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 Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced

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PostSubject: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 12:22 am

Star Wars was such a huge hit when it crossed the screens in the late 70's, it spawned a host of other sci fi movies and TV series that either borrowed stylistically or blatantly ripped off entire plot ideas from the franchise. With this thread, I would like to begin listing Movies and TV Series that resulted from the post-Star Wars phenomena, in part because I'm always looking for something I might have missed (and some of the others on this forum might be interested as well).

Here we go...

Star Crash (1979) - blatant Italian rip-off.
Star Odyssey (1979) - another Italian rip-off.
Battlestar Galactica (1978) - TV, special effects influenced by the tech used in Star Wars.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979) - TV, from the creator of Battlestar Galactica
Shape of Things to Come (1979) - cutesy robots in a Canadian rip-off
Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985) - animated movie that borrows heavily from Star Wars.
Jason of Star Command (1978) - TV, Kids fare sci fi with Star Wars influenced effects and a Han Solo dress-alike main character.
Space Academy (1977) - TV, the predecessor to Jason of Star Command
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) - Magnificent Seven meets Star Wars
Flash Gordon (1980) - Since Star Wars borrowed heavily from the original, time for a remake.
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon (1979) - TV, animated.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) - Paramount resurrects Trek to cash in on Star Wars.
The Last Starfighter (1984) - Star Wars influences throughout.
The Black Hole (1979) - Disney's attempt to cash in on the Star Wars craze.
Krull (1983) - Strange mix of Sci Fi and Fantasy. Strong Star Wars influence.
Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone (1983) - Obvious Star Wars influences.
Dune (1984) - Used the popularity of Star Wars to try to get this behemoth to screen.
Ice Pirates (1984) - Space comedy, heavily influenced by Star Wars.
Spaceballs (1987) - Late on the scene Mel Brooks parody of Star Wars.
V (1983) - TV, the original mini-series features many references to Star Wars, the Star Wars theme song is played by a marching band, and the visual effects are obviously influences.

Honorable Mentions: E.T. (Elliot shows E.T. Star Wars figures), Alien Nation, Enemy Mine, Flight of the Navigator

Dishonorable Mention: Space Mutiny (1988), a movie so bad and so low-budget that it uses Battlestar Galactica's special effects rather than create its own.

So, any others?
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 12:49 am

Forgot this one...

Galaxina (1980) - Star Wars meets porn.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 1:40 am

A lot of those are not rip offs, The Black Hole was actually at Disney in '74 when the tide of disaster movies was at its peak. Just had a whole lot of writers involved. And Galactica likewise was originally named "Adam's Ark" and was in the mid 70's also.

Lucas pretty much admits he took the idea of Star Wars from Kurosawa and all the saturday morning serials from his childhood. Which is what Jason, Space Academy and a couple of the others were. Star Wars just made it financially acceptable as a risk to the hollywood money makers.

V was based on the book It Can't Happen Here, and the sci fi element was added by the network to draw in the audiences.

There is more, but have to go to bed for school tomorrow so I can argue about God with a bunch of dopey 20 somethings.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 2:24 am

And there are many point similarities in SW that were taken from the Dune novel. In that regard, SW ripped off some stuff from Dune.

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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 8:01 am

My point was not that Dune ripped off Star Wars; Dune was awarded the massive budget BECAUSE of the success of Star Wars.

While Black Hole may have been on the dockets for a while, I'm sure I read quite a number of articles around the time that Disney pushed to catch the Star Wars wave, including inserting the robot VINCENT.

Galactica was not a ripoff of Star Wars, but used a key effects person to achieve it's look, which was based on Star Wars.

V's sci fi elements were heavily influenced by Star Wars like I mentioned, along with the Star Wars theme song being played by the marching band.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 8:45 am

Heck, even a lot of Doctor Who after Star Wars' release was done as a reaction to it. You could say that nearly any sci-fi release, TV or motion picture, was done as a result of Star Wars' success.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 9:10 am

Yes, I remember the flood of Science Fiction after 1977, too bad most of it sucked, with producers thinking all they need was special effects and no story or characters.

Star Trek did get pushed to the big screen after Star Wars as it was in production for Paramount's 4th network idea, something they didn't get done until UPN and Voyager.

