Starchaser: The Legend of Orin

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Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
Starchaser movie poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Steven Hahn
Produced by Steven Hahn
Written by Jeffrey Scott
Starring Joe Colligan
Carmen Argenziano
Tyke Caravelli
Anthony De Longis
Noelle North
Les Tremayne
Music by Andrew Belling
Edited by Donald W. Ernst
Production
  company
Young Sung Production Co. Ltd.
Distributed by Theatrical:
Clubhouse Pictures
DVD:
MGM
Release date(s) United States:
November 22, 1985[1]
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office US$3,360,800[1]

Starchaser: The Legend of Orin is a 1985 animated sci-fi adventure film. It was written by animation writer Jeffrey Scott and was originally released in 3-D by Atlantic Releasing under their Clubhouse Pictures label. Starchaser was one of the first animated movies to mix traditional and computer animation, as well as one of the first to be released in 3-D.

The film has since gained a small cult status, but has been criticized over the years due to similarities to Star Wars.

Plot[edit]

In the future on a planet named Trinia, human slaves have lived underground for millennia mining crystals for a "god" named Zygon and his robot minions. One day Orin, a young miner, finds a jeweled sword embedded in the rocks. Hopps, grandfather of Orin's girlfriend Elan, recognizes the sword and gives his life to save Orin and keep the sword a secret.

When Orin later takes the sword into his hands, it ascends into the air and buries itself in the cavern's floor. A projection of an old man appears from the blade, telling those present that above the caverns is a "magnificent universe" that the people may find (they have been told that above the cavern is "Hell"). The blade then disappears, leaving only the hilt.

Forced to leave Orin's young, blind brother Calli behind, Orin and Elan set out to discover this universe and find the blade to the sword. Chased by Zygon's robots, they emerge in an industrial complex where they meet Zygon, who reveals the face of a human man beneath his mask. Zygon strangles Elan to death, but Orin escapes this fate when Zygon is distracted by the sword hilt. When Zygon's robots accidentally fire on a crystal deposit, Zygon presumes Orin dead in the resultant explosion and cave-in.

Orin digs a tunnel to the surface of Trinia, where he is later captured by Man-Droids, a group of decaying half-organic, half-robotic beings who intend to tear him apart and use his body parts to replace their own. Unexpectedly, his sword's hilt produces what is apparently an invisible blade, killing two of the Man-Droids and helping Orin escape. Orin subsequently runs into a human smuggler named Dagg Dibrimi, who takes Orin (whom he dubs "Water Snake" for his outrageous tale about human slaves in the mines) along on his journey to smuggle crystals. Eventually, Dagg seizes a load of crystals from a hovering freighter, but is driven away by Zygon and his robotic guards. During the fight, Dagg seizes a Fembot and uses it as a shield from laser blasts. As the freighter escapes, Zygon realizes who Orin really is after witnessing him use the hilt's invisible blade. Subsequently re-programmed by Dagg, the Fembot named Silica becomes attached to him. At the same time a mysterious "Starfly" appears and becomes attached to Orin.

Dagg flies the Starchaser to a city called Toga-Togo on the planet Bordogon, where he abandons Orin and gives Silica to a slave auctioneer. Orin wanders through the city, trying to find a clue that will lead him to the location of the hilt's blade. Just then, Orin meets a fortune-teller, who tells him to visit a place called Novaluna. Later, Orin sees Silica offered for sale, whereupon he offers high prices to buy her. When the auctioneer finds that Orin has no knowledge of local currency, he takes Orin's freedom in addition to Silica's; but Dagg, moved by his own conscience, frees them. Later, Dagg and Orin visit the home of two desert-dwelling merchants, to whom Dagg sells the stolen crystals. Because Zygon has placed a price on Orin's head, the merchants offer to buy Orin as well, but Dagg refuses. In response, the merchants place a time bomb in Dagg's payment. Orin is forewarned by the Starfly, whereupon Dagg and Arthur throw the bomb into their enemies' camp. Thereafter Dagg agrees to take Orin to Novaluna, but they are shot down by Zygon's robotic soldiers. Dagg is captured and the ship is rendered inactive; Orin is thrown clear of the ship but is rescued by Aviana, the daughter of Bordogon's Governor.

Upon having woken and met Aviana, Orin tells her his story, whereupon Aviana's computer reveals that the hilt has historically been used by a group of legendary guardians called the Ka-Khan to vanquish threats to humanity. Among these threats was a tyrant called Nexus, after whose defeat the hilt vanished until Orin's discovery of it. Aviana takes Orin to Trinia, where he again faces Zygon. Orin attempts to kill Zygon for Elan's death and thereby exposes him as a robot. Zygon then reveals that he is Nexus, seeking again to rule over humanity with his army of robots. Zygon takes Orin's hilt and begins to co-ordinate the attack, while Orin and Aviana are imprisoned in the cell block wherein Dagg is also captive. Just as Orin and Aviana confess their feelings toward one another, Aviana is taken aboard Zygon's flagship as a hostage. Orin is again approached by the Starfly, who brings him the hilt, which he uses to free himself and Dagg. They enter Zygon's flagship and take control of it, using it (again aided by the Starfly) to destroy the enemy fleet. They are rejoined by Silica, who has restored the Starchaser.

Orin and his friends penetrate Zygon's base, but are attacked by his remaining troops. While Dagg and Silica stay behind to fight off their pursuers, Orin enters his original cavern home and begins to denounce Zygon, but is interrupted by Zygon himself. They fight, resulting in Orin dangling over a chasm while Zygon gloats over him. As Orin hangs over the chasm, three Starflies appear and merge into one; but instead of giving him the hilt at his request, it states that he has no need of the hilt, adding that "there never was a blade". Orin therefore realizes that the power to create a cutting force came from himself. At this, he pulls himself up, generates such a force, and uses it to cut the horrified Zygon in half. He then falls to his doom in the lava pits below. Orin's people subsequently rise in revolt and win their freedom.

Above, Silica mistakenly fires a laser blast from the Starchaser into the accumulated crystals, causing them to explode, triggering a chain reaction which threatens to collapse the caverns. Orin then uses the hilt to open a fissure by which his people ascend to Trinia's surface, where Orin uses his new-found power to heal Calli of his blindness. Dagg, Silica, and Aviana join Orin and his people there. Moments later, several Starflies reveal themselves to be the spirits of the past Ka-Khan, including the elder man of the hilt's projection. They invite Orin to join them; but he refuses for the time being in favor of living with his friends. Thereafter the other Ka-Khan leave him to merge with the stars.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Produced in 1984, Starchaser: The Legend of Orin was the world's first full-length animated project to be made in the 3D format.[2] since 1983's Abra Cadabra.

Release[edit]

Patrons attending the film during its initial release were given this promotional pin.

The film was released in the United States by Atlantic Releasing on November 22, 1985.[1] Spending at least 17 days in theaters, it made US$1,614,660 on its opening weekend and US$3,360,800 overall, making it #6 in the box office.[1] The film did not fare well in South Korea, where animation production took place.[2]

Starchaser was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1986 by Paramount Pictures, and also by KVC Home Video. The DVD was released on June 21, 2005 by MGM.

Reception[edit]

The New York Times described it as "such a brazen rip-off of George Lucas's Star Wars that you might think lawyers would have been called in".[3]

Adaptations[edit]

It was announced in March 2012 that Rilean Pictures acquired the rights to develop the 1985 3-D animated film Starchaser: The Legend of Orin into a live-action motion picture to be produced by Rilean Pictures’ partners Jonathan Saba and Juan Iglesias.[4]

See also[edit]

List of 3D films

References[edit]

External links[edit]