Thursday, 20 September 2012

Starchaser: The Legend of Orin

In his comment on my last post izeColt referred to a movie with the cumbersome title of Starchaser: The Legend of Orin. It transpires this is an 80s feature-length sci-fi animation which had escaped my notice entirely. I watched it in the wee hours of last night and I was mildly impressed.

Starchaser (I can't shake the feeling that this might be the name of a beverage which follows a racy cocktail) gets a bad rap for being an out-and-out rip-off of Star Wars. This criticism is valid - it is indeed a blatant facsimile. The film suffers from a host of other issues, but the animation, plot structure and design of the movie are robust. The boy-becomes-hero yarn romps along at a fair pace and, although predictable with cookie-cutter characters, kept my (admittedly sleepy) interest throughout. There are also so odd sexual politics which make the movie slightly distasteful by today's standards. More importantly they make you wonder at what age group the film makers were pitching to (there are scenes in a brothel, for example).

The animation, however, is quite striking. It's talked about as being one of the first computer animated movies. I suspect CGI models might have been animated but then rotoscoped over for the final cells. Some of the design is run of the mill 80s fantasy and sci-fi, but other bits, notably the princess's robot and Man Droids, are quite good. There are some interesting computer GUIs in the background of the final scenes too.

Have a go if you dare but be warned it's not up the standard of Transformers: The Movie.




5 comments:

  1. Blimey, I remember this, loved it when I was a kid... admittedly haven't seen for a few years...

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  2. I had to lol at the recommendation for Star Wars fans on the jacket...

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  3. You might be pleased to know I found an old review of this in a random White Dwarf I got as part of an auction. It states:

    "Unfortunately none of the ingenuity that went into creating the pictures is reflected in the script; every major scene, image and plot device has been ripped off from somewhere else, and you'll probably have as much fun as I did matching to the original sources" Alex Stewart W.D 79.

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  4. Hey Minitrol - thanks so much! What a great find. Xx

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  5. You're welcome! Glad to be able to share something with you for a change!

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