Finally, the stirring conclusion to Star Odyssey (1979)
Thus ends the “Death Star rescue” portion of our movie. Now comes the final space battle, which involves a lot of confusing edits, blips and bleeps, people in barely lit closets made to look like space fighter cockpits, and the Professor even uses his mental abilities (“The Force”) to help keep the enemy fleet at bay. (This common theme – using an alien’s own force against them – is still used today, in movies like Independence Day and Dark City). Unfortunately, soldier hero Hollywood dies in battle (before dying, he exclaims “Even in the great days of Hollywood, no movie star ever died so heroically!”) Wow, this guy went out with his ego intact. The end of the space battle includes some white-ball explosion of something, because the film needed a Death Star explosion even though there was no Death Star. However, I challenge anyone to figure out what it is that blew up. In the final, “twist” ending, we see Lord Kess back at the space auction, putting “Sol 3” back on the auction block. Kess actually sells the planet to his rival for a huge profit. With him is Shawn and Bridget, who have made some kind of deal with him. Again, I challenge anyone out there to make sense of the deal (I cannot). I am a little annoyed at Kess getting rid of Earth, though. That’s your problem, buddy.. quit tryin to duck responsibility!
Star Odyssey is the ultimate in “Who Cares?” filmmaking. I have discovered that movies in the “so-bad-it’s-good” category are films that can delicately toe the line between kitsch, camp, and trash. This movie succeeds in that sense. It’s biggest flaw is in continuity. The beginning scenes show Lord Kess talking about his purchase of Earth, but the actual auction sequence doesn’t come until later. Then there’s the casino sequence where Dirk uses his powers to make his girlfriend win, then gets into a fight with other patrons who want their money back from him because they found out he can see through cards. But the casino sequence that follows a few scenes later shows the girlfriend still playing the game, and Dirk at the card table with the very same people he fought with earlier. My first instinct was to ask: why are these people back playing card games with a guy who they know can see their cards? When you realize that these scenes are all shown out of sequence, you will start calling for editor Mariano Arditi’s arrest. Then there’s the priceless dialogue, mostly coming from the robots:
Tilly: The extra-terrestrials are here!
Norman: You don’t mean the aliens?
Tilk: I’m sorry our suicide pact was a failure. It was a romantic idea!
Professor Mauri: They were androids? That means life is relatively rare on their world.
Oh really, Mr. Advanced Scientist? Why would anyone come to that conclusion, and not the one that says: don’t send humanoids to do dirty interstellar work when you can send machines to do it? There’s a reason why this bargain basement oddity is in the public domain. I still like it, though, but I’m a weird guy.
– Bill Gordon
PS: Yanti Somer and Malisa Longo also appear in Alfonso’s other space flotsam (War of the Robots, War of the Planets, Battle of the Stars). I plan on watching these as soon as is humanly possible.
Note: Don’t get this movie confused with Brescia’s War of the Robots. Both films shared many sets, props, actors, and blonde-haired pretty-boys.
More Fun Photos from Star Odyssey
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