong. What I do remember about this film is that it’s not for kids.
Just check out these scary bastards…
I recall my dad putting this film on for about ten minutes before it became apparent we probably shouldn’t be watching it. My brother may have watched the film in its entirety – I really can’t remember – but I did not.
It’s time to pick up where I left off.
This is brutal – an old bloke has been killed by a laser whip. A laser whip!!
Is that a magical laser sword? Now where have I seen that before?
Obi-Wan Kenobi An old man has appeared in a hidden message. Hmm… this looks familiar too?
Just over 13 minutes into the movie and a girl has just been strangled! This film is definitely not suitable for kids!
Han Solo a rogue with a gun has just turned up!
And now a sassy robot!
“You have no right to go probing around inside me.”
In other news – which has nothing to do with this movie – I have just eaten a very large bar of Cadbury’s chocolate. It is around 8:45am as I type these words and I’ve devoured a ridiculous amount of sugar – I am losing control of my life.
*Checks to see if there is anymore chocolate in the packet*
You know, I’ve got to admire the brass balls of this movie – it’s a blatant rip-off of so much Star Wars content. Characters, settings, imagery, music – there’s so much that has been
lifted from inspired by the original trilogy.
It’s been 1 hour and 25 minutes and this film shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. How long is this movie?
*Looks around for more chocolate*
My additional observations are not from the movie, but instead from the poster.
Observation #1: ‘A spectacular 3-D adventure for the entire family.’
In 2019, audiences of all ages go to the cinema to watch animated movies, but that wasn’t the case in 1985. Had the entire family gone to watch this one I think Grandma would have had a few words to say about what she saw!
Observation #2: ‘A magical movie experience in the tradition of “Snow White” and “Dark Crystal“.
What this should say is: ‘A magical movie experience in the tradition of “Star Wars“. Only “Star Wars“! THIS IS BASICALLY A “STAR WARS” MOVIE – there’s no “Snow White” here! You want “Star Wars“? Then this is the movie for you!’
Observation #3: The imagery used on this poster suggests this is a fairly fluffy film, with heroic characters and mild peril. It fails to mention the death, destruction, innuendo or all those aliens with three breasts!
Putting aside the Star Wars stuff, Starchaser is an odd movie and dare I say a movie that was ahead of it’s time. It was clearly put together by a team who envisioned animated movies as being something more than just kiddie fare – a rarity in the mid-80s – and for this reason I have to say it’s pretty impressive.
It knows what it wants to do and it sticks to its guns. The result is a sci-fi fantasy that is a darker take on the Star Wars movies.
Now that said, when it was produced, who the heck did the studio think this was made for?!?
In 1985, Starchasers was too adult for kids, and I can’t imagine that many teens/adults sought it out either. It’s clear the marketing team didn’t watch the movie, because if they had they might have produced a completely different poster!
Anyway, regardless of all that, the big question remains, did I enjoy Starchasers?
It was OK. I appreciated what it was trying to do and it had moments here and there, but ultimately it came across as a film that borrowed too heavily from George Lucas.
As I’ve already established, I like Star Wars, but when I feel in the mood for Star Wars then I watch one of the movies in the Saga. I don’t ever feel the need to watch something that is trying to be a bootleg version and that’s what this feels like to me.
Starchasers has a cult following and that’s fine – I get why many people like this movie. For me it’s watchable, but nothing special.
Right, the next movie on my list is another film from the ’80s that I’ve watched a little bit of before. I’ll explain why it’s on the list (and why I’ve never seen it in full) when 50 first times returns!
And should you want to check out the previous movies in this series, then take a look at my posts for Super (2010), When Harry Met Sally (1989), What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Shin Godzilla (2016), and Road House (1989).
Read: Part 7