Star Odyssey (1979) — Kitbashing 2001 and A New Hope

“Man meets an alien race at last… and greets them by disintegrating their vessel.”

Justin’s rating: Yes, let’s ALL go to MoonSpace!

Justin’s review: When Star Wars came out in 1977, the entire film industry was shook to its core. Scifi suddenly got cool, fast-paced, and fun in a way that it hadn’t much been to date. It was part of the blockbuster revolution, and suffice to say, everyone wanted a slice of that pie.

While I’m not surprised that so many Star Wars knock-offs emerged afterward, I am amazed at how quickly they arrived. At the vanguard of these was Alfonso Breschia, an Italian director who managed to pump out four blatant rip-offs of George Lucas’ classic in the late ’70s. How did he manage this feat? Mostly by making the same movie with the same actors, sets, and effects over and over again.

So today we’ll look at just one of these, Star Odyssey from 1979, because if I do more than one, my doctor said that I’d die of cheese poisoning. All you really need to know going into this is that it’s of the same quality level that any kid with a bulky VHS camcorder in the ’80s might have made. We’re talking people using robotic voices to be computers. We’re talking stock footage filling in the gaps of special effects explosions. We’re talking terrible dubbing, childish music, and distracting moustaches. And we’re talking about so much blatant plagiarism as to be pathetic fanfic.

(Not that there is any non-pathetic fanfic, you understand.)

Conquered by aliens, Earth is subsequently auctioned off to an evil alien overlord who’s got a severe case of eczema. Said overlord wants to round up all of humanity for cheap slave labor, and why not? It’s not as if we’re being that productive these days anyway.

And enjoy the extremely uncomfortable scene where the aliens land to round up 1,600 “units” of African slaves for early use, of which 600 are killed during the collection.

In response to the threat, Earth command’s last desperate gambit is to recruit a scrappy team of reluctant heroes and throw them at the bad guy… without any monetary or military support. Seriously, these guys are told that (a) they’re our last, best hope and (b) good luck, because our resources are being used elsewhere.

Our hero squad is:

  • Professor Mori: A telekinetic bald dude who wears a cowl that’s taller than his head
  • Hollywood: A strutting coward with the worst moustache you’ve ever seen
  • Irene: Who is there as a pleasure unit for Hollywood and to recruit other members of the team
  • Dirk: A scoundrel who also has mind powers
  • Norman: A kickboxing android
  • Jeeves: A house robot that’s certainly not a trash can with flailing arms

The crew goes to war against the alien overlord, but it’s not all ham-fisted fistfights and dollar store lightsabers. There’s also a romance between two robots who had a suicide pact but find that they’re enough of a reason for the other to continue existing. Or something.

Yes, this all sounds so awesome… on paper. Maybe it is on screen as well, provided that you lower your standards deep underground and throw up a shield of mockery. You’ll either feel tortured by Star Odyssey or delight in making fun of every nook and cranny of its low-budget stupidity.

I definitely landed in the latter category. Sure, it tested my patience as I endured minute after minute of incompetent filmmaking, but it’s so gleefully messy that I wasn’t truly bored. This movie is stuffed full of ridiculous and underutilized concepts, the product of an undisciplined imagination that’s barely constrained by Star Odyssey’s $14 budget.


  • Oh that trippy electronica theme music!
  • Every male Italian actor has to have the goofiest moustache
  • The copious amount of stock footage for explosions
  • Hollywood’s nickname is shortened to “Holly”
  • “You can do whatever you want, but don’t expect any support officially.”
  • Your hero doesn’t want to be a hero? Use mind control powers on him!
  • Well that’s the worst making out I’ve seen in a while
  • Fight scenes are best employed with chaotic beeping on the soundtrack
  • “You used to kiss a lot better” OUCH
  • When you talk to people, you should stand close enough to kiss them
  • “That’s right, duty first!” hehe
  • MOONSPACE: The Alcatraz of the Heaavens
  • And now for an android kickboxing exhibition
  • Is it just me, or does Dirk’s shirt look like a Spider-Man pajama top?
  • And now for a long auction scene
  • Can’t win at an auction? Better use your mind control powers to give your opponent a stroke.

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