Battle Beyond The Stars 1980


George Lucas acknowledged the influence of Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress on Star Wars, and producer Roger Corman’s keen eye for exploitation led to the rapid development of Battle Beyond The Stars, which repositions Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai in outer space. Seven Samurai had already been updated as The Magnificent Seven, and Corman and Jimmy T Murakami have fun transposing the familiar Western elements, with George Peddard’s Space Cowboy and Robert Vaughn’s black-clad Gelt lifted directly from the Old West Playbook. The Waltons’ Richard Thomas plays the farmboy who becomes a hero alongside such memorable characters as Sybil Danning’s Valkyrie St Exmin. John Saxon contributes a strong villain as Sador, and the whole thing is directed at such a clip that it’s no wonder that James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd fell in love while working on it.


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