I remember those those old Saturday shows like Jason and Space Academy, and we were just talking about them last night in the chatroom, lol
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 9:17 am

Star Trek: The Motion Picture definitely became a film because of Star Wars. The storyline was originally intended for a new TV series, however.

When Galactica first came out I remember my mother wondering if Lucas would sue them over how much the Vipers looked like X-Wings.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 9:19 am

I think they were sued, actually.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 11:12 am

Yes, and Ralph McQuarrie was the designer on both as well as Buck Rogers, he was the Goto Guy back then for space designs, followed by Ron Cobb, and Syd Mead.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 4:06 pm

ok, so the title of this should be "films or tv series that were given money, or greenlit because of the success of star wars " not "star wars ripoff".

just because something took place in space, with pirates/cowboys/aliens, means it is a ripoff of star wars. a lot of those shows of movies stand on their own plotwise. sure, would they have been made without the success of star wars, probably not.

however, and i make this point, if star wars had never been made, who is to know if there wouldn't have been another huge scifi movie trilogy made that would have made it cool to make space opera's again?
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 6:00 pm

bret_owen99 wrote:
ok, so the title of this should be "films or tv series that were given money, or greenlit because of the success of star wars " not "star wars ripoff".

just because something took place in space, with pirates/cowboys/aliens, means it is a ripoff of star wars. a lot of those shows of movies stand on their own plotwise. sure, would they have been made without the success of star wars, probably not.


Well said.

In my Sci Fi Lit course in college, the professor's approach to the genre was that with the possible exception of cyberpunk, almost every sci fi story is derived from HG Wells.

Anything with time travel- that's Time Machine
Anything with alien (or any 'other' beings not familiar to us) encounters where the others are antagonistic- War of the Worlds
Anything with a utopian society- Shape of Things to Come

and so forth.

That was a wee bit too much generalization for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 8:34 pm

The topic is Star Wars Rip-Offs and Influenced.

Star Crash, Jason of Star Command, for example, are Rip-Offs.

Battlestar on the other hand is influenced.

So, no one can think of any other titles?
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 10:14 pm

Sounds right to me!

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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Tue May 03, 2011 11:29 pm



DEFINITELY Star Wars inspired!

It was a Japanese anime TV series that ran for 26 episodes, and in the US, we just got a 76 minute movie version on a $1 Wal-Mart DVD. I bought a few extra copies and sold them to fans who couldn't find them.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 8:59 am

There were some toys that looked Star Wars inspired as well, some C3PO looking robots with a little roundhead robot companion. And those little Micronauts looked 3POish as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 11:18 am

I had Micronaut toys before Star Wars came out.

Micronauts is the North American name for the Microman toy line created by Japanese toy company Takara (later absorbed by TOMY). First released in Japan in 1974, Microman toys were imported to the United States by the Mego Corporation in 1976 under the "Micronauts" name.

Star Wars came out in 1977.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 11:57 am

Must remember that way because my Gold Time Traveler WAS my 3PO for so long! I am trying to find out the other robot toys I am remembering, but no luck now. I wish I still had my Pharoid, that would look great with my Pyramids Mummies!
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 12:04 pm

jaredofmo wrote:


DEFINITELY Star Wars inspired!

It was a Japanese anime TV series that ran for 26 episodes, and in the US, we just got a 76 minute movie version on a $1 Wal-Mart DVD. I bought a few extra copies and sold them to fans who couldn't find them.

That looks like a fun watch. maybe my Wal*Mart will have it somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 12:06 pm

S.T.A.R.Team!!

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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Wow. That isn't obvious at all...
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 12:28 pm

Yes, and I read that Ideal Toys even bragged about their rush job to cash in on Star Wars, saying, "yes, we have balls!" The toys were actually re-issued 60's space toys, that they rushed to put back out. Maybe the influence came full circle.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Wed May 04, 2011 2:39 pm

I ALWAYS wanted these!

Ronpur wrote:
S.T.A.R.Team!!

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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Thu May 05, 2011 9:26 pm

Forgot these:

Saturn 3 (Movie) - 1980 (Starring Farah Fawcett)
Salvage One (TV Series) - 1979 (Andy Griffith)
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Thu May 05, 2011 9:29 pm

Salvage One was an awesome show!
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars Rip-offs and Influenced   Today at 8:28 am

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