I’ve had Star Wars on my mind because yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the debut of Epidode IV: A New Hope (a.k.a. STAR WARS).
John Scalzi, the author of Old Man’s War1, which you may have seen knocking around the bookshelves, has an opinion regarding the Star Wars movies and their value as entertainment. He feels that the Star Wars sexology were not designed by Lucas to be entertaining, more as a vehicle for his politics and mythology. Go read it for more detail, it’s long.
Toward the end of the post, he recommends a movie:
Look, here’s a test for you. I want you to go out and find this movie: Battle Beyond the Stars. It’s a piece of crap 1980 B-movie, produced by Roger Corman, that’s clearly cashing in on the Star Wars phenomenon. Hell, it’s even a pastiche of the same things Star Wars is a pastiche of (it even has a planet Akir, named for Akira Kurosawa), and it was made for $2 million, which is nothing money, even back in 1980. Thing is, its screenplay was written by John Sayles (later twice nominated for the Best Screenplay Academy Award), and it’s funny and smart, and the whole movie, rather incredibly, keeps pace. Watch it and then tell me, honestly, that it’s not more entertaining than Star Wars Episodes I, II, III and VI.
I haven’t seen this move, but I may have to add it to my list of SF Movies To Watch this summer.
1 Old Man’s War is a very good novel. If you liked Starship Troopers (the Book!, not the “movie” with the same title and a few of the same character names) you’ll like Old Man’s War.