Star Wars Droppings: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)

Starchaser: The Legend of Orin was one of the first animated movies to mix traditional and computer animation, as well as one of the first to be released in 3D (although the Australian comedy Abra Cadabra was released first). The New York Times referred to this movie as “such a brazen rip-off of George Lucas’s Star Wars that you might think lawyers would have been called in.”

On the planet Trinia, human slaves have lived underground for thousands of years mining crystals for the god Zygon and his robot soldiers, who in no way are Cylons. Orin, our hero, finds the hilt of a jeweled sword in the rocks, telling him that there is a universe beyond these mines that he must discover.

This leads to adventures through the mines and to the surface of the planet, where Man-Droids attack and the hilt reveals an invisible sword before Dagg Dibrimi — who is basically the Han Solo of this piece — saves our hero.

Thus follows all manner of adventures where Orin boards the Starchaser, the ship of Dagg, and saves his people from the mines and uses his new mystical powers to heal blind people before the spirits inside the sword tell him that he can join them — if he wants — in something in no way related to the Force.

Anthony De Longis (Zygon) would later appear in Masters of the Universe as Blade, Skeletor’s henchman.

The Force in this film is called Kha-Khan, which is actually the name given to a high-honored member of the Church of Scientology, or roughly the equivalent of a saint in the Catholic Church. I’m not certain if this was a sneaky way to get people into being clear or not.

Director Steven Hahn would go on to direct the cartoons for the Dino-Riders toys and writer Jeffrey Scott would write for all manner of animated series like Mega ManTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesDuck TalesHulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling and the TV special Christmas Comes to PacLand.

In 2012, it was announced that Rilean Pictures had acquired the rights to develop this movie into a live-action film. No further news has happened since then.

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