Classic Movie Themes: Starcrash
Starcrash is a shameless Italian Star Wars knock off from 1979. The movie is regarded by some critics as a campy B film with cheap special effects that falls into the “so bad its good” category. Directed by exploitation cinema veteran Luigi Cozzi, Starcrash stars ex-Bond girl Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me) as Stella Star. She spends most of the film wearing very little as she cavorts around the galaxy with her trusty sidekick, Akton (Marjoe Gortner). The plot is derivative even by genre standards and boasts some staggering inane dialogue. For example, "You know, my son, I wouldn't be Emperor of the Galaxy if I didn't have a few powers at my disposal. Imperial Battleship, halt the flow of time!" and then there’s "Look, Amazon women on horseback. I hope they're friendly".
However, despite poor miniature effects and cheap stop motion monsters, Starcrash has a curious cast of quality character actors. Christopher Plummer and Joe Spinell both allegedly accepted their respective roles simply to get a free holiday in Rome. Starcrash also features a top-notch soundtrack by the legendary John Barry. The score certainly has a Bond vibe, sharing more than a little in common with Moonraker which was composed shortly afterwards. The main theme is suitably grandiose and as it develops picks up a subtle disco beat reflecting the times. Overall, it’s a far better soundtrack than the film deserves and is its only truly redeeming quality. Michael Giacchino’s main theme for Rogue One has an interesting passing similarity to Barry’s work on Starcrash, although I consider this more to be a homage than plagiarism.