Battle Beyond the Stars

One of the first--and most fun!--science fiction movies I've ever seen is Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars.

Shad (Richard Thomas) sets out to save his tiny home world of Akira from John Saxon's aptly named Sador! Shad steals a slightly clingy spaceship and gathers a ragtag band of fighters to help. I was thrilled with George Peppard's space cowboy. Robert Vaughn's mercenary is an amazing reprisal of his Magnificent Seven role.

Fantastic space battles, cute humor, and wonderful performances by a really fun cast.

"Live fast, die well and have a beautiful ending!" -- Saint Exmin, the Space Valkryie

Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars

Notable Replies

  1. Starring Richard Thomas as Wesley Crusher.

  2. I remember the day my dad took me to see this, claiming it was "the new Star Wars movie!"

    It really, really wasn't. I do recall it had something to do with glowing walnuts in space, however.

  3. I've been promising myself that I'll set up a mini-marithon of Seven Samurai, Magnificent Seven, and Seven Beyond the Stars. From the sublime to the sub-lemon...

  4. I always thought the scene where Shad finds Robert Vaughan's character in the burned out bar/arcade/thing was an influence for Tom Petty's video for You Got Lucky. Of course, post apocalypse was all the rage by 1982, but when they enter the tent, it reminds me of the Robert Vaughn scene.

    No dead hookers in the Tom Petty vid, tho.

    Oh, and the female ship sounds a ton like Majel Barrett, despite not being her.

  5. Battle Beyond the Stars was, in fact, James Cameron's first job working for Corman. He and Gale Anne Hurd were hired to supervise filming of the special effects sequences. I read an interview with him in Cinefantastique magazine years ago where he claimed he had to rent out the motion control armature equipment pioneered by ILM for Star Wars to shoot all the SFX shots within a 2-week schedule. This film supposedly had the largest budget that Corman's New Worlds company had ever financed, so under those circumstances, Battle Beyond the Stars looks pretty good (as compared to Message from Space, which came out around the same time).

Continue the discussion

22 more replies