Our Favorite Star Wars Bootlegs From 'Rebel Moon' to 'Spaceball'

A galaxy far, far away has inspired more than its fair share of imitators over the years.

Perhaps no movie franchise in the history of pop culture has had as much of an impact on the world as Star Wars. The space fantasy saga has captured the hearts and minds of generations, and will likely continue to do so through its various incarnations. In fact, the latest inspiration will hit the silver screen in the form of Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon. Ironically, the colossal space epic was born out of the Star Wars promos Snyder laid out before Disney bought Lucasfilm, and Netflix wanted to turn it into an actual franchise.

Rebel Moon isn't the only film to draw inspiration from a galaxy far, far away. Over the years, many filmmakers have used George Lucas' space saga as a template for their own films. Some of these films have managed to carve out their own space in pop culture, while others are best forgotten. Here are just a few of the aforementioned films.


Perhaps the most famous Star Wars parody is Spaceball. Following on from his previous works, A History of the World Part I and Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks offers a poignant parody of a galaxy far, far away, far away. In its place is the towering menace of Darth Vader, but the diminutive Black Helmets (Rick Moranis). In place of C-3P0 and R2-D2 is the picky point matrix (Joan Rivers). Brooks even appears as Yogurt, a clever disguise for Jedi Master Yoda. The film has become a cult classic, and to this day still boasts some of the greatest comedic moments of all time. Case in point: who could forget the moment when Black Helmets and Colonel Sanduz (George Wyner) jumped down the meta rabbit hole in the Spaceballs VHS tape?

Battle Beyond The Stars

Rebel Moon is said to have been inspired by The Seven Samurai and Star Wars. While Snyder wasn't the first filmmaker to draw inspiration from Kurosawa's action masterpiece, he wasn't the first to meld the two concepts, either. That honor goes to StarCraft. Roger Corman came up with the concept to make his own sci-fi saga after seeing the huge success of Star Wars: A New Hope. The final result, courtesy of director Jimmy T. Murakami and screenwriter John Sells, definitely owes a lot to "A New Hope" and "Seven Samurai," as it features Shad (Richard Thomas) seeks out mercenaries to help him defend his homeland from the tyrant Sadow (John Saxon). Despite its lackluster box office success, StarCraft does have two big names, with James Horner composing the music and James Cameron handling the special effects. Cameron would go on to forge his own epic saga, even working with Horner on films including Avatar and Titanic.

Flash Gordon

The entire existence of Star Wars is attributed to Flash Gordon. Lucas had long been a fan of Alex Raymond's space hero and was trying to win the rights from Dino De Laurentiis. Lucas eventually developed A New Hope when De Laurentiis refused. Flash Gordon will finally hit the big screen, courtesy of the late Mike Hodges, with Sam J. Jones as the titular hero and Max von Sydow as his nemesis Ming the Merciless. Over the years, Gordon became a cult classic, loved by many for its swashbuckling story and eccentric set design. It even inspired other filmmakers, including Taika Waititi, who used the film as a template for Thor: Ragnarok. Who could forget Queen's epic soundtrack?

The Last Starfighter

Although most films Of the films on this list that were all made in direct emulation of the success of Star Wars, The Last Space Marine was the only film that felt closest to Lucas' original vision. Like A New Hope, this film pushes the boundaries of visual effects. Along with the original Tron, it was one of the first films to make extensive use of computer-generated effects. While most sci-fi series at the time followed the well-worn Hero's Journey, Space Marines straight up showed that being the Chosen One wasn't all that it was made out to be. Jonathan R. Bertour, who penned the Star Wars script, is currently working on the sequel with Gary Whitta -- who, ironically, has dabbled in the Star Wars universe with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


Hollywood is full of movies that tried and failed to jump on the bandwagon. Who could forget the multiple attempts to launch franchises that parody the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or movies that felt like pale imitations of John Wick? Krull is a prime example of this as it tries to cash in on the success of Star Wars and the wave of fantasy movies. but from the beginning Beset by multiple problems. The script is constantly being rewritten, resulting in a story that feels like a pale imitation of a much better film and a bunch of clichés. The chosen one, the talisman only he can wield, the inescapable evil...it's been done before, and better. The fact that it came out the same year as Return of the Jedi doesn't help either.

Battlestar Galactica (1978)

When you hear the words Battlestar Galactica, you most likely think of the beloved SyFy series. But Battlestar Galactica was a short-lived series on ABC until Ronald D. Moore's brilliant reimagining. Both Battlestar series share a similar premise: humans race across the stars, trying to find the mythical Earth while staying one step ahead of a race of machines known as the Cylons. From the start, comparisons to Star Wars were inevitable — and sparked two separate lawsuits, as both Lucas and 20th Century Fox argued the series was ripping off their work. But the harshest indictment came from legendary sci-fi author Isaac Asimov: "Star Wars is fun, I love it. But Battlestar Galactica is Star Wars, and I can't enjoy it

Starchasher: The Legend of Orin

Not even cartoons are immune to Star Wars mania, thanks to Starchaser: Legends of Olin. True to its title, The Legend of Orin centers on Orin (Joe Colligan), who discovers a mysterious sword and fights back against the tyrant Zygon (Anthony De Longis). Once again, Star Wars trappings are present throughout the film, from a magic sword to an evil emperor. Critics were happy to point out these similarities. But Olin did claim fame as the first film to blend traditional and computer-generated animation.

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